Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews

Review and Giveaway for Are You In The Game Or In The Way

About the Book

Book: Are You in the Game or in the Way?

Author: Ross Holtz

Genre: RELIGION / Christian Ministry / Pastoral Resources

Release Date: March 10, 2017

Front Cover

Are You in the Game or in the Way?

A men’s ministry reality check: What is standing in the way of a vital men’s ministry in your church? 

The guy who should be at the forefront is often in the way of the program getting off the ground. 

·         Are you, as pastor, the main obstacle to the growth of a vital men’s ministry? 

·         Are you the guy who wants to start a men’s ministry in your church but don’t know how? 

·         Is fear or a sense of inadequacy keeping you from starting such a ministry? 

Pastor Ross Holtz tells his personal story of how he became a catalyst for growth, instead of an impediment will inspire pastors and men’s ministry leaders. 

What works, what doesn’t, and what is required in forming a vital men’s ministry. Practical and honest teaching filled with relevant and tested examples from recognizing the problem to finding the fix.  

Pastor Ross Holtz is a man who has earned the right to speak on ministering to and through men . . . One man’s journey from being a skeptic to a fully-engaged pastor who sees the power of a clear ministry to and through men . . . Pastor Ross bares his heart, and is, at times, brutally honest in a way that will resonate.  

—Chuck Stecker, president, A Chosen Generation

 

Click here to get your copy.

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As a woman, I can not necessarily relate to what goes through men’s heads when they think of men’s ministries.  But as a wife and mother, I recognize the importance of them.  I also recognize the importance of pastors being involved.  I appreciated how this book looks at different scenarios for creating and maintaining men’s ministries.

I think many churches put more emphasis on women’s ministries possibly because women have a greater desire for that type of community.  However, as I read this book I thought about the various churches we have attended through the years and the ones with men’s ministries.  Then I spoke to my husband about his feelings about men’s ministries.  I recognize men’s ministries need to focus on activities that relate to things that men are interested in doing.

I also appreciated how he emphasized the importance of the pastor taking an active role in men’s ministries.  Because as he stated, men are more likely to be involved when they feel like the pastor thinks something is important enough to attend.

So check out this book for yourself.

I received a copy of this book for my fair and honest review.

About the Author

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Geoffrey Ross Holtz, DD, is founding and senior pastor of The Summit (ECFA) in Enumclaw. He was awarded “Pastor of the Year” in 2014 by the National Coalition of Ministries for Men. Ross and his wife, Athena, the founder and publisher of Redemption Press, have a blended family of eight adult children and seventeen grandchildren and enjoy time spent sailing.  

 

More from Ross

I’ve been asked to tell something about myself or tell a personal story. I’m not adverse to talking about myself, but I’d rather tell you a very personal story.

There was a show on television, maybe still is I guess, called Overhaulin’. The plot of the show was that each week they would sneak a person’s car away from them, with family help, and overhaul it to make it really cool. It was every car-guy’s dream; to have someone restore a vehicle for you, that was special to you. And to restore it at their expense; Wow, doesn’t get cooler than that.

I never was on that show, but I have a story that I want to tell you. It was late summer in 2014. I had just remarried after having lost my wife of 49 years awhile before. The church that I pastor was having a car show as a community outreach on this particular Sunday. The day had started out rather weird. Several people seemed to be inordinately interested in my movements and where I was going to be as we set up the show.

“Oh, Ross, you need to go into the church, someone is looking for you.” Or, “Hey Ross, would you run get this for us across town?” Yeah, weird things. But I obliged and made myself scarce for the time leading up to the church service before the car show officially started.

So, we do the obligatory service; it ends, and my new wife and I start walking through the grassy field looking at the custom and restored vehicles that had come to the show. I, as is my style, was meandering along the cars talking to people I knew and folks with their fancy cars. Athena, my wife, seemed to be hurrying me along which was not like her at all. And, which was like me, I was just strolling along enjoying the cars.

Then, down the row a few cars, I spot the open hood of a 1961 Chev pickup. That year had a very distinct hood which was used only one year. “Oh, look at that. I had a truck like that years ago. Wow, and look at that, it’s yellow. Isn’t that gorgeous.” Funny, I failed to see the horde of people and cameras set up in front of that vehicle, all looking towards me.

Anyway, I hurriedly moved towards it and recognized it as a limited addition of that year’s Chevy truck. I said, “Hey look at that. It’s the same model that I had. That’s not your normal ’61.” I wondered if someone had restored my old truck.

I must give a bit of back story on my old truck. It had been purchased new in Los Gatos, California by my dad. He had needed someone to drive it home so he pulled my out of school to do that. I was 14. My father was not a stickler for legal technicalities. So I was the first to drive his new truck. It was new, but it was ugly. It was painted an ugly shade of puce. I mean it was really an awful color. My mother called it “Rosebud” because it reminded her of some kind of flower.

