Thursday, September 17, 2020

Pretending to Wed

 

It’s a match made in heaven…as long as they don’t fall in love!

The ranch Nolan Key has spent decades working for, even lost a leg for, is now his—or at least it should be. But an absurd clause in his father’s will means he’s in danger of losing the place to his lazy, undeserving cousin. Nolan finds himself scrambling to save his home—by proposing marriage to the town laundress.

Corinne Stillwater’s hands have betrayed her. Numb from hours of doing the same work over and over, her hands will only heal, according to the town doctor, if she gives up the laundry and marries. But she’s been stung repeatedly by love before, so that is one remedy she can’t swallow.

When Nolan offers Corinne a marriage in name only, how can she refuse? Such a partnership could give them the security they seek, but what if the ranch isn’t as secure as they believe, and their lives—and dreams—aren’t quite as compatible as they thought?

Pretending to Wed is the second book in the Frontier Vows Series by award-winning Christian romance author Melissa Jagears. If you like marriage-of-convenience stories that deal with the nitty-gritty of making a relationship work, you’ll love this authentic romance set in a time gone by that tackles issues still relevant for today.

My thoughts: I love marriage of convenience stories that are done well, and Pretending to Wed fills that request! When Nolan must marry in order to hang on to the ranch that he loves, he chooses an unconventional bride. Corrine is such a delightful heroine, with her independent nature. I enjoyed getting to know both characters! 

While the story works as a stand alone, some of the characters from the previous book in this series make appearances, so it is more fun to have read them in order.

This is a wonderful story that is hard to put down! I highly recommend picking it up.

I received this book from Celebrate Lit. This is my honest review.

Purchase a copy here! This post contains affiliate links.

About the Author

Melissa jagearsAward winning author, Melissa Jagears, is a homeschooling mom who writes Christian Historical Romance into the wee hours of the night. She lives in Kansas with her husband and three children. Her ebook novella, Love by the Letter, is her ACFW Carol Award winning novella and free to try. You can learn more about her, her books, and where she hangs out online at www.melissajagears.com

 

 

 

 

 

More from Melissa

The Elusive Electrical Spark to Awaken Frankenstein’s Monster

The plot of Pretending to Wed just wasn’t coming together for me. I had the romantic dilemma, but I didn’t love the characters. They were boring. And if I’m going to write a book, a.k.a. read it a bazillion times, I have to really want to read the book myself. I decided to take a break from the weeks of struggle and read. I was recommended a book because of the author’s great voice (I can’t recommend it because it’s not a clean novel), but I loved the fact that the heroine was a scientific illustrator. I wondered if I could give my heroine a scientific hobby and came up with inventing. That single character tidbit was the jolt that awakened Frankenstein’s Monster. She came alive! The research into what she could have patented at the time led my imagination to the egg hatching romance scene in the middle of the story and I was hooked! I couldn’t wait to read my book that didn’t yet exist.

Blog Stops

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, September 17

Writing from the Heart Land, September 17

Through the Lens of Scripture, September 17

Texas Book-aholic, September 18

Inklings and notions, September 18

For Him and My Family, September 19

Connie’s History Classroom, September 19

deb’s Book Review, September 19

Batya’s Bits, September 20

Locks, Hooks and Books, September 20

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 20

lakesidelivingsite, September 21

Genesis 5020, September 21

The Book Chic Blog, September 21

Christian Chick’s Thoughts, September 22

The Collaborative Press, September 22

Betti Mace, September 22

Sara Jane Jacobs, September 23

Mypreciousbitsandmusings, September 23

Melissa Wardwell’s Back Porch Reads, September 24

Remembrancy, September 24

Wishful Endings, September 24

Life of Literature, September 25

Book Love, September 25 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Bizwings Blog, September 25

Ashley’s Bookshelf, September 26

Bigreadersite, September 26

Labor Not in Vain, September 26

CarpeDiem, September 27

Hookmeinabook, September 27

Splashes of Joy , September 27

Jodie Wolfe – Stories Where Hope and Quirky Meet, September 28

Artistic Nobody, September 28 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, September 29

Adventures Of A Travelers Wife, September 29

Blessed & Bookish, September 29

Simple Harvest Reads, September 30 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

Maureen’s Musings, September 30

NovelsCorner, September 30

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Melissa is giving away the grand prize package of a Gift Certificate for the winner’s Choice of Book (up to 16.99 plus S&H) from Melissa’s Local Christian Bookstore, Faith & Life Bookstore, and a signed copy of Pretending to Wed!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/100e6/pretending-to-wed-celebration-tour-giveaway

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

The Secret Sisters Club

 


Twelve-year-old BFF’s Ginnie West and Tillie Taylor, want to be sisters. Ginnie's widowed dad plus Tillie's divorced mom could equal a lifetime of round-the-clock girl talk and slumber parties. Too bad Dad vowed to never marry again. Ginnie and Tillie come up with the perfect scheme to change his mind: ‘Operation Secret Sisters’ (aka OSS). After all, if they can’t get Dad to move on, Tillie can’t move in.

