Saturday, July 30, 2016

If My Husband Would Change, I'd Be Happy

Like most brides on their wedding day, you no doubt were filled with love for your husband and the hope of a happy life together. But perhaps today, as the realities of life together have settled in, those happy expectations are going unfulfilled. And it's tempting to think, "If only my husband would change, I'd be happy."

That myth is but one of many that Rhonda Stoppe dispels in her easy-to-read exploration of what it takes to experience a truly happy marriage. In the process, she addresses such important topics asunderstanding your husband's need for your unconditional respectrekindling the love that drew you to your husband in the first placerefusing to believe the lie that you'd be happier married to someone elselearning to be content in the midst of financial strugglesthinking about sex from a biblical worldview

If you desire to rekindle the love and hope you felt on your wedding day, this book will go a long way toward making that dream come true.

Contains discussion questions and personal reflections at the end of each chapter.

My thoughts: This is an excellent book on marriage! So often, as women, we focus on the things we would change about our spouse or buy into the lie that we would be happier with someone else. Rhonda does a wonderful job of encouraging women to put their focus on Christ and making Him the center of their marriage.
I liked that Rhonda was easy to relate to and included notes from her husband on each chapter. This is a great book for newlyweds and those of us who have been married for a while. I think it would be great to study as a group too!
I received this book from Lit Fuse in exchange for my honest review.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Mommy Needs a Raise

Goodbye, Board Room and Legal Briefs--Hello, Dimples, Diapers, and Destruction
Women know that raising children will be different from climbing the corporate ladder. But nothing can truly prepare them for the mind-muddling world of motherhood. It doesn't take long for a new mom to question whether her tyrannical, diapered boss really understands her value to the organization. Because honestly? She's not always sure herself.
With her signature wit, lawyer-turned-full-time-mommy Sarah Parshall Perry says what all new moms are thinking when they trade annual reports for homework help and yoga pants. Perry invites moms to laugh alongside her amidst the "Are you kidding me?!" moments that come with the job of raising humans. This book is story of every mother who gives up one thing to get something better--and ends up finding out what she's worth along the way.

My thoughts: While I didn't give up being a professional to be a stay at home mother, I do appreciate a lot of the thoughts in the book. Sarah is a very engaging writer as she shares her journey from board rooms meetings to play dates. While the whole book is excellent, filled with humor and keen insight, I especially appreciated the last chapter and the reminder to live in the moment, since raising children can seem like you are stuck in the same place for eons, but it really does go quickly. It's deceptive that way.
I received this book from Revell in exchange for my honest review.

Rise and Shine

Shannon Malone thought she’d found her happy ending when she married Edmund Ridgeway, but a diving accident on their honeymoon left her in a coma. Waking up to the news that she’s thirty years old would have been daunting enough . . . but she also learns that Edmund has lost his interim battle with cancer and the world has marched on without her. Her gorgeous doctor, Daniel Petros, seems to know everything about her and becomes Shannon’s tour guide into a whole new world of madness where reality television has taken over the planet and everyone’s life appears to revolve around a tiny screen on their cell phones!

As Shannon struggles to navigate through the changes—both in the world and in her—she also must discern real memories from imagined ones. Did she really ever wear capris pants and entertain in her living room, or was that Laura Petrie from her favorite classic TV show' And where is her beloved dog, Freeway' Oh, wait! That was Jonathan and Jennifer Hart’s dog, not hers.

Shannon’s three elderly aunts flit through her life in true Sleeping Beauty style with her well-being always a priority. And Edmund’s sister Millicent descends like the Evil Queen she is, trying to extract Shannon from any claim on the Ridgeway family fortune. When a tornado moves through town and Shannon is knocked unconscious, will Daniel’s kiss awaken her once and for all'

My thoughts: This us such a cute story! I love retellings of fairy tales, so I had fun reading this book. Sandra does a fun job of bringing the story of Sleeping Beauty to life, with a modern twist. So much could change in ten years! I loved reading about Shannon and how she handled those changes.
I received this book from Moody in exchange for my honest review.

Evil Forebodings

Evil Forebodings: Tiffany Rodgers is the kind of danger that she never dreamed could happen to her in the quiet little town of Newville. She is being stalked and having strange visions. The animals even seem different of late, somehow affected by the changes in the air. Officer Allen Lawrence is drawn to Tiffany, but he has reservations. Is she losing her mind, playing games, or are the things that she is seeing more than just evil forebodings?

My review: This was an interesting story! I thought that the story line was fascinating and unique. I loved that Tiffany could communicate with animals and that spiritual gifts and warfare are such a huge part of the story. I look forward to reading more by Carol!
I received this book from the author in exchange for my honest review.

About the Author: Carol E. Keen currently resides in Alabama with her husband and family. She spends her time writing, reading, working on photography, and working with her much loved critters. She started creating stories to share with others at the age of two years old. She was published for several years in FAMA magazine (Freshwater And Marine Aquarium) as a contributing editor. She published her first book on CD, called Simply Seahorses. She is overjoyed to be publishing her fiction to share with you now. Carol currently has more books in the “works”. Please feel free to follow her for updates.

On a personal note: Carol really enjoys coffee and a good book!

Guest Post from Carol E. Keen

Well, I know it isn’t lady like or proper to squeak or go “Eeeeeee!” with excitement, but it’s so hard not to do so. I’m past excited to be on this tour with Celebrate Lit! First I have to say, these are wonderful folks who I’m so very blessed to get to work with!