In 1975 my dad gave me the truck because he had no further use for it. So I drove it until about 1988 when it was totally worn out. So I sold Rosebud to a friend named Randy who had plans to restore it eventually. I sold it with the understanding that if he should he ever sell it, I’d get first right of refusal.

Fast forward Twenty-five years. A bunch of guys were sitting around a campfire talking and Randy announces that he’s moving to another state and getting rid of everything he owns.

“What about my truck? Are you taking it with you?” “Oh,” he said, “I gave that truck away a while back.” Those who were there said I looked disappointed, or something. I don’t remember feeling that, but it was said.

Now, back to the story. I was looking at this beautiful truck, wondering if it was the same truck, when I saw Randy on the other side of it. “Randy, you son of a gun, you restored my truck.” He said, “It’s your truck.” “Yes, I can see that. You’ve done a beautiful job with her. But why didn’t you tell me?” He said once more with strong emphasis, “It is your truck.” “Are we playing games?” I wondered out loud. And, to make it more cruel, someone had entered the truck in the show under my name. That wasn’t nice.

I was not very situationally aware at that moment. I didn’t see all the cameras and people that were focused on me. People were laughing and cheering. I didn’t notice. I was focused on the pickup that had been my dad’s. It took them four or five time to finally get across to me that this beautiful bright yellow, completely restored truck was a gift from the men of the church to me. Randy had given it to the men’s ministry of The Summit with the request that they make it new for me as a gift for nearly 30 years of ministry to the church. Dozens of men had spent 18 months completely disassembling and rebuilding it from the ground up. It now had a fresh corvette motor, disc brakes, power steering, and a custom paint job. I had been Overhauled. Not by Chip Fouse, but by a group of men, and boys, who cared enough for me to invest months of blood sweat and tears. Not to mention the thousands of dollars it took. I wept. I still weep when I think about it.

One final part of the story that needs telling. I remarried after Cathy died, as her instructions (another story). I guess I didn’t wait long enough for some people, or something. People, about 100 people, abandoned me and left the church. They might not call it abandonment, but I do. I asked some of the more prominent people, “Is there a sin issue here?” “No,” They said, “We just don’t think it’s good for the church for you to remarry.” As you might imagine, it was an extremely painful time for this 67-year-old guy. I had found another person to finish off my life with, which I didn’t think possible, and some people considered it wrong for me to do. They didn’t consider my feelings, and needs, only thinking of  theirs. Or so it seemed.

But all the while this tragedy was taking place, a whole bunch of good and committed friends, were investing their time and efforts, in secret, to rebuild my dad’s old Chevy truck. All the time I was in such pain, these good men were giving up evenings and weekends to do this wonderful thing for me. Isn’t that like God? Sometimes while we are in the dregs of misery, He is working, unseen, to bless us, to encourage us, and to show His love for us.

Blog Stops

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 11

Vicky Sluiter, November 12

Artistic Nobody, November 13 (Author Interview)

Just the Write Escape, November 14

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 15

A Baker’s Perspective, November 16 (Author Interview)

Texas Book-aholic, November 17

janicesbookreviews, November 18

Christian Bookshelf Reviews, November 19 (Author Interview)

A Reader’s Brain, November 20

Inklings and notions, November 21

My Devotional Thoughts, November 22 (Author Interview)

Simple Harvest Reads, November 23 (Guest Review from James Barela)

Lukewarm Tea, November 24 (Author Interview)

Giveaway

To celebrate his tour, Ross if giving away a $50 Amazon gift card and a signed copy of his book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/f0bb/are-you-in-the-game-or-in-the-way-celebration-tour-giveaway

Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews, Christian Fiction, Uncategorized

Review of Smoke Screen by Terri Blackstock

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About the Book

Book: Smoke Screen

Author: Terri Blackstock

Genre:  Christian Suspense

Release Date: November 5, 2019

Smoke ScreenOne father was murdered, and another convicted of his death. All because their children fell in love.

Nate Beckett has spent his life fighting wildfires instead of the lies and rumors that drove him from his Colorado home town. His mother begs him to come to Carlisle now that his father has been released from prison, but it isn’t until he’s sidelined by an injury that he’s forced to return and face his past. But that means facing Brenna too.

Fourteen years ago, Nate was in love with the preacher’s daughter. When Pastor Strickland discovered Brenna had defied him to sneak out with Nate, the fight between Strickland and Nate’s drunken dad was loud—and very public. Strickland was found murdered later that night, and everyone accused Roy Beckett. When the church burned down, people assumed it was Nate getting even for his father’s conviction. He let the rumors fly and left Carlisle without looking back.

Now, Brenna is stunned to learn that the man convicted of murdering her father has been pardoned. The events of that night set her life on a bad course, and she’s dealing with a brutal custody battle with her ex and his new wife where he’s using lies and his family’s money to sway the judge. She’s barely hanging on, and she’s turned to alcohol to cope. Shame and fear consume her.

