Thursday, November 29, 2018

Child Proof

As a freedom-over-formula parenting book for parents of all ages, Child Proof provides biblical insight and encouragement for readers who want to parent by faith. As an experienced counselor of children and families and an adoptive and foster mom applying the CCEF model of biblical change, Julie Lowe uses Scripture and biblical wisdom to teach parents how to know their children and specifically love them with the love of Christ.

Every family is unique, which is why Child Proof explores the need for parents to cultivate personal and intimate care for their children as modeled in God’s individual, personal, and fatherly care to his children. This parenting book lays a foundation of parenting by faith and progresses by teaching parents how they can know their own children well and parent accordingly. By discussing particular issues parents might have in family life, Lowe demonstrates how parenting formulas aren’t the answer, and parenting with biblical wisdom is best for a proactive rather than reactive approach to parenting.

Through Lowe’s personal and professional experience, parents as well as those helping parents—pastors, counselors and counseling students, youth workers, and churches—will discover gospel-centered application rather than formulas for the ideal family, equipping parents to be experts at knowing their own children so they can know Scripture and live it out personally in their homes.

My thoughts: I really appreciated this book! It's easy to try and get focused on parenting (or doing life/faith) by formula, but each of us are uniquely different, so it makes sense that not one formula is going to work on raising kids. I really appreciated Julie's thoughts in this book and the personal stories that she shares. I think that the personal stories make this book all the richer. This is an excellent book for parents to kids of all ages.
I received this book from New Growth. This is my honest review and is in no way influenced by receiving a complimentary copy.

Purchase a copy:

To Best the Boys

The task is simple: Don a disguise. Survive the Labyrinth. Best the boys.
In a thrilling new fantasy from the bestselling author of the Storm Siren Trilogy, one girl makes a stand against society and enters a world made exclusively for boys.
Every year for the past fifty-four years, the residents of Pinsbury Port receive a mysterious letter inviting all eligible-aged boys to compete for an esteemed scholarship to the all-male Stemwick University. The poorer residents look to see that their names are on the list. The wealthier look to see how likely their sons are to survive. And Rhen Tellur opens it to see if she can derive which substances the ink and parchment are created from, using her father’s microscope.
In the province of Caldon, where women train in wifely duties and men pursue collegiate education, sixteen-year-old Rhen Tellur wants nothing more than to become a scientist. As the poor of her seaside town fall prey to a deadly disease, she and her father work desperately to find a cure. But when her mum succumbs to it as well? Rhen decides to take the future into her own hands—through the annual all-male scholarship competition.
With her cousin, Seleni, by her side, the girls don disguises and enter Mr. Holm’s labyrinth, to best the boys and claim the scholarship prize. Except not everyone’s ready for a girl who doesn’t know her place. And not everyone survives the deadly maze.
Welcome to the Labyrinth.

My thoughts: I loved this story! It was fairly fast paced and hard to put down. Mary does a great job of building a world that is part magic and part old fashioned, I suppose making it more of a steam punk story. I enjoyed Rhen and Seleni and their spirit. I would of liked a bit more to the story, but I enjoyed it tremendously non the less. This is an excellent book to pick up!
I received a copy of this book through Netgalley. This is my honest review.

This post contains affiliate links.

Stretched Too Thin

Working mothers constantly battle the pull to do all the things well. From managing work and home responsibilities to being impacted by a lack of self-care and time for deep friendships, the struggle is real. At the end of each day, many working moms are exhausted and stretched too thin. But this does not have to be the norm.

In her latest practical and inspiring book, Jessica Turner shows the working mom how to

- work and parent guilt-free
- establish clear work boundaries
- set achievable goals
- discover more flexibility
- develop home management solutions
- prioritize self-care
- invest in her marriage
- cultivate deeper friendships
- feel like a good mom, even while working

Full of compassion and encouragement, Stretched Too Thin will empower women with useful insights and tools to thrive as working moms.

My thoughts: This book is excellent! I really appreciated the tips on creating a home you love and cultivating friendships. It can be so hard to try and "do it all" with working and parenting. This book offers handy tips and encouragement on how to make the most of your time and not feel like the family is falling by the wayside. I highly recommend this one!
I received this book from Revell. This is my honest review and is in no way influenced by receiving a complimentary copy.

This post contains affiliate links.