Now, today I’m doing happy dances over your being here for the kick off for my book, Evil Forebodings. It’s my second published book, and my first full-length fiction novel. This book took eight, yes that is 8, long years to complete. What on Earth could take me that long to write one book?

It started with my first event called, NanoWriteMo. In my case, it was NanoWrite-less! Who had the “brilliant” idea to have a huge writing contest smack over Thanksgiving and two major birthdays in our family? It was a disaster. It was as bad as saying a night person like myself has to function at 8:00am and be good at it. I was alone in my endeavor and didn’t get far at all.

A few years later, I went back to working on this book. This time I had a huge emotional backset from an incident that was just traumatic. I was told, in essence, that I wasn’t good enough to write for a career, and that my focus was on all the wrong things in my life. This came from a published author, who really didn’t know me. I was weighed and judged unfairly, and it was devastating. I learned a great deal though, and pretty much gave up on doing things the way I had been.

Forging ahead anyway, my first book, Beauty For Ashes, was published. Then I got to work on Evil Forebodings. This story and its characters have never left me, and I knew I had to finish this book. I’m really pleased with how it turned out, and I hope that you will enjoy it. While I believe all authors put some of themselves into their work, this book had a heavy dose of my heart infused into it in several places.

Thank you so much for joining me on this adventure, and please feel free to ask questions!

Blessings, Carol

Blog Stops

July 31: Mary Hake
August 2: Bukwurmzzz
August 4: Petra’s Hope
August 5: Carpe Diem




Purchase the book here

Wednesday, July 27, 2016


I reminded myself that once you start to defend someone, it s difficult to find a place to stop. But I went ahead and took that first step anyway. . .
For President Teddy Roosevelt, controlling the east-west passage between two oceans mattered so much that he orchestrated a revolution to control it. His command was to let the dirt fly and for years, the American Zone of the Panama Canal mesmerized the world, working in uneasy co-existence with the Panamanian aristocrats.
It s in this buffered Zone where, in 1909, James Holt takes that first step to protect a mulatto girl named Saffire, expecting a short and simple search for her mother. Instead it draws him away from safety, into a land haunted by a history of pirates, gold runners, and plantation owners, all leaving behind ghosts of their interwoven desires sins and ambitions, ghosts that create the web of deceit and intrigue of a new generation of revolutionary politics. It will also bring him together with a woman who will change his course or bring an end to it.
A love story set within a historical mystery, " Saffire" is brings to vibrant life the most impressive-and embattled- engineering achievement of the twentieth-century."

My thoughts:A beautiful, historical story! I love how the story and characters come to life, bringing the history alive for readers. I enjoy Sigmund Broewer's stories, and this one was no exception!
The time period is interesting with the social and political issues in the early 1900's.
I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

The Stream

The Stream provides the refreshing life-giving water that must begin to flow freely if we are to restore freedom and rebuild America before it's too late.

Robison's focus for 2016 and beyond is the restoration of the Christian faith and the renewal of an America whose foundations have eroded. The Stream charts a clear path to personal revival and spiritual revolution in our culture, values, morals, and in government.

My thoughts: This book is excellent! I like how James Robinson presents his thoughts in a concise manner, with scripture to back it up. I also like that he wove early American history into the book as well. I appreciated that he didn't shy away from some of the more difficult subjects that go hand in hand with politics and Christianity. This book is full of common sense and was just an excellent, easy to read book. I highly recommend it!
I received this book from Worthy publishing in exchange for my honest review.

What Matters Most

Deeply Emotional Writing Highlights the Complexities of Human Relationships
Leta Breckenridge is forced to drop out of college to care for her dementia-ridden mother. After learning a severely delinquent account may force her mother into a less desirable facility, Leta steps out of her comfort zone and lands a high-paying job at an Austin public relations firm. But her dream job turns into a nightmare when she learns the firm is a front for a political opposition machine--and that the research she's been collecting will be used against her new love interest, Nathan Emerson.
Nathan is a rising political star being pressured to run a bid to unseat the current governor of Texas. He's already in a relationship with a woman much better suited to be a politician's wife, but he's never met anyone like Leta. Could this feisty, challenging woman hold the key to his heart?

My thoughts: This book was an enjoyable glimpse into the world of politics (especially since we have a presidential election coming up) and some of the games that go on behind the scenes.
Leta is just an ordinary woman, trying to make the most of the situation that she has been put into when her mother's dementia kept her from finishing school. When she has the chance to land a decent job that will help her get out from the mountain of debt, she jumps at it, little realizing there will be consequences.
I've enjoyed all the stories that I have read by Kellie, since she does a wonderful job at bringing to life the characters in her stories, along with their situations. This one may be my favorite yet out of her books!
I received this book from Revell in exchange for my honest review.

To Follow Her Heart

A Satisfying, Emotionally Rich Conclusion to The Southold Chronicles Series

It is 1664 and Patience Terry is devastated to learn that Captain Jeremy Horton's ship has been shipwrecked off the coast of Barbados, with no survivors. She had hoped that Jeremy would someday give up the sea and settle down with her in Southold, Long Island.

