Wednesday, September 30, 2020

His Love Revealed

 


Welcome to the Blog Tour & Giveaway for His Love Revealed by Cynthia Herron, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

ABOUT THE BOOK

His Love RevealedTitle: His Love Revealed
Series: Welcome to Ruby #2
Author: Cynthia Herron
Publisher: Mountain Brook Ink
Release Date: 
October 1, 2020
Genre: Contemporary Inspirational Romance

Will revelations of the past hijack their future?

Since childhood, Ida Mae Hoscutt, the beloved proprietress of the Come and Get It Diner, has loved Charles “Chuck” Farrow from afar. Now on the eve of her thirty-ninth birthday with no marriage proposal in sight, Ida Mae mourns past mistakes and contemplates a makeover. When a radio commercial wrenches Ida Mae’s heart, will a sudden turn of events sabotage her chance for happiness or will a long-held secret be the answer to love ever-after?

As Ida Mae’s right-hand man at the Come and Get It, Chuck yearns to shift gears and start over. He’s ready to shelve bachelorhood and blunders in favor of possibilities and new beginnings. When he prepares to move forward, two things challenge his objective. One is the father who walked away and never looked back. The other? A decades-old question that only Ida Mae can answer.

And Ida Mae isn’t talking.

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

My thoughts: This book was a delight to pick up! I enjoyed the small town setting and the Come and Get It Diner. Ida Mae and Chuck are wonderfully written characters that I liked from the get go. Both have had their struggles in life that have left each a bit scarred and scared of marriage. While it's hard not to regret the past with them, I enjoyed this story and the conclusion!

I received this book from Just Reads. This is my honest review.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Cynthia Herron

Cynthia Herron writes Heartfelt, Homespun Fiction from the beautiful Ozark Mountains. A hopeless romantic at heart, she enjoys penning stories about ordinary people facing extraordinary circumstances. Her Hope Discovered, her d├ębut novel and the first in a three-book series, released December 2018 with Mountain Brook Ink.

“Cindy” has a degree in psychology and a background in social work. She is a member of ACFW, ACFW MozArks, and RWA.

She is a 2020 Selah Award (Double) Finalist, a 2017 ACFW Genesis Finalist, a 2016 ACFW Genesis (Double) Finalist, and a 2015 ACFW First Impressions Winner. Her work is represented by Sarah Freese at WordServe Literary.

Besides writing, Cindy enjoys spending time with family and friends. She has a fondness for gingerbread men, miniature teapots, and all things apple. She also adores a great cup of coffee and she never met a sticky note she didn’t like.

CONNECT WITH CYNTHIA: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest


TOUR GIVEAWAY

(1) winner will receive a $25 Amazon gift card and a print copy of His Love Revealed!

His Love Revealed JustRead Giveaway

Be sure to check out each stop on the tour for more chances to win. Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway will begin at midnight September 29, 2020 and last through 11:59 PM EST on October 6, 2020. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

ENTER GIVEAWAY HERE

*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

Renewed

 


Part 1 of an Interview Heather M. Dixon,
Author of Renewed

There are few things that can make us feel as helpless as living with a story we don’t like. Life is rarely fair, and things happen beyond our control that impact our lives in negative ways. Maybe our story involves the loss of a loved one, an unwanted transition, a difficult diagnosis, or a dream that fell through. At one time or another, we all deal with disappointments and feel that we are being punished. For women searching for a glimmer of hope, Heather M. Dixon has written Renewed: Finding Hope When You Don’t Like Your Story (Abingdon Press)a four-week study diving into the life of Naomi from the Book of Ruth.
 
Dixon wrote Renewed for any woman that is carrying a difficult and life-altering story they did not choose and cannot change. She also wrote it for the woman who yearns to trust God’s sovereignty and His plan for her life even as she grieves and is angered by her circumstances. She believes that trusting God and grieving your story are not mutually exclusive. Dixon herself lives with incurable and terminal genetic disorder, so understands what it means to live a story that is not easy. With insight from her own journey, she teaches women to flourish even as they live hard stories through a willingness to trust that God can transform them and trade their heartache for hope. They will learn to rely on God’s movement in the details of their story, even when it can’t be seen, gain confidence to act in the part of their stories that they can change, and watch expectantly for God to redeem the parts they can’t.
 
Q: Most studies on the book or Ruth focus on Ruth and Boaz but Renewed looks at Naomi’s story. Why do you think Naomi’s story is such an important part of the book?
 