Silencing Insecurity

Insecurity is easily the most pervasive struggle of women in America today. We have more ways than ever to compare ourselves to others--who are all prettier, thinner, smarter, more successful, and more put together than we are--and our sense of self-worth takes a serious beating on an almost daily basis. We're tired of simply commiserating with writers and bloggers who share their own struggles--we want real, workable solutions about how to find peace with ourselves.

This is what professional Christian counselor Donna Gibbs gives women with Silencing Insecurity. Drawing from her twenty years of experience counseling women, she exposes the many lies that produce insecurities in us starting from a young age, the result of letting those insecurities get the best of us, and, most importantly, the way out of insecurity--for good. Anyone who is tired of letting insecurity snatch away the joy from her life will welcome this practical and freeing book.

My thoughts: The funny thing about insecurities is that they take all different shapes and forms in different lives. I thought that this book does an excellent job of calling those insecurities out and giving one the tools to fight back and remember that you and I are God's. I love how the author broke the book up in to different subjects on the same topic, and especially got a lot out the emotional insecurities and developmental chapters. I highly recommend this book!
I received this book from Revell. This is my honest review and is in no way influenced by receiving a complimentary copy.

This post contains affiliate links.

Rediscovering Humility

Foreword by David Wells.
Most of us value humility . . . especially in other people. But Jesus taught that humility is central to the Christian life. Author Christopher Hutchinson invites the church to follow Christ—both individually and corporately—in this high calling.
A systematic and comprehensive treatment of this core tenant of Christianity, Rediscovering Humility is structured around the three times Jesus addresses the topic in Scripture—how it is found, embraced, and applied. This insightful resource should be required reading for all seminary students, so they can understand the pitfalls of leadership before they begin to pastor. Current pastors and church leaders will find Hutchinson’s critiques and suggestions helpful as they seek to create humble and healthy churches. Individuals who have lost an appreciation for humility as a central Christian virtue will be reminded of its value as the best way to grow closer to and more like Jesus.
Humble Christians create healthy churches, but in today’s world of celebrity pastors and widening platforms, our churches are more than ever imitating the prideful methodologies of our culture. Through his critiques, Hutchinson also offers suggestions for how Christians can better practice and promote humility in our time.
Offering a fresh and updated application of humility to our day, Hutchinson calls for a return to the path of humility as the one pilgrimage most necessary for Christian faith and life. By showing humility in in all its truth, beauty, and goodness, it becomes a value worth seeking—if never fully found—on this side of heaven

My thoughts: I don't know what I was expecting when I picked this book up, but it certainly wasn't the wonderful, in-depth non fiction that I found! I thought that the message was wonderfully written and so timely. The world teaches us to promote ourselves, but God calls us to go against the norm and become as a servant. This book is an excellent resource to use in that journey.
I received this book from the publisher. All thoughts on it are my own.

This post contains affiliate links.

A Bright Tomorrow

Packed with biblical truth, A Bright Tomorrow addresses anxiety about an uncertain future by reminding readers of what they can be certain of–God’s grace, his unshakeable promises, and the hope of resurrection. Jared Mellinger helps readers remember their security in Christ in the midst of parental fears, cultural decline, aging, death, and facing the unknown.
The future is scary, and Jared Mellinger knows we live in a world full of daunting change, frightening uncertainties, and concerning circumstances. Parenting fears, old age, death, and illness are just a few of the common anxieties that weigh on the hearts and minds of most of us at some point in our lives. If you’re a Christian who obsesses over the future or ignores it for good reason, this book is for you. Lasting comfort and peace are found in Christ, who has secured a place for his people and offers a bright tomorrow based on the solid ground of God’s promises.
A Bright Tomorrow equips Christians with biblical truths laid out in Scripture to face the future with confidence. Readers will learn to face their fears and worries about the future by living right now in view of the gospel of hope and the promise of life everlasting.
This life-changing book will lead Christians to grasp onto certain hope, transforming the way they think about God, themselves, and the world around them. True courage comes from knowing the end of the story, and as Christians with forward-looking hope, we can be eternal optimists and fight fear of the future through Jesus our champion, who gives us victory over death.

My thoughts: This whole book was excellent, but I especially appreciated that it addressed the fear that parents can feel in regards to their children and how unhealthy it can be. I needed the reminders that Jared included in the whole book, but in particular that chapter. This book is excellent for those who struggle with fears.
I received this book from the publisher. This is my honest review and is in no way influenced by receiving a complimentary copy.

