Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews

Review and Giveaway for BABEL

About the Book

Book: Babel

Author: Brennan S. McPherson

Genre: Biblical fiction

Release Date: July 29, 2019

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A sweeping, epic retelling of the story of the Tower of Babel. . . 

More than a century after the worldwide flood, Noah, now the forefather of the living world, works peacefully in his vineyard until tragedy tears apart his relationship with his son, Ham.

Years later, dark prophetic dreams inextricably link him with a young man carrying scars from a painful past, and a young woman who longs for acceptance yet harbor secrets darker than either of them imagine.

Will Noah face the role he played in the slow unraveling of his family? Or will everything collapse when they meet the evil attempting to swallow the world at. . . the Tower of Babel?

Read today to experience biblical fiction that helps you think biblically and feel deeply.

 

Click here to get your copy!

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Babel is an intense story that tells the story of Noah from the death of his wife to the building of the Tower of Babel.  Although it is told from various people’s perspectives, it flows together seamlessly.  It pulls the reader into the story and requires you read to the conclusion.

Although this is fiction, the story contains Biblical people and places brought together with fictional ideas.  The story illustrates the destruction of Ham’s relationship with his father Noah and the resulting path each takes. Truly this book will capture your spirit and your imagination.

Noah, Aran, and Zillah all have missions they wish to complete and dangers to overcome.  Ultimately God the Almighty will triumph.

So if you like to read Christian fiction that will cause you to think, check out this book for yourself.

About the Author

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BRENNAN S. MCPHERSON writes epic, imaginative biblical fiction with heart-pounding plots and lyrical prose, for readers who like to think biblically and feel deeply. He lives with his wife and young daughter in the Midwest, and spends as much of his spare time with them as possible. Find out more about him at brennanmcpherson.com.

 

More from Brennan

10 Facts You Might Not Know About the Story of the Tower of Babel

When I first heard the story of the Tower of Babel as a kid, it was hard for me to take it seriously. A guy named Nimrod builds a tower that he thinks is going to reach to the heavens (what a nimrod) and God punishes him? That’s pretty humorous sounding.

But is that really the whole story?

Upon closer look, we see that’s not quite what happened! And neither is the story any laughing matter. So, let’s dive through 10 facts you might not know about the story of the Tower of Babel in the book of Genesis:

