Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews, Christian Fiction

Review and Giveaway for Yours, Mine, & Forever

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About the Book

Book:  Yours, Mine, & Forever

Author: Joanne Markey

Genre:  Contemporary Romance

Release Date: September 7, 2019

Yours Mine and foreverWhoever said the course of true love never runs smooth knew their business.

Especially motherly love.

Still, with adoption success just waiting for ink and paper to appear, Norah can focus on more exciting things, like Christmas, and figuring out how this marriage thing is going to work out! However, never underestimate the craftiness of an antagonist old woman determined to get her own way—or rather, stop Norah from getting hers. If it means resorting to underhanded means to ensure she comes out on top, then so be it. All it takes is a word in the right ear, a nudge here, a wink there, and the natural course of gossip and slander will do the rest.

When the dust clears, Norah’s heart is in tatters and her fledgling relationship is in ruins… Or is it? Will her hero’s patience wear thin, and is Norah’s faith strong enough to see her through whatever comes her way?

 

Click here for your copy.

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From my experience, some book series can be started at any point, but I do not feel this book is one of those books.  I plan on reading the first book in the series and then going back and re-reading this one again.  It is the perfect Christmas story fit for a Hallmark movie (one of my favorite things to watch at Christmas).  You have the couple working to adopt children, while someone else works to prevent their happily ever after from happening.

I feel like I would have connected with the characters more if I had read the first book.  But I still enjoyed this book.  So if you enjoy a good Christian story, check out this book for yourself.

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

About the Author

Joanne MarkeyOriginally from Australia, Joanne now lives in Ohio with her husband and seven children where she spends her days writing, wrangling children, and trying to determine which phrases originated in which country because she uses them all interchangeably, thereby continually confusing herself as much as those around her.

 

More from Joanne

When people find out I’m an Aussie living in the US and that I’ve written books, they immediately assume my books are set in Australia. I’m sorry to disappoint anyone, but, no, they’re not. You see, after almost 19 years of living in the US I’ve lost touch with the culture I was raised in. Things are done differently here than they are over there, and I’ve gotten used to this life.
When I moved halfway around the world, iPads, smart phones, and the like weren’t even a thing. The internet over there (in the places I lived) was something you knew about, but not everyone was online. My family didn’t even own a computer. When you went to town you lost cell phone coverage about 20 kms out. We lived in the bush, which technically falls between the coast and the outback. Not far enough from the coast to be “outback”, but far enough there wasn’t a town worth mentioning in any direction for a good two hour drive (roughly 170km, if memory serves me correct). So yeah, we lived out bush and while it’s hard to imagine a world without the electronics we depend on so much today, the Australia I know, the life I remember, had none of them. And I’m pretty sure things have changed since then!
That’s one major issue standing between me and writing books set in Australia. Another is the language. Half the time I find it almost impossible to remember where a phrase originated. I’m not talking about the “fair dinkums” or the “g’days”, they’re easy to identify. Its the little phrases, the ones that are so ingrained in my thinking I can’t identify their origin. At least, not until every person in the room looks at me like I’ve lost my mind. I figure it out pretty quickly after that and usually have to scramble to translate to something they understand. Agreeing with someone by uttering a simple “yes” is a wee bit more effective here than the “too right!” I might use with my family.
Try adding in the whole dropping the R thing Aussies have a habit of doing, and then the clear pronunciation of the R which is pretty common among the people I know here…and yeah, it can get confusing. “Far” is a bad one. Simple word. I never stop to think about how I’m saying it, so part of the time I’ll drop the R without realizing I’ve done so. Then I’ll hear myself say “fah”, so I’ll quickly tack on the R… and it can become an issue.
Some expats might not have an issue with speech, this is just one problem I run into quite often so I ran with it in my book. Anyone who’s read the book will know who I’m talking about. Multiple languages, speech confusion especially when emotional. It’s a thing. Not everyone deals with it, but me… yeah. Sigh.
But that doesn’t mean I’ve turned my back on everything I once knew. My husband and our kids love a good damper, Aussie meat pies, and Vegemite. They turn their noses up at pavlova (where, oh, where did I go wrong?!), but little did I know when we bought some of my favorite Aussie music that it would become their favorite too. I love where I live now, but I also have a great fondness for the country I left behind, and my family too, of course. They all live over there. And this story… it originated in Australia.
I was looking for a something to write for NaNo in 2018 and my Mum had a dream to share, so she gave me the idea and I ran with it. I changed bits here and there—the setting, most of the story actually!—and finished it up mid-December of 2018. I sat on it for about six months, finally got around to sending it to an editor. And then two weeks before I hit publish, a friend heard how long it was and asked if I’d ever thought about splitting the story in two.
No, I hadn’t, but after hashing it out with my editor, we decided it was a good idea. Dreaming of More became the first half, and Yours, Mine, & Forever was born.
However, giving Dreaming an end meant I’d sort of wrapped up the main storyline I’d used in the entire 135,000 word manuscript. I needed something else because I hadn’t added the bow to the top of the package and without that, Dreaming kind of fell flat. It needed another book… So back to the editor I went and at 2am one morning we started brainstorming. Before I knew what was happening I was in the middle of rewriting the entire book. I didn’t need to follow the same storyline and because the slate had been cleared, I could add in whatever I wanted. So I did.
My friend apologized—she hadn’t meant for me to rewrite the entire book—but no apology was necessary. I loved being able to change things. New characters made it more fun and, as my youngest son would say, I got to add “all the stuffs”. The only thing I refused to change was the ending. I had to keep that because it was the one thing my Mum remembered the best from her dream. For her sake, I kept it. If you want to know what that ending is… it comes after all the other pages in the book. But if you skip over them, you’ll miss all the stuffs and they’re what make the ending worthwhile.