As they deal with the present—including new information about that fateful night and a wildfire that’s threatening their town—their past keeps igniting. Nate is the steady force Brenna has so desperately needed. But she’ll have to learn to trust him again first.

 

Click here to get your copy.

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From the murder of one father to the imprisonment of another father to a heated custody battle, this book kept me reading.  The characters are well-developed, the storyline moves along and kept me wondering how the book would turn out.

I enjoyed getting to know Nate and Brenna and her children.  In some ways, I felt sorry for Jack, Brenna’s ex-husband.  He seemed to be caught by the destructive tendencies of his father.  But the ones who seemed to suffer the most were Brenna and Jack’s children.

I was glad how the story came to an end, but I still would have loved to read more about these characters. Being the wife of a Primitive Baptist preacher, I can appreciate what life must have been like for Brenna having a preacher for a father.

I can not imagine the devastation that both families felt when Nate’s father was imprisoned for the death of Brenna’s father.  I loved how the two families were eventually able to put the past behind them and move forward.

So if you want a book that includes themes of redemption, family, and second chances check out this book for yourself.

I received a copy of this book for my fair and honest review.

 

About the Author

Terri BlackstockTerri Blackstock has sold over seven million books worldwide and is a New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author. She is the award-winning author of InterventionVicious Cycle, and Downfall, as well as such series as Cape Refuge, Newpointe 911, the SunCoast Chronicles, and the Restoration Series. Visit her website at www.terriblackstock.com; Facebook: tblackstock; Twitter: @terriblackstock

 

Excerpt from Smoke Screen

I woke up in a blinding bright room, my clothes off and something clamped to my face. I tried to reach it, but I couldn’t bend my right arm, and my hand stung. An IV was taped to my other hand, but I moved carefully and touched the thing over my face.

An oxygen mask. I tried to sit up. “What happened?”

T-bird came to my bedside, a sheen of smoky sweat still soiling his face. “Nate, lie back, man.”

“The fire,” I said. “Need to get back. My men.”

“They’re still there. Making progress. But you’re not going anywhere near a fire for a month or so.”

I took the mask off and coughed a little, but managed to catch my breath. “A month?”

“Yep. Second degree burns on 20 percent of your body. Some of the burns are deep.”

It came back to me, the event that had gotten me here.

“The family. Were they injured?”

“Not a scratch or burn. Turns out it was a U.S. Senator from Kansas. He says you’re a hero.”

“You know I had no choice. They were in the path—”

“Take the praise where you can get it, man. We don’t get that much.”

I looked at my right side. My right arm was bandaged, and so was my side and down my right leg to the point where my boots had stopped the flames. Second degree wasn’t so bad, I told myself. Third degree would have been brutal. I’d be able to leave the hospital soon. I’d heal.

“I won’t need a month,” I said.

“Yes, you will. They can’t let you go back. Doctor’s orders. You’re grounded until he releases you.”

I managed to sit up, but it was a bad idea. The burns pulling on my skin reminded me why I shouldn’t. “I can’t be grounded during fire season. Are you crazy? I need to be there. You don’t have enough men as it is.”

“Sorry, Nate. It is what it is. Why don’t you go home to Carlisle for a while? Take it easy.”

Go home? Pop had just been pardoned, and he and my mom were trying to navigate the reunion. Though she would love to have me home, I didn’t know if I was up to it. My father could be challenging, and fourteen years of prison hadn’t done him any favors.

 

Taken from “Smoke Screen” by Terri Blackstock. Copyright © 2019 by Terri Blackstock. Used by permission of http://www.thomasnelson.com/.

Blog Stops

As He Leads is Joy, November 9

Sara Jane Jacobs, November 9

CarpeDiem, November 9

Christian Bookaholic , November 9

Fiction Aficionado, November 10

KarenSueHadley, November 10

Quiet quilter, November 10

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 10

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, November 11

Among the Reads, November 11

Genesis 5020, November 11

A Reader’s Brain, November 11

Robin’s Nest, November 12

All-of-a-kind Mom, November 12

Bigreadersite , November 12

Blogging With Carol , November 12

Betti Mace, November 13

Spoken from the Heart, November 13

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, November 13

Emily Yager, November 13

By The Book, November 14

For Him and My Family, November 14

A Baker’s Perspective, November 14

Splashes of Joy , November 14

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, November 15

Through the Fire Blogs, November 15

Andrea Christenson, November 15

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, November 16

The Christian Fiction Girl, November 16

Just the Write Escape, November 16

Mary Hake, November 16

Remembrancy, November 17

Simple Harvest Reads, November 17 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

EmpowerMoms, November 17

Bloggin’ ’bout Books, November 17

Blessed & Bookish, November 18

Older & Smarter, November 18

For the Love of Literature, November 18

Inklings and notions, November 18

Lights in a Dark World, November 19

amandainpa , November 19

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 19

Pause for Tales, November 19

Tell Tale Book Reviews, November 20

For The Love of Books , November 20

Hallie Reads, November 20

Cathe Swanson, November 21

Christian Bookshelf Reviews, November 21

All 4 and About Books, November 21

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 21

Batya’s Bits, November 22

Livin’ Lit, November 22

Texas Book-aholic, November 22

janicesbookreviews, November 22

Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews, Christian Non-Fiction Books

