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Monday, December 22, 2014

Torn Asunder Blog Tour and Review

Torn Asunder by Alana Terry

Torn Asunder is the newest suspense novel from award- winning author Alana Terry. Torn Asunder is the story of Hannah and Simon, two North Korean refugees who sneak back into their country to serve as underground missionaries. In this world of spies, secret police, and informants, Simon and Hannah learn that staying together won't just compromise their ministry. It could cost them both their lives.

Torn Asunder launches today for just 99 cents, and all book sale proceeds today support the work of Liberty in North Korea, an organization that runs an underground railroad for North Korean refugees. You can get the paperback or the ebook for 99 cents for a limited time only. And remember the best news ~ Your purchase will help save a North Korean refugee!

Review


Torn Asunder, by Alana Terry, details the experiences of Hannah and Simon, two graduates from the Sterns’ missionary school mentioned in Slave Again. Over the course of their year or so long training, Simon fell in love with Hannah. The only problem is, it is too dangerous for them to marry if they continue with their plans to be missionaries in North Korea because of the government’s extreme persecution of Christians; their love for one another could be used against them to betray other Christians if Hannah and Simon are captured. Yet, even as they enter North Korea, neither Hannah nor Simon can stop thinking about one another. Will they meet again? And if they do, will it be the death of them?

            Torn Asunder is certainly not for the faint-hearted. Many horrible things happened to Hannah, Simon, and several of the other Christians they meet. Prison camps, torture, and betrayal make the book intense and tragic. The sad thing is, Torn Asunder, I believe, is based off of things that do happen in North Korea and other nations where Christianity is outlawed. Of course, Christians are not the only people who suffer under the hands of these governments. Torn Asunder reminded me of the realities of the persecution happening worldwide. I remember the verse in Hebrews that tells Christians to remember those who are persecuted for their faith as though we were experiencing those things with them. Therefore, I am challenged to pray for those who are persecuted.

            The characters are very realistic and easy to relate to, despite the tragedies they face. Moses, who posed as a high general in order to rescue Christians from the prisons and camps, was hard for me to comprehend. Like the main character in Beloved Daughter and Soon, Moses assistant, I find myself wondering how a Christian can bear to torture and kill other Christians and human beings. So many people looked to him as a savior and an amazing man, but even he committed atrocities against others. Yet, I know Moses’ situation would be very hard to be in as well as the situation of being tortured for one’s beliefs and find myself quoting a phrase in the book, “Never judge someone who fails a test you yourself have yet to pass.”

            I can’t say much about the plot for fear of revealing it all. I have already stated that many hard things happen to the characters. There are also good things that happen to them, but the bad things then replace them. Near the end, my predictions of the ending were not very encouraging. I am happy to say that the end was lovely.

            Overall, I enjoyed the story. It was hard to read at times, but I grew from reading it.
            I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Excerpt from Torn Asunder:


Simon gritted his teeth. His head felt like it was sinking. The general kept his voice level and pleasant as he slipped the device over Simon’s pinky. “Now, you just tell me who you delivered your Bibles to, and I’ll let you leave here with everything intact.”

Simon tried to swallow. His whole jaw was swollen from his scuffle in the woods. He shut his eyes and hoped the general couldn’t feel him tremble.

General Sin chuckled to himself. “Silly me. I forgot.” He slid the device off Simon’s finger. “This kind of tool won’t work on a big, strong man like you.” He strode over to Hannah and yanked her hand before Simon could even cry out. He jammed her ring finger into the opening.

Simon struggled against his iron restraints. “Let her go!”

Hannah sucked in her breath. General Sin still glared at Simon. “This is your last chance. Give me the names, and I'll release her unharmed.”

Simon’s field of vision blurred over. He wanted to scream. The metal from his handcuffs sliced open his wrists. He pictured himself breaking free and tackling the general to the ground.

“Better talk.” General Sin yawned. “I hate getting my uniform messy.”

