Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Driver Confessional


Ride share driver Antonio cruises the streets of Washington, D.C. looking for his next fare.

He has an unusual gift for relaxing his customers and stimulating their desire to reveal more than they planned. By the completion of their ride, many feel so comfortable that they confess their sins great and small. Antonio’s faith guides his discussions and points him in new directions. Suddenly, his peaceful world is turned upside down by a mysterious business woman. As she heads to a midnight rendezvous, she confesses more than Antonio can handle. Her story sends him into a world of espionage, international terrorism and danger.

My thoughts: What an interesting story! I love the premise of it, that Antonio has a unique gift that gets his passengers to share what it on their hearts, since he kind of reminds me of my mom.;) I loved the twists and turns to the story! The pace is steady/fast and keeps the reader wondering what is next until the last page! I look forward to reading the next book in the series.
I received this book from Litfuse in exchange for my honest review.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Take Ten: Most anticipated books of the second half of 2017



1. The Girl Who Could See

This one looks fantastic!

2. A Name Unknown

I've enjoyed all of Roseanna's books up to this point, so I know that this one will be a great read.;)

3. A Matter of Trust

This series has been an interesting one, show casing a rescue team.

4. Just Look Up

I have this one coming in the mail, which is fortunate, since I have adored the first two in the series!

5. Jane of Austin

Gorgeous cover, wonderful author, this one is another book I have in the mail that I wish would come already.;) I am really looking forward to this one!

6. The Captivating Lady Charlotte

I love that the first book in the series wasn't quite conventional. So, I look forward to reading about the next set of characters!

7. The Austen Escape

Do you sense a theme with my books?;) This one is by another favorite!

8. An Inconvenient Beauty

Another excellent series, though (sadly) this one will probably be the last in it.

9. Lady Jayne Disappears

This one looks fascinating.

10. The Ladies of Ivy Cottage

This very well may be the most anticipated title on my list! I adored the first book, since it has so much going on, and look forward to seeing where the next book takes the ladies!

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Return to Huckleberry Hill Review and Giveaway




When it comes to matchmaking, Huckleberry Hill, Wisconsin’s unstoppable octogenarians Anna and Felty Helmuth never seem to run out of opportunities—or grandchildren...

Reuben Helmuth is plenty bitter. John King, his best friend—or so he thought—is engaged to the girl Reuben loved. Humiliated, Reuben flees from Ohio to his grandparents’ home on Huckleberry Hill, where he knows he’ll find comfort. He’s enjoying wallowing in his misery—until John’s sister, Fern, shows up. She won’t stop pestering Reuben about forgiveness—or trying to help him find love again. Yet Fern's efforts only reawaken Reuben’s long-buried feelings—for her…

With her brother too ashamed to face Reuben, it’s fallen to Fern to help mend fences. But as she and the Helmuths do all they can—even organizing a knitting club event filled with eligible girls—it may take one more challenge to inspire Reuben to forget his heartache, recognize his own blunders, and embrace the true love that’s right in front of him…

Praise for Jennifer Beckstrand and her Matchmakers of Huckleberry Hill series

“Beckstrand continues to bring unexpected and heart-melting plotlines to this outstanding series.” –RT Book Reviews

“Full of kind, sincere characters struggling with the best ways to stay true to themselves and their beliefs.” --Publishers Weekly

“A delightful voice in Amish romance. Sweet and funny.” --Emma Miller

My review: While I haven't read the previous books in this series, reading this one makes me want to pick the other ones up! I loved getting to know the characters in the story and that there is a lot going on outside of the main characters story. This story is sweet and humorous, I look forward to reading more by Jennifer!
I received this book from Celebrate Lit in exchange for my honest review.
About the Author





Jennifer Beckstrand is the award winning Amish romance author of The Matchmakers of Huckleberry Hillseries and The Honeybee Sisters series for Kensington Books. Jennifer has always been drawn to the strong faith and the enduring family ties of the Plain people and loves writing about the antics of Anna and Felty Helmuth and the Honeybee sisters’ aendi Bitsy. Jennifer has a degree in mathematics and a passion for Jane Austen and Shakespeare. She and her husband have been married for thirty-two years, and she has four daughters, two sons, and soon-to-be six adorable grandchildren, whom she spoils rotten.



Guest post from Jennifer Beckstrand


Anna Helmuth is starting a knitting club, but that’s not all she’s got up her sleeve.



In Return to Huckleberry Hill, Anna Helmuth and Fern King decide to start a knitting club in order to introduce Anna’s grandson Reuben to some girls from Bonduel, Wisconsin. Anna is a very good knitter, with years of practice making baby blankets, scarves, mittens, and potholders. One of Anna’s scarves actually saved someone’s life, and her potholders have helped her make many a match.