  1. The entire account of the Tower of Babel is in Genesis 11:1-9, but additional details and references are found from Genesis 9 through Genesis 11:26. There’s WAY too much here for just one point, so suffice it to say that to get a true understanding of the events in Genesis 11:1-9, you have to dig deep and cross-reference the surrounding Scripture text heavily. Because Genesis is written as what seems to be a poetic historical account, the events of the flood in Genesis 6-9 directly impact the events of the Tower of Babel. As do the troubles between Noah and his children, Shem, Ham, and Japheth. In addition, the text of Genesis 9 through Genesis 11 is not perfectly chronological. Noah’s death is talked about in Genesis 9, and yet Noah was alive during the events of the tower of Babel in Genesis 11. This is part of the reason why we have to read carefully, and cross-reference often, to make sense of the nuanced details in the story.
  1. The story of the Tower of Babel wouldn’t have happened without Noah getting drunk in Genesis 9. In Genesis 9:18-29, we are given a general overview of the breakdown of Noah’s family, and the end of Noah’s life. Noah plants a vineyard, gets drunk, then gets naked (a little strange), and his son Ham sees him naked and ridicules him to the family. Noah wakes up, hears what happened, and curses Ham’s lineage instead of directly cursing Ham, because as a prophet of God, Noah doesn’t presume to curse whom God has blessed (Genesis 9:1). This curse splits the family, and Noah’s failure to be a spiritual leader in his family is part of what allows the events of the tower of Babel to happen, because the Tower was most likely a religious structure made to aid in the worship of the celestial bodies (i.e. sun, stars, moon). If Noah had not allowed a schism in his family, he would have been more capable of speaking against occurrences of idolatry. Seeing this connection, along with the next point, was what gave rise to the plot for my full-length novelization of the story, BABEL: The Story of the Tower and the Rebellion of Man.
  1. Noah was alive during the events of the tower of Babel. In Genesis 9:28-29, we’re told that Noah lived 350 years after the flood, and died when he was 950 years old. If we flip ahead to Genesis 11:10, we find several VERY interesting clues that help us piece together a reasonably accurate timeline. Shem’s son Arpachshad (I don’t know how to pronounce that either) was born two years after the flood. If we assume that every descendant afterward is a father-son relationship (meaning that there’s no skipping generations—which we see in other genealogies in Scripture), we end up finding out that a man named Peleg was born 101 years after the flood. We’re also told Peleg lived 239 years, so he died 340 years after the flood (ten years before Noah died). We’re also told in the mirrored genealogy in Genesis 10 that the earth was “divided” in Peleg’s lifetime. We know that this doesn’t refer to a continental divide, or the flood, because the flood happened 101 years before Peleg was born, and a continental divide would have caused worldwide flooding again (which God promised to never do). The only other divide we’re told about in Scripture is the divide in languages and countries from the events at the Tower of Babel. Thus, we can pretty safely conclude that Noah was alive during the events of the tower of Babel.
  1. Abram could have been alive during the events of the tower of Babel, and was definitely alive during Noah’s lifetime. Following the timeline given in Genesis 11 (along with the assumption we already talked about in point 3 above), we see that Abram was born 292 years after the flood. This is 58 years before Noah died, and 48 years before Peleg died. It’s therefore reasonable to assume that Abram could have both known about (or been present at) the Tower of Babel event, and that he could have been directly discipled by Noah himself, learning about the beginning of the universe and the world’s greatest cataclysm from someone who had experienced the violent baptism of the world first-hand. In addition, Noah’s father, Lamech, could have known Seth (Adam’s son), and gotten a second-hand account of the garden of Eden. Not hard to see how an accurate oral tradition about the beginnings of the universe could have been passed down to Abram’s lineage and written in some form in his day (because they definitely had Semitic cuneiform writing back during the Tower of Babel days).
  1. The Tower of Babel story could have happened anywhere from 101 years after the flood, to 340 years after the flood. This is interesting for several reasons. The closer the events were to the timing of the flood, the more we question what in the world Noah was doing during the events of the Tower of Babel. Why wasn’t the prophet of God stopping the world from gathering in rebellion against God with blatant idolatry? This was the provocative “What-if” question that gave rise to my novel, BABEL: The Story of the Tower and the Rebellion of Man, which is (you guessed it) largely about Noah’s involvement (and failure) in the events at the Tower of Babel. But in addition to that, we can also see that the population size could have varied widely, from a thousand or so people, to tens of thousands of people.
  1. Just like the hundreds of flood myths in myriad cultures around the world, there are countless myths about the confusion of the world’s languages. Many of these language myths arose through oral tradition in areas that were untouched by the biblical text, which strongly indicates that there was a real event that spawned the disparate accounts. Some of the accounts include an Australian myth that attributes the language split to cannibalism, an African tale where madness struck people during a famine and they all spoke different languages and scattered, and a Polynesian tale that talks of a God who, in his fury, scattered the builders of a tower, broke its foundation, and made the builders speak in many different languages. Pretty crazy, right?
  1. It’s possible that Nimrod didn’t build Babel OR the Tower, though he was likely involved in the process. We’re told in Genesis 10:9 that Nimrod was primarily a hunter (a man of violence), and that the “beginning of his kingdom” was Babel, among other cities, before he went and built Nineveh, among others. If he built Babel, it likely would’ve said so there (though this is, of course, still up for debate). In addition, the actual account of the Tower of Babel in Genesis 11 cites that the people communally said to one another, “let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the heavens.” There was no one person who was commanding the building, but rather a group deciding in unison. Again, Nimrod could have been involved in this process. Or, he could have come to power afterward.
  1. The trinity was involved at the events of the Tower of Babel. Traditional interpretation of Genesis 11, and God’s words saying, “Let us go down and see the tower” that mankind had built, is that Jesus, God (Yahweh), and the Holy Spirit were present and involved in the event. This makes sense with our New Testament understanding of the trinity for several reasons. First, Jesus is the Word, and his relation to God’s spoken revelation is inseparable throughout Scripture. Second, the world was created through Jesus (John 1:3), so he and the Holy Spirit are shown as involved in everything God has done from the beginning (“Spirit hovered over the face of the waters”). We also know the Holy Spirit’s involvement in human speech is profound from the account at Pentecost in the Book of Acts, which seems to be a sort of divine symbolic reversal of the confusion of languages at the Tower of Babel. Furthermore, if God was speaking in the plural to beings unified with him and who needed to be involved at the Tower, he could only have been speaking to Jesus and the Holy Spirit. If God took a physical form in some way, traditional interpretation says that it would likely have been as a humanoid prefigurement of the Christ. Now we’re getting kindof “out there,” but this is important because we can see Christ and the Holy Spirit at work in this ancient, Old Testament story, along with links to their work in the New Testament church and the covenant we have with God under Christ’s sacrifice and resurrection. Because Noah was atypeof Adam. The world began anew with Noah through the baptism of the world. And we know that Christ is the last Adam, the undoing of Adam’s mistakes, and that his baptism is by the Spirit, not by water, which pointed ahead to the baptism we experience through Christ’s blood. Baptism came to represent the death of the old world because of the literal destruction of the old world through water at the almighty hand of God. In this way, we see powerful symbolic connections and importance layered into the Tower of Babel story, and the lives of those involved.
  1. The tower of Babel was likely finished when the languages were confused. In Genesis 11:5, it says God went down to see the city and the tower which the children of man “had built.” In addition, In Genesis 11:8, it claims God spread them out from there over the face of the earth, and that the people left off building the city (but not the tower, which implies the tower was already finished).
  1. For the last time, the Tower of Babel story is NOT about technological advancement. Baked bricks were no new technology. In fact, though modern sociologists who don’t hold the Bible to be trustworthy often say that iron-working didn’t exist until much later, the Bible claims that in the first couple generations of humanity’s existence (long before the flood), humanity was building cities, creating pipe and stringed instruments, forging bronze andiron, and cultivating livestock (Genesis 4:19-22). So, we know that brick-making and using mortar were no great technological advancements. Especially after reminding ourselves that Noah (who was still alive) built the world’s largest wooden boat, waterproofed it with pitch, and survived the greatest cataclysm to ever strike the earth. He had some advanced building skills and would not have been impressed by bricks. The point of the story of the Tower of Babel is to illustrate man’s pride (wanting to make a name for themselves separate from their identity as children of God – i.e. “children of man”), along with man’s tendency toward idolatry, and God’s unlimited power coupled with his mercy and gentleness. The confusion of languages was a brilliant, non-violent way of disrupting their prideful plans. All in all, however, this story is a fascinating view into human nature, family dynamics, mankind’s purpose and ambition, and God’s personhood. If you want a more detailed historical study on the Tower of Babel, check out Bodie Hodge’s book, Tower of Babel, which is a careful study of the historical details, and which is endorsed by Answers in Genesis.