Unaware his memorial service is being planned, Jeremy is rescued and aboard a British Naval Gunship with secret orders to attack New Amsterdam and claim it for the British Crown. When he makes his surprise return to Southold--and to an overjoyed Patience--it's not the happily-ever-after his beloved had hoped for.

With a finely tuned sense for authentic historical characters and settings, Rebecca DeMarino plunges readers into the 17th century--a world of high seas and tall ships, daring journeys and yearning hearts.

My thoughts: This is a fascinating, historical series! I thought that Rebecca did a fabulous job of returning readers to Southold for the last book in the series. While I have read a lot of books about the Revolutionary war and all the history that came after the war, I haven't read a whole lot of stories set in the 1600's, so this series was a treat for me. I loved getting to know Patience and Jeremy as they faced impossible situations.
After reading this series, I look forward to seeing what the author will write next!
I received this book from Revell in exchange for my honest review.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Take ten: Things Books Have Made Me Want To Do or Learn About After Reading Them

1. Krav Maga
The Israeli fighting techniques piqued my interest after reading the Kristen Conner mysteries. (Somewhat unrelated, but how did I miss that there is a third one?!) I think it would be an awesome self defense style to learn with my daughter when she is older.

2. Turkish Delight

I've tried it a few times, since if Edmund was crazy about it, then it must be amazing. I'm thinking Edmund was crazy. lol. I've had some that it pretty good, but I wouldn't sell out anyone over it.;)

3. Archery
Robin Hood and, in recent years, Merida and Katniss, have given me a love for archery. I spent hours shooting hay bales with my garage sale long bow as a kid.;) Now, as an adult, I've toyed with the idea of asking my husband for a bow for Christmas, since he enjoys archery and it would be a fun hobby to do together.

4. Homesteading
I blame this one on the Little House books, which was the first series I finished as a kid. I can't say I am a true homesteader, but I have the heart for it, which is good since my husband turned most of the lot our home sits on into a garden/orchard.;) There is something quite satisfying about canning!

The peaches, from our own trees, that I recently canned. I sure hope they turned out, since peaches are a bit more work than some of the other things I have canned!

5. Wardrobes

Is it lame that I actually have one? lol. It is not near this neat, but I thought I needed it when I came across one for a good deal at an estate sale. It is handy to have to store all my games, scrapbooking items, and paper projects.

6. England
My aunt is worried that when I finally make it there, that I will be disappointed that it is not like the classics portray it.;)

7. Skye
It sounds like an interesting place, which I was introduced to in Five Days in Skye

8. Prince Edward Island
One guess on why this is on my list.;)

9. French baking
I wish I could truly master it... I think I lack the patience though.

10. Lamp posts
Another Narnia induced fetish. They are just fun anyway.

An Elegant Facade

Lady Georgina Hawthorne has worked tirelessly to seal her place as the Incomparable for her debut season. At her first London ball, she hopes to snag the attention of an earl.
With money and business connections, but without impeccable bloodlines, Colin McCrae is invited everywhere but accepted nowhere. When he first encounters the fashionable Lady Georgina, he's irritated by his attraction to a woman who concerns herself only with status and appearance.
What Colin doesn't know is that Georgina's desperate social aspirations are driven by the shameful secret she harbors. Association with Colin McCrae is not part of Georgina's plan, but as their paths continue to cross, they both must decide if the realization of their dreams is worth the sacrifices they must make.

My thoughts: I loved this story! While I admit that it took me a bit to get into it, since there is quite a bit of overlap from the first book (though, told through different characters, which was fun, but I felt like it went on a bit too long). That said, I enjoyed getting to know some of the characters better who were introduced in the first book, but didn't have huge roles until this story. Kristi does a fabulous job of making the snobby Lady Georgina someone who the reader actually starts to sympathize with and like. The battle of wits is fun, and I love the attitude that Georgina's conscience takes on.;)
I found this book delightful and highly recommend the series!
I received this book from Bethany House in exchange for my honest review.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Words to Live by

Words can make a difference in a conversation, in a day, and in a life. Fifty-two words are explored in five different devotions each week encouraging the reader to live more fully. This creative approach to daily devotions will renew both the mind and the spirit.

My thoughts: I have a few books about words and their significance on my bed stand table, since it seems to be something that I have picked up on the last year or so. I love the idea of this devotion and taking a word each week to focus on with scriptures and thoughts! The authors do a great job of drawing your focus to the depth of each word. I enjoyed this devotion immensely and look forward to going through it again at my leisure!
I received this book from Worthy in exchange for my honest review.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Come With Me

Proverbs 31 Author Calls Women to a Revolutionary Faith
What if there was a real-life invitation to a lifetime of unexpected destinations and adventure? What if your faith was the key?
In her warm, conversational way, Proverbs 31 author Suzie Eller shows how your faith is just that. How when you take a step away from the uncertainty, the to-do list, the busy life, the worries and excuses, you take a step toward the One who promises to delight and surprise. Who brings you deeper than you ever thought possible.
Two thousand years ago, 12 men answered the call to follow a man they hardly knew--and they were changed in ways they never imagined. Today that same invitation echoes across history, beckoning you to an adventure that will spill into every aspect of your faith and life. "Come with Me." Will you say yes?

