In the Bookcase


Book Review, Excerpt & GIVEAWAY: Reversal Zone // BLOG TOUR

J. Grace Pennington has published four science fiction novels. They each have a unique bent to them, but this one is very different. Each book is a standalone, but as with any series, you get more of the story if you read them all in order. In Reversal Zone, the main character, Andi Lloyd, becomes the only one who can save the ship and crew. Can she do it in time?

About the Book

Nothing is as it should be.

After weeks of boredom, Andi is excited when the Surveyor is called upon to rescue a freighter that mysteriously vanished in uncharted space.  Excitement quickly turns to unease when the ship encounters an unknown phenomenon—a cloud that appears not to exist.  But with the freighter's crew in danger, the Surveyor has no choice but to venture into unknown territory.

As soon as they enter the cloud, its unstable effects wreak havoc on the ship.  They're flying blind.  Every piece of equipment is malfunctioning.  And every member of the crew is unable to think straight or act like themselves—except Andi.

Now she's expected to guide them through the predicament with no previous command experience and no one to turn to for support.  And with each passing hour, it becomes clear that if they don't escape the cloud soon—they won't escape it at all.

About the Author

J. Grace Pennington has been telling stories since she could talk, and writing them down since age five.  Now she lives in the great state of Texas, where she writes as much as adult life permits.  When she’s not writing, she enjoys reading good books, playing movie soundtracks on the piano, and looking up at the stars.

You can find out more about her writing at

Tarissa's Review

5 Star Rating

While reading Reversal Zone, I felt like I went on an amazing adventure through outer space. It's definitely an original story you won't hear anywhere else, and I have to say, it's rather compelling.

I love the interesting plot choice here, about a freighter that goes missing in a white cloud. Even while the clarity of the situation becomes foggier once the Surveyor enters the white cloud on a rescue mission, it becomes clearer that Andi is even more special than the rest of the crew suspected. She may just be the one to save them all, if she has the strength to persevere. Twenty-one-year-old Andi extends herself beyond what she thought she was capable of it. How will this affect her? How it it affect the radialloy in her body, or the underlying disease she has carried since birth? (The plot posed a lot of similar questions for me while I read the book!)

I also like how you really get to know the entire crew all the better in this volume. Or rather, to be cryptic, you get to know what they're not, and thusly, who they truly are. (Yeah, the whole story is a bit enigmatic like that too, and sooo worth reading!)

The action and unique events kept happening, keeping me intrigued about what could possibly happen next. There are definitely some surprise twists in there!

An awesome (and clean) sci-fi adventure. Christian families especially will enjoy it.


I stepped onto the bridge and into a complete change in atmosphere. Everyone worked efficiently, but the only sounds were beeps and blips of the computers and the soft tap of fingers on panels. The tension was so palpable I felt like I should be swimming in it instead of walking.
I opened my mouth to say, “Second medical officer on the bridge, sir,” out of habit, then stopped. Was that what I was supposed to say now? Or was it, “Commander Lloyd on the bridge, sir”? I winced. That didn't sound right at all. “Mission consultant on the bridge, sir,” didn't sound much better. So I settled for the simplest option available. “Andi Lloyd on the bridge, sir.”
The Captain swiveled his chair slowly to face me. He was leaning back again, and his arms lay limp at his sides instead of being propped up sturdily on the chair arms. “Thanks for coming, Andi.”
He had no need to thank an officer for obeying orders, but I said nothing. I moved forward to stand beside him.
He swiveled forward again and spoke. “We've picked up a message.”
“From where?”
“I don't know. Communications haven't been transmitting or receiving, but somehow we picked this up suddenly. It's not an audio message, it's text. It just... popped in, suddenly.”
“Did you look at it yet?”
“I wanted to wait for you.”
For half a second I thrilled at the feeling of importance this gave me, then I banished the thought and reddened slightly in shame. “Is that why we're not moving?”
“Yes. McMillan had us go for a bit so he could study things, but I had everything stop when we got the message.”
I just nodded, and the Captain turned his chair to face Yanendale. “Read it.”
His tone and words were lax, but I let it pass and listened as the com marshal read the message.
“The white darkness closes in, and we cannot see the sun. Oh for a thousand ships to find the way out of that which inhibits us. But the glory of what might be drives us ever inward, on to the unknown, even though we die in the attempt. Would that a passing vessel would heed our cry for help, even as we disappear into the realms not yet discovered.”
Guilders laughed.
“What does that mean?” I asked after a moment of confused silence.
“It doesn't mean anything that I can see,” said August irritably. “It's just nonsense.”
“Do you think it's a code, Captain?” Yanendale asked.
The Captain shook his head and crossed his arms. “Don't think so... but... it could be a clue...” He looked at me.
I shook my head. “It doesn't show us anything.”
He shrugged. “I guess not. I thought it might.”
I realized my mistake and quickly thought through the Captain's reversal. He was normally incredibly stubborn and decisive, so that would make him very pliable to others' opinion and suggestions at the moment. I needed to encourage him to take his own ideas more seriously.
“Oh, I don't know,” I backtracked. “What did you have in mind?”
He hesitated. “I think it's from the Pigeon.”



