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Saturday, April 1, 2023

My Thoughts -The Smell of Spring Author: Mary Hake


About the Book

Book: The Smell of Spring

Author: Mary Hake

Illustrator: Marina

Genre: Picture Book

Release date: December 15, 2022

In The Smell of Spring, April, a blind girl, enjoys the world around her and discovers spring scents. Join April and her menagerie of pets in their springtime adventures. The Smell of Spring shows children how we experience the world around us through the sense of smell. Kids will enjoy her many interesting pets and can have fun with the activities at the end using the sense of smell.

 

Click here to get your copy!

 

About the Author

Mary Ann Hake has loved learning and writing for as long as she can remember. She has been scribbling stories and poems since she first learned to write and has published hundreds of stories, articles, poems, puzzles, devotions, and more for both children and adults plus written hundreds of book reviews. She loved working in a bookstore and as a librarian and enjoyed reading to children at story times and conducting summer reading programs. She has also taught writing to children and at writers’ conferences. In addition to writing, she continues to work as a freelance editor. Visit her website, www.maryannhake.com, and subscribe to her newsletter for activities for children and updates on future books. Also find her on Facebook at Mary A. Hake author, https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100057370041720.

 

More from Mary Ann

I have always loved books and reading, and even as an adult I still enjoy picture books. I had tried writing my own in the past, but The Smell of Spring is the first picture book I have published. The online classes I took during the pandemic and all the years of writers’ conferences, particularly Oregon Christian Writers conferences, have helped me learn and polish my craft. I have published hundreds of pieces, for both children and adults, in a variety of periodicals and a dozen compilation books plus some curricula.

 

I chose to present this concept book in rhyme because it came out more appealing and fun for kids than straight prose. The Smell of Spring shows how a blind girl uses her sense of smell to experience life around her. Along with her menagerie of pets, April explores her world. The story includes elements that would make it a handy companion text for connection to science: senses, the weather, nature, animals—domestic and wild, flowers and trees, and food. It also models responsibility as April cares for the animals. The Smell of Spring is the first book in the four-book series of Smells of the Seasons.

 

Readers of all ages are enjoying this fresh look at springtime.

Comments from early readers:

“In sweet, simple prose, with lovely illustrations, this book shows a child how they can appreciate their sense of smell.”

“A delightfully whimsical book that invites children to become mindfully aware of the many smells, both pleasant and unpleasant, that accompany the spring season.”

“A charming way to encounter the season for all children.”
“This was a very delightful book! I loved all the places she found smells in. I also loved how you made the book rhyme. It flowed very smoothly.”
“So well done, from the rhyme to the message.”

“Mary Hake gives the reader insights into what the world is like to a blind girl, who perceives the world through other senses besides sight. The focus on smell may encourage young listeners/readers to pay closer attention to the smells they like or dislike and to be more aware of different aspects of their world. It may also make them more understanding of children with disabilities.”

“Teachers, parents, and children will appreciate the activities at the end of this book.”

“The whole book is full of delightful images and easy-to-read phrases that describe all the many smells. Including some fun relatable parts. I think children will get a kick out of a few of the smells.”

 

Sign up for updates on my website, https://maryannhake.com/, and received a PDF of activities for children using the sense of smell. Further fun things will be coming in the future.

My Thoughts

I have been fortunate to know Mary Hake through the book blogging community. When I saw that she had written a children's book I was super excited to see it. The Smell of Spring is a beautifully written story by fellow book blogger Mary Hake. 

We meet April, who is blind. We get to see how she experiences the world without vision. She has such a good time with her gaggle of pets smelling spring. I loved all the descriptions of springs floral and fun smells. My boys and I especially loved Muffy the dug who got himself into some not so great smells. 

The book's illustrator matched the story beautifully. The pictures were bright and fun. This is a great book for younger kids. My boys are 9 and 11 and we enjoyed it alot. Especially since Alabama has had some not so fun days - it made us look forward to warmer spring filled smells. 

Thank you to the author, publisher and Celebrate Lit for allowing me to read a copy of this book - all thoughts are my own. 

Blog Stops

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, March 24

Artistic Nobody, March 25

Locks, Hooks and Books, March 26

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, March 27

Texas Book-aholic, March 28

Lots of Helpers, March 29

Walking Fruitfully, March 29

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, March 30

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, March 31

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, April 1

Simple Harvest Reads, April 2

For Him and My Family, April 3

Blossoms and Blessings, April 4 (Author Interview)

The Life We Build, April 4

Guild Master, April 5

Vicky Sluiter, April 6 (Author Interview)

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Mary is giving away the grand prize package of a signed hardcover copy of The Smell of Spring 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/25253/the-smell-of-spring-celebration-tour-giveaway

Sunday, March 26, 2023

My Thoughts - Iron Author: Madisyn Carlin

 


About the Book

Book: Iron

Author: Madisyn Carlin

Genre: Christian Fantasy/Fairytale Retelling

Release date: September 30, 2022

Enforcing justice comes with a price.

