Monday, October 30, 2017

Take Ten: Halloween Freebie

I'm not really one for Halloween, since I have an overactive imagination and don't get into the creepy/ghoulish side of the holiday. But, I do like costumes and chocolate. lol. So, I think I will go with ten of my favorite covers that have costumes I would love.

1. Betrayal

I almost bought a dress like this one back when I was young and single, just because it was on sale and I loved how it looked on me. I talked myself out of it, since I didn't have a clue where I would wear it.;)

2. The Storyspinner

I've always loved the look of the corset over a white blouse!

3. The Door in the Hedge

Are you starting to see a theme? If I had been more of a seamstress when I was a teen, I would of had so many unusual dresses.;)

4. Luther and Katharina

I wish this cover showed the front of the dress, since it looks just gorgeous from the back! I love the different fabrics.

5. The Sandcastle Sister

If I could pull it off, I would totally were 1950's dresses all the time. Alas, I am not built like Audrey Hepburn.;)

6. The Emperor's Conspiracy

Why is it generally the back of the dress that is shown? I love the color contrast on this one!

7. Persuasion, Captain Wentworth, and Cracklin' Cornbread

I love the cheery color of this dress!

8. Eleanor and the Iron King

I love the color of this one, along with the sleeves and how it has a full skirt, but not too full.

9. A Heart Most Certain

I love the Edwardian style dresses, like this one!

10. Havencross

I love this style too! I guess it's obvious that I like historical style dresses.;)
What costumes should I have put? Or, what styles would of you have chosen?

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Total Christmas Makeover

Give your Christmas a makeover with this practical approach to help your family learn what it means to truly celebrate their Savior.

In the bustle of the Christmas season, it can be easy to get swept up in all of the things to do. But it’s important to pause and remember that our priority should be to spend time celebrating Christ’s birth and not forget to invite Jesus to his own party.

Christmas is far more than a celebration of an event from long ago or a modern holiday centered around shopping. Mindfully take time to listen to how God continues to speak through the Christmas story as the Gospel narratives centered around the birth of Jesus provide encouragement and revelation concerning the love of God and his wisdom for us today.

In Total Christmas Makeover, author and Bible teacher Melissa Spoelstra provides a practical approach for you and your family to turn your attention toward God’s grace day-by-day as you prepare for Christmas. This 31-day devotional presents key scriptures, ideas to implement with each reading, and questions for reflection to guide you in rediscovering rituals, relationship, and rest to connect you more deeply with Christ this holiday season.

My thoughts: From personal experience, I know how easy it is to get caught up in the busyness of Christmas and have a hard time pausing and making time for making the holidays meaningful and having new traditions to celebrate the birth of our Lord. I love the devotions and how easy they are to read through. This is an excellent devotional to pull out for Christmas, to enjoy or to give as a gift.
I received this book from Litfuse in exchange for my honest review.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

The Delusion

By March of Owen Edmonds’s senior year, eleven students at Masonville High School have committed suicide. Amid the media frenzy and chaos, Owen tries to remain levelheaded—until he endures his own near-death experience and wakes to a distressing new reality.

The people around him suddenly appear to be shackled and enslaved.

Owen frantically seeks a cure for what he thinks are crazed hallucinations, but his delusions become even more sinister. An army of hideous, towering beings, unseen by anyone but Owen, are preying on his girlfriend and classmates, provoking them to self-destruction.

Owen eventually arrives at a mind-bending conclusion: he’s not imagining the evil—everyone else is blind to its reality. He must warn and rescue those he loves . . . but this proves to be no simple mission. Will he be able to convince anyone to believe him before it’s too late?

Owen’s heart-pounding journey through truth and delusion will force him to reconsider everything he believes. He both longs for and fears the answers to questions that are quickly becoming too dangerous to ignore.

My thoughts: This book is fascinating! I had a hard time putting it down, since it is quite suspenseful as Owen seeks to figure out what is going on in with his sight. I love the spiritual element to the book (which, is a huge part of the story, so good thing!) and thought that Laura's take on spiritual warfare was interesting. This book reminded me a lot of the few Frank Peretti that I read when I was younger. My only complaint about it is that it is the start of a series and now I have to wait to find out what happens next!
I highly recommend it for all ages, but it is especially good for young adults.
I received this book from Tyndale in exchange for my honest review.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

30 Days of Peace

In our loud and busy lives, it’s easy to miss the life-giving breeze of peace. That’s what this interactive journal is for. It’s about slowing down and taking time to pursue and embrace peace. It’s about welcoming the call to be a peacemaker. It’s about finding a peace rooted in faith rather than circumstances and living out that miracle every day. This is an invitation to create, write, doodle, and draw your way into the deep, lasting peace of God.