My thoughts: Before this book arrived, I thought that it might be a good read aloud book to go through with my daughter, since she loves horses and all things cowgirl. Some elements of the story wound up being a little to mature for her. That said, I enjoyed the story! It deals some with divorce and abuse. Ginnie also struggles with having lost her mom at a young age and her father not talking about her much to them. My heart broke for the grief that their family has been through.

Over all, a good story geared towards middle school age kids. I look forward to reading the rest of the series!

I received this book from Just Read. This is my honest review.

Purchase a copy here! This post contains affiliate links.

Monday, September 14, 2020

W!se Parenting

 


Let’s face it—parenting is hard!

In fact, many parents agree it’s the hardest job they’ve ever had to do. Did you know there are specific reasons why some families do well and others come unglued? Wise Parenting: Creating the Joy of Family offers parents in all stages of parenthood the six essential ingredients that successful and joy-filled families all seem to have. This is more than just another parenting book—this is a book of hope, as well as a practical guide for success in some of the most difficult parenting areas.

For over three decades, Dr. Gil Stieglitz has worked with countless parents and teens involving family issues. He began to see a pattern emerge between families who “did it right” and the absence of that pattern in families who came apart. He, along with his wife, Dana Stieglitz, put this pattern into practice while raising their three daughters. Today, they share an uncommon depth of relationship and joy with each of them. Now they are passing this pattern on to you, so you can create a truly enjoyable family.

My thoughts: I really appreciated this book! It's just the right length for busy parents, not overly long, but also detailed with a game plan on how to raise children. I appreciated the wisdom that the Stieglitz's share from their time in ministry and nursing, as well as what they gleaned from raising their 3 daughters. This is an excellent book for parents, filled with true stories and backed by scripture verses. While I know that parenting is not a one size fits all, this book has a lot of great ideas. I highly recommend picking it up!

I received this book from Celebrate Lit. This is my honest review.

Purchase a copy here! This post contains affiliate links.

About the Author

Dana Stieglitz has a Doctor of Nursing Practice from Samuel Merritt University. She works as Nurse Practitioner in a Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation practice located in Sacramento, CA. Together, they have raised three beautiful young women who exemplify the Six R’s in their own unique ways. For more information and to check out their other books, visit www.ptlb.com or Amazon.com.

 

More from Dana and Gil

I can remember thirty years ago, when my wife and I had our first child, we picked up a mentor couple who was there to guide us through the first few years of the parenting process. Their guidance and support made all the difference in our parenting, helping us to be more confident in loving, directing, and guiding our baby daughter.

 

As our other two girls were born, we went to more parenting workshops and gathered more mentor couples. We also read, studied, and devoured all that the Scriptures had to say about the parenting process, especially the book of Proverbs. Another time, when my sister thought I was being too strict with the girls, she recommended a wonderful book that was helpful to us. All the different advice these mentors gave us and the various resources they offered were invaluable. We would have been lost without their help, not knowing what to do in so many situations. It really does take a village to raise kids wisely.

 

I am confident that God will guide every parent if they are looking for His wisdom. I am hopeful that my collection of all the wisdom we received over the years, and the scriptural underpinnings, will help you in the stretching, delightful, marathon-process of parenting your children. We truly did have a great time. Our kids were not easy but they were wonderful. And just so you know, we actually did have a staff meeting every week to talk through the six key R’s to try and stay ahead of our kids. I hope that this book acts like a gentle encourager on your parenting journey.

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 12

Jodie Wolfe – Stories Where Hope and Quirky Meet, September 13 (Author Interview)

deb’s Book Review, September 13

Texas Book-aholic, September 14

Inklings and notions, September 15

Stories By Gina, September 16 (Author Interview)

For Him and My Family, September 17

Locks, Hooks and Books, September 18

Artistic Nobody, September 19 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Ashley’s Bookshelf, September 20

Adventures of a Travelers Wife, September 21 (Author Interview)

Mary Hake, September 21

Sara Jane Jacobs, September 22

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, September 23

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, September 24

Spoken from the Heart, September 25

Giveaway

To celebrate their tour, Dana and Gil are giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Amazon gift card and a set of parenting books!! (including W!se Parenting)

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/10099/w-se-parenting-celebration-tour-giveaway

Nine

 

Zoe Johnson spent most of her life living in the shadows, never drawing attention to herself, never investing in people or places. But when a wide-eyed, bedraggled teenager with no memory walks into the diner where Zoe works, everything changes. Now, against her better judgment, Zoe, who has been trying to outrun her own painful memories of the past, finds herself attempting to help a girl who doesn't seem to have any past at all. The girl knows only one thing: she must reach a woman in Corpus Christi, Texas, hundreds of miles away, before the government agents who are searching for her catch up to them.

