Review and Giveaway for “Surrendered”

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About the Book

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  Book: Surrendered

Author: Jennifer Seines

Genre: Christian Fiction, Contemporary Women’s Fiction, Romance

Release Date: April 30, 2019

Her father’s will is clear; do what he demands, or lose everything, including guardianship of her younger sister. But there’s a force at work–an evil set on destroying her and her sister. If only she knew whether the enigmatic man helping them is friend–or deadly foe… After the reading of her father’s will, Tess O’Shay’s panic attacks return. In death, Sean O’Shay is attempting to accomplish what he couldn’t do in life—force Tess to finish her education, a dream she abandoned after being raped on campus. Unless she complies with her father’s wishes, she will lose all claim to the only home she’s ever known as well as to the family business. Worse, she’ll have to give up guardianship of her younger sister to Jake Holland, a secretive man fleeing from his past. Fine! She’ll show Jake and her father. She’ll muster whatever meager energy and strength she has, get her degree, and keep what matters most to her. No matter what. Then the man who assaulted her reappears, shattering what little strength she has left. Now she must dig deep to find the remnants of her mustard-seed faith…because that’s the only way she can face the past and right a wrong in order to secure the future.

Click here to purchase your copy.

MY THOUGHTS (1)

 

Surrendered is written from both Tess’ and Jake’s points of view. While there are times I do not mind that method of telling the story, this story was not one of those cases. It seemed like the transitions were jerky and awkward. The changes seemed too abrupt to flow nicely together. I found myself frequently having to look to see who the “I” was referring to in the paragraph. However, I still believe this book is one that is worth reading.  The basic storyline is one that made me want to keep reading if only to find out how the story turned out.

The plot of the story seemed to be one that should have been worth reading. Tess’ father dies and leaves everything and even her 16-year-old sister Katie to Jake, who is not even part of the family unless Tess goes back to college and completes her degree. Right away I could appreciate her father’s intentions, even if I really hated his method for reaching his goal. I also could appreciate Katie’s approval of her father’s method. After all, a year does not seem to be that much time in the life of a 16-year-old.

After dropping out of school to take care of her mother who was dying, Tess attempted to stay busy, so imagine her surprise when she speaks to a college career counselor and finds out she has almost enough credit to get a degree in English and work on her Teaching Credentials. She finds it difficult to believe that simply taking a course here and there to stay busy could have such results.

Jake owes something to Sean O’Shay, and Pastor Kent knows that Sea believed in Jake enough to leave him in the position of taking care of his daughters, his restaurant, his home, and ensuring his oldest daughter finished her teaching credential program. Now all Jake has to do is believe in himself.

So if you want to find out how the story ends, 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 degree in both psychology and education but discovered life-experience is the best teacher. She loves Jesus, writing and romance and puts it altogether in inspirational contemporary fiction. 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 the truth because I can create the characters anyway I like.

Tess O’Shay, the main character in Surrendered, came by way of accident. She was a minor character in my first novel (which will be the last published in the series) and my critique group loved her. They wanted to know if she would have more scenes. She did not. In fact, she was deleted with the rewrites. But I couldn’t get her out of my mind—it was like she’d become a real person and refused to be ignored. I loved writing Surrendered because Tess O’Shay and Jake Holland ran away with the story and it was everything I could do to keep up.

The first two novels I wrote were inspired by actual events—my brother’s suicide in the first and my daughter’s near-fatal car accident in the second. These are dark themes, yet I wanted to present them with humor and hope—both of which have gotten me through some tough circumstances. I strive to create characters my readers can connect with—three-dimensional and human—but also fall in love with. I think the best books are those that leave us wanting more.

