Tuesday, May 17, 2022

If You Really Knew Me

 


Tommy is glad of friendships which make him forget the situation at home. His father’s illness makes his behavior so unpredictable that the whole family must tip-toe around him for fear of becoming the butt of his anger.

Elise wishes her twin sister didn’t think being champion swimmers was an adequate goal for their lives. She has her own dreams to fulfil.

Carrie hides a secret, avoiding other students so nobody will ever find it out. But Tommy and Elise both look to Carrie to save them from their situations.

Until she disappears.

Tommy’s protective instinct kicks in, and Elise reassesses her priorities so she can help keep Carrie safe.

 My thoughts: I enjoyed this story of several young friends who are dealing with different issues that leave them feeling like they don't measure up. While it is written for middle school age readers, I thought that the story had a wonderful message for people of all ages. I love how the author brought Scriptural stories in, especially the prodigal son. This is a wonderful book to pick up and enjoy!

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

Click here to get your copy! This post contains affiliate links.

 

About the Author

alison-cheah-high resolution 1Alison Cheah worked at Youth for Christ for five years and volunteers with her church youth group. One of her favorite activities is preparing Bible Studies and seeking how to connect the stories of the Bible with her students’ own stories.

As a child she was always to be seen with her nose in a book, and nothing has changed. One of her favorite authors was Patricia St. John. Her characters are people you want to know, and you are rooting for them to overcome their problems, but for Alison, the added dimension was that each person discovers their answers in Jesus. She saw that the faith she had grown up with had applicability in real life.

Her prayer is that this story has the same result for you.

 

More from Alison

I spent five years working at Youth for Christ with middle school students like Tommy, Carrie, and Elise. They are not based on kids I met, but they are inspired by my experiences then.

My friend and mentor in youth ministry was Anna-Marie Valles who is also a character in Tommy, Carrie and Elise’s story helping them to make sense of some of the questions they have.

We don’t get to know her well in the book, but I had a chat with her recently about youth ministry and here is an extract from that conversation. I think you will enjoy getting to know her better.

 

Alison: In the story, Elise shares her problems with you. Do you find teens want to talk to an adult about their problems?

 

AMV: Kids are hungry to be able to unload their stories on people who are willing to listen. I remember in one club a student said that all day, adults were telling him what to do. But club was a space where people were asking him, “How are you feeling? “What are your thoughts on this?” He was shocked.

 

Alison: You were only eighteen when you started in youth ministry. After all these years, how do you stay current so kids still want to talk with you?

 

AMV: If you come to kids with a willingness to learn, you become relevant. Say to them, “Tell me what’s going on?” Don’t pretend you have all the answers. I find that has worked for me. “I don’t know your culture like you do. But I’m willing to see through your lens if you’re able to share that with me.”

Age is interesting. I always worried I would age out. At my application interview for seminary I said, “I always thought if I aged out of youth ministry, I’d be a chaplain.” And the professor called me out on that. You never age out because kids still need that safe place where someone is willing to listen.

 

Alison: The profits from this book will be used to send kids to camp. Why is this important to you?

 

AMV: Youth ministry is all relational. But trust can take a while to build. The beauty of camps is that you can create a bond in one week that could take two years without.

 

And at camp they hear the gospel presented in different ways by different speakers. Other people’s creativity and presentation may reach my students in a way that I haven’t been able to.

 

What saddens me is not everyone can go because camps are costly. My desire is that every student who wants to go will have the opportunity to do so.

 

For more of this conversation, see alisonrcheah.com

(Interview transcribed by https://otter.ai )

My prayer is that the story of Tommy, Carrie and Elise will be one of those different speakers Anna-Marie talked about, helping kids to begin their own relationship with Jesus.

 

Thank you.

Alison

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 13

Locks, Hooks and Books, May 14

Texas Book-aholic, May 15

Beauty in the Binding, May 16 (Author Interview)

Blogging With Carol, May 16

For Him and My Family, May 17

Inklings and notions, May 18

Blossoms and Blessings, May 19 (Author Interview)

deb’s Book Review, May 20

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, May 21

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, May 22

Simple Harvest Reads, May 23 (Author Interview)

Vicarious Living , May 23

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, May 24

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, May 25

Guild Master, May 26 (Author Interview)

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Alison is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Amazon gift card and a copy of the book!!

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/1db4d/if-you-really-knew-me-celebration-tour-giveaway

Monday, May 16, 2022

Presence-The Story of Adel

 


Adel Davis knows something has to change. Living with her parents after her husband left isn’t working out, especially where her son Noah is concerned. Ever since he arrived eight months earlier, Adel has been longing for space and independence. She longs for the family that God has written on her heart.

