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Thursday, October 22, 2020

Book Review and Giveaway - Glorious Mess Author: Mary McCullough On Tour with Celebrate Lit

 


About the Book

Book:  Glorious Mess

Author: Mary McCullough

Genre:  Christian Nonfiction/Biblical Studies

Release Date: March 10, 2020


A woman struggles with a messy home situation, brokenness, rejection, and shame.

Know a woman like this?

Are you a woman like this?

Hannah, a powerful biblical example, was just such a woman. Through her life women can glean answers for their own life problems. Hannah didn’t stay in her grief and pain. She came to the end of her own striving and poured out her heart to the Lord—who answered her prayer.

Experience God’s love and healing in your own “messy” situations as you explore Hannah’s heartbreak and struggles in a Bible study just for women who don’t have it all together. This interactive six-week daily Bible study will help you pray transparently, praise wholeheartedly, and break off the shackles of spiritual barrenness, the need for approval, and perfectionism.

Hannah’s story will empower you to rise from your ashes, leave your messes in God’s hands, and live in service to the King of kings.

Wounds you thought would never heal will become scars that no longer hurt but remind you of the journey from broken to beautiful. As you wait, healing will come. Your soul will find rest even when the situation doesn’t change.

 

Click here to get your copy!

 

About the Author


Mary McCullough worked as an elementary school teacher for twenty-three years and is now an assistant elementary principal and building administrator. The co-founder of God First Friends, a ministry that helps women flourish as disciples of Christ, she is a longtime Bible study and Sunday school teacher for children and adults. She and her husband have been married for thirty-two years and have four adult children and three grandchildren. They live in Decatur, Indiana. Glorious Mess is her debut book.

 

More from Mary

Glorious Mess is the Biblical study of Hannah. As a perfectionist and control-freak, I had a neat and tidy life. That is until everything fell apart, and I found myself crying out to God for healing when life got out of control in so many areas. The more my world spun out of control, the more I identified with Hannah. She taught me about authenticity, grace, and perseverance. Her rival, Peninnah, taught me how to handle mean-spirited people and brought my own flaws to the surface so God could deal with them.

Year after year, I cried out for the healing I so desperately wanted at the foot of the cross. Mistreatment from others, the pain of watching others hurt, and my own weaknesses led me back to Hannah’s story time and again. It was Hannah’s journey from broken to bold and beautiful that kept me going. I wanted her confidence in the Lord. I wanted to stand up from my pain and never look back again on the pain but to know the God she knew. Some may think pain is in vain, but the Lord never wastes anything if we allow him to use it. I have learned of his kindness, faithfulness, and goodness beyond understanding. I’ve learned what it is like to be broken, and now I know what it means to be whole.

It is my prayer that each individual who goes through this study will be changed for eternal glory!

I’ve learned that your messes don’t define you, but they will refine you if you will lay them at the foot of the cross.

My Thoughts

Hannah is not a Biblical character that I am very familiar with. She is someone that I have remembered reading about in passing but have not studied a lot on. "Glorious Mess" is a 6 week devotion book that can be done easily. I can see this book being a part of a small group discussion. Each chapter opens with a Bible Verse, then the author's commentary, then a section that is called "make it personal" where she shares some of her own experiences. The author then has a small prayer and a discussion question. I would recommend having a notebook to write your thoughts in. The layout is easy to follow and adaptive for all women. The tone was not "preachy" rather it was like chatting with a close friend.  I enjoyed working through this book. Hannah's story is as important biblical figure as the others. The author did a great job with telling her story - and comparing it to modern day. 

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, October 14

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 15

Captive Dreams Window, October 15

Texas Book-aholic, October 16

Rebecca Tews, October 17

For Him and My Family, October 18

Inklings and notions, October 19

deb’s Book Review, October 19

Locks, Hooks and Books, October 20

Remembrancy, October 21

Ashley’s Bookshelf, October 22

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

Mary Hake, October 23

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, October 24

Artistic Nobody, October 24 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 25

Godly Book Reviews, October 25

Splashes of Joy, October 26

Sara Jane Jacobs, October 27

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Mary is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and signed copy of the book!!

