Friday, May 7, 2021

Providence

 


How can she forgive a man she isn’t sure she ever knew?

Melissa Bainbridge doesn’t have time to grieve. She has three kids to feed, bills stacked high enough to crush her, and guilt–oh so much guilt.

When her husband’s death is  ruled a suicide, her financial stability and identity die with the man she now wonders if she ever knew.  How could he choose to leave them like this?  How could she have lived with him for 15 years and not known of his fragile mental health?

A journey of discovery reveals more questions than answers until Melissa finally faces her fears and tries to understand the mind of the man she thought she knew and never did.

The journey from despair to hope leads Melissa beyond grief and into the light of forgiveness in Providence.

 My thoughts: Wow, this book was amazing! I will say up front, it deals with the difficult subject of suicide, since Melissa discovers that her husband's death on the job is actually suicide. I can't imagine what it would be like to be in her shoes. I know that each and every person who I have know that has committed suicide has left a deep ache in my life. Jennifer does a wonderful job of handling a difficult subject with care and grace. 

While this book is the third in the series, it can be read as a stand alone, though I recommend reading and enjoying each of the stories. 

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

JenniferJennifer Sienes holds a bachelor’s in psychology and a master’s in education, but discovered life-experience is the best teacher. She loves Jesus, romance and writing–and puts it altogether in inspirational contemporary fiction. Her daughter’s TBI and brother’s suicide inspired two of her three novels. Although fiction writing is her real love, she’s had several non-fiction pieces published in anthologies–two in Chicken Soup for the Soul. She has two grown children and one very spoiled Maltese. California born and raised, she recently took a step of faith with her real-life hero and relocated to Tennessee.

 

More from Jennifer

For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to be a novelist. In my na├»ve mind, it was a romantic endeavor that would take little effort on my part. Growing up, I wrote stories my sisters raved over, and later, stories my kids raved over. I don’t have to tell you, they were an easy audience to please. Still, life happened somewhere in the midst of it all, and I gave up that childish endeavor and became a teacher instead. It might not have been my absolute dream job, but it was second-best, and I figured the pay would be much better.

 

It wasn’t until years later, when my husband encouraged me to step away from teaching for a year to try my hand at writing. I was thrilled. A whole year to explore my potential as a novelist. The only problem was, I didn’t know what to write about. Over the next several months, I spent more time working in the yard and repainting the interior of the house then I did at my computer. That blank screen was just too daunting.

 

Then I lost my childhood hero and best friend to suicide. Michael was my Almost-Irish-Twin. I say almost, because I was born three weeks too late to make it official. He and I spent most of our childhood attached at the hip. I don’t know if I hung out with Mike because I was a tomboy, or if I was a tomboy because I hung out with Mike. I taught him the alphabet and how to tie his shoes (it’s true—most girls do advance faster than boys) and he taught me how to catch frogs and fish.

 

We got into all kinds of escapades together, which I’m sure caused Mom more than a few gray hairs. Mike was a prankster. He had the idea we should pepper his bedroom carpet so Mom would sneeze every time she vacuumed. Our house backed up to a cattle ranch, and he found a bucket and stool and talked me into milking the cows with him. The only problem was, they were steer. He even shared the box of chocolate Ex-Lax with me that he found in our parents’ medicine cabinet. Fortunately for me, his idea of sharing was, “One for you; two for me.” Mom couldn’t get us to the hospital fast enough to have our stomachs pumped.

 

I was asked by my sister-in-law to speak at Mike’s funeral. I looked out into a church filled with his family and friends. He was a member of Biker’s for Christ, and there were more than a few members dressed in leather. He’d been on a mission trip to Thailand only a couple years before, and he taught others how to evangelize. It was our childhood antics I shared with the attendees, because I wanted them to know the hilarious, loving, prankster that Mike was before his mind had been taken over with bipolar disorder. And when I stepped away from the podium, I clearly heard the Lord whisper to my heart, “This is your story.”

