Thursday, April 15, 2021

Blessed and Transformed

 


What do you do when God answers your prayers, renews your mind, and transforms you?

Life does not always turn out the way we hope. It is often filled with tragedy, heartbreak, and loss, but make no mistake, God doesn’t abandon us during those times. Instead, God uses every experience we encounter to transform us so we can live the life He intended when He created us.

As Christians, we understand that we live in a fallen world. A world where dwelling on past failures or falling prey to the same sins seems normal. But what happens when God opens our spiritual eyes and shows us a different way to live? Do you run to Him and embrace the change? Do you find your calling and live out your purpose?

In Blessed and Transformed, Jeannine Bennett shares how much sweeter life is when you recognize God’s blessings and fully embrace His transformation of your life. She shows you there is no limit to what you can endure or accomplish by keeping God front and center.

 My thoughts: This book is an excellent one to pick up! I really enjoyed the style of the writing, since it felt like sitting down with a friend/mentor and talking about our relationship with the Lord. I loved the openness that Jeannine displays in her writing! I also really appreciated the message of this book. I needed the encouragement to embrace my calling fully and to live all in. 

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

Click here to get your copy!

 

About the Author

Jeannine Bennett is a wife to Hayden, mom to four children, and grandmother to seven grandchildren. Her children are named Sandra, Brittany, Camryn, and Zachary. Her grandchildren are Colin, Lilyana, Willow, Savannah, Winter, and Hope. She is the founder and CEO of Vision to Purpose, located in Virginia Beach, Virginia, an adjunct faculty member in the School of Business for Liberty University Online, and an executive coach for The Honor Foundation.

To those who know Jeannine, she is simply a woman who loves Jesus, is devoted to her family, and struggles with life’s challenges like the rest of us. She is not immune to bad hair days, shrinking clothes (weight gain), or sleepless nights. She loves learning and sharing the knowledge acquired to help others learn too. Her favorite ice cream is a toss-up between butter pecan and mint chocolate chip. And, although she has lived in Virginia for more than 30 years, she still calls a water fountain a bubbler. A term she grew up saying in her hometown of Racine, Wisconsin.

 

More from Jeannine

In my previous book, Broken to Beautiful, I shared my testimony. The first half of my story was filled with hopelessness, disappointment, heartache, and loss. The second half described accounts of undeniable blessings. I have chosen to continue my story in Blessed and  Transformed because I want to further the conversation about what happens when we

receive all of those blessings.

 

Friends, we cannot have blessings without being transformed. Just as each trial, each struggle, each challenge changes us, each blessing is a gift that God uses to change us too.

 

I believe blessings are God’s way of showing that He loves us. I also think He uses those blessings to nudge us forward in pursuit of what He has called us to do.

 

I pray this book is a blessing to you!

 

In Christ,

Jeannine

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, April 8

Splashes of Joy, April 8

Library Lady’s Kit Lit, April 9

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 10

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, April 11

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, April 12

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, April 13

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, April 14

Lights in a Dark World, April 14

Texas Book-aholic, April 15

Inklings and notions, April 16

Locks, Hooks and Books, April 17

For Him and My Family, April 18

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, April 19

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, April 20

deb’s Book Review, April 21

Mary Hake, April 21

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Jeannine is giving away the grand prize of a $25 Amazon gift card!!

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/10a4d/blessed-and-transformed-celebration-tour-giveaway

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

A Heart's Forgiveness

 


Accepting an ad for a mail-order bride was supposed to solve her problems.

It’s 1890, and Golden, New Mexico, is a booming mining town where men far outnumber women. So when Jeremiah Dennison’s good friend and mentor finds himself in need of a nurse, Philip places an ad for a mail-order bride—despite Jeremiah’s protests.

Hoping to escape a perilous situation back East, Madeleine Mercer answers the ad and arrives in town under a cloud of suspicion. What she finds in Golden is nothing like what she expected, especially not Philip, her expected husband-to-be.

But just as she begins to win over Philip—and Jeremiah himself—the secrets she left behind threaten to follow her to Golden…and tarnish her character beyond redemption.