This post contains affiliate links.

Parenting First Aid

In this uplifting and faith-strengthening devotional book for parents, best-selling children’s author Marty Machowski encourages parents in the midst of parenting trials. Full of Scripture, testimonies of faithful parents, and insightful meditations, Parenting First Aid equips parents to run to God and trust his ability to do what they can’t.
Parenting isn’t getting any easier, especially with the introduction of insta-porn on electronic devices, the ease of access to drugs, and the ever-increasing blurring of sexuality. This parenting resource is for weary parents overwhelmed with parenting, their children’s choices, and the culture that wars against their souls.
For parents with small struggles or weighty parenting trials—such as children involved with drugs, sexual sin, and teenage rebellion—Parenting First Aid is full of personal, real testimonies of God’s faithfulness to parents experiencing hardship.
The easy-to-use format provides parents with encouraging and faith-strengthening words to trust God in his work in the midst of family difficulty. While God does not promise happiness and ease in parenting, all parents can find comfort in God and peace beyond understanding through the Scriptures and meditations found in Parenting First Aid.

My thoughts: I loved this book! It was so insightful and encouraging. I love how solidly it is ground in scripture and the personal stories that Marty shares. I especially appreciated how open and honest he was about his own experiences as a parent, and loved reading about the unexpected twists in his daughter's love story and how God used them in the young man's life. I enjoyed this book tremendously!
I received this book from New Growth. This is my honest review and is in no way influenced by receiving a complimentary copy.

This post contains affiliate links.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

12 days of Clean Romance Kickoff Giveaway

12 Days of Clean Romance

December 2018

During the month of December, we will be featuring 12 Authors who write clean romance!

There will be $400 worth of Giveaways plus great deals on books!

You are invited to come join the fun, learn about these great authors & find your next favorite book!

There will be FREE ebooks, awesome sales & great giveaways!


Check out this great list of featured authors who are sponsoring this event!

Sophia Summers

Brooke St. James

Lucy McConnell

Melissa McClone

Delaney Cameron

Julie Coulter Bellon

Liz Isaacson

Rebecca Connolly

Donna Hatch

Hayley Wescott

Mylissa Demeyere

Rachael Anderson


Never miss a giveaway, freebie or sale by signing up for Clean Wholesome Romance's Reader Newsletter!

Are you a blogger or reader who would be willing to post about this event on your blog or social media? Sign up here.

Are you an author who writes clean romance? Learn more about CWR upcoming events here, or Sign up for my Author Newsletter.


To start things off we have a $100 Giveaway!

Giveaway Details

$100 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 1/1/19

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by Rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner may be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, BookBub, Instagram, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. This giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader & Clean Wholesome Romance and is sponsored by the participating authors. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


The Midnight Groom


The Midnight Groom by Taylor Hart

How much would you bet on true love this Christmas season?

After the worst year of his life, Cameron Cruz, owner of the Denver Storm, agrees to a family Christmas cruise with his twin sister and her family. Sure, maybe part of the reason he agreed to go was because it got him out of court mandated therapy for a week. Still, he was trying to focus on relaxing. He was trying to focus on having fun. He was trying not to look at the reports that came everyday from the private investigator's he'd been hiring and firing for the past year to bring justice to the man who killed his wife.
Isabel Kind was only on this Christmas cruise for one reason--to heal. After tragically losing her husband and son five years ago, she'd been stuck. And she and her therapist thought doing the list of excursions they'd planned to do as a family--might help her move on. When she sprains her ankle and Cameron Cruz offers to help her, she finds herself accepting.
After reluctantly getting piggy backed around by the amazingly strong and handsome man, swimming with the sting rays, and zip lining through the Honduran jungles, she is more and more mystified by this troubled man. Even more mystified that he's not only helping her physically but he's also trying to help her emotionally--even if, as he says, he can't heal himself.
When bad news comes to light and Cameron has to face the past, they are left with a choice--walk away or let the power of grace make them whole.

Grab your copy for just 99 cents today!

Read for FREE with Kindle Unlimited


Praise for The Midnight Groom

Grief is real and hard. Taylor Heart does a beautiful job of honoring that pain while showing us Cameron's way through it. Their story is beautiful with just the right amount of laughter and hope and, as always, grace. A perfect read when you want to cuddle up with a story that will fill you with peace.

