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“I will bow down toward your holy temple and will praise your name for your love and your faithfulness, for you have exalted above all things your name and your word.”- Psalm 138:2

Friday, May 14, 2021

A Second Chance for Grace ~ Karen Malley

 

This is book 3 of the Pine Springs series.  Susan is content with her life and just going through daily life of problems dealing with her apartment tenants and their small issues that are big issues for them.  When she finds that her teenage niece is pregnant and no where to turn will she step in and help her?   The mystery continues when she finds a briefcase just left by someone in an apartment, what does this mean? She is also dealing with Mac someone that wants to spend more time with her and her crazy life, however, could there be someone else in the picture?   Will Susan figure this all out, why has all of a sudden her life turned upside down and everything coming at her?

Want a book that is a short read and is about how God gives people second chances, you just have to follow Him and stay on the path of faith.   This is a book with drama, mystery, faith, and compassion all wrapped up into one.  It is book 3 of the series, but all books of the series can be read as a stand alone. 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Celebrate Lit Books. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255, "Guides Concerning the Use of Testimonials and Endorsements in Advertising.

About the Book

Book:  A Second Chance for Grace

Author: Karen Malley

Genre: Christian Women’s Romantic Fiction

Release date: April 23, 2021

A new life coming into the world disrupts Susan’s quiet life.

Susan Montgomery is used to a quiet, peaceful life managing her apartment building, where the hardest problem is her grouchy neighbor’s leaky faucet. She soon finds herself dealing with a pregnant teenage niece, a mysterious briefcase left behind by a tenant, and two very different men vying for her heart.

A near-death experience gives Mac a new outlook on life.

Christopher “Mac” MacAllister is trying to figure out how to “do the Christian thing.” As a new convert, he’s drawn to Susan’s love for life and for God. She’s nothing like the women he used to date; but can Mac compete with the guy who’s come out of nowhere and knows all the right things to say?

 Click here to get your copy!

 About the Author

Karen is an author of Christian fiction. She lives in Southeastern Pennsylvania with her husband and two sons. She works full time as a scientist, but enjoys writing in her spare time. When not writing (with her left hand), she enjoys camping, hiking, playing board games, and especially reading! She loves reading faith-based stories, because we can all use a happy ending.

 More from Karen

Follow your heart or your head?

In my early days in college, I dated a young man who wasn’t a Christian, but that didn’t stop my attraction to him. My heart wanted to be with him, but my head knew better. Later, another young man entered my life who was perfect for me on paper. He was kind, intelligent, taught Sunday school… We went out one time, but there wasn’t a spark. I decided I had to find the guy who captured both my heart and my head.

Fast forward to the summer before my junior year, and a third young man entered the picture. He was fun to be around, made me laugh, and believed in Jesus. We became friends and spent a lot of together before I finally admitted my attraction to him. Having been hurt before, I vowed not to get involved unless God was in it. I prayed about it, felt God’s blessing, and we’ve now been married over 20 years.

In A Second Chance for Grace, Susan finds herself in a similar situation. Mac instantly captures her heart, but circumstances cause her to doubt whether he’s the right man for her. When she meets Sam, she finds he checks all the boxes on paper, but she can’t seem to convince her heart he’s right for her. Having been in the same situation, it was easy for me to write about Susan’s dilemma.

Susan navigates many twists and turns throughout the book, from her pregnant niece moving into her apartment, to dealing with a mysterious briefcase left behind by a tenant, to trying to solve the dilemma of which man to choose. Through it all, she tries to follow God’s will for her life.

A Second Chance for Grace is the second book in the Pine Springs series. Mac and Susan meet in the first book, Following the Sparrows. To learn more about them (and their good friends), you’ll want to read Following the Sparrows first, but it isn’t necessary, as A Second Chance for Grace is a standalone novel.

Just like in real life, the characters in the novel have difficult decisions to make. Sometimes they make the right ones, sometimes they do not. Through it all, God proves He is the God of second chances!

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Karen is giving away the grand prize package of an eBook copy of the first book in the series, Following the Sparrows, along with a journal and necklace that go with the theme of the book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway!

 Click Here

Thursday, May 13, 2021

To Save a King ~ Rachel Hauck

 

This is book 2 of the True Blue Royal series.  This is the story of a fairy tale waiting to happen.  Gemma leaves her acting career and goes back to the country to live in a small town in Tennessee to put her past behind her and try to forget what happened in Las Vegas.  John is a prince, has come to the small town to find his sister and have her go back to England to meet the Queen her mother, that she has never met before.  While in Tennessee John finds Gemma to be of interest to him, however, knows both of them are from different worlds and how can a romance be?  When the Queen takes ill, John is summons back to England and then has his sister come to visit.  His sister brings Gemma along as a companion to this difficult time.  When Gemma see John's world, she realizes that she doesn't fit into his world and they both resist the temptation of being together.

I would recommend this page turner to anyone that loves a good romance series with ups, downs, twist and turns.  Just when you think you know what is going to happen, a new twist mystery happens.  This is book 2, but can be read as a stand alone, I advise for you to read book 1 of the series also, as they are sooooo gooood and keeps your attention.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Celebrate Lit Books. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255, "Guides Concerning the Use of Testimonials and Endorsements in Advertising.

 About the Book

Book:  To Save A King

Author: Rachel Hauck

Genre: Christian Royal Romance

Release date: May 8, 2021

A modern-day fairytale of rescue and hope from NYT bestselling author Rachel Hauck

Growing up in small town Hearts Bend, Tennessee, Gemma Stone had big dreams. So she headed to Hollywood to make her mark in the world.

But dreams have a way of becoming nightmares. When she returns home twelve years later, she’s limping through life and harboring a dark secret.