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Joanne is giving away the grand prize package of signed copies of Dreaming of More, Yours, Mine, & Forever, and Christmas Rose!!

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/f623/yours-mine

Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews

Review and Giveaway for Welcome to the Shivoo

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About the Book

Book:  Welcome to the Shivoo

Author: Laura Bartnick

Genre:  Inspiration/Christian Living/Education

Release Date: January 1, 2020

Front Shivoo w Award SealDO YOU CONSIDER YOURSELF A CREATIVE, A WRITER, A MEMBER OF THE MAKER COMMUNITY?

In the beginning, God created. Should this matter?
Do you find incredible value in your creativity, that is, a reason for being and doing that you could never imagine giving up? Okay then. This book will inspire you to join a spiritual party like no other.

Perhaps you’ve heard that the impulse to create is a reflection of the Creator’s image in you and His will for you. Your impulse to create is paramount! The chapters in this book will provide you pages of new perspectives for evaluating your craft. It will help you communicate what you experience with others. It will transform your creative future. Motivation. Spiritual Gifts. God’s own blessing.
Click here to get your copy.
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Welcome to the Shivoo takes the reader on a journey that helps remind us that God is our Creator and He gave us gifts that we need to use.  This book is not one to be quickly skimmed through but needs to be read with concentration.
Whether you are someone with outwardly crafting or creative tendencies or not, I feel this book has something to offer.  As a child growing up, I always considered that my sister had all the artistic talent, yet as an adult I find myself blogging and crocheting.  So apparently I also have some creative tendencies.  So it is a matter of actively using the gifts God has given us.  So check out this book for yourself.
I received a copy of this book for my fair and honest review.

About the Author

Laura BartnickBartnick has been a youth counselor with Youth for Christ, and a worship musician for many years. She is the managing partner of Capture Books, a small but mighty boutique Christian publishing group. She loves creativity and words. She loves to explore the deeper meaning of the things we casually say to one another, the things we write down.  She earned a double degree in Bible and Composition from Montana Bible College and Colorado Christian University and is a truth-seeker and recipient of God’s love.

More from Laura

ARE YOU A WRITER OR PART OF THE MAKER CULTURE?

This beloved book explains why it matters that “In the beginning, God created.”

A reader coined this title, “The Creator’s Manifesto.”

When you need to find the place of belonging as a creative, look no further than the heart of God. He’s the One Who formed you to be creative in talent, and adventurous in the wild unknown.

Welcome to the Shivoo! This party belongs to Someone bigger than you. Because you are created in God’s image and given specific creative gifts and a life of purpose, you are very special to Him.

