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Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Book Review and Giveaway - The Queen of Steel and Fire Author: Steven South On Tour with Celebrate Lit

 


About the Book

Book: The Queen of Steel and Fire

Author: Steven South

Genre: Young Adult, Epic Fantasy

Release date: April 21, 2021


When her father is murdered, Princess Claire Erinn is thrust onto the throne of Keldaren.  Unprepared to rule, Claire has to act like a strong queen until she learns how to be one.  But an enemy queen and Claire’s half-mad brother don’t intend to let her live that long.  They’re coming for her crown—and her head.  With Death herself hunting her, Claire struggles to become the warrior her kingdom needs.  As war engulfs an entire world, only one queen can rule—through steel and fire.

 

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author


Steve lives in Minnesota with his wife.  When he’s not reading, working, or writing, he loves to travel…his goal is to make it to at least six continents in his lifetime. Just three more to go! Beside traveling, he also loves karaoke, although he’ll be the first to admit that he’s terrible at it.  You can contact him through his Facebook page:
www.facebook.com/queenofsteelandfireseries

 

More from Steven

This project began as a bit of a lark to see if I actually had it in me to write a book.  I first “finished” the book in 2006.  Then I discovered the meaning of the phrase “writing is re-writing”.  It took me over thirty attempts to get the beginning right.  Six complete re-writes of the book and 13 years later, it won the 2019 Minnesota Author Project award for young adult fiction.  Many query letters later, I found a publisher.  After several more revisions with Mel Hughes—the excellent editor that I was very fortunate to work with—Elk Lake Publishing released the book this year.

 

When I first started writing this book, there weren’t a lot of Fantasy novels with female main characters.  I felt it was a really under-represented area within the genre, and I wanted to write a book that imagined what a world with more strong female characters—and especially a strong female protagonist—might look like.  I also wanted to write a book that explored the struggle with reconciling faith and reason, and how to be good in a world of moral relativism.

 

I was raised in a strong Catholic household, but I drifted away from faith in my late teens.  In my mid-twenties, I decided that I was being intellectually dishonest with myself, having one foot in religion, and one foot in a kind of lukewarm agnosticism.  I took some time to “wander in the desert” and really wrestle with religion and my beliefs, did a lot of studying of different religions and Christian denominations, and as a result of that, found myself really strongly drawn back to the Church.

 

There’s a saying that all first novels are autobiographies.  I guess that’s somewhat true for this novel too.  Claire has to struggle to answer the fundamental question about faith that all honest skeptics have to confront at some point in their lives—what if could be true?  The Queen of Steel and Fire was born of my journey through that question, and the answer I found.

My Thoughts

The Queen of Steel and Fire is a Young Adult Fantasy story that is written by Steven South. This is not my typical genre to go to - but I found myself fascinated with the castles, kings, queens, and dragons. I read this book with my 10 year old son - who enjoyed the story. 

Claire is a young Queen. She becomes Queen after her father's death. She knows now that she is a target and that there are those that want to see her fall. While she is young, she really thinks decisions and choices through. I thought this was a good lesson to the audience to really think about decisions. The author really shows what it is like to be inside Claire's head - and while she is thinking things through. Another thing I really liked Claire is that she didn't care what she looked like. She was comfortable in her own skin. I thought that was another important takeaway from the book - especially since this is geared toward young adults who may need to hear that message. 

The dragons in this story are not like in other stories. They know they  need to protect Claire. That was a unique perspective. All of the characters in this story are well written - the story flows so well throughout the pages. 

Well written, action packed and unique - I hope to read more from this author in the future. 

I received a copy of this book through the Celebrate Lit Blogging Program - all thoughts are my own. 