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

https://promosimple.com/ps/101f8/glorious-mess-celebration-tour-giveaway


Book Review and Giveaway - Taming the Dragons Author: Brenda Wilbee On Tour with Celebrate Lit

 


About the Book

Book: Taming the Dragons

Author: Brenda Wilbee

Genre: Christian Living / Women’s Interests

Release Date: May 12, 2020


Are you overwhelmed, in despair, heartsick, or in danger? Not sure which way to turn? Whom to trust? Once upon a time . . . the raging dragon . . . a damsel in distress. It worked out well in our fairy tales, but what about real life?

In this highly creative approach to problems all women face today and in varying degrees throughout their lives, Wilbee identifies six choices women have when beleaguered by conflict and challenge. She partners six biblical women with characters from The Wizard of Oz, naming choices for Innocent, Orphan, Pilgrim, Martyr, Warrior, and Wizard. She then skillfully weaves in characters from other stories and tales, accounts of women from history and today, and experiences from her own life to illustrate how these choices empower women in difficult times, moving them from want to abundance—for themselves and others.

Beginning with Eve the Innocent, Wilbee asserts that while some of us might want to go back to the garden of Eden, where innocence dwells, no one can. It’s only by making choices to tame our dragons—and by walking the metaphorical yellow brick road of our inner journeys—that we can, and do, find the happily ever after of our fairy tales and the abundant life Jesus promises us all.

Each chapter concludes with a motivational section that includes journaling pages, “Something to Ponder,” and prayers for courage and hope.

Click here to get your copy!

 

About the Author

Brenda Wilbee is passionate about helping women in their everyday lives. The author of over 10 books with more than 700,000 copies sold, Brenda is a long-time contributor to Guidepost’s Daily Devotionals. Her work appears in Zondervan’s Women’s Devotional BibleInside Religious Publishing, and Guidepost’s Best Loved Stories. She holds an MA in professional writing, with an emphasis on myth, fairy tale, and folklore. She divides her time between the Pacific Northwest, Alaska, and the Canadian Yukon.

 

More from Brenda

Author Brenda Wilbee wrote Taming the Dragons to help Christian women understand that they have choices when up against conflict and challenge. In this highly creative approach, she partners six biblical women with the characters from Wizard of Oz, naming choices for Innocent, Orphan, Pilgrim, Martyr, Warrior, and Wizard. She then skillfully weaves in characters from other fairy tales and stories, accounts of women from history and today, and experiences from her own life to illustrate how choice empowers women to tame the many dragons they face. She contends that by walking the metaphorical yellow brick road of learning choice, women find inner healing and restoration.

 

She begins with Eve the Innocent, asserting that even though we might like to go back to a garden of Eden, where innocence dwells, we can’t. But by making choices to tame the dragons we encounter as either Orphan, Pilgrim, Martyr, Warrior, or Wizard, we can, and we do, return to the happily ever after of our fairy tales and the abundant life Jesus, in John 10:10, tells us is ours.

Each chapter begins and ends with narrative to first explain a choice and to then offer the caveat. An Orphan asks for help, but by doing so she learns self-reliance. A Warrior fights to save herself and those she loves but has to be careful lest she become like her enemy. Each chapter concludes with journaling pages for personal thought, a study guide with Scripture to consider, and questions to ponder.

My Thoughts

"Taming the Dragons: Powerful Choices for Women in Conflict and Pain" by Brenda Wilbee is a must read for women. This is the first book that I have read by this author. The author presents her book with a series of Fairy Tales, which may seem odd for a Christian book, but honestly, I was able to relate to the stories easier when they are compared to some of my favorites from growing up. I think my favorite was chapter 2. The chapter is entitled "Innocent" and focuses on the story of Adam and Eve compared with The Wizard of Oz. Which is a family favorite movie. The lesson that she teaches comparing this two is a good one. She goes over how innocence is stolen in both. Dorothy's when the tornado comes and carries her a way to a far away land - and Eve when the snack hisses and confuses her.  I also liked that the author used personal experiences and what she has walked through to help stress her points. I can see this book being used as a small group study - there is a lot to unpack. The author has lots of Bible references/verses sprinkled through the entire book. I will hold onto this book and it will be re-read in the future. I received  copy of this book through the Celebrate Lit blogging program, all thoughts are my own. 