Grace is generously offering three prizes. A signed copy of each of her three previous novels in the series. They are each standalone stories, but they are also connected. If you would like to read more about them, you can read about them here: Radialloy, In His Image, Machiavellian.

To enter the giveaway, please fill out this form.

Tour Schedule 

Friday, October 7
Bookish Orchestrations-Tour Introduction
The Destiny of One-Guest Post
Rebekah Lyn Books-Author Interview

Saturday, October 8
Shout outs-Guest Post
Shire Reviews-Book Review

Sunday, October 9

Monday, October 10
Rachel Rossano's Words-Excerpt and Guest Post
In the Bookcase-Excerpt and Book Review

Tuesday, October 11

Wednesday, October 12
Bookish Orchestrations-Giveaway Winner

Orchestrating Your Blog Tours -

P.S. Like and vote for this review on Goodreads and Amazon.

*Any purchase made through the links in this post support this humble blogger with a small commission. Thank you!


Book Review & GIVEAWAY! Befriending the Beast // BLOG TOUR

Befriending the Beast by Amanda Tero

Befriending the Beast by Amanda Tero (5 star review)

Befriending the Beast

written by Amanda Tero

73 pages // published in 2016 // Christian fiction

Belle has returned unannounced to the castle to restore her relationship with the king, her father. Her hopes are dashed with the devastating message: "The king refuses to see you." Convinced that God has led her home, she is unwilling to return to Lord and Lady Kiralyn. Time is running out for the decision that will change her life. When tragedy strikes, will she and her father be pulled further apart or knit together? Could she stay at the castle even if she will never see her father again?

My Review...

5 Star Rating

What I like? It's a fairytale retelling, plus the truth of God, minus the magic. I think that's why I'm drawn to this story even more than had the story been a fantasy. It lets the reader focus on the message of the story, not the magical gimmicks.

Belle. Yes, I found another fellow bookworm and kindred spirit in Belle. I really like her character... She cares for her father. She wants to make the best decisions and goes to God to find the answers. And she loves books, like me. The author created Belle as such a sweet character, and I enjoyed reading Belle's story.

I also love that this isn't a romantic story, like you think that Beauty and the Beast is. But it's still about finding true love, even under the ugliness.

I also enjoyed reading the discussion questions at the end, as they really helped me to think about the spiritual message in the book.

Befriending the Beast is a story of sorrow, challenges, and forgiveness.

I would recommend it, ages 9 and up. Anyone could enjoy it though, as it bears a powerful message.

Befriending the Beast by Amanda Tero

Amanda TeroAbout the Author
Amanda Tero is a homeschool graduate who desires to provide God-honoring, family-friendly reading material. She has enjoyed writing since before ten years old, but it has only been since 2013 that she began seriously pursuing writing again – starting with some short stories that she wrote for her sisters as a gift. Her mom encouraged her to try selling the stories she published, and since then, she has begun actively writing short stories, novellas, and novels. If something she has written draws an individual into a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ, it is worth it!

“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding.” (Proverbs 3:5)

Connect with Amanda!

Purchase Link
Order on Amazon!
(order before October 8, 2016, to get it at the discounted price of $.99!)

U.S. Giveaway:
Enter to win one of two paperback copies of "Befriending the Beast"!

International Giveaway:
Enter to win one of two eBook copies of "Befriending the Beast"!

Befriending the Beast by Amanda Tero


P.S. Like and vote for this review on Goodreads and Amazon.

*Any purchase made through the links in this post support this humble blogger with a small commission. Thank you!


Tapping into the dreams God has planted within us

Hi readers,

I have a question to share with you today. Something to make you think about your goals in life.

Tessa, over at the Christ Is Write blog, introduced this question.

Is It Sinful for Christians to Pursue Their Dreams? 

I encourage you to give this article a read, and ponder the points that Tessa has made.  

"We aren't on this earth to simply make money, survive, and eventually pass away. God has given us work to do. How can we know what that work consists of? Often, it is stemmed to the dream placed within; the one that has grasped our hearts and refuses to let go."

{READ MORE from Tessa's blog} 


Book Review: Radialloy

Radialloy by J. Grace Pennington (5 star review)

Radialloy // written by J. Grace Pennington

Firmament series, #1

215 pages // published in 2012 // Christian sci-fi


The year is 2320. Andi Lloyd is content with her life as the assistant to her adoptive father, a starship doctor, but her secure world turns upside down when she begins uncovering secrets from her past. When her father mysteriously starts losing his mind, she finds that she can no longer count on him to guide or help her. With mutiny breaking out on the ship, and two factions desperate for a valuable secret she holds, she must race to save her father and herself before time runs out.

My Review...

5 Star Rating

If you like Christian sci-fi, you'll love Radialloy. Or even if it's not the usual kind of genre you read (like myself), it's still a fascinating and unique story. I like a good adventure, and that's how I connected so well with Radialloy.