Review and Giveaway for Essential Oils by Teri Secrest

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About the Book

Book: Essential Oils

Author: Terri Secrest

Genre: Christian Non-fiction, Alternative Therapies

Release Date: October 8, 2019

Essential Oils CoverHave you ever wondered why the wise men brought frankincense and myrrh for the baby Jesus? As a curious and highly enthusiastic child, health and wellness coach Teri Secrest asked everyone she knew and met, but no one could tell her. She grew up thinking it was just a nice little story…but never stopped wondering.
This thirst for knowledge sparked Teri’s twenty-three-year quest to learn about essential oils. It has taken her to the far corners of the world—from Croatia and France to Oman, Israel, and beyond.
Teri has written this book to share the mystery, the romance, and the ageless intrigue of essential oils. She hopes you experience the Father’s love as He continually lavishes His children with these exquisite oils and you feel this rich, biblical history come alive in your spirit. Teri wants you to see how miraculous your body is and how it’s designed to heal itself when given proper nourishment and support.
Essential Oils: God’s Extravagant Provision for Your Health offers practical how-to’s that you can use immediately, including the use of oils for romance, balancing hormones, cooking, cleaning, pets, children, and fragrance, as well as health concerns such as stress, negative emotions, trouble sleeping, weight gain, and anxiety. You will find practical guidance to regain and maintain health naturally.
As you gain this understanding, Teri believes you will change the next generation as you discover the hidden secrets of these biblical plants and how to incorporate them into your everyday life.

 

Click here to get your copy!

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For quite a number of years, our family has utilized essential oils as a way of helping us breath easier.  So when I saw the opportunity to review this book, I was glad to participate in this tour. I desire to learn more about essential oils and how they were used during Biblical times.

When I first met my husband who was a deacon in the Primitive Baptist Church started by his grandfather, I frequently saw my husband, his father, and often his grandfather go to those who were sick in order to anoint them with oils and pray for them.  In James 5:14, we are told, “14 Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord”.  This reference provides a reason to use oils in the ways God directed His people to do so.

From cooking to romance to a joy-filled life, and more, Teri Secrest does an incredible job of looking at essential oils.  Bringing in the story of Queen Esther provided a wonderful Biblical reference.  This book is a wonderful read for any Christian wanting to learn more about essential oils.

I received a copy of this book for my fair and honest review.

 

About the Author

Terri SecrestTeri Secrest is a health and wellness expert whose passion is to teach simple and proven methods for vibrant health to people around the world. That passion is rooted in her early experiences of learning about whole foods and herbs in her family’s organic garden and her mother’s passion for good food as the owner of a French cooking school. These early lessons guided Teri to a healthy path for herself and her own family, yet it was her first astonishing experience with essential oils as a young mother that ignited her lifelong passion for learning, practicing, and teaching people to take hold of God’s extravagant provision for their health.
Teri has traveled around the world to learn from leading experts about the beneficial uses of essential oils, research the promises and properties of each essential oil, and develop a deep working knowledge of their applications for daily health and wellness.
Teri loves to share the simple, practical principles that will help you live in vibrant health through her international keynote speeches, training programs, and best-selling books. She is a sought-after speaker who delivers her message of vibrant health with such enthusiasm, humor, and joy that she has gained the nickname “Ambassador of Joy” around the world. Connect with Teri at http://terisecrest.com

 

More from Teri

My purpose in writing this book is to inspire you with the mystery, the romance, and the ageless intrigue of essential oils. My hope is that you experience the Father’s love as He continually lavishes His children with these exquisite essential oils and that this rich biblical history comes alive in your spirit. I also hope you will see how miraculous your body is and how it’s designed to heal itself when given proper nourishment and support.

As you gain this understanding, I believe you will change the next generation, as you will know the hidden secrets of these biblical plants and how to incorporate them into your everyday life.

Blog Stops

Genesis 5020, November 6

A Diva’s Heart, November 6

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, November 7

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, November 7

Moments, November 8

Quiet Workings, November 8

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 9

Emily Yager, November 9

Artistic Nobody, November 10

For Him and My Family, November 10

empowermoms, November 11

Stories By Gina , November 11

Vicky Sluiter, November 12

Jacquelyn Lynn, November 12

For the Love of Literature, November 13

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, November 13

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 14

Splashes of Joy, November 14

Texas Book-aholic, November 15

Adventures of a Travelers Wife, November 15

janicesbookreviews, November 16

Sara Jane Jacobs, November 16

Betti Mace,  November 17

Tell Tale Book Reviews, November 17

A Reader’s Brain, November 18

Little Homeschool on the Prairie, November 18

Inklings and notions, November 19

Livin’ Lit, November 19

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Teri is giving away the grand prize package of a copy of her book and $20 Starbucks gift card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/f024/essential-oils-celebration-tour-giveaway

Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews, Christian Fiction, Historical Fiction, Uncategorized

Review and Giveaway for Love’s Allegiance

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About the Book

Book: Love’s Allegiance

Author: Linda Shenton Matchett

Genre:  Historical Romance

Release Date: August 15, 2019

Love's Allegiance ebook jpg coverWith most U.S. boys fighting for Uncle Sam in far off countries, Rochelle Addams has given up hope for a wedding in her future. Then she receives an intriguing offer from a distant relative to consider a marriage of convenience.