Running a rescue ranch and raising her friends’ orphaned daughter is her sole mission now. All the while she’s well aware these defenseless ones are also rescuing her.

HRH Crown Prince John has learned a royal title cannot shield him from heartbreak. He had the perfect life as heir to the revered House of Blue, the royal dynasty of Lauchtenland, and married the love of his life. Then tragedy changed everything. Is there any way to be saved from a life of grief?

When he finds himself in Hearts Bend on a mission for his mother, Queen Catherine, he catches up with a good friend–country music great Buck Mathews. He has no intention of joining the 4th of July fun until he’s cajoled into a three-legged race with the beautiful Gemma Stone.

The disastrous race leads to a quick friendship. They are easy and comfortable around one another because love is absolutely not an option.

John desperately wants to hold onto the memories of his wife while Gemma refuses to trust her heart to any man. Even a prince.

When trouble in Lauchtenland calls the prince home, he realizes how much Gemma has rescued him. Saved him and restored his hope for his role as future king.

For Gemma, falling in love with the prince must be quenched. If it weren’t for her past, she’d give him her heart in a second. How could she risk bringing her shame to the House of Blue and the world stage?

However, she’s not the only one who can rescue and heal the wound. If she saved Prince John, why can’t he save her? And when he tries, will she have the courage to say yes to the best role of her life?

“Another compelling royal story by the master of princely tales!”  Susan May Warren, USA Today bestselling, RITA award-winning novelist

 Click here to get your copy!

 About the Author

Rachel Hauck is an award winning, New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author.

She is a double RITA finalist, and a Christy and Carol Award Winner. Her book, Once Upon A Prince, first in the Royal Wedding Series, was filmed for an Original Hallmark movie. Three more of her titles are under film contract.

Rachel was awarded the prestigious Career Achievement Award for her body of original work by Romantic Times Book Reviews.

A retired member of the American Christian Fiction Writers Executive Board, she teaches workshops and leads worship at the annual conference. She is a past Mentor of The Year.

In the real world, she’s a wife, writer, worship leader and works out at the gym semi-enthusiastically.

A graduate of Ohio State University (Go Bucks!) with a degree in Journalism, she’s a former sorority girl and a devoted Ohio State football fan. Her bucket list is to stand on the sidelines with Ryan Day.

She lives in sunny central Florida with her husband and ornery cat.

 More from Rachel

One of the biggest challenges in a series is keeping the reader interested. Even more of a challenge is writing in a trope like royals.

I never set out to write a second royal series. With five stories in the Royal Wedding Series, I thought I’d explored the topic to my satisfactions.

Yet when readers asked for more, and when I found myself in a season to produce my own stories, another royal series seemed like the perfect fit.

But can I be honest? Really honest? Come close. I’ll tell you a secret. Closer…

Royals can be a bit boring. At least to write. You laugh but I’m serious.

What do we really know of their day to day lives? They attend national functions, patron charities, represent the nation on walkabouts around the world. They are ambassadors with no real political agenda. They champion causes.

But what exactly do they do with their days? What are the inner workings of palace life? What are the real expectations? Do they call the queen “her majesty” when talking among themselves? When talking to her? Are they as formal as it seems on television?

Yet royals are the most documented people in history. So there is a lot to glean from when I make up my worlds.

But at the end of it all, they key for me in writing royal characters is to make them real, everyday people. The prince is the kind of chap you want to chat with over tea. The heroine is the sort of girl you’d love to see become a princess. Maybe even see a bit of yourself in her.

In To Save A King, Crown Prince John is trying to emerge for a year of grief. Gemma Stone is desperate to escape her past.

Gemma’s story has some what of an edge to it. In her attempt to achieve her goals, she walked a path she never thought she’d walk when she was a girl growing up in Hearts Bend, Tennessee. And it proved her undoing.

While we may have never faced a past like Gemma’s, we can all relate to personal betrayal of our values from gossip to immorality. I hope Gemma’s story reminds us the nearness of love and forgiveness.

On a lighter side, I recently learned British society has moved away from chap and bloke, replacing it with the American term “guy.” Isn’t that funny. Louise Lee, my narrator, said it was funny to read those words in To Love A Prince since there were more her parents’ generation. Ah, the signs of a more global society.

Well, I didn’t care if they have gone out of style for young people. I used them anyway. I like them. Maybe we should adopt “chap” and “bloke” over here. What do you say, guys?

I hope you enjoy To Save A King, book two in the True Blue Royal series and find your heart cheering on broken, wounded characters to a happily ever after worthy of a prince and princess.

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Rachel is giving away the grand prize of a Kindle Fire!!

*May be different than one pictured.

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! 

Click Here

A Mother for his Twins - Jill Weatherholt

 

This book is from the Love Inspired Inspirational Romance series books.  Joy is a teacher and has two new students (twin boys), she never dreamed the father of the boys was her high school sweetheart, Nick,  now a widower.  She finds out that Nick has also become her neighbor and is competing with her for the job of school principal. Can they put the past behind them and work together for the twins?  Who will get the job they both want?  What does being neighbors mean for both of them and the boys.

This is a quick afternoon read, that will inspire you of how life throws curves and makes you deal with the past and present.  If you are a fan of Hallmark movies, read this book.  The love inspired series are all stand alone reads with each one having their own story, but each one is heartfelt and inspiring to read. 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Celebrate Lit Books. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255, "Guides Concerning the Use of Testimonials and Endorsements in Advertising.


About the Book

Book:  A Mother for His Twins

Author: Jill Weatherholt

Genre: Inspirational Romance

Release date: Sept, 2019

First-grade teacher Joy Kelliher has two new students—twin boys who belong to her high school sweetheart. If teaching Nick Capello’s sons wasn’t difficult enough, the widower’s also her neighbor…and competing for the principal job she wants. Now with little matchmakers drawing Joy and Nick together, can they overcome a painful past to build the family Joy’s always wanted?