The whole book held me captivated. I loved the setting, on a starship about 300 years from now. I feel like the descriptions of the ship and the roles of all the crew is written so well. I kept thinking "how did the author know to use that phrase?" when it was just the perfect way to describe what was happening on the ship.

The medical descriptions are done skillfully. It kept me intrigued in the work that teenage Andi and the Doctor do together on the ship. They have to be prepared for any wounds or health problems with only the resources on board. Sometimes this could mean getting inventive with their medical care, as Andi finds out when the Doctor can only rely on her to save him.

Each of the characters, I felt, has their own quirks and interesting things about them. They're sketched as complex-enough characters that you feel like you know them as real-life people. That's a mark of a well-written book.

There are many Christian references throughout. I love how God was kept in the story, through prayer and scripture.

The other great thing about this book is that it's clean. No foul language, and romance at a minimum.

There are definitely some twists I didn't see coming, and the excitement just kept building as the chapters flew by. I'm excited to read more of the Firmament series.

Radialloy is available on Amazon in paperback and e-book format.

P.S. Like and vote for this review on Goodreads and Amazon.

*Any purchase made through the links in this post support this humble blogger with a small commission. Thank you!


Book Review: Faith Is the Victory // BLOG TOUR

Have  you ever felt like too much was going on and you just couldn't handle anything more? Or maybe someone has bothered you so much that you avoid them as much as you can, but they still keep coming back. David felt that way in Faith Blum's short story, Faith is the Victory, and she's here today to tell us more about her book.

About the Book

Winning story in Perry Elisabeth Designs' short story contest.

I don’t like change. I know most people get used to it, but I have never been able to. When Dad announced their move and I couldn’t go with them, I didn’t handle it well. Would I ever find the faith to be victorious?

Content warning: A character does attempt suicide, so please read with caution.

Available on Amazon and other platforms such as Barnes & Noble, iBooks, Kobo, and Scribd.

Paperback coming soon!

About the Author

Faith Blum started writing at an early age. She started even before she could read! She even thought she could write better than Dr. Seuss. (The picture doesn’t show it well, but there are scribblings on the page of Green Eggs and Ham). Now that she has grown up a little more, she knows she will probably never reach the success of Dr. Seuss, but that doesn’t stop her from trying.
When she isn’t writing, Faith enjoys doing many right-brained activities such as reading, crafting, playing piano, and playing games with her family. One of her dreams is to visit Castle City, Montana. She currently lives on a hobby farm with her family in Wisconsin.
There are many ways to connect with Faith online. All of them can be found in one convenient place: On her website you can find links to her various social media sites and both of her blogs.


This book doesn’t have much to do with Faith is the Victory, but if you like Westerns or stories about mail order brides, you might just like this novella. And it’s written by Faith Blum.

Tarissa's Review

Faith Is the Victory by Faith Blum (5 star review)

Faith Is the Victory // written by Faith Blum

published in 2016 // YA Christian suspense

My Review...

5 Star Rating

Wow! I am pleasantly surprised by Faith Blum's newest release. It's a short story, and doesn't take too long to read... but it packs a powerful punch in the message it bears.

What do I like? It's a deep story. Spiritually, emotionally -- deep. Although I haven't read all of Miss Blum's books, I've read a couple of her Western romance books -- which I liked. But Faith Is the Victory swept me away.

David Conyers is feeling down about everything happening in his life. With his parents and siblings moving 500 miles away, he often feels alone. He's trying to finish out the college semester, and turns schoolwork into a distraction from the negative things in life. Being bullied doesn't help, and having a stutter that surfaces during nerve-wracking moments most certainly isn't helping him cope.

From all angles, it's easy to see that David needs help. But more than that -- he needs to find a Savior.

Cons? None.

The story does deal with suicidal and depressive thoughts. Personally, I still feel comfortable recommending this for kids over the age of 12 (and adults too).

I would be very glad if Faith Blum continues to write any more books similar to this one in the Christian suspense genre.

Faith Is the Victory is available on Amazon in e-book format.

P.S. Like and vote for this review on Goodreads and Amazon (soon!).

Truth Through the Ages Party

Faith and her friend, Amanda Tero, are hosting a Facebook party on September 30th to celebrate their new releases! There will be giveaways, games, fun times, and a grand prize. They are also giving away a set of 4 eBooks to the person who invites the most guests. So head on over, invite some friends and then ask them to vote for you in the poll. The Party link is here and the link to the poll can be found here. They are also doing some fun pre-party posts and on September 26th and 27th, they are taking questions from the guests.

Tour Schedule

September 26
Bookish Orchestrations-Tour Introduction
Ember's Reviews-Author Interview
Karan Eleni-Excerpt

September 27
In the Bookcase-Book Review

September 28
Keturah's Korner-Book Review and Author Interview
Writings, Ramblings, and Reflections-Why this story and theme?

September 29
Bookish Orchestrations-Tour Wrap-up