Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews

The Little Way – A Spotlight & Giveaway

About the Book

Book:  The Little Way

Author: St. Thérèse

Genre: RELIGION / Spirituality

Release date: May 18, 2021

We want to love God with all our hearts, but we often find ourselves striving in our efforts to please Him, acutely aware of our weaknesses. As our failures pile up, we become frustrated and discouraged.

Have we missed the essence of the gospel? Is there a simple but true way to serve God that can fill us with joy and peace rather than fear and discouragement?

St. Thérése of Lisieux faced similar struggles. As a young woman who desired to abandon herself to God, she felt daunted at the thought of climbing “the steep stairway of perfection.” Thérése searched the Scriptures until she discovered a path to freedom she called her “little way.” This is “the way of spiritual childhood, the way of trust and absolute surrender.” It is a recognition that while we are small and imperfect, we have a mighty God who reaches out to us with infinite love, grace, and strength to take care of all our needs.

As Thérése followed this new path, she considered herself a “little flower” in Jesus’s garden. She understood that she was beloved by her heavenly Father and delightful in His eyes. And she could bloom right where He planted her as she daily demonstrated His unconditional love to others in small but meaningful acts of kindness and interceded on their behalf.

This beautiful gift book highlights St. Thérése’s deep insights into faith and devotion, while visually capturing, through simple floral illustrations, the theme of simplicity that permeated her life. As you read excerpts from St. Thérése’s autobiography, poetry, and letters, with accompanying Scripture verses, you will learn to rest in the loving arms of your heavenly Father, allowing your own faith to grow and flourish.

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

St. Thérèse, known as the “Little Flower,” was born Marie-Françoise-Thérése Martin on January 2, 1873, in Alençon, France, the youngest of five surviving children in a loving Christian family. Desiring to devote her life to God, she persuaded the religious authorities to allow her to join the Carmelite convent at Lisieux at the age of fifteen. Feeling unable to meet the perceived demands of Christian perfection, she sought a simpler, scriptural way to reach God, an “elevator to take me straight up to Jesus.” The “little way” she discovered—that of humility, trust, sacrifice, and resting in God’s deep love—captured the essence of the gospel with profound simplicity. It transformed her relationship with her heavenly Father, and its ripple effects surged to a global impact that continues to this day. Thérése died of tuberculosis on September 30, 1897, at the age of twenty-four. Her autobiography, The Story of a Soul, published shortly after her death, eventually became a worldwide bestseller, with millions of copies in print. The work has been translated into more than sixty languages and dialects. Thérése was canonized by the Roman Catholic Church on May 17, 1925, and was declared a Doctor of the Church on October 19, 1997. Pope John Paul II described her insights into faith as “vast and profound.”

More about St. Thérèse

St. Thérése of Lisieux faced similar struggles. As a young woman who desired to abandon herself to God, she felt daunted at the thought of climbing “the steep stairway of perfection.” Thérése searched the Scriptures until she discovered a path to freedom she called her “little way.” This is “the way of spiritual childhood, the way of trust and absolute surrender.” It is a recognition that while we are small and imperfect, we have a mighty God who reaches out to us with infinite love, grace, and strength to take care of all our needs.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, June 3

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, June 4

Cats in the Cradle Blog, June 4

Texas Book-aholic, June 5

Inklings and notions, June 6

For Him and My Family, June 7

deb’s Book Review, June 8

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, June 9

Locks, Hooks and Books, June 10

Mary Hake, June 10

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, June 11

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

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, June 13

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, June 14

Writing From the Heart Land, June 15

CarpeDiem, June 16

Giveaway

To celebrate their tour, Whitaker House is giving away the grand prize package of a $20 Starbucks 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.

https://promosimple.com/ps/10d02/the-little-way-celebration-tour-giveaway

Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews

Fifty Days – A Review and Giveaway

fifty days

About the Book

Book:  Fifty Days

Author: Katie Vorreiter

Genre: Christian Spec Suspense

Release date: March 28, 2021

RGB7250Days

Three days ago, Maggie Lehman’s beloved mentor and friend, Jarrett Adams, was murdered on live television. Grief stricken, Maggie traverses a Washington DC under curfew, but when she arrives at the morgue, the body is missing—and her presence is recorded on the security video.

As dawn breaks over the city, Maggie encounters Jarrett on the street—and he’s very much alive. Either she’s gone mad—again—or Jarrett really is back.

While the US loses its grip on democracy, government thugs eager to contain what Maggie knows hound her every step, and the good intentions of a man from her past only tighten the noose. The powerless and bewildered Maggie seeks Jarrett and the return to how things were, but finds she must give up what she wants most to gain what she can hardly imagine.

Click here to get your copy!