 Click here to get your copy!

  About the Author

She holds a degree in Psychology from George Mason University and Paralegal Studies Certification from Duke University.

She shares her life with her real-life hero and number one supporter. Their relationship grew on the golf course, and now they have one in their backyard.

Jill believes in enjoying every moment of this journey because God has everything under control.

 More from Jill

Back in 2019, when my editor sent me a cover mock-up for my third Love Inspired book A Mother for His Twins, I was thrilled to see the art department had used a picture of my hero’s twin boys, Jordan and Tyler Capello.

I had so much fun developing the characters of these two little rascals. Although they were twins, I wanted to make sure they each had their own unique personality.

Once I had Tyler’s character sketch completed, I went to work developing Jordan. Unlike his brother who is the outgoing one of the two, I wanted Jordan to be more quiet and shy than his twin. That’s when I decided to draw on my own experience as a child.

Like Jordan, I had a speech impediment when I was a child. I was unable to pronounce the letter R. Because of this, I was teased by my classmates. To make matters worse, once a week, my speech teacher would come and pull me from my classroom for my private session. I can still hear the giggles and murmuring that filled the room. Thankfully, with a lot of instruction and practice, I was able to overcome the impediment.

Life is full of obstacles. Looking back at what we’ve overcome gives us the confidence to keep pressing forward when we know God will never leave us.

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Jill 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.


Wednesday, May 12, 2021

The Elonora Monet - Rachel Skatvold

 

This is book 10 of the Independence Island book series. This book takes place on Elnora Island with Carly doing house calls on the island and agrees to take care of a cat at the Belshaw Estate.  When Carly finds art in the mansion she is curious as to why it is there and who painted them.  When Luc, owner of the mansion finds that Carly has found the secret paintings, he is not ready to tell the story behind the paintings, leaving Carly to wonder what the mystery is....  Can they come together over the secret?  Will Carly find out more than she wanted to know?

This is book 10 of the series, but each book can be read as a stand alone.  Each book is about a different people and situations, however, some of the characters from the past books show up in the current books, that ties it all in together.  Another good book for a relaxing read. 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Celebrate Lit Books. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255, "Guides Concerning the Use of Testimonials and Endorsements in Advertising.

About the Book

Book:  The Elnora Monet

Author: Rachel Skatvold

Genre: Christian Contemporary Romance

Release date: April 27, 2021

Islanders call him the Elnora Monet.

Is that island speak for “pompous, arrogant jerk?”

When Carly Mulligan volunteered to make house calls on Elnora, she never imagined treating the richest cat on the islands. What other feline has his own wing in a mansion like the Belshaw Estate?

After a wrong turn in the mansion, Carly stumbles across a secret room—one filled with incredible paintings. Perhaps there’s something more to the man than she first thought.

Most people envy Jean-Luc Belshaw’s position. The heir to a lucrative business and family fortune, he should have everything he could dream of.

But Luc dreams of days past. Days when he traveled the world with his wife and painted the breathings of his soul disappeared with Angeline’s passing.  Faith and inspiration gone, he wonders if returning to France to take his place in his father’s business is the right thing to do.

Carly has a few relational demons of her own, and she’s reluctant to trust him, but Luc’s paintings draw her in even as his story touches a long-empty place in her heart.

Only God can transform two broken pasts into a work of art.

The Elnora Monet continues the Elnora Island romances of the Independence Islands Series featuring five islands, six authors, and a boatload of happily-ever-afters.
The Independence Islands Series: beach reads aren’t just for summer anymore

 Click here to get your copy!

 About the Author

Rachel Skatvold is a Christian author and stay-at-home mom from the Midwest. She enjoys writing inspirational romance and encouraging blogs. Rachel completed her first series, the Riley Family Legacy Novellas in 2014 and is now working on the Hart Ranch Series, set in the Montana wilderness and the Ladies of Ardena Series, set in medieval times. She is also a contributing author in the Whispers in Wyoming and Brides of Pelican Rapids Series. Other than writing, some of her hobbies include singing, reading and camping in the great outdoors with her husband and two young sons. You can find more information about Rachel and her books on her website: www.rachelskatvold.com.

 More from Rachel

Thank you for helping celebrate the release of The Elnora Monet by following this Celebration Tour hosted by Celebrate Lit. I hope you enjoy learning a little more about the characters and what inspired the story. Please follow the other stops on this tour and don’t forget to enter in the giveaway. Thank you!

It has been a wonderful experience working with the talented authors and editors in the Independence Islands Series. Each of these stories has a heartwarming message of faith and the characters always teach me something new. Ever since writing Kendall Mulligan’s story in Her Merriweather Hero, I’ve been excited to share her free-spirited younger sister’s story.

Carly had many struggles in the first book, questioning what purpose God had for her life. This time around, her feet are more grounded, but she still has some growing to do when it comes to faith. Carly has been a fun character to write about because of her witty extroverted personality and some of the humorous predicaments she ends up in…one of them including getting caught snooping around a billionaire’s mansion.

While not outspoken as Carly, I can relate to the character’s search for direction. Sometimes it is difficult learning to trust, especially during troubling times, but we can rely on God’s promises. Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; don’t rely on your own intelligence. Know him in all your paths, and he will keep your ways straight.” This verse means so much to me because I know even when I can’t understand something, He is behind the scenes guiding me in the right direction. For Carly, it leads in a direction she never expects, but it is worth it in the end.