Many creatives feel that there is a monkey on their backs, and sometimes that nagging feeling includes the doubt that maybe the terrible distraction is God Himself not wanting them to succeed as a writer or artist. Nothing is further from the truth.

This book is a party and a prayer for the creatives in town.

In Welcome to the Shivoo! creativity begins with the priorities of the greatest Creator, and in that sense of wonder, it moves us into a place of gratitude and thanksgiving.  Creativity always begins with a sense of wonder and awe, even a sense of meekness, “Can I do this?  I have to try…”  In Welcome to the Shivoo!, I try to show that God is the center of a creative’s world, and because of His love and goodness, we have a home and a place to belong. Creativity erupts from that place.

From there, the book shows how there is a Biblical theology for being creative and a means to thrive in creativity. It challenges Christians to be authentic, to focus, to communicate, and to transform.  It explains how there is a kingdom language we are charged to learn, as believers, and to use not in a sloppy way, but responsibly. And, it sends us off with an exuberant blessing to go create something and enjoy the process!

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, March 5

Texas Book-aholic, March 6

For the Love of Literature, March 7

Simple Harvest Reads, March 8 (Author Interview)

Stephanie’s life of Determination , March 8

For Him and My Family, March 9

Inklings and notions, March 10

deb’s Book Review, March 11

CarpeDiem, March 12

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, March 13

Emily Yager, March 14

Artistic Nobody, March 15 (Author Interview)

Create! Teach! Inspire!, March 16

Moments, March 17

Godly Book Reviews, March 18

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Laura is giving away the grand prize of a $25 Amazon gift certificate!!

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/f80f/welcome-to-the-shivoo-celebration-tour-giveaway

Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews

Review and Giveaway for His Unexpected Amish Twins

About the Book

Book:  His Unexpected Amish Twins

Author: Rachel J. Good

Genre:  Amish Romance

Release Date: February 28, 2020

When Micah Miller’s brother and sister-in-law are killed in a buggy accident, he’s devastated, but he fulfills a promise to raise their seven-year-old twins, Abby and Isaac. While struggling to deal with the twins’ grief and Abby’s anger toward God, he discovers an Amish farm offering horse therapy for grief. And he’s thrilled to find the owner cares about and prays for the twins.

Hope Graber had to find a way to save the family farm after her daed’s unwise decisions. Even selling off many of the horses didn’t cover all the bills. After deciding to use the remaining horses for animal therapy, she brings on Logan Russell, an experienced trainer, to help her. Together they not only start paying off the debts, but they also make positive changes in children’s lives.

Hope loves helping each child, but she takes a special interest in the twins and determines to help them heal both emotionally and spiritually. As she gently guides Abby back to God and makes the little girl smile again, Hope also makes Micah’s life brighter. As he emerges from his depression, he longs to make them one happy family, but only God can overcome the many obstacles in their path.

 

Click here for your copy!

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As an avid reader, some of my favorite books to read are ones about the Amish.  This book did not disappoint.  The heartbreak of twins losing their parents in a buggy accident brings Micah and Hope together.

Dealing with her ow family issues of a father who makes unwise decisions, I have to say I wanted Hope to find someone to love her.  I was glad to see how members of her community came around her to support her.

As a child, our youngest son suffered from motor skills issues.  One of the things recommended to us was therapeutic horseback riding, so the fact that Hope was trying to start a business providing therapy to children captured my attention.

So if you like reading books about the Amish, check out this book for yourself.

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

 

About the Author

USA Today bestselling author RACHEL J. GOOD writes life-changing, heart-tugging novels of faith, hope, and forgiveness. She grew up near Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, the setting for her Amish novels. Striving to be as authentic as possible, she spends time with her Amish friends, doing chores on their farm and attending family events.

Rachel is the author of several Amish series in print or forthcoming – the bestselling Love & Promises, Sisters & Friends, Unexpected Amish Blessings, Surprised by Love (2021), and two books in Hearts of Amish Country – as well as the Amish Quilts Coloring Books. In addition, she has stories in many anthologies, including Love’s Thankful Heart,Love’s Christmas Blessings,Plain Everyday Heroes, Love’s Truest Hope,and the forthcoming Amish Christmas Twins (Fall 2020) with Shelley Shepard Gray and Loree Lough.