Full of twists and turns, this book examines the idea of Jesus Christ being born, living, dying, and being resurrected today rather than the past. The author masterfully brought the plot and characters to life. The interactions Maggie has with different characters including a young man named Stephen pulled me into the story more.

I have to say I found it interesting to read and learn about the Jewish faith. Andy and Payton, two brothers and the feelings and experiences they had captured my attention. Truly, this book presents the message of God and Jesus in a way that brought the story to life without being preachy. So check out this book for yourself.

I received a complimentary copy of this book, but it in no way influenced my review. All opinions are my own.

About the Author

headshot 6a

Katie Vorreiter makes her home in the diverse and beautiful San Francisco Bay Area. She works in high tech as a proofreader as well as a freelance fiction copy editor for a small press. While she admits to being a grammarian, she considers herself a fun one.

After studying and later interning in Madrid, Spain, Katie continues to use and improve her Spanish as much possible—especially when a travel opportunity arises. Aside from that, she DIYs at home with her husband in their almost empty nest, travels to Colorado where their two young-adult children study, and snuggles with her pup who promises not to grow up and go away to college.

Please see Katie’s webpage at katievorreiter.com and sign up for her newsletter for giveaways, sneak peaks, and insider info. Check out her debut novel, No Turning Back, “a propulsive action tale.”

More from Katie

2,000 years ago, a body disappeared from a cave. But what if it happened yesterday?

What would miracles look like in the age of Photoshop? Might our cynicism dismiss a resurrected Jesus as a David Blaine wannabe looking for his 15 minutes of YouTube fame?

Fifty Days was inspired one Easter Sunday as I sat admonishing myself to listen with new ears and to not feel that I’d been there, done that for the most amazing story ever told. But those women at the tomb: I had no concept of what their day-to-day lives were like. I wanted to identify with them, but how could I walk in their shoes when I couldn’t envision their sandals?

I said to myself, “it’s not like the events could take place in my world”… and my imagination took off as Maggie walked into my life. More precisely, she walked through the pre-dawn streets of Washington DC, driven to get to the morgue to see Jarrett’s body. But when she got there, he wasn’t there. His body was missing, and unfortunately for Maggie, she was caught on the security video.

From Easter to Pentecost (hint, that’s a period of fifty days), we see the followers of Jesus experience a huge change. We don’t know much about the weeks that intervened, and we never see Mary Magdalene again in scripture after Easter morning. So that gave me a lot of room to imagine: what would it be like to go from hiding in bewilderment and fear to the bold empowerment of Pentecost?

For Maggie it’s a matter of keeping one step ahead of the thugs pursuing her and the man from her past whose good intentions only create havoc for her, while she searches for a way to clear her name, or better yet, be reunited with Jarrett.

Hebrews 13:8 says Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Thus, whether in a robe, jeans and a tee shirt, or a spacesuit, Jesus and his truth are unfailing, unchanging. Fifty Days isn’t about “updating” those truths. But boy, imagining hanging out with his followers at Starbucks made them seem a lot more three-dimensional to me. And to be honest, I find myself a little jealous of Maggie’s relationship with Jarrett—she is completely sold out. Totally confident in his character and power. There is not only love between them, but affection. Fleshing that out has made me look at my relationship with Jesus in a new light.

Blog Stops

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, June 2

Blogging With Carol, June 2

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, June 3

Texas Book-aholic, June 4

Inklings and notions, June 5

April Hayman, Author, June 5

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, June 6

deb’s Book Review, June 7

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, June 8

Christa DelSorbo, June 8

For Him and My Family, June 9

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, June 10

Pick a good book, June 10

Locks, Hooks and Books, June 11

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, June 12

Mary Hake, June 12

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, June 13

The Adventures of a Travelers Wife, June 14

Spoken from the Heart, June 14

Pause for Tales, June 15

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Katie is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card as well as a sterling silver dove charm bracelet!!

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/10d00/fifty-days-celebration-tour-giveaway

Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews

Written Off – A Review and Giveaway

About the Book

Book:  Written Off

Author: Barbara Cornthwaite

Genre: Christian Cozy Mystery

Release date: May 2021

“Break a leg?”  They’ll be lucky if they don’t all break their necks!

After years of waiting, Katrina finally has her happily ever after. All is right with her world . . . until hate crimes begin happening in the charming college town of Wilkester. Even more disturbing is the fact that the perpetrator seems to be connected with the writing class Katrina teaches. How can she prevent her rosy visions of the future from turning into broken dreams?

Find out in this third book of the Wilkester Mysteries.

Click here to get your copy!

Written Off, the third book in The Wilkester Mystery series, explores Katrina’s path to finding her happily ever after while finding herself and the students in one of her classes at the college becoming embroiled in a series of hate crimes. I love how this book looks at foster care and the relationships between biological and adopted children.

