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Friday, September 24, 2021

Book Review and Giveaway - 5-Star Life Author: Britney Ruby Miller on tour with Celebrate Lit


About the Book

Book:  5-Star Life

Author: Britney Ruby Miller

Genre: Self-Help, Inspirational

Release date: August 20, 2021

Britney Ruby Miller has faced overwhelming obstacles in her life—extreme challenges to her faith, her family, her marriage, and her business. Each of these challenges alone might have caused her to give up and shut down, closing herself off to all of her hopes and dreams. Instead, she fought back hard, engaging in a faithful fight to attain a 5-star life.

Are you allowing your negative life experiences to transform you—or to undermine you? No matter what obstacles you face, you can learn ways to fight back, “striving for 5” to reach a 5-star life.

Now the CEO of a chain of nationally ranked, high-end steakhouses, Britney has fought the battles of rejection, feelings of low self-esteem, family tragedy, infidelity, infertility, and the global pandemic that threatened not only to close her family’s business but also to decimate the entire restaurant industry. “I am so thankful that God helped me stretch, heal, learn, and grow from my journey so far,” says Britney. “There is absolutely no way I would have been able to function at such a high level at work, balancing so many plates at once, and be full of God’s love and peace even in the hardest of times, without having been transformed through a lifetime of experiences. God used all of my negative experiences to make my life more rich and full of joy and purpose.”

Britney’s ingredients for a 5-star life include:

* Partnering with God to live the life you were meant to live
* Working together for a strong family life
* Cultivating a unified, loving marriage
* Pursuing excellence at your job or business
* Giving back to others in your community and the world

With captivating stories and reflections to take you deeper into principles for success, this book will show you how to keep your faith and hope in the midst of challenges, setbacks, and even tragedy as you persevere with tenacity to attain your 5-star life of excellence.


Click here to get your copy!


About the Author

Britney Ruby Miller is CEO of Jeff Ruby Culinary Entertainment (JRCE), headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio, which manages a portfolio of high-end steakhouses widely regarded as among the best in the nation. She directs the company’s seven steakhouses in Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee, leading a team of hundreds of employees.

“When your father is a steakhouse baron, you don’t just show up and take over the family business when you come of age,” she says. Britney started working in one of the family restaurants at age fifteen and subsequently gained experience in all areas of the business, and she also attended culinary school. Britney was studying in the Lindner College of Business when 9/11 hit, prompting her to switch her major and earn a bachelor’s degree in religious studies from the University of Cincinnati before returning to the family business and eventually joining JRCE’s corporate team. She is currently pursuing an MBA from Xavier University.

In her corporate role, Britney’s leadership led to eight years of consecutive same-store sales growth, expanding the company while enhancing the key element on which its success depends: delivering absolutely incomparable total dining experiences in each market. When the economic effects of Covid-19 threatened not only her own business but also the entire restaurant industry and food supply chain nationwide, Britney became an energetic advocate for the restaurant industry and related industries on both state and federal levels.

Britney also helped to develop and launch one of her family’s main charitable endeavors, The Jeff Ruby Foundation. The foundation’s goal is to remove Cincinnati from the “Top 5 Childhood Poverty” lists by providing homes for foster children and lowering the number of kids in the county foster system. Brittney has been named to the “40 Under 40” lists of the Cincinnati Business Courier and Cincinnati’s Venue magazine, and she is a frequent speaker on topics ranging from restaurant management to marketing to women in business. She serves as a board member of both The Jeff Ruby Foundation and the Cincinnati State Foundation, and she is a member of the Young Presidents Organization.

Britney is a dedicated wife and mother. She is married to Caleb Miller, a former linebacker for the Cincinnati Bengals, and they have four children. Committed to putting family first, Britney continually strives to balance family life and work demands, enriching both realms of her life.


More from Britney

How to keep going in the midst of challenges, setbacks, and even tragedy to attain a 5-star life of excellence.

My Thoughts

5-Star Life is a self help, inspirational book that is written by  Britney Ruby Miller. I have not heard of this author before. One of my favorite things to read is biographies and memoirs. I like to know where people came from and how they got to where they are. This book was a great read. The author grew up with famous parents and wanted something different for herself. With famous parents she was bullied.  (I did not have famous parents, and I was bullied in school due to my impoverished situation). 

One of the most takeaway lessons that this book is that the author pushes that it really does not matter what others think of you - it matters what God think of you. The author shares her journey of growing up, choosing her own path, leaning on God and scriptures that got her through. I love her honesty and rawness. The author shares a lot of her personal journey, her husband's infidelity, miscarriages and so many other things she had to walk through. This was a great read. 