Certain parts of the story were inspired by my mom. If you have read Her Merriweather Hero, you know the Mulligan sisters are originally from New England, close to where my mom grew up. I love hearing about her memories of spending time at Nantasket Beach, drinking orange pop, and putting chips in her sandwich so they wouldn’t blow away. Even though I grew up in the Midwest, I still put chips in my own sandwich because of watching her do the same thing and her fridge is always stocked with orange pop to this day. Little bits of my mom’s childhood are weaved into this story, making it close to my heart.

I hope you have enjoyed learning a little more about characters and story behind The Elnora Monet. Now continue reading for a summary of the book and giveaway. Blessings!

Giveaway

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

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway!

 Click the link below to enter.


Monday, May 10, 2021

Avoiding Marriage - Karin Beery

 

This is a fun read for a beach day or just relaxing afternoon, it is a fast read and takes you away from everything.  When Jessica decides to take a job working on her ex-boyfriend and his new wife's farm, what could go wrong?  With the past coming back to haunting her and the small town talking, she holds her head high and is determined to make this job work.  With the added in feelings of a grandmother that just wants to get her a boyfriend, this add some complications to Jessica that she doesn't need.

If you like to read a good fun book that is like a Hallmark movie, then read this one... it is so enjoying that you just don't want it to end.  It is a novella to the book Practically Married, but you don't need to read that book before this one, you might want to just check out that book too.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Celebrate Lit Books. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255, "Guides Concerning the Use of Testimonials and Endorsements in Advertising.

About the Book

Book:  Avoiding Marriage

Author: Karin Beery

Genre: Women’s Fiction

Release date: April 13, 2021

Two years ago, Jessica Miller made a mess of her already confusing life. Now, she’s back in Boyne Heights, and she’s determined to fix her reputation. She can’t seem to avoid the past that haunts her, but that’s the joy of small-town life—word spreads and people remember. Intent on her mission, however, she faces her past head-on, taking a job with her ex-boyfriend while avoiding her grandmother’s attempts to find her a new one.

 Click here to get your copy!

 About the Author

Karin Beery grew up in a rural Michigan town, where she wrote her first novel in high school. Today, she writes contemporary stories with a healthy dose of romance. When she’s not writing fiction, she’s reading, editing, or teaching it. In her free time, she enjoys watching University of Michigan football and action-adventure movies with her husband and fur babies.

 More from Karin

I am so excited to go back to Boyne Heights!

 **SPOILER ALERT: If you haven’t read Practically Married, skip the following paragraph and go to the next!

 When we Boyne Heights, Russ was in a hospital bed after a car accident with Ashley by his side, and they’d agreed to get really married, not just practically married. That was around Thanksgiving. Now it’s spring time. Russ and Ashley are enjoying the newly wed life, but they need help. Enter Jessica Miller.

 **(START HERE)

Jess is exactly what Russ and Ashely need at the Russell farm, but nothing is ever as easy as it sounds. I mean, Jess thought she was going to marry Russ—now she’s working for him and his new wife? As if that’s not enough, Gran’s adjusting a little too well to life in the care home, meeting every single guy there to introduce to her favorite granddaughter, but Jess doesn’t have time. On top of the new job, it looks like her brother might be relapsing, and her wayward mother’s name keeps popping up in conversations.

 I hadn’t planned on writing Jess’s story, I kept asking myself: what kind of woman did Russ date before he met Ashley? I knew the ex-girlfriend had to be smart, kind, motivated, yet hurting. It was so much fun to explore her story!

 I hadn’t planned to go back to Boyne Heights, but I definitely enjoyed the trip. I hope you will too!

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Karin 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.


Sunday, May 9, 2021

Providence ~ Jennifer Sienes

This is book 3 of The Apple Hill Series, a Contemporary Christian Read. When Melisa, mother of 3 children, finds that her husband has committed Suicide.  Leaving her with grief, having to take care of her children, wondering how they will survive and where does this lead her in life?  She finds support with friends and family but, she must deal with forgiveness and why God has allowed this to happen in her life.  Why did her husband do such a thing, why didn't he feel he could talk and reach out to his own wife?  

I would recommend this to anyone that wants to read a heartfelt story, that deals with real life and being able to keep your faith.  It does deal with suicide, so if you have a hard time reading about this subject approach this book with caution.  This is a very good read that makes you think hard about life to the very end and even after you finished.  It is book 3 but each book in the series can be read as a stand alone.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Celebrate Lit Books. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255, "Guides Concerning the Use of Testimonials and Endorsements in Advertising.

About the Book

Book:  Providence

Author: Jennifer Sienes

Genre: Christian Women’s Fiction

Release date: April 13, 2021

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

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

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

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

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

 Click here to get your copy!

 About the Author

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

 More from Jennifer

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Giveaway

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

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway!

CLICK HERE

Saturday, May 8, 2021

Lassoed by the Lawman ~ Renae Brumbaugh Green

 

This is book 3 of the Texas Ranger Series, a Christian Historical Romance.  When Ranger Cody is assigned to protect a cattle rancher from rustlers, little did he expect to find more than just protecting the cattle.  He has found to be intrigued by the land owner's daughter Julianna.  Julianna is independent, determined and not looking for romance.  When the two meet, they find that faith may have more for them then they planned.  With the mystery, drama and romance can they find interest?  Will faith and romance resolve?  Can Cody keep them safe on the ranch?

This is a good fast pace read for a lazy afternoon of just wanting to get away and read.  This series gets better with each book.   It is book 3 but can be read as a stand alone and nothing will be missed.  Can't wait for book 4..... 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Celebrate Lit Books. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255, "Guides Concerning the Use of Testimonials and Endorsements in Advertising.

About the Book

 Book:  Lassoed by the Lawman

Author: Renae Brumbaugh Green

Genre: Christian Historical Romance

Release date: May 4, 2021

Juliana Duke has always dreamed of owning a dress shop.