Katrina and her fiance Todd, a policeman, must find time to prepare for their wedding and solve the mystery surrounding the hate crimes at the same time. Katrina also meets and acclimating Todd’s sister and attempts to form a relationship. The dynamics between family members and friends help bring this story to life.

The characters and storyline combine into the perfect afternoon book to read. So check it out for yourself.

I received a complimentary copy of this book, but it in no way influenced my review. All opinions are my own.

About the Author

Barbara Cornthwaite lives in the middle of Ireland with her husband and children. She taught college English before “retiring” to do something she loves far more; her days are now filled with homeschooling her six children, trying to keep the house tidy (a losing battle), and trying to stay warm in the damp Irish climate (also a losing battle). She is surrounded by medieval castles, picturesque flocks of sheep, and ancient stone monuments. These things are unappreciated by her children, who are more impressed by traffic jams, skyscrapers, and hot weather.

More from Barbara

What Kind of Lessons Could a Mystery Possibly Teach Me?

It’s been a couple decades since I taught a college English class, and writing the Wilkester Mysteries with Professor Katrina Peters as the main character brought back happy memories of teaching. Not enough to want to go back to it—homeschooling my own kids is much more rewarding—but enough that I had to stop myself from writing much longer lectures into the stories! These are my first contemporary novels, and it was nice to write a story without the hours and hours of historical research I usually have to do. But whatever time period stories are set in, people feel the same emotions and have to learn the same spiritual lessons.

Katrina loves literature and can’t help seeing her own life as a story. The only problem is that she keeps thinking she knows what the Author is doing, and she has definite ideas about what the plot should be. She is not unlike myself: over and over I’ve thought I knew what God was doing in my life. And if He was short on ideas, I had quite a few that He was free to use! But He has rarely been doing what I thought He was, and for some reason He never seems to use my ideas about what could happen in my story.  Both Katrina and I need to learn the lesson that God’s wisdom is beyond ours, His storytelling is much deeper and richer than ours, and His plots are never predictable!

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, May 31

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 31

Locks, Hooks and Books, June 1

April Hayman, Author, June 1

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, June 2

Losing the Busyness, June 2

Texas Book-aholic, June 3

CarpeDiem, June 3

Remembrancy, June 4

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, June 4

She Lives To Read, June 5

For Him and My Family, June 5

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, June 6

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, June 6

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, June 7

Inklings and notions, June 7

Labor Not in Vain, June 8

Genesis 5020, June 8

Aryn The Libraryan 📚, June 9

Blogging With Carol, June 9

For the Love of Literature, June 10

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, June 10

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, June 11

Joanne Markey, June 11

Through the Fire blogs, June 12

Mary Hake, June 12

deb’s Book Review, June 13

Daysong Reflections, June 13

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Barbara is giving away  the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and a paperback of the book!!

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

https://promosimple.com/ps/10ca5/written-off-celebration-tour-giveaway

Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews

Windward Shores Review and Giveaway

wiindward shore

About the Book

Book:  Windward Shore

Author: Sharon Hinck

Genre: Christian epic fantasy

Release date: May 11, 2020

Hinck - Windward Shore

The island world of Meriel faces an old adversary and a new danger. Will the reformed Order die before it has a chance to blossom?

Storm clouds loom on the horizon as Carya and Brantley struggle to overcome wounds of the past and build a future together. The fragile new Order is on shaky ground, with too few dancers and sparse resources. Then trouble erupts—and now an insidious rebellion and a new foe threaten their entire world.

When she uncovers an old enemy behind all the destruction, Carya realizes the past is not done with her. With conflict tearing apart the dancers and villages, rimmers are soon overrun, and Carya must unite her people by leading the battle to protect the very heart of her world … or lose it all.

Click here to get your copy!

This third installment of The Dancing Realm series lived up to my expectations. Carya and Brantley must work together to protect their land and the people of their land.

Overcoming hurts from the past, they work on moving into the future. This Christian fantasy novel series captured my attention from the beginning until the very last page of this final book. I found myself caught up in the lives of these characters. The author did an excellent job of creating characters that drew me in the story.

So if you enjoy Christian fantasy, check out this book for yourself.

I received a complimentary copy of this book, but it in no way influenced my review. All opinions are my own.

About the Author

Hinck2015 - Author Photo

Award-winning author Sharon Hinck writes “stories for the hero in all of us”—stories about ordinary women on extraordinary faith journeys. Known for their authenticity, emotional range, and spiritual depth, her novels include the groundbreaking The Sword of Lyric fantasy series and the imaginative new The Dancing Realms series, which began with the Christy Award–winning Hidden Current and was followed by Forsaken Island. Sharon’s writing has also been honored with three Carol Awards. For this latest series, she drew on her experience as a ballet teacher, dancer, and choreographer.

