For the Love of Literature

For the Love of Literature

As a bibliophile, my passion for books coalesces with a love of writing, and writing book reviews allows me to share literature with the world.

Review
4 Stars
Hearts Set Free Review and GIVEAWAY!
 

About the Book

 


Book:  Hearts Set Free

Author: Jess Lederman

Genre:  Christian Literary Fiction

Release Date: March 12th, 2019

Join me on a journey from the darkness of doubt to triumphant faith and from the ache of loneliness to everlasting love…

“Bold and forthright writing that would set any heart on fire.”–Christian blogger Miranda A. Uyeh
“Readers of inspirational fiction will love this moving story that affirms the power of God’s mercy.”
–Publisher’s Weekly

In 1930, the rag-tag riffraff of a railway stop called Las Vegas need a fighting man to shepherd their tiny church after their pastor is murdered. Might David Gold, a washed-up boxer and Bible-school dropout who fights as the Pummelin’ Preacher, be the answer to their prayers?

At the same time, Luke, a native Alaskan boy, is on a quest to find his father, who has abandoned his family for a beautiful woman his warrior mother vows to kill. The journey of mother and son will lead them to the Nevada desert, and to truths–and terrors–of which they’d never dreamed.

In 2011, Science Cable T.V. producer Tim Faber is determined to prove that mankind has no need of God, while his lover, Joan Reed, strives to regain the faith of her youth. They’re bound for Las Vegas to meet with a 99-year-old man who holds the key to a mystery they must solve–and answers that will forever change their lives.

Their stories will come together at a little house of worship known as the Church of the Heart Set Free.

“I was mesmerized by the characters and how everything unfolded and linked together…”
–Just One More Paragraph (Musings of a Christian Wife)



Click HERE to get your copy!

About the Author

 


After I graduated with a degree in music from Columbia University, a lust for expensive pianos drew me into an unexpected career in finance. It turned out that I had a knack for business; I gained much that the world had to offer and became a hedonist, a gambler who haunted the poker rooms of Las Vegas, and an arrogant atheist. I’ve written fiction for most of my life, and at one point I quit work to devote myself to writing a novel. During that time, my late first wife, Teri, and I lived in Paris, down the street from where Hemingway once lived, and later in the mountains of Idaho. But the novel was never published, for I was a man whose soul had not yet awakened, who did not yet have anything important to say. So I went back to the business world.

One day, when we were living in Dallas, Teri heard a radio interview with Francis Collins, an eminent scientist who wrote The Language of God, which tells the story of his journey from atheism to becoming a disciple of Christ. Collins’ book led us to the writings of C.S. Lewis and George MacDonald*, who became the midwives of our rebirth from above.

There’s no hiding from the Hound of Heaven, once He’s on your trail!

Several years later, Teri was diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) and we left Dallas and the business world behind and moved to a small town in Alaska. There we looked out on the glory of God’s creation and read to our heart’s content during the last two years of her life. Faced with tragedy, we learned to trust utterly in Him, and He blessed us with the peace that surpasses all understanding.

It was after Teri’s death, while I was still living in the far north, that the idea for Hearts Set Free—which opens in the Alaska Territory in 1925was born. People who know that the novel contains autobiographical elements (and several historical characters) sometimes ask me, “How much of the story is true?’ And I answer, “Perhaps twenty percent—and the rest is even more true!” What drives my writing is the desire to convey truths that transform lives. Truths of the heart.

In 2013, I met a wonderful woman—my current wife, Ling—and soon we began talking about having children. “Impossible!” said our doctors. “According to your test results, there’s no chance at all, even using the latest techniques.” Of course, within two months of that pronouncement, Ling was pregnant with little David, who just turned three, and we subsequently adopted Daniel, who’s now twelve.

After David’s birth, we moved to southwest Washington. I’m currently at work on a novel set in Las Vegas in 1955, and, when I’m not writing or chasing my sons around, can usually be found at the piano playing Chopin nocturnes for Ling.

More from Jess

 

I first conceived of Hearts Set Free in the far frozen north, not long after my first wife, Teri, passed away. She had been diagnosed with ALS, an invariably fatal disease, when we were living in Dallas, and within a month we decided that I’d quit my job so we could move to a small town in Alaska. We bought a small house based on the view out of the living room windows; there we’d be able to spend the time she had left in peace, and gaze out at the glory of God’s creation.

Teri—a woman who untiringly searched for truth—was the inspiration for Joan Reed, one of the main characters in the book, and Alaska—the Last Frontier!—entered into the story as well. We were living not far from the headquarters of the Iditarod, the iconic thousand-mile dog sled race that takes place each year. The Iditarod was modeled after an amazing race against time which occurred in the icy darkness of an Alaskan winter in 1925, when dogsled was the only way to get diphtheria serum to the remote town of Nome and save ten thousand lives. Hearts Set Free begins with that dramatic event.

I put a lot of myself—the bad along with the good!—into other characters in Hearts Set Free. Up until I became a Christian, I had all of the arrogant narcissism of atheist Tim Faber, a T.V. producer intent on proving that mankind has no need of God. I also have the questioning spirit of David Gold, a Bible-school dropout turned boxer who is led by the Lord to become a heroic pastor, and of young Luke Noongwook, a native Alaskan who goes on a quest to find his missing father. Their need to understand difficult aspects of Scripture are based on a passionate desire to love God with all their heart and strength and soul and mind. As is mine!

As a young man, I’d been greatly impressed by E.L. Doctorow’s novel Ragtime, which blended fictional and historical characters, and I decided to use the same approach in Hearts Set Free. Parts of the novel are set in the early and mid-1900s (especially the 1930s), and Jack Johnson, the first black heavyweight champion of the world, and Georges Lemaitre, who was both a physicist and a priest—a man who corrected Albert Einstein, and is probably the greatest scientist of whom most people have never heard!—play important roles.

Finally, the novel is tribute to the beauty of Scripture and features many quotes from the Psalms. If you love compelling tales that combine mystery, adventure, and romance, and enjoy thinking deeply about your faith, I think you’ll find it’s just the book for you!
 

My Review

 
With a book such as this, there is so much contained within the pages that it is difficult to know where to begin. Jess Lederman truly pens an epic novel with “Hearts Set Free”, one that explores and plumbs the depths of the human condition through a variety of characters ranging from 1914 to 2011. The first segment of the novel is, I think, the most challenging. I struggled with the abundance of characters and time periods, and as someone who is terrible with names, it took me a long time to adjust and begin to follow each character’s thread. It is interesting to see how they interconnect over the years. Even this novel’s layout seems indicative of its message; there are four segments, which mirror man’s fall through the new heaven and new earth, Genesis to Revelation. Other topics also find ground here, including scientific discoveries and current events. I loved the surprise appearance by Amelia Earhart! In many ways, you could say that this novel is Luke’s story, as he is 99 years old and still holding onto the memories that have shaped his life and, more importantly, his faith.

“Hearts Set Free” is partly allegorical, drawing upon the characters’ own memories as well as the Bible. There are multiple scenes throughout the novel that clearly reflect Biblical events, such as Jacob wrestling with God, which brings up another point. I do take issue with the profanity used in the text; while I understand that people do talk that way, I do not expect to see it in Christian literature. An overarching theme throughout the narrative is the importance of planting seeds of faith; only the Lord can save, but as Christians we should be generously planting the seeds of hope and faith. It is these life-affirming words and actions that cause some of the characters to question and to take the first steps forward toward salvation. One of the passages that tugged at my heart the most, and which sums up the novel and reinforces God’s love for us, was the initial conversation between Sister Anna and Yura: “‘You did this for your God?’” my mother asked her. “‘No, Yura, God did this for me.’”

I received a complimentary copy of this book through Celebrate Lit and was not required to post a favorable review. All opinions are my own.

Blog Stops

 

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 20

For the Love of Literature, February 21

Artistic Nobody, February 22 (Author Interview)

Texas Book-aholic, February 23

Older & Smarter?, February 24

Inklings and notions, February 25

A Baker’s Perspective, February 26 (Author Interview)

For Him and My Family, February 27

deb’s Book Review, February 28

Christian Bookshelf Reviews, February 29 (Author Interview)

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, March 1

Godly Book Reviews, March 2

Through the Fire Blogs, March 3 (Author Interview)

Locks, Hooks and Books, March 4

 

Giveaway

 

 
To celebrate his tour, Jess is giving away the grand prize package of an autographed copy of Hearts Set Free plus 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.
 

 

Review
3 Stars
Fateful Fall Review and GIVEAWAY!
 

About the Book


Book:  Fateful Fall

Author: Erin Unger

Genre:  Christian Romantic Suspense

Release Date: August 9, 2019

Private Investigator Ava Worthington and her partners head to the mountains to solve the death of a farmer’s son who was discovered murdered in an outhouse on the property. Without local cowboy Cory’s protection, Ava won’t get the chance to follow leads as the killer tries to stop her investigation. But Ava’s falling for Cory against her better judgment. She should be working and not pining after a cowboy. And Cory doesn’t want a relationship. His successful career was destroyed by a woman he trusted, and he won’t make the same mistake twice.

One suspect after another is cleared from Ava’s list until she’s sure she has the real killer targeted in her sights, but he’s hunting her, too. How will Ava and Cory find the killer and admit their love before they are buried under a mountain of secrets?


Click HERE to get your copy!

About the Author

 


Erin Unger was raised in the hills of Virginia, exploring abandoned houses and reading the scariest books she could find. After marrying so young it would make a great romance novel, she has enjoyed an exciting life with her hubby. But her fast-paced life sometimes rivals the suspense in her books thanks to all her mostly grown children and a couple grandkids.

More from Erin

 

Come join us for the best Fall Apple Festival at Stoneridge Lodge and Farm! We’re waiting to welcome you to our delightful event. Take in the scent of hot apple cider and apple butter simmering over a warm fire. Check out the best hay maze this side of the mountain. And catch an act or two amongst the trees and river, where country dancers will kick up their heels and entertain you all day. And jump aboard our hayride, which trails through the prettiest parts of the Blue Ridge mountains this side of Virginia.

And don’t forget the delectable homemade meals ready for purchase. You’ll get the best funnel cakes and fried cookies you ever had, too.

But please do forgive the murder or two happening in the background. We have Ava Worthington and her investigation team on the books to take care of it. You’re probably not in danger…really. It’s just a family issue. You’re not related to the owners, are you? Because you should be fine if you’re not… Anyway, don’t let a little thing like murder keep you from making our annual fall festival a family tradition.
 