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 17

Emily Yager, October 17

Texas Book-aholic, October 18

For Him and My Family, October 19

Inklings and notions, October 20

Spoken from the Heart, October 21

deb’s Book Review, October 21

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, October 22

Locks, Hooks and Books, October 23

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 24

Ashley’s Bookshelf, October 25

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, October 26

Splashes of Joy, October 27

Artistic Nobody, October 28 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Sara Jane Jacobs, October 29

Mary Hake, October 29

Pause for Tales, October 30

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Brenda is giving away the grand prize package of a signed copy of the book and a $25 Amazon gift card!!

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

https://promosimple.com/ps/10259/taming-the-dragons-celebration-tour-giveaway


Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Book Review and Giveaway - Sand & Mistletoe Author: Chautona Havig On Tour with Celebrate Lit

 


About the Book

Book:  Sand & Mistletoe

Author: Chautona Havig

Genre:  Contemporary Christian Romance (Holiday)

Release Date: November 24, 2018


What’s Christmas without family drama, an accident, and mistletoe?

If you ask Portia Spears, it’s a horror movie—especially since she’s never the one caught under that mistletoe. And who thought it was a good idea to spend the last Christmas as a family unit away from their family home?

Her bossy older sisters, that’s who.

Christmas at his parents’ house with his son—just the way Reese Whitaker likes it. But a chance encounter on the beach might just change everything. How often do you meet someone who loves kids and knows American Sign Language?

Not often. Trust him.

However, with just two weeks to get to know each other and two families that couldn’t be more different vying for their time, will they even have a chance to test out that mistletoe they found?

Find out today in Sand & Mistletoe.

 

Click here to get your copy!

 

About the Author


Chautona Havig lives in an oxymoron, escapes into imaginary worlds that look startlingly similar to ours and writes the stories that emerge. An irrepressible optimist, Chautona sees everything through a kaleidoscope of It’s a Wonderful Life sprinkled with fairy tales. Find her at chautona.com and say howdy—if you can remember how to spell her name.

 

More from Chautona

What Happens When an Author Rewrites History

To be fair, almost none of us wanted to be there.

And really, that wasn’t fair. Two of our daughters planned as a “destination Christmas” bash for the whole family—just a nice getaway in San Diego for the “last” Christmas we’d probably all be in the same place on the same days.  The kids were getting older, getting married, and even moving out of state. It was a beautiful thing for them to try to do for us.

But Havigs are homebodies who like their traditions, and most of us left in Ridgecrest weren’t too thrilled being “dragged” four hours south to celebrate Christmas in a beautiful house on a cliff overlooking the San Diego countryside.  It had everything, game room, lots of space, yards, hiking trails, an infinity pool, a hot tub…

Yeah. That hot tub kicked off the weekend with a splash all right.  With no lighting around it, and no railing either, my husband stepped out of it and right off the ledge—down a hill (at least fifteen feet), bouncing off boulders and thankfully, stopped by a fence. Otherwise, he’d have rolled for a LONG way.

Get this.  He broke nothing.  Don’t even ask me how (because we all know Who took care of that, right?).

Still, I spent my Christmas Eve sitting in an ER waiting for someone to tell us the damage (superficial scrapes and deep bruising). The whole time I thought, “This has got to be a book.”

Two years later, it was.

I say this at the end of the book, but I need to say it again.

People who know our family will recognize some of my kids (I left four of them out of the story).  They will also say, “Wait, she’s not like that!”

