Monday, April 30, 2018

Love, Amy

I truly enjoyed taking this journey to China with Amy as she grows in her faith and dedication to GOD.  I loved her newsetters and I know I would have had serious culture shock.  Amy was perfect for this job.  She had the right attitude and didn' let much bring her down.


My favorite story was about the fish at the restaurant.  I can not imagine the surprise on her face when this occured.  

It was an adventure for sure.  I love how clearly she writes and can picture her as she experiences the highs and lows of teaching and living in China.  

As I finish this book I have come to love Amy.  I guarantee you will, too!!!

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Amy is giving away a grand prize of a letter writing basket that includes a $25 Amazon gift card!!
Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/cb73

About the Author

Amy YoungAmy Young is a writer, speaker, and advocate for embracing the messy middle of your one glorious life. Author of Looming TransitionsTwenty Two Activities for Families in Transitionand The Looming Transitions Workbook,she also created the blog The Messy Middle (www.messmiddle.com), has been a part of Velvet Ashes, (an online community for missionaries) from the beginning, and contributes regularly to A Life Overseas. Amy enjoys nothing more than being with her people, wherever they are in the world. She also enjoys cheering on the Denver Broncos and Kansas Jayhawks. After nearly twenty years in China, she returned to Denver and much to her shock, discovered she enjoys gardening.

Guest Post from Amy Young

The tug for a life that is “Anything but Boring”
When I was in college the Hallmark Hall of Fame movie Sarah Plain and Tall changed my life. You’ve probably seen it and been moved too. Sarah, a spinster by the standard of her day, moves from Boston to the fields of Kansas to consider marrying a widower and help him raise his children and work his farm. Her brother could not understand why Sarah would move from so-called civilization to the middle of nowhere. But the longing she felt for her life to matter resonated deeply with me.
I was in the liminal space between adolescence and adulthood. Like Sarah, I knew I could stay where I was and live a good life, but I wanted more. And so I moved to China.
Our world is one that loves big, change-the-world stories. I love them too. I remember reading The End of the Spear, the story of Jim Elliott and his friends who were martyred for their faith. I also lost myself in the stories of Gladys Aylward, William Carey, Lottie Moon, and Amy Carmichael. I remember reading about a missionary that had some worm pulled out of his stomach that was the size of a large snake. Disgusting! Fascinating! All for the gospel! The life of faith was exciting and God was on the move all the time! While it is true, the life of faith is exciting and God is on the move, it is also ordinary, boring, disappointing, and confusing. When I started compiling the letters I wrote from my days in China, I was embarrassed by what “first year Amy” said. She was so clueless, so uninformed, so willing to display her lack of cultural knowledge. I wanted to put my hand over her mouth and ask her to please pipe down because she did not really believe what she was saying. But she did, “first year Amy” could not know what “fifteen year in China Amy” knew.
These change the world stories I love? Turns out they have been more sanitized than I realized without showing the cultural and ministry progression that must have taken place.
Even now, knowing what I know, part of me wishes my newsletters contained miracles and throngs coming to Christ because of my work. I thought throngs and miracles were what a “real” cross-cultural worker would do. I thought that would show that my life mattered, like Sarah’s when she moved to Kansas. Don’t we all want our lives to matter? I believed that mattering was measurable. By compiling and writing this book the lesson Love, Amy has taught me is that too often we confuse size with significance. I still hear the whisper that says, “Amy, really? You wrote about the cultural beliefs that influence standing in line and you think that is worth people giving of their prayer, money, and time?” Part of me is reluctant even now to publish these letters because they are common. In truth, I am happy with my life and the contributions I have made. Of course I have regrets and wish I’d handled certain situations differently. But if all we hear are the spectacular stories, we can miss the gift our beautifully ordinary lives can be.
Who made it into the Gospels? A widow and her two mites. A boy and his few fish. She is described as offering out of her poverty. His common lunch was used to feed more than he could have imagined. Jesus did not tend to elevate those in power or those who seemed impressive.
My first year, a fellow teacher in China told me, “You’re lucky you’re still in your first year. Wait until your second year and you have told all your stories. You’ll have nothing to say in your newsletters.” Isn’t that the heart of what we fear—that we will have nothing to say with our lives? The secret to combating this fear is not that secretive. Show up and be present. Taken individually, these letters don’t add up to much, but put them together and much to my surprise, month after month I wrote an accidental memoir.
As ordinary as it is, I do have to say, life in China was anything but boring! If you love memoirs and want to hear stories that will make you laugh or cringe (and sometimes both), join me on a college campus in China.