 

My Review

 
Heavy on the romance aspect and light on suspense, Erin Unger’s “Fateful Fall” contains a good message and is a clean read but was not my cup of tea. For the most part, I am not a romance reader, especially not when it comes to contemporary romance; it was the suspense angle of this book that captured my interest, as well as being set during autumn. This is an easy-to-read mystery that begins with the main character and her business partners traveling to the mountains in order to pursue answers in the case of a murdered man. I appreciated the independence that the female characters displayed and the fact that they formed their own private investigation service. The story is action-packed from the moment the trio arrives in Tennessee, and I loved the mountain setting. Most importantly, I give kudos to the author for including the Christian spiritual element quietly but effectively. As Ava declares early on, “Luck? There was no such thing as luck. God had His fingers in everything, and I was more than glad to offer Him praise for saving me from the wild.”

The issues that I had with the book are not grievous, and I am glad that I read it. The characters came across as immature to me, and at times snarky. This could just be my personal preference; the conversations and interactions of the characters struck me as odd. I was disappointed that Ava was so quick to turn her attention to Cory, and the subsequent lacking of communication with her team.

I received a complimentary copy of this book through Celebrate Lit and was not required to post a favorable review. All opinions are my own.

Blog Stops

 

 

Giveaway

 

To celebrate her tour, Erin is giving away the grand prize of a $45 Amazon gift card!!
 
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.
 

 

Review
5 Stars
Cold Case Connection Review and GIVEAWAY!
 

About the Book


Book:  Cold Case Connection

Author: Dana Mentink

Genre:  Romantic Suspense

Release Date: February 1, 2020

Convinced his sister’s death wasn’t an accident, private investigator Sergio Ross is determined to catch her killer. But with all the clues hinting at a connection to another unsolved murder, he has to join forces with Helen Pike—a woman linked to both deaths—to find the truth. Can they follow the cold evidence trail to get justice…before they become the next victims?

Click HERE to get your copy.

About the Author


Dana Mentink is a two time American Christian Fiction Writers Carol Award winner, a Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice Award and a Holt Medallion winner. She is a national bestselling author of over forty titles in the suspense and lighthearted romance genres. She is pleased to write for Harlequin’s Love Inspired Suspense, Harlequin Heartwarming and Harvest House. Besides writing, she busies herself teaching third grade. Mostly, she loves to be home with Papa Bear, teen bear cubs affectionately nicknamed Yogi and Boo Boo, Junie, the  nutty terrier, and a chubby box turtle. You can connect with Dana via her website at danamentink.com, on Facebook, YouTube (Author Dana Mentink) and Instagram (dana_mentink.)

More from Dana

 

Cold Case Connection was really fun to write because it’s Helen’s story. She’s an intelligent, sensitive woman who is the sister to the men living on the Roughwater Ranch. Liam is her biological brother, but she’s just as close to Chad and Mitch who might as well be blood relatives. In this novel, Helen has to relive the worst moment of her teenage life, the night when a mysterious murder occurred during a teen prank. Helen is going to have to face the past in order to preserve her future. Cowboys, a case gone cold, a coastal ranch and a whole lot of danger…I hope you will enjoy the ride!
 

My Review

 
“They’d lost their childhood that night, all of them, any last vestiges of innocence had been sucked away by those dark tunnels.”

Two murders from among a group of former high school friends, one in the past and one more recently, spark this “Cold Case Connection” by Dana Mentink. This is an author I’ve not read before, but I will now be watching for her books. This one puts me in mind of the Nancy Drew series that I grew up reading, with romantic interest slowly developing around the heroine, who finds herself in multiple dangerous situations that increase in peril the closer she gets to the truth. Some of the scenes in this book caused a chill, with enough romance to lighten the atmosphere and provide relief from the tension.

Weaving together two crimes related yet with fifteen years between them, Mentink strategically uses characters and events to ultimately showcase God’s enduring love and forgiveness. Blaming herself for negligence after finding out her friend is dead, Helen Pike has not truly healed and moved on. It doesn’t help that her friend’s brother, Sergio Ross, also holds her partially responsible, a wound that reopens when Sergio shows up to conduct his own investigation of sorts. With danger dogging their heels, this unlikely duo doesn’t have much time to solve the “Cold Case Connection.”

Christian suspense is always a treat because it offers the thrill and mystery without undue violence and in a clean environment. No scene is wasted, and there is undeniable suspense throughout. With this particular book, adding in an extended timeline and previous history between the characters enhances the mystery and intrigue. The lines are not always clear-cut, as in real life, but the promise of hope and deliverance never wavers.

I received a complimentary copy of this book through Celebrate Lit and was not required to post a favorable review. All opinions are my own.

Blog Stops

 

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, February 14

Among the Reads, February 14

Through the Fire Blogs, February 14

The Avid Reader, February 15

Texas Book-aholic, February 15

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 16

Inklings and notions, February 16

janicesbookreviews, February 16

Betti Mace, February 17

She Lives to Read, February 17

Genesis 5020, February 17

For the Love of Literature, February 18

For Him and My Family, February 18

My Devotional Thoughts, February 19

Reading Is My SuperPower, February 19

Just Your Average reviews, February 19

Remembrancy, February 20

Older & Smarter?, February 20

Blogging With Carol, February 20

deb’s Book Review, February 21

Bigreadersite, February 21

EmpowerMoms, February 21

Blossoms and Blessings, February 22

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, February 22

Christian Bookaholic, February 23

KarenSueHadley, February 23

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, February 23

Emily Yager, February 24

Christian Bookshelf Reviews, February 24

Pause for Tales, February 24

Simple Harvest Reads, February 25 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, February 25

Maureen’s Musings, February 26

Hallie Reads, February 26

A Good Book and Cup of Tea, February 26

Livin’ Lit, February 27

To Everything There Is A Season, February 27

Daysong Reflections, February 27

 

Giveaway

 

 
To celebrate her tour, Dana is giving away the grand prize of a Mentink giveaway bundle, including a bag, a copy of the book, and an Amazon gift card!!
 
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.
 

 

Leaving Texas Author Interview and GIVEAWAY!
 

About the Book


Book:  Leaving Texas

Author: Caryl McAdoo

Genre:  Christian Historical Romance

Release Date: January 2, 2020

I know the plans I have for you, plans for good, not evil.

Cruel is the illusion of love. Robbed of her true love by his mean-spirited mother, Charity is given no choice but to leave Texas and follow her Prince Charming to the Golden State. Instantly attracted to her, Morgan agrees to help the young beauty on her journey, but where all other ladies paled after first blush, his initial fascination only deepens with every turn of the wagon’s wheels. Though obvious to all those around the two—how perfect Morgan and Charity were for each other—will the hard-headed, strong-willed daughter of Liberty O’Neal Harrell ever realize it?   

Click HERE for your copy!

About the Author


Praying her story gives God glory, award-winning author Caryl McAdoo continues prolificity with her new Cross Timbers Romance Family Saga series. Readers around the world enjoy her best-selling novels and shower them with 5-Star ratings galore. With forty-eight titles—and counting—her love for writing is obvious; the lady loves singing the new songs the Lord gives her as well! (Check out YouTube). Caryl gave Ron four children and the couple shares eighteen grandsugars. The McAdoos live in the woods south of Clarksville, the seat of Red River County, in far Northeast Texas, waiting expectantly for God to open the next door.

More from Caryl

 

As my second family saga series—Cross Timbers Romance—grows, and the children of Book One GONE TO TEXAS come into adulthood, I fall more in love with these characters. This story—Book Four in the series, LEAVIN’ TEXAS, takes readers on another wagon train that historically left right about the same time of year as its early spring setting from Red River County, heading for California in 1850.

LEAVIN’ TEXAS is Charity O’Neal’s story wherein she determines to follow her Prince Charming, Eberhart ‘Hart’ de Vecchi, to California to start her new life with him there—no matter the naysayers or rough trails ahead. But as so often is the case, our plans and those God has in place for us don’t always correlate.

Many times, we’ve prayed about it—what we want Him to do, how we expect everything to turn out—and feel certain we are in His will. I personally thank God for praying mothers, friends, and grandmothers who perhaps see us heading in a wrong direction and beseech Him to guide us in His way, not our own.

My life has benefitted from such praying women.
So does Charity O’Neal’s.
I imagine yours has as well!

I love the well-known verse in Jeremiah! “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” Jeremiah 29:11 Especially the ‘expected end’ part. I find great comfort in knowing His thoughts—or plans—are of peace and not evil, and that He intends to give us an expected end!

I hope you enjoy LEAVING TEXAS and will take time to review it!
BLESSINGS!
 

Author Interview

 

Welcome, Caryl!

 

Sarah, thank you so much for inviting me to your blog! I’m thrilled to be here and have the opportunity to meet your friends and readers!

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

Well, I suppose you might call it a quirk, considering I’m an author. I’m giggling now, telling on myself like this, but I never took typing in school. I didn’t want to be a secretary—not that there’s anything wrong with being a secretary, I just couldn’t imagine being chained to a desk all day; I wanted to have a secretary!
So anyway, the quirk is that I type by the Bible. More specifically, by Matthew 7:7 that says, “Seek and ye shall find!”

Is there a particular literary period that you’re drawn to (Regency, Victorian, Romantic, Modernism, etc.)? Why?


You know, the whole world loves Texas! Do you know how we have Renaissance Festivals and Civil War Reenactments in our country? Well all around the world, people in other countries have Wild West events like those where vendors dress up like cowboys and Indians and have a blast!

I live in Texas and am drawn to its early days, a period where generations not so far removed worked hard, loved true, and worshipped God. Women dressed modestly (unless they were soiled doves) and kept the home fires going, while men went out and provided for their families!

 

Daughters were highly valued as a great treasure and chaperoned when courters started calling. The norm in that era was remaining pure until marriage. Mothers could let the children run free outside and play all day, coming home before dark without worrying they would be snatched up by a bad man.

I love those days and the values they adhered to!


Describe your book in five words.


Missionary, Miracles, Adoption, Obedience, Overcoming

Who is your biggest inspiration?


My husband is my co-author on all the stories and biggest inspiration by far in my life. He is zenith of all my heroes rolled into one and the most Christ-like man I know. Don’t you love my heroes? See how blessed I am? And it’s our joint love of God that inspires us to write our characters.