Before working on the full-length novelization of the story of the Tower of Babel (BABEL: The Story of the Tower and the Rebellion of Mankind), I didn’t know any of this. This is part of the reason why I love writing biblical fiction. It drives me back to the text of the Bible in a way nothing else does. I hope reading it does the same for you! Blessings, and thanks for reading. And if you want to pick up a copy of the book, you can do so now on Amazon or Audible.

Blog Stops

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, January 4

Discipling4Life, January 4

Simple Harvest Reads, January 5 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, January 6

Literary Reflections Book Blog, January 6

For the Love of Literature, January 7

My Devotional Thoughts, January 7

Through the Fire Blogs, January 8

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, January 9

Betti Mace, January 10

Mamma Loves Books, January 10

Texas Book-aholic, January 11

janicesbookreviews, January 12

Novels Corner, January 12

Inklings and notions, January 13

Emily Yager, January 14

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 14

Aryn The Libraryan 📚, January 15

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, January 16

Pause for Tales, January 16

CarpeDiem, January 17

Hallie Reads, January 17

Giveaway

Babel Giveaway

To celebrate his tour, Brennan is giving away a McPherson Publishing Bundle, which includes paperback copies of Flood, Eden, the Psalm Series, and The Simple Gospel!!

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/f445/babel-celebration-tour-giveawayR

Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews, Uncategorized

Review and Giveaway for Priceless

About the Book

Book:  Priceless

Author: Vickie Burns

Genre: Devotional/Cookbook

Release Date: November, 2019

Front cover Priceless

Priceless: A Devotional Cookbook Based on Proverbs 31 is a Bible study and cookbook combined. The author, Vickie Burns, takes the reader verse by verse through Proverbs 31, showing them how precious and loved they are. At the end of each day’s study, meal suggestions and recipes are provided to fill their homes with tantalizing aromas and great food. Even young children can help with meal preparation so they learn that dinner doesn’t just magically appear on the table.

For women who’ve read Proverbs 31 and felt inadequate, like they could not possibly live up to God’s description of the perfect woman, Priceless reveals that they have more in common with her than they ever imagined.

“Today’s busy mom rarely finds time to steal a few moments of peace and quiet to spend with the Lord each day,” Vickie says. “On top of that, she most likely does not take the time to flip through endless sections of cookbooks to plan a unique evening meal. Priceless encourages women to view their tasks as God’s call to an abundant life, empowers them by providing a daily word from Proverbs 31, and eases their minds by providing a full menu for the evening meal each day.”

 

Click here to get your copy.

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As a wife and mother of four – three sons ages 23, 21, and 19 along with a daughter who is 19 who all live with us still, I am always on the lookout for books that will help me bring our family together.  This book includes devotions and recipes to strengthen your relationships with God and with your family.  The book does an excellent job or reminding us how priceless we are to God.  He created us in His own image.

All the devotions in this devotional cookbook correspond to Proverbs 31 – a chapter that challenges and inspires me.  In addition to the devotion, six questions are included to help you connect deeper with what you are reading.  Finally, a menu for an evening meal is provided.  The menus vary from ones to help you teach your children to cook to ones for date nights.  As a busy homeschooling military family, I loved the ones designed for busy families.

I connected with the devotionals in a meaningful way.  So if you are looking for a devotional that also provides meal ideas or not, you should check out this book. I definitely recommend it.