Blog Stops

Genesis 5020, May 6

Blogging With Carol, May 7

Inspired by fiction, May 7

The Power of Words, May 8

All-of-a-kind Mom, May 9

Emily Yager, May 10

Retrospective Spines, May 11

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, May 12

For Him and My Family, May 13

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 14

Texas Book-aholic, May 15

janicesbookreviews, May 16

Maureen’s Musings, May 17

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, May 17

Inklings and notions, May 18

A Reader’s Brain, May 19

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Jennifer is giving away a grand prize of 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/e1c0/surrendered-celebration-tour-giveaway

Review and Giveaway for Shine the Light

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About the Book

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Shannon is out to save the world one caring act at a time. She’s stood by her best friend, Amber, through their whole lives especially when Amber lost her sight. She has an active outreach ministry to the homeless and disenfranchised. And she’s even let down her guard long enough to let a boyfriend, Justin, into her life.

Her life has settled into a pleasing routine of teaching, freelance photography work, quiet dinners with Justin, and taking Amber on treks to find new subjects for her visionary paintings. But when a man from her past shows up, her secure world crumbles into triggered PTSD episodes that threaten everything she relies on. Will she be able to overcome these old memories, or will her past crush any hopes she had for a future?

Click here to purchase your copy.

MY THOUGHTS (1)

As I began reading this book my heart began breaking for Shannon.  This book touches on a lot of hard issues including abuse, abandonment, homelessness and more.  Though the book is set in the present, because of PTSD, Amber constantly gets thrown back in time to some horrible situations. Amber is her one friend who has been with her through it all, but even she is not aware of everything that has happened to Shannon.  Justin is the man who wants to love Shannon if only she can let him into her heart to stay.  Daniel, her father who lost custody of her, shows up and brings back a tremendous amount of memories.  Daniel’s return coupled with Amber’s engagement and possible move cause Shannon’s PTSD to flare up.

I wanted Shannon to reconcile with her past, reconcile with her father Daniel, and make a future.  The characters were realistic and the storyline was believable.  The book was well=written, even though it was tough to read at some points.  I love how God is mentioned throughout the book.

So if you want to read a book that will make you think, make you potentially cry and make you think about God, check out this book for yourself.

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

About the Author

April MsGowen

April McGowan loves to read and write inspirational fiction. She and her husband, two children, and her ‘mews’ (three cats!), live in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. April is a member of Oregon Christian Writers, the Christian Author’s Network, and American Christian Fiction Writers. When she’s not writing, homeschooling her son, or playing board games, you might find her at her drum kit, imagining she’s on a world tour. Hey, it could happen.

More from April

Writing About Tough Subjects—with Hope

I began writing over twenty years ago. And technically I wrote long before that as well. But those pieces were ‘just for fun.’ However, as I look back on my short stories, blog posts, and now my published work, there’s a definite theme: overcoming. Overcoming childhood abuse, overcoming an abusive marriage, overcoming loss—physical and emotional. And those overcoming stories were not about overcoming through our own strength, which is so often flawed and lacking, but by relying on the One who can heal us from every wrong, every hurt, and every loss.

After my first novel, Jasmine, I asked my readers what they’d like me to focus on in my next books—what subjects were overlooked in fiction today? The overwhelming consensus was adoption, loss, and mental illness.

As a contemporary fiction author, I stay current on social issues, so that wasn’t a huge jump for me. My readers saw a gap, and I did, too.

Not that it’s wrong to simply read for entertainment—shoot, I do! But I’ve always loved gripping stories with people I could identify with who were overcoming obstacles I’d faced or watched a loved one face—stories that offer real hope in the face of tragedy.

So began my journey. In book one of this series, Hold the Light, I wrote about sight loss and adoption. I wrote about best friends who were solidly there for each other in the face of great hardship and pain. And in book two, Shine the Light, I’m doing the same—with a twist.

There’s a lack of representation and writing concerning mental illness and how it affects the sufferer and those around them. There is a stigma that is significantly changing, but it’s something we’re still hesitant to discuss. Myself and many I know are deeply touched by this issue, and I think we’re long past due letting those that suffer from mental illness and their families know that they are not alone. Or if they are, that they don’t have to be.