I’ve always read and taught Ruth from Naomi’s perspective because ultimately, I think it’s her story. However, there are three main reasons why hers should be explored:
 
One, for all believers, a transformed heart is one of the key identifiers of life with Christ and as readers, we get to experience that journey with Naomi—from bitterness to renewed joy. Ruth and Boaz are beautiful characters, but they are rather stagnant. It’s Naomi that changes, and her transformation echoes that of anyone who has struggled with a hard story and found Jesus to be faithful along the way.
 
Two, from a literary perspective, there are a number of devices the author uses to indicate that Naomi’s story is the important one.
 
And three, it’s my personal belief that Naomi’s response to grief has often been judged too harshly. I wanted to give my readers a safe place to explore feelings of bitterness as they learned to look for God’s movement in their own story.
 
Q: Can you share more about your own story, specifically the part of your story you don’t like?
 
There are several pieces of my story that I could share with you that I don’t like, but the milestones would be when I lost my mother at the age of eleven, when my father died twenty years later, and when I was diagnosed with an incurable, connective tissue disorder that I inherited from my mother. We know now that this disorder is what took her life at thirty-seven. Doctors have told me that my own life expectancy is forty-eight.
 
I understand grief, loss, and life changes where you just have to close the door, determine not to look back, pick your head up, and keep going. But I also know the sweet and life-giving love of a Heavenly Father who fills our story with comfort, hope, and purpose, even when we feel that all is lost. God breathes renewed life into our weary souls, and that truth keeps me putting two feet on the floor in the morning, even when I still don’t like my story.
 
Q: How did your diagnosis change how you look at life? What does “living your life well” look like to you?
 
The answer is always evolving. At its core, it looks like waking up and knowing the next twenty-four hours might be my last. So, living my life well means pursuing ways that I can honor God, love my family, and serve my community until I lay my head to rest for the night. I fail at this everyday! But it gives me a sense of focus that I didn’t have before.
 
My diagnosis also changed my perspective on hardship. Anyone who has walked through any measure of suffering can quickly tell you what matters and what doesn’t. Things that might have seemed like a major problem before are now minor inconveniences that I know will pass. That’s a blessing.
 
Finally, my diagnosis has taught me to pursue bucket-list living. I’m much more spontaneous and carefree than I used to be, and I seek activities that will make lasting memories, big and small. A scoop of mint chocolate chip from the local ice cream shop is just as precious as a spur of the moment family vacation. I am thankful for each moment I have, which is something most people search for their entire lives.
 
Q: You write, “God doesn’t call plays out of a playbook from the clouds in the sky. He wants to walk with us along every step of our story, holding our hand when we are unsure of the plan.” What are some things we need to remember about God’s sovereignty when it comes to our story?
 
This is one of the deepest blessings I have discovered walking through my hard story. God is a relational God—He seeks to walk every step with us. And we can trust Him with that path because in His sovereignty, He is also compassionate, merciful, and loving. We aren’t puppets in His playroom; we are His beloved daughters, whom He values and cherishes. Walking in intimacy with Him blesses us with peace, comfort, and joy. Another important truth about God’s sovereignty is that He has a master plan—for us and for His creation. We are a part of that plan, treasured pieces in a divine puzzle that will be complete when all things are renewed. He won’t let us stray off course, nor will He leave our lives to chance. Every moment matters to Him and He has a plan to renew every piece of our hard story.
 
Q: Have you always seen God working in the details of your story? Should we be looking for how God is moving or simply trust that he is?
 
No, yes, and yes. I wish I could tell you that I have always been aware of God moving in my story. There were seasons in my life, particularly the season after my father died, that I could not sense His presence. Was He moving in the details of my story then? Absolutely. My regret is that I allowed my earthly then vision to cloud my heavenly perspective. Which is why I am always in favor of looking for how God is moving.
 
I am emotional and fickle—prone to wander if I don’t see results. God knows this about me. It’s always in my best interest to keep my eyes open for God’s fingerprint. But the moments that I can’t see it are faith-builders; those are equally as valuable and help to build our trust in Him. So, yes we should always be looking for God’s movement and yes, we should always simply trust that He is.
 
Q: You share a suggestion for overcoming stress and anxiety that readers might not expect. What has helped you that you encourage others to try?
 
On nights when I am particularly anxious and have trouble going to sleep, a prayer that utilizes God’s gift of imagination often helps to settle my thoughts. I close my eyes and imagine a large field in front of me. Standing in the field are all the things bringing me anxiety, like current stressors in my life, confrontational moments, tensions with loved ones, worry about the unknown ahead, or health concerns. Whatever is renting negative space in my head at the moment, I imagine those things standing in my field.
 