The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
—Galatians 5:22–23

My thoughts: I love this 30 day journal that focuses on peace and encourages cultivating it in one's life. The combination of scripture verses, quotes, and thought provoking questions are very enjoyable to go through. I needed the chance to focus on peace more!
I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Take ten: Most unique book titles

1. A Fool and His Monet

I love the play on words that the titles in this series does, so I will cheat and include all three of them.;) Not only are the titles fun, but the series is wonderful!

2. Another Day, Another Dali

3. Over Maya Dead Body

4. The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake

Well, I guess it gets you to look twice at the title.;)

5. In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day

I've enjoyed Mark's books, so perhaps I just need to read this one in order to get the title.;)

6. How to Survive a Robot Uprising

Okay then...

7. How to Survive a Garden Gnome Attack

Even better.;)

8. Death by Petticoat

9.I Lick my Cheese

10. Do Chocolate Lovers have Sweeter Babies?

This one actually looks kind of interesting.:)

What books are on your list?

A Dangerous Legacy

Page-Turning Romance and Intrigue in Award-Winning Author's Next Historical Novel

Lucy Drake's mastery of Morse code has made her a valuable asset to the American news agencies as a telegrapher. But the sudden arrival of Sir Colin Beckwith at rival British news agency Reuters puts her hard-earned livelihood at risk. Newly arrived from London, Colin is talented, handsome, and insufferably charming.

Despite their rivalry, Lucy realizes Colin's connections could be just what her family needs to turn the tide of their long legal battle over the fortune they were swindled out of forty years ago. When she negotiates an unlikely alliance with him, neither of them realizes how far the web of treachery they're wading into will take them.

My thoughts: It's been a while since I last picked up one of Elizabeth Camden's novels, since I've been trying to whittle down my to be read stack of books. Finishing this one has made me want to go back and pick up the last couple that I have missed!
At first glance, this story reminds me a bit of Bleak House, since Lucy and her brother have spent their lives embroiled in a family lawsuit. This story has so much more going on to make it it's very own though. I love the historical details and the glimpse of how life was in certain areas in the early 1900's. I also found it interesting to catch a glimpse of some of the reasons behind American heiresses marrying titled English. This book is a delightful read whether you are into history or not, since it is fast pace and has mystery and intrigue. I highly recommend picking up this one!
I received a copy of this book from Bethany House in exchange for my honest review.

Saturday, October 21, 2017


When a shocking scandal involving her father spreads through London society, Elaine Cardinham and her parents are forced to retreat to their country home in Cornwall for refuge. But Havencross is no sanctuary for Elaine. She is haunted by the mysterious disappearance of her brother—and the heartbreak she left in her wake all those years ago. It has been five long years since Gareth Kemp last saw Elaine—when she rejected his marriage proposal. Her reappearance convinces him of one thing: he has never stopped loving her. To put his feelings for her aside, he focuses his attention on the dangerous smuggling plaguing the Cornish coast. As Elaine attempts to run from her past, she ventures ever closer to a dangerous truth—and Gareth may be the only one who can save her from a deadly finish.

My thoughts: This one is excellent! I loved the historical aspect of the story, since I didn't know just how far spread the problem of smuggling was in England in the early 1800's. I also loved the characters and enjoyed getting to know Elaine and Gareth as they solve several mysteries. I highly recommend this one!
I received this book from Litfuse in exchange for my honest review.

A Semi-Sweet Sumer review and giveaway

About the Book:


Name of book: A Semi-Sweet Summer


Author: Jan Elder


Genre: Contemporary Romance


Release Date: August 18, 2017 

 Cassidy Cooper never wanted to set foot in Crystal Falls again. Ten years earlier, she’d given her heart to a boy who’d, in turn, humiliated her deeply. Now, back in town as the sole beneficiary of her sister’s estate, she’s determined to make her sister’s dream of an upscale chocolate truffle shop, come true.