And that’s the point.  I put just enough of real people in it to really capture the feel of the personalities, meshed some quirks (including the ones that got left out), and then set them in a stressful situation and really way over-exaggerated actual responses.  I want to say this here again.  None of us acted just like I portrayed us in Sand & Mistletoe (although, frankly, I wouldn’t have blamed a couple of them if they’d wanted to). Unlike A Bird Died, I didn’t even try to stick to facts.

Instead of San Diego hill country, I put us at my favorite beach—Ventura. I stuck our rented beach house where the Pierpont Inn is/used to be (don’t even know if it exists anymore). Reese’s parents live in the house I lived in when I was nine—right there on Pierpont just a block from the beach.  And where they went to get mistletoe… one of my favorite places in the world.

So, here’s my version of the tale—the one I wrote instead of told.  Just like Francie Nolan learned from her teacher in A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.  When I tell the story, I tell it exactly how it happened.  However… I wrote what should (not) have happened!  (this is much more interesting than the real story).

My Thoughts

There are a few things that you can count on when you pick up a book that is written by: Chautona Havig, humor (to the point where tears are streaming down your face), little romance (she does not do mushy ) and a book that you will be sad when it is over. That being said, Sand and Mistletoe is a humerous Christmas story written by Chautona Havig. Honestly, I am ready for some Christmas stories - especially when they make me laugh. Her description of the fall down the cliff was so realistic (and something that I would do) I was rolling with laughter. Well the family wanted a nice family Christmas - as most families do, there is bickering and drama. After the week we have had - it was nice to sit and laugh with a good book. 
Quirky, original characters, humorous storyline, and a all around good book. Portia, one of the main characters is NOT happy with a warm Christmas. I moved from Cleveland Ohio to SE Alabama because I hate snow and cold - this was funny to me. This might be my favorite book by Chautona Havig. I received a copy of this book through the Celebrate Lit blogging program, all thoughts are my own. 

Blog Stops

Texas Book-aholic, October 12

Emily Yager, October 12

The Book Chic Blog, October 12

Inklings and notions, October 13

Get Cozy Book Nook, October 13

For Him and My Family, October 14

Blogging With Carol, October 14

deb’s Book Review, October 15

lakesidelivingsite, October 15

Ashley’s Bookshelf, October 16

Splashes of Joy, October 16

Labor Not in Vain, October 16

She Lives To Read, October 17

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, October 17

Locks, Hooks and Books, October 18

Mary Hake, October 18

Livin’ Lit, October 19

Artistic Nobody, October 19 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Sara Jane Jacobs, October 20

Spoken from the Heart, October 20

Lots of Helpers, October 21

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, October 21

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 22

Batya’s Bits, October 22

As He Leads is joy, October 23

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 23

Simple Harvest Reads, October 24 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

SusanLovesBooks, October 24

Adventures of a Travelers Wife, October 25

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, October 25

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, October 25

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Chautona is giving away the prize package including a signed paperback & a handmade ornament!!

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/101f6/sand-mistletoe-celebration-tour-giveaway


Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Book Review and Giveaway - Brought to Book Author: Barbara Cornthwaite On Tour with Celebrate Lit

 


About the Book

Book:  Brought to Book

Author: Barbara Cornthwaite

Genre:  Christian cozy mystery

Release Date:  June 24, 2020


There’s nothing in Emily Post about dealing with murder.

Katrina just wanted to spend time among the books at Frank’s Bookstore. Yes, that’s an unimaginative name for a store, but Frank’s an unimaginative guy–or he was.

Now he and his murder are the reason Katrina is spending her spare time with Wilkester detective, Todd Mason. Or, that’s what she tells herself.

Why would anyone want to kill Frank Delaney? Who would do it? And is Katrina herself even safe?

Mixing faith, literary humor, sweet romance, and a cozy mystery that will keep you guessing, Barbara Cornthwaite’s first Wilkester Mystery has everything you want for a cozy read.

Begin your investigation of Brought to Book today.

 

Click here to get your copy!