Then, I imagine a giant hand and forearm lowering down to the field from the sky. Slowly, but steadily, the forearm wipes all my worries on the field away. The field empties and the hand gently opens, revealing soft and gentle wings. I climb into them, curling up to rest in their protection as they fold over me. In my imagination, the forearm, hand, and wings belong to God. I take several deep breaths and begin to meditate on verses about God’s kindness and refuge. This simple prayer exercise helps me to remember that God’s refuge and kindness are more powerful than my anxiety.
 
Q: What are some creative ways the study can be done in groups since we’re still supposed to be social distancing? Can a participant get just as much out of the study if doing it alone?
 
There are a handful of technological helps that will assist in group study during social distancing requirements. A few suggestions are:
  • Meet with your group virtually via Zoom, Facebook meeting rooms, or Google Meets.
  • Stay connected with each other, sharing prayer requests and thoughts throughout the week via a private Facebook group or text/email thread.
  • Take advantage of the resources available from Amplify Media, where you can access Renewed teaching videos, Abingdon Women and other Bible study video sessions, inspirational short videos, and children’s content available anywhere from any device. Amplify Media is a streaming service allowing churches large and small unlimited video access in order to discover, customize, and share diverse resources that encourage deeper discipleship and equip churches to pursue their mission with greater impact.
  • If you are fortunate enough to live in an area with pleasant weather, meet outside!
And yes, absolutely, a participant can get just as much out of the study doing it alone. The most efficient way to hear the voice of God is to immerse yourself in His Word. There is no substitute for this. I’ve had some of my most profound Bible study experiences sitting alone on my back porch, diligently walking through a study on my own. The group components for Renewed are there to enhance your study, but are certainly not a requirement.
Heather M. Dixon is an author, speaker, and Bible teacher who understands living with a story that is not easy. Diagnosed with an incurable and terminal genetic disorder that she inherited from her mother, she is passionate about encouraging and equipping women to trust in God, face their greatest fears, and live with hope, especially in the midst of difficult circumstances.
 
When she is not blogging at The Rescued Letters or speaking at women’s conferences and events, Dixon loves to make the most of everyday moments such as cooking for her husband and son, brainstorming all the possible ways to organize Legos and superheroes, checking out way too many library books, or unashamedly indulging in her love for all things Disney.
 
Dixon is a regular contributor to Journey magazine and the author of women’s Bible studies, Determined: Living Like Jesus in Every Moment and Renewed: Finding Hope When You Don’t Like Your Story.
 
Visit Heather M. Dixon online at therescuedletters.com. She can also be found on Facebook (Heather M. Dixon – The Rescued Letters)Twitter (@rescuedletters), and Instagram (@rescuedletters).

Purchase a copy here! This post contains affiliate links.

Phoebe's Secret

 


In April of 1843, Phoebe’s family hears about a murder while they are traveling to their new home in the Shenandoah Valley. They arrive to learn the victim attended the church her father has agreed to pastor and the crime took place on a leading church member’s plantation.

Eager to make new friends, Phoebe forms a unique relationship that propels her into the middle of the mystery, and she begins to question several acquaintances’ motives. Will she uncover their secrets before the plantation owner’s charming son discovers hers?

 My thoughts: I enjoyed reading this work of historical fiction! The characters are well writing and interesting as they face the challenges of moving in the 1800's. When they are pulled into the mystery of the murder, things get interesting! 

I thought that the author did an excellent job with the characters, writing a beautiful story that draws the reader in and leaves one longing for the next book in the series. I look forward to reading more of Sydney's books!

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

Purchase a copy here! This post contains affiliate links.

About the Author

Sydney BettsSydney Tooman Betts resides with her husband near the extensive cavern system that inspired the setting for several chapters in her series The People of the Book.

While single, Ms. Betts (B.S. Bible/Missiology, M.Ed) took part in a variety of cross-cultural adventures in North and Central America. After marrying, she and her husband lived in Europe and the Middle East where he served in various mission-support capacities. Her teaching experiences span preschool to guest lecturing at the graduate level.

Before penning her first novel, A River too Deep, she ghost-wrote several stories for an adult literacy program.

 

More from Sydney

Proverbs 25:11 says, “Words spoken fitly are like apples of gold in settings of silver.” I was not a great reader as a child, but I loved stories. We remember stories, whether told through movies, good sermon illustrations, parables, or simple  novels.

Think of something you’ve read in the Bible. Did an instructional verse, a narrative, or a parable leap to mind? Stories have power because we can relate to them. We see ourselves in the shoes of the main character and ask what we might do in the situation. Mysteries, a new genre for me to write, are a little different. You are in the puzzle with the main character, working out the solution as you both come across the clues. I hope you will enjoy joining Phoebe in her first mystery as much as I enjoyed writing it.