 

To this day, I still have the Bible he gave me—the first one I ever owned—with an inscription in it to encourage me to not give up during my own season of heartache. He was there through my daughter’s near-fatal accident and resultant coma and traumatic brain injury. He was there when my first husband of almost 23 years walked out for reasons that made no sense. He was there to remind me that God loved me, even when it felt like my life was falling apart—especially when it felt like it was falling apart.

 

It was exceedingly difficult to lose my big brother, but it was made even more difficult when a woman in my Bible study told me he was going to hell. “Suicide is the unforgivable sin, you know,” she said as I sat with nine other ladies around a friend’s kitchen table. She was misinformed. The only unforgivable sin is the blaspheming of the Holy Spirit (Matthew 12:31). But I wondered how many other people were misinformed, as well.

 

Although Providence is Book 3 in my Apple Hill series, I actually wrote it first. The first draft was dark and gloomy, because that’s how I was feeling while grieving the loss of Mike. But as my faith has grown, so has the hope I have in Jesus Christ. I know that God doesn’t waste even one of our tears. When we suffer a loss, it’s His plan and purpose to use it for our good and His glory. I rewrote the novel twice before it spoke that truth loud and clear.

 

Providence is a story inspired by my brother’s death. And although it is not about Mike, I instilled the character of Trevor with woodworking talent, just like Mike had. The children are not my niece and nephews, but their descriptions and ages, at the time of Mike’s death, were inspired by them. My prayer is that everyone who reads this book will feel the hope and joy we have in our Lord, even when our circumstances tell us different.

Blog Stops

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, May 3

lakesidelivingsite, May 3

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, May 4

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, May 5

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 6

Reviewingbooksplusmore, May 6

Texas Book-aholic, May 7

Inklings and notions, May 8

For Him and My Family, May 9

Mary Hake, May 9

deb’s Book Review, May 10

Locks, Hooks and Books, May 11

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, May 12

Rebecca Tews, May 13

Genesis 5020, May 13

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, May 14

Sodbuster Living, May 15

Reflections From My Bookshelves, May 15

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, May 16

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Jennifer is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Amazon gift card & 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/10b62/providence-celebration-tour-giveaway

Thursday, May 6, 2021

Lassoed by the Lawman

 


Juliana Duke has always dreamed of owning a dress shop.

But as the only child of Oscar and Maria Duke and heiress of the vast Duke Ranch, her job is to marry a rancher and produce a male heir. When Lt. Cody Steves rides onto the scene, her resolve to place duty over daydreams is shaken. Now that her heart’s been lassoed by the handsome lawman, will she be able to love another?

Cody Steves wants marriage and family, but he loves being a Texas Ranger. At any time, he could ride into a job and not come out alive. How could any decent man marry, knowing he could leave a widow and orphans behind? But the beautiful Juliana Duke captures him in a way no other has. When this job is over, can he ride away with his heart intact?

When he learns of a secret plot to take over the Duke Ranch, Cody must risk everything to save Juliana. Little does he know, the outcome will be nothing like he’s planned or imagined.

 My thoughts: I enjoyed this Wild West story of faith, adventure, suspense, and romance! When Oscar Duke brings the Texas Rangers in to help him with the cattle rustling problem, little does he realize the chain of events he will set off. I loved getting to know Juliana and Cody as they got to know one another and tried to puzzle out how to hold on to their dreams while looking where God was leading them. I could so relate to that! 

This is a wonderful book and an excellent series to pick up. I like the variety that each of the books has had. 

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

Click here to get your copy!

 

About the Author

renae humor headshotRenae Brumbaugh Green is an ECPA Bestselling Author, award-winning humor columnist, and wannabe superhero. She lives in Texas with her handsome, country-boy husband, four nearly-perfect children and one nearly-perfect son-in-law, and far too many animals. When she’s not writing, Renae teaches online classes and tries to be rugged without chipping her nail polish.