When I was a young teenager, I learned how to knit and crochet. My mom taught me how to sew and quilt, and I made several of my own dresses in high school. I never learned to love sewing, but it was an invaluable skill that I am so grateful to have. Now that I’m a little older, I love putting together simple quilts for baby gifts and making quilts for the local children’s hospital. There is nothing like a homemade gift to say, “I care about you.”



I have a friend who is a wonderful cook. Making a delicious, beautiful meal is how she tells her family she loves them. I don’t consider myself a great cook, but I still take pride in putting something nutritious and satisfying on the table for my family.



It seems to me that some of the “home arts” that our mothers and grandmothers practiced are dying out. Who knows how to tat anymore? Or embroider? Some of these arts have died because of expediency. Who doesn’t think today’s stocking choices are more comfortable and practical than knitted wool ones? Others have died out because so few people want to learn.



What about you? Do you still practice any of the home arts that your grandmother did? What do you want to pass on to the next generation?



Blog Stops



Giveaway




To celebrate her tour, Jennifer is giving away a $15 Amazon gift card to three lucky winners!! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!

Thursday, May 25, 2017

The Road to Paradise


In 1927, Margie Lane, an avid naturalist, convinces her Senator father to procure her a position at the fledgling Mount Rainier National Park. Since Ranger Ford Brannon lost his father in a climbing accident, he doubts his ability to protect the park and its many visitors. He certainly doesn't relish the job of watching over an idealistic and privileged young woman with no practical survival skills.
When Margie's former fiance sets his mind on developing the Paradise Inn and its surroundings into a tourist playground, Margie and Ford will have to work together to preserve the beauty and simplicity of this mountain hideaway, but the developer's plans might put more than just the park in danger."

My thoughts: I have read most of Karen's other books and highly recommend them! I was thrilled to see that this book kicks off a new series for her, one that shows us the beauty of a National Park in the roaring 20's. I loved getting to know the characters and the story is a delightful, fast pace one. I highly recommend this book for a summer reading list! I look forward to seeing where this series goes.;)
I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

The Good Book


The Good Book offers a user-friendly guide to the Bible’s biggest ideas.

A chapter from the Bible accompanies each chapter of the book, which helps readers understand the context and content of the Scripture passages in a way that can open the whole Bible.

Designed as a forty-day journey through forty key chapters of the Bible, The Good Book will appeal to those who already love and read the Bible regularly as well as to those who are just beginning their Christian journey.

The Good Book:
—is a great evangelism tool for explaining the major themes of Scripture to those who want to know more about God, Jesus, and the core beliefs of Christianity;
—gives new believers an overview of the Bible and lays a framework to help them understand Scripture passages;
—helps longtime Christians rediscover the basic themes of Scripture and experience these truths in a new way; and
—encourages Scriptural literacy as it pushes readers to read both one chapter of the book and one chapter of the Bible each day for forty days.

The Good Book is great for individuals, and it can also be used by small groups in an eight-week church-wide program or a forty-week journey that focuses on one Bible chapter each week. The Good Book will help people understand and live by the transformative truths of the Bible.

My thoughts: This is a great tool to use to go through 40 chapters, from start to finish, that dig deeper into some of the bigger ideas in the Bible. I thought that this book was well written and thought out. It is a wonderful resource for those wanting to add more to personal or group study.
I received this book from Litfuse in exchange for my honest review.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Take ten: books for the beach bag


Here are my top ten picks for books to put in my vacation bag.;)

1. Windfall

This one just looks interesting to me, since I've made the comment that people usually wind up worse off after winning a lottery.

2. In 27 Days

This one doesn't come out until August, but I really want to add it to my bag!

3. When Dimple met Rishi

This one just looks adorbs!

4. It Started with Goodbye

So, I have already read this one, but it is totally beach bag worthy!

5. I Believe in a Thing Called Love


6. When Waves Turn

I've enjoyed the previous two books in this series, so I look forward to reading this one!

7. A Name Unknown

I just got my ARC of this and can't wait to start it!

8. Fatal Frost

I've enjoyed the previous series I have read by Nancy, so I look forward to starting this one!

9. True to You

This one just looks adorable!

10. The Illusionist's Apprentice

I've enjoyed all of Kristy's books up to this point, so I look forward to reading this one!

What books should I add to my summer list? Have you read some of these books?

Saturday, May 20, 2017

The Beloved Hopechest review and giveaway


 


Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Book




 



Book: The Beloved Hope Chest

 

Author: Amy Clipston

 

Genre: Amish

 

Release Date: May 9, 2017

 



In the final installment of the Amish Heirloom series, the Fisher sisters learn the mystery behind their parents’ marriage—and about the sibling who has never been spoken of.



Mattie Fisher’s three daughters know that she’s been keeping a secret from them. With each item pulled from the beloved family hope chest, they’ve discovered a new clue about their mother’s past.



But there’s a reason Mattie has been keeping her history hidden, and she’s not sure she’s ready to reopen old wounds. Will dredging up the past change the way her children view her? Or her marriage to their father? And can she handle the pain of revisiting the memories that preceded the last few happy decades?