 My thoughts: This was such a unique twist on the story of a mail order bride in the Wild West! I enjoyed the twists and turns to the story, as Madeline is left in a tight spot and must head West in a hope that marriage will solve all of her problems in Boston. Philip is a delightful, fun character who would of been a shock to find. I love the lessons learned along the way, and how the characters grow and develop. This is a fun story to pick up and enjoy! 

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

Click here to get your copy!

 

About the Author

IMG_1837Lena Nelson Dooley has been an author for 36 years. Her 51st book released in June 2020. Raised in Arkansas, she married a Texan 56 years ago. They have lived in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex for decades. She is an active member of ACFW and one of the founding members the DFW local chapter. She’s often been a speaker for other writers’ groups and conferences, both as a keynote speaker and a workshop teacher. Her fans love reading her books filled with characters who grip your heart.

 

More from Lena

The Story Behind A Heart’s Forgiveness

I’ve been a lover of history for decades. In college and graduate school, all my elective courses were history. Of course, I chose the countries and eras I wanted to learn about. When I began writing novels, my first one was a contemporary story. After that, at least 75% or more of my novels have been historical, all the way from 1805 through the early 20th century.

One of the hallmarks of my historical novels is the authenticity I write into the stories. Because of the amount of research I’ve done over the years, I’m kind of an expert in 19th century history. My characters and their stories are completely fictional, but the other things in the book are mostly true. I search until I find what I need to know or until I reach a complete dead end.

A Heart’s Forgiveness is set in two places—Boston, Massachusetts, and Golden, New Mexico. It’s a Mail-Order Bride story. This is another type of story I like to read and I like to write. Finding a different reason for both the man trying to get a wife that way and a woman who needs an answer to her serious problems is a fun way to start the story. In this book, the bride and groom don’t meet until several chapters, even though he knows about her. And then I added another twist I think you’ll like.

There is also a very bad villain. One who doesn’t deserve to be forgiven. I didn’t plan that from the start of the book, but I realized much later in the book that God wanted her to forgive him. That one act of obedience, undeserved forgiveness, affected the lives of others in the novel. And isn’t that just like God. None of us really deserve forgiveness, but He freely gives it to each of us who will accept the gift.

I’m what’s called in the industry a seat-of-the-pants author, more or less. I do have the complete outline of the story in my head. When I sit down to write, I know where I’m going, but I don’t have every single scene plotted out as some authors do. And I pray a lot. During the time I’m writing a book, God drops ideas into my mind. Not just while I’m writing, but other times, too. That’s the exciting thing about writing. This keeps it fresh for me.

When you’ve finished reading this story, I hope you’ll let me know what you think of it. I really like getting reader feedback.

Blog Stops

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, April 10

A Novel Pursuit, April 10

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, April 11

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations April 12

Reviewingbooksplusmore, April 12

lakesidelivingsite, April 13

Texas Book-aholic, April 14

Inspiration Clothesline, April 14

Inklings and notions, April 15

Betti Mace, April 16

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, April 16

For Him and My Family, April 17

deb’s Book Review, April 18

Simple Harvest Reads, April 18 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Mypreciousbitsandmusings, April 19

Locks, Hooks and Books, April 20

Jeanette’s Thoughts, April 20

Connie’s History Classroom, April 21

Vicky Sluiter, April 22

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, April 22

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, April 23

Maureen’s Musings, April 23

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Lena is giving away the grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card!!

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/10a50/a-heart-s-forgiveness-celebration-tour-giveaway

Monday, April 12, 2021

Courage in the Mountain Wilderness

 

Keeping her son safe on this epic journey may be harder than she imagined.

Caleb Jackson is on a journey. And not just the mission he and his friends have embarked on to fetch the Nez Perce chief’s runaway daughter. Maybe someday, he could also find God’s plan for his life. He’d once thought being a small town minister was the Lord’s will for him, but he’d proved a failure at living under the scrutiny of his congregation. Yet the chief’s niece and her feisty toddler accompanying them on this expedition make him feel like he might be able to make a difference yet.

Otskai is eager to take on a challenge. She’s lived under the shelter of other’s choices her entire life, especially when she was betrothed to one of the village braves at the tender age of eight. Now with her husband dead, she’s finally found the freedom she always craved—even with a two-year-old to raise. She’s built her camas root harvest into a thriving trade to provide all she and her son need and more, yet she can’t seem to keep her active child safe. When she agrees to accompany her new friends on a trip to bring back her wayward cousin, she knows she’ll have her hands full managing her boy.