Blog Stops

Mary Hake, April 21
Carpe Diem, April 23
Simple Harvest Reads, April 25 (Guest post from Mindy Houng)
Artistic Nobody, April 27 (Spotlight)
Lots of Helpers, April 27
A Greater Yes, April 29
margaret kazmierczak, May 2 (Interview)


Thursday, April 26, 2018

GUIDE YOUR MIND GUARD YOUR HEART GRACE YOUR TONGUE

There are many valuable lessons found between the covers of this book.  I found myself easily relating to different sections.  It made me reflect and see the changes I have made through the years and what I need to continue to work on.

Words can be damaging.  I am a parent and I have regrets of some of the words I used while I was raising them.


I have always cautioned others (and me) to be careful what you say in anger.  Once the words are out there, you can't take them back.  The recipient will never forget.. the damage is done.

Carol Brown McLeod wrote this amazing book with humor, insight and Biblical teachings.  I found it enlightening and thought provoking.  I enjoyed it so much that I subscribed to her blog - A Cup of Tea with Carol.

I recommend this book to all my friends and family. I received this free to review but I would highly recommend purchasing this as we all can learn something from it. 

 Giveaway

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To celebrate the tour, Whitaker House is giving away the following prizes:
Grand Prize: A copy of Guide Your Mind, Guard Your Heart, Grace Your Tongue, “Grace” teapot from Christian Arts Gifts, Whitaker House/Anchor adult coloring book.
1st Place: A copy of Guide Your Mind, Guard Your Heart, Grace Your Tongue, Abba Jerusalem 6” Scented Pillar Candle
2nd Place: A copy of Guide Your Mind, Guard Your Heart, Grace Your Tongue, and Whitaker House/Anchor adult coloring book.
Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/cd18/guide-your-mind-guard-your-heart-grace-your-tongue-celebration-tour-giveaway

About the Author

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Carol Burton McLeod is a popular speaker at women’s conferences and retreats through her ministry, Just Joy!, and is the author of a number of books. Carol hosts a daily radio show, “Defiant Joy! Radio,” which is broadcast in major markets across America. Her blog, “Joy for the Journey” (formerly “A Cup of Tea with Carol”), has been named in the Top 50 Faith Blogs for Women, and her teaching DVD The Rooms of a Woman’s Heart won a Telly Award for excellence in religious programming.

About the Book

Title: Guide your Mind, Guard your Heart, Grace your Tongue
Author: Carol Burton McLeodGuideYourMindGuardYourHeart
Genre: Non-Fiction, Christian Living
Release Date: April 3, 2018
Every single one of us with a beating heart has spoken words “under the influence” of warped feelings and slurred thinking. And we soon wish we had the magical power to take those words back. We especially regret the hurtful words we have spoken to those we love the most and know the best. This book may just be the solution.
Carol McLeod reveals that before the words are spoken, they brew in our hearts and are formed in our minds. It’s our thoughts and emotions that determine what words come out of our mouths. Guide Your Mind, Guard Your Heart, Grace Your Tongue is an innovative blueprint that will enable you to take control of your thoughts and feelings in order to grace your tongue. You won’t find pat answers here, but rather powerful strategies based on the Word of God to reroute disordered thinking and cure rotten emotions so your words can be humbly grateful instead of grumbly hateful.
Click here to purchase your copy!

