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Sometimes you don't want to dive into a series. C.J. understands that. To that end, there are some stand-alone books and anthologies listed below, and will be added to as time passes.
C.J. also donates a portion of the proceeds from her work to charities. Stand-alone books are no exception. See below to find out more!
STRENGTH FROM WITHIN won 2021 BEST CHRISTIAN FICTION for Texas Authors Institute (TAIH) Awards!
Strength From Within is a stand-alone book. Having said that, some of the characters in this book, do cross-over into the Team A.N.G.E.L. series books. This is the reason it is pictured in the Team Series Books Picture under the "Series Books" page. For more information, feel free to check out the Team A.N.G.E.L. Series books!
Pine Crest is a quiet little Ohio town just outside Cleveland. To the outside world, it seems to function as any other small town. However, upon closer inspection, Stacey and her father, Sam Spencer, discover the dangerous secret that is this town’s reality. Corruption has such a massive stronghold; survival seems to be the way of life.
Asserting her normal independent attitude in this new environment as the new kid in town could find Stacey in trouble. However, the strength inside her forces her not back down. Once Sam figures out what is going on, he cannot turn a blind eye to it either. By fighting back, can the Spencer’s help free this town from its bonds? Will it ignite a spark of hope or an all-out war? What would you do if your town was held captive? Would you comply or would you fight back?
Isaiah 40:31: But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
What would you do if your town was held captive? Would you comply or fight back?
A portion of the proceeds from Strength From Within will go to “Jenny’s Hope."
“No one should ever have to grieve alone. There is healing found when we share our stories, our fears, and our memories. In 2017, we discovered Wise County Christian Counseling had 59 families with children needing grief counseling on the wait list. We could hardly bear it that 59 sets of parents were on the edge of their seats waiting for a call for help. We prayed, we dreamed, we sought advice. We decided to open Jenny’s Hope, a free grief center for children and adults.”
To find out more about Jenny’s Hope, go to: https://jennys-hope.org
Tragedy strikes teenaged Stacey Spencer and her father, Sam, early in “Strength from Within” when her mother unexpectedly dies. Grief stricken, they decide to move and start over in a small Midwestern town called Pine Crest. Superficially pleasant, Pine Crest, is deeply corrupt and Stacey discovers this evil extends to the sons and daughters of powerful adults. Her arrival in the local High School is far from pleasant, and quickly devolves into a terrifying ordeal. C.J. Peterson has written a highly readable, and emotionally intense novel, with a strong Christian orientation. No one will get through the ensuing chaos easily, least of all, Stacey. But faith and determination will help her to survive. Highly recommended by the window on a sunny afternoon.
The storyline is very good. The writing is solid. The fictional conflict is ever-present. The Christian message is clear--and would be a great reference for someone questioning the way today's society is unraveling. As I read the book, I couldn't help comparing today's world metaphorically with the events in the story.
A small town has been taken over by a small group of people who will do anything to get what they want. The reader doesn't see much of how the adults work; the story is told from the perspectives of the teens. A young girl moves to town thinking her life will be smooth sailing. It's anything but smooth when she refuses to go out with the school hunk, the son of one of the ruling families. He's learned from them that he can do anything, get anything, he wants. This story is about what happens when the good kids stand up to him and his followers.
In this compelling story of overcoming tragedy and adversity, Stacey, a high school teenager, must deal with the devastating news her mother has been killed in a car accident. The memories are just too painful so, Sam, Stacey's father, decides to move them to another state and another town. This means Stacey has to adapt and fit in at a brand new school.
Almost immediately, problems occur. A fluid social structure of various cliques, complicated relationships, and evolving friendships make Stacey's transition to the new school a minefield. A wrong step could alienate the wrong person. To make matters worse, some of the boys at school, including one of the most popular, begin to compete for her attention. Do they really like her, or is there a different motivation? Who can she trust? There is no easy answer.
I liked that an inspirational quote segued into each new chapter. I wasn't expecting that, but it is a nice change of pace from typical works of fiction. Kudos to Author C. J. Peterson for this different spin.
Christian values are showcased throughout Strength From Within, and although I hesitate to use the word "normal" (as the 21st century defies normalcy), these values reflect upon the way we should act and treat one another. A lesson, I think, we could all use a refresher on.
This is a great read. Five Stars!
Two afternoons about a week ago, I read C.J. Peterson’s young adult novel, Strength From Within. I waited to write this review because the events she described in the book caused me to reflect about some of my former high school students and the tragedies they experienced in their young lives. A high school, whether it’s in a small community like Pinecrest or a neighborhood in a large city, is a mirror reflection of the world in which it sits.
Stacey and her father Sam Spencer thought they could escape a tragedy. You see, Sam’s wife and Stacey’s mom, Lauren, was killed in an automobile accident. Both father and daughter were hurting in silence. The intensity of their emotions was driving a wedge between them. Fortunately, Sam had an opportunity to practice law in Pinecrest. Both he and Stacy were ready for a change. Move to a new town. New job. New friends. New school.