Blog Stops

Locks, Hooks and Books, October 21

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 22

Inklings and notions, October 23

Nancy E Wood, October 24

Texas Book-aholic, October 25

Libary Lady’s Kid Lit, October 26

For Him and My Family, October 26

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, October 27

deb’s Book Review, October 28

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, October 29

Rebecca Tews, October 30

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, October 30

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, October 31

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, November 1

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 2

Blogging With Carol, November 3

Giveaway

To celebrate his tour, Steven is giving away the grand prize of a $50 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/126b1/the-queen-of-steel-and-fire-celebration-tour-giveaway

Monday, October 25, 2021

Book Review - I Grew with You By: Sarah Molitor

 Instagram Sensation Illuminates the Unifying Experience of Pregnancy

in Heartfelt New Picture Book

 

(GASTONIA, N.C.) May 2021 – Good & True is pleased to announce the October release of I Grew With You, the first picture book from blogger and Instagram sensation Sarah Molitor, the creative force behind @modernfarmhousefamily. Inspired by her own six pregnancies, I Grew With You vividly illustrates the beauty of childbearing and the miracle of life.

 

A mother of six boys, Molitor shares the daily ups and downs of family life with her more than 244,000 Instagram followers. Her role as wife and mother has shaped her more than any other title she has, inspiring her to write I Grew With You (October 2021; ISBN 9781737079620) by mining from her own experience of bringing six children into the world.

 

As the story progresses month by month, I Grew With You spotlights every heartfelt and funny moment throughout pregnancy, from conception to bringing baby home. Rich in diversity, it showcases women of all ethnicities, shapes and sizes as they share in the unifying experience that is pregnancy.

 

“It's an honor to work with Sarah, who has such an important message to share with children and parents,” says Brian Gallagher, Publisher, Good & True. “There are no other books I can think of that tell the journey of pregnancy in its entirety and tie it to motherhood in such an endearing way. I’m thrilled that she’s chosen Good & True to partner with her on this project.”

 

Children will be able to read about the sweet moments, exciting moments, funny moments and take-your-breath-away moments that their own mothers felt while bringing them into the world, leaving both mother and child with a deepened sense of love and bonding.

 

“My desire for I Grew With You is for parents and kids alike to be moved by the fact that all women experience and show pregnancy differently, yet still go through the same life-changing process to bring children into the world,” says Molitor. “As they read this book together, I hope it’s a way for kids to begin to understand the beauty of pregnancy and the bond that develops between a mother and her child.”

  

Publication Date: October 26, 2021

Author/Illustrator: Sarah Molitor/ Anastasia Sivura

Imprint: Good & True Media

ISBN: 9781737079620

Price: $12.95

Format: Hardcover

Page Count: 24

Ages: 0-3

 

About Sarah Molitor




Sarah is most notably known as “mommy” to her six boys. Her role as wife and mother has shaped her more than any other title she has acquired. Along with raising her children, she also homeschools them full time. Prior to starting a family, Sarah earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Linfield University. As a registered nurse her passion was and still is helping others. Although no longer working as a nurse, Sarah has translated that passion into a different avenue – social media. She is the creative force behind @modernfarmhousefamily where she encourages, challenges and inspires her community of over 218K followers on a daily basis. For fun, Sarah considers herself a candy connoisseur, self-taught photographer, very amateur baker and if given spare time, usually chooses to read children’s books to her kids while keeping them entertained with her voice impressions. Sarah lives with her husband Tim and their growing family in Washington. I Grew With You is her first book.

 

About Anastasia Sivura

Anastasia is an illustrator who creates wonderful illustrations where fascinating stories are intertwined with lightness and innocence. The artist works with different materials because she thinks that developing one's skills and trying something new is absolutely important. Besides making beautiful illustrations she is a firm believer in interesting stories and ideas. Anastasia has a lot of projects which she would love to realize. She is based in California and married with two daughters. She has a dog as well. Nature and the ocean are her main sources of inspiration.

 

About Good & True Media

Good & True Media is the children’s book imprint of Good Will Publishers, Inc. Good & True publishes a boutique list of books, all of which are told upon a Christian foundation and aim to inspire children's imaginations through works that promote classical virtues and wholesome examples of the moral life. For more information, visit www.goodandtruemedia.com.