Mattie’s story is one of grief and learning to love again. But like the best things preserved in a hope chest, it’s a story of love and redemption born out of heartache—and it’s past time to share it.

My review: I didn't realize that this was the fourth book when I received this to review, but it worked well as a stand alone story, so I was able to enjoy it! I think fans of Amy Clipston's stories will enjoy going back and reading about Mattie's story.
I know I enjoyed getting to know her as she navigates life after a tragedy takes a loved one away from her. This is a beautiful story about learning to love again.
I received this book from Celebrate Lit in exchange for my honest review.

About the Author




 



AMY CLIPSTON is the award-winning and bestselling author of the Kauffman Amish Bakery series. She has sold more than 1 million books, and her novels have hit multiple bestseller lists including CBD, CBA, and ECPA. Amy holds a degree in communication from Virginia Wesleyan College and works full-time for the City of Charlotte, NC. Amy lives in North Carolina with her husband, two sons, and three spoiled rotten cats. Visit her online at amyclipston.comFacebook: AmyClipstonBooks and Twitter: @AmyClipston



Guest post from Amy Clipston


I am thrilled to share the The Beloved Hope Chest, which is the final installment of my Amish Home series.



In The Beloved Hope Chest, the Fisher sisters learn the mystery behind their parents’ marriage—and about the sibling who has never been spoken of. Mattie Fisher’s three daughters know that she’s been keeping a secret from them. With each item pulled from the beloved family hope chest, they’ve discovered a new clue about their mother’s past. But there’s a reason Mattie has been keeping her history hidden, and she’s not sure she’s ready to reopen old wounds. Will dredging up the past change the way her children view her? Or her marriage to their father? And can she handle the pain of revisiting the memories that preceded the last few happy decades? Mattie’s story is one of grief and learning to love again. But like the best things preserved in a hope chest, it’s a story of love and redemption born out of heartache—and it’s past time to share it.



This book is very close to my heart since it is the last in my Amish Heirloom series. I’ve grown to love the Fisher family, and writing Mattie and Leroy’s story was bittersweet. This is a very emotional story, and I poured my heart and soul into it. I hope you enjoy this book since it reveals all of the mysteries that have been placed throughout the series.



Blog Stops


May 19: Book by Book

Giveaway


[Insert Giveaway Picture Here]

To celebrate her tour, Amy is giving away a copy of An Amish Home and an handpicked Amish goodie chosen by Amy to two winners! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!

The Evaporation of Sofi Snow


Ever since the Delonese ice-planet arrived eleven years ago, Sofi's dreams have been vivid. Alien. In a system where Earth's corporations rule in place of governments and the humanoid race orbiting the moon are allies, her only constant has been her younger brother, Shilo. As an online gamer, Sofi battles behind the scenes of Earth's Fantasy Fighting arena where Shilo is forced to compete in a mix of real and virtual blood sport. But when a bomb takes out a quarter of the arena, Sofi's the only one who believes Shilo survived. She has dreams of him. And she's convinced he's been taken to the ice-planet.

Except no one but ambassadors are allowed there.

For Miguel, Earth's charming young playboy, the games are of a different sort. As Ambassador to the Delonese, his career has been built on trading secrets and seduction. Until the Fantasy Fight's bomb goes off. Now the tables have turned and he's a target for blackmail. The game is simple: Help the blackmailers, or lose more than anyone can fathom, or Earth can afford.

My thoughts: I feel conflicted with leaving a review on this book, because I am still not sure that I cared much for the main characters and the world they lived in, since it could of used a bit more details for me to visualize it. That could be partially due to my not being into gaming though, so perhaps this is a book for a younger generation.;)
I wanted to like the main characters, but they were just too wannabes for me to really care for them.
That said, I am conflicted since I like the heart of the message. It had a good base and themes, since it's about human trafficking. I just feel like there could of been more to the characters and their world.
I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

The Most Misused Stories in the Bible


Are You Sure You Know What Your Favorite Bible Stories Mean?

A surprising number of popular Bible stories are commonly misused or misunderstood, even by well-intentioned Christians. In this concise yet thorough book, Eric J. Bargerhuff helps you fully understand the meaning of David and Goliath, Jonah and the Big Fish, the Woman Caught in Adultery, and other well-known Bible stories.

Providing fascinating historical and scriptural insights, Bargerhuff helps you sort through modern-day distortions of fourteen well-known Bible stories and grasp their original meaning and purpose for us today.

My thoughts: This book was an interesting read. I like how Eric takes some of the most common stories of the Bible and shows how they have been translated wrong in our day and age, and how their correct reading is more applicable to us today. I found the book insightful as it pointed out why we shouldn't have a lack of faith like Gideon with putting out the fleece or the warning to check where our heart is, as Cain should of done. This book is a thought provoking one.
I received this book from Bethany House in exchange for my honest review.