I pray my story gives God glory!

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?


Hear from God, study to show yourself approved, then start writing and don’t quit! The more you study before you write, the less rewrites you’ll have to do, but re-write, you will even though rewriting isn’t nearly as fun as writing! Remember this tough---Only God writes in stone, the rest of us rewrite!

P.S. (a blatant commercial advertisement) STORY & STYLE, The Craft of Writing Creative Fiction is a great book packed with everything I’ve learned in all the years up to its publication. It’s written in an easy-to-understand, conversational format with lots of examples!

 

Thanks again, Sarah, for inviting me to come visit! I appreciate you choosing to participate in my Leaving Texas Blog Tour with Celebrate Lit! Blessings!

 

My pleasure! Thank you so much for joining us!

 

Blog Stops

 

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 13

deb’s Book Review, February 14

Texas Book-aholic, February 15

Chas Ray’s Book Nerd Corner, February 16

Inklings and notions, February 17

For the Love of Literature, February 18 (Author Interview)

For Him and My Family, February 19

Betti Mace, February 20

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, February 21

janicesbookreviews, February 22

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, February 23

Stephanie’s Life of Determination, February 24

Tell Tale Book Reviews, February 25 (Author Interview)

Artistic Nobody, February 26 (Guest Reviewer Donna Cline)

 

Giveaway

 

To celebrate her tour, Caryl is giving away the grand 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.
 

 

Review
4 Stars
Lost in the Storm Review and GIVEAWAY!

 

About the Book

 


Book:  Lost in the Storm

Author: Tamera Lynn Kraft

Genre:  Christian Historical Romance

Release Date: August 1, 2019

Will war bring them love or will they be Lost in the Storm!

Lavena, a journalist during the Civil War, wants to become a war correspondent. She finally gets her chance, but there’s a catch. She has to get an interview from a war hero who has refused to tell his story to every other journalist, and she has to accomplish this impossible task in a month or she’ll lose her job.

Captain Cage, the war hero, has a secret that will destroy his military career and reputation. Now, a new journalist is trying to get him to tell what he’s been hiding. He wants to ignore her, but from the moment she came into camp, he can’t get her out of his mind.

Leading up to the turbulent Battles for the city of Chattanooga, will Lavena and Cage find the courage to love and forgive, or will they be swept away by their past mistakes that don’t want to stay buried?

Meet the Ladies of Oberlin, the causes they’re willing to fight for, and the men who capture their hearts.



Click HERE to get your copy.

About the Author

 


Award winning author Tamera Lynn Kraft has always loved adventures. She loves to write historical fiction set in the United States because there are so many stories in American history. There are strong elements of faith, romance, suspense and adventure in her stories. Alice’s NotionsRed Sky Over AmericaLost in the StormResurrection of Hope, and Soldier’s Heart are among her published works.

Tamera been married for 40 years to the love of her life, Rick, and has two married adult children and three grandchildren. She has been a children’s pastor for over 20 years. She is the leader of a ministry called Revival Fire for Kids where she mentors other children’s leaders, teaches workshops, and is a children’s ministry consultant and children’s evangelist and has written children’s church curriculum. She is a recipient of the 2007 National Children’s Leaders Association Shepherd’s Cup for lifetime achievement in children’s ministry.

More from Tamera

 

History is my Passion

I love to read all genres of Christian fiction, but when I go to write, it always ends up being a Christian historical. The reason for that is I have a passion for history. I love to read about historical events, and frequently, I begin wondering what it would be like to live through those chaotic events in history. Out of that thought process, my characters and my stories take on a life of their own.

For instance, my series, Ladies of Oberlin, came out of reading about the great Christian women who advance social and spiritual movements in the late 1800s. I found over and over that the common denominator of these women was they all had a connection with Oberlin College, the first college that allow women and black to receive degrees alongside white men before the Civil War. I gained a treasure trove of research from a college only an hour away from where I lived.

As I researched Oberlin, I found out it was in the middle of every social and spiritual movement of the time. Charles Finney, the fiery Second Great Awakening evangelist, was the president of the college. Ninety percent of missionaries sent overseas between 1860 and 1900 were graduates of the college. Many of the women’s suffrage leaders, women’s educational leaders, women doctors and scholars, abolitionists, and prohibitionist leaders were from Oberlin College. At that point, I knew I wanted to tell their stories in my novels. I decided to write three stories covering three college roommates.

My first novel in the series set shortly before the Civil War was Red Sky Over America, the story of America Leighton, a woman abolitionist who was studying to become a missionary in China. She decided she couldn’t make a stand for the Gospel in China until she confronted her father to free his slaves. To make things more interesting, her love interest has plans of his own in Kentucky. The results were explosive as you can imagine.

The second in the series, released August first, is Lost in the Storm set during the Civil War. Lavena Falcon is determined to be an independent woman who advances the causes she believes in by being a journalist. Her greatest desire is to travel to where the heroic Ohio Seventh Regiment is fighting and report about these brave men. The problem is if she doesn’t get an interview with an illusive captain who doesn’t want to talk to reporters, she’ll lose her job. It doesn’t help that she’s attracted to him.

The third novel, due to release late next year, is set shortly after the Civil War in Northeast Ohio. Betsy Teagan’s husband is back from the war, but things aren’t going according to plan. He is haunted by the war and finds solace in the local saloon drinking himself into oblivion. She tries everything to help him including protesting in front of the bar.
 

My Review

 

A seminal period in American history, the Civil War stands as a stark reminder of the cost of division and enslavement. In an increasingly polarized world, remembering the transgressions of the past becomes ever more important in order to avoid falling into similar patterns of wickedness. This is one of the ways that literature serves society, through both nonfiction and fiction, and it’s one of the reasons that historical fiction is my favorite genre. As such, I am always on the lookout for new authors to add to my to-read list, and I am delighted to have found one in Tamera Lynn Kraft and this second book in the Daughters of Oberlin series. It can stand alone, but there is some background mentioned in this story.

Opening in September 1863 in Cleveland, Ohio, “Lost in the Storm” immediately appealed to me for a variety of reasons. As an Ohio native, I am somewhat familiar with the geography, and on a more abstract level, I was drawn to the title and cover. Before long, the characters became dear to me as well. I empathized with Betsy Teagan in the first few chapters and hope to read more of her story in the next book. Lavena Falcon is an early suffragette and the sole female reporter for The Cleveland Leader. A graduate of Oberlin College, she is determined to become the war correspondent for both laudable and personal reasons. As the story unfolds, the anger that she harbors in her heart collides with unexpected attraction. Similarly, Cage skirts the issue of talking about the event that made him a war hero. Both are hiding shameful events from their pasts that continue to haunt their futures and the present.

Kraft also skillfully writes about the privations of war without employing graphic details. Indeed, “War caused so much heartache.” This was the first I had heard of sutlers, and these merchants certainly harmed those they served, offering the temptation to fall into alcohol and fornication. I felt sorrow and compassion for the soldiers in this story, including Nate, for the horrors that they experienced at such young ages, for being there for their fellow soldiers on both sides and often losing their friends. Most of all, I appreciate the hope and redemption that the author weaves into the narrative, demonstrating that God truly never leaves nor forsakes us, and that He is able to turn every situation into good for those who love Him.

I received a complimentary copy of this book through Celebrate Lit and was not required to post a favorable review. All opinions are my own.


Blog Stops

 

Through the Fire Blogs, February 8

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 9

Texas Book-aholic, February 10

deb’s Book Review, February 11

Betti Mace, February 12

Inklings and notions, February 13

Artistic Nobody, February 14 (Author Interview)

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, February 15

Simple Harvest Reads, February 16 (Author Interview)

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, February 16

For the Love of Literature, February 17

My Devotional Thoughts, February 18

A Baker’s Perspective, February 19 (Author Interview)

For Him and My Family, February 20

By The Book, February 21 (Author Interview)

Stephanie’s Life of Determination, February 21

 

Giveaway

 

 
To celebrate her tour, Tamera is giving away the grand prize package of a a $25 gift certificate and 3 paperbacks: Red Sky Over America, Lost in the Storm, and Forks in the Road!!
 
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.
 

 

School of the Miraculous Spotlight and GIVEAWAY!
 
 

About the Book


Book:  School of the Miraculous

Author: Kynan Bridges

Genre: Non-fiction / Christian / Pentecostal & Charismatic

Release Date: December 20, 2019

Demystifying Miracles

What if you could experience something miraculous every day?

Many Christians think of miracles as rare events for a select and fortunate few. But miracles don’t have be something mysterious and out of reach. They don’t have to be the exception. Just as they were common in the early church, they can become common for you.

School of the MiraculousA Practical Guide to Walking in Daily Miracles by Dr. Kynan Bridges shows how every believer can develop a miracle mind-set, operate in miracles, and establish a lifestyle in which miraculous events occur.

Dr. Kynan has encountered many believers who are frustrated because they are not seeing evidence of God’s power in their circumstances. They have a growing desperation for more of His intervention in their lives. This book was designed to answer that cry for more.

The Holy Spirit is the Miracle Worker—but all miracles involve human participation in some way. Dr. Kynan reveals that our growing intimacy with God’s Spirit will lead us to see and participate in His miracles—living in His power and setting our expectations increasingly higher for His miraculous works in our lives. This practical guide for every believer is filled with ideas for personal application, encouraging testimonies, and spiritual activation prayers for tapping into the miraculous. Enroll in the School of the Miraculous today!



Click HERE to get your copy.

About the Author

 


Dr. Kynan T. Bridges is the senior pastor of Grace & Peace Global Fellowship in Tampa, Florida. With a profound revelation of the Word of God and a dynamic teaching ministry, Dr. Bridges has revolutionized the lives of many in the body of Christ. Through his practical approach to applying the deep truths of the Word of God, he reveals the authority and identity of the new covenant believer. A highly sought speaker and published author of several books, including Invading the HeavensUnmasking the AccuserThe Power of Prophetic Prayer, and Kingdom Authority, Dr. Bridges is also a committed husband to Gloria and father of five beautiful children: Ella, Naomi, Isaac, Israel, and Anna.