Blog Stops

Genesis 5020, April 18:
Mary Hake, April 19
Multifarious, April 20
Bigreadersite , April 20
Carpe Diem, April 22
Power of Words, April 23 (Spotlight)
Among the Reads, April 23
Beck to Basics, April 26
Artistic Nobody, April 26 (Spotlight)
A Greater Yes, April 30

Enjoy the Book Video



Friday, April 20, 2018

Caryl McAdoo's Daughters of the Heart

Historical family sagas, Caryl’s most popular SERIES,
undoubtedly’ll offer readers copious giggling and tearies!

Ms. McAdoo always delivers and I was quite entertained reading Daughters of the Heart.  I loved reading about this close family and the love they have for each other.  The father does everything he can to protect his family from harm and poor decisions.  He knows that at times his hands are tied and there is little he can do when his daughters have made up their minds.

This reminds me of Jesus and his love for us.  He wants to be close to us and protect us from harm.   But we are not always ready or willing to let him in.  Jesus is patient and ready when we are.

I haven't read any of her other books in this SERIES but I am eager to venture further as I enjoyed every minute.  I bet the youngest daughter, Bonnie, will give her parents an adventure!!!

Blog Stops

A Greater Yes, April 16
Carpe Diem, April 21
Simple Harvest Reads, April 23 (Guest post from Mindy Houng)
Pursuing Stacie, April 24
Bigreadersite, April 25
Quiet Quilter, April 26


BIO:
Award winning author Caryl McAdoo currently writes four series: the historical Christian ‘Texas Romance’; a contemporary ‘Red River Romance’; The Generations, her Biblical fiction and a mid-grade The King’s Highway. The prolific, bestselling novelist loves singing new songs the Lord gives her and painting. In 2008, she and her high school sweetheart-husband Ron moved from the DFW area—home for fifty+ years—to the woods of Red River County. Caryl counts four children and sixteen grandsugars life’s biggest blessings believing all good things come from God. Praying her story gives God glory, she hopes each one will also minister His love, mercy, and grace to its readers. Caryl and Ron live in Clarksville, the county seat, in the far northeast corner of the Lone Star State with two grandsons, Christian and Benjamen.

LINKS:
All Books - http://www.amazon.com/Caryl-McAdoo/e/B00E963CFG
Daughters - http://www.amazon.com/dp/B012EBN35G
Website - http://www.CarylMcAdoo.com 
                                     (All First Chapters are offered here)
 Newsletter - http://carylmcadoo.com/sign-up-to-the-caryler/
                                     (Get FREE books for subscribing!)
Reviewer? - http://carylmcadoo.com/christian-evaluaters/
                                     (Join Caryl’s Street Team!)
Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/CarylMcAdoo.author

Blog        - http://www.CarylMcAdoo.blogspot.com
GoodReads - http://tinyurl.com/GoodReadsCaryl
Google+       -        http://tinyurl.com/CarylsGooglePlus
LinkedIn - https://www.linkedin.com/pub/caryl-mcadoo/23/623/5
Twitter - http://www.twitter.com/CarylMcAdoo
Pinterest - http://www.pinterest.com/CarylMcAdoo




Tuesday, April 17, 2018

The Prayer Map for Women

I just started to fill out the journal and I can see where this will help me on my journey.  It makes you pause and really think of what you are praying for- your concerns- your worries and what you are thankful for.

I believe it will be important to read later and reflect.  I'll be able to see God's work in my life and the answers to my prayers.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.

Monday, April 16, 2018

The Revolutionary by Kristen Hogrefe


Very intense and nail biting story.  I was a little lost in the beginning but quickly became immersed in Cotton/Sage/Portia's quest for freedom.  I enjoyed the suspense and the struggle she was going through.

  It took awhile for me to see the connection as an Christian story but it did come together.  We all are lost until we accept Jesus as our Savior.  When we do, we know that with his strength and guidance we can get through anything.  I am not a science fiction lover but I came to enjoy this tale.

I received this free to review.


About the Author


KHogrefeKristen Hogrefe is a multi-published novelist and teacher who challenges young adults and the young at heart to think truthfully and live daringly.