10 things I can see from here


Perfect for fans of Finding Audrey and Everything, Everything, this is the poignant and uplifting story of Maeve, who is dealing with anxiety while falling in love with a girl who is not afraid of anything.

Think positive.
Don’t worry; be happy.
Keep calm and carry on.

Maeve has heard it all before. She’s been struggling with severe anxiety for a long time, and as much as she wishes it was something she could just talk herself out of, it’s not. She constantly imagines the worst, composes obituaries in her head, and is always ready for things to fall apart. To add to her troubles, her mom—the only one who really gets what Maeve goes through—is leaving for six months, so Maeve will be sent to live with her dad in Vancouver.

Vancouver brings a slew of new worries, but Maeve finds brief moments of calm (as well as even more worries) with Salix, a local girl who doesn’t seem to worry about anything. Between her dad’s wavering sobriety, her very pregnant stepmom insisting on a home birth, and her bumbling courtship with Salix, this summer brings more catastrophes than even Maeve could have foreseen. Will she be able to navigate through all the chaos to be there for the people she loves?

My thoughts: This book was not at all what I expected. Rather than being a book about a girl figuring out how to cope with her anxiety, there really isn't much development there. The book is basically a half baked idea that should of been developed more. I wouldn't recommend it.
I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Mighty to Save Review and Giveaway





 


Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Book




 



Book: Mighty to Save

 



Author: Caryl McAdoo

 



Genre: Christian Historical Romance

 



Release Date: May 15, 2017



Contrary to her parents’ wishes, Evelyn married a nonbeliever, but it all works out . . . or does it? Not only did the love of her life accept Christ, Nathaniel got baptized by fire and became a minister of the gospel. Woven into the breathtaking tale of love and redemption are two additional stories, Evelyn’s novels of faith, family, and forgiveness.



My thoughts: This story is excellent! I enjoyed getting to know Evelyn and Nathaniel as they made their journey together. I haven't read a lot of Caryl's books, but this one made me want to go back and read more of them, since there are a lot of characters.;)
I received this book from Celebrate Lit in exchange for my honest review.

About the Author






Caryl McAdoo loves writing stories for all ages that glorify God and is thrilled Christian fiction fits her life purpose so well. Bold not bashful, she’s quick to share the Bible principles she lives by through her characters and hopes each title ministers His love, mercy, and grace. Known as the “Singing Pray-er”—with a YouTube channel to prove it—the prolific hybrid author also loves praising Him with new songs He gives her. Her high-school-sweetheart-husband moved the family from the DFW area—home for fifty-plus years—to the woods and seat of Red River County. After Ron, Caryl counts four children and sixteen grandsugars life’s biggest blessings. The McAdoos live a few miles south of Clarksville in the far northeast corner of the Lone Star State with two grandsons.



Guest Post from Caryl McAdoo


Mighty to Save, book nine, is unlike all the other stories in the Texas Romance family saga as the heroine, Evelyn Eversole—you’ll remember her as little Evie in book eight, Covering Love—and hero, Nathaniel Nightingale, are already married in Chapter One. Where’s the romance, Caryl? You may ask. But I think you’ll see that Mighty to Save is brimming with all the stuff love is made of!



The depth of the Nightingales’ love is revealed and tested, and because Evelyn is a novelist like her MayMee (May Meriwether), we are privileged to experience the love of another couple whose progeny is intertwined with the Nightingales’ lineage. (knowing the characters of the next novel Chief of Sinners that was written over twenty years ago and served as the foundation of the Texas Romance series, it’s been a labor of love, tying all these characters together.



And while a very few have remarked that it’s a little hard jumping back and forth in time, the majority of readers have expressed their satisfaction and appreciation for getting to know the backstories in such a fun way. This tale deals with imperfect people—as we all are. I hope my characters come across as real, someone in your family or who might live next door.



In this world, we will have tribulation . . . but being of good cheer isn’t always so easy. Sometime those trials knock us off our foundation, and we find ourselves in an ocean of mire, like trying to swim through jello . . . weary of it to the point where only God can save us. And so we cry out to Him. And He does.



Should that mean what waylaid us no longer has any effect on our lives? Not every time.



I pray that you will enjoy Mighty to Save. This story is another reason why I’m so blessed that God led me to publish independently of the traditional houses, as I’m most certain it would definitely not fit their pigeon hole titled Christian Romance. Life offers hills and valleys. Could we truly appreciate one without the other?



Fair warning, don’t be expecting same-O same-O!



Thank you so much for being a part of my Celebrate Lit Blog Tour Launch! Bloggers, readers, reviewers, and visitors all—everyone at the awesome Celebrate Lit Tour Company, too—y’all are such blessings to me! So much so, I could never repay your kindnesses, encouragement, and support. But my Father can, And I pray He will send every blessing back to you a hundred fold!