Book two, Shine the Light, is about Shannon’s life. Her love for the downtrodden, the lost, and the injured. Her passion for the underdog. How she became the stalwart friend she is to Amber in Hold the Light, the obstacles she’s overcome, and those she has to continue to grapple through with God’s help.

As with all of my books, I’ve vetted this story with people who have faced these situations and am very careful to respect their stories as well as staying true to my characters. I hope you’ll dive in and find Shannon to be a deep and real and identifiable character. I hope you’ll discover in her a friend.

I know you’ll grow to love her as I do.

The giveaway: Many of my books are set in Portland, Oregon, and as a celebration of that, I’m offering a giveaway celebrating two of my favorite things about the city: Powell’s books and super good coffee! Also cats…but I can’t give one of those away in a contest! Well…I could try, but I’d probably fall in love with it and never send it to you…so for now, books and coffee!

Blog Stops

Quiet Quilter, May 4

The Power of Words, May 4

Godly Book Reviews, May 5

Simple Harvest Reads, May 6 (Guest post from Mindy Houng)

Through the Fire Blogs, May 7

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, May 8

Real World Bible Study, May 9

Retrospective Spines, May 9

For Him and My Family, May 10

Mary Hake, May 10

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, May 11

janicesbookreviews, May 11

Pause for Tales, May 12

A Reader’s Brain, May 12

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, May 13

The Christian Fiction Girl, May 14

Carpe Diem, May 15

Inklings and notions, May 15

Inspired by Fiction, May 16

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 17

Texas Book-aholic, May 17

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, April is giving away a grand prize of a $20 Powell’s gift card, a Powell’s coffee mug, and Stumptown coffee!!

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/e21c/shine-the-light-celebration-tour-giveaway

 

 

Review and Giveaway for A Life of Creative Purpose

A Life of Creative Purpose FB Cover

About the Book

Book: A Life of Creative Purpose

Author: T.H. Myer

Genre: Christian non-fiction

Release Date: Revised edition released in December, 2018

What might be sabotaging your uniquely gifted contribution to the world around you?

Discover the obstacles and barriers standing between you and your God-given purpose. In this revised book, you’ll learn how to identify ways to strengthen your calling that’ll encourage you to confidently operate in the gifts and talents that God designed you to do. Through the lens of T.H. Meyer’s own journey, you’ll recognize the universal struggle in embracing your whole person as she encourages you to live a life without regrets.

For the individual reader looking to examine more deeply their life purpose or a group seeking to collectively spur each other toward their God-given gifts, talents, and life. This book can be used as a 12-week, 6-week, or 4-week study guide, with exploratory questions at the end of each chapter the assist you in listening to God’s voice and revealing your unique purpose, path, or direction.”

Endorsements

”A wonderful exploration, but not only for readers to look inwardly, but to also look around at others, at where our lives are at, and mostly upward toward God’s design and dreams for our lives. Love it!”– Cindy Coloma, best selling and award-winning author of over 15 books

”You’ll come away from this wise and insightful book with a clearer understanding of how you are uniquely gifted to contribute to the world, and why it’s imperative that you honor your creative calling.”– Michelle DeRusha, author of Katharina and Martin Luther: The Radical Marriage of a Runway

”TH Meyer looks at the glass ceiling the world has placed between ‘creatives’ and ‘non-creatives’ and shatters it. This those who have felt they are not creative, too timid, or simply too late to the life they were called to live, Meyer says, ‘Pish-posh.’ She delivers on her promise to help people embrace uniqueness, explore boldness, and encourage faith.”– Amy Young, author of Looming Transitions: Starting & Finishing Well in Cross-Cultural Service

”In her book, A Life Of Creative Purpose, Tammy Hendricksmeyer [TH Meyer] is a trusted mentor, offer ing us the tools we need to step completely into God’s design for us as individuals, and as members of His body. Her relatable stories coupled with scripture inspire and ignite a renewed passion for pursuing not only our own creative callings but even more, her words stoke the fire in our hearts for the Giver of these gifts.”