The journey turns out nothing like Otskai expects, and for the first time in her life, she’s thankful to have others around to help. Especially Caleb, whose gentle attentions captivate her son and occupy him for hours at a time. But as the danger escalates and her worst fears come to light, she must find the courage to choose between freedom and a love more liberating than she imagined possible.

From a USA Today bestselling author comes another epic journey through breathless landscapes and adventure so intense, lives will never be the same.

 My thoughts: Once again, Misty writes a riveting story that weaves history, hardship, and God's grace together. I loved getting to know Otskai, a strong young Native American woman who has suffered much loss through the years. This book shows how hard it was to live in the West in the early 1800's, with natural disasters and feuds always a threat. I thought that the story had a good balance. This is a wonderful historical fiction book to pick up and enjoy!

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

Click here to get your copy!

 

About the Author

Misty M. Beller photoMisty M. Beller is a USA Today bestselling author of romantic mountain stories, set on the 1800s frontier and woven with the truth of God’s love.

She was raised on a farm in South Carolina, so her Southern roots run deep. Growing up, her family was close, and they continue to keep that priority today. Her husband and children now add another dimension to her life, keeping her both grounded and crazy.

God has placed a desire in Misty’s heart to combine her love for Christian fiction and the simpler ranch life, writing historical novels that display God’s abundant love through the twists and turns in the lives of her characters.

 

More from Misty

 

Mom Guilt—it’s real, no matter what your race or tribe.

One of the things I love about writing the Call of the Rockies series is the cast of characters that covers almost more races than I can count on all my fingers! From Spaniards, to Frenchman, to Southern Americans, to Blackfoot, to Nez Perce, to Salish, to Shoshone. And let’s not talk about the various sectors within some of the tribes (Peigan Blackfoot, Blood Blackfoot, Pikunin of the Nez Perce…oops, we weren’t going to talk about those!).

But what I love the most about so many people groups represented is learning how much we really are alike, down deep in our cores! Sure, some are introverts, some are extroverts. Some like to swim, some hate to swim. Some like to cook, some like to play with the kids (okay, maybe most like to play with the kids!).

Yet there are common threads that connect us all. As I was writing Courage in the Mountain Wilderness, I discovered a new thread that I have in common with Otskai, the Nez Perce hero of the story.

Mom guilt.

Yep. Our situations are a little different—I’m married with four kiddos, and she’s widowed with one very energetic two-year-old son. But we both struggle with that same push and pull. That same set of conflicting longings. When I’m with my kiddos, sometimes I just desperately want time alone. Time to actually get things done. But then at night when they snuggle close at bedtime, wrapping their sweet arms around my neck and not just saying, but showing, how much they love me, I can’t imagine how I could ever want to do anything but spend time with these sweet little ones God has trusted me with.

Thus, the guilt.

Maybe Otskai and I are the only ones who’ve ever experienced that particular strain of Mom Guilt. But I’ll bet there are other ways you can relate—both to these very real fictional characters who may or may not be the same race as you. And also to the very real real-life characters you meet every day.

The great news is that God loves each and every one of us, Mom Guilt and all.

Blog Stops

lakesidelivingsite, April 6

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, April 6

Blossoms and Blessings, April 6

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, April 7

reviewingbooksplusmore, April 7

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, April 8

cats in the cradle blog, April 8

Betti Mace, April 9

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, April 9

For the Love of Literature, April 10

deb’s Book Review, April 10

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 11

Jeanette’s Thoughts, April 11

Texas Book-aholic, April 12

Maidens for Modesty, April 12

Inklings and notions, April 13

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, April 13

Older & Smarter?, April 14

Blessed & Bookish, April 14

Locks, Hooks and Books, April 15

Splashes of Joy, April 15

Wishful Endings, April 16

Mary Hake, April 16

For Him and My Family, April 16

She Lives To Read, April 17

Connie’s History Classroom, April 17

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, April 18

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, April 18

Adventures Of A Travelers Wife, April 19

Simple Harvest Reads, April 19 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Misty is giving away the grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card!!