Her publishing journey began in 2010 with the first book in her young adult (YA) suspense trilogy Wings of the Dawn. She completed the trilogy in the fall of 2014, and in 2016, contracted with Write Integrity Press for a new YA dystopian trilogy: The Rogues.

Kristen also has the heart of an educator and mentor. She teaches secondary language arts for Alpha Omega Academy and served in youth ministry for many years. Through Word Weavers International, she encourages aspiring writers and acts as president for an online writing group. She enjoys speaking events that allow her to connect with readers and other writers.

A lifelong Florida resident, Kristen loves adventuring outdoors and running with friends. Connect with her online at KristenHogrefe.com.



Guest Post from Kristen Hogrefe


Identity, Coffee, and a Sprinkle of History in The Revolutionary

The primary purpose of fiction is to entertain, but I think good fiction goes deeper by teaching us something about human nature, something about ourselves.

The Revolutionary begins three months after Portia arrived at a satellite prison camp. She feels forgotten by her brother and friends who promised to rescue her. Deeper than the physical pain of starvation, she battles the emotional rawness from the dehumanization of her identity. A number replaces her name, and the Wasps who mistreat prisoners mockingly call them “rabbits.”

When a two-faced smuggler helps her escape, her identity struggles continue. She dons multiple aliases to survive and help the Brotherhood launch a daring plan to destroy the satellite camps and oust the ruling Friend and Dome.

The theme of identity is one I hope will resonate with teens and adult readers alike. At some point, we all ask ourselves, “What defines me?” Is it our friends, an academic program, a relationship, or a job? While those things describe our day-to-day lives, they themselves shouldn’t define us. The source of our true identity must come from somewhere deeper. That’s the question Portia has to wrestle with, and one I hope readers will consider.

A Cup of Joe

Confession: One aspect of characterization I enjoy is giving my characters a small piece of myself. One of my early readers for book one, The Revisionary, remarked, “Let me guess. You like coffee.”

I laughed and replied, “How could you tell?”

Maybe lines like this one gave the fact away: “I start a pot of coffee. At least the aroma makes life smell better” (Portia, The Revisionary).

In book two, I incorporate the memory-association of coffee for Portia as she thinks back to simpler times (like dorm life with Lydia). Coffee also serves as a catalyst for an important scene where Portia, in disguise, serves her enemies and in turn learns of their disturbing plans for the satellites.

What about you? Are you a coffee drinker? If you are, I hope you’ll enjoy a giveaway opportunity for a Starbucks gift card. After all, coffee does make life smell better.

A Sprinkle of History

Two summers ago, my brother and I had the opportunity to visit the North Bridge in Concord, Massachusetts. It’s the historical site for the “shot heard round the world” that ignited the American Revolution.

In book two, Portia and the Brotherhood launch their own threadbare revolution. Though the odds are against them, they’re determined to stop the abuses by those in power.

My own visit to this famous site helped inspire Portia’s journey of discovery and the Brotherhood’s fictional parallels to the American Revolutionary War. Writing the scene where she rediscovers this birthplace of liberty was one of my favorites, because I walked the North Bridge and poured over books researching what happened that fateful day. I hope the scene comes alive for my readers and quickens their interest in history and its relevance for us today.

Giveaway


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To celebrate her tour, Kristen is giving away a grand prize of a $25 Starbucks Gift Card!!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/ca44



Friday, April 13, 2018

Treacherous Trails by Dana Mentink



Ella wakes up in a fog accused of murder.  She knows that she is innocent but all the evidence points to her.  Owen Thorne, a childhood friend, sets out to prove she had nothing to do with Luke's murder.  In the meantime, Ella and Luke are fighting the attractions they have for each other. 

It's funny that many of the main characters in the book felt that they were responsible for someone else's safety and security.  Why?

Mystery. Intrigue. Romance.  This book has it all. I don't usually read inspirational mysteries on a regular basis.  I enjoyed the book and the location.  Ella had an interesting occupation.  She was a farrier.  I look forward to reading future stories from Ms. Mentink.