– Kris Camealy, author of Come, Lord Jesus: The Weight Of Waiting

”A Life of Creative Purpose is a fantastic resource filled with thoughtful questions, stories, and Scripture each designed to awaken us to God’s unique purposes for our lives. It is well-written, thoughtful, and engaging, an invitation to embrace our own eternally significant creative purpose.” – Cindee S. Re, author of Discovering Hope: Beginning the Journey Toward Hope in Chronic Illness

”In her book, A Life of Creative Purpose, TH Meyer masterfully blends personal stories with wisdom from Scripture to reveal the importance of creative purpose (even if you think you are not creative.) The thought-provoking questions at the end of each chapter will help you discover (or uncover) and embrace the unique way God has made you and inspire you to step into a life of purpose, meaning, and fulfillment.” – JoDitt Williams, author/artist of Delight in the Word of God: A Devotional Coloring Book/Journal for Adults

Click here to purchase your copy.

MY THOUGHTS (1)

A Life of Creative Purpose provides incredible insight into living a creative life.  The book is part memoir, part encouragement, and part inspiration.  T. H. Myer does an excellent job of combining personal experience, Scripture, and journaling to discover your calling and live the life God has called you lot live.

So if you are looking for a book to help you discover the path God has called to you follow, check out this book for yourself.

About the Author

Tammy Myer

T.H. Meyer enjoys sunsets, porch dates with her husband, and Sonic tea. Her family built a home on their Texas farm in 2011 where their two mini-Australian shepherds share the couch and ice cubes from the fridge. Tammy is a Purpose-Focused life coaching strategist who authored A Life of Creative Purpose and co-authored A God of All Seasons. She is a mother to three beautiful kids and grandmother to one. You can find her at her website: www.thmeyerauthor.com

More from T.H. Meyer

A Purposeful Life & the One Thing that Trumps Fear

Most of my life, I’ve been afraid of failure. However, I might’ve been even more afraid of success. For too many years, I was immobile because of the magnitude and pressures, or vulnerability, required to do what God had called me too, paralyzed me.

I’ve written a lot about this. I even originally named my blog, The Art of Fear Not. I decided on that title because God always told His people to not fear just before sending them into battle.

Armies Against Us

Even though His people were informed that they’d win the skirmishes, most times they were still afraid. I can’t say I blame them. They were up against sword-wielding armies that were willing to cut a man down and spill blood.

We may not have the same scenario, but we don’t need the threat of hand-to-hand combat to experience fear. Our own thoughts can attack us with feelings just as real a danger. I know mine did.

The enemy uses fear to hide us or blind us from our God-purpose. He’d prefer to lock us up and throw away the key. The enemy attempts to bully us. His demonic realm would prefer to rip out our vocal cords or cut off our hand from writing or burden us with every insecurity until we began to believe our worth was lower than the dirt itself rather than seeing us live our God-given purpose.

But bear in mind, when you’re in bondage, suppressed, oppressed, silenced, or held back, it also holds back blessings too—our blessings through your God-given contribution of gifts and talents.

Fighting Back

Several years ago, I decided to tackle my own issue with fear, head on. I looked in the mirror and met with God on my internal mess. And I also asked questions like, “Was it me or God who wanted to do a such-n-such thing? And if it’s God, why am I hamstrung with fear?”

After spending time in prayer, and laying down a good dose of self-preservation, a clear path emerged. I then decided I’d follow wherever it led. Not that the path was open and wide or easy for traveling. No, this was more of a narrow thicket where I couldn’t see ‘round the next corner—making the journey less about self-reliance and more about placing one steady foot in front of the other.

Don’t get me wrong. Fear didn’t entirely flee on this trek with God. There were times it tried to gore me like daggers from a thorny locust. But instead, I chose to trust and move forward anyway.

I fought back too.