Conscientious objector Irwin Terrell is looking forward to his assignment at Shady Hills Mental hospital to minister to the less fortunate in lieu of bearing arms. At the arrival of the potential bride his father has selected for him, Irwin’s well-ordered life is turned upside down. And after being left at the altar two years ago, he has no interest in risking romance again.

Despite his best efforts to remain aloof to Rochelle, Irwin is drawn to the enigmatic and beautiful young woman, but will time run out before his wounded heart can find room for her?

Inspired by the biblical love story of Rebekkah and Isaac, Love’s Allegiance explores the struggles and sacrifices of those whose beliefs were at odds with a world at war.

 

Click here to get your copy!

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I have become captivated by books I have read by Linda Shenton Matchett.  She does such an incredible job of bringing historical fiction and Christian characters to life.  Rochelle is looking for a way to serve in a meaningful way during World War II, while Irwin is trying to stay true to his convictions about what God is calling him to do regarding the war.

So when Irwin’s father arranges for Rochelle to come and explore the possibilities of marriage to Irwin, Irwin resists the idea with everything in him.  The similarities between the Biblical account of Rebekkah and Issac drew me into the story.  Irwin’s father sends his male secretary to present his plan to Rochelle and her family, and things take flight from there, albeit in a slow-moving, fighting the idea every step of the way scenario on Irwin’s part.

Irwin is a conscientious objector to the war and I love how his story is told.  I also learned new things about how conscientious objectors were treated during World War II.  The historical facts and details helped the story come alive for me.

I love how Irwin has to step away from being hurt in the past before he can accept a future with Rochelle.  Another thing I love about this book is the way both Rochelle and Irwin stay true to their faith and are willing to share it with others.  Truly this is a book worth reading. So check it out for yourself.

I received a copy of this book for my fair and honest review.

About the Author

Linda Matchett Head ShotLinda Shenton Matchett is an author, speaker, and history geek. A native of Baltimore, Maryland, she was born a stone’s throw from Fort McHenry and has lived in historic places all her life. Linda is a member of ACFW, RWA, and Sisters in Crime. She is a volunteer docent and archivist for the Wright Museum of WWII and a trustee for her local public library.

 

More from Linda

Love’s Allegiance is the fourth book in the Wartime Brides series that retells biblical stories by setting them during World War II. Each story was challenging to write in some way, and this novella was no different.

While brainstorming ways to twist Rebekkah’s and Isaacs’s love story, I happened to take a phone call from my younger brother who is a pastor. I mentioned my quandary that I wasn’t sure which aspect of the home front to address with their story, and he suggested the topic of conscientious objectors (COs).

After we hung up, I realized I knew very little about COs and that I wasn’t sure how I felt about them. Were they cowards, as many people assumed? Were they right? Wrong? Were their convictions biblically based?

I began my research by reading first person account articles and watched oral history interviews with men who served in the Civilian Public Service, a government organization created to use COs who refused military service as medics and other non-combatant roles. More than 12,000 conscientious objectors chose not to take up arms during the war, and I knew I had to tell their side of the story.

Blog Stops

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 8

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, November 9

Batya’s Bits, November 9

Blossoms and Blessings, November 10

Betti Mace, November 11

Rebecca Tews, November 11

Genesis 5020, November 12

mpbooks, November 13

As He Leads is Joy, November 13

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess , November 14

Back Porch Reads, November 15

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 16

Texas Book-aholic, November 17

For Him and My Family, November 17

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, November 18

janicesbookreviews, November 19

Inspired by fiction, November 19

A Reader’s Brain, November 20

Inklings and notions , November 21

Adventures of a Travelers Wife, November 21

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Linda is giving away all four books in the Wartime Brides series and a $10 Amazon gift card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/f029/love-s-allegiance-celebration-tour-giveaway

Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews, Uncategorized

Review and Giveaway for The Freedom Challenge

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 About the Book

Book: The Freedom Challenge

Author: Dawn Scott Damon

Genre:  Christian Living, Women’s Interest, Personal Growth, Devtional

Release Date: March 22, 2019

FreedomChallenge_frontcover_FinalRevisionBe free from toxic mindsets, destructive patterns of behavior, and lies that keep you bound.  

