Posted in Book Reviews

Review and Giveaway for Grace Looks Amazing on You

Grarce Looks amazing on you image 1

    Book Description:

What if today is the perfect time to notice God’s grace in one another?
Women are so often weighed down by comparison, anxiety, and fear that the idea that grace could look amazing on them feels unbelievable. But all around us are flashes of grace, shining examples of God’s love.

Amy Seiffert says it’s the everyday moments that Jesus shines through: making time for a friend even when your to-do list is pages long; apologizing to your neighbor when you don’t want to admit you are wrong; opening the Bible when your soul feels hollow and empty.

Making the choice to accept God’s limitless love no matter what and reflecting it back to the world around you—friend, that’s when His grace looks amazing on you.

A perfect gift to affirm and encourage any woman, Grace Looks Amazing on You is a timeless Christian message packed with personal story and reflection, Scripture, and deep biblical truth. This 100-day devotional will help you change your perspective so you can confidently radiate the grace of Christ.

My Thoughts

This book contains 100 days of devotionals.  The cover of this book immediately caught my attention.  Each devotional includes a passage of Scripture, a personal story, and a grace reflection that includes either prayers or suggestions for prayers.  The Biblical truths inspired me and helped draw me closer to God.  This book would make a perfect gift or purchase for yourself.

Check out this video.

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Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews

Review and Giveaway for Volition

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About the Book

Book:  Volition

Author: Chautona Havig

Genre:  Christian fiction, futuristic

Release Date: December 31, 2019

Print“I should have made that left turn at Tucumcari.”

It’s Doctor Who meets mail-order brides when “rescuers” from the future arrive to save Andi Flanders from a happy life with her loving family and fiancé.

Okay, so they meant to get her suicidal roommate, but hey. Mistakes happen, right?

And as far as Andi’s concerned, they can fix them—by sending her home.

However, when she learns what happens when she disappears from home, Andi has an impossible choice. Stay in the government-controlled futuristic world she despises and never see her family again or return to the twenty-first century and doom an innocent person to death.

Volition— Life and death decisions are so overrated.

 

Click here to get your copy!

My Thoughts

All of the books I had read up to this point by Chautona Havig, I have loved and thoroughly enjoyed reading.  However, I have to say I had a hard time finding my reading groove with this one.  A woman pulled from her present to the future, a man trying to pull a woman from what is the past to him in order to save her life and offer her marriage.  But when the wrong woman is brought to the future things get difficult.

But I have to say I am glad that I kept reading.  Andi is a Christian brought to a future time she does not want to be in, while James is not a Christian and has struggled to find his way with Andi.  The adjustment that comes from changing time periods and societal requirements and expectations made this story eventually capture my attention.

So if you want to read a book that examines what the future may look like, check out this book for yourself.

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

 

 

About the Author

Havig_Chautona (1)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

What Happens When You Explore Logical Progressions?

She used chopsticks. Me? I’m a fork kind of gal. But over plates of sesame chicken and fried rice, we hashed out what our NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) books would be. Every year, I challenged myself.  Once by writing drippy romance (Discovering Hope).  Once by turning a sermon into a story that wasn’t preachy (Argosy Junction). (psst… links are affiliate links—they provide a small commission at no extra expense to you!)

This time, I’d decided the challenge would include writing in the first person.  Anyone who knows me knows how much I don’t like the first-person perspective. As we tried to figure out what our plots would be, my friend added another challenge. “Do science fiction.”

I’ll be honest. I almost laughed her out of the restaurant. But then an idea hit me.  Why shouldn’t I?  I could kill two dislikes in one book.  Bam! Done!

That kicked off a book I probably never would have written otherwise.

I knew doing major techno-science stuff wouldn’t be conducive to trying to write 50,000 words in thirty days, so I immediately chose futuristic over space travel.  The decision to go with a form of time travel was probably inspired by Doctor Who, now that I think of it. I didn’t back then. I just went with what I thought I might be able to make interesting—to write, if not to read.

That kicked off an idea that sent my brain spinning.

What would happen if you got kidnapped and taken to the future, but returning to your former life means someone’s soul will never be redeemed?

Of course, it would take a really strong, amazing character to pull off that kind of thing. Not everyone could do it. But who… who give up her life for someone else?

That’s when I knew. That soul saved would have to belong to someone my character didn’t even like. Gotta raise the stakes, you know?

That’s also when I discovered that I wouldn’t like her—not at first.

Andi Flanders jumped onto the page with hands on hips and eyes flashing. She was livid that people in the future had interfered with her life. Then she’s broken when she realizes she can’t go back.

Fiercely independent, Andi enters futuristic Rockland with a critical eye and condemning spirit.  Since most sci-fi stuff I’ve seen focuses on sleek, pristine futures full of glass and steel, I wanted to go a different direction.  But how?

That’s when my solution came to me.

I’d take today’s world and push everything to logical exaggerated conclusions.