More from Sharon

Windward Shore is the final book in the Dancing Realms trilogy. In the earlier books, Carya and Brantley have already faced down a corrupt Order, a world that has forgotten truth, and a whole new island that has sold its soul. Yet in this new story, old enemies return—at the worst possible time. Confronting the past becomes a vital part of protecting their future.

We all face trials in life, seasons that are more challenging than we expected, opportunities to deepen our faith as we lean into God, times that test our courage. But I’ve found that sometimes the most difficult problems are those that I think I’ve already beaten—and then they rise up again. I drew from that experience to shape the new battles in Windward Shore.

Q: In the Dancing Realms series, the Maker has given dancers a special gift to serve their world. Why did you choose dance as a means for bringing provision or protection?

A: I was a dancer and choreographer for many years before becoming a writer. Dance is a means of communicating with the whole being—heart, mind, and body. So dance became a beautiful way for Carya to connect with her Maker and serve her world.

Q: What other interests shaped the series?

A: I’ve been studying cults and how people become trapped in lies, and more importantly, how they find freedom. So that concept helped me create the various traps that characters faced in all three books.

Q: What is a key theme in Windward Shore?

A: Although I write “Stories for the hero in all of us,” I recognize that we can’t always be the hero—at least not in our power. Our determination alone isn’t enough. Our Maker calls us to dependence on Him, and often He asks us to lean on others as well. That’s a key challenge that Carya faces in Windward Shore.

Blog Stops

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, May 29

Worthy2Read, May 29

Texas Book-aholic, May 30

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, May 31

Mia Reads, May 31

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, June 1

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, June 2

Woven by Words, June 2

Inklings and notions, June 3

For Him and My Family, June 4

Blogging With Carol, June 4

deb’s Book Review, June 5

For the Love of Literature, June 6

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, June 6

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, June 7

Locks, Hooks and Books, June 8

Tell Tale Book Reviews, June 9

Simple Harvest Reads, June 9 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, June 10

Through the Fire Blogs, June 11

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Sharon is giving away the grand prize package of the first two books of the series in hardcover (personalized and autographed), along with a bookbag, several bookmarks (enough to give to friends) and an autographed bookplate to put in their copy of Windward Shore!!

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/10ca3/windward-shore-celebration-tour-giveaway

Posted in Book Reviews, Frontgate Blogger Reviews

Mysteries of the Messiah – A Review

Description:

God’s Word, written by many people over thousands of years, is not a random selection of people and stories, but they have intricate connections. Rabbi Jason connects the dots for readers, helping them see with clarity what God intended.

Highlighting connections that have been hidden from non-Jewish eyes, Rabbi Jason Sobel pulls back the curtain to shed God’s light on the holy scriptures.

Most people do not understand how the Bible fits together—even people of faith. Too many Christians accept half an inheritance in that they are content to embrace merely the New Testament. On the flip side, Jews often experience this by embracing only the Old Testament. But God has an intricate plan and purpose for both.

In Mysteries of the Messiah, Rabbi Jason Sobel, raised in a Jewish home in New Jersey but now a follower of Yeshua, pulls back the curtain to show the many connections in Scripture hidden in plain sight. Known for his emphatic declaration “but there’s more!” he guides readers from the story of creation through Revelation to see the passion and purpose of the Messiah, the Torah, and several of the patriarchs and prophet

Check out the book trailer here.

Get your copy here.

Connecting the Old Testament with the New Testament, Rabbi Jason Soebel does an incredible job bringing the Bible to life. As the wife of a preacher, I always enjoy discovering the connections between the Old and New Testament. Written in a manner that is straight-forward, I enjoyed diving in the words this author shared.

I find the fact a rabbi wrote this book to make the thoughts and ideas more meaningful. If you wish to read and explore a book that delves into how the pieces of the Bible connect together, check out this book for yourself.

I received a complimentary copy of this book, but it in no way influenced my review. All opinions are my own.

#mysteriesofthemessiah

Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews

Prairie – A Review and Giveaway

About the Book

Book:  Prairie

Author: Chautona Havig

Genre: Contemporary Christian Fantasy

Release date: February 13, 2013

What if you could literally wish your life away?

My name is Jessa Davidson, and I awoke one day in the place of every dream I’ve ever had—the prairie.  I don’t know how I got here or where here even is, but I know one thing for certain. I can’t go home again. Ever.

If I’ve learned one thing being in this beautiful place, it’s that no matter how perfect it and its people seem, sin lives in the hearts of men and women in Prairie, too. The differences between Prairie and Pittsburgh? There are too many to count.

I grew up hearing the words of the Apostle Paul. “I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am.”

Here in Prairie, they’re not a lesson. They’re a warning.

I’ve been given a gift—the greatest desire of my heart. A life in the place of my dreams, a chance at love and family, a sense of real belonging.