I received a copy of this book through the Celebrate Lit blogging program, all thoughts are my own. 

Blog Stops

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, September 16

deb’s Book Review, September 16

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 17

Mary Hake, September 17

An Author’s Take, September 18

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, September 19

Texas Book-aholic, September 20

Inklings and notions, September 21

For Him and My Family, September 22

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, September 23

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, September 24

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

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, September 26

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, September 27

Locks, Hooks and Books, September 28

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, September 29

The Space for Grace, September 29


To celebrate her tour, Brittney is giving away the grand prize package of a $20 Starbucks gift card and a copy of the book!!

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

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Book Review and Giveaway - Illusion of Love Author: Sarah Hamaker On Tour with Celebrate Lit


About the Book

Book:  Illusion of Love

Author: Sarah Hamaker

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Release date: October 2020

A suspicious online romance reconnects an agoraphobe and an old friend.

Nursing a hurt leg, psychiatrist Jared Quinby arrives in Culpeper, Virginia, on a case for the FBI. The investigation leads him to the doorstep of his childhood best friend, Mary Divers. Meeting Mary again is the one bright spot in his life.

Suffering from agoraphobia, Mary has at last found love with online beau David Kline and dares to dream of a future with him. Then David reveals he will be leaving the United States to become a missionary in Peru. Determined to stop living in fear, she accepts David’s marriage proposal, even though she’s never met him face-to-face.

As Jared’s case intersects with Mary’s online relationship, the more he uncovers, the more he fears for her safety. Jared tries to convince Mary not all is right with David, but she refuses to believe him. When tragedy strikes, Mary pushes Jared even farther away.

Will Jared convince Mary of the truth—and of his love for her—before it’s too late?


Click here to get your copy!


About the Author

Sarah Hamaker has been spinning stories since she was a child, with nonfiction and romantic suspense books published. Her stories have also appeared in several Chicken Soup for the Soul volumes. She’s a member of ACFW and ACFW Virginia Chapter, as well as the president of Capital Christian Writers Fellowship. Her podcast, “The Romantic Side of Suspense,” can be found wherever you listen to podcasts. Sarah lives in Virginia with her husband, four children, and three cats.


More from Sarah

Have you ever heard a story from a friend (or a friend of a friend) and thought it sounded more like fiction than reality? That’s what happened to me years ago when I heard first-hand a story about a woman who had been deceived by someone close to her.

Even while I grieved with my friend about the lies that had been told at her expense, I also admit to thinking, “That would make a fantastic storyline.” A couple of years later, I asked the friend for permission to use the basic outline of that story for what became Illusion of Love. To keep this friend’s identity a secret—and to avoid giving away the ending of my book—that’s all I can reveal to you.

However, what I can talk about is how interesting people’s reaction to the based-on-a-true story aspect has been along this book’s journey to publication. Most expressed their conviction that something similar could never happen to them. Part of that disbelief comes from our faith in our own ability to ferret out the truth from those around us.

Unfortunately, time and again, it’s been proven that we can be terrible when it comes to judging the true character of others! This is why people get away with pretending to be royalty or people lose money to someone’s Ponzi scheme or why those in authority can often get away with heinous crimes for years (#MeToo, Catholic priest sexual scandals are too horrific examples). Along the way, you’ll find people who wanted to think they wouldn’t be deceived…and were or who overlooked signs that in hindsight pointed right at the lie or perpetrator.

Why has this kept happening over and over again throughout history? I think it boils down to the simple fact that we want to believe we have excellent judgment when it comes to the character and intentions of others, whether we meet those people face to face or online. We also have a tendency, especially if we’re female, to ignore our gut when it tells us to be careful or wary of someone or a particular situation.

Especially when there’s real danger involved—in cases of potential abuse or criminal activity—it’s important to be prepared as much as we can be. One of the best books on this topic is Gavin de Becker’s The Gift of Fear. It’s a book I’ve recommended my teenage daughters and sons read before heading to college. What Gavin does is break down why our initial impressions can be wrong and why paying attention to our gut—that unconscious part of ourselves—can be crucial to staying safe, even if it means we sometimes offend or make people mad or upset. If only Mary, my heroine in Illusion of Love, had read The Gift of Fear, things might have turned out differently for her.

Why do you think we believe in our own judgment when it comes to people?

My Thoughts

 Illusion of Love is a Romantic Suspense that is written by  Sarah Hamaker. This is the first book that I have read by this author. I will definitely be looking for more from this author. She has written an action packed, real feeling, suspenseful story. 