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

About the Author

Vickie Burns is passionate about showing women how to love and live the abundant life that Jesus Christ offers. Through Bible study, public speaking, and writing inspirational cookbooks, Vickie inspires women to love the Lord with all their hearts, minds, souls, and strength; to see and love themselves as Christ does—PRICELESS; and to love others through genuine hospitality. She lives in Texas with the love of her life, Todd Burns, and they have two daughters.

 

More from Vickie

This book, Priceless, is not my story but it was birthed from it. I was raised in a single-parent Christian home after my parents divorced. I watched my mom handle everything: cooking, cleaning, bills, homework, a full-time job, etc. I had no idea until I became a wife and mother all that she must have been through while raising three children on her own. I do know that she had a strong relationship with the Lord and that she had friends and family support.

Today, I look back at my childhood with renewed respect for my mom. My husband, Todd and I did our best to raise our two girls to honor the Lord while we went to school for our master’s degrees and tried to keep our household running smoothly. I had the help of a husband and was still overwhelmed while working as a teacher, trainer, coach and administrator in public education. On top of that I was still a wife, mother, friend, sister, chef, chauffer, nurse and more. Over the years, as I have gotten to know other women, I realize that I am not alone. We all long for ways to balance work and family, cooking and cleaning, physical busyness and spiritual warfare.

As my heart broke for the busy women in my life (to whom I totally relate) I longed to try and make life a little easier for all of us. I began to study God’s Word for answers. As I studied, I learned that God created us for relationship with Himself and with others. I learned that sharing our burdens with one another is His design. I found out that love should drive every word and action as we relate to others. I discovered that the crazy life that we are trying to balance is actually our ministry to our families and communities. I also realized that hospitality isn’t just something that was dreamed up by Martha Stewart. God ordained hospitality from the beginning when He created Adam and Eve in His image and placed them in the garden of Eden. God touches the heart of mankind with a piece of His own. There are examples of this throughout scripture. The biggest deposit of God’s heart within us is the gift of His Spirit. This gift is what makes genuine hospitality possible today. When we touch another person’s heart with a piece of our own, we are showing hospitality, sharing the love of Christ, and making connections that impact our world. This revelation was the birth of my ministry. I call it The Heart of Hospitality. Through my writing and speaking engagements, I share with women how to see the tasks and responsibilities of our daily lives as a calling from God. Beyond that, I help women understand that viewing their lives in this way is what Jesus meant when He said He came to give us “abundant life”.

My prayer for you, as you read this book is:

  • that you will be touched with a piece of God’s heart.
  • that hospitality will come to mean something new to you.
  • that each devotion in this book exposes your pricelessness in Christ.
  • that you will know beyond the shadow of any doubt that you are rare, unique and have significant meaning to your Creator.

May God richly bless you and your household.

 

Blog Stops

Vicky Sluiter, January 1

For Him and My Family, January 1

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 2

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, January 3

Jacquelyn Lynn, January 3

Older & Smarter?, January 4

Texas Book-aholic, January 5

Mary Hake,January 5

janicesbookreviews, January 6

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, January 7

Inspiration Clothesline, January 7

Inklings and notions, January 8

Blossoms and Blessings, January 9

For the Love of Books, January 9

She Lives to Read, January 10

Quiet Workings, January 11

Godly Book Reviews, January 11

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, January 12

A Rup Life, January 13

Emily Yager, January 13

KarenSueHadley, January 14

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Vickie is giving away the grand prize package of a copy of Priceless and a $50 Amazon 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/f425/priceless-celebration-tour-giveaway

Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews

Review and Giveaway for Focused Backstory

About the Book

Book:  Focused Backstory

Author: Carol Alwood

Genre: Non-fiction, writing resource

Release Date: June 26, 2019

Focused backstoryLearn how to write characters readers will love.
Has an industry professional told you not to dump character history at the beginning of your story? If so, you aren’t alone. But what’s the solution to this common advice? Most writers take the time to design interesting characters with troubled pasts. They long for readers to care about the characters’ lives. However, the sad truth is on page one, readers don’t care—yet. That’s why industry gurus tell writers to stop overusing character history, also called backstory, at the beginning of stories. Have you ever wondered… How to use backstory correctly? What are the ways other writers successfully incorporate backstory into their work? Do tools exist to help writers better plan stories so the backstory isn’t such a problem? In Focused Backstory: The Key to Writing Deep Character Journeys, you’ll find answers to these questions and more. You’ll learn how to avoid the dreaded info-dump and instead, harness curiosity so readers keep turning pages. This resource breaks down focused backstory into simple pieces to use flexibly in any story no matter what genre or length. Worksheets, tables, questionnaires, and templates will help you plan an engaging story with deep characters. Examples from popular stories will help you understand this method.
You’ll learn how to
• design a character around a troubled past.
• create additional characters around the main character.
• weave interesting sub-plots within a characters’ journey toward healing.
• design proper obstacles which interfere with characters’ goals.
• guide readers’ emotions so they have a satisfying reading experience.
No matter what kind of writer you are, if you take the time to analyze the use of backstory, it will enhance your style. Focused Backstory: The Key to Writing Deep Character Journeys is the missing gadget in your writing tool kit.
Click here to get your copy.
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If you have ever dreamed of writing a book, then this is a book you need to read.  Carol Alwood provides information, insights, examples, and exercises to help you develop characters and stories that will pull your readers into the world you are creating.
I feel this is a book anyone writing a book with people (real or imagined) can benefit from reading.  I feel you will benefit from having some way of recording your thoughts and completing the exercises as you read this book.
Personal experiences provide wisdom and examples to follow.  The worksheets allow the reader to connect with their characters in a way that does not create an “information dump”, but instead allows the character’s story to develop in a way that develops connection.
So if you are looking for a book to help with the backstory development for your book, you want to write or just want to learn more for your own information, check out this book for yourself.
I received a copy of this book for my fair and honest review.