Can I hold onto it? Time will tell—time I may not have if I can’t learn to be content.

Prairie is the first book in the Journey of Dreams, a series of related but stand-alone contemporary Christian fantasy novels exploring truths in a whole new way.

Click here to get your copy!

Reading books by Chautona Havig gives me joy, and Prairie lived up to my expectations. The characters, scenery and plot kept me interested. Jess a Davidson wakes up in the place of her dreams on day in the prairie. The people she encounters brings to life the ideas of Christian love.

This Christian fantasy novel is the first book in the Journey of Dreams series. I could not put this book down, in typical fashion for a book by Chautona Havig. I found myself wanting to visit Prairie myself. The ambiance of the place along with people appear to be warm and welcoming. Ms. Havig builds wonderful worlds that draw you in and make you feel you are actually there.

I definitely recommend reading this book. So check it out for yourself.

I received a complimentary copy of this book, but it in no way influenced my review. All opinions are my own.

About the Author

Author of the bestselling Aggie and Past Forward series, Chautona Havig lives in an oxymoron, escapes into imaginary worlds that look startlingly similar to ours and writes the stories that emerge. An irrepressible optimist, Chautona sees everything through a kaleidoscope of It’s a Wonderful Life sprinkled with fairy tales. Find her at chautona.com and say howdy—if you can remember how to spell her name.

More from Chautona

When Your Novel Teaches You an Important Lesson

I’ve told the story before, but I’ll tell it again. Prairie began as a dream. For several days in a row, I fell asleep and found myself lost in the sway of prairie grasses undulating to the strains of “Theme from a Summer Place.”

It’s a bad habit of mine, but despite being in the middle of a writing project, I wrote down my thoughts—my impressions. Two strange things happened.

First, the story came out in first person. Folks, I don’t write in first-person perspective. Not my novels, anyway. I don’t enjoy reading it, and I really don’t enjoy writing it.

Jessa, however, demanded I let her tell her story… her way. So I did. And it’s one of the fastest novels I’ve ever written.

There’s irony in that.

You see, I didn’t know where that story would go. My dream only replayed the scene of Jessa waking up on the prairie and not knowing how she got there—only knowing she could never go home. Beyond that, I hadn’t a clue.

And though I wanted to rush through so I could see where the story would take me, and though I wrote at breakneck speeds, the story unfolded at its own pace.

The people of Prairie live a different life from anything you’ve ever seen—and yet it is mostly very familiar. One thing, however, sets it apart.

Time.

Only in Prairie does time not work as it does here, and that changes everything. The story begins slowly and for a reason. Line by line, observation by observation, step by step through the grasses and down rutted lanes, the story draws you out of the breakneck speed of modern life and into a world that, if you aren’t careful, will whiz by faster than is even possible.

Here in our world, that is.

There… you’d better watch out.

Has anyone ever warned you not to wish your life away? It’s just a gentle reminder that if you’re always eager for today to end in hopes of a more exciting tomorrow, you may find you never lived.

In Prairie? It might actually happen.

Blog Stops

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, May 28

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, May 28

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, May 29

For the Love of Literature, May 30

Blogging With Carol, May 30

Texas Book-aholic, May 31

Inklings and notions, June 1

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, June 1

For Him and My Family, June 2

deb’s Book Review, June 3

Spoken from the Heart, June 3

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, June 4

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, June 5

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, June 5

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, June 6

Locks, Hooks and Books, June 7

Pause for Tales, June 7

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

Lots of Helpers, June 9

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, June 9

Little Homeschool on the Prairie, June 10

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Chautona is giving away the grand prize package of a paperback copy of the book & 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.

https://promosimple.com/ps/10ca2/prairie-celebration-tour-giveaway

Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews

Ablaze – A Review and Giveaway

About the Book

Book:  Ablaze

Author: M. Liz Boyle

Genre: Christian YA

Release date: February 25, 2021

This summer the Stanley sisters and the Miles boys are excited to hike together again, and now they have the unique opportunity to help two of their ranger friends with an outdoor program in the beautiful Montana mountains.

Marlee has always considered herself a willing follower. Give her a direction and she’s happy to help. Her older sister Ellie is a natural leader, and Marlee is content in her role as assistant.

Marlee and her sisters have been assigned to help with Ranger Rose’s team, and they are savoring the adventure. But in a heartbeat while the group is divided by a few hundred feet, fire breaks out between Ranger Rose and Marlee’s group. In this enthralling finale to the Off the Itinerary series, Marlee must face her fears with courage that only God can provide.

Click here to get your copy!

A part of the “Off the Itinerary” series of books, I looked forward to reading this next installment about the Stanley family and the Miles family. Containing mishaps, adventures, and a reliance on God and their faith, the two families experience the great outdoors together.