We live in a world where so many things are done online. Banking, shopping, schooling and dating. I loved how this book explored the dangers of online dating. Mary suffers from agoraphobia. She does not like being around people or out in places. She meets David online and he says/types all the right things and she has fallen head over heels for him. They have never met - but she accepts his marriage proposal when he tells her he is going to be an overseas missionary. Enter childhood friend Jared. He is back in town healing from a leg injury and investigating some fraud instances. He is happy to see Mary again -and does not tell her that.... at first. 

I loved that Jared tried to warn her when he realizes that she is about to fall victim to David. He also has to come to terms with his feelings for Mary. He has to not only make sure he is following protocol, but also wants to save his friend. 

This book looks at real life situations. The internet can be a scary thing sometime, and scammers prey on those who are vulnerable. The author nailed this. 

Well written characters, suspenseful well written story line, I hope to read more from this author. 

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

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, September 15

CarpeDiem, September 15

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 16

Inklings and notions, September 17

Texas Book-aholic, September 18

lakesidelivingsite, September 18

For Him and My Family, September 19

deb’s Book Review, September 20

Mary Hake, September 20

Locks, Hooks and Books, September 21

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, September 22

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, September 23

A Reader’s Brain, September 23

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, September 24

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, September 25

Pause for Tales , September 25

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, September 26

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, September 27 (Author Interview)

Spoken from the Heart, September 27

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, September 28


To celebrate her tour, Sarah is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Amazon gift card & eBook copy of the book!!

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

Monday, September 20, 2021

Book Review - The Bull Rider's Fresh Start By: Heidi McCahan Hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours



This cowboy can charm almost anyone…

except the mother of his surprise baby girl.

Former bull rider Landon Chambers has made mistakes. Big ones. But discovering that he's the father of a sweet little girl might be the best thing ever. Now Landon just has to convince her mother, navy diver Kelsey Sinclair, that his wild, troubled cowboy days are over. But Kelsey’s not quite sure she can trust Landon with her little girl…or her cautious heart.


Heidi McCahan writes uplifting inspirational romance novels set in small towns. Readers fall in love with her flawed characters who desperately need second chances. A perfect day for Heidi includes a huge cup of good coffee, dark chocolate and reading books with happy endings. She makes her home in North Carolina with her handsome husband, three amazing boys and the world’s greatest goldendoodle. Heidi is represented by Steve Laube of The Steve Laube Agency.

Heidi's Website: HERE


The Bull Rider's Fresh Start is written by Heidi McCahan. This is part of the Love Inspired Collection. I have read a few other books by the author and have always enjoyed them. In this book we meet Landon Chambers. He is a former bull rider with a colorful past. He has recently found out that he is the father of  Kelsey Sinclair's little girl. He knows that he has a lot to make up for - but will it be enough for Kelsey?

Landon had no idea he was a father, and from the moment he finds out the little girl is all that matters. He wants to be there for the baby, however Kelsey stands in the way. Kelsey, a Navy diver has left the baby in the care of her brother - and comes home early when Landon finds out about the baby. It seems that Landon was willing to make the life changes but Kelsey was not. She seems to overreact and judge Landon. I get that they may not have known each other very much, but they are both parents to the baby - and Landon as much rights as Kelsey. 

I did like the arguments sprinkled in and the banter back and forth. Both characters clearly care about Adeline. These disagreements made the book feel real. As time, we see Kelsy and Landon grow and my heart was filled with warmth. I really liked seeing them grow together, as individuals and as a couple. 

Well written, fun story line, and fits perfectly with the Love Inspired Theme. I received a copy of this book through the author and JustRead Publicity Tours

Book Review - Aunt Ida Clare Author: Michele McCarthy


"A kind of Cat in the Hat and Mary Poppins rolled together in a very delightful way. Children will adore Aunt Ida Clare."

—Chris S. Manion

2021 Best Fiction Children's Book, 1st Place Golden Scroll Award and 2021 Children's Fiction Book of the Year, 2nd Place Christian Markets Awards

salina is not quite sure what to think of their new babysitter, her Aunt Ida Clare. Aunt Ida is quite the sight. Aunt Ida Clare declares the truth and purpose behind speaking life-giving words to an unsuspecting brother and sister when she whips out her shiny little object.  She is positively the best thing to happen to these impressionable children one school day afternoon.

Parents and children alike will fall in love with Aunt Ida Clare.