Award-winning author Rachelle Dekker throws you into the middle of the action and keeps the pressure on in this page-turning story that, asks Are we who the world says we are--or can we change our story and be something more?

My thoughts: Where to start with this book? I thought that, overall, it is well written and the story keeps the reader wanting to find out what is going to happen. Especially with the suspense behind a woman losing her life to protect a teenage girl who has no memory of events before that day. I liked Zoe, as she helped shelter a girl she knew nothing about, getting sucked into more than she bargained for. 
I didn't love this story though. It was just a little to violent and I was disappointed that there weren't more surprising twists. I was kind of hoping that Lucy was hiding another secret among the others that she had hidden in her memories, though I don't want to spoil the story and say what I was wanting. 
I think this book is just geared towards a different reader than me. If you like suspenseful stories with a science and a fantasy theme (it's kind of hard to pinpoint the genre of this story) then I would recommend picking up this book!
I received this book from Celebrate Lit. This is my honest review.


Sunday, September 13, 2020

Different Like Me

 

Celebrate our differences and uncover what we have in common on this whimsical journey that reminds everyone that no matter how different, all of us are a part of God’s wonderful creation.

Whether in looks, cultural background, physical prowess, or academic excellence, there are no two children exactly alike. Different Like Me helps them know that being unique is good and that God has made them as they are for a purpose.

My thoughts: This book is so timely! I love that it celebrates our differences by reminding the reader that we are all part of God's creation. The illustrations are adorable and colorful. We love the lyrical text! (My daughter loves to point out when a book's text rhymes, so this one was a winner for her!) This is a delightful book to pick up and enjoy with the children in your life.

I received this book from Celebrate Lit. This is my honest review.

Purchase a copy here! This post contains affiliate links.

About the Author

Xochitl Dixon, author of Waiting for God: Trusting Daily in God’s Plan and Pace and the children’s picture book, Different Like Me, serves as a regular contributor to Our Daily Bread and Guideposts’ All God’s Creatures. She equips and encourages others to grow closer to God and others, nurturing spiritual growth through prayerful study and application of Scripture. Sharing God’s truth and love to the ends of the earth, she enjoys serving Jesus with her service dog, Callie. She likes singing, art, photography, hanging out with her husband, Alan, and sons, AJ and Xavier, and connecting with readers at www.xedixon.com.

 

 

 

More from Xochitl

Why I Wrote Different Like Me

What are you?

That question used to trigger anger, frustration, and sadness, especially when people responded in disbelief because my answer didn’t fit the stereotypes they’d accepted as truth. My insecurities deepened, causing me to hate my own light-but-not-white reflection. Years later, when I became a mom of two black sons, I didn’t want them to suffer similar insecurities. I didn’t want them to think their worth as people could be determined by the opinions, expectations, or biases of others. I wanted my sons to love God, to love the way God created them, and to love all the people God created. But my desires and best-intentions couldn’t protect them the ignorance and hate so prevalent in our fallen world.

One day, during a trip to an ice cream shop, an adult male glared at my five-year-old son and said, “What are you?” The sting of his words ripped the scar off the wound on my heart that I thought had healed.

Asking God to help me forgive, I sought ways to help my sons rejoice in their uniqueness and God’s creativity in designing all of His people. While studying my Bible, I began learning how to embrace my identity in Christ. The more I learned about God’s love for me, the more I began to accept I worth loving and the more I began to love others.

I wrote Different Like Me in 2001, shortly after receiving Jesus as my Lord and Savior. Originally, I had planned to use the poem to teach my sons how to celebrate our differences and our sameness as God’s beautifully diverse and purposefully connected people. But the Lord kept nudging me to share the story with others.

In 2016, my agent and an editor read Different Like Me, loved it, but couldn’t move forward with publication. The following year, I signed a contract for my first full-length devotional, Waiting for God: Trusting Daily in God’s Plan and Pace. I set Different Like Me aside as I worked on the other projects the Lord had entrusted to me.

In 2018, shortly after submitting Waiting for God to my editor at Our Daily Bread Publishing, my agent and the editor who had loved Different Like Me in 2016 surprised me with two contract offers.

I scrambled to prepare my first children’s picture book proposal with the help of my friend and prolific children’s book author, Crystal Bowman. I submitted the proposal to several editors before prayerfully deciding to accept a contract from Our Daily Bread Publishing.

Then, I began praying for an illustrator who would avoid stereotypes and include children with special needs as heroes, not sideline characters. Bonnie Lui did a fabulous job. She weaved her own beautiful story into the gorgeous illustrations that breathe life into the whimsical rhyming text I’d written almost two decades earlier. Bonnie even created a character inspired by my service dog, Callie, a Border Collie/Hound mix we’d rescued in 2018 from a kill-shelter after God moved us from California to Wisconsin.