This book focuses on Marlee Stanley from the very beginning. She winds up questioning herself after an accident happens with her best friend in the car. Then when the two families head to Montana for their annual hiking adventure, more things cause her to question her abilities and talents given by God. I could definitely relate to Marlee in this book. With an older sister who seemed to have it in the way of friends, artistic talent, and confidence, I constantly questioned my place in the world. But with God’s direction, I found my place and Marlee experiences the same type of wake-up call.

This Christian Young Adult novel and series deserve to be read and appreciated. The family dynamics and the way the characters develop captured my attention. I also appreciated the fantastic descriptions of the outdoors. I also enjoyed reading about Marlee’s older sister Ellie and her boyfriend Sawyer Miles. The book illustrates how we need to give God control and let Him lead our steps. I feel sad that this book concludes the series. I want to read more about Marlee and Marshall Miles. I feel like I want to learn more about their journeys. So if you enjoy books that explore the great outdoors and God’s plans and purpose for our lives while focusing on faith and prayers, check out this book and series for yourself.

I received a complimentary copy of this book, but it in now way influenced my review. All opinions are my own.

About the Author

Liz is the author of the Off the Itinerary series, the wife of a professional tree climber, and the homeschooling mom of three energetic and laundry-producing children. Liz once spent a summer in Colorado teaching rock climbing, which she believes was a fantastic way to make money and memories. She resides with her family in Wisconsin, where they enjoy hiking and rock climbing. Liz and her husband have also backpacked in Colorado and the Grand Canyon, which have provided inspiration for her writing. She makes adventurous stories to encourage others to find adventures and expand their comfort zones (though admittedly, she still needs lots of practice expanding her own comfort zone).

More from Liz

After sending my five teenage characters through an avalanche and subjecting them to a lunatic with handcuffs (during a flash flood), I decided that a wildfire was the next disaster they should endure. From a plot perspective, a wildfire allows for much excitement; but I especially love the character refinement that takes place as my cast faces this natural disaster in the finale to my Off the Itinerary series. I hope your family will find encouraging entertainment in Ablaze.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, June 4

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, June 5

EmpowerMoms, June 5

Texas Book-aholic, June 6

Remembrancy, June 7

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, June 8

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, June 8

Inklings and notions, June 9

For Him and My Family, June 10

deb’s Book Review, June 11

Rebecca Tews, June 11

Locks, Hooks and Books, June 12

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, June 13

For the Love of Literature, June 14

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, June 15

Mary Hake, June 15

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, June 16

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, June 17

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, M. Liz is giving away the grand prize of a signed copy of Ablaze and a $25 Amazon gift card!!

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

https://promosimple.com/ps/10d04/ablaze-celebration-tour-giveaway

Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews

The Silver Shadow – A Review and Giveaway

About the Book

Book:  The Silver Shadow

Author: Liz Tolsma

Genre: Christian Historical/Suspense

Release date: May 2021

A Shadowy Figure Is Intent on Harming Denver’s Women

Book 11 in the True Colors series—Fiction Based on Strange-But True History

Denver of 1900 is still a dangerous place to be following the silver crash of 1893. And of out of the dark comes a shadow intent on harming women. Ambitious young Denver newspaper reporter Polly Blythe is searching for the big story that’s going to launch her career. On Friday evening, August 24, 1900, she gets her break when two women are cracked over the head within a two-minute walk of each other. But policeman Edwin Timmer thwarts Polly’s ideas of a serial criminal. . .until the shadowy figure strikes again. Will the reporter and the policeman team up to find the culprit before he strikes too close for comfort?

Click here to get your copy!

The True Colors series of books provide intense examinations of true historical crimes. The Silver Shadow provides as much intensity as the previous books. Polly Blythe seeks to make a place for herself in the male dominated journalism field in Denver. Police officer Edwin Timmer finds himself constantly thwarted in his police duties by Polly and his captain.

The Silver Shadow, as Polly names the criminal, sets out to show the residents of Denver that their wives, mothers, and daughters should stay at home and be what he considers being a proper role for them. Polly set out to expose him and write the story about it for the newspaper.

The dynamics between Polly and her co-workers and her family, along with Edwin and some of his coworkers and his family, help move the story along. Truly, this story kept me reading to the very end in one sitting so I could find out how the story turned out. My favorite part of this series comes at the end of the book when the reader learns what parts of the story represent reality and what parts the author fictionalized. These stories truly keep me on the edge of my seat reading. I look forward to reading the next book in this series. So check it out for yourself.

I received a complimentary copy of this book, but it in no way influenced my review. All opinions are my own.