About the Author

carol alwoodCarol Alwood has an unending passion for fiction, and she can’t think of a better way to spend her life than writing books for young adults and teaching about techniques she has learned along the way. With a Master of Education, experience as a content editor, and over a decade of establishing and working with critique groups, she is an excellent resource. An award-winning author, Carol finds joy in helping writers find the right tools to plan, draft and revise their novels so they can achieve excellence in storytelling.

More from Carol

Focused Backstory resulted from a personal quest to please industry critics who suggested I keep character history out of the first pages of my novels. My initial questions to this advice were: What? Why? I searched for resources to figure out how to write a more powerful beginning without relying on the past but found little help. On a mission to find answers, I studied popular books, television and movies to abstract what made stories work and — boom! I found it! We can break down backstory into simple pieces to use flexibly in any story without compromising artistry. This book provides definitions, examples, worksheets, templates, and comics to help writers study the art of using powerful character histories to keep readers turning pages. I’m so excited to offer this resource and hope it will empower your writing as it has mine.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, December 28

Holly Jo Morris, December 28

janicesbookreviews, December 29

CarpeDiem, December 29

Jacquelyn Lynn, December 29

For the Love of Literature, December 30

Mary Hake, December 30

Blogging With Carol, December 31

All-of-a-kind Mom, December 31

Genesis 5020, January 1

April Hayman, Author, January 1

Pause for Tales, January 1

Through the Fire Blogs, January 2

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, January 2

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, January 3

Emily Yager, January 3

Remembrancy, January 4

Stephanie’s Life of Determination, January 4

A Reader’s Brain, January 5

Spoken from the Heart, January 5

Sara Jane Jacobs, January 5

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, January 6

Godly Book Reviews, January 6

Blossoms and Blessings, January 7

With a Joyful Noise, January 7

Inklings and notions, January 8

Stories Where Hope and Quirky Meet, January 8

A Diva’s Heart, January 8

Artistic Nobody, January 9

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 9

Hebrews 12 Endurance, January 9

Texas Book-aholic, January 10

Stories By Gina, January 10

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Carol is giving away the 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/f384/focused-backstory-celebration-tour-giveaway

Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews

Promo Blast for Live Without You

LWY Kindle Cover

Author: Sarah Grace Grzy

Blurb: Piper Redding is a loner, but lonely. Everyone she loves has abandoned her and opening her heart to others is just asking for more pain. She can’t help but blame herself for her brother’s tragic death six years ago, and in her guilt, she shuts herself off from the world. No one could love her—not even the God who promised to be there for her but wasn’t.

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For paramedic Ezra Bryant, failure is not an option. He’s had enough of it, and only by God’s grace is he able to put it behind him. But when a traumatic event brings Piper’s greatest fear and Ezra’s failures to light, can they use that event to allow God to mend their broken pieces? Can love triumph over fear, and grace over guilt?

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Living Without You addresses the pain and loneliness that comes from feeling guilty over the death of a loved one.  I can not begin to imagine the pain and heartache that would come from that kind of loss.  Piper is strong yet she needs someone to walk alongside her.  At the same time, Ezra finds himself caught up looking after Piper, his best friend’s sister.

This book illustrates how even times of utter despair, someone can reach out to God for answers.  Even when we feel the farthest from God, we can still talk to Him and desire answers.  I expect a book set during the holiday season to be filled with lightness and happiness instead of death, nightmares, violence, and loneliness.  But this book pulled me into the story.

So check it out for yourself.

Autho Image - Sarah Grace Grzy

Author Bio: Sarah Grace Grzy is a voracious reader, and if it weren’t for this crazy thing called ‘Life,’ she’d be tempted to spend all her days in front of a wood stove, book in one hand, coffee mug in the other.

LWY Quote 2

A lover of learning, she finds enjoyment in many things and has more hobbies than she knows what to do with. Sarah Grace is a freelance web and graphic designer, and when not working, spending time with her ever-growing family, or reading, she can be found painting, playing the piano, or fangirling with her sisters and friends. Sarah Grace inhabits the State of Great Lakes, and wouldn’t want to live anywhere else–unless it meant she could have a baby penguin, in which case, she’d gladly move to the South Pole.