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

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

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

 Click here to get your copy!

 About the Author

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

 More from Renae

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

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

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

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

  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pDjVxp2m5

God bless, and happy reading!

—Renae Brumbaugh Green

Giveaway

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

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway!

CLICK HERE

Friday, May 7, 2021

Realms of Light ~ Sandra Fernandez Rhoads

This is book 2 of  The Colliding Line Series, a Young Adult book filled with adventure and fantasy.  This is the continuation of Cera and being in her world of determination to do what is right. This book picks right up where we left in book one.  As in the first book, she keeps getting interrupted by a certain poem written by John Milton and all the references to art.  What does this all mean, can this help or hurt the situation she is in?  Will she be able to find out how all of this comes together?

I would recommend this book to Young Adult readers as it is a fantasy, dark read.  I am not a fan of the fantasy or darkness in the story, but the younger readers that like to go into the imagination world of characters, drama, suspense and fantasy will love this book.  The book moves at a good pace and has many twist and turns.  As in the first book, this one references John Milton's Poem and I am not familiar with him or his work, which did not make it hard to understand, but a fan of Milton will enjoy the book.  This is book two of the series and the conclusion. However, you should read book one before this book, to know what is going on.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Celebrate Lit Books. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255, "Guides Concerning the Use of Testimonials and Endorsements in Advertising.

About the Book

 Book:  Realms of Light

Author: Sandra Fernandez Rhoads

Genre: Christian YA Contemporary Fantasy

Release date: April 13, 2021

 

From the Ashes, Spring Will Rise

On the run from the brutal Sage and his army of Legions and Cormorants, seventeen-year-old Cera Marlowe knows the only place strong enough to protect her is the Alliance Council Estate.

Cera’s introduction to the Estate is far from welcoming. As a Blight, her dueling powers of light and darkness make her a half-breed threat to the Alliance’s sacred powers. Cera’s ability to decipher hidden messages in classical artwork buys her shelter temporarily, but the clock is ticking as she’s faced with a daunting choice that could cost her everything.

 Click here to get your copy!

 About the Author

Sandra Fernandez Rhoads is the author of Mortal Sight. She is a Cuban-Colombian living in Dallas, Texas with her husband and four children. She has a deep love for the artist community, and is an active part of Art House Dallas and the Fort Worth Writer’s group. She holds an M.A. in English with a focus on John Milton and has an insatiable love for coffee, laughter, and adventure. And dinosaurs.

 More from Sandra

What if there was an unseen war affecting our everyday world, but only a few could see the battle? And what if the secrets to this other realm and winning the war were embedded in classical art and literature?

These questions led me to the ideas that formed the Colliding Line duology, and final installment in the series, Realms of Light—the story about a select group of emerging artists called the Awakened that are given unique powers to help combat the forces of evil.

The protagonist, a young girl named Cera Marlowe, quickly took the lead in the first draft of the story. On a quest for her identity, she steps into her destiny by joining a community of unlikely warriors who would need to overcome great odds, learn to work together, and battle their past in order to defeat the enemy.

The story took more than five years to write and the first draft was over 180k words. The use of classical art emerged slowly over that time. But the verses from John Milton’s Paradise Lost fit seamlessly from the start, paralleling the fight for truth, identity, and war in our fallen world.

At its core, the story is about embracing the past to help shape our future. My hope is that readers see classical art and literature in a new way, and find their own creativity as a much-needed gift to the world.

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Sandra is giving away the grand prize package of $40 Christianbook.com gift card, custom Bookmark, custom signed bookplate, custom Realms of Light notebook, and library book pattern book / tablet sleeve!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway!

CLICK HERE

Thursday, May 6, 2021

Present Danger - Elizabeth Goodard

 This is book one of the Rocky Mountain Courage Series.  When FBI Agent, Jack Tanner is assigned to Montana and finds a body in the national forest, little does he expect this to be a mission to work along with his ex-girlfriend, US forest service Agent Terra Connors.  When they start finding evidence Terra comes across some disturbing information that put her and her partner in dangers way.  Jack feels that he needs to protect Terra and make sure she is safe from all danger, not like in the past and the mistakes both have made.  Can he save her and still get the mission done? Will they find the real killer?  Is there room in their lives for a little romance?  How does the past come in to play?

Want a nail bitter and page turner, love a murder mystery with little romance?  This is the book for you.  It moves fast paced and doesn't stop until the end, where the story all ties into together.  So many different angles that reading keeps you trying to keep it all straight and wondering how does this end?  You know a book is good if it keeps you guessing, want drama, suspense then read this book.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell Books. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255, "Guides Concerning the Use of Testimonials and Endorsements in Advertising.

Monday, May 3, 2021

Suddenly Forever ~ Teresa Tysinger

This is book 2 of the Laurel Cove Romance Series and inspirational Christian read.  When 3 people come together, is this a meeting that God meant to happen or just another 3 people helping each other?  Cora is a widow, having a very difficult time dealing with her husbands death.  Then we meet Lucas, he is dealing with the loss of his mother to cancer.  Then the neighbor Ina who has lost her husband after 70 years.  When you put them all together in the little neighborhood, how can they all help each other deal with the grief and all know that each death was different, but each death has similar situations. This is a great read for the afternoon when you want that one book to take you away and give you something to think about.  

This is book 2 of the series, but can be read as a stand alone.  It does make you want to read more about the people that live in Laurel Cove, North Carolina.  

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Celebrate Lit Books. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255, "Guides Concerning the Use of Testimonials and Endorsements in Advertising.



 About the Book

Book:  Suddenly Forever

Author: Teresa Tysinger

Genre: Christian Contemporary Romance

Release date: October 6, 2020

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

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

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

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

 Click here to get your copy!