More from the Author




What inspired you to write a book for children about the experience of pregnancy and childbirth?




The day I found out I was pregnant was also the day I had a meeting with the publisher to pitch ideas for my very first children’s book. I remember thinking to myself, “How cool would it be to write a book for children and mothers about the journey of pregnancy and how a baby grows?” And instantly the words I Grew With You came to mind. So it was truly inspired by finding out I was pregnant with our sixth child.




I also knew I wanted it to be a sweet story that a mother could read to her child that would be endearing to both of them. I know my boys are so excited to watch my tummy grow and this book was a way to let them in on all the ways a mommy and baby inside her grows as they anticipate the birth of the child.




Why did you decide to show the entire journey from conception to birth, instead of focusing on one aspect?




It’s so important to me that I acknowledge that life begins at conception. From the very beginning, your child was created specifically for you. And as each mother finds out that she is pregnant, the anticipation builds from those early moments no matter how long you carry your child. I believe the whole process of pregnancy all the way to delivery is important for seeing the miracle of life versus just focusing on one specific moment.




I also believe it brings out the joy (and often humor) from the moments and changes that each month brings throughout pregnancy. People love to see something from start to finish and I Grew With You allows for that!




The book also highlights a diverse group of women. Why was that an important focus for you as well?




As I was imagining this book, I was also imagining all the different mothers that could be touched by reading it to their little ones. Or just having it as their own keepsake. And I’m keenly aware that no two mothers are alike whether in look or personality or how they carry their child (and so much more). So diversity in the book was a very important thing for me to highlight. I want children to know how each mother is beautifully different during pregnancy. And I also want them to turn the page and suddenly say “hey, that mommy looks like you!” which allows for a depth of connection to the book and the story. In this book you will see nine different mothers which speaks to the diversity of motherhood and all women!




As mothers read this book to their children, how do you think it will encourage them?




I’m imagining the moments when mother’s first read this to their children and how special it will be. I believe it will encourage the mother in how incredible she is for the pregnancy(s) she has experienced and all the highs and not so highs she may have experienced. I believe she will feel more empowered and proud of being a part of the miracle of bringing life into the world. And I also believe it will create a unique bond between the mother and her child(ren) because they will get a glimpse into what mommy (and daddy) went through to bring them into the world. Overall I Grew With You gives a unique, special, humorous and beautiful view into the beginning of motherhood and this ultimately fosters a deeper connection between mother and child.




How could this book change someone’s opinion about pregnancy and childbirth?




First of all, I believe it will show the beauty of how life begins at conception and how much that child, from the very beginning, means to a mother. The excitement, the anticipation, the sharing in the news- all of it. But I also believe it will challenge people in their views of pregnancy and childbirth. If you have given birth, you know all the aches and pains and stretching and growing that happens. It’s not all glowing skin and easy peasy. This book gives a simple and sweet look into how the process of pregnancy changes the mother physically and emotionally just as much as the baby inside her grows and develops as well.




What advice do you have for parents as they start having discussions with their children about pregnancy, childbirth, starting a family, etc.?




I love having age-appropriate conversations about these topics with my children as well as an open line of communication that they can ask us whatever questions they will have and we will always give them an honest answer. My advice would be to always communicate in whatever way feels most comfortable for your family and allow children to be involved in knowing the process and how they are a unique part of that too.




This answer may look different at different stages but it’s so important that we include them in the process. When they are included, it allows them to feel a part of everything that is going on whether that’s announcing the pregnancy to family and friends or learning how the baby grows inside the mother each month and all the new developments that happen. And this gives children their own special bond with mommy and the new baby to be. The more children are involved, the more involved they want to be which is exciting for them and ultimately builds up the family unit in the best way.




Your publisher, Good & True, produces very family-friendly, faith-based content for children. Why was it important to you to partner with a publisher like that?




It is so important to me that we build a foundation for our children that’s filled with value! Value for the children and value for the parents as well. I always want to know that whatever I’m hearing, watching, seeing or reading is safe for the whole family and never brings up unexpected discomfort.