My thoughts: This is an excellent book that will challenge the reader to answer the call on following Jesus as Peter and the other disciples did. I like that she calls readers to think like the 13th disciple, to be the 13th disciple and answer the call, trusting that God has everything in control, even when life throws curve balls. I appreciated the stories that Suzie shared and how she opened her heart to readers.
This book is incredibly encouraging and will challenge you! I highly recommend it.
I received this book from Bethany House in exchange for my honest review.


Nikki Boyd Enters the Deadly World of Counterfeit Drugs to Find a Missing Woman
Nikki Boyd isn't usually called in on homicides; her forte is missing persons. But when a case with two murdered and two missing pops up on a quiet suburban street, she's ready to start the investigation and find missing homeowners Mac and Lucy Hudson. When the first clues lead her to the boat of her friend Tyler Grant--and another dead body--Nikki must untangle what ties Tyler to the Hudsons. The clues pull her into a deadly maze of counterfeit drugs and a killer who will stop at nothing to silence anyone who threatens his business--including Nikki.
Christy Award-winning and bestselling author Lisa Harris puts readers right into the action in this fast-paced thriller that will have them turning pages long into the night.

My thoughts: I loved the first book in this series, since it was fast pace and kept the reader on their toes! While this one is every bit as good as Vendetta, I felt like it didn't quite have the same drive. I did like that the mystery took some time to figure out, since there were a lot of different pieces and things going on with the story. If you are looking for a good mystery series to start, then I recommend this one! I look forward to reading the next book about Nikki!
I received this book from Revell in exchange for my honest review.

I Can Be Kind

Scripture teaches us to love our neighbors by treating them with kindness and respect. One aspect of kindness includes manners. Parents are looking for fun, creative ways to teach their children polite behavior in a society where rudeness is often the status quo. We believe I Can Be Kind is a great resource for parents, grandparents, and Sunday school teachers as they seek to develop these behaviors in their children.

My thoughts: I was drawn to this picture book due to the title, since I have been working on teaching my children kindness. It can be hard to teach children kindness, other than leading by example, though I feel like this book helps.
The illustrations are adorable and it's written to engage kids. My daughter loves this book! I like that the book has scripture verses with each page set. The only downside to the book is that is not a board book and doesn't wear very well with young children. But, if you are looking for a good book on manners with scriptures for young children, then I highly recommend this one! It is an adorable book and we love the kid titles that Tyndale puts out.
I received this book from Tyndale in exchange for my honest review.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Take ten: books outside the US

A lot of the books I read are set in the US, so this is a fun list to compile! A lot of the books I like set in other countries are classics, so I will split my list between classics and modern novels.

1. Persuasion by Jane Austen
My favorite out of Austen's stories! It has some amazing lines, and I love the ending!

2. Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy
It's been a while, but I loved this book the first time I read it!

3. Chronicles of Narnia by Lewis
Pretty much my most favorite series ever.

4. Mary Barton by Gaskell
Another one I need to re-read, but I remember loving it. I hope BBC will do a movie out of it.:)

5. Emma by Austen
I love the humor of this one!

6. A Noble Masquerade by Kristi Ann Hunter
This is a fun story.

7. Edenbrooke by Julianne Donaldson

8. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
This is probably my favorite, since I started with the movie first before reading any of the books. Not the best way to start, but it definitely grabbed my attention and made me want to read the books!

9. Carpe Diem by Autumn Cornwell
It's been an age since I read this one, but I remember loving it

10. Close to You by Kara Isaac
Love this one! Tolkien, New Zealand, and a gorgeous romance.

What books should I read and add to my list? What are some of your favorites?

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Don't Go to Bed Angry

A practical handbook on how to fight better—together—for your marriage.

In every marriage, there is conflict. And with every conflict, there is a choice for resolution. Will you ignore the issue until it seemingly goes away? Or will you work together to find peace?

In Don’t Go to Bed Angry, Deb and Ron DeArmond give you permission to fight. Conflict isn’t the problem, after all; the real issue is how we deal with the conflict. Deb and Ron demonstrate how communication through conflict can safeguard—and even strengthen—your relationship. Immensely practical features including worksheets and discussion questions make this a definitive go-to resource to help you start fighting—together—for your marriage.

My thoughts: My husband and I did several sessions of ore-marital counseling before we were married, so a lot of the ideas in this book aren't totally foreign to me. That said, it has been about 6 years since we went through a lot of that stuff, so it was nice to have a refresher course! I appreciate the message that this book has about fighting fair, communicating (I think this was my favorite part, since they have some great tools for communicating better!), and taking stock of how baggage has affected each spouse. I also love that Deb and Ron are open and honest about their experiences and how that has shaped their message.
So, whether you have been married for a while or are just tying the knot, I think this is an excellent book to read and apply! I think it would make a great gift for newlyweds.
I received this book from Litfuse in exchange for my honest review.

Giveaway: Ron and Deb are giving away five copies of their book!

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Sigil in Shadow

One lie saved Ellary’s life, but another may cause her to lose it. With just a few simple words, Ellary goes from poverty to nobility—and lands right in the middle of a society that will soon crumble under the weight of hierarchy. The only way to survive is to assume the role that she was never prepared for, or her future will rest at the of tip of a blade.

My thoughts: I enjoyed this fantasy/other world style novel very much! There are a lot of twists and turns to the plot that are not summed up in the synopsis, which is always nice.;) The characters were well written and life like. This is the first book that I have read by Constance, but I am sure it will not be the last, since I found it quite enjoyable and will be looking for her fantasy series that she has big plans for.;)
I received this book from Cedar Fort in exchange for my honest review.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Escaping Reality

About the Book
Fame gave her a reason to hide. Can anyone unlock her guarded heart?