 About the Author

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

 More from Teresa

Hi Readers!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Giveaway

To celebrate her, Teresa is giving away the grand prize package of a Zippered Book Sleeve (8×10), a “Library” Candle (4 oz), a Suddenly Forever Book Quote Card (4×6), and a $10 Amazon Gift Card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway!

CLICK HERE

Wishapick ~ Mary Martha Allen & Deborah Wynne

 

This book is a young readers book for ages 8- 12, however, any age from 8 up will enjoy this story if they enjoy reading fantasy books of using your imagination.  Taking you to a land where animals are alive and trying to survive from the evil rattlesnakes.  When Jack falls into his fathers trunk, he soon realizes why his mother never let him unlock it and look inside.... the mystery of the trunk soon becomes a world were Jack must fight evil for the good.  Can he keep the faith and make all evil become good?  Will he be able to save the animals and return to his world? Looking for a good fantasy read for children.... this is the book to have them read.  Like Narnia, then you will enjoy this story.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Celebrate Lit Books. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255, "Guides Concerning the Use of Testimonials and Endorsements in Advertising.

About the Book

 Book:  Wishapick

Author: Mary Martha Allen & Deborah Wynne

Genre: Middle grade fantasy/fairy tale

Release date: September 2015

 

Darkness. Utter blackness. Was this why his mother had refused to let Jack unlock his father’s old trunk? It had been two years since his dad had died, and all Jack could think about was examining whatever treasures were stored inside the beloved trunk. But when he finally lifted the lid, he didn’t just fall in—he fell through it into a pit of rattlesnakes!

Trying to recall his mother’s stories about “the Breath of All Good Things”—anything to shed light on his current situation—Jack wishes he’d paid better attention rather than mock the tales as childish myths…and that he’d waited to enter the trunk with his sister, Lilly, so they could at least face this together.

Like L. Frank Baum’s Oz and C. S. Lewis’s Narnia, M. M. Allen brings to life the fantastical world of Wishapick—a land of courageous animals ruled by a cruel rattlesnake king who has condemned the villagers to live without light. Chosen as the reluctant hero to save the villagers, Jack must face terrifying creatures and overwhelming odds if he wants to help his new friends—and return home himself.

 Click here to get your copy!

 About the Author

Mary Martha Allen, children’s author, and Deborah Wynne singer, songwriter, collaborated in producing the fantasy/fairy tale book, & music Wishapick, Tickety Boo and the Black Trunk. This Middle Grade book and CD won the Moonbeam Gold Award for book & theatrical. Wishapick also won the 5 Star Readers Favorite Award.

MM Allen the author of the acclaimed children’s picture book Let’s Play Ball,   is the mother of two adult children, and aunt to twenty three nieces & nephews, including twelve great nieces and nephews. She was a former teacher. She worked extensively in marketing and communications with varied businesses, including Walt Disney’s Buena Vista Records, as well as several non-profits. MM lives in a picturesque northern California town were she enjoys writing, tending to her rose garden and caring for her West Highland Terriers, Peaches, Pip and Daisy.

Mary Martha Allen along with Deborah Wynne produced a podcast in 2020 called; Wishapick – Prayer, Creativity and the Divine.  The podcast, hosted by MM, tells the story of God’s work behind the writing of the book and music. MM Allen weaves the back story of Wishapick into a thoughtful message of how prayer, creativity and the Divine gently coexist in our lives.  MM believes Prayer is intimate, Creativity is fearless, and the Divine is always giving. MM shares the story along with Deborah’s insight and music in a reflection of love. The podcasts are geared towards, parents, youth ministers, young adults, teachers, aunts and uncles, and all those working with children teaching them about God’s love. These generous back stories about the making of Wishapick confirm her belief that God is good and each of us is an extension of the Divine’s Goodwill. MM believes that each of us will remember we are loved, and then intimate, fearless giving will unfold into our lives.

MM learned to pray at a young age practicing thoughtful traditional, repetitive prayers. She has been a participant and leader of prayer groups, practicing intentional prayer, meditative prayer, lectio divina (scriptural readings & meditation), and contemplative walking prayer, along with the rosary and prayer beads from other cultures. She was an early member and still a participant of Mom’s In Prayer International.  MM believes your communication with God is personal and establishing a relationship with the Divine brings peace and enjoyment into your life.  This communication with God awakens the goodwill within each of us, which has been there since the beginning of time.

Deborah Wynne created a CD of songs to accompany the novel. Deborah’s extensive talents lie in choral singing, and song composition. Her musical projects include the 2013 album Strands of Gold and 2007 musical Moment of Truth, which she co-wrote and co-produced. For many years Deborah was a member of the well know a cappella ensemble, Quire of Voices. She also sang with the female quartet, Champagne. She continues to sing and compose in Santa Barbara, CA, where she lives with her husband and Sheltie, Gracie, a dog who loves to sing and is particularly inspired by renaissance vocal music.

Deborah was born into a musical, religious family.  Music, adoration and holiness were woven together into her heart starting at a very young age.  Over the years music has become a form of prayer for Deborah.  Whether it be through listening, singing, playing or writing music, she feels deep gratitude for the gifts music offers.  For her, music is God breathing love into our hearts. She perceives the creative process as a part of our spiritual ground of being and a delight to access, for within that Holy space where God lives, we touch an aspect of the Divine that is pure beauty.  Creativity is a gift from and collaboration with the Divine, an offering of gratitude to God and a prayer of deep thanksgiving.

 More from the Authors

Peach Pie In Wishapick

When Deborah and I spoke about Wishapick and the light returning at the end of the story, we acknowledged it was the Garden of Eden reawakening for all the animals in the village of Wishapick. But one small pleasure inserted into the story, brought us much enjoyment.  If it was the Garden of Eden what would the animals enjoy eating?