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/10a1f/courage-in-the-mountain-wilderness-celebration-tour-giveaway

Sunday, April 11, 2021

Cooking up a Mystery

 

Laney Eskridge worked to put her husband through dental school. Then he left with another woman. She’s on edge from the emotional scars and her parents’ deaths. Then she hears unexplained noises in her new tea house, and her anxiety is tripled. Add a budding romance with Eric—a guy with a fear of commitment—and it’s all too much to handle. She cuts ties with Eric and plunges into making her business pay off.

When Eric discovers that Laney’s in danger, he vows to protect her. But can he make a lasting promise? Will she trust him? . . .and when they overhear a threat that could cause national turmoil, will anyone believe them? There’s more brewing than herbal tea in Cooking up a Mystery.

 My thoughts: I enjoyed this mystery and that it had several things going on to keep the reader wanting to find out what is going on with Laney and the mysterious noises that she hears. I loved the element of the tea shop, since I have a soft spot for places like the business that Laney owns, and the recipes that are included with this story are a fun treat! I thought that the story was sweet and enjoyable. 

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

Click here to get your copy!

 

About the Author

Cooking Up A Mystery Annc. 2Award-winning author Gail Pallotta’s a wife, Mom, swimmer and bargain shopper who loves God, beach sunsets and getting together with friends and family. A 2013 Grace Awards finalist, she’s a Reader’s Favorite 2017 Book Award winner and a TopShelf 2020 Book Awards Finalist. She’s published six books, poems, short stories and several hundred articles. Some of her articles appear in anthologies while two are in museums.

 

More from Gail

In Cooking up a Mystery running a business with no background or formal training in accounting or management overwhelms Laney, the heroine. George, her assistant, tells her she has him and God, who knows her needs. Then he adds, “You … have your mom’s wonderful recipes and you whip them up like a pro.”

 

I chose the food industry for Laney, a woman entrepreneur succeeding against the odds, because I have lots of cooking experience. I learned the skill at age ten. The reason, according to my father—I’d know how when I got married. I didn’t marry until I was thirty. By then, I’d received lots of instruction, so I knew how to prepare some pretty good dinners. My husband said, “You could start a restaurant.” I wanted to do other things instead, such as write, but I started one in this book.

 

Mt first woman entrepreneur appears in Hair Calamities and Hot Cash, a romantic comedy about a hairstylist. It’s set in Eve’s Clips, a salon in Triville, a fictitious town in the North Carolina Mountains where Laney opens Laney’s Delectable Delights.

 

A section in the back of Cooking up a Mystery, Laney’s Chefs in the Making, features over two dozen recipes. Only Laney’s Pineapple Rice is mine. The rest are from a book, Heavenly Delights, authored by my friend, Pam Nichols Griffin, as a fundraiser for Mission Love Seeds, a charity that helps children throughout the world and responds locally after disasters to demonstrate God’s love.

Laney’s Pineapple Rice

Ingredients:

 

Rice (can be instant, but not boil-in-the-bag)

Cooking oil or spray

One small onion (chopped thin)

Five cloves garlic (or minced gloves equaling five cloves)

One tablespoon fresh grated ginger

One cup fresh pineapple

Small amount of pineapple juice

One teaspoon sugar

One lime

 

Cook rice according to directions on the box, but substitute a couple of tablespoons to 1/4 cup pineapple juice (depending on taste) for part of the water.

 

Chill rice

 

Coat a heavy bottom skillet with oil. Add the onion, garlic, ginger, pineapple and sugar and stir. Add cold rice, break up, squirt with the juice of one lime and stir until heated and blended.

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 9

Blogging With Carol, April 9

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, April 10

She Lives To Read, April 11

Texas Book-aholic, April 11

Inklings and notions, April 12

Genesis 5020, April 12

For Him and My Family, April 13

deb’s Book Review, April 14

Worthy2Read, April 14

Reflections From My Bookshelves, April 15

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, April 15

Locks, Hooks and Books, April 16

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, April 17

Godly Book Reviews, April 17

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, April 18

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, April 19

CarpeDiem, April 19

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, April 20

April Hayman, Author, April 20

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, April 21

Simple Harvest Reads, April 21 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, April 22

Labor Not in Vain, April 22

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Gail is giving away  the grand prize of a $40 Amazon gift card!!

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/10a4e/cooking-up-a-mystery-celebration-tour-giveaway