Reality star ADDISON LEWIS had the perfect life in LA. Or so she thought. After her fiancé betrays her she’s left with one option. Escape. But is anywhere safe from the relentless paparazzi?

LOGAN HART is caught off guard when a mysterious young woman becomes stranded at his family’s ranch. Past heartbreak makes him reluctant to let anyone close, but the city girl’s amusing antics draw them together.

While two lonely hearts collide and secrets loom on the horizon, could God be orchestrating something miraculous behind the scenes?

My Review: This book is adorable! I loved getting to know Addison and Logan as they got to know one another. The story is a sweet one, with depth to it. The characters are well written and I like that there is a lot going on with the ranch. This is a fun taste of ranch life! I look forward to reading the other books in the series, since I fell in love with Hart's ranch!
I received this book from Celebrate Lit in exchange for my honest review.

About the Author: Rachel Skatvold is an inspirational author and stay-at-home mom from the Midwest. She enjoys writing inspirational romance, devotions, encouraging blogs. Rachel has just finished her first series, the Riley Family Legacy Novellas and is now working on her first full length novel, Enduring the Flames. Other than writing, some of her hobbies include singing, reading and camping in the great outdoors with her husband and two young sons.
Guest Post from Rachel Skatvold

Have you ever needed to escape?

Every year my husband and I plan our summer vacation several months in advance. We hardly ever plan anything lavish or expensive. Most of the time we just hook up our camper, load our kids and family dog in the truck and head to a state park for our “escape.” Some of our most treasured family times have been enjoyed without television, electronics or other luxuries. It’s refreshing to leave the noise of the city for a while and enjoy a nice walk in the woods or a quiet night roasting marshmallows over a campfire. It gives us time to rest and appreciate the simple blessings that God has given us.

If someone ever needed to escape, it’s Addison Lewis. From the outside it seemed like she had it all; fame, fortune and a handsome and successful fiancé. However, when her dreams of a happy future come crashing down Addison flees her home in LA and ends up stranded at a dude ranch in the Montana wilderness. There she meets a handsome young rancher named Logan and his family. Will the Hart family’s faith and simple ways help Addison discover God’s true purpose for her life?

Escaping Reality is inspired by Mathew 11:28 which says, “…Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” This theme verse is prevalent throughout the story because Addison is searching for a refuge that will provide peace and rest from her stressful lifestyle. However, in the end she discovers that the peace and rest she’s looking for is not a physical destination but a condition of the heart.

Addison and Logan’s story was one of my favorites to write because of Addie’s spunky personality (not to mention her tendency to fall into mud puddles J) and Logan’s courage during hard times. This story might make you laugh out loud and shed a few tears but most of all I hope it inspires you to recognize and appreciate God’s simple blessings. Happy reading, friends and I hope you enjoy reading Escaping Reality.
Blog Stops
July 5
July 6: Blossoms and Blessings

July 7: The Editor’s Note

July 8: Bukwurmzzz

July 9: Texas Book-aholic

July 9: Cassandra M’s Place

July 10: 100 pages per hour

July 11: Reviewing Novels Online

July 12: Inklings and Notions

July 13: Chas Ray’s Book Nerd Corner

July 14: Christian Chick’s Thoughts

July 15: Daysong Reflections


July 17: Carpe Diem

July 18: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations


Between Us Girls

You feel more than mommy guilt.

You feel a deep and growing conviction that you must do something to disciple your daughter. But what? How can a busy mom make sure that her daughter learns about the most important things in life: what Jesus did for her on the cross and how to be faithful to him in this broken world?

Author Trish Donohue has been there, and that’s why she wrote Between Us Girls: Walks and Talks for Moms and Daughters. These twenty-six gospel-driven talks are a fun and easy guide for mothers who want to disciple their daughters but don’t know where to start. In each short chapter, moms and daughters read God’s Word, ask one another questions about their thoughts and experiences, get honest about their struggles with sin, brainstorm ways to live out their faith, and build genuine fellowship into their relationship.

Between Us Girls is more than a devotional; it’s a conversation guide, and the twenty-six “chats” are just the beginning. Ultimately, Donohue’s book teaches mothers and daughters a new way to communicate and starts them on a wonderful, lifelong journey of getting to know one another better and learning to love their Savior more.

Between Us Girls was written by a busy mom for busy moms, so no prep time is needed! Just schedule some time with your daughter, grab this book, head to your destination of choice, and cherish every moment you share with your girl.

My thoughts: This book is excellent! I love that it is set up to get mothers and daughters (or women and girls in general) talking about important issues and ties scripture into the discussions. I love the questions that accompany each walk! While my daughter is still kind of young for this book, I look forward to picking it up again when she is a little older, so we can do it together. For now, it was fun for me to go through and do my answers on the questions. I like that this book will get everyone thinking and stimulate discussion, some deep and some lighthearted.
I received this book from Litfuse in exchange for my honest review.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Take ten: facts about me

I could have some fun with this one! A lot of my list will most likely not be book related.;)

1. I've known my husband since we were 13, though there was zero romantic interest on either side of our friendship until he came home from college and we both attended a mutual friend's wedding. Catching the garter put ideas in his head. LOL. The funny thing is, I think about everyone saw it but me, since several friends made a big deal about our talking. I guess I can be a bit thick.;) He had to work to get me to come around, but I'm so thankful he did! We make a pretty good team.