More from Dr. Bridges

  • A miraculous way of life is a daily pursuit of the presence and power of God.
  • Signs and wonders are the spiritual advertisements of the power of God’s kingdom.
  • Power that is not recognized is power that is not released, and power that is not released is power that is not realized.
  • A prayer never prayed can never be answered, and a claim never placed can never be received!
  • Prayer is the spiritual life-force of the supernatural.
  • The anointing is the dynamic, yoke-destroying, burden-removing power of God working in and through us.
  • The attitude of expectancy is the atmosphere for miracles.
  • Action activates miracles. If you want to see a miraculous display of God’s power, act on His Word in faith, regardless of how you feel.
  • Jesus calls us beyond the place of fear into the place of faith, where we are empowered to live supernaturally.
  • There are certain spiritual benefits you can’t experience until you know and act upon who you are in God.
  • The more conscious and respectful you are of the presence of God, the more qualified you are to host the atmosphere of heaven.
  • Every time you proclaim the Word of God in faith, you conform your world to God’s Word. The more you proclaim, the more your life will reflect heaven.


Blog Stops

 

Texas Book-aholic, February 6

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 7

Vicky Sluiter, February 8 (Author Interview)

Inklings and notions, February 9

For Him and My Family, February 10

Simple Harvest Reads, February 11 (Author Interview)

Genesis 5020, February 12

deb’s Book Review, February 13

A Baker’s Perspective, February 14 (Author Interview)

Just the Write Escape, February 15

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, February 16

For the Love of Literature, February 17 (Author Interview)

Artistic Nobody, February 18 (Spotlight)

All 4 and About Books, February 19 (Author Interview)

 

Giveaway

 

 
To celebrate his tour, Kynan is giving away the grand prize of a $25 Starbucks gift card!!
 
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.
 

 

Review
4 Stars
Forgotten Faith Review and GIVEAWAY!
 

About the Book

 


Book: Forgotten Faith

Author: Lauren Reeves

Genre: Non-fiction/Christian Devotional

Release Date: December 20, 2019

When Christians are challenged to explain what they believe and why, too many fall short. Do the majority of Christians feel true commitment to their faith anymore? Are they able to retain hope and perseverance when trials come? Or do they find themselves questioning God’s goodness? We live in a time where Christians seem to have forgotten their once strong faith.

In her book Forgotten Faith, popular podcaster and speaker Lauren Reeves teaches Genesis in a way that keeps her reader wanting more. She provides the foundation necessary to make the rest of the Bible make sense long after this book’s last page is turned. From cover to cover, the believer will find a fascinating study of Genesis and that Genesis and Revelation go hand in hand, painting a picture of the End Times and the reason for hope. The content has the ability to do for readers what might otherwise take years of study to unveil.

Forgotten Faith seeks to uncover treasures in Genesis that have long been hidden away, treasures that are relevant to today and the End of Days and have been waiting for the right time to be known—and the time is now.

Behold, I am coming soon . . . I am the Alpha and Omega,
the first and the last, the beginning and the end.
Revelation 22:12–13
 

 Click HERE to get your copy of the book!  

About the Author


Lauren Reeves loves to encourage the heart of a person into a deeper walk with Christ. She believes the mind informs the heart, so offering resources that are engaging and fascinating is necessary. Bible literacy ranks as one of the biggest ways she wants to influence the body of Christ, and she has an extraordinary gift for explaining intimidating theological ideas in easy-to-understand ways that keep a reader wanting more.
 
She is the co-host of Joy for the Journey Podcast with Tammy Whitehurst (www.joyforthejourneypodcast.com) and loves teaching God’s word, songwriting, and leading people into worship. She is currently completing her master’s degree in Christian apologetics from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. She holds a bachelor of arts degree in religion from Baylor University. Lauren and her family live on a ranch in Texas. Learn more at www.laurenreeves.com.  

More from Lauren

 

Why did I write this book? Because I’ve often been told that learning and understanding Genesis is the foundation for the rest of the Bible. Much of the Christian worldview can be found there, which effects our decision making. But Genesis not only lays the foundation for the rest of the Bible, it is closely linked with Revelation, the last book in the Bible. Just about every time I’ve asked a Bible study group what they would like to learn about next, one of the number one answers was always “Revelation” or “End Times Events.” Even though for years people have been hungry to learn more about Revelation, most Christians and churches try to steer clear of this subject because the end times plan can be intimidating and is not 100 percent clear from Jesus’s revelation to John in that book. Since differing opinions often cause dissension, people understandably avoid areas of the Bible that aren’t absolutely clear. However, I believe those words would not have been given to us to read if we were supposed to avoid studying them. For that reason, I’ve taken the risk and written a book on Genesis that ties Genesis and Revelation together helping us to understand the end times plan more clearly. One thing I hope is clear in my book, though, is you don’t have to agree with my interpretation of end times events to glean great truths and a greater understanding of the Bible through my book. One stance had to be taken to talk about the subject in detail, but truly, if a reader does not agree with my stance, it’s not a big deal. There’s way more to the book than that. The goal was to make us all think on and around Genesis and Revelation to help us study it and have opportunity for the Holy Spirit to reveal truths to us through the Word. I hope other books are written from different end times stances so we can read and study from a different angle. The more we read from different angles, the more we grow in knowledge and understanding. It is my belief that being certain that there IS an end times plan is what helps anchor the hope of Christ firmly in our souls. If we don’t have a forward view, it is so easy to get stuck in the tunnel vision of the here and now, which can often appear hopeless. So, now more than ever before, Christians need to be studying the first book of the Bible to know what we believe and the last book of the Bible to know that there is an end times plan that is sure and wonderful. I hope this book stirs your soul in a unique way. It is deep, yet devotional. I really believe it is a book for today.
 

My Review

 

“Forgotten Faith” is an informative, thought-provoking study of Genesis and Revelation. Author Lauren Reeves ties this first and last book of the Bible together in order to demonstrate how the promises and hope extended by God in the beginning continue on to the End Times. She does this in part by pointing out parallels between the Biblical figures and events in Genesis and Revelation, and more broadly in the other books of the New Testament. As Reeves explains, “The Old Testament contains the physical representations of the spiritual realities found in the New Testament…The Old Testament records the physical stories that actually happened so they could be picture lessons to help us understand the spiritual realities under the new covenant in Jesus.”

This book makes some very stimulating points and connections that would serve a study group well, although it can also be approached privately in a devotional style. Reeves takes readers through each of the main stories in Genesis, offering insight into details that might have been overlooked. For instance, she points out that in Eden, the serpent targeted Eve first because as a woman she is the one through whom the Messiah would ultimately come. With regard to Cain and Abel, she discusses how Cain also had “fruit issues” like his mother, thinking that he could come before God with a better offering than the one God had already ordained. Later, she compares Nimrod and the Tower of Babel to “A Tale of Two Cities”, remarking that “The first city is Jerusalem, the city of the living God and of Christ. The second is Babylon, the city of our Enemy—the father of the antichrist.” This is one of the aspects of this book that I appreciate the most, the ability to make these kinds of connections and then return to the Word itself and develop clearer wisdom and understanding.

Connecting Genesis and Revelation seems to have been executed rather quickly at the end of the book, but again the insights are intriguing. I enjoyed the charts that Reeves includes a few times in the text; they would be even more impactful in the print version because the text was very small and difficult to read on my Kindle. She does list the interesting similarities between Joseph in Genesis and Jesus toward the end of the book. Throughout the narrative, she seeks to answer common challenges posed to the Bible. There are a few points that I do not entirely agree with, but I nevertheless found this to be a timely, easy-to-read study. Overall, “Forgotten Faith” serves as an edifying book that reminds readers to keep fighting the good fight and to remain strong in the faith.

I received a complimentary copy of this book through Celebrate Lit and was not required to post a favorable review. All opinions are my own.


Blog Stops

 

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 3

Blossoms and Blessings, February 4 (Author Interview)

Godly Book Reviews, February 5

deb’s Book Review, February 6

Texas Book-aholic, February 7

Through the Fire Blogs, February 8 (Author Interview)

Inklings and notions, February 9

Christian Bookshelf Reviews, February 10 (Author Interview)

For Him and My Family, February 11

Mary Hake, February 12

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, February 13 (Author Interview)

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, February 14

For the Love of Literature, February 15

Artistic Nobody, February 16 (Author Interview)

 

Giveaway

 

 
To celebrate her tour, Lauren 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.
 

 

Good Grief Author Interview and GIVEAWAY!
 

About the Book

 


Book:  Good Grief

Author: Sue Borrows LaRue

Genre:  Religion/Christian Life/ Death, Grief, Bereavement

Release Date: August 13, 2019

This is a true story of love, loss and new life. Suzie Borrows battled for her husband’s life praying for a miracle. God answered her, but not in the way she imagined. He had a plan that exceeded her dreams, and through undeniable revelations His purpose became her purpose.

Click HERE to get your copy.

About the Author

 


Suzie moved from N. Ireland to America as a child, accepted Jesus at 11, married the preacher’s son at 18, had two children, and a loving marriage for 32 years. Nothing she had experienced prepared her for the devastation she would face. She depended completely on God for comfort and direction. Which led her to begin a widows group, Boston radio show, www.sueborrows.com and www.YouTube.com/WidowsWednesday. Suzie now lives in Westport, MA with her husband Bruce.
 

More from Sue

 

What do you do when writing a book was never on your radar? Answer, you write it in tune with the Holy Spirit in three weeks! An amazing hand-written letter from God, original poetry, and prophetic words from the Lord delivered to my doorstep and so much more! You are never alone when you are hurting or grieving and if you allow Him, God will be undeniably present and you will know His heart for you.
 

Author Interview

 

When/how did you decide to become a writer?

 

It’s funny but I never wanted to become a writer. The Holy Spirit prompted me after much trying to complete this work.

 

Describe your book in five words.

 

Moving, Factual, Humorous, Encouraging, Inspirational

 

What are your hobbies?

 

I love fixer upper types of jobs, organizing etc. It does me a world of good to take something that someone else says “there’s no way to make that room look any better” to “are you kidding me is this the same space?” I love trash to treasure like yard sales.

 

Do you prefer traditional books, ebooks, or audiobooks?

 

Definitely traditional. I love to write my thoughts or ideas in there, mark the whole thing up. There is something more personal I guess about holding it in your hand.

 

If you could live inside a book, which one would it be?

 

When I read this question immediately the book that came to mind was, “My Time in Heaven” by Richard Sigmund. The thought of being in heaven and experiencing all the things that the Lord says in His word that are waiting for us is almost overwhelming. Someday it will be my reality.