When Adel learns that she has inherited her grandparents’ old apple orchard in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Georgia, she knows exactly what she wants to do. She and Noah leave her parents’ home in San Francisco to discover a new life at Sweet Valley Farms.

What will she find when she gets there? Will living alone on a rural apple farm be more than Adel can bear? What about the attention she begins to receive from a few local men? As Adel learns what it means to run the orchard, she also discovers what it means to have a people, a place, and a home. A girl can start a new life; she just can’t do it alone.

 My thoughts: This story was an interesting one for me to pick up, since I could relate to Adel in some ways, since I was homeschooled and lived with my family until I got married. I am glad that my relationship with my parents, and in particular my mother, are a lot healthier than Adel's was.
When she has the chance to pack her son up and move to her grandparent's farm, she has the chance to begin again. I enjoyed reading her story as she figured out how to do things for herself, without the safety net that she has grown up with. I would have liked a bit more development, especially towards the end, but it was still a unique read.

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

Click here to get your copy! This post contains affiliate links.

 

About the Author

option2As a writer of inspirational fiction and singer/songwriter, Lana offers a unique gift in service to her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Characterized by her experiences growing up in rural Northeast Georgia and now as a wife and homeschool mother of four, her works reflect an honesty and a gentle natural beauty that is often missed and sorely needed in a culture saturated with transient entertainment and consumerism. Whether making meals, lesson plans, story arcs, or song lyrics, Lana is listening for the still quiet Voice to draw her nearer to where even messiness and failure can become a redeemed work of art.

 

More from Lana

When the pace of life is set at break-neck speed and the pressure is on to sacrifice self and family for the sake of achievement, I find joy in writing stories that show a hint of something else: something simpler, something slower. A world where people stop and get to know one another (and themselves). A world where people literally “stop to smell the roses”. Where they hear the birds sing and notice the flowers bloom in the springtime. A world where family and friends and place matter. Where traditions yield comfort and joy. Where home means more than just a house you return to at the end of a long day. Where delight and wonder can be found in the commonplace of everyday life. Where friendships flourish and love blossoms. A place where life happens, and it’s never boring!

 

In “Presence – The Story of Adel”, Doris Jones takes Adel under her wing and teaches her about life. One of the special memories they share is making blueberry muffins together. Here’s the recipe:

 

Doris’ Blueberry Muffins:

 

½ cup butter

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp. vanilla

½ cup milk

2 cups flour

2 tsp. baking powder

½ tsp. baking soda

½ tsp. salt

2 tsp. cinnamon

1 ½ cups blueberries, fresh or frozen

2 Tbsp. sugar (for sprinkling on top)

 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Gently blend in the milk. In a separate bowl: mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Add blueberries and stir only until well dusted. Fold the flour mixture into the sugar mixture with a spoon and place into muffin cups or a well-greased muffin tin. Bake 10 minutes then sprinkle extra sugar over the tops. Bake 10 more minutes or until golden brown. Enjoy!

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, May 14

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 15

Texas Book-aholic, May 16

Inklings and notions, May 17

lakesidelivingsite, May 18

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, May 19

Pause for Tales, May 20

For Him and My Family, May 20

deb’s Book Review, May 21

Locks, Hooks and Books, May 22

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, May 23

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, May 24

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, May 25

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, May 26

Guild Master, May 27 (Author Interview)

Miriam Jacob, May 27

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Lana is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 amazon gift card with a hard copy of the book!!

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/1db4e/presence-the-story-of-adel-celebration-tour-giveaway

Sunday, May 15, 2022

Then Judgement

 


A story of the three days Jesus did not spend in the tomb.
The Son of Man was made sin, cast away from the presence of the Great I AM’s presence, and condemned to Hades to face judgement. What exactly happened during those three days from the Lord’s lifeless body of flesh being placed in the tomb and His glorious resurrection? Hints throughout the Scriptures give clues to what transpired—how He got to Paradise to be with the thief on the cross that same day. One thing is certain! He rose on the third day and now lives forever more seated on His throne at the right hand of the Father! Hallelujah!

 My thoughts: I thought that the McAdoo's did a wonderful job of writing a thought provoking piece of Biblical fiction with Then Judgement. While it had me examining what I have thought about where Jesus went after He died on the cross. I thought that the McAdoo's did a wonderful job of writing this story, and, while I don't agree with everything in it, the story has me searching out answers on my own, which is the mark of a good book. I highlky recommend picking up this story!

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

Click here to get your copy!