A Warrior’s Call

During that time, anxiety would creep in only for me to replace it with intercession. I meditated on scripture. I bombarded my mind with worship music and reflected on His beautiful handiwork in creation.

I took opportunities to reverse fear into faithful action. I’m sure the devil didn’t take kindly that his demonic attacks turned into prayers, worship, and a yielding to the sword of the Spirit inside my heart. But that’s what fighting does—the good fight—positioning myself for a (God) purposeful life.

But oh how we also need to be each other’s champion for freedom too!

Power & Purpose

I continue to be amazed at the power of prayer. Prayer moves mountains, y’all. And sometimes those mountains are skyscrapers inside us. I’m not perfect at prayer or even at instantly returning to it, but when I finally do—why did I wait so long?

When we receive God’s wisdom, we become bold like lions, warriors ready to rise above insecurities, frailties, or fear and charging into battle in order to advance His kingdom.

I want to live in obedience to Christ, despite trepidation of what it might require of me.

Which also means, I need the Holy Spirit to help me get over myself.

Truth That Sets Free

We all need each of you. We need you to press into your God-purpose. Except, we don’t want to be something you’re not. You should be exactly what God’s called you to be and nothing more. No pressure to run off and save the world.

None of us in this Body of Christ are too small and Lord have mercy, none are too big and important either.

Instead, we pursue our God-purpose whether it’s raising our family or speaking on a stage. Or writing a book called, A Life of Creative Purpose.

And let’s not allow our muddied past to undervalue our worth inside God’s kingdom. I’ve done that. I once disqualified myself for many of God’s ministries because of condemnation and shame. Learn from my mistake.

Truth be told, the spirit of fear is afraid of you—afraid of the Spirit inside you, the same Spirit that sets you free.

Courage Rises to the Top

The enemy knows your God. The ruler of this world attempts to draw away your attention with clanging gongs, hoping you’ll never notice how big God really is.

Scripture says that God’s perfect love casts out fear. And that means, we have to first let God love on us, receiving it. Once we do that (& never stop), courage rises to the top.

Let’s make this a year where we pay attention and live with more intention.

God’s gifted you beautifully unique.

Don’t grow weary of the fight.

What might God be asking of you? How might He be challenging you to change or step out or persevere this year? What are your biggest struggles or hurdles right now?

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, April 18

Real World Bible Study, April 19

Mary Hake, April 19

Multifarious, April 20

Artistic Nobody, April 20 (Spotlight)

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, April 21

Godly Book Reviews, April 22

Just the Write Escape, April 23

A Diva’s Heart, April 24

Cathe Swanson, April 25

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 26

Texas Book-aholic, April 27

janicesbookreviews, April 28

A Reader’s Brain, April 29

Inklings and notionsApril 30

The Becca Files, May 1

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, T.H. Meyer is giving away a grand prize of a $100 Amazon gift card and a copy of A God of All Seasons!!

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

 

Blogging A to Z – “K” is for Kingdom

Here is the next installment in my Blogging A to Z challenge for 2019.  The letter for today is “K”, which is for Kingdom.  I want our children to work for God’s Kingdom and believe in the King of Kings.

Faith is important to both my husband and me.  We want our children to believe in God and do good works for God.  It is important to reflect our faith in our daily lives and the daily lives of our children.

So what does the letter “K” bring to mind for you?  I would love to hear from you.

If you would like to read the other posts in my Blogging A to Z series for 2019, click here.

Blogging A to Z – “J” is for Joy

#AtoZChallenge 2019 Tenth Anniversary blogging from A to Z challenge letter J

Here is my next installment for the 2019 Blogging A to Z challenge.  The letter for this entry is “J”, which is for Joy.  Homeschooling has brought a lot of joy to our family.  We have been able to study interesting topics, meet interesting people, and visit fun places.

2019 Blogging A to Z Challenge

Through the years, I have been able to find curriculum choices that have excited my children, which brought joy to me.  They enjoy having some say in what curriculum we use.