Deborah sang her song that everyone feasted on fresh peach pie. I wrote about the delicious peach pie Mrs. Tumalum had made and how Mr. Tumalum nicked a huge slice of the warm pie. To this day we cannot remember who came up with the idea first, yet the villagers in Wishapick enjoy peach pie. There is no competitiveness or argument about who came up with the idea first or how it happened, neither of us bested the other – it just came about. I cannot credit myself nor does Deborah feel she is responsible for peach pie being in the story of Wishapick. We each have a backstory about peach pie and our enjoyment is sharing the stories between us. Again & again, we find it miraculous and we are thankful.

There is no competition when we pray; there are no best ways to pray, there is no responsibility on how the prayer is to be answered, nor do we need credit for answered prayer. Being human we seek credit, being in enjoyment we move to thanksgiving. When we pray -giving thanks to God is most enjoyable.

Deborah Wynne’s Favorite Peach Crisp Recipe

CINNAMON-OAT PEACH CRISP

Ingredients

    • 5 lb. medium peaches (about 12), peeled, sliced 1/2″ thick
    • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
    • 2 Tbsp. plus 1 cup all-purpose flour
    • 2 cups old-fashioned oats
    • 2/3 cup (packed) light brown sugar
    • 4 tsp. ground cinnamon
    • 1 tsp. kosher salt
    • 1 cup (2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
    • 2 pints vanilla ice cream

Preparation

Toss peaches, granulated sugar, and 2 Tbsp. flour in a large bowl to combine. Let sit, tossing occasionally, 30 minutes.

Place a rack in center of oven; preheat to 350°F.

Meanwhile, whisk oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, and remaining 1 cup flour in a large bowl to combine. Using an electric mixer on low speed, gradually add butter. Once it has all been added, increase speed to medium-high and beat until dry ingredients are incorporated (there should be no dry bits left in the bowl), about 3 minutes.

Scrape peaches and any juices into a 13×9″ baking dish. Evenly scatter oat topping over peaches and bake crisp until peaches are soft, fruit juices are bubbling, and topping is a deep golden brown, 60–70 minutes. Transfer baking dish to a wire rack and let crisp cool 1 hour.

Divide among bowls and top with large scoops of ice cream.

Chocolate Pudding in Wishapick

Our protagonist Jack faced the most dangerous rattlesnakes in Wishapick. With inspiration from the “Breath of All Good Things,” a little Jiggery Pokery and adding some Chocolate Pudding Jack implements his plan to return the light to the village of Wishapick.

My fun loving, grandmother, had a motto “let’s enjoy good food.” She was known for her famous chocolate pudding.  She and my grandfather made pancakes, chocolate pudding & tea when the cousins gathered together for dinner at their home. A yummy dinner ending with her chocolate pudding – such happiness!

Lilly, Jack’s sister, implemented his idea & carried out the plan.  The Magical Crimson Tray was helpful to Lilly, it moved about on its own, pouring the chocolate pudding into the mouths of the dangerous snakes which turned their nasty behaviors – nice.

When I finished writing this chapter, about the chocolate pudding, I took a ride into the country to a little community store, where I had never been before.

I went into the old-fashioned country store and ordered a sandwich. I opened the self -serve fridge to get some water and in front of me was several cups of chocolate pudding. Individual cups of chocolate pudding topped with whipped cream, were lined up right in front of me.  I learned later the adorable country store was famous for their chocolate pudding.  Full of praise, thanksgiving and joy I had my lunch full of the niceness of God’s surprise. Prayer is calling out to God and listening for the answers. When Jack called out to the “Breath of All Good Things” in Wishapick everything became okay. In our lives when we include God and call out to him, everything will be okay. God can turn the nasty to nice & Christ is always with us.

In memory of my grandmother –

My Grandma Glady Reese’s Famous Chocolate Pudding Recipe.

Combine
1 cup sugar
4Tbls Cocoa
4TBLS four or 3TBLS corn starch
Add
1 large egg (or 2 small ones)
2 cups milk
½ tsp salt
Cook over low heat stirring constantly till it thickens (this can take a while) until it boils, keep stirring.
Add
1 tsp vanilla.

Pour into individual serving dishes or a bowl, let cool to room temperature. put in refrigerator. Serve cold plain or with whipped cream on top.

Taken from the backstory about God working through our lives while we wrote Wishapick, you can listen to all 10 episodes of this backstory of my prayer life & Deborah’s music, on Wishapick youtube – Prayer-Creativity & the Divine.

Giveaway

To celebrate their tour, Mary and Deborah are giving away the grand prize of a Kindle!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway!

CLICK HERE

Rooms of a Mother’s Heart ~ Dr. Carol McLeod

This is all about Motherhood, encouragement and bible verses.  This book will give mothers an look of how to handle all things that come with being a mother.  It has personal stories from Carol about her own experiences that she has gone through and gives biblical insite of how she handled the tough stuff.  Carol encourages and gives so much hope and teaching of how being a mother is more than just taking care of your children.... it is a life that teaches love, faith, caring, listening and so much more.  This is a great book as a gift for any new mother, she will cherish this book for years.  Great Mother's Day gift.  

 Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Celebrate Lit Books. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255, "Guides Concerning the Use of Testimonials and Endorsements in Advertising.

About the Book

Book:  Rooms of a Mother’s Heart

Author: Dr. Carol McLeod

Genre: Christian Living

Release date: April 20, 2021

For thousands of years and in a myriad of cultures, women have forged identity, unconditional love, and vast purpose in the calling of motherhood. From Eve to Sarah, from Ruth to Mary, the Scriptures are filled with the accounts of the heart of a mother who was given a divine opportunity to raise the next generation for the purposes and call of the Father.