Good and True is committed to these same values and I wanted my book to align with a publisher who would prioritize this. I’m so thankful they do and it’s been evident through the whole process. Consumers will always know that content coming from Good and True is content they can trust for their families, their homes and whoever they share it with.




Ultimately, what do you hope parents and children take away from I Grew With You?




My ultimate hope is that families will read I Grew With You and walk away feeling a greater sense of family and love for each other. Also that parents and specifically mothers will feel a greater sense of pride in their families and the beauty of who each of them uniquely are. I hope this book will touch mothers of all ages and stages in a powerful way allowing them to remember the journey of pregnancy and all that they accomplished to have the family they do now. And that everyone would value the beauty and frailty of life and how much power and love one life can hold within them.




What other projects are you working on?




There are a couple things I am working on actually. First off, I am working on a second children’s book with Good and True. YAY! This one will be vastly different from I Grew With You. It will be a very playful, bright and colorful book filled with animals! And will talk about how important each person is to the world and how important it is to share our joy with others. I know it will be such a fun book for parents and children alike.




I am also working on a potential proposal for my first adult book. It’s still in the rough stages but my hope is that it will be an encouragement to women everywhere. I’m excited for both of these projects and looking forward to seeing them come to fruition.




Where can readers purchase a copy of I Grew With You?




Pre-orders are set to launch on Wednesday, July 14 (which we are VERY excited about). I Grew With You will be available to pre-order at goodandtruemedia.com, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Christianbook.com and anywhere books are sold. I Grew With You is set to officially release on October 26.



My Thoughts


I Grew with You is a children's picture book that is written by Sarah Molitor. It is illustrated by Anastasia Sivura. This book is geared toward children ages 0-5. I read this book with my two boys, Colton (10) and Wyatt (8). We all enjoyed it very much.


The book starts out documenting the positive pregnancy test. It goes through the pregnancy and how Mommy grows along with baby. My children had plenty of questions of their own pregnancies - so it opened up good conversation. The author wrote this book in such a way that children can understand pregnancy - and how babies grow inside their mom's tummy. This is a loving poem, written for children to understand that journey that mom's take during pregnancy.


The pictures are so adorable! They are colorful and fit right along with the words. I am a fellow boy mom (I only have two boys) - so I felt connected to this author immediately. This is a great book for families that are expecting - especially if this is the first time a child will experience having a sibling.


I received a copy of this book through the author and publisher - all thoughts are my own.




Book Review and Giveaway - The Well Author: Cathy Primer Krafve On Tour with Celebrate Lit

 


About the Book

Book:  The Well

Author: Cathy Primer Krafve

Genre: Nonfiction


The Well: The Art of Drawing Out Authentic Conversation

Does your spouse refuse to hear? Do your children stare without comprehending? Does your parent or boss habitually raise objections to your good ideas? 

Oh, the frustration! Conversations often break down instead of breaking through.

She changed from a woman alone to a woman of influence. Her faith transformed a whole community. How did she do it? In The Well, Cathy Krafve points out 40 strategies Jesus used to prompt authentic conversation—by analyzing just one conversation with the woman at the well.

These strategies will help you:

  • Initiate simple communication principles to transform all your conversations. Go from magical thinking to miraculous results in a matter of a few biblical truths.
  • Invigorate your closest relationships with terrific communication. Watch the ripple effect as your conversations spread truth and joy throughout all your relationships.
  • Inspire others through authentic conversations. Enjoy the intimate companionship our hearts all crave.

Are you ready to foster tender, effective conversations with everyone around you? Don’t miss your chance to transform all your relationships!

 

Click here to get your copy!

 

About the Author


Queen of Fun and Coffee Cup Philosopher, Cathy Krafve delivers creativity and encouragement in every word. Cathyputs a snappy spin on deeply spiritual truths with journalistic fervor and a knack for story-telling.