Hunter Gray is very intrigued by his new neighbor. His escape artist cow, Marigold, engineers an introduction…but it’s not quite the first impression he was hoping for. Baffled by the nagging suspicion he’s seen this woman before, he plots to win Cassidy’s heart at every opportunity.

With the object of her unrequited love living within shouting distance, Cassidy prays for strength to forgive and forget. And Hunter? He just wants to get back to his own dream to grow his farm and get to know the pretty girl next door. If she’ll let him.

Click here to purchase your copy of Jan’s wonderful book
My thoughts: I enjoyed this fun story of a girl returning to her roots! The characters are a lot of fun, and I like that there are some secondary characters who have to deal with their own issues. I also love that the main character makes chocolate goodies. I need some of her recipes.;)
I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit in exchange for my honest review.

About the Author


JAN ELDER is an inspirational romance writer with a passion for telling stories other women can relate to on a deep level. She strives to write the kind of book that will strengthen the reader’s faith, introducing the reader to a loving and forgiving Lord who walks beside us in our daily lives, while also providing an entertaining and engrossing love story.

Happily married for fourteen years to loving (and supportive) husband, Steve, the two live in central Maryland along with Jamie (a chubby black and white tuxedo cat), and Shu-Shu (a willowy tortoiseshell cat). On the weekends, Jan and Steve comb the nearby countryside in search of the perfect ice cream flavor.

Guest Post from Jan Elder

How did you come up with your premise? Is there a story behind your book? How did the story evolve?

When I first parked myself in front of my laptop, preparing to write A Semi-Sweet Summer, I was waxing nostalgic. Shortly before that, I joined a Facebook group, people from a church I had attended when I was a teenager. Memories flooded through me and a myriad of feelings, some quite strong, rose up to assault me. There were a great many pleasant remembrances, but what I recall the most about being in those “stuck in the middle” years was that there was a great deal of anxiety, the sensation of being so very different—certainly not part of the “in” crowd.

A large part of this book harkens back to my teenage years, my thoughts swinging to a boy I had the biggest crush on in high school. He was three and a half years older (I still remember his birthday) and he was definitely in the “elite” segment of our church youth group—the cool kids I so longed to be a part of. Sorry to say, I followed him around like a puppy, learned all of his favorite foods, chosen hobbies, etc. I try not to think I actually stalked him, but I was very aware of his presence, and searched for ways to be near him.

In A Semi-Sweet Summer, I tried to transfer some of that raging angst into fodder for Cassidy’s discomfort in finding her unrequited love living right next door. Cassidy never really fit in, hardly that enviable cheerleader, not a person that anyone would notice. Rather, she sees herself as sort of an ugly duckling. Now she’s back ten years later and it’s a tough situation. By this time, my characters have grown and changed from the people they were in high school. They are well on their way to the path God has set before them. And by the end, they are very different—kinder, gentler folks who have learned a bit more of what it means to truly love.

I like to think that God can use our experiences to help others through similar situations. Maybe this novel will provide some hope or closure for those who have been in the same boat, and spur them on to get past the pain. And hey, who doesn’t love a good story about baked goods, happy cows, and chocolate truffles?

As for me? The funny thing is, my husband has the same first name as my first love. He even has the same color hair, the same easy grin as that other guy. I guess one could say I am attracted to a certain type. But oh, my sweetheart is so much better. My guy is the man God had waiting for me. The other was only a pale imitation, just practice for the real thing.

Blog Stops

Blog Stops


[Insert Giveaway Picture Here]
To celebrate her tour, Jan is giving away a 12 piece box of Godiva Chocolates and a Kindle Fire HD Tablet with Alexa (Valued at over $100)!!
Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!

Friday, October 20, 2017

Know the Word Study Bible

Gain a greater understanding of the Bible book by book, verse by verse, or topic by topic.

The study of God’s Word can be easy and rewarding if you break down the Bible into easy-to-understand segments. The KJV Know the Word Study Bible offers three easy ways to begin studying Scripture and helps individuals transition from being a casual reader of the Bible to becoming a regular student of the Bible. You can choose to study the Bible book-by-book, verse-by-verse, or topic-by-topic; each path offers powerful insights that will help you develop a daily routine of Bible study.

The book-by-book series of notes leads you through the main points of each book of the Bible. The verse-by-verse notes help you to dig deeper into God’s Word. The topic-by-topic articles, which cover 21 theological topics, guide you through a series of insightful notes and give you a thorough biblical understanding of each topic. With the beautiful and timeless text of the KJV translation, the KJV Know the Word Study Bible offers you choices of how to study Scripture and grow in your relationship with Christ.