Blog Stops


May 17: Carpe Diem
May 20: The Power of Words (Spotlight)
May 27: Mary Hake

Giveaway




To celebrate her tour, Caryl is giving away:
Grand Prize: ALL NINE books in the Texas Romance series!
1st Prize: Four first books in four of Caryl’s series
2nd-6th Prize: Print Copy Vow Unbroken
Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!

Do Baby Bears Have Mommies?


Kids ask a lot of questions. Some silly and some innocent. Some deep and some serious. The books in the I've Got Questions series address many of those childlike questions and offer satisfying answers. The content is lively and fun, yet meaningful and respectful of a child's inquisitive mind. While the books have a strong educational component, the deeper purpose is to show parents how they can respond to their child's questions with patience and love. Illustrations feature multicultural characters both male and female.

Do Baby Bears Have Mommies? answers questions about animals. Children learn about starfish, elephants, bears, stars, earthworms, eagles, trees, and heaven, while absorbing the underlying themes of God's love and grace and a parent's love for a child.

My thoughts: We have several of Crystal and Teri's children books at our house, and we love each one of them. When I saw this one come up for review, I had to check it out! I love the rhyming that is in the book, since it is sweet without being cheesy. I like how there are quite a few questions for parents and children to go over. The illustrations are a lot of fun too! I know that this one will be beloved at our home, though perhaps not as much as M is for Manger.;)
I received this book from Tyndale in exchange for my honest review.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Alice's Notions Review and Giveaway!


 


Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Book



 


Book: Alice’s Notions

Author: Tamera Lynn Kraft

 

Genre: Christian historical romance

 Release Date: April 1, 2017



 In this quaint mountain town, things aren’t always what they seem.World War 2 widow Alice Brighton returns to the safety of her home town to open a fabric shop. She decides to start a barn quilt tour to bring business to the shop and the town, but what she doesn’t know is sinister forces are using the tour for their own nefarious reasons. Between her mysterious landlord, her German immigrant employee, her neighbors who are acting strange, and a dreamboat security expert who is trying to romance her, Alice doesn’t know who she can trust.

My thoughts: I love that this book has so much going on with the story! It gives us a little taste of what happened after WWII was fought, which I found to be interesting. I found it interesting for the story to include a German immigrant, since some of my ancestors were Germans (though they came over before the World Wars) who tried to keep quiet about being German. Filled with mystery and intrigue, this story is a wonderful addition to any library!
I received this book from Celebrate Lit in exchange for my honest review.

About the Author






Tamera Lynn Kraft has always loved adventures. She loves to write historical fiction set in the United States because there are so many stories in American history. There are strong elements of faith, romance, suspense and adventure in her stories. She has received 2nd place in the NOCW contest, 3rd place TARA writer’s contest, and is a finalist in the Frasier Writing Contest and has other novellas in print. She’s been married for 38 years to the love of her life, Rick, and has two married adult children and two grandchildren. Tamera has two novellas in print: A Christmas Promise and Resurrection of Hope. Her first full length novel, Alice’s Notions released in April through Desert Breeze.



You can contact Tamera on her website at http://tameralynnkraft.net

 


Guest Post from Tamera Lynn Kraft


How Classic Movies from the 1940s Made Their Way in My Latest Novel



By Tamera Lynn Kraft



One thing I loved about writing my post World War Two novel was my main character’s passion for movies. Alice Brighton and her late husband loved to go to movies on Friday nights. Now, even after the war made her a widow, Alice still loves movies and compares everyone she meets to a movie character.



Of course for Alice, all these wonderful classic movies and movie stars and a part of her culture, but for me, it was so much fun because I love classic movies. In the novel, Alice compares her landlord to Cary Grant. Cary Grant is one of my favorites. After starring in movies like Suspision, Arsenic and Old Lace, and Notorious, Grant was one of the biggest stars around in 1946 when Alice’s Notions takes place. My favorite Cary Grant movie wouldn’t be made until a few years later. An Affair to Remember, released 1957, with Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr is one of my all-time favorites.



At one point in the novel, Alice thinks back to when her late husband always said she reminded him of Judy Garland. Garland would have been twenty-four at the time, just a bit younger than Alice, but she became a big star in her teens. She began acting at two years old when she debuted as Baby Francis and sang Jingle Bells. After playing in various roles including a few movies with Mickey Rooney, Garland had her big break in The Wizard of Oz. She went on to star in a ton of movies and had a thriving singing career until she committed suicide in the 1960s. One of my favorite Judy Garland movies released in 1945 during the war was The Clock. The Clock was about a woman who met and fell in love with a GI on leave. Their romance was intensified because they only had the weekend before he was shipped out again for the remainder of the war. This movie must have been in Alice’s mind since she had lost her husband shortly after the movie came out.