Detective Redwyn “Red” Deathan will stop at nothing to uncover those behind the ruthless kidnappings of multiple children. But things are not as they seem, and Red’s efforts are thwarted at every turn. With each discovery the danger grows, putting Red and the lives of those she cares about at risk. Can she reveal the mastermind’s identity before she herself becomes a target?

IRON is a Christian, New Adult, Fantasy Fairytale Retelling

 

Click here to get your copy!

 

About the Author

Madisyn Carlin is a Christian, homeschool graduate, blogger, voracious bookdragon, and author. When not spending time with her family or trekking through the mountains, she weaves tales of redemption, faith, and action.

Want to connect? https://linktr.ee/madisyncarlin

 

More from Madisyn

There are many original Cinderella stories, from all cultures and languages. Perhaps the two most common tales, however, are Frenchman Charles Perrault’s (also called Cendrillon) and the German Brothers Grimm’s Aschenputtel. The majority of these originals, and Brothers Grimm’s in particular, are not the sparkles-and-magic versions we are more familiar with. They are darker, bloodier, and deadlier, though they still possess an amazing display of creativity and storytelling.

 

The iconic, classical Disney retelling drew from Perrault’s version. I based IRON off a blend of Aschenputtel and Perrault’s, with very little influence garnered from Disney’s. Although I wanted it to be obvious IRON is a fairy tale retelling, I also wanted to put an often-unfound spin on it, which is where Redwyn and her occupation shine through. In addition, I am a firm believer there is no such thing as ”love at first sight”, also called ”insta love”, which is quite common in many fairy tales and retellings.

 

Instead, I wanted to present a nonmagical retelling based on faith, family, and bravery. Perhaps that is why this story turned out rawer and much more touching than I ever imagined. Within the pages of this book loyalty drives characters to step outside their comfortable boundaries and preferences, desperation reminds them why they need God, and bravery takes root even in those who thought themselves hopeless cowards.

 

Heavy faith elements, feathers, cranky horses, wolves, sinister plots, a creepy forest, and more take this story beyond the typical plot found in Cinderella retellings. There’s also humor, sarcasm, and a feisty detective who can’t quite grasp the concept of tactfulness.

 

So, if you enjoy fairy tale retellings with a plentitude of faith, humor, and action, IRON might be the book for you.

 

You can find IRON’s inspiration board here.


My Thoughts 

Iron is a Christian Fantasy/Fairytale Retelling story that is written by  Madisyn Carlin. This author is so gifted with her words. I was drawn into this Cinderella retelling. Cinderella is my favorite fairy tale so I was really excited about this book. This is the first book in the Redwyn Chronicle series. I absolutely cannot wait until the next book in the series. 

Detective Redwyn “Red” Deathan has a fierce determination to find out who is behind multiple kidnappings. Red made me smile - she has spunk and sass. However she had some flaws that are explored during this book. She is vulnerable at times. She learns throughout the story that HIS grace is sufficient and that it's ok to take help from others. 

Another character that was one of my favorites was Chamonix. They had such a soft and gentle spirit. I loved that. Where Red was fierce - Chamonix was timid. The author did a great job writing their personalities. Carter also was a good character. He is holding something back that could potentially destroy his friendship with Red. 

The story does touch on human trafficking  and how they may be related to the multiple children that are being kidnapped. However, the author handles it with grace and it is woven flawlessly into the story. One of the best things about this author is her descriptions of the scenes. I would close my eyes throughout the book and just let the scene unfold around me in my mind. The characters have such depth. 

Thank you to the author, publisher and Celebrate Lit for allowing me to read a copy of this book - all thoughts are my own. 