Features include:

—King James Version Bible text
—Three easy approaches to study the Bible: 1. Book by Book; 2. Verse by Verse; 3. Topic by Topic
—Insightful introductions for each book of Scripture
—Words of Jesus in red
—Beautiful two-color interior page design
—Comprehensive list of theological notes
—Full-color maps
—8-point type size

My thoughts: This is such a great Bible to grab, since it has several easy ways to study the word with the topic studies. I especially enjoy how easy it is to use, since I like to read chronologically, but I also enjoy following a topic when it strikes my fancy as I am reading. So this Bible is a wonderful one for me to use.
I received this book from Litfuse in exchange for my honest review.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Vanishing Point

During Garrett Addison's first week on the job as a criminal investigator for the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, his team is called out to a murder scene of a young girl. She's the third victim in a string of disappearances with one thing in common--a Polaroid photo of each victim left behind at the crime scene.

The FBI is pulled into the case to help, and Garrett finds himself working with Special Agent Jordan Lambert, the woman he once loved. When yet another girl dies--number six--Garrett blames himself and believes he doesn't have what it takes to be an agent. What he'll discover is that, while he may be done with the killer, the killer is not done with him--or Jordan.

Bestselling and award-winning author Lisa Harris unveils an unforgettable story of a case that has haunted the public and law enforcement for more than a decade. Fans of the Nikki Boyd Files will thrill to finally discover what actually happened to Nikki's sister, Sarah. New readers will become instant fans after devouring this chilling tale.

My thoughts: When I finished Pursued from the Nikki Boyd Files, I had a feeling that it was the last book in the series, which left me frustrated, since there were so many unanswered questions about the ongoing mystery! So, I was thrilled to see this book come out, since I felt like I would finally get some answers to the mystery of what happened to Sarah. This book is very different that the previous ones, since it is told from Garrett and Jordan's point of view, which makes sense, since they were involved in the case from the beginning. Sadly, Nikki is only a side character.
While the mystery does wrap up a lot of loose ends, I felt a bit let down by the mystery behind the Angel Abductor. It was still worth reading and an interesting story, but I would give it a 4 out of 5 stars. It is nice to have things wrapped up now and I look forward to reading more books by Lisa.
I received a copy of this book through the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

This post contains affiliate links.

The Yes Effect

From the missions strategist behind ‘The 10/40 Window’

In 1990, Luis Bush helped change modern missions by introducing the concept of the 10/40 window, a geographic region where large, dense populations of people suffered severe poverty and limited access to the gospel—essentially shining a light on the world’s greatest need.

Now, after decades spent serving in global missions mobilization, Luis has a unique perspective on what God is doing around the world. Though statistics and maps can be a great place to start, The Yes Effect reveals that true transformation begins when we restart our hearts—getting in sync with God’s tenderness toward the oppressed and regaining compassion for the lost.

In The Yes Effect, Dr. Bush shares his own story as well as inspiring stories of individuals and organizations around the world whose acts of love and justice are bringing hope and transformation in places of misery and immobility.

From the orphans weeping in Bihar, India, to garbage collectors in Cairo, Egypt—from the single mom trying to find a way to feed her family as a Syrian refugee, to the Church cowering under government control—God is at work in surprising places. And this transformation is sparked when ordinary people say yes to God, igniting an ongoing global chain reaction that sees glimpses God’s kingdom springing up all over the world.

Ultimately, The Yes Effect will give you an encouraging window into worldwide efforts to spread the gospel, and it will inspire you to give God your “yes”—and like so many others before you, become part of God’s global story of transformation.

My thoughts: This book is a powerful book full of stories of those who have said "yes" to God and His call to get out of their comfort zone. Based on the Luis' own experiences in global missions, this book is an encouraging one. I love the thoughts on establishing your group of people and standing your ground when the going gets tough. If you are looking for more information on global missions or feeling the call yourself, this is an excellent book to pick up.
I received this book from Moody in exchange for my honest review.

The most Important Women of the Bible

Powerful Stories of Women in the Bible that Reveal God's Mercy and Love

From well-known women like Eve and Esther to those lesser known like Jochebed and Zipporah, women of the Bible play a vital role in God's timeless story of redemption.