 

Recipe:

Sally Lunn Bread

1 cup water
1 cup milk
¼ pound unsalted butter
8 cups of high-gluten or bread flour
⅔ cup sugar
2 tablespoons salt
¼ cup yeast
6 eggs

In a saucepan, combine water, milk and butter. Heat until the butter is very soft.

In a mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients with half the flour. Add the warm liquid, and mix well to form a smooth batter.

Add 3 eggs, one at a time, and mix well. Add another cup of the flour, and mix well. Add the second 3 eggs, one at a time. Add the remaining flour, and mix until the flour has been incorporated and the batter has formed a smooth ball. The dough should be less firm than bread and more firm than a batter.

Put the dough in a clear bowl with a little oil and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Proof until double in volume. Divide the dough between two bund pans or two loaf pans, or one of each. Proof again until risen and doubled in volume.  Bake at 350° for about 20 minutes. Makes 20 servings.

Blog Stops

Texas Book-aholic, September 29

deb’s Book Review, September 30

Inklings and notions, October 1

For the Love of Literature, October 2

Blogging With Carol, October 2

For Him and My Family, October 3

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, October 4

Mary Hake, October 4

Locks, Hooks and Books, October 5

Artistic Nobody, October 6 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Pause for Tales, October 6

Ashley’s Bookshelf, October 7

Connie’s History Classroom, October 8

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, October 8

Sara Jane Jacobs, October 9

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 9

Splashes of Joy, October 10

Lighthouse Academy Blog, October 10 (Guest Review from Marilyn Ridgway)

Betti Mace, October 11

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, October 11

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, October 12

Maureen’s Musings, October 12

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Sydney is giving away the grand prize package of $25 Amazon gift card and a softback copy of Phoebe’s Secret!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/10194/phoebe-s-secret-celebration-tour-giveaway

Sunday, September 27, 2020

She Writes for Him

 


It’s not often we speak about abortion, shame, betrayal, depression, anxiety, and loss in our circles of faith. It can be uncomfortable as we try to reconcile why a good God allows suffering and pain. Life is messy, and yet we need not silence these stories.

She Writes For Him: Stories of Resilient Faith is written by brave women who have boldly ventured out to tell their hard stories. These resilient women have found that God can be trusted in the midst of difficult and tragic circumstances. They have found God’s redemption in their pain and their willingness to look doubts in the face and claim God’s steadfast love over their trials.

This book is Redemption Press’s debut in a series meant to infuse hope and courage to others who have experienced a similar journey, that they might know they are not alone and can find healing.


My thoughts: I found this book to be wonderfully grounded in Scripture and a beautiful collection of stories that reminds us that we are not alone. This book covers some difficult experiences and topics, from abortion to loss, anxiety and depression to shame and betrayal. I really appreciated the honest that these women share as they open up about their experiences, battles, and losses. This book is an excellent reminder that we don't suffer alone.

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


Purchase a copy here! This post contains affiliate links.


About the Managing Editor

Managing Editor Cynthia Cavanaugh is a speaker, life coach, and award-winning author of Anchored: Leading through the Storms and Live Bold: A Devotional Journal to Strengthen Your Soul. She is the strategic marketing coach for Redemption Press, and you can find her at www.cynthiacavanaugh.com, Facebook, and Instagram, and her new podcast, Soul Anchor.

 

More from Athena

In May 2019, while driving home from the Northwest Christian Writers Renewal with the sun out and the mountain in view, God gave me a vision of a movement. He gave me the name “She Writes for Him,” and I knew it would start as a book compilation, then a podcast, and finally a conference.

 

Here we are a year later, and She Writes for Him: Stories of Resilient Faith launched on May 12, 2020. Featuring Carol Kent, Tammy Trent, and Dr. Saundra Dalton Smith, 27 brave women share their hard stories of abortion, depression and anxiety, betrayal, loss, and shame.

 

The second edition is already taking submissions, and best-selling author Liz Curtis Higgs leads the lineup of contributors sharing on suffering, cancer, mental health, addictions, and abuse for She Writes for Him: Stories of Living Hope.

 

My hope in this book series is to address topics that have long been a struggle for the church to be the safe place it needs to be for those still hurting from wounds of the past. Those of us who love the Lord but have trauma in our pasts and are still on our healing journey need to be encouraged by others who have walked in our shoes. Perhaps we haven’t even started our healing journey yet, convinced we are the only one struggling the way we do or are too ashamed to admit our failures of the past. Wherever you fall on the spectrum, this compilation of brave women will encourage you to process your pain and experience the redemption in your areas of struggle.

