Ashburn by Julia Erickson ~ a review

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Cara Stephenson, a talented graphic designer at Silver Strand Technologies, never thought she’d see her childhood best friend again… but when he suddenly reenters her life ten years later, he’s a completely different man. What is he hiding, and why should she trust him?

Bryce Reynolds is a man on a mission- a top-secret one at that! He never dreamed the girl down the street would one day become his link to the destruction of Ravenmeister, Inc.- a front for black-market arms and ammunition. Will he crumble underneath the burden of all his secrets?

When the hunt for a missing technology developer in possession of a priceless prototype drags Cara and Bryce on a high-adrenaline ride through the streets of Paris, Venice, and Munich, they must work together to find what they’re looking for… and survive the trip!

 

~ My Review ~

I’m not normally one who likes contemporary settings or action-packed story lines, but for whatever reason this book piqued my interest, so I downloaded it to my Kindle. From page one I was hooked. I love how the action is sprinkled throughout–and you never quite know when some normally quiet event is suddenly going to turn into a high-adrenaline  chase sequence.

The best part of this book, with it’s action, humor, and heartwarming moments, was that it was decidedly Christian.  You watch movies like Knight&Day or Vantage Point, and you think “What a unique plot line! What great one-liners! Too bad there’s so much foul language and  trashy, unnecessary  content. This would be a really great movie!” ASHBURN has all the good qualities of a typical action movie, but it is written by a Christian that knows how to masterfully tell a story, blending in just the right amount of everything to make it an excellent book. I definitely give it a high recommendation. And btw, canNOT wait to read the sequel!

 

~ About the Author ~

Julia Erickson has always adored reading. As a little girl, she even read while rollerblading, floating in the pool, and climbing trees. Her love of words and expressive personality naturally flowed into writing her own stories. Off the pages, Julia is also a budding graphic designer, photographer, and blogger. She loves to sing and dance and has her own handcrafted-jewelry business. Sparkle and style and colors are some of her favorite things. Growing up homeschooled all the way (Thanks, Mom!) allowed her to nurture her many hobbies. She loves her Lord and Savior, and believes the Bible is the best and truest story ever told.

Find Julia on:

Facebook  // Pinterest // Her Blogs– Julia’s Journal and Life on London Lane

Find this book on:

 Amazon // Goodreads // Barnes&Noble

Be Brave

Fear is easy. Faith is empowering.

Be Brave | Everyday Encouragements

I wasn’t scared.

I was terrified.

How could I jump into the pool and have water close over my head? What if I sucked in too much water before the swim teacher got to me? What if I hit my head and went unconscious before I remembered how to float?

Even during “ring-around-the-rosie” on the shallow entrance ramp of the pool, I refused to allow anything above my upper lip to descend beneath the water’s surface. The home videos of this time reveal a skinny little girl who was afraid of almost everything except mud in her yellow sand bucket. But that’s a different story.

Truth is, I was terrified of drowning. So much so that I still don’t know how to swim and rarely go beyond the 4ft. mark because I’m barely over 5ft. tall and goodness knows I can’t relax enough to float should I slip.

I wasn’t brave enough to learn how to swim when I was six. And I’m not all that much braver now.

I may have been “brave” enough to start Hearts for Purity and stand before a few dozen people once a year to tell them what I’ve learned through reading the Bible and books about the Bible.

But I’m not brave enough to learn a skill that can save my life.

And that lack of bravery has seeped into almost every area of my life.

This lack of bravery has another name. It’s called fear.

It’s scary to face your fear, isn’t it? It’s so much easier to hide that fear away, to laugh it off and say “no thank you” to trying something that scares you out of your wits, because if you can just forget about that fear, it won’t bother you. You’ll be safe and tucked into your little security bubble and nothing bad will happen, right?

May I speak some frank truth into both your life and mine, dear friend?

If you are scared of something–anything–you need to realize that you can shatter that fear with a few simple words.

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7

Those words hold a wonderful promise that comes from God alone: you were not meant to live in fear. Here’s another truth from God’s Word:

What time I am afraid, I will trust in Thee. Proverbs 56:3

Not only do you have no reason to fear, you also have a loving heavenly Father in Whom you can trust.

Choosing to be brave can be small, like trying Thai food for the first time or branching out and getting a different ice cream flavor than usual. And it can be huge and life-changing, like standing firm for biblical truth and finding yourself very much alone, or packing up your family and belongings and following God to your new home—when you don’t have the faintest idea where in the world that may be.

In such moments we are faced with a choice: we can buckle and heed the devil’s lies that  we can’t, or we can call on God, drawing our strength from Him as we choose to be brave and faithful in what He has called us to do. Friend, we don’t have to fear, we don’t have to worry, we don’t have to walk around in defeat. He is God Almighty and He is in control. We need simply be brave enough to put our trust fully in Him, brave enough to have faith that He knows what He’s doing in your life and mine.

So here’s my challenge to you–

Face your fear.

I don’t know what it is.

I don’t know why it scares you

But I know God is bigger.

Be brave, dear heart.

Be brave.