What could possibly go wrong?
The transition was a smooth one until Stacey enrolled in the local high school. There, she encountered opposing groups. One led by the school bully Kyle Chandler, who along with his crew did everything possible to recruit Stacey to join their gang. Kyle wanted to date Stacey, but she had a bad feeling about him and his friends. The school had another group, one that Kyle ridiculed. It was led by a different type of leader – a young Christian named Alex. He and his friends embraced Stacy, trying with all their might to protect her from the group led by the school bully. They changed her life when they introduced Stacey to Jesus. However, converting to Christianity did not make Stacey’s life any easier. She remained loyal to her new best friend Alex and joined the local church group.
Kyle and his friends took action, causing Stacey to endure two trips to the hospital. That was the last straw for Sam Spencer. Dealing with the school principal, Sam discovered that the town of Pinecrest had secrets, the kind that were deadly. He and Stacey stood together to not only clean up the school atmosphere but also the evil within the community.
During their struggles, they understood the quote by Amy Morin: “Being mentally strong doesn’t mean you won’t feel afraid. Instead, mental strength is about feeling afraid and doing it anyway.”
C. J. Peterson’s book lets young adults know that sometimes doing the right thing is not always the popular thing, but with God’s help, all things are possible through Him.
Focused on Faith
Author C.J. Peterson kicks the story into high gear right off the bat as Stacey finds out her mom, and Sam finds out his wife Lauren died in a car accident. Sam is a successful lawyer, and Stacey is a sixteen-year-old who is undecided about her life goals. The death of Lauren throws them into the world of grief and sadness. Lauren's family tries to help, but it is a lot for Stacey to process. When Sam's law firm offers him a chance at a job in another location and a chance for Stacey and him to reinvent their family, they move to Pine Crest. The new community, school, memories, and friends are the top negotiated areas when one move as a teenager. It is a challenge that teens and young adults relate to and understand. What is odd is that Pine Crest is hiding some evil secrets. Protecting those secrets is costing people high prices. I liked how early on, C.J. showed the now modified relationship between father and daughter. This bond increases throughout the story. Stacey discovers the strange events, and in turn, by Sam, who both try to find a long-term solution. Will their faith be enough for survival? The action keeps the reader engaged, as does the character's evolving relationships. Stacey's evolution to champion for her friends and community shows how far she has come since her mom's death. It also helps guide her to a longer-term professional goal. There are a few descriptive areas that may be rough for some teens, so parents might want to read it first. The story lessons are powerful and remind readers to keep their faith. C.J. is an avid writer with a Christian focus that keeps readers wanting more. A superb choice to help emphasize core values.
With Stacey Spencer, author C. J. Peterson has written one of the more memorable heroines I have ever discovered in the printed page.
She has an interest in this Jesus guy she keeps hearing about.
But her life is about to change.
Her mother dies when the car she’s driving spins out of control on icy roads, and Stacey faces a life she never expected. As C.J. writes: For the next several weeks, everything sounded hollow as her world spun around her at a high rate of speed. She felt as if she were watching things from a distance. She felt disconnected from her world. She could not imagine how she would exist in a world without her mother.”
She’s surrounded by memories.
Her father, an attorney, believes he and Stacey need a fresh start.
Make new memories.
And Pine Crest seems like such a nice community to call home.
Looks can be deceiving.
Stacey finds herself within the grips of a corrupt little town where people are disappearing, people are missing, men in black walk the streets, and there are gunshots in the night. Evil lurks in the shadows.
Is Strength from Within a horror story?
Are the scenes graphic and bloody and scented with the smell of death?
Is the novel Christian fiction?
When all is lost, Stacey and her boyfriend Adam are thrown into a dark pit stacked with corpses of those they knew in town.
Both are suffering from bullet wounds. Neither sees a way out.
But earlier, Stacy had looked up and said, “God, if you’re there, we could really use some help down here.”
And she waits to find out if He was listening.
I would have never expected it in a Christian novel, but the suspense in Strength from Within is riveting.
Author C.J. Peterson celebrates the launch of her book - Strength From Within! (See above for your copy!) C.J. is joined by:
- LM Mann
Author C.J. Peterson celebrates the launch of her book - Strength From Within on Author Talk via FB Live on 14SEP2020. She was joined by:
- LM Mann
C.J. is joined by eleven other authors for this unique anthology!
**Note: The Underground Authors decided to dedicate the proceeds from 2021 sales of Beyond The Sea to a group that supports communities. Team Rubicon. To learn more about them go to: https://teamrubiconusa.org/
The Underground Authors present: Beyond The Sea. This unique group of short stories are as diverse of the authors in this group. They were instructed to write a short story using only the picture on the cover of this book. Brilliant group that they are, they came up with stories that cover murder, mystery, intrigue, romance, spiritual, and even apocalyptic genres. So, sit back, relax, and discover a little about The Underground Authors.