 

More from Rachel

Phobias and Faith

 

“Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” (John 14: 27b KJV)

In every book I write, I like the hero and heroine to experience character growth. I think it’s important that they change and become different. So, in His Unexpected Amish Twins, Micah faces several life-changing events. First, his life is turned upside-down when he becomes the guardian of his niece and nephew, seven-year-old twins. Although he loves the children dearly, as a young, single man, he isn’t quite ready to handle his lively, rebellious niece and his silent, withdrawn nephew, especially not when he’s grieving himself.

But with the help of horse therapist, Hope Graber, Micah puts aside his own pain to concentrate on caring for the twins. But Micah is also hiding a deep-seated phobia.

As a child, he had a terrible experience, one that scarred him for life. One that still haunts him and terrorizes him. One that may destroy his future relationship with Hope.

Getting over fear is never easy, and Micah prays for strength. But it isn’t until he’s forced to make a choice – give in to his fear or save a life – does he push past that fear.

Like Micah does, we often go through life hiding our fears. We make excuses not to do something that frightens us. When a fear turns into a phobia, it can become paralyzing.

For me, public speaking was my greatest fear. I managed to avoid it until I was asked to do a simple two-minute introduction each month for the Christian Women’s Club. I didn’t have to answer right away. They asked me to pray about it, and let them know my answer in a few days.

If they’d asked for an answer right away, I would have made an excuse. I had four small children and an ill husband. But the truth was – I was scared. Not just scared, but petrified. Petrified about even standing in front of an audience.

When I discussed this opportunity with my father, he suggested God might be giving me a chance to get over my fear because He had something greater for me to do in the future. My first thought was that it had better not have anything to do with public speaking.

Dad encouraged me to take a speech class, so I signed up for one. Eight people attended this informal course in the teacher’s living room. The first night we had to give a two-sentence introduction of ourselves. We didn’t even have to stand up.

I went last. My turn came, and my mind went blank. I couldn’t even remember my name. With prompting, the teacher got me to stumble through my name and hometown.

Our assignment for the following week was to prepare a three-minute demonstration of one of our hobbies. We could use notes and props. I mumbled through the speech, rushed out the door to my car, and vomited in the street. Yes, I was that frightened by public speaking.

I told my father I planned to quit the class, but he encouraged me to continue. And several months later, I stood in front of the women’s club. My eyes blurred, and I couldn’t see the people in front of me. I hurried through my memorized two-minute introduction clutching my note cards in case I forgot the words. I had no idea what I said, but several people mentioned that they liked it. And I went on to do it every month for two years.

And my father was right. God did train me for a future job. Wouldn’t Dad be surprised to know that, as an author, I speak in front of audiences around the country? He died before my first book was published, but I suspect he’s up in heaven cheering me on. And I could never have done it without God’s help.

Micah and I both had to learn to trust God’s promise: “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1: 9 NIV)

Blog Stops

For the Love of Literature, March 4

Maureen’s Musings, March 5

The Avid Reader, March 5

Through the Lens of Scripture, March 6

Texas Book-aholic, March 7

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, March 7

For Him and My Family, March 8

janicesbookreviews, March 8

Inklings and notions, March 9

deb’s Book Review, March 9

Blossoms and Blessings, March 10

Jeanette’s Thoughts, March 10

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, March 11

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, March 11

Vicky Sluiter, March 12

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, March 12

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, March 13

Splashes of Joy, March 14

Bigreadersite, March 14

Artistic Nobody, March 15 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Blogging With Carol, March 16

Genesis 5020, March 16

EmpowerMoms, March 17

My Devotional Thoughts, March 17

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Rachel is giving away the grand prize package of an autographed copy of the book and $25 VISA 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/f72a/his-unexpected-amish-twins-celebration-tour-giveaway

Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews

Review and Giveaway for Her Rebel Heart

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About the Book

Book:  Her Rebel Heart

Author: Sharlene MacLaren

Genre:  Christian Historical Romance

The Rebel HeartCristina Stiles is left to fend for herself and her two young children while her husband goes off to fight in the Confederate army. She also has to deal with two rogue Yankee soldiers who’ve beaten her, stolen her food, and keep coming back to cause more trouble.