Ella and Owen both were sure they knew their destiny.  They both had  plans for their lives.  But GOD had different plans for both of them.



I received this book for free to review.


Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, J.E. Grace is giving away a grand prize package of a $50 Amazon gift card, Cornbread Mix, and Cowboy Caviar Salsa!!
Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/ca46


About the Author


author pixDana 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 thirty five titles in the suspense and lighthearted romance genres. She is pleased to write for Harlequin’s Love Inspired Suspense, Harlequin Heartwarming and Harvest House. Dana was thrilled to be a semi-finalist in the Jeanne Robertson Comedy With Class Competition. 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, a chubby box turtle and a feisty parakeet. You can connect with Dana via her website at danamentink.com, on Facebook, YouTube (Author Dana Mentink) and Instagram (dana_mentink.)

Guest Post from Dana Mentink

Howdy, friends! I am so thrilled to be galloping into the second book in the Gold Country Cowboy series with you. This book was a hoot to write. It’s got a nice twisty mystery and plenty of danger! Our hero, twin Owen Thorn, is a Marine doing his darnedest not to fall in love with his brother’s little sister, but you know how these things go, don’t you, partners? There’s trouble ahead in cowboy country and this story will take you on a wild gallop to the happy ending! God bless and thanks for coming along!


Tuesday, April 10, 2018

A Walk with Heavenly Spirits by J.E. Grace


I loved the story and was touched by Allison's journey. 

I didn't know what to expect after I read the first page.  Do I want to continue?  It was a little slow at the beginning but aOh boy, I'm so glad I did.  It was touching.  It was inspirational.   

Allison felt discouraged and lost.    Her Heavenly spirits visit and left her with valuable lessons and  wisdom that guided her on the right path back to God.  She learned to  listen to GOD and follow him.


As we follow Allison's faith journey, we see Allison becoming a stronger Christian.  She doesn't just do the talk.  Allison does the walk even when it is extremely difficult.  My life changed when I decided to follow Jesus.  I was baptized. I started to read the Bible on a more regular basis.  I became a much stronger Christian.  I knew that God was with me guiding my steps.  It's not always easy to do the "right" thing.  But the rewards are plentiful.....


I enjoyed the book and felt equally blessed to be able to read this.

I received this for free to review.  

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, J.E. Grace is giving away a grand prize of a $25 Amazon Gift Card!!
Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/ca38


About the Author

Julie profileJ.E. Grace was born and raised in Northern California. At a young age, she was an avid reader which led to her interest in fiction writing and poetry. She writes mainly in the Christian Fiction genre and continues to educate herself in the craft. All of her work has underlying Christian overtones which are a reflection of her faith in God.
In 2000 she moved to the Midwest with her husband and now calls it home. She loves the Missouri countryside and is amazed by the variety of subjects that serve as inspiration for her artwork. She is an oil/pastel painter and digital artist. Her work can be seen at Fine Art America, Society 6 and Zazzle.
She retired from a career in real estate in 2012, to finally concentrate on her writing. She published her first novel, a science fiction titled, “The Zarion-Saving Mankind in 2016 and her Pacific Cove Series of Short Reads: Haunted Visions & Testament of Faith. She is currently working on several new projects: Book 3 in her Pacific Cove Series and a mystery novel.

Guest Post from J.E. Grace

My inspiration for writing A Walk with Heavenly Spirits:
I was thinking about a Christmas Carol and the ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future one day. I’m a Christian author, so I thought, why not use Heavenly Spirits to enlighten a person who has lost their way. It just evolved from there. I did a lot of praying for direction during my writing process and consulting God’s word along the way.
I feel God was giving me the inspiration to write it. I found myself getting very emotional while writing certain parts of the book which is something I had never experienced before with any of my other novels. I was feeling the characters pain and /or joy at times.
My purpose for the story was to get the message across, that we are all broken, but God uses the broken for great things. Within the story, Allison’s one decision to finally follow the path God intended for her, not only changes her life but the lives of the all the people who come to know her.