This book traces the stories of three dozen of the most important women in Scripture, each handpicked by God to play a crucial part in his gracious plan for all humanity. Every chapter begins with a short biography followed by an explanation of how each woman fits into the overall narrative of the Gospel message, pointing to God's love for the individual as well as his larger plan to redeem sinners through the sending of his son. The Bible is the story of God's relationship with his people--men, women, Jews, Gentiles, saints, and sinners. But this book reveals that it's also the story of his relationship with you

My thoughts: This book is a fun one, since it is like a synopsis of many of the women in the Bible and their lives. I like that each chapter sums up the story of that woman a bit and then has some thoughts that we ponder about each of the women. Some of the numbers were a bit of a stretch, but I still enjoyed this book and brushing up on my knowledge of the women in the Bible.
I received this book from Bethany House in exchange for my honest review.


The train taking nineteen-year-old teacher Christy Huddleston from her home in Asheville, North Carolina, might as well be transporting her to another world. The Smoky Mountain community of Cutter Gap feels suspended in time, trapped by poverty, superstitions, and century-old traditions.

But as Christy struggles to find acceptance in her new home, some see her — and her one-room school — as a threat to their way of life. Her faith is challenged and her heart is torn between two strong men with conflicting views about how to care for the families of the Cove.

Yearning to make a difference, will Christy’s determination and devotion be enough?

My thoughts: This is a wonderful, hardbound edition of an excellent classic. I loved the story of Christy, a young, idealistic woman who taught school in the Smoky Mountains in the early 1900's. This book reminded me of my childhood, watching the show before I was old enough to read the book, and then later, when I was able to enjoy the book for the first time. Whether you have read this book before or not, I highly recommend it.
I received this book from Litfuse in exchange for my honest review.

Choosing a Life that Matters

We live in a culture that permits everything, surrounded by people skimming the surface of life, trying to piece together meaning from ever-shifting truths and fleeting fads. But in a world that stands for nothing, you can choose to stand for Something.

With warmth and wisdom that only comes from weathering the storms of life, Dennis Rainey shares seven ways to not only build a strong foundation, but to choose to live the life of purpose and potential you were created for. When the winds of culture blow, you will be able to stand firm on the Truth. You will be able to choose a life that matters. A life that makes a difference in the here and now--a life that echoes into eternity.

You are at crossroads of culture and Christianity. Which way will you choose to live?

My thoughts: This little book started out as a commencement speech for a graduating class at a divinity school and turned into a nifty little book that reminds the reader of seven decisions they will never regret:
Seek God, not sin
Fear God, not man
Love God, not the world
Believe God, not the deceiver
Obey God, not your feelings
Worship God, not comfort
Serve God, not self.
While this is a splendid book to give to a graduate, it is also an excellent one for people of all walks of life. I enjoyed how easy it was to read through and that it was thought provoking and to the point.
I especially appreciated the chapter about obeying God and not your feelings.
I received this book from Bethany House in exchange for my honest review.

Spiritual Wisdom for a Happier Life

There are eight basic human emotions that all people experience--hurt, guilt/shame, anger, anxiety, sorrow, fear, happiness, and love. We might believe we make sense of our lives by thinking through our experiences, but neuroscience shows that the part of our brains that processes emotions is many times faster than the part where logic and reason hold sway. It's the way God created us, but if we do not develop wisdom for handling our feelings, we may find that our emotions continue to get the best of us.

Thankfully, the Bible is full of guidance about our emotions. With keen insight into human psychology and a gift for drawing wisdom for life from Scripture, Dr. Mark Baker shows readers how they can find comfort and promote emotional health in their lives. Anyone experiencing distress in their relationships or struggling with overwhelming emotions or even traumatic events will find clear biblical help and healing, leading them to a happier, more fulfilled life.

My thoughts: I wasn't sure what to expect when I received this book, but I found that it was a wonderful, informative read on how one can take 8 key emotions and better understand them. I thought that the book was easy to read through and I love all the real life stories that are found with each emotion. I highly recommend this one! It is a great book to let one know they are not alone in feeling a wide variety of feelings, but how to better channel those feelings and see them for what they really are.
I received this book from Revell in exchange for my honest review.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

A is for Adam

Help your children discover the amazing heroes of the Bible while learning their ABCs!
For even MORE FUN, search each page for hidden objects that start with that letter of the alphabet!