You can find Sarah Grace Grzy on Social media on Instagram, Twitter, Goodreads, Pinterest: @sarahgracegrzy

You can purchase a copy of this book here.

 

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Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews

Reviews and Giveaway for Mistletoe Melody and Mistletoe Mission

About the Books

Book:  Mistletoe Melody and Mistletoe Mission

Author: Stacey Weeks

Genre: Contemporary inspirational romance

Release Date: Book 1 (December 1, 2018) Book 2 (December 1, 2019)

MistletoeMelody_w12697_750Mistletoe Melody:

Former musician, Melody Staff, spends Christmas at a bed and breakfast in the village of Mistletoe Meadows. While everyone sings familiar carols of Christ drawing near, Melody stumbles over misplaced notes. Her recent diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis has scared off her fiancé and thrust her life into a grand pause. She’s not sure her heart will ever sing again.

Quentin Oxford has endured a devastating year. His preteen daughter suffered a stroke, and they’ve grieved his wife’s sudden death, but the Lord coaxes a surprising refrain from Quentin’s heart as God rewrites his and Melody’s score into a holiday love song that will last for Christmases to come.

Mistletoe Mission: MistletoeMission_w12873_750

While her own relationships always end up doomed, Emily Colt is still determined to create happily-ever-afters through her wedding and event planning business. In hopes of expanding her business, she enters her latest project–staging the Christmas wedding of the year–into a town-wide contest. But between crossing paths with the first man to break her heart and dodging a saboteur, she doubts even career success is within her grasp.

Jilted pastor, Luca Wilson, fled to the mission field to escape a broken heart. All the hurt rushes back when he returns home to officiate his cousin’s wedding, and he finds Emily, the girl to whom he once promised forever, organizing the celebration. Despite his lost faith in love, their unforeseen reunion rekindles a spark, and Luca vows to help her save her struggling business. But to succeed, they will have to learn what it means to trust each other and believe in the God of Christmas miracles.

 

Click here to purchase Mistletoe Melody and here to purchase Mistletoe Mission.

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Mistletoe Melody Review

Perhaps because our family’s lives are in flux right now as we wait for military orders to move us to our next and final duty location, I can relate to Melody’s story.  At the same time, I can not imagine the devastation Quentin must be feeling with the death of his wife and his daughter’s stroke. Stacey Weeks does a masterful job of pulling her readers into the story.

With a diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis, Melody can understand Janie, Quentin’s daughter, in a way no one else can.  This story touches the heart and soul.  It illustrates the power of having faith in God.

Mistletoe Mission Review:

Mistletoe Mission demonstrates the power of second chances and God’s love.  Emily and Lucas need to find the power of God’s love.  He’s been jilted.  She wants to create happily ever afters through her wedding planning business. Melody wants her to find the same happiness she found with Quentin in Mistletoe Melody.

These two books weave together to create an inspirational and heart-warming pair of stories.  So check them out for yourself.

I received a copy of these books for my fair and honest review.

 

 

About the Author

Stacey Weeks is the multi-award-winning author of Glorious Surrender (2016) and Chasing Holiness (2020), inspirational romances The Builder’s Reluctant Bride (2016), Mistletoe Melody(2018), Mistletoe Mission (Dec 2019) and inspirational romantic suspense novels In Too Deep (2017), and Fatal Homecoming (2019). Stacey lives in Ontario where she speaks at women’s conferences, teaches writing and bible study workshops, and writes about the things of the Lord. www.staceyweeks.com

 

More from Stacey

It is strange, sometimes, what inspires a story. At the time of writing Mistletoe Melody, the ten-year-old daughter of a good friend was on the recovery side of a massive stroke. This young girl inspired Janie, and she gave the character her contagious smile, a mischievous pre-teen sense of humor, and a fierce love for family. You don’t read all of Janie’s story in Mistletoe Melody, but perhaps you will in a later novella.

Melody was the result of my lovely twenty-something niece receiving a shocking diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis. She endured painful tests, had hopes raised and dashed, and was blessed when the Lord saw fit to work through a drug trial to ease her suffering. Watching her life, her plans, and the things she assumed were a given for her future get shaken to their core sent me to the Scriptures.

Not too long before drafting Mistletoe Mission (book two set in Mistletoe Meadows), my husband and I travelled to Haiti. As our driver transported us from the airport to the compound on which we stayed for the duration of our trip, he pointed in the general direction of the beach that receives cruise ships and tourists. He said that portion of Haiti is separated from the rest and is considered by some to be the most beautiful section of Haiti. I disagree.

To be fair, I didn’t visit the cleaned-up beach just around the other side of the mountain, but I saw something most tourists do not get to see. I met the people and visited several in their homes. I witnessed the determination and hard work that life requires from them. I observed a light in their eyes, fueled by a love for Jesus. There is nothing more beautiful than a person on fire for the Lord, a person who is ready to be a light in a dark land.