2. I have two children, a girl and a boy. Being a mother is incredible, but it's also exhausting!

3. I sign up for all the summer reading programs for my children.;) My husband is usually less than thrilled. lol.

4. I once wound up with food poisoning at my grandma's. I loved her dearly, but didn't trust her cooking after that.;)

5. I adore Doctor Who and wish that there was such a thing as a TARDIS.

6. Having kids brings out the kid in me. I love the excuse to play with bubbles and sidewalk chalk!

7. I enjoy canning/preserving food. There is just something satisfying about preserving food we have harvested.

8. We have an old house that we are still working on, after owning it for over 5 years. I'm hopeful that this will be the year that I finally remodel the kitchen.;)

9. I hated seeing as a teen, but wound up working with my SIL, making doll clothes. I loved it!

10. My favorite movie is Emma

Bonus: Baking relaxes me. The day before my wedding I baked up a storm!

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Better Together: Because You're not meant to Mom alone

Being a mom is hard, but it doesn’t have to be lonely.

Are you trying to do this mothering thing alone? So focused on the kids that you’re hungry for friendships of your own? Have great friendships that you want to make even better?

Jill Savage, mother of five, knows those challenges well, and she’s here to help. Presenting a compelling vision of motherhood as a group effort among friends, Better Together shows how you can:

Combat isolation and enjoy a supportive mothering community
Increase your social confidence and stop the comparison game
Deepen your friendships as you share life with others
Strengthen trust and build friendships without fear
Increase your joy and thrive as a mom

All these things are possible. Dive into this storehouse of creative ideas for how to make mothering easier, richer, and more fun than you ever imagined!

My thoughts: No one warned me that mothering would be one of the hardest, most rewarding, yet loneliest jobs that I would ever have. Even with a supportive husband (who I thank God for), it was still a bit of a rough transition. So, I was thrilled to get a hold of this book and read the wisdom that these two ladies brought to the table. They do a wonderful job of sharing from the perspective of an almost empty nester and a mother of little ones. The balance is excellent! I love the personal stories that they shared and how they sprinkle in the stories of others. I highly recommend this book as a gift for new mothers!
I received this book from Moody in exchange for my honest review.

Murder Mezzo Forte

He is a reclusive history professor with musical hallucinations. . . .

She a headstrong professor of religion, a converted Wiccan. Earlier, they solved a campus murder, but now police say they formed two-thirds of an illicit love triangle with a newly-murdered female colleague and they’re probably guilty of her murder. A leak of the alleged scandal to the college administration threatens their jobs.

Their desperate attempt to prove themselves innocent of the triangle and the murder plunges them into a tangle of unsavory corporate relationships among college trustees. And it puts their lives in danger from a mysterious criminal organization that seems to have tentacles everywhere.

Can this ill-matched pair’s stumbling efforts succeed against the entrenched forces of the police, the college’s incompetent administration, and that powerful but unseen criminal organization? If not, they may end up unemployed, in prison, or suffering a fate much worse.

About the Author: Donn Taylor led an Infantry rifle platoon in the Korean War, served with Army aviation in Vietnam, and worked with air reconnaissance in Europe and Asia. Afterwards, he earned a PhD in Renaissance literature and taught literature at two liberal arts colleges. His publications include three suspense novels, one historical novel, and a book of poetry. He lives near Houston, TX, where he writes fiction, poetry, and essays on current topics.

Find out more about Donn at

My thoughts: I read Rhapsody in Red, the first mystery in this series, ages ago and remembered enjoying the slightly quirky characters immensely. So, I was thrilled to see that Donn had written another Preston Barclay mystery!
Another semester is under way at Overton University. Press and Mara have recovered from solving the last mystery, but are still living under the shadow of some of the accusations that were directed towards them during that time. When another faculty member is murdered, and they are once again seen as suspects, it's up to this unlikely duo to solve the mystery.
I love the characters and their sense of humor! Both are quick and witty. I also enjoy the discussions on faith and education. This series is excellent, if you are looking for a good mystery that will keep you on your toes, then check it out!
I received this book from Litfuse in exchange for my honest review.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Going Up South

No one told him he had a son.

Actor Dylan Conner is furious. Not only has he been left out of his child’s life, the baby boy has been given another man’s last name. Determined to be a better father than the sorry guy who’d left him and his mother, Dylan fights to ensure a significant place in his son’s life. Unfortunately, his bad-boy reputation overshadows his good intentions. Only one woman in this small town sees beyond his Hollywood image. And he’s falling for her. Too bad she’s the custody mediator.

After her scandalous divorce in the small town of Oxford, Mississippi, attorney Cassie Brooks has no intentions of practicing law again. The humiliating experience left a bitter taste for love, marriage, and her profession.

Now friends need Cassie’s help in a custody negotiation, and her role demands she remain objective. She never expected to be drawn to Dylan Conner—the actor who everyone warns is bad news. Not only is the mediation at stake, but so is her heart.

Janet W. Ferguson grew up in Mississippi and received a degree in Banking and Finance from the University of Mississippi. She has served her church as a children’s minister and a youth volunteer. An avid reader, she worked as a librarian at a large public high school. Janet and her husband have two grown children, one really smart dog, and a few cats that allow them to share the space.