 

About the Author

Jan 2022Award-winning author Caryl McAdoo prays her story brings God glory, and her best-selling stories—over sixty published—delight Christian readers around the world. The prolific writer also enjoys singing the new songs the Lord gives her; you may listen at YouTube. Sharing four children and twenty-one grandsugars (three are greats), Caryl and Ron, her high-school-sweetheart-husband of fifty-three years, live in the woods south of Clarksville, seat of Red River County in far Northeast Texas. The McAdoos wait expectantly for God to open the next door.

 

More from Caryl

As many of you know, my husband Ron and I write together. When Simon and Schuster released our tenth title, the editor requested one name for the cover and since it was a historical romance, preferred a female’s. The arrangement worked so well for us that we continued only my name being on the cover after we went Indie!

Anyway, we have been talking about writing this book for years, coming across little clues for the story in Scripture studies now and again over that time. At last, God released us to write THEN JUDGEMENT based on the twenty-seventh verse of Hebrews, nineth chapter: “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.”

I love searching the scriptures and telling a story that strictly adheres to God’s Book, His Living Word, the Holy Bible. I love His stories and so understand that His Word is bread to our souls, feeding us wisdom and knowledge of our Creator and His everlasting, never-ending love for us!

Creating Biblical fiction tales carries a lot of responsibility that I truly enjoy taking on, being a guardian of the Truth. I love to bring characters from those days gone by so long ago to life on the pages of my books! I do feel a bit like John when he said this, writing of our Savior.

“And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.” John 21:27

Biblical fiction could easily become my favorite genre—if it isn’t already. I do write more historical romance stories set in the 1800s (a favorite time period) in Texas (my favorite state)! And as much as I love that research . . . nothing compares to digging into the Word!

I pray you will enjoy living through the three days that Jesus did not spend in the tomb! May my story cause you to dig a little yourself, checking out our theory! I know this to be Truth: “So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.” Isaiah 55:11

Hallelujah! Glory be to His Holy Name! The righteous run into it and are saved! There is no one like unto Him! He alone it the Great King over all the earth! Worthy to receive glory and praise!
As always, I’m ‘Praying my story gives God glory!’
Blessings, y’all!

Blog Stops

For Him and My Family, May 11

Connie’s History Classroom, May 12

deb’s Book Review, May 13

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 14

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, May 15

Inklings and notions, May 16

Texas Book-aholic, May 17

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, May 18

Locks, Hooks and Books, May 19

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, May 20

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, May 21

Splashes of Joy, May 22

Mary Hake, May 23

Tell Tale Book Reviews, May 24 (Author Interview)

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Caryl is giving away the prize of a $25 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/1db49/then-judgement-celebration-tour-giveaway

Saturday, May 14, 2022

Shadows in the Mind's Eye


Charlotte Anne Mattas longs to turn back the clock. Before her husband, Sam, went to serve his country in the war, he was the man everyone could rely on--responsible, intelligent, and loving. But the person who's come back to their family farm is very different from the protector Annie remembers. Sam's experience in the Pacific theater has left him broken in ways no one can understand--but that everyone is learning to fear.

Tongues start wagging after Sam nearly kills his own brother. Now when he claims to have seen men on the mountain when no one else has seen them, Annie isn't the only one questioning his sanity and her safety. If there were criminals haunting the hills, there should be evidence beyond his claims. Is he really seeing what he says, or is his war-tortured mind conjuring ghosts?

Annie desperately wants to believe her husband. But between his irrational choices and his nightmares leaking into the daytime, she's terrified he's going mad. Can she trust God to heal Sam's mental wounds--or will sticking by him mean keeping her marriage at the cost of her own life?

Debut novelist Janyre Tromp delivers a deliciously eerie, Hitchcockian story filled with love and suspense. Readers of psychological thrillers and historical fiction by Jaime Jo Wright and Sarah Sundin will add Tromp to their favorite authors list.

My thoughts: I thought this would be a unique story from the premise, and it did not disappoint! When Sam returns home from the war, he looks forward to being reunited with his beloved wife and the little girl that he doesn't know yet. If only he can get a handle on the nightmares that he has been having. In a time when PTSD was only beginning to be realized as a side effect of war, Sam must figure out what is real and what is his experiences as a soldier. 

The story was interesting, though it did take a while for it to really take off. There is some profanity, and the author doesn't skirt around the difficulties of PTSD. Overall though, it's a well written, wonderful story to pick up and enjoy.

I received this book from I Read with Audra book tours. This is my honest review.

Purchase a copy here! This post contains affiliate links.

About the Author: Janyre Tromp is a historical novelist whose loves spinning tales that, at their core, hunt for beauty, even when it isn’t pretty. She’s the author of Shadows in the Mind’s Eye and coauthor of It’s a Wonderful Christmas.