The Midnight Groom is a wonderfully entertaining love story that will inspire you to be a better person!

I thought the struggle and the healing felt real. This book was a roller coaster ride for my emotions.


Tuesday, November 27, 2018

When The Heart Sings


Welcome to the Blog Tour & Giveaway for When the Heart Sings by Liz Tolsma, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!


When the Heart Sings-FINAL-front_cover_020518a-HR Title: When the Heart Sings

Series: Music of Hope #2

Author: Liz Tolsma

Publisher: Gilead Publishing

Release Date: October 9, 2018

Genre: Historical Fiction/Romance


Natia has a secret, and she’s hiding him right beneath her captor’s nose...

The Nazis have forced Natia and Teodor from their Polish farm to a labor camp. When the couple is separated, Natia is chosen to be the housekeeper for the camp’s overseer, and Teodor is sent to work in the factory. Despite the strict camp rules—and the consequences for disobeying them—Natia finds a way to communicate with Teodor by sending messages through song as she passes Teodor’s dormitory.

The stakes get higher when Natia finds a Jewish orphan on the overseer’s doorstep. She is determined to protect the boy and raise him as the child she and her husband were unable to bear— but if her German captors discover how much she’s hiding, both she and Teodor may pay the ultimate price.


My thoughts: This is a well written story that puts a different spin on the history of WWII. I love that music is the focus of the series and that this one was about Polish Natia, who may not of been Jewish, but was still looked upon as lesser. This story is creative and a beautiful testament to strength and kindness that can bloom amidst the ugliness of human nature. I look forward to the next book in this series!
I received this book from Just Read tours. This is my honest review and is in no way influenced by receiving a complimentary copy.

PURCHASE LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Christian Book | Book Depository


liz tolsma

Passionate might best describe Liz Tolsma. She loves writing, research, and editing. Her passion shone through in her first novel which was a double award finalist. On any given day, you might find her pulling weeds in her perennial garden, walking her hyperactive dog, or curled up with a good book. Nothing means more to her than her family. She's married her high-school sweetheart twenty-eight years ago. Get her talking about international adoption, and you might never get her to stop. She and her husband adopted three children, including a son who is a U.S. Marine, and two daughters.

CONNECT WITH LIZ: website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest

when the heart sings blog giveaway


(1) winner will receive (US only)

  • a print copy of When the Heart Sings
  • 'Just One More Chapter' throw pillow seen HERE
Enter via the Rafflecopter giveaway below. Giveaway will begin at midnight November 26, 2018 and last through 11:59pm December 3, 2018. US only. Winners will be notified within a week of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

Monday, November 26, 2018

Take ten: platonic relationships

Here are some of my favorite platonic relationships in literature. I find that I lean towards characters who are siblings, since I come from a big family and am especially close to my sister.
As usual, if you are interested in learning more about the book, click the image to go to Amazon. This post contains affiliate links, so thank you for supporting my book habit.;)

1. Jane of Austin

Sisters Jane and Celia overcome obstacles together as they relocate to Austin.

2. To Best the Boys

Cousins Rhen and Seleni take on a decades old competition for the chance to find a cure for a debilitating illness.

3. The Bronte Plot

Lucy is presented with the rare opportunity to visit England when grandmotherly Helen hires her to help her search out antiques.

4. Shadows over England series

A band of street rats and thieves become an unlikely family in this excellent series. I've enjoyed all the characters: Rosemary, Willa, Barclay...

5. The Secrets of Paper and Ink

Sophia and Ginny, friends who ban together to save a bookshop.

6. The Curse of Misty Wayfair

7. Evaporation of Sofia Snow

Sofia and her brother Shilo, and the lengths she goes to figure out what happened to him.

8. Pride and Prejudice


9. Lizzy and Jane

Sisters Elizabeth and Jane.

10. Listen to Your Heart

Alana and Kate, best friends who stretch each other to go outside their comfort zones (in a good way).

Sunday, November 25, 2018

The Autumn Fairy

atrin knows little about her origins, but whatever she is, it's certainly not human. On an island where humans have banned magic and hunt all who possess it, the dark power within her has become too strong to hide. With each passing day, the threat grows. For if she cannot master her terrifying abilities soon, everyone around her will suffer. And that's something she cannot accept.