 

More from Renae

Lassoed by the Lawman is the third and final book in the Texas Rangers Series, and I honestly think it’s my favorite book of the series. The main characters, Juliana and Cody, are loosely based on me and my husband, Rick. We’re both creatives, we both love music, and we both try to balance our love for creativity with our need to actually make a living! Our shared love of music initially drew us to each other.

Like Cody, Rick is rugged and masculine, and he melted my heart the first time I heard him sing. As a matter of fact, during our courtship, we often wrote songs together. One of the songs Cody sings to Juliana in the book is actually a song Rick wrote for me. (Sigh.)

The attraction Cody and Juliana feel for each other is both white-hot and pure… the kind of passion God wants husbands and wives to experience. It’s the kind of passion Christ has for us, his bride. As I worked on these pages, I giggled at times, blushed at times, and grinned with mischief always.

Through hardship and heartache, Juliana and Cody find joy. And through hardship and heartache, God wants us to find joy, too…the joy of an abundant life in Christ. I hope you enjoy reading this book as much as I enjoyed writing it. As a bonus, here’s a link to a song Rick and I wrote and recorded for each other. It’s not the song from the book, but it’s pretty special to us. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pDjVxp2m5

God bless, and happy reading!

—Renae Brumbaugh Green

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 4

lakesidelivingsite, May 5

Just Writing, May 5

Texas Book-aholic, May 6

Inklings and notions, May 7

Simple Harvest Reads, May 7 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

For Him and My Family, May 8

deb’s Book Review, May 9

Locks, Hooks and Books, May 10

Kayem Reads, May 10

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, May 11

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, May 12

Connie’s History Classroom, May 13

Vicky Sluiter, May 13

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, May 14

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, May 15

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, May 16

Daysong Reflections, May 17

Genesis 5020, May 17

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Renae 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/10b63/lassoed-by-the-lawman-celebration-tour-giveaway

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Faces of Courage release!

 


Fear strangles even the faithful sometimes.

Despite every attempt to be brave, fear has defined Olivia Stanford's life: with each new foster home, when her adopted parents died leaving her all alone again, trusting and marrying her husband, Frank, and coping with his football injuries and career loss.

Without faith, fear only grows in the face of adversity.

When Frank becomes abusive, Olivia enters a terror-filled life in her upscale Southern California home. Common sense demands she dig deep for the courage to confront him--to demand change. Fear and confusion push back.

And just as courage finally blooms within her comes the terrifying diagnosis: breast cancer.

Some say courage is found at the intersection of faith and grit. How will Olivia manage to summon either in the midst of this new battle?

Preorder your copy today! This post contains affiliate links.


Sunday, May 2, 2021

The Secret Place


 How far can love bend before it breaks?

Josie Norris became an instant mommy when her twin sister Nadine handed over her newborn son and vanished. What Josie saw as a temporary arrangement grew into a mother-son bond too deep to uproot. But with her irrational sister threatening to steal him back, Josie has been living the last few years with Kennedy in hiding, afraid to go home.

When Aunt Libby—the only person who knows the truth about Kennedy—suffers a traumatic head injury, Josie rushes to her McKenzie River home to help Gram care for the woman who raised her. But not only is Libby’s injury causing family secrets to spill, it’s forcing Josie to see the women in her life in a new light.

Will—a ranger who Kennedy adores and who Josie is determined not to—is desperate to help the woman who has stolen his affections. But can Josie ever truly be authentic with the man she loves? With her son’s fate hanging in the balance, she is faced with the choice to risk everything she loves in order to bridge the most impossible gulfs.

In this story of mothers, daughters, and sisters, Josie must find the grace to forgive people for not being who she needed them to be…and the courage to surrender her fears to the God who has never once left her side.

 My thoughts: There is more to this story than meets the eye. Filled with layers of stories and emotions as I traveled along with Josie is forced to come back home and face her past in order to hope for more of a future. It was interesting to see how the generations dealt with things, from the twins grandmother to Aunt Libby and their mother, and on down to Josie and Nadine. This book touches on some sensitive subjects, but I thought that the author did a good job of writing about them while being thoughtful in her approach to the topics. While this isn't my favorite book by Camille Eide (Wings Like a Dove was just so, so good!), it's still worth the read.