Also, homeschooling has allowed us to meet interesting people.  From homeschool groups, homeschool conventions, and various activities we have participated in, our children have met people to bring joy into their lives.

Finally, we have found joy in exploring interesting places.  Through the years, we have visited state parks, theme parks, homeschool conventions and more that have allowed us to see interesting things such as a Fire Station turned museum in Cincinnati.  We have visited a children’s museum in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.  Plus, we were able to go to Universal Studios Resorts.  Even though we never stepped foot inside the actual park, the pool at the hotel, the river rides, and the City Walk excursions filled our children with joy.

So what does the letter “J” bring to mind for you?  I would love to hear from you.

If you would like to read my other posts in this series, click here.

 

Review and Giveaway for Moriah’s Wings

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About the Book

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Book: Moriah’s Wings

Author: Iris Carignan

Genre: Christian Children’s Fiction

Release Date: March 26, 2019

She’s just a slave girl. What does she know? Desparity’s life couldn’t have been worse, she thought. However, when she’s captured and sold into slavery, Despairity discovers that things can get worse—much worse. However, her new mistress, Naaman’s wife, gives her a new name. Moriah Asha—a name that means “chosen of God” and “hope.” Moriah now can only pray that her new name will bring a little of that hope to her life. When Moriah discovers a hidden treasure in her doll’s pocket, she discovers a mystery that changes everything. With her faith in God to guide her and complete trust in His goodness, Moriah may be able to do more than be a living testimony to God… she may be able to save Naaman’s life! A fictionalized imagining of what the little servant girl in II Kings may have been like, Moriah’s Wings tells the story through word imagery and stunning illustrations. Discussion questions provided to enrich the reader’s faith.

 

Click here to purchase your copy.

MY THOUGHTS (1)

Moriah’s Wings, a Christian Children’s Book,  combines historical Biblical stories with fictional characters that weave together into a wonderful story. Iris Carignan does an amazing job of writing  this story in her debut book as well as doing the illustrations. Desparity is a young girl who captured and enslaved as her mother runs helplessly beside her trying to save her.  She is taken to a slave auction and is sold to a woman.  The woman is the wife of Naaman.  The only possession Moriah brings with her from her earlier life is a doll.

 

Desparity is renamed Moriah Asha – a name that means “Chosen of God” and “hope”  and truly she demonstrates she is chosen of God and provides hope to Naaman and his wife.  Moriah Asha is able to connect to Naaman’s wife and provide comfort in place of their daughter who had died several years earlier.  When Moriah hears Naaman possibly has contracted a disease with horrible consequences, she encourages Naaman to go and visit with Elisha.

This book contains Biblical facts, amazing imagery along with demonstrations of love even during an incident that could have terrible consequences.  The dramatic illustrations lend a beauty to this book.  The discussion questions at the end of the book provide an excellent opportunity to discuss matters of faith and belief in God.

So if you like reading Christian fiction that includes children, check out this book for yourself.

About the Author

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Iris Carignan’s passion for writing and art finds inspiration through faith and family. She is the author of “Fresh Eyes: Seeing God in the Unexpected,” a published poet, and has written several children’s books. “Moriah’s Wings” debuts Iris as both author and illustrator.

 

More from Iris

An Author Peers Deeper

As an author, I have learned that writing is a most revealing craft. Consuming a story may fill the reader with insights for their own life, but it may also peer into the heart of the author’s own soul.

If that sounds a little backwards, it probably is. But, for me, writing has always been an overflow of my own experiences, hopes, dreams, and soul-searching wounds. So, naturally, some or all of those may float to the surface of a fluid story. Perhaps that is why my latest book, Moriah’s Wings, reflects so much of my own seasoning.