 


Blog Stops

 

Texas Book-aholic, February 4

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 5

Vicky Sluiter, February 6 (Author Interview)

Inklings and notions, February 7

For Him and My Family, February 8

deb’s Book Review, February 9

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, February 10

Tell Tale Book Reviews, February 11 (Author Interview)

Lots of Helpers, February 12

CarpeDiem, February 13

A Reader’s Brain, February 14

For the Love of Literature, February 15 (Author Interview)

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, February 16

Artistic Nobody, February 17 (Author Interview)

 

Giveaway

 

 
To celebrate her tour. Sue is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon Gift card and a paperback copy of the book Good Grief “A True Story of Love, Loss, and New Life”!!
 
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.
 

 

Review
5 Stars
Waltz in the Wilderness Review and GIVEAWAY!
 

About the Book

 


Book:  Waltz in the Wilderness

Author: Kathleen Denly

Genre:  Christian Historical Romance

Release Date: February 4, 2020

She’s desperate to find her missing father. His conscience demands he risk all to help.

Eliza Brooks is haunted by her role in her mother’s death, so she’ll do anything to find her missing pa—even if it means sneaking aboard a southbound ship. When those meant to protect her abandon and betray her instead, a family friend’s unexpected assistance is a blessing she can’t refuse.

Daniel Clarke came to California to make his fortune, and a stable job as a San Francisco carpenter has earned him more than most have scraped from the local goldfields. But it’s been four years since he left Massachusetts and his fiancé is impatient for his return. Bound for home at last, Daniel Clarke finds his heart and plans challenged by a tenacious young woman with haunted eyes. Though every word he utters seems to offend her, he is determined to see her safely returned to her father. Even if that means risking his fragile engagement.

When disaster befalls them in the remote wilderness of the Southern California mountains, true feelings are revealed, and both must face heart-rending decisions. But how to decide when every choice before them leads to someone getting hurt?


Click HERE for your copy! 

About the Author

 


Kathleen Denly lives in sunny Southern California with her loving husband, four young children, and two cats. As a member of the adoption and foster community, children in need are a cause dear to her heart and she finds they make frequent appearances in her stories. When she isn’t writing, researching, or caring for children, Kathleen spends her time reading, visiting historical sites, hiking, and crafting.
 

 

More from Kathleen

 

As Valentine’s Day nears, stories of how couples met seem to be everywhere. Many of those stories share a common element: “The second I saw him/her, I just knew I would marry him/her.”
 
Every time I read or hear these stories, I chuckle. Not because I don’t believe them but because it reminds me of my own meet-cute.
 
“Not my type.”
 
These were the first words to enter my mind when I met the man who would later become my husband. In hindsight, they are hilarious because I know that God worked things out for our good. After more than eighteen years of marriage, I can honestly say that I am more in love with my husband than ever.
 
However, just a few months prior to meeting my husband, I’d suffered a terrible breakup with another man whom I thought had been considering proposing to me. I had no idea the breakup was coming and that left me devastated and confused. The truths we learn in hindsight don’t help much when we’re in the midst of such circumstances. When we think we know the future before us and something happens to upend those plans it can feel as though our world has turned upside down.
 
This is what happens to Eliza Brooks in the first chapter of my novel, Waltz in the Wilderness. Though not romantic in nature, a major shift occurs in her world that leaves her feeling betrayed and disoriented. She’s still struggling to right her world when Daniel Clarke enters her life in the worst way possible. Misunderstanding leads to a humiliating confrontation that sets these two at odds with one another before they have a chance to truly get to know each other. Fortunately for Eliza and Daniel, God works their foolishness for good just as He did in my own true love story.
 
This Valentine’s Day, whatever your romantic relationship status, remember that you are not alone. You are loved. And the God of all the universe loves you and has a plan for you—plans to prosper you and bring you hope. “
 
Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” ~ Proverbs 3:5-6
 

My Review

 

A promising beginning to the Chaparral Hearts series by Kathleen Denly, “Waltz in the Wilderness” combines the best of westerns, adventure and survival stories, and of course romance. This is a story that I think is best enjoyed without reading the synopsis first, which is a practice I always employ to avoid knowing how the story might play out. As I read, I was so glad that I went in blind because the characters and the plot were surprising in ways that they would not have been otherwise.

Historically a fan of solely pioneer fiction, for the past several years or so I have branched out and have been exploring other genres, historical in particular, including Westerns. As soon as I saw the cover for “Waltz in the Wilderness”, coupled with the whimsical yet mysterious title, I knew that I had to request a copy to review. Like others that I have read in recent months, this book manages to inject the story with interesting detail and subplots; there is no lull in the action, but I also did not feel overwhelmed. This is such an important distinction to make, and it can make or break the book. With “Waltz in the Wilderness”, what drew me in the most were the characters.

Far from the fainting heroine waiting for her knight in shining armor, Eliza Brooks has grown accustomed to carrying her own and her pa’s burdens. When he goes missing, however, Eliza must rustle up every bit of her courage as she embarks upon her quest to find him. Although at times I shook my head at her naiveté, for the most part she demonstrates  extraordinary strength of character, tempered occasionally by gaffes that make her human.

Daniel Clarke, whose introduction to Eliza gets off on the wrong foot, is preparing to leave California to return to his family and fiancée in Boston. However, crossing paths with Eliza steers him off his course as the two decide to navigate the treacherous Southern California mountains. “She was, without a doubt, the most exasperating woman God had ever created.” It is their tenacity and resilient spirits that urge them on, deepening their faith and their own friendship, but will it be enough?

I received a complimentary copy of this book through Celebrate Lit and was not required to post a favorable review. All opinions are my own.


Blog Stops

 

A Baker’s Perspective, February 5

Adventures of a Travelers Wife, February 5

Pause for Tales, February 5

Texas Book-aholic, February 6

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 6

Older & Smarter?, February 7

deb’s Book Review, February 7

Reflections From My Bookshelves, February 8

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, February 8

Locks, Hooks and Books, February 9

The Christian Fiction Girl, February 9

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, February 9

Betti Mace, February 10

Through the Fire Blogs, February 10

Inklings and notions, February 11

Robin’s Nest, February 11

Remembrancy, February 12

For Him and My Family, February 12

My Devotional Thoughts, February 12

Maureen’s Musings, February 13

For the Love of Literature, February 13

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, February 14

Jeanette’s Thoughts, February 14

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, February 15

Blossoms and Blessings, February 15

Bigreadersite, February 15

Emily Yager, February 16

Blogging With Carol, February 16

Mia Reads, February 16

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impression, February 17

Janicesbookreviews, February 17

SPLASHES of Joy, February 18

Hallie Reads, February 18

Connie’s History Classroom, February 18

 

Giveaway

 

 
To celebrate her tour, Kathleen is giving away the grand prize package of a NEW Kindle Fire HD8, Proverbs 3:5 Paperback Lined Journal, Romans 8:28 Leather Bookmark, Proverbs 3:5 mug, and an Antique Silverplated Spoon made by 1847 Rogers Bros!!
 
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.
 

 

Review
4 Stars
God Hears Her Review and GIVEAWAY!
 

About the Book


Book:  God Hears Her

Author: Our Daily Bread

Genre: Non-fiction / Christian / Devotional

Release Date: September, 2017

Tour Dates: February 1 – 14

When you’re having one of those days, you just want to know that someone is on your side. You have more than just someone  . . . you have your Heavenly Father! He is with you. He is for you. He hears your heart’s cry. And He will reassure you of this through the beautifully designed, hardcover devotional collection, God Hears Her. The personal stories, Scripture passages, and inspirational quotes pulled from Our Daily Bread devotionals will lift you up and remind you that God is bigger than the trials you face.


Click HERE to get your copy!  
 

About the Author

 

Our Daily Bread Publishing - Our Daily Bread Publishing is a division of Our Daily Bread Ministries. Founded in 1938, the ministry has grown from a small group of dedicated radio listeners to millions of people around the world who use our Bible-based resources, including the beloved Our Daily Bread devotional. Our Daily Bread Ministries is a non-denominational, non-profit organization with staff and volunteers in over 37 offices working together to distribute more than 60 million resources in 150 countries. Regardless of whether it’s a radio or television broadcast, DVD, podcast, book, mobile app, or website, we provide materials to help people grow in their relationship with God.  

More from Our Daily Bread

 

‘Feels Like Home’ Winter Recipes
 
As the weather turns colder, it becomes the time to pull out those tried and true winter-time recipes. You know, the ones that make us (or even keep us) warm on the inside. This is the time for the food that just feels like home.
 
Kirsten Holmberg and Elisa Morgan from the God Hears Her blog have shared some of their families personal recipes. These are the ones that are good for everyone. Feel free to try them yourself, bookmark them for later, or share them with a friend.
 
Kirsten Holmberg
 
In the winter, I’m partial to any slow-cooker soup or stew because I love coming home to it in the evening. My favorite is a Vegetarian Chili with some Italian influences:
2 bell peppers, diced
2 stalks of celery, sliced
2 lb zucchini halved and sliced
1 lb fresh mushrooms, halved
1 large onion, diced
3 cans diced tomatoes (fire roasted or herbed for the most flavor)
1 can tomato sauce
1 small can black olives, sliced (or fresh in any amount desired)
1 can cannellini beans
2.5 teaspoon Italian seasoning
2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon fresh garlic, minced
½ cup water
Toss it all in a slow cooker for a few hours on high, or all day on low. Or, put it on the stove instead and simmer until the veggies are cooked through and the flavors blended (about 45 minutes). Parmesan cheese on top for an extra zing.
 
Elisa Morgan
 
A Cranberry Nut Bread recipe handed down by my mom, Paige Lee
2 cup flour
½ tsp salt
1 ¼ tsp baking powder
½ scant tsp baking soda
1 cup sugar
Sift above ingredients together twice. To the juice and grated rind of 1 large orange, add 2 tbs of melted shortening and enough boiling water to make ¾ cup. Mix with dry ingredients and add…
1 beaten egg
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup halved fresh cranberries
Bake in greased loaf pan for 75 minutes at 350 degrees.
If you double the recipe, bake a little less time and use 3 loaf pans. It also makes good muffins and can be frozen. 
 