Hannah’s hand trembled, but she didn’t make a noise.

“Three ...”

Simon clenched his jaw, unable to tear his face away from Hannah’s wide, terrified eyes.

“Two ...”





Want more? Buy Torn Asunder</ i> on amazon now. And remember, all book sales today will be donated directly to Liberty in North Korea, a group committed to seeing North Koreans achieve their freedom in THIS GENERATION.

Want to help spread the word? See below to click and tweet, or share this image on your timeline. Then be sure to scroll down to enter the giveaway for a chance to win a $100 gift card, surprise grab bag ($60 retail), great CD from Cherie Norquay, and free prizes to everyone who enters! And don't forget to leave a comment and tell us what you think of Hannah and Simon and those like them who sneak into hostile mission fields to share the gospel.




Are you on twitter? Just click to tweet ~

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Or copy and paste into an email or Facebook status: Torn Asunder is a new Christian suspense novel by Alana Terry about two North Koreans who serve as undercover missionaries. It's on sale for only 99 cents, and all book proceeds today will be donated to Liberty in North Korea's underground railroad for North Korean refugees.

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Thursday, December 4, 2014

Review: Restless Hearts

Hello! Another book review for you. This one is of Restless Hearts, book one in the Gold Rush Romances Series by Mona Ingram.

Description

Restless Hearts
Mona Ingram

Boston, 1849. Denied her dream of attending medical school, Sarah Howard is desperate to leave Boston far behind. Determined to prove that she can make it on her own, she poses as a married woman and boards a schooner bound for San Francisco.

Stuck working in his family’s merchant bank, Jamie Thompson eagerly accepts the challenge of setting up a branch in San Francisco. He’s been restless for some time now, and barely escaped the clutches of the woman determined to marry him.

The attraction between Sarah and Jamie is instant and powerful, yet each has something to prove, if only to themselves. Will their single-minded determination derail a blossoming romance?

By the way, I discovered that Restless Hearts is free on Barnes and Noble. Or you can buy it for $3.99 on Amazon. It can also be found on Goodreads.

Review


Denied her dream of becoming a doctor, Sarah travels to San Francisco to make a life for herself. She may not be able to accomplish her dream, but Sarah would be out from under her father’s roof and able to make her own decisions. For safety reasons, Sarah poses as a married woman planning to meet her husband in California. But when she meets handsome Jamie Thompson on the ship to San Francisco, Sarah begins to regret her decision to lie about her matrimonial state.

Restless Hearts by Mona Ingram was not what I was expecting. Perhaps that is because I was expecting a sweet, Christian romance. I soon discovered that while Restless Hearts is not Christian, it is still sweet. Because I am a Christian, I cannot condone some of the decisions Sarah made during the trip, such as lying or sleeping with a man she is not married to. Neither can I fully comprehend that the characters found fulfillment outside of God. However, I still thought the book was a good story and a worthwhile read.

Sarah was a sweet and determined young woman; she will accomplish her goals no matter what! I enjoyed watching her discover herself and find the love that conquered her restless heart. Sarah’s compassion and love for other people was beautiful to see. Sarah gave and treated everyone kindly, regardless of the way they treated her and without judgment.

The setting of Restless Hearts traveled from the ship to the city to the country and encompassed a variety of people groups and societies. It was intriguing to learn about them. I applaud Mona Ingram for the incredible amount of research that must have taken.

There were also characters you liked and those you did not and those you felt like crying for when tragedy struck, each personable and unique. There were many strong women in the story, some of which became that way because of the circumstances they had been forced into. The men were not all passive either but stood up for themselves and did what they thought was best.

Restless Hearts reminded me that I should not be judgmental. Several of the characters did things that were not correct in my mind, but, just like compassionate people in the real world, Sarah and many of the other major characters did not judge these people for those often detested actions. Instead, they were accepted and treated no differently than anyone else.

Restless Hearts was a lovely romance and a worthwhile read.

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.