Most surprising, though, is how my own words sometimes return full circle to me. Just recently, I was struggling with some new tasks and responsibilities that were not resolving. Frustration overflowed as all my best efforts continued to fail. Then I picked up my book, “Fresh Eyes: Seeing God in the Unexpected,” and began reading. There, shouting from the pages of my own hand, lay wisdom, inspiration and a reminder of God’s solution to my dilemma. The title of the story-“Keeping the Goal in Sight,” was about how we can reach our goals.

Using the powerful racehorse, Secretariat, in comparison to its jockey, it read:

“I considered how the rider must feel as he becomes one with the horse, experiencing its power, strength, and exhilarating force flow through his spirit…” “What a beautiful metaphor for all believers, equestrian or not, as we ride through life…” “When we become one with the Lord in purpose and goal, we harness His power, like a jockey whose horse takes him to the finish line. Whether we are at the pinnacle of a life changing moment or working our way through everyday stuff, only through His might and strength, will we run the race He has set before us.”

So there is was all laid-out before me, clear as day and speaking back into my own soul. The irony wasn’t lost on me as I began to think about a biography I’d written for “Moriah’s Wings.” Though it wasn’t my first, that particular one unearthed an epiphany. All the puzzle pieces came together as an amazing trifecta. I suddenly realized that it was at the age of nine that three key factors had a profound effect on my life. At nine, I took my first painting lesson, wrote my first book and I came to faith in Christ. All three became my fountainhead as an author, artist and woman of faith.

In many ways, the story in “Moriah’s Wings” is a tapestry of these same experiences. Its inspiration struck as I read II Kings 5 about Naaman and a young girl who was captured and sold into slavery. When I came to the part where she suggests that Naaman go to Elisha for healing, the story began to develop. I visualized what the girl must have felt and experienced. I saw how she served a godly purpose and pictured Naaman’s wife giving her a new and hopeful name. Then, using mental clippings from my own childhood, the story completed its course and message.

So, just as that first book I wrote as a nine year old was based on a true story, “Moriah’s Wings,” has its foundation in a Bible story. Uniquely, though, it brings together truth and fiction creatively illustrating its message.

Blog Stops

Through the Lens of Scripture, April 8

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, April 9

Carpe Diem, April 10

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, April 11

Retrospective Spines, April 12

Mary Hake, April 12

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, April 13

Rev. Rebecca Writes: Read, Write, Pray, April 14

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 15

Aryn The Libraryan, April 16

Lots of Helpers, April 17

Texas Book-aholic, April 18

janicesbookreviews, April 19

Inklings and notions, April 20

A Reader’s Brain, April 21

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Iris is giving away a $50 Amazon gift card!!

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

 

Blogging A to Z – “F” is for Faith, Friends, and Fun

#AtoZChallenge 2019 Tenth Anniversary blogging from A to Z challenge letter

Today is day 6 of the Blogging A to Z challenge – so the letter of the day is “F”.  “F’ is for Faith, Family, Friends, and Fun.  Faith plays a major role in our family’s lives.  Before our children were even born, they were prayed for, and after they were born, we dedicated them to God.  We have been blessed through the years to have faithful family members and friends who have walked along beside us.  Even with moving around thanks to the Army Reserves we have been able to stay in touch with our family and friends thanks to email, the Internet and Facebook.

Facebook and the Internet have also provided an amazing community of like-minded believers for me no matter where we move.  We have made incredible friends through our years in the military.  Even though miles may separate us, the memories and friendships are some that will last a lifetime.

Our family loves to have fun.  We enjoy going to places like Busch Gardens in Williamsburg as well as spending time with family and friends.

So what does the letter “F” bring to mind for you?  I would love to hear from you.

If you would like to read all my posts in this series, click here.

“D” is for Daughter, Drawing, Decisions, and Determination

#AtoZChallenge 2019 Tenth Anniversary blogging from A to Z challenge letter D

Welcome to day 4 of my Blogging A to Z series.  Today’s letter is “D”, which stands for daughter, drawing, decisions, and determination.  Early in this series, I talked about our three boisterous boys, so today I feel it is only proper to give some time to our only daughter.  She has been a blessing since the day she was born.  And all the other words I am going to talk about today will relate to her in some way.