The Diving Bits by Breakfield & Burkey
Xiamara and Judith are roommates working two jobs. They’re saving tuition for entry into the high-tech world in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Fall semester isn’t far away. The girls are struggling. Xiamara wants a shortcut. She takes their savings and buys a boat. She’s convinced it’s a sailboat in the rough. Judith wants to know the whereabouts of Jack and the Beanstalk to get their money back. Can they remain friends and overcome the challenges?
Stranded by N.E. Brown
Feeling rejected after breaking up with her boyfriend, twenty-two-year-old Robin Harris flees Houston for a quiet weekend alone. The Airbnb boosted quiet, seclusion, and privacy. Nothing prepares her for the disappointing run-down, beachfront cottage or the stranger who greets her. To make matters worse, a torrential rainstorm and threats of a tornado make it impossible for her to flee. Who is this man, and will she live to see another day?
I’d Rather Drown by James R. Callan
A drink, meet two of the handsome man’s friends, agree to play tennis tomorrow. All seemed innocent enough. How could she know she would become a virtual prisoner? Her plan to escape may be the death of her. But she’s willing to take that chance for freedom.
Regi Vitam by Michael Scott Clifton
Retired baseball scout, Frankie Sicotto, leads a gray, joyless life marked by ill-health. Then his colorless world is altered overnight when he meets Devin Ramos, a fatherless ten-year old boy. They forge an unlikely friendship centered around the game of baseball, and their lives are changed in ways they never could have imagined.
The Perfect Future by Cindy Davis
Even though twelve years separate Zipacna and his half-brother Chaahk, they have been best of friends—mostly. They do have times with enormous clashes between the strong pair of personalities. Here, Chaahk’s free-as-a-bird lifestyle gets between them as they seek to forge a future together.
The Boat - A Tale of The Rocheport Saga by CW Hawes
When the world as we know it came to an end, Bill Arthur still held out hope for a new world, a better world. But what happens when that hope dies?
Moonlight Swim by Kelly Marshall
After scouring several Washington getaway guides, I happened on the perfect choice for a romantic retreat with my love. Lake Crescent—pristine, deep, and as cold as the waters beneath the Arctic Circle. The official depth of the lake is logged at 624 feet, but measurements of more than one thousand feet have been rumored by the locals for years. Six-hundred-twenty-four feet or a thousand feet—it would be deep enough.
Hemingway’s Boat by Caleb Pirtle III
Adam Cain is a big city police reporter during the 1920s who has seen too much death. He’s lost touch with his readers and himself. His editor sends Cain to explore small-town America and write about unusual places most have never seen. He becomes a travelist, venturing to Ormond Beach, discovering an aging beachcomber named Hemingway and a beautiful blues singer who abruptly disappears. Can Cain find her, and what secrets does the old possess?
The Girl In The Turquoise Bikini by Linda Pirtle
Jeb McPherson, an international award-winning author and prolific mystery writer, has contracted a most dreaded disease: writer’s block. Try as he might, Jeb could not conjure up another mystery for his protagonist Greg Watts to solve. Leaving his computer idle. Jeb walked out onto his deck overlooking the bay. Sipping his daily martini, Jeb saw the perfect inspiration standing on his private beach wearing a turquoise bikini.
Making Waves by C.J. Peterson
Silver Lake is home to many people. This story isn’t about the people. This story follows the journey of the boat as it makes waves in the lives of others through its lifetime. Darren and his father completed the boat in 1939. Keeping it in shape through the years to 2020 has been a challenge, but the boat held so many memories, letting it go was not an option. See why in Making Waves.
Roses For Grant by Richard Schwindt
Pam and Craig arrive at a tropical resort for what appears to be a carefree vacation. But a strange encounter in a borrowed boat, triggers memories of love and loss.
The Encounter by Ronald E. Yates
During WW II Japanese soldiers trekking through the tropical forests of Western New Guinea stumble upon a mysterious object secreted inside of a jungle-covered peak. Without warning, the object erupts and transmits a powerful beam into the cosmos and seconds later most of the unit vanishes. Who put the device there? Why? After the war America’s Office of Strategic Services investigates the phenomenon. What did the OSS find and what does it mean?
12 authors, plus one picture, equals an eclectic mix of stories for you to enjoy! Their assignment - write a short story only using the picture on the cover of this book. From mystery and technothriller to romance and magical realism, from horror and historical fiction to fantasy and suspense with a little paranormal thrown in for good measure.
Get YOUR copy today:
C.J. is part of a holiday anthology for 2020, titled 'Tis The Season. She is joined by ten other authors for a holiday treat!