Earlier this year, as I prepared for the August 2020 release of Different Like Me, tragedy divided our world. I truly believe God delayed my path to publication so that He could prepare hearts to receive the message of love, unity, peace, and hope that He has brought to life through each page of Different Like Me.

Blog Stops

Inklings and notions, September 14

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 15

Texas Book-aholic, September 16

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, September 17

Splashes of Joy, September 18

deb’s Book Review, September 18

For Him and My Family, September 19

A Reader’s Brain, September 20

Simple Harvest Reads, September 21 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Mary Hake, September 21

Book Love, September 22 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Ashley’s Bookshelf, September 23

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, September 24

Artistic Nobody, September 25

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, September 25

Locks, Hooks and Books, September 26

Sara Jane Jacobs, September 27

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Xochitl is giving away the grand prize package of a signed copy of Different Like Me with a bookmark, sticker, coloring page with a 4-pack of crayons, a key chain, a fish-out-of-water finger puppet, lollipop, and book bag, as well as a $25.00 Amazon gift card to encourage readers to build up their collection children’s picture books that celebrate diversity!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/100e3/different-like-me-celebration-tour-giveaway

Saturday, September 12, 2020

Second Chance at Love

 


Whether your marriage was blissful or challenging, lengthy or short, it didn’t end the way you imagined. Regardless of how you found yourself without a life partner, you may be at a point where you’d like to experience the love of a spouse again. Authors Shirley and Jim Mozena experienced devastating losses and then struggles in their relationships before finding renewed love with each other, and in Second Chance at Love they offer their insights to these difficult questions:

  • Are you really ready?
  • Is now the time?
  • How do you know if you’ve found the right one?
  • Is the potential pain of losing another spouse worth it?

The authors approach their answers with practical reality and their own vulnerability. They share the experiences of their first marriages, their second marriages, their journeys through what seemed like devastating losses, and the gifts of finding love and another chance to share their lives with a spouse after death and divorce.

In addition to the down-to-earth guidance on the situations you face when considering marrying again, Shirley and Jim have created valuable questionnaires to identify issues and facilitate discussions with potential mates. The information contained in this book will give you confidence and peace as you navigate these hopeful waters.

My thoughts: I have read several of Shirley's books on her journey through life and how brave she is to open her heart to love! I have enjoyed the insight and heartfelt sharing of her personal story and how God has blessed her with finding love after being widowed. This is a wonderful book for those who have experienced the loss of a spouse and are thinking about opening your heart to love again. I have done some thinking on what it would be like to live a long life and outlive spouses, since my grandma has outlived two husbands and a lot of her friends. I hope that I would have the courage to love, both in a romantic sense, but also to continually make myself vulnerable to finding new friends and opening my heart in that way. This is an excellent resource! 

I received this book from Celebrate Lit. This is my honest review.

Purchase a copy here! This post contains affiliate links.

About the Authors

Shirley MozenaShirley Quiring Mozena is a speaker for Stonecroft Ministries and publishes a weekly blog on encouragement and hope. She and her husband, Jim, facilitate GriefShare, where they work with those grieving the loss of a loved one in death. Shirley has also written Second Chances at Life and Love, with Hope and Beyond Second Chances: Heartbreak to Joy.

James (Jim) P. Mozena was owner and president of Mozena Consulting Group (MCG Inc.) for thirty years. He has taught university business classes and authored four books on improving organizational performance.

 

More from Shirley and Jim

Did you know remarriage is on the rise for Americans aged 55 years or older—widowed or divorced? Author Shirley Quiring Mozena, with her husband Jim, know the demands of remarriage, blending families from divorce and being widowed. They came from long and enduring marriages and found marriage to be fulfilling. They discovered that in spite of their love for each other, there were challenges before their wedding took place.

 

Together they wrote Second Chance at Love. Join them as they share their joys, sorrows, and even misfires in pursuing a marriage partner. This book will show you through their own experiences through divorce and widowhood what’s important in what a couple might face in second or third marriages.

Blog Stops

Artistic Nobody, September 7 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 8

Splashes of Joy, September 9 (Author Interview)

Texas Book-aholic, September 10

Locks, Hooks and Books, September 11

Spoken from the Heart, September 12 (Author Interview)

deb’s Book Review, September 12

Inklings and notions, September 13

For Him and My Family, September 14

Beauty in the Binding, September 15 (Author Interview)

Ashley’s Bookshelf, September 16

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, September 17

Adventures of a Travelers Wife, September 18 (Author Interview)

Sara Jane Jacobs, September 19

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, September 20

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Shirley is giving away the grand prize of a signed copy of the book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/10092/second-chance-at-love-celebration-tour-giveaway