About the Author

Liz Tolsma is the author of several WWII novels, romantic suspense novels, prairie romance novellas, and an Amish romance. She is a popular speaker and an editor and resides next to a Wisconsin farm field with her husband and their youngest daughter. Her son is a US Marine, and her oldest daughter is a college student. Liz enjoys reading, walking, working in her large perennial garden, kayaking, and camping. Please visit her website at http://www.liztolsma.com and follow her on Facebook, Twitter (@LizTolsma), Instagram, YouTube, and Pinterest. She is also the host of the Christian Historical Fiction Talk podcast.

More from Liz

One of the most popular questions I’ve gotten from many readers of the True Colors Crime series is how do I come up with the ideas for the books? For the first two, Becky Germany, acquisitions editor at Barbour Publishing, had the ideas. That made my life easy. I just had to fictionalize it, and I had a book. But when I was putting together the proposals for The Gold Digger and The Silver Shadow, it was up to me to find the true crimes I wanted to use.

I went online and scoured historical crime blogs and books for ideas. I wanted crimes that I could work easily with, that made for compelling stories. As I was doing this, my husband and two daughters and I were driving home from Georgia. We were somewhere in Indiana. Don’t ask me why I remember this when I can’t remember what I had for dinner last night, but I do.

And then on Google Books, I discovered a book about crimes the world had forgotten. The first one in there sounded so good. Not too grisly, something that no one would be able to guess the culprit very easily. It was perfect. Imagine my excitement when Becky told me they would be publishing The Silver Shadow.

Then I sat down to research it more. And I could hardly find anything! What? Where was all the information on this? There had to be more. That chapter in the one book couldn’t be all there was. He had to get his information from somewhere.

Eventually I did come across some articles from various Colorado newspapers with a few details. Not many at all. None from any of the Denver papers, even though that’s where the crimes were committed.

In the end, that’s all the information I discovered. In a way, it was freeing. I could write whatever I wanted, and no one would be the wiser. Even if they did some research and some digging, there wasn’t much to find. I was able to take the facts that I did have, combine that with what I found out about Denver in 1900, and put it together in a story. I tried to use historical details wherever I could, but of my four True Colors Crimes books, this is the most fictional of them all.

Blog Stops

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, May 25

lakesidelivingsite, May 25

Reviewingbooksplusmore, May 25

For the Love of Literature, May 26

Bigreadersite, May 26

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, May 26

Texas Book-aholic, May 27

Genesis 5020, May 27

Christian Bookaholic, May 27

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 28

Vicky Sluiter, May 28

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, May 28

The Write Escape, May 29

Betti Mace, May 29

Inklings and notions, May 29

Southern Gal Loves to Read, May 30

For Him and My Family, May 30

Rebecca Tews, May 30

Older & Smarter?, May 31

deb’s Book Review, May 31

Blogging With Carol, May 31

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, June 1

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, June 1

Remembrancy, June 1

Locks, Hooks and Books, June 2

Pick a Good Book, June 2

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

Connie’s History Classroom, June 3

Godly Book Reviews, June 3

Mary Hake, June 3

Through the Fire Blogs, June 4

Melissa Wardwells Back Porch Reads, June 4

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, June 4

KarenSueHadley, June 5

Amanda Tero, Blog, June 5

Tell Tale Book Reviews, June 5

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, June 6

Grace-Filled Writer, June 6

Pause for Tales, June 6

Little Homeschool on the Prairie, June 7

Blossoms and Blessings, June 7

Daysong Reflections, June 7

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Liz is giving away the grand prize of a $25 Amazon gift card and copy of The Silver Shadow!!

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/10c96/the-silver-shadow-celebration-tour-giveaway

Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews

Be More Than a Christian Be A Disciple – A Review and Giveaway

About the Book

Book:  Be More Than a Christian, Be a Disciple

Author: Pastor Oscar Walker

Genre: Christian Devotional

Release date: July 2020

Be More Than A Christian began as weekly devotional text messages to the members of Disciples Tabernacle Church with added thoughts of the Bible, the Holy Spirit, and experiences of Pastor Oscar Walker.  Overtime, these devotional were transitioned to emails due to the abundance of information.  The devotions included in this book are revelations and illuminations given to Pastor Walker by the Holy Spirit.  These 52 devotions focus on 52 aspects of our journey with the Lord.  A thought and a devotion for each week of the year.  Pastor Walker believes devotions are mediation books. Something written in these devotions may lead you into prayer; however, the goal of this book is to lead you into meditation.

Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.  But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. (Psalm 1:1-2).

One important problem among believers today who call themselves Christians is their poor witness in the world.  They present a weak commitment to living by the precepts and teachings of Christ and the Apostles.

But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. (James 1:22-23).

Click here to get your copy!

This devotional book, written by a pastor, originated as messages to his congregation and then developed into the book. The 52 devotionals contain passages of Scripture, thoughts, and prayers. With a devotional for each week, I encourage the reader to take time to read not only the passage of Scripture provided but also the entire chapter to be sure you discern from it what God wants you to discover.