Luca’s character is loosely based on the Director of Missions and Compassion at Hope Bible Church in Oakville, Ontario. He arranged our trip – my first overseas mission trip – and it changed my life. I have huge respect for the work he is doing, and I am thrilled to see how God is blessing the work.

Another real-life connection that made its way into Mistletoe Mission is a business that inspired the fictional start-up I called One Village. Little by Little is a business for mission committed to empowering Haitian parents. Little by Little sells the Morse Code bracelet featured in Mistletoe Mission. I fell in love with the concept of this business, and it was my delight to write a fictional version into the story. You can visit Little by Little’s website and order a bracelet like the one featured in the book (or maybe you’ll win the one I am giving away on this tour!). http://www.littlebylittle.ca/store/p326/morse-code-bracelet.html

Be blessed this holiday as you seek the Lord who has done and is doing great things.

Stacey

 

Gift From Stacey

Here are a few fun coloring items from Stacey!

 

Get your copy of Under the Summer Mistletoe for free here. (For Canada, click here)

 

Mistletoe Melody Bookmark

 

Mistletoe Melody Poster

 

Mistletoe Melody Coloring Page

 

Mistletoe Mission Coloring page

Blog Stops

Just the Write Escape, December 20

My Devotional Thoughts, December 20

Blossoms and Blessings, December 21

Blogging With Carol , December 22

A Reader’s Brain, December 23

mypreciousbitsandmusings, December 23

Emily Yager, December 24

Adventures of a Travelers Wife, December 25

Deanne’s Book Thoughts, December 26

Genesis 5020, December 26

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, December 27

Remembrancy, December 28

Inklings and notions, December 28

Quiet Quilter, December 29

For the Love of Literature, December 29

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, December 30

Texas Book-aholic, December 31

janicesbookreviews, January 1

Reading Is My SuperPower, January 2

Batya’s Bits, January 2

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Stacey is giving away the grand prize of the winner’s choice of a Morse Code Bracelet!! (found here: http://www.littlebylittle.ca/store/p326/morse-code-bracelet.html)

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/f2eb/mistletoe-melody-and-mistletoe-mission-celebration-tour-giveaway

Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews

Review and Giveaway for Forget Me Now

Forget me now FB BannerAbout the Book

Book: Forget Me Now

Author: Alana Terry

Genre: Christian Mystery and Suspense

Release Date: July 19, 2019

Forget me NowShe’s forgotten everything … including who it is that wants her dead.

Mia’s trapped in a nightmare inside her own mind. After a brain injury leaves her unable to form new memories, all she knows is that entire months of her life are missing. Those closest to her are dead, and someone’s on their way back soon to finish the job.

Heart-gripping, page-turning Christian suspense from the author whose books are called “intense,” “life-changing,” and “impossible to put down,” Forget Me Now is a psychological thriller with enough twists to keep you reading … and guessing … late into the midnight hours.

Download your copy today for a fast-paced adrenaline rush you’ll never forget.

 

Click here for your copy.

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Alana Terry does a remarkable job of writing Christian Suspense novels that pull the reader into the stories.  I always find myself unwilling to put her books down until I have finished them, and this book is no exception.  I find it hard to imagine what it would be like to have to deal with a memory loss along with losing those nearest and dearest to me.

I love suspense novels that keep me guessing until the end about how the story will end.  This book provides the perfect level of suspense along with a message of faith.  I wanted to find out how Mia’s story would end.

One of my husband’s favorite verses is Romans 8:28 which states, And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”  This book does a fantastic job of illustrating that point.  Truly this is a book worth reading.  Mia is a character whose story is worth listening to, so check out this book for yourself.

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

About the Author

alana terryAlana is a pastor’s wife, homeschooling mom, self-diagnosed chicken lady, and Christian suspense author. Her novels have won awards from Women of Faith, Book Club Network, Grace Awards, Readers’ Favorite, and more. Alana’s passion for social justice, human rights, and religious freedom shines through her writing, and her books are known for raising tough questions without preaching. She and her family live in rural Alaska where the northern lights in the winter and midnight sun in the summer make hauling water, surviving the annual mosquito apocalypse, and cleaning goat stalls in negative forty degrees worth every second.

 

More from Alana

I love writing Christian fiction suspense. I have multiple series for sale and one of the things my readers have grown to appreciate is how many of their favorite characters show up in more than one series. Another aspect of my books that readers’ enjoy is the mystery, intrigue, and twists and turns involved as they reach the final page.

My new novel, Forget Me Now, has all the favorite elements mentioned above, but includes a new psychological thriller element that I hope readers will love as much as I loved bringing it to them. This novel asks the question, “What would you do if you woke up to find three months of your memory entirely gone? Who would you turn to for answers during that confusing time … and how would you react if you began to question the ones you turned to for the truth?

