Thursday, July 10, 2014

**Blog Tour** Where There's Smoke

Title: Where There’s Smoke
Author: Sarahbeth Caplin
Release Date: June 10, 2014
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Pastor Henry Collins is hailed as a hero after rescuing a teenage girl from a burning church. But the real reason he was at the right place at the right time is known only to him and Hannah Mercer, the teenage girl he rescued: a girl whose faith has more to do with keeping up appearances than anything to do with God.
Lia Anders is a classmate of Hannah’s: a girl whose coming out as a lesbian resulted in immediate expulsion from the church. As an unlikely friendship develops between the two, Hannah begins to realize the error of her hypocritical ways, and encourages Henry to make a decision that will forever alter the course of their lives. But for Henry, the price of living a lie is easier than owning up to the truth.
Where There’s Smoke is a story that asks: who are we really? Are we the sum of all our actions? And is the note we finish our lives on the most defining of them all?

A teen confused about the religion she was raised to believe in. A pastor questioning the teachings he was taught to believe in and preach. A group of hypocritical teens shunning those who are different. Wait, this is the way people should be treated, right? But, wasn't Jesus good to the outcasts? What happens when the pressure to be "perfect" gets to you? What will it take for the congregation to see the error of their ways? 
I really enjoyed this book. I was raised Catholic by a very religious lady who was also the Religion teacher. I was shunned and turned away from the church due to a unwed, teen pregnancy and a divorce. I know exactly what it feels like to be the outcast and to question everything you were raised to believe. I could put myself in the shoes of these characters and really relate to them. 
I would definitely recommend this book.   

As wisps of smoke curled under Hannah’s nose, she wondered if it had finally happened: she’d woken up to find herself in hell.
I had it coming, she thought, defeated and unwilling to move from the darkness of the church basement. She felt no fear; apathy did not allow for much feeling of anything. It’s all a dream anyway.
Until alarm bells starting screeching, and then it became reality.
Suddenly alert, Hannah felt panic settle in as the air thickened and her eyes watered. Hannah never considered hell to be a place of literal fire. She placed more faith in Dante’s idea of it than the Bible’s. But this–this literal choking agony–it couldn’t be what she deserved, could it? She was sorry–desperately sorry. For everything.
As a wall of smoke started to close in on the last she’d know of the world, fighting back seemed like a futile option. She’d been running too long. This ending was inevitable. It was deserved.
She closed her eyes, ready to meet whoever or whatever might be waiting. A sturdy pair of arms lifted her from the searing floor, but she didn’t bother opening her eyes, realizing there was nothing she could do now that the devil had caught up with her.

Beth holds a bachelor's degree in English Literature from Kent State University. It was during college that she first saw her name in print as a columnist for her campus newspaper, The Daily Kent Stater. Now living in Denver, Colorado, she can be found in various microbreweries when not chained to her laptop working on future books.

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