Purchase a copy here

Guests Post from Janet W. Ferguson

Hi, I’m Janet W. Ferguson, and I’m so excited to meet the readers of Celebrate Lit!

I’ve always been an avid reader, but I’ve had an odd career path prior to writing.

With a Banking and Finance degree, I took my first job working at a brokerage firm handling their mutual fund trades. After the market crashed in the late 80s, I took a job managing a large, upscale apartment community. During this time, I married and became a stay-at-home mom and church volunteer. My volunteering eventually led to a staff position as children’s minister. After five years, I felt my calling had changed, and I left the job, not really sure what God had in store. Haphazardly, my husband suggested I apply at our local schools. Not long afterward, I certified in teaching and became the library media specialist at the large public high school near our home. I met so many wonderful young people as children’s minister and high school librarian.

During my times as a librarian, I had a story idea for about seven years, but never made time to try my hand at writing. Finally, after my elderly parents passed away, and I felt it was time. I wrote every evening for three months, and finished my first story which was Leaving Oxford. I spent the next three years learning about the craft of writing and editing that story. Yes, there was much to learn! In the meantime, one secondary character from Leaving Oxford demanded his own story… From that, came Going Up South.

I tend to write what I know, and I’m from the peculiar and wonderful state of Mississippi. My first story was set mostly in Oxford, Mississippi. The charming town made the perfect backdrop for book 1. So book 2 is also mostly set in Oxford, although the characters go on a mission trip to Honduras.

The hero of Going Up South, Dylan Conner, is a funny and charming actor that made a number of appearances in Leaving Oxford. From outrageous costumes to intense flirting, he just had a personality as large as the characters he portrayed on the screen. In Going Up South, he realizes that he fathered a child, but he had been left out of the baby boy’s life. Though he’d never planned to have a family, due to his disappointment in his own father, seeing the child, his child, changes his mind.

Dylan’s not sure how he’ll raise a child or what to do, but he finds help in his new friend and custody mediator, Cassie Brooks.

The scripture theme for this series comes from Isaiah 61. This particular book draws on “He binds up the brokenhearted.”

The heroine, Cassie Brooks, is still hurting from her scandalous divorce in a small town. Unlike my last heroine in Leaving Oxford, Cassie had done things the way she’d been taught, avoiding alcohol, drugs, and sex outside of marriage. And her heart was still broken by an unfaithful husband. I wanted to show that life just hands out some tough blows, no matter how hard we try to do the right thing, but God is there in the midst of it all. He does bind up our broken hearts.

I pray that you are uplifted by this story, and whatever hurts life has dealt you, that you find comfort in the arms of our faithful Father. Blessings!

Blog Stops

July 17: Quiet Quilter



To celebrate her tour, Janet is giving away some fantastic prizes including a $50 Amazon gift card! Click here to enter:


My thoughts: I was delightfully surprised at the depth of the characters in this story! Dylan and Cassie come to life as they struggle to do the right thing in a less than ideal situation. I love the message of faith and how the different characters have their own unique relationship with the Lord. Janet tackles some difficult questions with this story, and will continue to do so in the final book. I look forward to reading the next story in the series!
I would recommend reading the first book in the series before starting this one, since it is a continuation of some of the characters stories in the first one.
On a side note, I loved that this book had a mission trip in it, since I went on a similar one when I was in college and could relate to working hard and learning to be thankful for beans and rice.;)
I received this book from the author in exchange for my honest review.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Can't Help Falling

A funny, heartfelt romance about how an antique shop, a wardrobe, and a mysterious tea cup bring two C.S. Lewis fans together in a snowy and picturesque Oxford, England.

Emelia Mason has spent her career finding the dirt on the rich and famous. But deep down past this fearless tabloid-reporter façade, there’s a nerdy Narnia-obsessed girl who still can’t resist climbing into wardrobes to check for the magical land on the other side. When a story she writes produces tragic results, she flees to Oxford, England—home to C.S. Lewis—to try and make amends for the damage she has caused.

Peter Carlisle was on his way to become one of Great Britain’s best rowers—until he injured his shoulder and lost his chance at glory. He’s determined to fight his way back to the top even if it means risking permanent disability to do so. It’s the only way he can find his way past failing the one person who never stopped believing in his Olympic dream.

When Peter and Emelia cross paths on her first night in Oxford, the attraction is instant and they find common ground in their shared love of Narnia. But can the lessons from a fantasyland be enough to hold them together when secrets of the real world threaten to tear them apart? Cobblestone streets, an aristocratic estate, and an antique shop with curious a wardrobe bring the world of Narnia to life in Kara Isaac’s inspiring and romantic story about second chances.

My thoughts: I was super excited to get my hands on this book before it released, since I loved Kara's debut novel, Close to You, and this one had the additional draw of having to do with Narnia.;) It didn't disappoint! I loved following the adventures of Peter and Emelia as they get to know one another. While I would of preferred to have some of the mystery having to do with their pasts come out sooner, I still thought this was an excellent story of finding forgiveness and being given a second chance.
While this is a stand alone novel, some of the characters from Close to You are in this story, so I would recommend reading it first. Not to mention, it's just an incredible story that I highly recommend! The characters in both stories are marvelous and I hope that Emelia and Peter will make an appearance in Kara's next story.
I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.