My Review


Compiled by Our Daily Bread, “God Hears Her” is an affirming devotional collection by women, for women. Among the plethora of devotionals to choose from, what sets this collection apart is not only the exclusively female authorship, but also the focus on women’s needs. This could be read by other groups, but will speak most to a woman’s heart. Because of its compact size, “God Hears Her” will fit into a handbag or purse, and although unpaginated, the readings are dated by month and day. This worked well for me because I am using a hardback copy, but if an e-reader wants to jump to a certain day or selection, I can foresee this being a problem. I personally would have appreciated a table of contents with the title of each day, simply for ease of use and for concentrating on a particular topic after completing the year of readings.

Each day’s reading is one small page in length, with the Bible verses pertaining to the devotional story listed and the main verse written out. With a short paragraph or two each dedicated to the author’s story and the Biblical tie-in, these can be read in a minute or two. This brevity is advantageous for the busy woman, and I appreciate that about it, but at the same time I feel somewhat unfulfilled. For newer Christians or those unfamiliar with the Bible, this is probably not the best devotional to start your study with, but if you are looking to mix up your routine and want to choose something that is quick and pertinent to women today, give “God Hears Her” a try.

I received a complimentary copy of this book through Celebrate Lit and was not required to post a favorable review. All opinions are my own.

 

Blog Stops

 

The Avid Reader, February 1

deb’s Book Review, February 1

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, February 2

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 2

Texas Book-aholic, February 3

Mary Hake, February 3

God is Love, February 4

Emily Yager, February 4

Genesis 5020, February 5

A Diva’s Heart, February 5

Girls in White Dresses, February 5

Lighthouse Academy, February 6

amandainpa, February 6

For Him and My Family, February 7

For The Love of Books, February 7

Inklings and notions, February 8

Andrea Christenson, February 8

Blossoms and Blessings, February 9

CarpeDiem, February 9

Older & Smarter?, February 10

She Lives to Read, February 10

For the Love of Literature, February 11

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, February 11

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, February 12

Godly Book Reviews, February 12

Artistic Nobody, February 13

Back Porch Reads, February 13

Little Homeschool on the Prairie, February 14

Kat’s Corner Books, February 14

 

Giveaway

 

 

To celebrate their tour, Our Daily Bread is giving away the grand prize package of  a God Hears Her hardcover, God Hears Her leather-like, God Hears Her journal, God Hears Her CD, God Hears Her pen, and God Hears Her Scripture & Encouragement cards!!
 
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.
 

 

Review
4 Stars
Hannah's Courage Book Review and GIVEAWAY!
 

About the Book

 


Book:  Hannah’s Courage

Author: Molly Jebber

Genre:  Amish Historical Romance

Release Date: January 28, 2020

A loaf of fragrant cinnamon bread for breakfast . . . a sweet and creamy custard pie for dessert. In 1912 Ohio, the Amish Charm Bakery has something to delight locals and visiting Englischer alike. And within this warm, welcoming community, there’s always room for love to grow . . .

Hannah Lapp’s life, like a long-cherished recipe, is satisfying just the way it is. She enjoys whipping up desserts at the bakery, tutoring local children, and socializing with dear friends. One of those friends, Timothy Barkman, has made his interest in Hannah clear, but she’s been in no hurry to change her circumstances.

No sooner does she feel ready to grow closer to hard-working, handsome Timothy than Hannah finds she may have waited too long. Charlene Shetler intends to become Timothy’s fraa. It’s little wonder he’s attracted to such a pretty, forthright young woman, but is the newcomer all that she seems? Only when Hannah is willing to confront some difficult truths can she move bravely toward a life of abiding faith and love . . .


Click HERE to get your copy!

About the Author

 


Molly Jebber’s Amish Historical Romance books have been featured on Publisher’s Weekly’s Best Ten Recommended Reads, in USA Today’s HEA, Romantic Times and many other media sites. She’s tours and speaks for Stonecroft Ministries – Women’s Christian Connection, and about Amish history/traditions, writing, marketing, publishing, and her books. She loves God, her family, and friends. She enjoys swimming, golf, reading, and says yes to butterscotch pie and parasailing, but no to coconut and skydiving! Visit http://www.mollyjebber.com for a complete list of her books and speaking events.

More from Molly

 

I related to Hannah in this book where I had to find the courage to make some hard decisions. Maybe you’ve had some hard choices to make and finding the courage to follow through has been difficult for you.
 
Have you had a bad day where nothing goes right? We’ve all had those. Hannah’s has many days like this, and she is torn about what to do from one problem to the next in her life. She makes some snap decisions, and faces life-altering challenges. You’ll laugh and want to stomp your feet at the twists and turns in this story.  She’s good at giving her friends advice, but has trouble following it. I can relate to this in my life at times. Maybe you can too.
 
The Sheriff and Dr. Harrison are still regular customers at the bakery where she whips up mouth-watering desserts. She and her friends cry, laugh, and offer each other advice. I love time with girlfriends, and Hannah’s no different. You’ll relate to her, root for her, want to reach in the book and shake her at times (I’m sure my friends have wanted to do this with me a time or two!), and wonder how what the future holds for her.
 
I hope you’ll follow my blog tour and enter for a chance to win the Grand Prize at the end of the tour. The more you enter, the more chances you have of winning! Thank you so much for your support and encouragement. Your Facebook comments help me to get to know you better, and I appreciate it so much! Here’s a recipe Hannah’s whipped up for you. And there are more in the back of Hannah’s story.
 
Cake
  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 ¾ teaspoons cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ¼ cups vegetable oil
  • 1 ¼ cups granulated sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla
  • 3 large apples, peeled and cut into large pieced

Glaze

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease 9 x 13 pan with butter and coat with 2 tablespoons of flour
  2. In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Sift two additional times and set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine oil and both sugars, and mix until well blended.
  4. Add eggs one at a time, mixing thoroughly after each addition. Add vanilla and mix again.
  5. Add the sifted dry ingredients to the batter and mix thoroughly. By hand, fold in apples and walnuts and mix until evenly combined.
  6. Spoon the batter into the prepared bundt pan. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
  7. Remove cake from the oven and allow to cool in the bundt pan for 20 minutes.
  8. While the cake is cooling, prepare the glaze. In a saucepan, over medium heat, combine all of the glaze ingredients. Bring to a boil and allow the mixture to boil for 1 minute.
  9. Remove the cake from the pan, onto a serving plate. Spoon the glaze over the warm cake.
  10. Cool for a little longer before serving.


My Review

 

“With God, she believed all things were possible. She had motivation, and maybe it was time she exercised courage.”

Although in the past I have only rarely read Amish stories, in the past year or so they have become a regular addition to my reviewing schedule. The quaintness and slower pace are refreshing in comparison to modern daily life, as are the steadfast devotion to God and the fervent sense of community. At the same time, the ways in which Amish and Englisch lives are alike enhances the reading experience. With this book, in particular, the parallels stand out, and the characters seem very relatable, without the disconnect that sometimes occurs with this genre.

A mixture of sweetness and heartache, “Hannah’s Courage” is book 3 in Molly Jebber’s Amish Charm Bakery series. While it is not necessary to read the first two books in order to understand the story, take into consideration that there are spoilers for the major plotlines. Except for a few scenes that featured motor cars, the fact that this story is set in 1912 did not stay in the forefront of my mind; mostly because of the Amish lifestyle, there is a timelessness that seeps through the pages. The language also has a natural flow to it, and a brief dictionary is included for the Pennsylvania Dutch words that the characters speak. The setting of Charm, Ohio is one I’m familiar with because I have been to and shopped in the Berlin area numerous times over the years.

Endearing characters populate this novel, each with struggles and flaws like the rest of us. Admittedly, though, I did become frustrated with some of them, and the narrative seems as though it could be edited down to avoid drawn-out episodes and drama. The title character was my favorite because I identified with her dislike of change and I also applaud her for the selflessness she demonstrates continuously. Attempting to avoid making the same mistake twice, “She’d rise above her inhibition and nurture the courage she’d found within her” because “He didn’t promise life would be easy. He promised to never forsake her, and she claimed that promise.”

I received a complimentary copy of this book through Celebrate Lit and was not required to post a favorable review. All opinions are my own.

 

Blog Stops

 

The Avid Reader, January 30

Genesis 5020, January 30

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 31

Texas Book-aholic, January 31

Batya’s Bits, February 1

Quiet Quilter, February 1

She Lives to Read, February 2

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, February 2

Bigreadersite , February 3

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, February 3

For Him and My Family, February 4

deb’s Book Review, February 4

Inklings and notions, February 5

Jeanette’s Thoughts, February 5

Pause for Tales, February 5

Older & Smarter?, February 6

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, February 6

Blossoms and Blessings, February 7

Lighthouse Academy Blog, February 7 (Guest Review from Marilyn Ridgway)

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, February 8

Christian Bookaholic, February 8

For the Love of Literature, February 9

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, February 9

SusanLovesBooks, February 10

Adventures of a Travelers Wife, February 10

Connie’s History Classroom, February 11

SPLASHES of Joy , February 11

Locks, Hooks and Books, February 12

Vicky Sluiter, February 12

 

Giveaway

 

 
To celebrate her tour, Molly is giving away a Molly Jebber grand prize collection that includes a handmade quilt and Amazon card!!
 
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.
 

 

Unwanted No More Author Interview and GIVEAWAY!
 

About the Book


Book:  Unwanted No More

Author: BJ Garrett

Genre:  Memoir

Release Date: December 1, 2019

I can still feel the emptiness in my heart.

So many memories of ugly… As a preteen shattered by a sexually abusive father and an absent mother, B. J. Garrett is left unprotected, unloved, and unwanted by the people who should have loved her most. Instead, BJ finds herself wanted by the wrong people for the worst reasons.

Her search for self-worth leads to sexual promiscuity and unplanned pregnancies, which only further warps her view of love, leaving a trail of broken relationships. It’s not until losing everything to the blaze of a house fire that the course of BJ’s life takes a turn toward a God whose love is pure. With the shadow of shame lifted by her newfound faith, BJ makes a startling discovery—she’s been wanted all along, and her new love-filled life comes with a call to ministry.

Written with soul-searching vulnerability, this story shows that regardless of what you’ve done or what’s been done to you, there is hope and redemption in a relationship with Jesus. Unwanted No More reminds you that no matter how ugly your past, you can experience unconditional, beautiful love and a life of purpose.



Click HERE to get your copy.  