Inside the soul of every mother lies a heart that becomes a repository of sweet memories, hard lessons, glorious victories, ordinary days, glaring failures, and God’s grace over the years of mothering. The heart of a mother becomes home to jokes around the dinner table, holiday traditions, the tears of childhood, and the love that only a mother knows. And this tender heart that has given birth to the future of mankind or has lovingly adopted the seeds of the next generation also develops rooms of unsurpassed greatness and quiet strength. These are the Rooms of a Mother’s Heart.

With her characteristic charm, joy, and biblical teaching that she shares like a good friend over a cup of coffee, Carol McLeod examines what it means to be a mother and offers tender encouragement to all women who accept that calling.

 Click here to get your copy!

  About the Author

The president and CEO of Carol McLeod Ministries, Carol McLeod is a popular speaker at women’s conferences and retreats. She is the author of a dozen books, including Vibrant: Developing a Deep and Abiding Joy for All SeasonsSignificant: Becoming a Woman of Unique Purpose, True Identity, and Irrepressible HopeStormProof: Weathering Life’s Tough TimesGuide Your Mind, Guard Your Heart, Grace Your Tongue; Joy for All Seasons; Holy Estrogen; and Defiant Joy.

Carol hosts a twice weekly podcast, A Jolt of Joy! on the Charisma Podcast Network, and a weekly podcast, Significant. Her weekly blog, Joy for the Journey, has been named in the Top 50 Faith Blogs for Women. Carol also writes a weekly column in Ministry Today.

She has written several devotionals for YouVersion, including “21 Days to Beat Depression,” which has touched the lives of nearly one million people around the world. Her teaching DVD The Rooms of a Woman’s Heart won the prestigious Telly Award for excellence in religious programming.

Carol was also the first women’s chaplain at Oral Roberts University and served as chaplain on the university’s Alumni Board of Directors for many years.

Carol has been married to her college sweetheart, Craig, for more than forty years and is the mother of five children in heaven and five children on earth. Carol and Craig also happily answer to “Marmee and Pa” for their captivating grandchildren.

 More from Carol

Evening Conversation …

I am working with my fabulous editor on the edits for my next book that will be released in April.

”The Rooms of a Mother’s Heart” is the title and writing it has caused me to travel back through the memory bank of my heart.

As I was working on the edits for the chapter, “The Nursery”, tonight, I came upon these words and thought that I would share them with all of you in my evening conversation.

It’s a lesson that I am still learning …

”The nursery is filled with little things, isn’t it?

It holds little bears and little clothes, tiny blankets and miniature books.

It is in the nursery of your heart that you develop an appreciation for the little things in life and where you begin to understand that these are actually life’s big things.

The nursery teaches that it is the little things in life that are capable of building a grand and historic life.

So often, during other years of my life, I have made the glaring error of living for the big moments, for the red-letter days of graduations, weddings, and championship ball games. The nursery has taught me that those monstrous occasions, as fabulous as they might seem at the time, do not construct a vital and enchanting existence at all.

A glass of iced tea on the back deck while the children are playing baseball, and the sweet giggle of a child just waking up from a nap—these give birth to a whimsical life.

The smell of the roses as I walk to the front door, a good book and a cup of coffee on a rainy afternoon, and making cookies with the children to share with the neighbors—these build a life of grand and lasting proportions.

A glorious life is built on one small but meaningful and carefully chosen building block at a time.

A wonderful life is composed of long walks along country roads while the children gather wildflowers.

It is pancakes on a Saturday morning and popcorn on Sunday evening.

In the nursery of my heart, I have been taught that the real stuff of life is as close and as dear as the morning song of the bird outside my bedroom window, the companionship of my daughter on my daily run, and the treasure of reading a devotional book that belonged to my grandfather.

Those events may seem small and even in consequential to you, but to me, they deliver joy.

There is no applause in a nursery, nor are there diplomas on the wall or trophies lined up across the changing table, but it remains the most splendid room in the entire home.

The nursery is absent of the rush of adrenaline, but it is filled with the sweet sighs of contentment.

Perhaps living inside a regular day in which nothing of earth-moving significance happens is at the heart of all that is truly meaningful and extraordinary.

The glory of life is found quite simply in the ordinary moments.

The treasure of a life well lived is acquired not in getting but in giving.

The substance of all that is good, rich, and meaningful is found in a thousand inconsequential gifts that are easily overlooked if one is not careful.

I hope that you will treasure the time spent in the nursery of your heart and remember that it is the little things that contribute to a large life.”

These are my thoughts for Sunday, January 31, 2021.

Blessings, my friends.

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Carol is giving away the grand prize package of a $20 Starbuck’s gift card and a copy of the book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway!

CLICK HERE

The Secret Place ~ Camille Eide

When a mother gives up her twin daughters to their grandmother and aunt to bring up in life.  The past and present of the twins situations are that of drama, turmoil, heartache and finding the right place for them.  Where do they belong? When their mother decides she wants them back, can the twins handle this?  When tragedy strikes the family, how can this family survive?  

If you like a page turner with drama and mystery of survival all wrapped up in one, then you this book will not let you down.  
 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Celebrate Lit Books. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255, "Guides Concerning the Use of Testimonials and Endorsements in Advertising.

 About the Book

Book:  The Secret Place

Author: Camille Eide

Genre: Contemporary women’s fiction/romance

Release date: April 15, 2021

How far can love bend before it breaks?

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

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

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

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

 Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

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

 More from Camille

Secrets That Won’t Stay Hidden

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-Camille

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Camille is giving away the grand prize of a $25 Amazon card & a signed book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway!

CLICK HERE