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, March 22

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, March 23

Texas Book-aholic, March 24

Vibrant Wings by Valerie, March 24

Locks, Hooks and Books, March 25

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

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, March 27

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, March 27

Lily’s Book Reviews, March 28

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, March 29

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, March 30

Becca Hope: Book Obsessed, March 31

Blogging With Carol, April 1

For Him and My Family, April 2

Mary Hake, April 2

Tell Tale Book Reviews, April 3

Pause for Tales, April 4

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Madisyn is giving away the grand prize package of one 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/24fef/iron-celebration-tour-giveaway

Friday, March 24, 2023

Forgiveness: A Surprising Way Forward Epic Book Launch Authors: Mark Henderson and Michael Snuffer

 Forgiveness: A Surprising Way Forward Epic Book Launch





About the Author

Book: Forgiveness: A Surprising Way Forward

Authors: Mark Henderson and Michael Snuffer

Genre: Non-fiction; Interpersonal Relations; Religion

Release date: April 13, 2023

WHY AM I SO MISUNDERSTOOD? I am only trying to do what is right! Of course, I forgive, but I can’t seem to get past the pain. God seems distant. Does he even care about me?

Do any of these questions hit close to home? It may surprise you that the underlying cause is often hidden unforgiveness. Our closest relationships, emotional health, and perhaps even our faith seem to be crumbling around us, but most of us have no idea that forgiveness is the way forward. If we are honest, we don’t even know what forgiveness is. We may have a vague idea that it has something to do with “forgetting” or “letting go” but would be hard-pressed to come up with a working definition. Worse yet, we have no idea how to practice forgiveness in a way that brings lasting relief from the hurt we carry. Most of us are not trying to hang on to the pain, but freedom is elusive.

Freedom from your pain is within reach! Forgiveness is not a vague, esoteric concept, nor is it a lofty, out-of-reach ideal. Forgiveness: A Surprising Way Forward digs into the biblical definition of forgiveness, tells real stories of real people who have found healing, clears up some huge misconceptions surrounding forgiveness, and teaches us how topractice forgiveness. If we do not address the wounds of our past, they will shape our future. God has provided a powerful tool to help us find freedom—forgiveness is the surprising way forward!

Book Excerpt

The servant threw himself upon the mercy of the king. At this point, the king did something completely unexpected—perhaps even unreasonable: He forgave the debt! This servant, who squandered a significant portion of the king’s financial resources and deserved prison, was completely released from his debt and allowed to remain a free man. 

Then, on his way from being forgiven, the servant did something totally baffling. He found a guy who owed him a few bucks and demanded immediate payment. When the guy pleaded for a little more time, the servant grabbed him by the throat, then had him arrested and thrown into jail. The servant believed his actions were justified. A guy owed him money, and he deserved to get the money back!

Somehow this story got back to the king. Understandably, the king was very upset. He forgave a debt larger than one could possibly pay back in twenty lifetimes, and this servant couldn’t let a guy off the hook for a few days’ wages? The king threw the unforgiving servant in jail to be tortured until every cent was paid back.




Missed Any Excerpts, Go Here











About the Authors





Mark Henderson received a Masters of Pastoral Counseling, was a licensed counselor, and served as a pastor of counseling for twenty years.

In Memory of Mark Henderson

Mark David Henderson, co-author of this book, passed away from cancer as this book was being finalized. Mark was a loving husband, father, and friend. He touched lives all over the world through his counseling ministry and often said he had a front row seat to God’s miracles. He always made sure the individual knew it was God’s healing, and Mark was simply the servant. His desire was to take what he learned and share it with others, which is the reason for this book.

Michael Snuffer has ministered as a counselor for more than ten years. Mark and Mike founded Equip2CounselTM, a ministry dedicated to providing simple yet powerful counseling tools globally to ministers.


Thursday, March 23, 2023

My Thoughts -The Adventures of Lefty & Righty: The Windy City by Lori Orlinsky

 

My Thoughts -The Happy Rainbow Author: Lillian Jane McAdoo Illustrator: Caryl McAdoo

 

About the Book

Book: The Happy Rainbow

Author: Lillian Jane McAdoo

Illustrator: Caryl McAdoo

Genre: Picture Book – Pre-school to Third grade

Release date: December 8, 2022

A precious promise from God is fading fast when a cloud meanders between the rainbow and the sun, shadowing it. The forest animals must act fast to save the beautiful happy rainbow.

 

 

Click here to get your copy!

 

 

About the Author

Lillian Jane McAdoo, about to celebrate her seventh birthday, wrote this story while in Kindergarten at the Primrose School of Highland Village, Texas, and she’s now a first grader at Hilltop Elementary School in Argyle. Besides telling stories, she enjoys t-ball, ballet, and roller skating. An only child, Lillian knows how special she is to all, and THE HAPPY RAINBOW is her debut book!