See below for authors and the description of their story.
Enjoy the musings from this group of great authors, as they share an eclectic mix of short stories about the holiday season. There will be cookies, presents, puppies, skiing, St. Peter, Santa, and…Kaiju? Grab a cup of hot cocoa and curl up on the couch with these holiday treats:
‘Tis The Teasing Season by Breakfield and Burkey https://www.enigmabookseries.com
Jacob and Petra celebrate a month of blended European and American holiday traditions, along with fun teasing. Their unique rituals culminate on Christmas night giving each other the perfect gift. Petra is distraught because she has found nothing to give the love of her life.
A Christmas Tail by Mackenzie Collins www.roseiswrite.com
Follow one puppy’s journey to a forever home in this one of a kind Christmas tale. Charlie dares to adopt a young pup for his mother as a Christmas gift. Our canine hero anxiously awaits his fate as Christmas grows closer.
A COVID Christmas by Julie Gianelloni Connor https://julieconnorauthor.com
COVID-19 stalks the land, disrupting everything—families, simple pleasures like eating out, the holidays. As autumn drifts into the winter, four characters—an older lady living alone, her cleaning lady, the cleaning lady’s daughter, and a kitten—combine to turn the worst of times, and what could perhaps be the worst Christmas ever, into something quite different and magical.
A Christmas Dream by DC Gomez https://dcgomez-author.com
When his lifelong dreams were crushed, Brad lost all hope in himself and the people around him. His life takes an unexpected turn when he meets the snarky Saint Peter on Christmas Eve. Saint Peter refuses to play into Brad’s pity party, and gives him a taste of his own medicine. Fall in love with this sweet Christmas tale, and find the beauty in the simple things in life.
The Reluctant Shepherd by Kathryn Haueisen https://howwisethen.com
Things aren’t always what they seem. What seems hopeless might not be. A reluctant little shepherd boy and a stray puppy come together to give two people their best Christmas ever.
Twisted Christmas by James Hill http://www.jlhill-books.com/
December 24th, 2020, North Pole. Approx. 2100 hours. Santa Claus is going over his list for his yearly trip around the world. The door bursts open and in walks the Devil. What could he want?
You Better Believe It by Tassie Kalas https://tassietypes.com/
In her hopes to give her children the perfect Christmas experience all wrapped up in a bow, a single mother learns that the best gifts aren’t the ones under the tree—they’re the ones curled up under the covers upstairs.
A Kaiju Christmas by LM Mann https://mannwrites.com
Normally one would not associate kaiju (strange beasts) with the holiday season, but when Santa’s reindeer come down with COVID-RD, some out of the box thinking is required. This was the Christmas when kaiju, along with many other magical creatures, answered Santa’s call to save the day.
Christmas Wish by C.J. Peterson https://cjpetersonwrites.com
For six-year-old Robin Flynn and her family, this is a Christmas that will change everything. There will be treats, a wish for a healthy delivery of Robin’s new brother, and a mother’s wish for her son to move on from the past. A kindhearted Pastor is sent to help the family navigate through the turmoil that arose on this Christmas Eve night. Will their Christmas wishes come true?
Hit and Run Santa by Teresa Trent https://teresatrent.com
A harried mother finally gets a few hours to herself over a hectic holiday season. Just as she settles in, there is a thumping at her door and she receives a Christmas visitor, not the magical enchanted kind, but the deranged murderous variety. Now finding herself in the middle of a decades-old battle, she has to figure out how to outsmart a demented woman out for revenge.
It Takes A Village By Terrina Wilder https://terrinawilder.com
It Takes A Village is a story about a young man, Jon, who met the love of his life. What should have been a wonderful journey or the newlywed couple, became an experience of understanding the important roles people played in their lives. The gift of Jesus Christ would hold a significant meaning for Jon on Christmas Day.
Enjoy the musings from this group of great authors, as they share an eclectic mix of short stories about the holiday season. There will be cookies, presents, puppies, skiing, St. Peter, Santa, and…Kaiju? Grab a cup of hot cocoa and curl up on the couch with these holiday treats!
Ebook Link: https://amzn.to/2GqV1I7
This is a Texas Sisters Press Published Book: https://texassisterspress.com
12 authors, 11 short stories, TONS of prizes and fun! Get to know the authors behind the short stories, as we have a bit of fun! There were giveaways galore, and caroling too! Well, we tried anyway! :) To learn more about this anthology, head over to:
The full-color ebook is $1.99 starting 08NOV and the paperback is only $9.99! We wanted to make this affordable for everyone to enjoy! So, enjoy the musings from this group of great authors, as they share an eclectic mix of short stories about the holiday season. There will be cookies, presents, puppies, skiing, St. Peter, Santa, and…Kaiju? Grab a cup of hot cocoa and curl up on the couch with these holiday treats!