Michele McCarthy is an award-winning author, teacher, and speaker.  She is an Advanced Writers and Speakers Association member as well as a co-founder of Living Write Texas. With a dose of humor and fun, her passion is to help children see themselves the way God sees them.
TitleAunt Ida Clare
AuthorMichele McCarthy
ISBN978-1-64949-069-8 hardback | 978-1-64949-068-1 softcover
Retail Price: $20.00 hardback | $10.00 softcover
GenreChildren's Book
Available fromIngramSpark


Aunt Ida Clare is written by Michele McCarthy. This is a children's picture book. I read this book with  my 8 and 10 year old son. We all enjoyed it very much. This is a book that should be in every elementary  classroom and library. I wish I had an Aunt Ida Clare. She is a HOOT!
Aunt Ida Clare comes to babysit Rosalina and Roosevelt. They are very unsure of her when she first shows up, for she is like no-one they have ever met. However, she really speaks life over her niece and nephew. They criticize themselves, their school work, their artwork, and learn a valuable lesson. Aunt Ida Clare shows them a family salt shovel. The kids are confused at first and Aunt Ida Clare teaches them a valuable lesson. A lesson to how words can affect ourselves and others. This led to a great conversation between my children and I. We talked about how our words control so much. 
We also discussed: 
Col 4:6 Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.

Matthew 15:11 What goes into someone’s mouth does not defile them, but what comes out of their mouth, that is what defiles them

The kids who were very nervous about Aunt Ida Clare babysitting them ended up having a wonderful time. 
This book is well written, perfect for elementary school ages, has beautiful illustrations. We really enjoyed this book. 

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

Sunday, September 19, 2021

Book Review and Giveaway- It’s Hockey Season Author: Jayne J. Jones Beehler On Tour with Celebrate Lit


About the Book

Book:  It’s Hockey Season

Author: Jayne J. Jones Beehler

Genre: JUVENILE FICTION / Sports & Recreation/Hockey

Release date: August 13, 2021

9781641236645It’s Hockey Season tells the tale of two brothers, Blaine and Cullen, who love ice
hockey and each other. Cullen is the all-star team captain and his brother Blaine,
who has Down syndrome, is the team manager. Blaine is clearly the unsung hero
of the team; his leadership and unselfish actions speak louder than words. Young
readers are able to learn respect and a better understanding for the challenges
individuals with special needs face on a daily basis.


Click here to get your copy!


About the Author

jayne Jones BeehlerJayne J. Jones Beehler is a lifelong hockey fan who is also an advocate for children
with disabilities. She serves as a government and legislative affairs project
management consultant dealing with such issues as opioid addiction, juvenile
justice, foster care, higher education, and education reforms.

Jayne is a former history professor for Concordia University, where she was named
Political Science Professor of the Year in 2017. She holds a B.A. degree in Political
Science and a law degree from William Mitchell College of Law.

She serves as national legal advisor for the American Special Hockey Association
and is the founder of Margaret’s Missions, a chaperone travel program for people
with special needs.

Jayne resides with her husband and daughter in Wisconsin and Florida.


More from Jayne

“This book has great lessons for kids everywhere! I’m so happy my good friend Ann and the

American Special Hockey Association can be an inspiration for so many people!”

– Alex Ovechkin, Captain, Washington Capitals


“I’m a big fan of books that teach kids about hockey and more importantly about the value of

accepting those who may be different and working together as a team.

It’s important to lead by example and treat everyone with the same respect.”

– Claude Giroux, Captain, Philadelphia Flyers

My Thoughts 

It’s Hockey Season is a juvenile fiction book that is written by Jayne J. Jones Beehler. This is book 1 of 3 in the drop the puck series. I read this book with my 8 and 10 year old sons and we all enjoyed it very much.  The boys enjoyed that it was a book about brothers, Blaine and Cullen. Both of these brothers love hockey and a new season is starting. 

Blaine has Down Syndrome. We loved that this book created a character with disabilities since we have a neighbor with the same condition. It allowed the boys and I to have a great conversation about the disability. The books is a valuable lesson that some don’t treat those with disabilities well.  Blaine and Cullen are close and encouraged each other. Blaine always kept a good attitude even when he wasn’t treated fairly. 

We really loved the characters of this story. We loved the storyline. The boys are excited for the next book in the series. 

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

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 11

Texas Book-aholic, September 12

Inklings and notions, September 13

The Space of Grace, September 13

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, September 14

For Him and My Family, September 15

Remembrancy, September 16

deb’s Book Review, September 17

Locks, Hooks and Books, September 18

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, September 19

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, September 20

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, September 21

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, September 22

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, September 23

Artistic Nobody, September 24 (Spotlight)

Author Adventure, September 24


To celebrate her tour, Jayne is giving away the grand prize package of a $20 Starbucks gift card and copy of the book!!

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