The truth behind seven little words changed Dawn Scott Damon’s life when she heard a man from a small country church sing “I am who He says I am!” Her life was transformed as she began to believe what God’s Word says about who she is in Christ, and she started her journey out of betrayal, abandonment, and deception. 

She shares compelling truths in a sixty-day interactive Bible study that identifies and confronts eight cords that keep many believers bound. These practical and powerful biblical tools are designed to give you a new mindset, a fresh beginning, and a clear direction for a positive future. 

Take the Freedom Challenge and become an active participant in your own emotional and spiritual transformation. Through a guided, intentional, and interactive daily process of putting God’s Word into practice, the strongholds of destructive and bondage-making behavior in your life can be broken. Choose to take that first step to live free from deceptive self-talk, fear, depression, toxic mindsets, and debilitating lies, among others. 

Thought-provoking questions, journaling space, confessions, and affirmations are included to help guide you toward freedom. 

 

Click here to get your copy!

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Who wants to be caught in chains of bondage or be captive to the belief we are unworthy of God’s love?  Yet, it is easy to get caught up in the lies and believe we are not enough.  The Freedom Challenge examines those ideas and more.  Examing seven cords that can bind us into sadness, despair, and more.  From chains of control, fear, unforgiveness, negative emotions, and more prevent us from being who God created us to be.

Reading in the first pages of the book about Dawn Scott Damon’s encounter with a man she refers to as “Paul” at a country church, touched my soul and spirit.  It is so easy to get caught up in the lies about who we are.  Everyone at some time gets caught up in chains that prevent us from believing God’s truth about who we are and what he thinks of us.  This book offers something every Christian could benefit from reading.  So check it out for yourself and explore this sixty-day journey.

I received a copy of this book for my fair and honest review.

About the Author

Dawn Damon Bio Pic 1Dawn Scott Damon is an award-winning author, speaker, singer/songwriter, and “freedom coach.” An ordained minister with the Wesleyan Church, Dawn is the lead pastor of Tribes, a multicultural church in Rockford, MI, ministering to every generation. The founder of FreedomGirl Sisterhood conference and radio broadcast, she blogs at freedomgirlsisterhood.com. Dawn and her husband, Paul, have five children between them and eleven grandchildren. They live in the Rockford area. 

 

More from Dawn

As a little girl, I can remember singing in church with all my heart “Blessed Be the Ties That Bind.” Those ties that bind our hearts to one-another in love and to Jesus himself, are indeed blessed. But what about ties that aren’t blessed?

Hi I’m Dawn and I’m super glad you stopped by today!

I’m a survivor of childhood sexual abuse. At 19 years old, I became a wife and very soon after, a mother. After years of abuse, I was also a victim of rage and bitterness. The childhood sexual trauma was over, but the abuse aftermath—anger, pain, and depression—continued to destroy me. The cords of unwanted bondage choked joy and life out of me. 

Today, I live fierce and free and serve as a freedom-coach to help others do the same. I’ve been on a journey for over 25 years, seeking God’s freedom through his truth and learning how to empower others to do the same. The Freedom Challenge: 60-Days to Untie the Cords that Bind You, is the map God gave me to find my way out of bondage, and now I’m sharing it with you! I pray you will also experience God’s glorious deliverance.

And now some fun facts about me:

I have a wonderful husband named Paul. Together we pastor a church called Tribes—but here’s the deal, he’s the “Pastor’s Spouse,” not me.

I am a grandma of 11! It’s the awesomest—a word I use to describe it! I especially like what my grandson Colton calls me…Jam’ma.

I love animals—all kinds—and I’ve determined there are absolutely no germs in dog kisses.

I also have to admit, I adore anything that glitters or sparkles and someday hope to have a bling store.

Lastly, I love Jesus and I still sing my heart out in church!

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, November 4

Spoken from the Heart, November 5

Genesis 5020, November 6

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 7

Godly Book Reviews, November 7

CarpeDiem, November 8

Moments, November 9

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, November 10

For Him and My Family, November 10

Older & Smarter?, November 11

Empowermoms, November 12

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations,  November 13

Texas Book-aholic,  November 14

Mary Hake,  November 14

janicesbookreviews, November 15

A Reader’s Brain, November 16

Inklings and notions, November 17

Chas Ray’s Book Nerd Corner, November 17

Giveaway

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

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/edeb/the-freedom-challenge-celebration-tour-giveaway

Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews, Uncategorized

Review for The Bright Unknown

The Bright Unknown FB Banner

About the Book

Book: The Bright Unknown

Author: Elizabeth Byler Younts

Genre:  Historical Romance

Release Date: October 22, 2019

cover Bright UnkownTwo young friends embark upon an epic journey across 1940s middle America in search of answers, a family, and a place to call home.

The only kind of life Brighton Turner understands is the one she has endured within the dreary walls of a rural Pennsylvania asylum. A nurse has thoughtfully educated and raised Brighton, but she has also kept vital information from her in order to keep her close. Brighton befriends a boy whom she calls Angel—he doesn’t know his name—and as the two of them learn more about what lies beyond the walls they call home, they fight for their release and eventually escape.