 

About the Author


Barbara Cornthwaite lives in the middle of Ireland with her husband and children. She taught college English before “retiring” to do something she loves far more; her days are now filled with homeschooling her six children, trying to keep the house tidy (a losing battle), and trying to stay warm in the damp Irish climate (also a losing battle). She is surrounded by medieval castles, picturesque flocks of sheep, and ancient stone monuments. These things are unappreciated by her children, who are more impressed by traffic jams, skyscrapers, and hot weather.

 

More from Barbara

Meeting of the Minds

A Wilkester Mysteries Introduction

Detective Todd Mason knew Katrina was the one the first time he met her. The woman had witnessed a murder—if not with her eyes, at least with her ears. She’d seen the man dying and called for help, afraid all the while that the killer would return for her. So much he’d been told before he went into the interrogation room.

“How’s she handling it?” he asked the officer who had arrived first at the scene and escorted her to the police station.

“Not too badly,” said Gary. “She’s in shock, of course, but she’s trying to hold it together. Katrina Peters. She’s in Room 2.”

He’d gone in then and gotten his first look at her. Late thirties or early forties. Brown hair that fell to her shoulders in loose waves. Brown eyes that were red-rimmed from crying. Hands clutching a tissue. She managed a faint smile when he walked in.

“Hello, Ms. Peters. I’m Detective Todd Mason. I need to ask you some questions, if that’s all right.”

“Miss,” she said, almost as a reflex.

“I beg your pardon?” Todd wasn’t sure he’d heard her correctly.

“It’s Miss Peters.” She said it firmly, repudiating the term Ms. even at such a stressful moment. Something made her blush then, and he saw her glance at his left hand. “Never mind,” she murmured.

She’s afraid I’ll think she’s trying to advertize her availability. It amused Todd to see the blush—if only she knew how refreshing it was to see a woman who would even be conscious of such a thing. Old fashioned, he thought. In a good way.

She answered his questions as calmly as she could, and even apologized for the tears that insisted on coming out now and then. When she alluded to Daniel in the lion’s den, he knew she really was out of the ordinary, and it took all his self-control not to offer to drive her home himself.

To join the investigation, read your copy of Brought to Book today.


My Thoughts

"Brought to Book" is the first book that I have read by the author, Barbara Cornthwaite. It will not be my last. I enjoyed everything about this book. It was well written, contains unique characters, a traditional cozy mystery plot, and flowed nicely. This is book one in the Wilkester Mystery series. In this book we meet - Katrina Peters. Katrina is a professor at the college. 
Katrina loves spending time at Frank's Book store. Then something happens to Frank Delaney. Someone kills him. Katrina partners with Detective Todd to try and figure it out - or is it because maybe there is a little bit of romance? I can't wait to see where this cast of characters goes in the next book. There is a bit of guessing who is responsible for the crime - like a traditional cozy mystery. However, it's a comical journey peppered with faith, mystery, romance and some suspense. 

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

Blog Stops

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 10

21st Century Keeper at Home, October 10

The Avid Reader, October 10

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, October 11

Remembrancy, October 11

For the Love of Literature, October 12

Worthy2Read, October 12

Genesis 5020, October 12

deb’s Book Review, October 13

Blogging With Carol, October 13

Robin’s Nest, October 13

Texas Book-aholic, October 14

Losing the Busyness, October 14

April Hayman, Author, October 14

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, October 15

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 15

Inklings and notions, October 16

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, October 16

Daysong Reflections, October 16

Older & Smarter?, October 17

For Him and My Family, October 17

Ashley’s Bookshelf, October 18

Just Your Average reviews, October 18

Lis Loves Reading, October 18

Locks, Hooks and Books, October 19

As He Leads is Joy, October 19

Emily Yager, October 19

Sodbusterliving, October 20

Artistic Nobody, October 20 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Labor Not in Vain, October 20

She Lives To Read, October 21

Bizwings Blog, October 21

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, October 21

Godly Book Reviews, October 22

Mary Hake, October 22

Vicky Sluiter, October 22

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, October 23

Sara Jane Jacobs, October 23

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Barbara is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and a paperback of the book!!

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

https://promosimple.com/ps/10210/brought-to-book-celebration-tour-giveaway