During Alice’s Notions, Alice goes on a date to see the movie, The Postman Always Rings Twice, starring Lana Turner and John Garfield. It was released in 1946 and was considered scandalous at the time because the two main characters have an affair and murder her husband. The main theme of the movie is you can’t get away with your sin. The truth will be revealed. In Alice’s Notions, the truth being revealed is also a main theme.



So you may be wondering what classic movie Alice’s Notions reminds me of. Charade with Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn was released in 1963. In that movie, Hepburn is being pursued and doesn’t know who she can trust. The movie has light hearted intrigue, suspense, and romance just like Alice’s Notions. Alice, also, doesn’t know who she can trust.



Blog Stops


May 11: Genesis 5020
May 13: Carpe Diem
May 20: Mary Hake

Giveaway


[Insert Giveaway Picture Here]

To celebrate her tour, Tamera is giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card!
Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Under a Desert Sky: Redefining Hope, Beauty, and Faith in the Hardest Places


There comes a time in life when we find ourselves in the desert place of burning questions. Why? Why me? But even as we shake our fist heavenward, the heart whispers another question. Who? Who are you, God? It is a question of relationship, a question we all murmur in the hardest places.
Against the backdrop of the Sonoran Desert, Lynne Hartke asks her own hard questions as cancer arrives like a thief with one goal: to take it all. Hair. The contents of a stomach. A marriage. A life. As her days become a blur of doctors' appointments, treatments, and surgeries, she wrestles with a tumble of tangled emotions, a shaken faith, and self-doubt. Cancer is now not only threatening her own life, but, in a surprising twist, the lives of both her parents as well.
Through her raw, lyrical words, Hartke invites fellow sojourners to discover that in life's hardest places, they are not alone in their fear, they are not foolish to hope, and they are never forgotten by a loving, pursuing God. Never.

My thoughts: Wow, this book is a beautiful one on how to survive in the deserts on life. How to thrive when the difficult comes. I appreciate Lynne's honesty and thoughts as she opens her heart on dealing with cancer. This is a great book, especially if you or a loved one are dealing with a cancer diagnoses.
I received this book from Revell in exchange for my honest review.

Sacred Privilege


Life as a pastor's wife offers meaningful opportunities to play a significant part in God's work, to witness and participate in the beauty of changed lives. Yet it also carries the potential for deep wounds and great conflict that can drain the joy out of service. Is it worth it? Oh, yes, says Kay Warren, wife of Pastor Rick Warren and cofounder of Saddleback Church. It is more than worth the risk--it's a sacred privilege.
Drawing on more than forty years in ministry in every possible size church, Kay provides encouraging principles and life lessons, along with intimate personal stories, that will give readers the confidence needed to lead and live well. Pastor's wives learn to
- accept who they are
- adapt to change
- help their children survive and thrive
- protect their private lives
- deal with criticism
- live with integrity
- develop an eternal perspective
Whether she is excited, struggling, or feeling broken and tired, every pastor's wife will find hope and encouragement for their calling in Kay's warm and wise words.

My thoughts: This book is an excellent one to give the pastor's wife at your church! I loved Kay's honesty as she shares about crucial things that a pastor's wife is up against, like criticism and helping your children deal with the PK label. I feel like Kay takes her scriptural job, to be a mentor to younger women, seriously with the writing of this book.
I received this book from Revell in exchange for my honest review.

Peace in the Valley


n spite of their differences, Trey Walker Stafford knows he owes his life to cowboy and legendary rancher Sam Stafford--the uncle who rescued him after his parents' death. Trey had left the Double S Ranch to pursue music against Sam's wishes, but returns to central Washington when he learns he's the best match for a procedure that could save Sam's life. Although Trey's found country music fame and success, he's also endured the tragic loss of his wife. He croons about love, but struggles with a yawning emptiness he can't explain.

Overwhelmed by a growing list of challenges, but mistrustful of Stafford men, single mother Lucy Carlton reluctantly accepts Trey's help to revive her crumbling farm when Sam instructs him to repay the overdue debt to her family.

As the two grow closer, Trey slowly begins to open his heart to this beautiful woman and strives to let go of the grief he's held for years. Lucy has a complicated history of her own. Can Trey accept her as she is, learn to forgive the past, and find the elusive peace he's sought for so long?

My thoughts: This series has been amazing! I hadn't read any of Ruth's books prior to the Double S Ranch series, but now I feel like I have been missing out.
The third book focuses on Trey's journey. The most sensitive of the brothers, Trey funnels his emotions into his music all the while feeling a little lost.
This series is not to be missed!
I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review.