Jack Fuller is a God-fearing Christian fighting for the Union. During a surprise encounter, he shoots and kills a Rebel soldier. In his final breaths, the Rebel asks Jack to deliver a letter to his wife—and he agrees. But when he arrives at Cristina’s small farm in West Virginia, she assumes Jack is one of the Yankee trouble-makers, trains her rifle on him, and fires. As he lies on the ground bleeding, he explains the purpose of his visit, and out of a sense of obligation, she decides to nurse him back to health.

What will happen when Cristina discovers Jack is the one who made her a widow? Will her rebel heart forgive him—or finish him off?

 

Click here to get your copy.

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Set during the time of the Civil War, this book has characters that illustrate the best and worst of traits including strength, courage, and outright evil.  Cristina Stiles has been left alone to care for her two children while her husband fights on the side of the South in the war.  She has the misfortune of being attacked by two Union soldiers who illustrate pure evil.

In the meantime, Jack Fuller, another soldier fighting on the side of the North is forced to kill a man.  As the man is dying he begs Jack to take a letter to his wife Cristina.  This action results in Jack being granted leave by his commanding officer to complete his task.

Jack has to deal with an irate farmer, the two men who attacked Cristina, plus being shot at by Cristina.  But my favorite part of this book is how the community eventually comes together to show the love of Christ to Cristina and her children.

If you enjoy reading historical Christian fiction, check out this book for yourself.

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

About the Author

SharleneBorn and raised in west Michigan, Sharlene MacLaren attended Spring Arbor University. Upon graduating with an education degree in 1971, she taught second grade for two years, then accepted an invitation to travel internationally for a year with a singing ensemble. After traveling for a year, she returned to her teaching job, then in 1975, she reunited with her childhood sweetheart, and they married that very December. They have raised two lovely daughters, both of whom are now happily married and enjoying their own families. Retired in 2003 after thirty-one years of teaching, Shar loves to read, sing, travel, and spend time with her family—in particular, her adorable grandchildren!

Shar has always enjoyed writing, and her high school classmates eagerly read and passed around her short stories. In the early 2000s, Shar felt God’s call upon her heart to take her writing pleasures a step further, so in 2006, she signed a contract with Whitaker House for her first faith-based novel, Through Every Storm, thereby launching her professional writing career. With more than twenty published novels now gracing store shelves and being sold online, Shar gives God all the glory.

Shar’s novels have won numerous awards. Most recently, Their Daring Hearts was named a 2018 Top Pick by Romantic Times and her last book, A Love to Behold, was voted “Book of the Year” in 2019 by Interviews & Reviews.

Shar has done numerous countrywide book signings and has participated in several interviews on television and radio. She loves to speak for community organizations, libraries, church groups, and women’s conferences. In her church, she is active in women’s ministries, regularly facilitating Bible studies and other events. Shar and her husband, Cecil, live in Spring Lake, Michigan, with their beautiful white collie, Peyton.

 

More from Sharlene

Dark-haired, independent, and tough to the bone, Christina cares for her two young children in a ramshackle cabin in Ripley, West Virginia. When the Yankee who killed her husband pays her a visit, she has to decide whether to forgive him—or finish him off. Will this tough Southern woman find grace in her rebel heart?

Blog Stops

Inklings and notions, March 4

My Devotional Thoughts, March 4

Genesis 5020, March 5

Emily Yager, March 6

Texas Book-aholic, March 7

KarenSueHadley, March 7

Christian Bookaholic, March 8

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, March 9

Rebecca Tews, March 9

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, March 10

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, March 10

For the Love of Literature, March 11

For Him and My Family, March 12

deb’s Book Review, March 12

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, March 13

Betti Mace, March 14

Blossoms and Blessings, March 15

janicesbookreviews, March 15

Locks, Hooks and Books, March 16

Artistic Nobody, March 17 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Bigreadersite, March 17

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Sharlene is giving away the grand prize package of a $20 Starbucks gift card and a finished 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/f6fc/her-rebel-heart-celebration-tour-giveaway