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Shine the Light

(5 customer reviews)


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by April McGowan

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Shannon is out to save the world one caring act at a time. She’s stood by her best friend, Amber, through their whole lives especially when Amber lost her sight. She has an active outreach ministry to the homeless and disenfranchised. And she’s even let down her guard long enough to let a boyfriend, Justin, into her life.

Her life has settled into a pleasing routine of teaching, freelance photography work, quiet dinners with Justin, and taking Amber on treks to find new subjects for her visionary paintings.

But when a man from her past shows up, her secure world crumbles into triggered PTSD episodes that threaten everything she relies on. Will she be able to overcome these old memories, or will her past crush any hopes she had for a future?

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5 reviews for Shine the Light

  1. nashpredsfan

    If you’ve read Hold the Light, you know Shannon is a fiercely loyal and strong woman. If you haven’t read it yet, first, go get it now and second, you’ll like Shannon here as she gets her own story.

    April McGowan writes about some challenging topics that sometimes get a back rap (or are completely ignored). Homelessness and mental illness play a prevalent role in this book. It also touches on PTSD, abandonment issues, and relationships—familial, friendship, and romantic are all included.

    It’s been a bit of a wait for Shannon’s story, but oh-so-worth-it. McGowan delivers another book that pulls at your emotions, makes you think, and leaves you with the hope of overcoming.

    Disclosure statement:
    I receive complimentary books from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including NetGalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

  2. mindyhoung

    April McGowan writes beautifully about difficult topics in such a real, gritty, raw, and heart-stirring way that you will be spellbound from chapter one till the end of the book. This book is the sequel to Hold the Light and the story will make more sense if you read that book first, since a few of the characters from the first story play major roles in this one. The author approaches difficult topics like homelessness, mental illness, and PTSD with care and love while underscoring the need of everyone to feel loved and accepted.

    Shannon, a gifted photographer and teacher, continues to battle her past in foster care where she felt unwanted, unloved, and unworthy. Despite unconditional love from her fellow art teacher Justin, she can’t seem to break free from the clutches of darkness that her memories bring forth. Shannon has a long journey ahead of her that is rocky, filled with pitfalls and danger and uncertainty, but her spiritual journey toward freedom from fear and faith in her Savior is so tangible and real. I loved Justin and his steadfastness. He’s an unlikely hero from a first glance on the outside but his beautiful heart and soul make him an absolutely swoon-worthy one.

    This is not light romance, though the romance between Shannon and Justin is sweet and tender. This book is about those difficult places in our hearts and lives that need God’s light and intervention and how much He wants us to reconcile, forgive, and love. This book is about reaching out to those who need us and staying true to them.

    I received a copy of the book from WhiteFire Publishing via Celebrate Lit Tours and was under no obligation to post a positive review. All comments and opinions are solely my own.

  3. calamity_manda

    I love that this story is about Shannon, who appeared in the first book about her friend Amber. April does an excellent job of bringing the characters to life and dealing with shining the light through difficult situations. Shannon’s story is an inspiring one that I enjoyed whole heartedly! I can now highly recommend both this one and Hold the Light.

  4. Deana

    Deana Dick’s review May 17, 2019 · edit
    it was amazing

    I wish I could say that this story didn’t affect me but it took an emotional toll on me. The author hits hard with very sensitive subject matter and I appreciate the honest and open approach she took. Being homeless, dealing with mental illness, abuse, living in foster care, or becoming a drug addict all are things people try not to talk about. In this book we read Shannon’s story with realism and pain. I instantly took to Shannon and could feel the hurt of a little girl who wanted to be loved by someone.

    I like how the author goes back and forth telling her story by memories or flash backs she starts having. PTSD is hard to live with and you never know what may trigger an episode. I know this first hand because I have PTSD. Shannon is one not to trust many people and the circle of friends she does have are starting to become concerned for her. It was hard to read how Shannon had to find ways to feed herself as a child when her parents had checked out on her. I am impressed with the strength she has and the ability to care for others.

    I don’t want to give anything away from the story because it is one that will stay with you forever. The turmoil Shannon faces as she comes face to face with her past will test her faith. Will she be able to forgive the person who abandoned her? The author does an incredible job of highlighting mental illness in a way that takes away the stigma of it. People who deal with mental illness are sometimes treated poorly and this book opens readers eyes to how devastating it can be for families and the person who suffers from it

    Shannon’s friends’ Justin and Amber are very vital to the story. They care deeply for Shannon and I loved their loyalty to her. It’s not everyday you can find people who are always there for you. With all that Shannon has had to deal with, she still reaches out to the homeless. I think with her knowing what it is like to be homeless, her empathy for them is genuine .

    Justin reminds me of my husband in so many ways. They both are strong, have integrity and love unconditionally. God knows just what we need and always places the right people in our lives to help us. When Shannon said she was damaged goods, I knew exactly how she felt. This book has been hard to read but I am thankful for an author who will tackle the hard subjects and bring the truth to the surface.

    “I think if we give over the hard things to God, He can use it to shape us, and then we can help other people.”

    I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion.

  5. Debbie

    “Shine The Light” by April McGowan is a wonderful book about drug addiction and mental illness and homeless people. This book makes reader appreciate what they have and a reminder to be thankful for what they didn’t have to endure. This book helps readers realize that people with mental illness can be helped and live normal lives with help.While reading this book, my heart really ached Shannon when she remembered the past.
    This book is a love story as well as a lesson in forgiving and treating others with forgiveness. “Shine The Light” by April McGowan is the second in the “Hold the Light” series. I recommend reading “Hold the Light” because it has the background info and makes this story more easier to follow. But, if you don’t read “Hold the Light,” you still will understand the story and still get the message that even when things have been bad, there is still hope.I think the reason these books are so good is because the stories are about real issues and these characters are people that could be someone we know and love.
    I recommend “Shine The Light” by April McGowan to anyone that likes to read about real life issues and learn that there is always something to be glad for and that “the light” can shine forth if we let it.
    I recommend a complimentary copy from the author and Celebrate Lit. These opinions are my own.

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