While Katrin is willing to sacrifice herself to save others, Peter, her childhood friend and protector, is not. But when he promises to save her at all costs, jeopardizing his own kingdom in return, he finds that his failure will mean either Katrin’s death or the isle’s doom.

And if unraveling the source of Katrin’s power isn’t difficult enough, a mysterious and powerful stranger from the forest reveals that he has plans of his own for Katrin…and the rest of the isle.

To protect their home, Katrin and Peter must face not only their worst fears about who and what they are but their true feelings for one another as well. For if they don't, everything they love will perish...

The Autumn Fairy is the first book in The Autumn Fairy Trilogy, where fairies, humans, and legends collide. Buy The Autumn Fairy today to join Peter and Katy on their journey as they search for truth among ancient lies, hope in the darkness, and their own happy ending.

My thoughts: I didn't know what to expect when my secret sister sent me this book, but I was pleasantly surprised by this book! The story quickly sucked me in, with the mystery of who Katy is and what that secret means for the country and her future. The book has many unexpected twists and turns! I thought that the world and magical creatures were well written and was glad for a snow day so it didn't take me too long to finish this book. It was a huge plus for me that this story doesn't have any junk in it. I highly recommend it, especially if you enjoy the fantasy genre.

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Unexpected Blessings

Unexpected Blessings helps special-needs families move past the pain and confusion of their circumstances and slowly, firmly face the future with hope. Speaking honestly about struggles that accompany a variety of disabilities, Sandra Peoples shows readers how to
· let go of false beliefs that hold them back
· work through the cycles of grief
· focus on self-care and healthy routines
· understand disability based on what the Bible says
· rebuild a strong faith foundation
· create support systems for themselves and others

Filled with real-life stories and hard-earned wisdom, this book shines a light on the possibilities and blessings that come when parents see their new purpose in life--which was God's purpose for them all along.

My thoughts: I thought that this book was packed with information on how to better serve special needs families. I love all the practical help that this book includes, since Sandra has a son with autism and a sister with Downs syndrome. I thought that this book filled a much needed gap. It's a wonderful resource for both those who have a child with special needs and those who would like to understand more of what it is like to parent a special needs child. I really liked how she ended the book with a reminder to be open and honest.
I received this book from Bethany House. This is my honest review.


It's been 50 years since the Great Crash and what was once America is now a collection of enclaves, governed on the local level and only loosely tied together by the farce of a federal government. Catawba, one of the largest and most affluent enclaves in the southern states, is relatively stable and maintains a successful business of trade with nearby enclaves, including the one at Charlotte Township. But when a new vein of gold is found beneath the feet of those in Catawba, it's only a matter of time before trouble finds them.

Now the future of Catawba may be in the hands of an untried 21-year-old trader named Caleb. And Caleb knows that if his secret were ever to come out, he would never see another dawn.

My thoughts: This is an interesting new spin on dystopian fiction. I enjoyed that it wasn't just futuristic, but also partly a coming of age story. The characters are well written, though I felt it a bit jarring to have the story told from several different POV. I also was a bit confused by the ending. That said, it is a thrilling book that will suck the reader in! I only hope that there will be a sequel to clear a few things up.
I received this book from Revell. This is my honest review.

This post contains affiliate links.

Prepare Him Room

Make Room for a New Christmas Tradition
Christmas traditions become a treasured part of a family’s heritage, passed down from generation to generation. This brand new, four-week devotional guides your family on an unforgettable advent journey, exploring some of the most wonderful prophecies in the Bible and how God fulfills them in Christ. From Bible devotions which tell the Christmas story through the eyes of the prophets to an original Christmas short story called “Bartimaeus,” Prepare Him Room helps you build family Christmas traditions around Christ. The memorable and meaningful activities, songs, and stories of Prepare Him Room will become the fabric of your family’s Christmas memories. So gather them to watch the amazing gospel story unfold every December for generations to come!

My thoughts: This is a fun book to pull out and use to illustrate the real reason behind Christmas! I love the visuals that the book provides, since they are simple to set up, and yet help to drive home the message. I also like that there is a story woven into the devotions. This is a fun book to pull out and use as a family to help make memories and put the true meaning of Christmas at the forefront of your mind.
I received this book from the publisher. This is my honest review and is in no way influenced by receiving a complimentary copy.

This post contains affiliate links.