As with any devotional, I believe the reader must discover for themselves the truth about any topics and Scriptures given. One statement I completely agreed with, found in one of June’s devotionals, reveals that God never breaks a promise. We serve a God who keeps His Word, which we find in the Bible. So seek God while reading this devotional and rely on Him and His Word in the Bible to show you HIs Truth.

I received a complimentary copy of this book, but it in no way influenced my review. All opinions are my own.

About the Author

Born and raised in San Antonio, Texas, Pastor Oscar Walker has been in ministry for over 30 years and is the founding pastor of Disciples Tabernacle Church in Houston, Texas. Prior to becoming a full-time pastor, Pastor Walker worked 35 years in the airline industry and for several years as a high school teacher.

Pastor Walker surrendered to the call of ministry in April 1997 and has been running for the Lord ever since. In 2000, Disciples Tabernacle Church was founded and has birthed ministries, such as Ministers Training College, to help equip leaders and ministers for ministry work. Pastor Walker’s call is to make disciples who continue to make other disciples following his influence and his primary ministry assignment is to teach God’s people how to have a personal relationship with Him through faith in His Son Jesus Christ.

Pastor Walker has been married to his wife, Joyce, for 54 years and has 3 daughters, 2 granddaughters, 2 grandsons, and 4 great granddaughters. His hobbies are auto mechanics, reading, gardening, and fishing. Now he tends to, “God’s garden”, and is a, “fisher of men.”

More from Oscar

Need to connect with God on a deeper level? Want to have a relationship with Christ that is beyond the surface level? Be More Than A Christian, Be A Disciple was born out a desire to help fellow believers develop a deeper relationship with Christ through studying His Word and applying biblical principles to our everyday lives. Originally, the devotions in the book were weekly devotionals sent to our church membership for encouragement throughout the week. Over the years, the devotionals became a path to grow in your relationship with Christ and now a book. Each month focuses on an aspect of your relationship with Christ and each week takes you step by step through how to mature in your belief and faith. From the beginning of the year, starting fresh and focusing on Christ, through the middle of the year learning about the power of prayer and trusting God, to the end of the year setting your eyes on your destiny, the devotions are meant to spur your fervor and thirst for knowledge about Christ. My prayer is this book inspires you to be more than a Christian but a devoted disciple of Christ.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, May 26

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, May 27

cats in the cradle blog, May 27

Lighthouse Academy Blog, May 28 (Guest Review from Marilyn Ridgway)

deb’s Book Review, May 29

Locks, Hooks and Books, May 30

Inklings and notions, May 31

Texas Book-aholic, June 1

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, June 2

CarpeDiem, June 2

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, June 3

For Him and My Family, June 4

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, June 5

Spoken from the Heart, June 6

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, June 7

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, June 8

Mary Hake, June 8

Giveaway

To celebrate his tour, Oscar is giving away the grand prize package 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.

https://promosimple.com/ps/10c9f/be-more-than-a-christian-be-a-disciple-celebration-tour-giveaway

Posted in Art, Frontgate Blogger Reviews

Emily Lex Watercolor Package and Classes – A Review and Giveaway

I have always enjoyed looking at watercolor pictures. Reviewing Emily Lex Watercolor Package and Classes thrilled me. This incredible package includes physical components and online courses. The physical products including watercolor notebooks for adults and kids for both animals and flowers, truth for today cards for adults and kids, along with a brass holder. The online classes included Simplified Watercolor, Watercolor for Kids, and Simplified Penmanship.

Wife and mother to four Emily Lex follows Jesus, makes chocolate chip cookies, and is a ballerina wannabe. She is a book writer and watercolor artist.

Emily Lex discovered God’s plan for her life included being an artist. Her enthusiasm for teaching art comes through clearly in her videos for the online classes.

Emily Lex states on her site, “It’s using our gifts and talents and passions to love and serve, each of us in our own creative way.” As someone who loves the idea of creating, but lacks some of the knowledge, I found her videos to be easy to follow and contains information about the supplies needed and the techniques to use.

i appreciated how she explained exactly what products to select along with the reason behind those decisions. I also appreciated how she had separate products and classes for adults and children. I wish I had access to these products and online classes when our children were younger. She provides such wonderful explanations and directions in the videos.

I love the idea of being parents or grandparents working together on watercolor projects with their children/grandchildren. The Truth for Today cards contain a passage of Scripture along with a beautiful watercolor. There are separate sets for both adults and children. Display the cards in the holder to brighten up your room.

Check out Emily Lex and her wonderful watercolor products and courses for yourself. I received a complimentary copy of this book, but it in no way influenced my review. All opinions are my own.

#EmilyLex #Watercolors #WatercolorClass #MayFlowers #favoritethings #emilylexstudio