Our daughter adores drawing.  She has managed to learn a lot just by using books, watching videos online, and observing things around her.  Her artwork never ceases to amaze me.  Check out some of her artwork:

These represent a variety of art styles, art techniques and mediums (including computerized drawing), but show how much our daughter has done.

Once she makes a decision on what she wants to draw, she works hard to achieve it.  And thanks to her father and other extended family members, she has acquired some pretty interesting tools to use including a posable hand.

She also shows a great deal of determination in completing any art projects she starts, regardless of how long it takes her to do so.

So that is my post for the letter “D” today.  What comes to your mind when you see the letter “D”?   If you would like to read all my posts in this series, click here.

Blogging A to Z – “C” is for Charity, Church, Children, and Calm

C

This is my third post in my 2019 Blogging A to Z series, which means the letter for today is “C”.  “C” is for Charity, Church, Children, and Calm.  But I may change the order I discuss these.

First, we have four children living in our house (or at least they are still my children in my mind since I am their mother).  Our three sons are 22, 20, and 18, and we have a 16-year-old daughter.  So needless to say our home is anything but calm at times.  They fill our home with laughter, love, and noise.  And I know I will miss the noise when they all move out.

Also, “C’ is for charity.  Our family loves to use the King James Version of the Bible, and 1 Corinthians 13 is one of my favorite passages.  Here is a graphic for the last verse of this chapter.

1 Corinthians 13_13 (KJV) 13 And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.

And in this final verse, we are reminded that the greatest of faith, hope, and charity is charity.  Of course, charity is the same thing as love. So we need to show love for those around us.

If you would like to read my other posts in this series, click here.

#BloggingAtoZChallenge – “C” is for Charlotte Mason and Classical Methods of Homeschooling

C

 

Today is my third post in my 2019 Blogging A to Z challenge, so today’s letter is “C” which will be for the Charlotte Mason and Classical Methods of Homeschooling.

Throughout the years, we have used a variety of homeschooling methods, including the Charlotte Mason of homeschooling.  Charlotte Mason believed students should be exposed to high quality living books rather than what she referred to as “twaddle”.  Students should spend time in nature, observing and learning from it.  Nature Studies, Dictation, and narration all play a crucial role in helping students retain what they are learning.  Rather than simply memorizing endless and often meaningless (or at least meaningless to the students), these living books help the subjects come alive for the students and keep their focus and attention.

One of my favorite curriculum choices from my children’s elementary school days was the Trail Guide to Learning Series from Geography Matters.  This selection allowed our two youngest children to work together and explore history from the perspective of literature, science, language arts, and art.  I loved how this curriculum was essentially an open and go curriculum since we purchased the entire package.  You can read more about this curriculum here.

Another favorite site offering Charlotte Mason materials is Simply Charlotte Mason.  This site offers everything about explanations about the Charlotte Mason method, curriculum choices, lesson plans, a lesson plan organizer and more.  So if you are interested in the Charlotte Mason method, check out Simply Charlotte Mason for yourself.

Another popular method of homeschooling is the Classical Homeschooling method.  Classical Education involved three stages:  The Grammar Stage, the Logic Stage, and the Rhetoric Stage.  In the first stage – the Grammar Stage, students concentrate on learning facts, memorizing things and gathering knowledge and information.  The second stage is the Logic Stage where students begin to apply logic to what they already know.  Finally, the Rhetoric Stage is when students apply the skills of wisdom and knowledge.

One popular resource for the Classical Method of Homeschooling is Trivium Pursuit.  You can find their site here on the Internet.  This site offers background information, books, free downloads and more to assist parents on their Classical Homeschooling journey.

An Internet search will provide a lot of helpful information regarding both the Charlotte Mason Method of Homeschooling and the Classical Method of Homeschooling.  So check them out for yourself.

If you would like to read my other posts in this series, click here.