My thoughts: This book is such a fun way to teach young children more about the Bible while working on the alphabet. I didn't realize that there where things having to do with the letter on each page for kids to find, some of them are pretty random, but a lot of fun for kids to find! My children are enjoying this book. I love that it is teaching them more about the Bible in the process of being fun.
I received this book from Cedar Fort in exchange for my honest review.

Hinds Feet on High Places

Journey with Much-Afraid to new heights of love, joy, and victory!
For the first time, this beloved Christian allegory is a mixed-media special edition complete with charming watercolor paintings, antique tinted photography, meditative hand-lettered Scripture, journaling and doodling space, and designs to color. As you read and connect with the story of Much-Afraid and her trials, the pages of this book become a canvas on which to chronicle your own story, struggles, and personal triumphs.

Hinds’ Feet on High Places, with more than 2,000,000 copies sold, is a story of endurance, persistence, and reliance on God. This book has inspired millions of people to become sure-footed in their faith even when facing the rockiest of life’s terrain. The story of Much-Afraid is based on Psalm 18:33: “He makes me as surefooted as a deer, enabling me to stand on mountain heights.”

The complete Hinds’ Feet story is accented by 80 full-color paintings, photography, and hand-lettered Scripture.

My thoughts: It has been a long time since I last read this book, so I was thrilled to received this copy in the mail! The gorgeous watercolor illustrations add a whole new element to the classic story of Much-Afraid. I love that the illustrations help it appeal to my daughter, who has now enjoyed the story as well. Whether or not you have read this story before or not, I highly recommend this copy of the beloved classic Hinds Feet on High Places.
I received this book from Tyndale in exchange for my honest review.

God Gave Us Family

Little Pup’s wolf family is on their way to a special reunion—with lots of cousins, games, roasting marshmallows, and fun! As the young wolf thinks about different kinds of families, it’s the perfect opportunity for Mama and Papa to teach their inquisitive child about the families that God brings together. Some families are big and others are small, some are led by grandparents or just one parent, and some families include adopted little ones– yet each family is truly special.

My thoughts: This is a wonderful book for kids that shows that family can come in all shapes and sizes. I love that it shows how there can be more to a family than what you think, they are the ones who love and care for you. This book is darling! We have enjoyed the others in this series, but this one may be my favorite yet.
I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Devil in the Dust review and giveaway

About the Book

Name of book: Devil in the Dust


Author: Cara Luecht


Genre: Historical Fiction


Release Date: April 3, 2017

June 1933

Their small Oklahoma town is dying. Lillian remembers how acres and acres of wheat once waved under jewel-blue skies. Now the dirt stretches across the flat land as far as she can see.

Emma’s husband is missing. She keeps house, keeps her five children fed as best as she can, and keeps smiling as her hope fades. But when the days stretch to weeks, she faces the possibility that he will never come home. Left with the likelihood of losing their farm, and the ever-present pangs of hunger, she is forced to consider opportunities that, under normal circumstances, she would never contemplated.

Jessie, Emma’s oldest daughter, completes her tasks as if numb. Forced to wear her mother’s shoes to avoid the humiliation of bare feet, she watches the dead, dirt road for signs of life.

And then he comes.

His new car and shiny shoes and generous way with gifts and money catch Jessie’s eye, much to the dismay of her mother … and much to the concern of the minister’s wife, Lillian. He’s too smooth, too willing to help, and much too eager to spend time with a girl less than half his age. But who is to say he is not the miracle they all prayed for?

My thoughts: This one is an interesting read that has to do with a hard time in history. I enjoyed the historical aspect of the story, along with the decisions the characters in the story had to make. I love how well written the characters are and their story that, while painful at first, is also filled with hope.
I received this book from Celebrate Lit in exchange for my honest review.

Click here to purchase your copy.


About the Author

Award winning author, Cara Luecht, lives in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin with her husband, David, and their children. In addition to freelance writing and marketing, Cara works as an English Instructor for a local college. Cara graduated summa cum laude with a B.A. in English Literature from the University of Wisconsin and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Currently, Cara is studying for a Masters of Divinity at Fuller Theological Seminary.

Guest Post from Cara Luecht

Why I wrote Devil in the Dust.

One Sunday after church, we decided to go to lunch with another family. We hadn’t had the opportunity to get to know this couple well, but the conversation was amazing, we laughed until we almost cried, and I’m pretty sure the restaurant manager was glad to see us go.