  • Environmentalism? We’ll have a world that tries not to encroach on nature any more than necessary
  • Population? I took China’s “one child” policy and made it worldwide… and then let the future deal with the fallout.
  • Globalism? I let them have their one-world government that protects everyone from themselves.
  • Apathetic faith? I didn’t persecute Christians. I just let their faith die a slow, natural death.

And then I threw in a character with a love for Jesus and a minor obsession with Ayn Rand’s objectivism.  Yes, I’m aware that those two things can be mutually exclusive. That was the fun of it.

This Rand-spouting, Jesus loving, freckle-faced, fiery redhead had to deal with all if this stuff in a world as opposite from her freedom-loving self as can stand.

Ninety-thousand words later, I was done.  And then I shelved the book.

For ten years.

On December 27, 2019, I got a message from my son.

He’d found a book cover design contest and wondered if he should enter.  And if so, with what book?  We hashed out ideas when I remembered Volition.  It wasn’t edited.  Done, but not edited.  Could I possibly get the whole thing cleaned up before December 31 rolled over into January 1?

I decided to try.

Nolan got to work on a cover while I began editing like nobody’s business.

With the help of my amazing launch team, an incredible editor, and no sleep, the book was live on New Year’s Eve with three hours to spare.

Then my son decided not to worry about entering this year.

He lives. This is a testimony to God’s grace and control over my life.  And my hands.

Or maybe it’s because he lives three hours south of me, and I’ve only seen him once since then. You don’t kill your son at your daughter’s wedding reception. Just sayin’.

But let’s go with the first reason. It makes me sound more spiritual or something. 😉

 

Blog Stops

Through the Fire Blogs, May 12

Wishful Endings, May 12

Lots of Helpers, May 13

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 14

Pause for Tales, May 14

Emily Yager, May 15

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, May 16

Robin’s Nest, May 16

Texas Book-aholic, May 17

Inklings and notions, May 18

Worthy2Read, May 18

For Him and My Family, May 19

Read Review Rejoice, May 19

deb’s Book Review, May 20

Rebecca Tews, May 20

Book of Ruth Ann, May 21

Little Homeschool on the Prairie, May 22

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, May 22

Blogging With Carol, May 23

Quiet Workings, May 24

Breny and Books, May 24

Artistic Nobody, May 25 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Chautona is giving away the grand prize package of a paperback copy 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/f9f5/volition-celebration-tour-giveaway

Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews, Uncategorized

Review and Giveaway for Taking Chances

About the Book

Book:  Taking Chances

Author: Melody Carlson

Genre:  Middle Grade

Release Date: April 15, 2020

Zoey knows her days are numbered. At least when it comes to remaining in Cedarville. So when Louisa coaxes her to be part of a garage band, Zoey tosses her insecurities aside to make music with her friends. And she even goes out for the basketball team. But what will happen when her mom shows up and pulls the plug on everything?

 

 

Click here for your copy!

 

My Thoughts

Having read the other books in this series, I was looking forward to reading this next installment.  Zoey learns the power of forgiveness and being a friend to some who hurt her in the past.

This book illustrates all the angst and drama that comes with being a “tween”.  Zoey learns to find her way through beginning a band with her best friend and two boys her best friend brings with her.  Zoey learns the importance of being open and honest both with her grandparents she is living with, her mother, and the people around her.

By joining the basketball team, she finds a place to belong and other people she can be a witness to of Christ’s love.  Moreover, she and her friends find their way to become more than themselves by reaching out to others who are hurting.

This book does an incredible job of illustrating Christ’s love for us and for those around us as well as forgiveness.

So check out this book for yourself.

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

 

About the Author

Melody Carlson has written more than 200 books (with sales around 6.5 million) for teens, women, and children. That’s a lot of books, but mostly she considers herself a “storyteller.” Her young adult novels (Diary of a Teenage Girl, True Colors etc.) appeal to teenage girls around the world. Her annual Christmas novellas become more popular each year. She’s won a number of awards (including RT’s Career Achievement Award, the Rita, and the Gold medallion) and some of her books have been optioned for film/TV. Carlson has two grown sons and makes her home in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and yellow Lab dog.

 

 

More from Melody

Sometimes I feel guilty for ‘torturing’ my teen and tween characters, but I do it for my readers. It’s not easy being an adolescent, and reading about someone who’s facing hard times is comforting. But in the final Zoey book, I really wanted to give her some victories too. So when challenges come her way, she stands up to them. And she even puts her newly found faith to work. The goal is for readers to feel hopeful about their own lives when they see Zoey rise above her tough circumstances.

Blog Stops

Texas Book-aholic, May 14

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 15

For Him and My Family, May 16

Inklings and notions, May 17

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, May 17

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, May 18

deb’s Book Review, May 19

Older & Smarter?, May 20

Vicky Sluiter, May 20

Remembrancy, May 21

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, May 22

Splashes of Joy, May 23

Christian Bookaholic, May 24

Blogging With Carol, May 24

Moments, May 25

Locks, Hooks and Books, May 26

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, May 27

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Melody is giving away the grand prize package of the full Being Zoey series!!