Friends, Partners, and Lovers: What It Takes to Make Your Marriage Work


Great marriages don't just happen--they're made, intentionally, day by day. Yet most of us enter the covenant of marriage thinking that the role of spouse will be easy, natural, effortless. Rarely is this true. In fact, the number one cause of divorce isn't adultery or finances or disagreements. It's apathy--a lack of intentional emotional, physical, and mental investment in the relationship.
With engaging stories and clear, simple language, pastor Kevin A. Thompson explains the three critical roles of a spouse--friend, partner, and lover--and shows how to nurture those roles in order to keep a marriage healthy and strong. Using solid biblical principles, he helps couples understand how to grow their friendship, be a supportive partner through the good times and the bad, and develop a healthy and satisfying sex life.
Friends, Partners, and Lovers offers essential insight for couples at any stage of marriage but will be especially helpful to those who are struggling and those who are engaged or newly married and looking to start their marriage on strong footing.

My thoughts: I've read a lot of marriage books over the years, especially when my husband and I were preparing for our wedding day. After a while, a lot of them start to sound the same, but I was thrilled to find out that this one is different! I feel like Kevin has more to say with focusing on being not just lovers, but also friends and partners. I appreciated the stories that he shares to drive points home.
This is an excellent book on marriage, whether to read yourself or give as a gift!
I received this book from Revell in exchange for my honest review.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Take five: Mother's day freebie

Top five best moms in literature

1. Mrs. Weasley from the Harry Potter series
I love how she takes Harry under her wing and seeks to protect all her children!

2. Marmee in Little Women
This one is just how you would picture a story book mother from the 1800's to be.

Worst mothers in literature

1. Mrs. Bennet from Pride and Prejudice
A rather silly mother who, while she is thinking of seeing her daughters settled for their own good, is selfish and doesn't really care how they get to the point of being settled.

2. Hyacinth from Wives and Daughters
Okay, she is technically the step mother of the main character, but she still has a daughter and is a rather selfish mother who likes to dwell on how she was the belle of the ball "back in the day".

3. Queen Gertrude from Hamlet
Um, yeah...;)

A Day at the Beach


Do you yearn for a day at the beach where your mind and soul can wander away from life's troubles? Do you gaze up at the sun or the nighttime stars and wonder if God is really on your side? Do you long to hear his quiet voice in the roll of a gentle wave? In A Day at the Beach, brothers Todd and Jedd Hafer don't have the answers to all of life's troubles, but they'll help you see that the God who built the universe also wants to help you build a great life. Let these encouraging words bring a ray of warm sunshine to your doorstep as Todd and Jedd offer their joy-filled perspectives on life and faith. So take a deep breath, unplug from life's daily grind, and follow the call of your heart to Jesus, the ultimate source of life.

My thoughts: This book is an excellent little devotional to take with you on vacation, especially if you are heading to the beach! I love the different messages throughout the book, from small moments to listening, crossing the Channel to true love this book will help a vacation be a time to reflect and recharge. I highly recommend throwing this book in your beach bag when you go on vacation!
I received this book from Tyndale in exchange for my honest review.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Getting Jesus Wrong


We all want something from Jesus, whether that’s help to get through life, a new job, a new direction, a new exercise plan. Learn why that approach doesn’t result in real faith or love in Matt Johnson’s new book, Getting Jesus Wrong. Whether we’ve followed a false Jesus or attempted to coopt the real Jesus, Getting Jesus Wrong ultimately offers us hope because it helps us see Jesus as he is. Getting Jesus right gives us more than spiritual vitamins or a blueprint for living; it gives us a full, rich life spent exploring the depths of gospel love together.

My thoughts: This book wound up being different than I thought it would be, though still interesting and insightful. I appreciated how the author shares his personal journey of growing comfortable with his faith. I thoughts he has some excellent thoughts on how Jesus is our Savior, He is the period, not a means to an end. This book is an excellent reminder to be read and allow Jesus to come to us in our messy places.
I received this book from Litfuse in exchange for my honest review.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Brave is the New Beautiful


Our culture bombards women with “thinspiration” messages and pressure to “do it all” while wearing the mask of perfection.

Women are left feeling alone and overwhelmed. How can they stop comparing themselves to others? How can they live out who they really are?

Lee Wolfe Blum offers stories from everyday women who have answered these questions with their lives—and found true beauty in the process. In Brave Is the New Beautiful, Blum weaves reflections from her own journey with inspirational stories from everyday women who chose to take off their masks and live authentically. Through call-to-action questions and ideas, she encourages readers to be brave enough to be who they really are and the beloved that God knows they are.

My thoughts: Wow! This book is one that every woman needs. I love how it covers a myriad of different topics, all going back to the different ways women are brave. Filled with story after story that will leave you encouraged, this is a must for all women!
I received this book from Litfuse in exchange for my honest review.

Forensic Faith


A cold-case detective helps you rethink and share your Christian beliefs.

J. Warner Wallace has asked this question in churches across America over the past several years, and the answer he gets is often disappointing; it’s almost always rooted in some sort of personal, subjective experience. As a community, we Christians aren’t typically prepared to make the case for why we believe Christianity is true from the objective evidence of history, philosophy or science. Worse yet, many of us don’t think we have any obligation to do so.