Cathy and David, her husband of almost 40 years, live in East Texas, with their three grown children, two delightful sons-in-law and 8 grandchildren (so far) nearby. 

Author of The Well: The Art of Drawing Out Authentic Conversationsand Marriage Conversations: from coexisting to cherished, she also hosts Fireside Talk Radio. Her weekly podcasts and blogs reach millions annually. Join the Fireside Tribe today!

Truth with a Texas twang!

Sign-up for our weekly interviews with heroic people.

Follow us on FACEBOOK

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Find Camp Krafve on Pinterest.

Download FREE podcasts about the stuff women ponder in our hearts!

 

More from Cathy

From Isolated to Influence

 

“He’s not listening,” Cathy fumed, as the civic leader towered over her. She went home and “plopped open” her Bible.

 

There’s got to be something here about people who don’t listen. She found over 40 ways Jesus communicated.

 

Plus, she gained new respect for one of the most fascinating women in scripture. Jesus, the Master Communicator, engaged the woman at the well in just one conversation. She immediately zipped from lonely to leadership. We can, too!

 

Queen of Fun and Coffee Cup Philosopher, Cathy Krafve delivers creativity and encouragement on every page of The Well: The Art of Drawing Out Authentic Conversations.

 

Does your child stare back with dull eyes? A spouse who refuses to hear? A parent or boss who habitually raises objections? Oh, the frustration!

 

Conversations often break down instead of breaking through.

 

The Well is perfect for your book club, Bible Study, or Sunday school class. Each chapter ends with thought-provoking questions, personal applications, and prayer.

 

Cathy puts a snappy spin on deeply spiritual truths with journalistic fervor and a knack for laughter and story-telling. A self-described “social dork,” her kryptonite is a bag of potato chips. Yep, a whole bag. Don’t judge!

 

Host of Fireside Talk Radio, her weekly blogs and podcasts reach over 3 million people annually.  She is also author of Marriage Conversations: From Co-existing to Cherished.

 

How do we go from isolated to influence? She understands good communication tools can change everything! Companionship begins with authentic conversations. Order two copies today; one for yourself and one to give to a friend!

 

Truth with a Texas twang spoken here!

My Thoughts

 The Well is written by  Cathy Primer Krafve. This is the first time I have read anything by this author. We live in a world where everyone thinks that their opinion is the only one that matters. I know that I am quick to say things that pop in my head and not think of the hurt, damage or the results of saying those things. 

The author uses the story of Jesus and the Samaritan woman at the well to unpack what an authentic conversation should look like. We know the story where Jesus asks for a drink. The woman points out - You are a Jew, and I a Samaritan - we don't associate with each other. How many times do we choose not to converse with others that are different? Or those that have hurt us or said hurtful things. 

The author takes her personal experience and uses Bible Verses to unpack her points. There was a few times where I felt she was rushing through her key points - and a few times where I was not sure what the message was supposed to be. This book is divided into twelve chapters. The chapters are a nice blend of personal account and Biblical Truth. The author you can tell writes from her heart. 

This would make a good women's study - or even one for couples. I know it encouraged me to listen to my husband one on one instead of doing 500 things while listening. 

I received  a copy of this book through the Celebrate Lit Blogging Program - all thoughts are my own. 

Blog Stops

Inklings and notions, October 16

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 17

Texas Book-aholic, October 18

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, October 19

Locks, Hooks and Books, October 20

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, October 21

The Sacred Line, October 21

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, October 22

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, October 23

deb’s Book Review, October 24

For Him and My Family, October 25

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, October 26

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, October 27

Artistic Nobody, October 28 (Author Interview)

Mary Hake, October 28

Spoken from the Heart, October 29

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Cathy is giving away the grand prize package of a $100 Amazon gift card and a copy of both The Well and Marriage Conversations!!