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

Click here to get your copy!

 

About the Author

Camille EideCamille Eide (EYE-dee) is the award-winning author of poignant, inspirational love stories including The Memoir of Johnny Devine. Camille lives in Oregon with her husband and has three adult kids and five grandkids. She loves baking, muscle cars, and the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest. She also loves the liberating truth and wisdom of God’s word, and hopes that her stories will stir your heart, strengthen your faith, and encourage you on your journey.

 

More from Camille

Secrets That Won’t Stay Hidden

Josie, the heroine in The Secret Place, faces more than one dilemma as a result of imperfect confidantes and their unkept secrets. So what inspired this story?

Many years ago, my late father-in-law suffered a traumatic brain injury and was life-flighted to a hospital 150 miles away. Family members gathered and were told to prepare for the possibility that he wouldn’t last the night. In an answer to many prayers, he made it through the night, but was in a coma, and no one knew what his future held or what long term effects his injuries would have.

His recovery was long, strange, and uncertain. In the first two weeks, he went from unconscious to incoherent to muttering. Then he progressed to forming real words, but what he said made no sense.

As his communication began to improve, his speech turned into an ongoing narrative. He talked about events and people and things long ago—including things we hadn’t heard before, things that confused and surprised family members young and old. We realized that these revelations were not simply a product of his addled brain, but in fact true. To our dismay, his social filters and verbal etiquette were gone, which made his kids and grandkids more than a little nervous. What kinds of memories and expressions would we hear from this beloved man of faith whom we all suspected had been a bit of a rascal as a youth?

To everyone’s relief, though my father-in-law said peculiar things and told us stories no one knew about, he didn’t have any shocking skeletons in his closet, and after eight weeks, he was pretty much back to his sensible, knowing self. But the fact that his private thoughts and potential secrets had at one point been so completely exposed sparked some intriguing “what if” questions in this writer’s mind:

  • What if you lost the ability to keep your private thoughts and secrets safe?
  • How might your life change if your secrets or some hidden past were exposed?
  • What if the person to whom you’ve entrusted a most crucial secret suddenly couldn’t?

The book’s title refers to several kinds of secret place. I look forward to hearing how many secret places readers can find in this story.

-Camille

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 27

Genesis 5020, April 27

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, April 28

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, April 29

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, April 30

Mypreciousbitsandmusings, April 30

deb’s Book Review, May 1

For Him and My Family, May 2

Blogging With Carol, May 2

Inklings and notions, May 3

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, May 4

Mary Hake, May 4

Texas Book-aholic, May 5

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, May 6

By The Book, May 6

Locks, Hooks and Books, May 7

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, May 8

Pause for Tales, May 8

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, May 9

The Adventures Of A Travelers Wife, May 10

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Camille is giving away the grand prize of a $25 Amazon card & a signed 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/10b28/the-secret-place-celebration-tour-giveaway

Saturday, May 1, 2021

Suddenly Forever

 


On the outskirts of Laurel Cove, North Carolina sits a quiet lake tucked into gentle mountains carpeted with the brilliant colors of autumn. Grief binds the lake’s only residents into an unlikely family, where old and new love build a bridge between loss and hope.

For years, best-selling author Cora Bradford has worked tirelessly to tread the unrelenting waves of grief in solitude. That is until a new neighbor moves in down the road and threatens to disrupt what she’s carefully preserved of the life she once knew. Will God ever answer her prayer for peace and calmer waters?

Following a scandal, Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist Luke Bassett escapes to the one place in the world he’s ever experienced peace—his mother’s cabin on the lake where he spent childhood summers. But the memory of her and the mistakes he made are hardly peaceful. To make matters worse, he gets off to a rocky start with his bitter, but breathtakingly beautiful, neighbor. Was running away from the life he’s always known the biggest mistake of all, or the beginning of something he never knew he wanted?