However, the world outside the only place they’ve ever known is not what they expect. They have no real names, no money, and no help—and they must rely upon the kindness of strangers as they walk and hitchhike from Pennsylvania to Michigan to find their last hope of a home.

This heartbreaking journey, narrated in gorgeous prose, explores what it means to belong—and to scour the universe with fresh eyes for the brightness within.

 

Click here to grab your copy!

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Imagine being born in early 1900s to a mother in a hospital for those designated insane or otherwise labeled unable to live in normal society. Brighton grew up exactly that way. Her only friends were the other patients and caregivers in her ward.  Brighton shared a room with her mother who was lost in a world of her own.  It took me a while to get into this story and I did not necessarily enjoy the first chapter that much.  However, the more I read, the more I could not stop reading.

This book includes heartbreak, hope, friendship, and more.  The other residents of her ward help bring the story to life.  Her friendship with an albino patient helped capture my attention.  As the two grow up together and experience more life has to offer, I found myself wanting to know more of their story.  I have to say this book was not necessarily what I expected when I first started reading, but I am glad I kept reading.

Some topics in the book are difficult to read about such as the treatments the patients had to endure.  But other ones touched my heart like Angel and Brighton trying to find their place in the world.  Grace was another character I wanted to learn more about.

While some characters were not ideal, some of the people Angel and Brighton along their journey illustrated the true spirit of Jesus Christ. All in all this book was definitely one worth reading.

I received a copy of this book for my fair and honest review.

About the Author

Elizabeth YountsElizabeth Byler Younts gained a worldwide audience through her first book, Seasons: A Real Story of an Amish Girl. She is also the author of the critically acclaimed novel The Solace of Water and the Promise of Sunrise series. Elizabeth lives in Central Pennsylvania with her husband, her two daughters, and a small menagerie of well-loved pets.

 

More from Elizabeth

The Bright Unknown was born out of a seed of a true story that my husband’s grandmother, Gigi, shared with me. Gigi told me that when she was a young girl living in Oklahoma her mom had a friend who was a nurse. During one of her visits over coffee she would occasionally talk about her patients at the local asylum. One particular story really intrigued Gigi and even decades later she still remembered it. The story was about a patient who had a baby while at the hospital and while Gigi remembers nothing about the patient or the child, she knew that when she moved out of Oklahoma several years later that asylum-born girl was around eighteen and still living within the walls of that hospital along with her patient-mother.

That story stuck with me. This trapped girl and her mother wouldn’t let me go. I began to wonder over her and ask all sorts of unanswered questions. Slowly but surely my imagined story for her came to life. Layer after layer I learned about Brighton, my name for her. I also named two characters after Gigi, her first and middle, as an honor to her. This story was born from a memory but now these characters feel real and present in my life today and I hope you will journey with them in The Bright Unknown.

Blog Stops

The Power of Words, November 2

A Reader’s Brain, November 2

Living Life Free in Christ, November 2

The Christian Fiction Girl, November 3

Inspired by fiction, November 3

Fiction Aficionado, November 4

Genesis 5020, November 4

janicesbookreviews, November 5

Blogging With Carol , November 5

All-of-a-kind Mom, November 5

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 6

To Everything A Season, November 6

The Becca Files, November 7

Bigreadersite, November 7

A Baker’s Perspective, November 8

Connect in Fiction, November 8

Moments, November 9

Bloggin’ ’bout Books, November 9

Simple Harvest Reads, November 10

Betti Mace, November 10

Pause for Tales, November 11

Inklings and notions, November 11

Mary Hake, November 11

Texas Book-aholic, November 12

Hallie Reads, November 12

For the Love of Literature, November 12

Through the Fire Blogs, November 13

For Him and My Family, November 13

Remembrancy, November 14

mpbooks, November 14

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 15

Godly Book Reviews, November 15

Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews

Review and Giveaway for Finding My Son

Finding My Son FB Banner

About the Book

Book: Finding My Son

Author: Eric Odell-Hein

Genre:  Christian Memoir, Adoption

Release Date: February 21, 2018

finding my son front coverEric was perfectly happy being one half of a dual income, no kids family. Having the freedom to travel the world with his wife Christine, while indulging his hobbies and furthering his education and career, was a pretty sweet life.  

 Christine wanted to be a mom.  

 Though he was scared he didn’t have what it took to be a good dad, Eric wanted to fulfill his wife’s dream. After years of trying to conceive, however, the couple received a devastating diagnosis: infertility. 

 For Christine, adoption was the obvious answer. Eric wasn’t so sure. 

 In Finding My Son: A Father’s Adoption Journey, author Eric Odell-Hein offers an unfiltered view into the heart and mind of a man who has experienced the sometimes messy and often awkward process of becoming a father through adoption. Encouraging men to acknowledge the fears they don’t want to admit while advocating a thoughtful, deliberate transparency as the best approach to even the most unnatural, uncomfortable aspects of the adoption process. Eric shares his misgivings and mistakes with an honesty that does not deny his insecurities. 