She’s also a book editor, published children’s book author, and lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan with her family, two crazy cats, and a slightly eccentric Shetland Sheepdog. And if you ever meet in person, you pronounce that first name Jan-ear.

You can find her on InstagramTwitterFacebook, and her website, www.JanyreTromp.com (where you can grab a free copy of her novella Wide Open).

 

Friday, May 13, 2022

Corner Booth

 


A daring move forges the love of a lifetime

A rushed lunch and a bold move introduce Carlie to a stranger—one who hardly acknowledges her existence as he sits across from her, sharing his booth to save her a wait in a long line.
What began as a random encounter becomes a weekly date in which Carlie chatters about her life to a silent lunchmate. Much about him interests her–his slightly Euro fashion sense, his commitment to the work he does as he eats his lunch week after week, and his evident attention to the running monologue she shares between bites of meals that he inevitably pays for.
Dean gets to know the woman across from him–looks forward to their lunches each week, learns valuable lessons about himself—but when the cafe is threatened, and then when she doesn’t show up one day, he suspects their unusual friendship means more to him than he imagined.

Settle into the booth with Carlie and Dean and learn just how eloquent silence really is.

 My thoughts: I could relate to Carlie quite a bit in this story, since I can ramble on and forget to really stop and listen to those around me. She and Dean reminded me a bit of my husband and I, though I am thankful that my husband talked more in the beginning of our friendship than Dean did! 

When Carlie takes a chance and asks a stranger if she can share his booth for a quick meal, little does she realize the doors her boldness will open. I enjoyed getting to know her as their meeting for meals becomes a habit and a chance for her to talk through some things. Havig does a wonderful job of writing a unique story with unforgettable characters. This is a wonderful book to pick up and enjoy!

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

Click here to get your copy! This post contains affiliate links.

 

About the Author

ChautonaUSA Today Bestselling author of Aggie and Past Forward series, Chautona Havig lives in an oxymoron, escapes into imaginary worlds that look startlingly similar to ours and writes the stories that emerge. An irrepressible optimist, Chautona sees everything through a kaleidoscope of It’s a Wonderful Life sprinkled with fairy tales. Find her at chautona.com and say howdy—if you can remember how to spell her name.

 

More from Chautona

You know, originally, I had Dean as a guy who was too wrapped up in his own little world to care about anyone else—the stereotypical academic. I pictured him buried deep in original Biblical manuscripts, annoyed that anyone would dare to invade his study time.

But you know what? That’s the easy character.

When I went back to edit the book, I had this thought. What if Dean weren’t reclusive at all? What if he were kind of a know-it-all who couldn’t keep his thoughts to himself. Maybe a child prodigy who was used to people thinking him rather brilliant and looking for his insights.

Yeah… I could get into that.

There was just one small problem. I’d written the entire book without him talking much at all on those Wednesdays. Now what?

After much deliberation, even more prayer, and a bit of fudging, I came up with the solution. What if he just challenged himself for “one lunch?” Just one hour or so of not talking to prove to himself (and his peers) that he could do it.

How could he possibly know he’d set things up for months of wordless lunches—on his part? And what would a person learn in a situation like that?

I’ve never admitted this before, but I tested it a bit. At situations where I could, I forced myself to listen to people’s stories, their questions, their opinions. The hard part was not spending my listening time formulating my response (how rude anyway!). I really had to focus on exactly what they said, how their voice altered based on their emotions, and what others around us had to say to encourage (or not—too often not, I’ll admit).

I learned a lot with the experiment, and I’ll be honest. I still catch myself listening with an ear to how I’ll respond instead of really listening. No, I don’t expect to find some cafĂ© romance for myself. My guy is amazing, and he’s probably the only person on the planet who could put up with me, so… I think I’ll keep him. But I do expect to keep learning how to really hear people. You know… kind of like Jesus did. Imagine that.

Blog Stops

Pause for Tales, May 9

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 9

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, May 10

Lots of Helpers, May 11

Miriam Jacob, May 11

Texas Book-aholic, May 12

By the Book, May 13

Inklings and notions, May 14

Spoken from the Heart, May 15

For Him and My Family, May 15

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, May 16

deb’s Book Review, May 17

Locks, Hooks and Books, May 18

Mary Hake, May 18

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, May 19

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, May 20

Blogging With Carol, May 21

A Good Book and Cup of Tea, May 21

Simple Harvest Reads, May 22 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Chautona is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and a paperback copy of the book!!

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/1d735/corner-booth-celebration-tour-giveaway