Spunky, opinionated, and recently widowed Ina McLean is alone for the first time in over ninety years. When Cora and Luke come together to care for their only other neighbor, Ina’s belief in God’s goodness through life’s ups and downs works to restore their hope in learning to live—and love—again.

 My thoughts: This is such a beautiful story of loss, grieving, hope, and learning to trust again! I loved the variety of characters. Ina was such a delightful character, I can only imagine what it would be like to learn to be alone again after so many years of marriage. I have thought that with my great aunt who lost her husband of over 70 years. I also felt for Cora, a she navigates the unfortunate loss of her husband at a young age. This is such a beautiful, well written story. I highly recommend picking up a copy!

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

Click here to get your copy!

 

About the Author

TeresaTysinger_HeadshotTeresa Tysinger is an author of Southern Contemporary Romance inspired by grace. She writes on the fringes of being a wife, mom, and full-time communications and public relations professional. Teresa is a member of ACFW, the Association for Women in Communications, and the Religion Communicators Council. She loves coffee, traveling, and prides herself in knowing and loving almost every genre of music. Born in Hawaii, raised in Florida, and educated in North Carolina, she now resides in Texas with her husband, daughter, and dog.

 

More from Teresa

Hi Readers!

As an author, I love each of my stories. There’s no denying, though, that Suddenly Forever holds a special place in my heart. I think it always will. The second in my Laurel Cove Romance Series, Cora and Luke’s story came together differently than any other I’ve written.

Most often, a new story of mine begins with a simple notion or seed of an idea. I brainstorm and fit pieces together until a more complete idea begins to take shape. The process usually takes weeks and sometimes months. Suddenly Forever was completely different! One night I could not fall asleep. I tossed and turned for what seemed like hours. Characters’ faces sprang to mind like snapshots. Their personalities, fears, and desires sort of just clicked into place. Scenes played out from start to finish. The “noise” of this waking dream was so vivid that I eventually reached for my phone on my nightstand and punch out the ideas in my Notes app.

By the time I finally fell asleep that night, the entire story was clear in my mind. The next day, I sat down and began drafting Cora and Luke’s story. It was the fastest first draft I’ve ever written! The story just poured out of me. By the time I finished just over a month later, I felt as though I’d ran a sprint, getting the scenes down as fast as they’d come to me so I could get to the next. It was exhilarating and exhausting and super rewarding.

More than once, I wondered why this story had come to me so quickly and clearly compared to others. After some reflection and prayer, I believe it’s because this story isn’t mine at all. It’s God’s. I’ve always approached my writing with a prayerful heart that God would meet me on the pages and fill it in with His truths so readers might see Him. But this felt different. This felt as though God simply needed someone with fingers to type.

And so, my prayer as you read Suddenly Forever is that God’s messages come through loud and clear. To the reader who, like Cora, grieves a lost loved one, may you see God’s healing hand and feel His peace. To the reader who may one day encounter someone grieving, may you see the lessons of patience and compassion cultivated in Luke. May you all be reminded of God’s ever-present love for you!

I hope you’ll join me this summer as I invite you again to visit Laurel Cove. The third book in the Laurel Cove Romance Series, Someone Found, releases in May! Blessings and happy reading!

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 30

Books and Everyday Life, April 30

Texas Book-aholic, May 1

Inklings and notions, May 2

For Him and My Family, May 3

Remembrancy, May 3

deb’s Book Review, May 4

Locks, Hooks and Books, May 5

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, May 6

Blogging With Carol, May 6

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, May 7

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, May 8

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, May 9

Britt Reads Fiction, May 9

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, May 10

Through the Fire Blogs, May 11

Pick A Good Book, May 11

CarpeDiem, May 12

Labor Not in Vain, May 13

Godly Book Reviews, May 13

Giveaway

To celebrate her, Teresa is giving away the grand prize package of a Zippered Book Sleeve (8×10), a “Library” Candle (4 oz), a Suddenly Forever Book Quote Card (4×6), and a $10 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/10b5f/suddenly-forever-celebration-tour-giveaway