About the Author

 


B. J. Garrett serves as the executive director for Christ-Centered Abortion Recovery & Education. She holds an associate of divinity degree from Baptist Missionary Theological Seminary, and she has served in church ministries as a youth director, singles director, missions director, and women’s ministry team leader. She and her husband, Jay, live in Texas and enjoy spending time with their children and grandchildren.  

More from B.J.

 

All my life I have battled with feelings of being unwanted and unloved. Somewhere between the insanity of the Jerry Springer show and the emotional outcry of the Oprah show, the unbelievable redemption details of my life are unfolded onto the pages of this book. Spunky. silly, and sassy are the three words that best describe my personality. I believe the Lord gave me a love for hamburgers to make sure I never return to a life of selling my body to make ends meet. Spending time with my grand kids who are basically perfect is my favorite pastime. I love being Jay’s wife and serving beside him on the mission field. By God’s amazing grace, I have come full circle, receiving complete forgiveness and healing from a childhood full of abuse, teen pregnancy, sexual promiscuity, abortion, and working in the sex industry. If the Lord can use a story like mine, rest assured He will use a story like yours! If like me, you have ugly in your past, I want to encourage you that no matter what you have done, no matter what has been done to you, there is hope and healing through Jesus Christ.
 

Author Interview

 

When/how did you decide to become a writer?

 

I have a hard time even recognizing myself as a writer even now that I have a book published. I was a person who survived a difficult childhood, rescued and redeemed by an amazing Heavenly Father, and I simply want others to know that He is real, and that you truly can overcome hardships. It may be crazy hard, but if I can do it, anyone can!


What drew you to the time period that you write about?

 

So, I actually write about my full life, or what all of it I remember. For me and my personal journey to where I am today, and how I got here, required me to start from the beginning. If I would have started at the time when I met Jesus, the transformation would not have been so amazing. It also would not have reached my target audience of people who have experience pain and treauma in their lives. I wish I could have written an historical romance fiction story, but it was the true story of my own life I felt led to show my audience.


Who was/is your biggest inspiration?

 

Probably the women I get to work with. I have seen first hand how healing it is, just to have someone understand the pain you have experienced. To now that you are normal for feeling and possibly even acting out the way you have because of what has happened to you. To now have a book for anyone to be able to pick up and read and see that they are not alone, that no matter what was done to them or what they have done to themselves, there is hope and healing through Jesus Christ. That was and will always be my inspiration I think.


What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?

 

I have a full time ministry job, so it was actually quite intense. I would work all day, come home and try to write. Often until the wee hours of the morning. It was exhausting. Emotionally, spiritually and physically. But also, invigorating. To get a scene out of my heart and onto paper felt amazing.


Do you prefer traditional books, ebooks, or audiobooks?

 

Yes? I love audiobooks because I am very busy and on the road a lot. I can listen to audiobooks and while driving, flying etc. I love ebooks, because I can hold an entire library ion my fingertips at all times. But, there is nothing that compare to sitting on a comfy favorite spot, wrapped in a blanket, hot cocoa or a diet Dr. Pepper nearby with a real hold in your hands traditional book.


Blog Stops

 

Vicky Sluiter, February 7 (Author Interview)

Texas Book-aholic, February 8

For the Love of Literature, February 9 (Author Interview)

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 10

Through the Fire Blogs, February 11 (Author Interview)

A Reader’s Brain, February 12

A Baker’s Perspective , February 13 (Author Interview)

deb’s Book Review, February 14

Inklings and notions, February 15

Tell Tale Book Reviews, February 16 (Author Interview)

For Him and My Family, February 17

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, February 18

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, February 19

Book Love, February 20 (Guest Review from Gail)

 

Giveaway

 

 
To celebrate her tour, B.J. is giving away the grand prize package of a signed copy of the book and 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.
 

 

Review
5 Stars
Divine Intentions Review and GIVEAWAY!
 

About the Book

 


Book: Divine Intentions

Author: Doug K. Reed

Genre: RELIGION / Christian Living/Personal Growth

Release Date: January 7, 2020

Divine Intentions takes readers on a journey of self-discovery through four key concepts: rescued, restored, relabeled, and redirected. Most people, even Christ-followers, are wounded at their core, with soul-level injuries that affect their identity. They may be hurting from past circumstances or feel trapped in their current ones. Basic discipleship sends believers on a journey…but it’s tough to take those steps while you’re hurting. Doug K. Reed offers healing for those who are searching for answers to their identities in Christ while struggling with wounds from the past or present. He shares his own personal story of restoration from pornography, pride, and other issues, helping to lead readers into the light of God’s love.


Click HERE to get your copy. 
   

About the Author

 


Doug K. Reed is a full-time writer and speaker who travels to conferences and churches both in the U.S. and internationally. He is the president of Partnership International, a non-profit organization dedicated to completing meaningful projects in some of the world’s poorest environments. Partnership International has hosted thousands of people on short-term mission trips with a goal of sharing the love of God with the neediest among us. In his over thirty years of ministry experience, Doug has also served as a senior pastor and on staff at large churches.  

 

More from Doug

 

DESIGNED FOR A PURPOSE
 
Woodworking has been a hobby of mine since childhood. When my wife, Jeanne, and I were engaged, I created a wooden jewelry box for her that she still treasures and uses to this day, thirty years later. Every time she uses it, she’s reminded of how much I love her.
 
That jewelry box was designed with a specific purpose in mind. If, God forbid, I ever got mad at her, removed her jewelry, and put my fishing lures in there, the gift that once brought joy would now cause pain. And that jewelry box would make a lousy tackle box because it was not designed for that purpose. My creation would fail to fulfill my original intention.
 
In a similar way, we have been lovingly designed by God for a specific purpose. We can fill our life with lesser things, but He lovingly designed us to hold the treasure of destiny. He created us with the capacity to fulfill all He has planned for us.
 
Far too many books are written to advanced leaders without considering where the majority of people find themselves.  The goal of the book is to meet people where they are.  The book dives into their pain and to honestly and authentically address it.  My own story is the constant backdrop in the book which adds greatly to its relatability.  The combination of storytelling and deep content make this book unique. 
 

My Review

 

Writing with a direct and sympathetic tone, Doug Reed shares his insight into how readers can come to understand the life they’ve been given and how they can seek to glorify God in it. The most important thing, by far, to remember when contemplating our identities is that the Lord created us and planned our lifespan and every detail long before we were born. No matter how many mistakes we make, there is nothing that can separate us from God if we have accepted Jesus as our Lord. It is once we recognize our priceless identity in Him that we can move forward and become the godly Christian men and women whom God has called us to be—true light bearers. As Reed asserts, “We begin our new life of seeking God’s divine intentions for us by acknowledging that we are individually inadequate, desperate, and sinful, and recognizing that we don’t have the ability to save ourselves. In short, we admit our need for rescue.”

Divided into four main sections, “Divine Intentions” speaks to the brokenness in each of us by addressing how, through Christ, we are rescued, restored, relabeled, and redirected. Because of the redemptive work of the cross, we can rejoice that “Our God is a God of forgiveness and He also is a God of restoration.” Much of this book consists of the author’s personal accounts, which not only illustrate his points but also demonstrate practical application. Brief, summarizing quotations taken from the text itself appear on each page, and there are Discovery Questions at the end of each chapter, with spaces given for writing responses. As either a guide for personal study or for group use, “Divine Intentions” is a compassionate, versatile book with a focus on healing and restoration. 

I received a complimentary copy of this book through Celebrate Lit and was not required to post a favorable review. All opinions are my own.

 

Blog Stops

 

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, January 31

Texas Book-aholic, February 1

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 2

Artistic Nobody, February 3 (Author Interview)

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, February 3

Inklings and notions, February 4

janicesbookreviews, February 5

Discipling4Life, February 6

For the Love of Literature, February 7

Andrea Christenson, February 8 (Author Interview)

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, February 9

For Him and My Family, February 10

Christian Bookshelf Reviews, February 11 (Author Interview)

CarpeDiem, February 12

Mary Hake, February 13

 

Giveaway

 

 
To celebrate his tour, Doug is giving away the grand prize of a $20 Starbucks gift card!!
 
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.
 

 

Review
5 Stars
The Creeper Review and GIVEAWAY!
 

About the Book

 


Book:  The Creeper

Author: Teresa Posey Carey

Genre:  Christian Children’s Book

Release Date: December 5, 2019

Even The Creeper loses things from time to time. How will he recover what he seeks? Find out in rhyme!

What begins as a determined search for something important becomes a treasure hunt full of clues and a valuable lesson in searching for that which is lost.

Delightful illustrations and endearing rhymes tell a story that teaches subtle lessons in perseverance and diligence.



Click HERE to get your copy.  
 

About the Author

 


Children’s author Teresa Posey Carey took her inspiration from Dr. Seuss’ rhyming stories. A born again Christian, she hopes to honor God in all she does, including her favorite things: spending time with family and friends and writing. Also an animal advocate, she loves her fur babies—-Sugar and Missy (dogs), Dinky and Skittles (cats)—-and dotes shamelessly on them. Teresa also has several new childrens books with bug characters and hopes everyone will visit her new Bug Huggers Facebook page! Teresa lives in De Kalb, Texas, the hometown of Dan Blocker, a.k.a. Hoss Cartwright, in the far northeast corner of the Lone Star State.  

More from Teresa

 

My new children’s rhyming book The Creeper is filled with mystery and fun. Treasures with clues are strewn along it’s pages to keep children guessing up until the very end, making it a very exciting and interactive book that kids will want to hear again and again. I wrote The Creeper because of my love for rhyming verse stories and God’s word, pairing the two, The Creeper becomes a great tool for teaching children about God’s love for them as well as instilling christian values and it introduces them to essential skills known to be learned from rhyming words together and what kid doesn’t love rhyme? The Creeper is based upon the Biblical principal of Matthew 7:7-8 If ye seek ye shall surely find what ye are looking for, this is what the foundation for The Creeper is all about! I first knew that i really loved and wanted to write verse stories after taking my daughter to the local library when she was a little girl, that’s when and where we discovered Dr. Suess, One fish two fish red fish blue fish, we were both hooked and enjoyed reading all the rest of his wonderful rhyming stories, along with all the Mother goose poems and anything else we could get our hands on! I believe that God gave this gift in my life to use for glorifying him while entertaining children. What better way to do things than to use your God given gifts and talents and give back unto The Lord!
 