On the way out, the topic grew more serious, and I mentioned something that worried me. It was maybe a sentence—I was not baring my soul—but the woman with whom we had spent the last couple of delightful hours stopped, blinked, and put up her wall-of-a-Christian-smile. In an instant, I knew I had been judged as negative. You see, for many Christians, the mantras of “the battle is already won,” “faith will get you through,” and the largely American “pick yourself up by your bootstraps” have drowned out the quieter mandate to care.

I went home chased by the feeling that, somehow, I didn’t measure up. And for a time, I dredged that place of overthinking, attempting to float a reason out of that murky pond where insecurity hides.

Of course, I came up with nothing, and decided to put my efforts into deciding what my next novel would be. Unfortunately (or fortunately), at this stage, every little life experience has potential for use.

While I had been undecided on theme, I knew I wanted the setting for the novel to be in the dustbowl in the 1930s. I began researching, and I realized the scope and human impact of this disaster was much larger than I had remembered from history class. More importantly, it lasted an entire decade. For a decade, people dealt with hunger and drought and death from breathing in the ultra-fine soot. Children were lost. Families abandoned their farms. People survived on rations of canned government meat…and that’s when they were lucky. Many felt cursed.

Life was hard. I imagine that smiles were rare, even in the church.

I started thinking about what it would take for a community to survive devastation on this scale. I considered the kind of people who make up a town: merchants, teachers, police, farmers, and ministers. And while merchants and teachers, along with everyone else, would feel the change brought on by the slow death of a drought, for a minister it would be different. A minister’s purpose is to bring people the good news of the gospel. Technically, their job would stay exactly the same, except every phrase they spoke would shift in meaning because the context—the lives of those sitting in the pews—had changed so dramatically.

Growing up as the child of a pastor, I have some knowledge about how a minister’s home works. And in all my research I was left with one question: How could a minister preach every Sunday to a congregation of people who had lost everything with no hope for improvement anytime soon?

I moved my research to the Bible, and when I did, I came across the story of Lazarus. I have heard and read this story countless times, but in the light of trying to puzzle out what a pastor might do in a situation where it looks like all has been lost, I realized something about the story that I had never considered. Before Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, he cried with Lazarus’ sisters. He shared in their grief even though he knew it would end. He stayed there with them in that moment of sorrow.

I came to the conclusion that during times of suffering, our responsibility to others should look nothing like that drought-of-a-Christian-smile that I met outside that restaurant. Rather, it should emulate Jesus’ example. When we make Christianity only about victory, and turn faith into a wish book, we strip it of its most powerful message: hope. Not eternal hope, but the hope of not being alone. More often than not, we lack the ability to change someone’s circumstances. What we can do is come up alongside someone and help carry their burden even if only for a few minutes. Christianity is not a way to avoid suffering, it’s about finding meaning through the suffering.

I wrote Devil in the Dust as an exploration of what it means to be a Christian while standing in the midst of a desert. Told through the voices of three women who endure the quiet shame of poverty, Devil in the Dust is a story about what happens to faith when everything goes wrong.

Blog Stops

[Insert Blog Stops Here]


To celebrate her tour, Cara is giving away a $25 Amazon gift card and signed copy of Devil in the Dust!!
Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!

Monday, October 16, 2017

Take ten: Yummy foods/restaurants mentioned it books

1. A Table at a Window

Family restaurants and recipes!

2. Let them Eat Cake

It's been a while since I read this one, but I remember loving the French bakery!

3. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

Turkish Delight! (which, after wanting to try for some time, I didn't actually find that amazing. lol)

4. One Paris Summer

I felt like this book could of been a lot better, but it did leave me craving a good chocolate croissant.;)

5. The Welcome Home Diner

6. My Blue is Happy

Okay, so this one isn't really about yummy food, but I love the popsicle! It makes me think of summer days.

7. Lizzy and Jane

This is such an interesting look at food and cooking for those going through chemo.

8. A Portrait of Emily Price

A trip through Italy, marrying into a family who owns a restaurant, this is the perfect foodie book.;)

9. Jane of Austin

English tea shop meets Texas. I love the combination!

10. Where Two Hearts Meet

I love that Caden is a baker!

Wow, this wound up being harder then I thought it would be! I apparently don't pay much attention to food in books, unless it's a bit part of the story, like a family restaurant.
What about you? Does the food in books stand out to you?