In J. Warner’s first two books, he made the case for God’s existence (God’s Crime Scene) and the case for Christianity (Cold-Case Christianity). In Forensic Faith, J. Warner completes the trilogy by making the case for… making the case! In Forensic Faith, J. Warner helps readers understand why it’s important to defend what they believe, and provides them with a unique template to help them become effective “Christian Case Makers.” Forensic Faith will help readers:

—understand why they, as Christians, have a duty to defend the truth
—develop a training strategy to master the evidence for Christianity
—learn how to employ the techniques of a detective to discover new insights from God’s Word
—become a better communicators by learning the skills of professional case makers

With real-life detective stories, fascinating strategies, and biblical insights, J. Warner hopes to teach readers the daily cold-case investigative disciplines they can apply in their lives as believers. Forensic Faith is an engaging, fresh look at what it means to be a Christian.

My thoughts: This book is great! I love that this book is apologetics with a different twist, since it is written by a homicide detective. I love how the book is set up and that it shows just how important it is to be able to know how to present our case for Christianity. This would make a great gift for a high school age student to read before going out on their own. I highly recommend it!
I received this book from Litfuse in exchange for my honest review.

A Second Chance Review and Giveaway


 


Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Book




 


Book: A Second Chance

 



Author: Alexis A. Goring

 



Genre: Contemporary Romance

 



Release Date: Jan 25, 2017



Newly single food critic and newspaper reporter Traci Hightower is done with dating. After the man of her dreams left her at the altar on their wedding day and ran off with the woman she thought was her best friend, Traci resolves to focus on work and resigns herself to being a bachelorette for life.



Marc Roberts is a political reporter who is known as Mr. Nice Guy, the one who always finishes last. However, Marc’s compassion and kindness are of invaluable help to his newly widowed sister Gina Braxton who is trying to raise her two kids in the wake of her firefighter husband’s death.


Traci and Marc may be the perfect match, but they don’t know it yet. With God’s guidance and the help of Gina’s matchmaking skills honed by her career as a bestselling romance novelist, there is hope for a happily ever after for these two broken hearts.

My thoughts: What a beautiful cover to match a wonderful story! I loved getting to know Marc and Traci, as they learn to trust God with their love story. The overall theme of the book, trusting God even when He seems to have left one down is a message that we can all relate to.
I received this book as part of the Celebrate Lit tour.

 

About the Author






Alexis A. Goring is a passionate writer with a degree in Print Journalism and an MFA in Creative Writing. She loves the art of storytelling and hopes that her stories will connect readers with the enduring, forever love of Jesus Christ.



Guest Post from Alexis Goring


“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
~Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)

God has good plans for every single person living here on Earth. It’s important to remember to trust Him because no matter how bleak a situation looks, hope is always on the horizon when God’s in the picture…and the good news is that no matter what God is always in the picture.



I thought that it would be a good idea to explore the theme of Jeremiah 29:11 through a fictional story about characters who are in need of a second chance in life and love. So I create Traci and Marc and wrote their story, A Second Chance.



Traci and Marc are entry-level journalists therefore they struggle with the industry’s tough system of paying your dues and they know the conflicts firsthand about struggling to pay your bills because of that system.



But it’s not just the bills that weigh heavily on their hearts. Traci and Marc are facing battles that are unique to their individual life stories but common to people in the real world.



When the reader meets Traci, they see that she is bitter and cynical because she was left at the altar. Her fiancĂ© ran off with her Maid of Honor and left Traci with a mile-high stack of bills to pay for their wedding that never happened. So when Traci’s Mom shows up on her doorstep with an inheritance letter that stipulates Traci must be married before receiving her inheritance from her late grandfather, Traci is closer to destroying the letter and being a bachelorette for life than she is about husband hunting.



When the reader meets Marc, they see that he is smitten with Traci at first sight. But they soon learn that he has trust issues because of his previous romantic relationships with women who would dump him because he was “too nice.” However, his niceness is of invaluable help to his newly widowed sister Gina who is struggling to raise her children in the wake of her firefighter husband’s death. Naturally, Marc wants to help his sister. So he volunteers to babysit her kids and take them out of the house so that she can meet her book deadlines. Gina is a bestselling romance novelist.



All of these main characters go on their own faith journey with God. Some resist His love at first (like Traci), some draw back because of broken trust (like Marc) and some heal slowly from pain (like Gina) but they all realize how much they need God in their life.



Faith elements are a woven lightly throughout this story but also go deep as the characters work toward wholeness and restoration.



If anything, this is a story about how the Creator of the Universe (God) loves humankind and desires to restore broken hearts, homes and lives.



I hope that you will enjoy reading this book!



God bless your heart.



Sincerely,



Alexis A. Goring



Author of A Second Chance

 


Blog Stops


May 11: Remembrancy
May 14: Carpe Diem

Giveaway


[Insert Giveaway Picture Here]

To celebrate her tour, Alexis is giving away four eBook copies of her book – A Second Chance!
Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!