My Review

 

What a charming children’s book! It reminds me of the type of picture books I enjoyed as a little kid and that so often seem to be absent today. I love that the action takes place outdoors in the country, introducing youngsters to natural landmarks such as brooks, thickets, and lagoons. I reread the story several times, and each time I came across something that I had not noticed before. Initially I was expecting this to be a bit of a spooky story based on the title and cover, but after reading it I realized that, while it is sweet and not scary, it does contain a mystery. More than one, in fact, because not only do we not know who the creeper is, but we also don’t know what exactly he is looking for. The author reveals clues little by little throughout the story, giving kids a reason to engage with the book and enjoy it more than once. Depending on the age of the child, parents may need to read this story aloud. The endearing rhyming nature of “The Creeper” lends itself to reading out loud, as well, and basing the story on Matthew 7:7-8 provides a Christian perspective on issues we encounter daily, such as not being able to find something yet continuing to be persistent and grateful. Lastly, I will say that the illustrations are gorgeous and one of my favorite aspects of “The Creeper”! They are in full color and truly make the story leap off of the page and into your heart.

I received a complimentary copy of this book through Celebrate Lit and was not required to post a favorable review. All opinions are my own.


Blog Stops

 

janicesbookreviews, January 31

For Him and My Family, February 1

Inklings and notions, February 2

Book of Ruth Ann, February 3

Mary Hake, February 3

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 4

Texas Book-aholic, February 5

For the Love of Literature, February 6

Emily Yager, February 7

deb’s Book Review, February 8

Just the Write Escape, February 9

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, February 10

Remembrancy, February 11

Blogging With Carol, February 12

Danielle Lozada, February 13

 

Giveaway

 

 
To celebrate her tour, Teresa is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and 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.
 

 

Review
5 Stars
The Portrait of a Christian Review and GIVEAWAY!
 

About the Book

 


Book:  The Portrait of A Christian

Author: Raymond Sopp

Genre: Non-fiction, Theology

Release Date: November, 2019

The apostle Paul, with great knowledge of Scripture, said in Philippians 3:7–8: “But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish in order that I may gain Christ.” (NASB)

It takes a courageous person to take a second look—to lay down their life—just as the apostle Paul. Are you willing to take a second look, to lay down your life? The Portrait of a Christian was written to help you do so.

For more than thirty-eight years, Minister Raymond D. Sopp studied the Scriptures, not to parrot God’s Word through memorization but just to know God’s heart as He communicated through His Word. To know anyone’s heart, you must listen to their words.

Raymond wrote The Portrait of a Christian to challenge and provoke thought to those who desire a closer relationship with Christ. He wanted to paint a portrait of God’s heart through thirty-one separate commentaries—starting with the importance God placed on His Gospel and ending with a Lost Love. All of us must earnestly contend for the faith!


Click HERE to get your copy.  

About the Author

 


Minister Raymond D. Sopp has been a born-again Christian for more than thirty-eight years and ordained for more than eighteen years. He is not affiliated with any organization, nor a denomination. This has given him a unique opportunity to view the entire realm of Christianity from an objective point of view. His heart broke when he saw so many inconsistencies within the Church at-large. He inherently knew in his heart that the best way to point out error is to expose the truth in a way to provoke thought and challenge the Christian reader, while at the same time reach out to the nonbelieiver.
 
Concerned by the teachings that he heard, or better yet, what he did not hear, he started a ministry on May 1, 1996 solely focused on reaching the world. (Sopp Ministries became a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization on January 1, 1999.) The only purpose this ministry has is salvation both within and outside the Church at-large. Being somewhat overwhelmed, he knew he needed to stay focused on delivering a narrow message—a message that will cause all to examine themselves (2 Corinthians 13:5) to see if they’re literally born-again—to a true and biblical salvation—a simple message that has both temporal and eternal implications.
 

More from Raymond

 

Do you believe we’re approaching the Last Days? Are you seeing the season change—beginning to see leaves fall to the ground? Yes! Then, The Portrait of a Christian, is a must read for you.
 
There are several warnings given to the professing Christian in God’s Word; to me, the most terrifying warning to the professing Christian for this time we’re living in is what Jesus said in Matthew 7:15–23: “‘Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes, nor figs from thistles, are they? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. So then, you will know them by their fruits. Not everyone who says to Me Lord, Lord will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven.’ Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’” (NASB)
 
The book I wrote, The Portrait of a Christian, is to help the professing Christian not to be one of those who just say “Lord, Lord.” Are you willing to take a second look at your Christianity? If so, then The Portrait of a Christian was written for you.
 

My Review

 

2020 seems to be a year for unique books, at least in the Christian market. Minister Raymond Sopp’s “The Portrait of a Christian” is one of them, and even though it is a second edition published again in August, I am counting it as this year’s. The cover on my paperback copy is the first thing that drew me in, with a beautiful lantern in the forefront and smoke behind; the first thought that crossed my mind was how God appeared to the Israelites as a cloud after delivering them out of Egypt. Even though most of this book focuses on the New Testament, particularly the apostle Paul and the book of Romans, there is plenty of material on other sections as well.

Expository but not dull, “The Portrait of a Christian” provides thirty-one detailed commentaries on laying down one’s life for the One who laid down His for us, Jesus. Each commentary can easily stand alone and is useful for individual or group study, opening with Scripture and proceeding into a discussion of a Bible story topic. These commentaries are unexpectedly engaging, and I found myself engrossed and reading more than I thought I had each time I picked it up. Sopp relies heavily on Bible verses in order to discuss the meaning of the text and demonstrates skill in incorporating verses from multiple Bible books. The very first chapter struck me; in it, Sopp offers some perspective on why Jesus told the recipients of His miracles not to tell anyone about them: the people were focusing on the restoration to health itself rather than Jesus, their salvation! A few chapters later, Sopp appeals to us not to be spiritually blind because “We zealously pray for health, wealth, and prosperity, but at the same time scarcely mention in our prayers a desire for the weightier provisions of faithfulness, mercy, forgiveness, and a heart like unto our Lord and God which is the heart of a servant.” Throughout the book, each message is like a personal call to draw closer to the Light of the World. In so doing, we not only light our own flames, but pass the torch to others along the way.

I received a complimentary copy of this book through Celebrate Lit and was not required to post a favorable review. All opinions are my own.

 


Blog Stops

 

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, January 27

Texas Book-aholic, January 28

Inklings and notions, January 29

Artistic Nobody, January 30 (Author Interview)

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 31

deb’s Book Review, February 1

janicesbookreviews, February 2

Discipling4Life, February 3

Blossoms and Blessings, February 4 (Author Interview)

Mary Hake, February 4

For the Love of Literature, February 5

For Him and My Family, February 6

Through the Fire Blogs, February 7 (Author Interview)

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, February 8

Godly Book Reviews, February 9

 

Giveaway

 

 
To celebrate his tour, Raymond 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.
 

 

Review
4 Stars
Promised Land Review
 

About the Book

 


Book:  Promised Land

Author: Robert Whitlow

Genre: Christian Fiction, Suspense, Legal Drama

Release Date: January 14, 2020

With historical mysteries, religious intrigue, and political danger, Promised Land asks one momentous question: what if your calling puts you—and your family—in the crosshairs?
 
Despite their Israeli citizenship, Hana and Daud cannot safely return to their homeland because a dangerous terrorist ring is threatening Daud. Hana is perfectly fine remaining in the United States, working for a law firm in Atlanta, especially when she learns she’s pregnant. But Daud can’t shake the draw to return home to Israel, even if it makes him a walking target.
 
Hana is helping her boss plan a huge Middle East summit in Atlanta when Jakob Brodsky, her old friend and former co-litigator, asks for her help with a current case. His client is attempting to recover ancient artifacts stolen from his Jewish great-grandfather by a Soviet colonel at the end of World War II. Because the case crosses several national borders, he knows he needs Hana’s knowledge and skill to get to the bottom of what happened to these precious artifacts.
 
Meanwhile, Daud is called in to help a US intelligence agency extract a Ukrainian doctor from a dangerous situation in Egypt. While overseas, he can’t resist the call of Jerusalem and thus sets off a series of events that puts thousands of people in danger, including his wife and unborn child.
 
Bestselling author Robert Whitlow explores the meaning of family and home—and how faith forms the identity of both—in this breathtaking follow-up to Chosen People.



Click HERE to get your copy.  
 

About the Author

 


Robert Whitlow is the bestselling author of legal novels set in the South and winner of the Christy Award for Contemporary Fiction. He received his JD with honors from the University of Georgia School of Law where he served on the staff of the Georgia Law Review. Website: www.robertwhitlow.com; Twitter: @whitlowwriter; Facebook: robertwhitlowbooks
 

Read an Excerpt

 

Click Excerpt Link to read an excerpt of the book.
 

My Review

 

Over a decade ago, I read Robert Whitlow’s “Jimmy”, and while I don’t remember many details, I do know that I was captivated with the eponymous boy’s tragic story. I had vague intentions of reading more of this author’s books in the future, but I never ended up doing so until now. Despite not having much interest in legal fiction or politics, I decided that it was time to finally crack open another Whitlow novel. Granted, I realized after I began reading that this was the sequel to “Chosen People”, but for the most part I did not have much difficulty figuring things out along the way. I would recommend starting with book one, however, because it does set up the backstory and tension of this sequel.

“Promised Land” showcases the complex storyline that Whitlow has made his own. History, religion, and politics converge in this action-packed, educational follow-up. This story is lengthy, yet because of the pace it reads quickly. The outsiders-looking-in characters who populate this novel add another dimension, as do the languages spoken (not written). As someone with little to no knowledge of politics, I didn’t know whether I would actually enjoy this novel or not, but happily I did. There were sections that confused me, including the very beginning, simply because I am unfamiliar with Middle Eastern terms and customs. The number of characters is somewhat daunting, and I wish that their sections could have been more clearly divided, perhaps by putting their name at the beginning of the segment, as I found it difficult to keep them distinct in my mind. Whitlow’s foreshadowing, however, is very well done. There were many times throughout the narrative that my senses picked up on a character or behavior that later turned out to be significant. My favorite part of the book, however, is the faith element. Hana in particular remains firm and steadfast in the midst of upheaval and finding her life once again turned upside down. Uncle Anwar tells her, “Some promises come only through pain and sacrifice. And so it will be for you. There is a promised land without and a land of promises within. Both realms are yours to possess if you pass the tests.”

I received a complimentary copy of this book through Celebrate Lit and was not required to post a favorable review. All opinions are my own.


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