Home Sewn

This beautiful craft book features distinctive sewing projects dedicated to living, resting, eating, and sharing. Use quality materials—from rustic linen to leather—to create simple ottomans, pendant light shades, a voile bed skirt, and more. With dreamy lifestyle photography and ideas for every room, Home Sewn is a keepsake for the modern maker.

My thoughts: What a fun book! I love the projects in this book, since they add so much to one's living space. There is a variety of projects for all the rooms in one's place. I like that the book is filled with easy to follow instructions and has some great resources. This book just may feed a new addiction.;)
I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Take Ten

I'm not sure how exactly to phrase this week's subject, since it is a list of books that are under rated (imo) on Goodreads. The suggestion was to find books that are under 2,000 ratings, but I found that a lot of mine (though, granted, I am going with a lot of self published stories) have more like under 20 reviews.;) I guess that is just the way I roll. So, this week I am all about promoting those who should be picked up by large publishing houses.;)

1. The Giftsnatcher by Charity Bishop
I'm surprised just how much I enjoyed this story, since it was a bit darker then my usual reading fare. She did an incredible job of mixing magic and the mystery of Jack the Ripper.

2. The Secret of Belfast by Charity Bishop
This one is an incredible mix of magic and the Titanic.

3. Dysfunction Junction by April Erwin
This one is a fun, chick lit style story with some depth to it. By far my favorite of her books, though they are all excellent.

4. Justice Burning by April Erwin
This one is quite different from the afore mentioned book, since it's a mystery. I love that the story has a lot going on.

5. Porcelain Keys by Sarah Beard
This one is an unpredictable story of a talented musician. I loved both factors.;)

6. Beyond the Rising Tide by Sarah Beard
This one was also a bit surprising, since the story seems Impossible.;)

7. Close to You by Kara Isaac
My inner nerd came out with both of her books, since this one has to do with Tolkien and the main character gives tours of the LOTR's movie sets. The hero and heroine also have some fun chemistry.

8. Can't Help Falling by Kara Issac
A wardrobe, a tea cup, and an impossible romance. Oh, and plenty of Narnia!

9. The Dandelion Field by Kathryn Springer

10. The Hearts We Mend by Kathryn Springer
While the first one is amazing, this one is even better.:)

So, what books are on your list? Which should of been on mine?

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Eden Hill

Nothing seems to change in Eden Hill, Kentucky, and that’s just fine with Virgil T. Osgood. He’s been content to raise his family and run the only service station in town. But when a new station is set to open right across the road from Virgil’s pumps, he suddenly faces obstacles in his career, his marriage, and his self-worth that he’s never even dreamed of.

Cornelius Alexander wants his new Zipco station to succeed and help establish a strong foundation for his growing family. As long as he follows the Zipco guide, he’s sure to be a success―and prove his father wrong.

Reverend Caudill wants to be a conduit for grace in his town, but that grace is challenged by the changes sweeping through in the early 1960s. For the sake of this small town, Virgil and Cornelius must learn to get along, but how do you love your neighbor when his very presence threatens to upend everything you hold dear?

My thoughts: What a great debut novel! It certainly does not read like a first novel, since the story and characters have a depth to them that a lot of authors lack.
I enjoyed getting to know the people of Eden Hill. It's a lovely, small town set in the early 1960's, when life was just beginning to change for small towns. As a small business owner, I enjoyed Virgil's part of the story, with working in his father's business and keeping the legacy going. The taste of small town life is lovely! I like that there are a lot of characters and that each of them had back stories that made them come alive.
This is a great summer read!
I received this book from Tyndale in exchange for my honest review.

The Time Key

Stanley is a widower who has spent the last 6 years living with the loss and regret of losing his wife and daughter, drowning his sorrows in a bottle. One the night he decides to end it all, he becomes a hero instead, saving a man and becoming the keeper of the time key. With the ability to travel through time, he now puts himself and those close to him in harms way.
This was an interesting story, since it mixes time travel and fantasy. The characters are unique and interesting, and the plot has some unusual twists. If you enjoy time travel and surprising stories, then I recommend you pick this book up!
I received this book from Cedar Fort in exchange for my honest review.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Dwelling Places

Do you long for serenity and refuge, peace and hope? Are you seeking a deeper spiritual life through a closer relationship with God?
If you’re tired of dwelling in busyness and noise, then perhaps one word a day can change your life. Award-winning author Lucinda Secrest McDowell knows that if you spend time each day turning to God’s Word for wisdom and guidance, your faith can flourish and grow.
Through short and inspiring readings, McDowell unpacks a single word—such as mercy, beauty, gratitude, or grace—to reveal a biblical blessing or challenge relevant to where you are. Full of stories and illustrations to empower you to live the word you have just read, each devotional ends with a benediction, written as if God were speaking directly to you.
These “dwelling places” that offer the joy of God’s promise and presence cover four seasons: fall, Advent, Lent, and summer. Whether in the midst of busy holiday schedules, holy days, ordinary moments, or changing seasons, a deeper faith can be as simple as a single word.

My thoughts: I enjoyed this thought provoking devotional style book. The simplicity of taking a word and centering thoughts around it is excellent. This was just what I needed at this point in my life!
I received this book from Lit Fuse in exchange for my honest review.