  A valuable resource for any man considering growing his family through adoption—or anyone seeking to understand the process—this engaging memoir is a testament to the beautiful gift of adoption and a touching account of a father’s love. 

 

Click here to get your copy!

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My husband and I have been married for over 27 years.  For the first year of our marriage, we were content to settle into married life.  However, in the second year of our marriage, we decided we were ready to have children.  Becoming pregnant was not easy for us.  I remember the heartbreak and emotional devastation I felt watching my husband’s sisters, cousins, other relatives, and others get pregnant and have children.  So I could completely empathize with what Eric and his wife Christine were going through in the pages of this book.

While we were blessed to eventually be able to get pregnant and wound up having four children, I still on rare occasions relive the pain of waiting and wondering why we were not getting pregnant.

At several points during our married life, we have considered adoption.  The first time we considered taking in my sister’s daughter, but it did not work out.  So I empathized with what Christine and Eric went through.  I can only imagine the joy they felt when they finally held their son in their arms.

The incredible faith this couple demonstrated throughout the pages of the book touched me.  At times I found myself laughing while other times I found myself crying and my heartbreaking.

One of my favorite things about this book is that Eric includes not only Christine and his story, but also details about their families as well.  This book speaks of love, faith, and hope and how a family came to be.

So check it out for yourself.

I received a copy of this book for my fair and honest review.

About the Author

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Eric Odell-Hein (PhD, MDiv, MRS, ThB) is the president of Columbia Evangelical Seminary. The teaching pastor at Summit Evangelical Free Church, he is also the author of Recovering Lost Treasure: Finding Christ in Ancient Myth, Symbol, and Ritual and Systems of Evil: A Study in Comparative Theodicy. Eric lives in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with his wife Christine and their son Ephraim. All three are passionate travelers.

 

More from Eric

Adoption was a scary prospect for me. My mother and all her siblings are adopted, and the family dynamic for them was challenging. So when my wife decided we should adopt, I initially responded with a flat-out “no.” But my heart changed, and I am strongly convinced that our son, who joined us via adoption back in 2008 when he was just two days old, is the greatest child in the entire world. If you knew where I was emotionally prior to adoption compared with where I am now, you would marvel at the change. My adoption book is for people like me, particularly men, who struggle with the enormity of the choice to adopt and the constant challenges of the process.

On a lighter and more personal side, when people learn about all the various aspects of my life, they often have to stop and process the seemingly incongruous pieces. Some people know me as a guy who has spent more than two decades in software and entertainment, primarily in various aspects of behind-the-scenes video game technology and management. My entire family plays games, and more often than not, when I get back home in the evening, I find my wife and son online with other members of the extended family playing Minecraft. Sometimes we’ll all get in an online session together, each one of us at our own TV on our own Xbox, and take on bad guys together in one game or another.

Other people know my intellectual side, where I have earned several degrees in areas of theology and religion, including a Ph.D., as well as serving as president of Columbia Evangelical Seminary. I previously published two books on academic topics (evil among world religions, religious symbology) and have more in various stages of development, the next one being a focus on the ancient Near Eastern (ANE) cosmogonic/chaos-order symbolism in baptism. As a teaching pastor, I have a reputation for sermons with an intense ANE contextual emphasis that are part sermon and part seminary course. Check out my most recent four-part series on the Odell-Hein Books Facebook page here.

I was born in Germany to an American family, and while my German-language skills have deteriorated, I love German music. I’m very excited that my favorite group, Juli, has a new album coming out later this year. It’s mild stuff compared to most of the rock or industrial music I listen to, but they’re good. Check out the first single from their upcoming album here. I’ll be one of the small handful of Americans who purchase the album on the day it first releases in the US.

When not working or playing games with the family, I read primarily academic ANE books. When we’re in the car, I love to subject the family to my go-to podcast, the Naked Bible Podcast. No, it’s not what it sounds like. If you want to hear a serious scholar tackle the ANE context for the Bible, start with Dr. Michael Heiser’s Exodus series (it begins with episode 255).

Blog Stops

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 5

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 6

Vicky Sluiter, November 7 (Author Interview)

Just the Write Escape, November 8

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, November 9

Simple Harvest Reads,  November 10 (Author Interview)

Texas Book-aholic, November 11

janicesbookreviews, November 12

Tell Tale Book Reviews, November 13 (Author Interview)

A Reader’s Brain, November 14

Inklings and notions, November 15

By The Book, November 16 (Author Interview)

Book Love (Featuring Gail Hollingsworth), November 17

Through the Fire Blogs, November 18 (Author Interview)

Giveaway

To celebrate his tour, Eric is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Amazon certificate and a signed copy of each of his three books!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/f00a/finding-my-son-celebration-tour-giveaway