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/1229d/the-well-celebration-tour-giveaway

Sunday, October 24, 2021

Book Review and Giveaway- Personal Threat Author: Kimberly Rose Johnson On Tour with Celebrate Lit

 

About the Book

Book: Personal Threat

Author: Kimberly Rose Johnson

Genre: Romantic Suspense, Christmas

Release date: September 21, 2021

AMZ KIMBERLY ROSE JOHNSON PERSONAL THREAT CoverBodyguard Sally Wilson has become the target. Can she save her own life as well as her daughter’s?

Christmas is supposed to be the happiest time of the year, but when Sally’s young daughter, Emma, becomes the target of child traffickers, and the little girl’s biological father wants Sally dead, the Christmas season takes a dark turn.

Police officer, Dillon Brady, responds to a call for help at the home of his friend and Protection Inc. bodyguard, Sally Wilson. When their relationship tips beyond friendship, Dillon is determined no one will hurt Sally or her daughter again. Will his resolve be enough?

Sally is drawn to Dillon. He’s a natural with Emma and appears to care about both of them. Sally’s been fooled before by a man she believed loved her, but what if it’s an act? Can Sally learn to trust again and follow her heart, or will Dillon get relegated to the friend zone?

 

Click here to get your copy!

 

About the Author

Cropped Publicity photo 2018Award winning author Kimberly Rose Johnson married her college sweetheart and lives in the Pacific Northwest. From a young child Kimberly has been an avid reader. That love of reading fostered a creative mind and led to her passion for writing. She especially loves romance and writes contemporary romance and romantic mystery and suspense with a heart.

Kimberly holds a degree in Behavioral Science from Northwest University in Kirkland, Washington, and is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers.

You can sign up for Kimberly’s newsletter via her website at: https://kimberlyrjohnson.com/

 

More from Kimberly

Every year since I signed the contract for my debut novel, a book set at Christmastime, I have made it a goal to write a Christmas book, usually a novella. This year, Personal Threat is that book.

 

I wrapped up the series with Personal Threat. My husband came up with the title for this one because the threat in this book is very personal for one of the Protection Inc. team members.

 

We first met Sally in book two of the series and it seemed only fitting she starred in a book of her own. We also get to know Dillon better in this book which for me was super fun to write. He’s played an important and growing role as the series has progressed and is one of my favorite characters in the series.


My Thoughts 



Personal Threat is written by Kimberly Rose Johnson. This is the final book in the Protection Inc. series. I have been fortunately read the series, but that can be read as stand alones. You will see glimpses of characters from previous series. The Protection Inc. group has been some of my favorites to read about. 


As in her previous Protection Inc. stories, the book is packed full of action and suspense. In this story we see Sally Wilson. She’s determined to protect her adopted daughter, Emma. However Emma’s biological father will stop at nothing to get his child back. 


Emma will need to enlist help from her fellow coworkers. The team will need to pull together. Sally will need to trust in order to protect Emma to the fullest. Especially, Police officer, Dillon Brady. He has known Sally from some of her previous work as a bodyguard. He knows he needs to try and do everything he can. 


Emma is a target of child traffickers. I’ve read so many books focusing on this topic lately. Emma’s biological father also wants Sally out of the way. Action packed, make sure you carve out time to read this. 


I received a copy of this book through the Celebrate Lit Blogging Program. All thoughts are my own. 


Blog Stops

CarpeDiem, October 14

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 14

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, October 15

Worthy2Read, October 15

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, October 16

Bigreadersite, October 16

Blossoms and Blessings, October 17

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, October 17

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, October 18

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 18

Betti Mace, October 19

Daysong Reflections, October 19

An Author’s Take, October 20

The Sacred Line, October 20

Inklings and notions, October 21

For Him and My Family, October 21

Blogging With Carol, October 22

Mypreciousbitsandmusings, October 22

Texas Book-aholic, October 23

deb’s Book Review, October 23

Locks, Hooks and Books, October 24

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, October 24

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, October 25

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, October 25

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, October 26

Mary Hake, October 26

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, October 27

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Kimberly 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/12297/personal-threat-celebration-tour-giveaway