 

Athena Dean Holtz, publisher and creator of the She Writes for Him compilation series.

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 24

For Him and My Family, September 25

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, September 26

deb’s Book Review, September 26

Texas Book-aholic, September 27

Inklings and notions, September 28

Locks, Hooks and Books, September 29

CarpeDiem, September 29

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, September 30

Artistic Nobody, October 1 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, October 2

Ashley’s Bookshelf, October 3

Beauty in the Binding, October 3

A Reader’s Brain, October 4

Sara Jane Jacobs, October 5

Spoken from the Heart, October 6

Splashes of Joy, October 7

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Cynthia is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card & a copy of the book signed by herself as the managing editor!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/10115/she-writes-for-him-celebration-tour-giveaway

Saturday, September 26, 2020

The Secret Life of Lady Evangeline

 


Everyone believes Lady Evangeline is dead, so why not let them? Her survival depends on it.

After escaping from assassins and healing from her injuries, Evangeline Stanton finds refuge in a crumbling abbey. Her physical scars are nothing to the wounds left by the death of her daughter and abandonment of her husband. She spends most days disguised as Sister Margaret Mary, but when necessary, she dons the disguise of the recently deceased bandit, the Fox, to steal from the rich and help the starving children and widows who come for aid.

Lord Henry Stanton still grieves the death of his beloved wife, Evangeline. Raising their young daughter is now the most important role in his life, even though the child serves as a daily reminder of the love he and his wife once shared. He may never shed the weight of his guilt for not protecting Evangeline from the band of outlaws who killed her, as well as the lies sown by his sister-in-law, which he allowed to separate him from his wife just before her death.

When Henry’s ailing father-in-law sends an urgent request for help to manage his lands, he has no choice but to take his daughter with him to Castle Brighton. But the nun who comes to care for the sick man catches Henry’s notice from the first moment he catches sight of her. When the life of their precious daughter is threatened, can they overcome the lies and secrets of the past and join forces to save their daughter before it is too late?


My thoughts: I love that this story is chocked full of action and surprises! Evangeline is a strong heroine. When a tragic accident takes the life of her daughter and leaves her with injuries, she could of given up on life, but instead tries to move past the tragedies and help others. I enjoy Medieval fiction, and this one is now a new favorite! I look forward to reading the next book!

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


Purchase a copy here! This post contains affiliate links.


About the Author

Jan Davis Warren photoJan Davis Warren is a mother, grandmother, and a young-at-heart great-grandmother. Her wonderful husband passed away the same year she won the ACFW Genesis Award for Romantic Suspense. That win and many others are encouraging reminders that God wants her to continue writing even in the tough times. Learn more at www.janwarrenbooks.com.

 

More from Jan

Hello Dear Reader,

That you are reading this means you come from some hearty and courageous ancestors. Over thousands of years, they survived good times and bad, plagues, famines, wars, and all manner of tribulations. No matter how many different places around the globe your ancestors ventured, or where they lived and died, you are living proof they existed.

 

This thought never crossed my mind while writing and winning awards with contemporary romantic suspense, westerns, and even sci-fi. It wasn’t until Lady Evangeline stirred me with her story that I was lured into writing about the Middle Ages. I was even more surprised when I won RWA Faith Hope & Love chapter’s, Touched by Love historical category and the overall award with The Secret Life of Lady Evangeline. Thus began my next exciting adventure, for I had never written a medieval.

While doing research for the time period, I was humbled by the revelation that I’m alive because of ancestors further back than my genealogy has thus far revealed. They survived not only the medieval era, but many other difficult, even horrific times over the centuries before my birth. You and I are truly blessed by our ancestors’ perseverance. We are alive at such a time as this for a reason. Help us Lord to be the light so others might find You and through You life eternal.

Blessings!

Jan Davis Warren

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 25

Blogging With Carol, September 25

For Him and My Family, September 26

Inklings and notions, September 27

deb’s Book Review, September 27

Texas Book-aholic, September 28

Connect in Fiction, September 28

Ashley’s Bookshelf, September 29

Romances of the Cross, September 29

Connie’s History Classroom, September 30

The Book Chic Blog, September 30

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, October 1

CarpeDiem, October 1

Older & Smarter?, October 2

Locks, Hooks and Books, October 3

Life, Love, Writing, October 3

Artistic Nobody, October 4 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Labor Not in Vain, October 4

Adventures of a Travelers Wife, October 5

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, October 6

Emily Yager, October 6

Sara Jane Jacobs, October 7

Mary Hake, October 7

Splashes of Joy, October 8

Giveaway

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

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/10116/the-secret-life-of-lady-evangeline-celebration-tour-giveaway