Read all about how Mia handles a predicament just like this (except even more dangerous) in Forget Me Now, complete with all the thrills and gripping suspense you’ve grown to love from Alana Terry novels as well as the reminder that God is always in control.

If you want, let me know your thoughts after you’ve had a chance to dive into this thriller that is truly unforgettable by emailing me at alana@alanaterry.com.

Blog Stops

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, December 27

Back Porch Reads, December 28

Rebecca Tews, December 28

Blogging With Carol, December 29

Mamma Loves Books, December 29

Betti Mace, December 30

Genesis 5020, December 30

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, December 31

For Him and My Family, January 1

Mypreciousbitsandmusings, January 1

Adventures of a Travelers Wife, January 2

Emily Yager, January 3

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 3

Inklings and notions, January 4

Quiet Quilter, January 5

For the Love of Literature, January 5

Texas Book-aholic, January 6

Tell Tale Book Reviews, January 6

Hebrews 12 Endurance, January 7

Bigreadersite, January 7

janicesbookreviews, January 8

Maureen’s Musings, January 9

Mary Hake, January 9

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Alana is giving away the grand prize of a $30 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/f380/forget-me-now-celebration-tour-giveaway

Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews

Review for The Dating Charade

The Dating Charade FB Banner

About the Book

Book:  The Dating Charade

Author: Melissa Ferguson

Genre: Contemporary Romantic Fiction, Romantic  Comedy

Release Date: December 3, 2019

The Dating Charade coverCassie Everson is an expert at escaping bad first dates. And, after years of meeting, greeting, and running from the men who try to woo her, Cassie is almost ready to retire her hopes for a husband—and children—altogether.

But fate has other plans, and Cassie’s online dating profile catches the eye of firefighter Jett Bentley. In Jett’s memory, Cassie Everson is the unreachable girl-of-legend from their high school days. Nervously, he messages her, setting off a chain of events that forces a reluctant Cassie back into the dating game.

No one is more surprised than Cassie when her first date with Jett is a knockout. But when they both go home and find three children dropped in their laps—each—they independently decide to do the right and mature thing: hide the kids from each other while sorting it all out. What could go wrong?

Melissa Ferguson’s hilarious and warmhearted debut reminds us that love can come in very small packages—and that sometimes our best-laid plans aren’t nearly as rewarding and fun as the surprises that come our way.

 

Click here to get your copy!

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As a debut novel for Melissa Ferguson, this book captures your imagination and your heart.  Dating is hard enough under the best of circumstances, but when you have to deal with a large number of bad first dates it adds to the problems.

Cassie works with girls and wants to find someone to love, but is having no success.  Jett has people trying to force him to find love as well.  Jett and Cassie went to school together but never really knew each other.  However, life has plans for the two of them.  But when both of them wind up having three children a piece dropped into their lives, hiding the truth from each other seems to be the only option.

Broken homes, broken hearts, and more occupy the pages of this book.  But love, hope, and chances for a better life also exist.  So check out this book for yourself.  I promise it is worth reading.

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

About the Author

Melissa FergusonMelissa Ferguson lives in Bristol, Tennessee, where she is an adjunct professor at King University and pens books that make her laugh and grow. She used to have hobbies like running and backpacking the Appalachian Trail outside her door. Now she and her husband are outnumbered, and her hobbies include diaper changes, chasing toddlers in parking lots, and admiring the Appalachian Trail out her minivan window while singing “Winnie the Pooh.” She survives by Jesus, rom coms, and roughly two espresso shots a day. The Dating Charade is her first novel.

 

Read an Excerpt

Read an excerpt of The Dating Charade here.

Blog Stops

A Baker’s Perspective, December 16

Genesis 5020, December 16

Kat’s Corner Books, December 17

Robin’s Nest, December 17

EmpowerMoms, December 17

Reflections From My Bookshelves, December 18

All-of-a-kind Mom, December 18

For Him and my Family, December 18

Carla Loves to Read, December 19

CarpeDiem, December 19

Cultivating Us, December 19

Quiet Quilter, December 20

Through the Fire Blogs, December 20

Christian Chick’s Thoughts, December 21

The Christian Fiction Girl, December 21

SusanLovesBooks, December 21

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, December 22

Texas Book-aholic, December 22

A Reader’s Brain, December 23

janicesbookreviews, December 23

Just Your Average reviews, December 23

Emily Yager, December 24

Vicky Sluiter, December 24

Hallie Reads, December 25

Remembrancy, December 25

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, December 26

Just the Write Escape, December 26

Simple Harvest Reads, December 26 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

Locks, Hooks and Books, December 27

Mypreciousbitsandmusings, December 27

Pause for Tales , December 27

As He Leads is Joy, December 28

A Rup Life, December 28

Batya’s Bits, December 29

With a Joyful Noise, December 29

Inklings and notions, December 29