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/f9fd/being-zoey-taking-chances-celebration-tour-giveaway

Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews

Review and Giveaway for illusions

Illusions FB Banner

About the Book

Book:  Illusions

Author: Jennifer Sienes

Genre:  Christian Contemporary

Release Date: April 28, 2020

Illusions eBook coverCorey Schaffer, pastor’s wife and mother of two teens, has spent her entire marriage subconsciously repenting for one reckless night the week before her wedding.

Upon discovery of Corey’s indiscretion, her 17-year-old daughter, Taylor, is in a car accident resulting in a weeklong coma, traumatic brain injury and memory loss. Corey is riddled with guilt and would like nothing better than to confess all to her husband, Paul. But how can she when his pastoral position is at risk, thanks to their son’s thoughtless act of rebellion the year before—an act Paul has yet to forgive?

Instead, Corey loses herself in the day-to-day work of Taylor’s rehabilitation and prays God will give her the courage to face the past. But when a disgruntled church member sees an opportunity for revenge, Corey must find the faith and strength to put her family first, even if it means walking away.

 

Click here for your copy!

My Thoughts

As I began reading this book, I quickly found myself caught up Corey and Paul and their two children.  Taylor discovers through a classroom experiment that she cannot be her father’s daughter.  As a result, she rushes out of the house and winds up in a car accident that completely changes her life when she winds up in a coma.

While Corey is keeping secrets from Paul, Paul is also keeping secrets of his own from Corey.  Meanwhile, their son is caught up in his own upsetting experiences.  The family struggles to keep everything together.

I love how Corey has her friend to seek refuge from the world to help her daughter.  Plus, she encounters another minister who provides guidance and wisdom.  Corey and Paul both learn that in order to forgive others they have to be willing to also forgive themselves.

The book also illustrates how one or two people out for revenge or to cause trouble can take a church to the brink of destruction.  I loved reading this book that shows the power of God and by offering forgiveness like Jesus offers us.

So if you are looking to read a book with an incredible storyline and a pwerful message, check out this book for yourself.

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

 

About the Author

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

 

More from Jennifer

Since I was twelve years old, I’ve been writing stories. I even wrote fan-fiction before it was a thing—a Happy Days episode, which I’m sure dates me. I took every creative writing class I could, starting in high school, and even declared journalism as my college major until I realized I like fiction a whole lot more than truth because I can create the characters any way I like.

 

However, my first attempts at writing emotionally charged novels fell flat; I hadn’t lived enough to truly understand what deep emotion felt like. Then life happened—a series of tragedies that made me feel I was more on par with Job than with Jesus. Someone wise told me that all writers must find the core of why they write—that deep part of us that God instilled in our hearts. What is it we, as writers, want to communicate to our readers? What I came away with was that we all need hope, especially in our darkest days.

 

Illusions was born out of a near-fatal car accident my daughter was in only weeks after her eighteenth birthday. It was walking through that accident with her that started the what if questions years later. What if an accident is the result of a mother/daughter argument? What if that argument was caused by something the mother did in her past—a deep, dark secret that even she cannot face? And what if that mother is held to a higher standard than most others? Say the wife of a pastor? And what if that pastor already has a black mark against him because of an act their other child (a boy) previously committed?

Would the congregation turn against him? We all know people in church who seek any opportunity to throw a wrench into things—that live with a big ol’ log in their eye, blinding them from the concept of grace.

To add to the tension (because, what’s the point of a story without it?), what if the accident caused a traumatic brain injury and the daughter remembers nothing? It may not be on par with Sophie’s Choice, but now a mother is torn between wanting her daughter to be whole again and hoping the deep, dark secret remains lost somewhere in the recesses of her mind.

Admittedly, the two children of Corey and Paul Schaffer (the main characters) are based loosely on my own children, Nicole and Christopher. It is so much easier to write what I can easily envision in my mind. And many of the challenges Taylor (the accident victim) faces were actually those my own daughter experienced. But that’s where truth and fiction part ways. So, Illusions started with inspiration, but God took it to whole new level. It’s one of the ways He uses the challenges I’ve faced in life to connect with readers and hopefully give them His inspiration and encouragement.

 

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, May 13

Godly Book Reviews, May 13

Through the Fire Blogs, May 14

Genesis 5020, May 14

Emily Yager, May 15

Texas Book-aholic, May 16

deb’s Book Review, May 17

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 18

Inklings and notions, May 19

reviewingbooksplusmore, May 19

For Him and My Family, May 20

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, May 21

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, May 22

Older & Smarter?, May 23

CarpeDiem, May 23

Moments, May 24

Locks, Hooks and Books, May 25

Pause for Tales, May 26

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Jennifer is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card & 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/f9fc/illusions-celebration-tour-giveaway