Singing and playing with cousins and friends are some of her favorite things to do. She lives with Daddy in Carrollton, Texas—he’s a great DFW Metroplex real estate agent—and her mother at her Nanny and Pops in Argyle. Lillian loves visiting Grami and O’Pa’s home, The Peaceable, out in the country where she plays with all the dogs, rides four-wheelers, and collects the hens’ eggs for her paternal grandmother!

 

About the Illustrator

Award-winning author Caryl McAdoo prays her story brings God glory, and her best-selling stories—over sixty published—delight Christian readers around the world. The prolific writer also enjoys singing the new songs the Lord gives her; you may listen at YouTube. She’s always enjoyed drawing and graphic arts! Sharing four children and twenty-five grandsugars (six are greats), Caryl and Ron, her high-school-sweetheart-husband of fifty-four years, live in the woods south of Clarksville, seat of Red River County in far Northeast Texas. The McAdoos wait expectantly for God to open the next door.

 

More from Caryl

Oh, what a joy family is! I’m so glad the Father thought of the generations! It was my blessing to help my grandsugardoll Lillian Jane McAdoo write her debut story THE HAPPY RAINBOW. I asked her questions and she wrote her story in a purple composition book with a Crayola when she visited The Peaceable this summer. Lillian is six years old!

I asked, “What’s something you love?”

“Rainbows!”

“I love rainbows, too. So how is this rainbow?”

“Happy!” she says.

“All right then! Do you want to call your book THE HAPPY RAINBOW?”

“Yes!”

“So, you might start your story by introducing the rainbow. Then where is your rainbow going to be? What’s beneath her?”
“She’s in the sky and there’s a forest under her like your house, Grami!”

And so it went. At first, she wanted to be through before it even got to the middle, so I explained every good story had a beginning, a middle, and an end. I told her how everything had a beginning, a middle, and an end—except for God. A day has a beginning, morning, breakfast—a middle, noon, lunchtime—and an end, evening, supper.

A house has a beginning, middle, and end when it is built, lived-in, then is torn down. Trees, animals, fish, bugs, flowers, vegetables . . . everything—except God—so that they were very important! Those beginnings,wrote a blog post  middles, and ends! But we could do something else if she needed time to think about her story.

“That’s what authors do,” I told Lillian. “You don’t have to write your whole book in a day.” That made her happy.

We had several discussions while we were away from the actual writing. We researched rainbows on Google and learned so many interesting things about them.

I told her how in my stories, Grami liked to have something bad happen—a crisis—that the main character has to overcome. “Can you think of something that might happen to the rainbow?”

Lillian came up with the rainbow fading, going away, but she wanted to stay in the sky. So, I asked, “What do you suppose could make it fade?”
“The sun not shining.”
“Can you think of something that keeps the sun from shining down on you?”

“A cloud.”

“Sure! So, what if a cloud got between the sun and the rainbow? Could it shade the rainbow and make it fade?”

And so it went, the questions based on her answers. And over her visit, the story came out, all handwritten—she asked how to spell many words—in the composition book with her crayon.

 

She was so proud, but not as proud as Grami was of her! She told me more than once how she was the author and her name went on the cover! 😊 Politely, of course, but she sure had me grinning.

 

After she left, I started the illustrations, all done on the computer with free images at PicMonkey. I would send each to her and get her approval.

A couple of months back, I had the honor of leading my sugardoll to invite Jesus into her heart. As the story came forth, I’d share ways that her story honored Him.

Like the rainbow didn’t get angry with the cloud, but politely asked it to move, or the sweet little cloud, sad about the dilemma he caused, wanted to oblige the rainbow, but couldn’t without the wind (help)!

How the animals joined together to pray for the rainbow like we can join together and pray for our friends when they are in trouble. Of course, about how the rainbow shows bright and proud again at the end, proclaiming God’s promise to all men!

It thrilled me to be a part of Lillian’s first picture book! The whole process proved a very rewarding experience. Perhaps she’ll keep writing!

My Thoughts 

The Happy Rainbow is a fun story that is written by  Lillian Jane McAdoo. The book is illustrated by one of my favorite authors,  Caryl McAdoo. This was such a fun book to read. I love that it was a grandchild/grandma writing and illustrating team.  This book had me smiling the whole way through. 

We see a rainbow shining after the rain. The animals all around are happy to see the rainbow. Then a cloud comes by and blocks the sun and the rainbow colors start to fade. The rainbow asks the cloud to move - and he tells the rainbow that he can only move if the wind blows. The rainbow asks all the animals to pray that the wind will blow so the rainbow can shine bright. 

This was a cute story to read. I really enjoyed the fun facts at the end. I hope to see more from this budding author. Thank you to the author, publisher and Celebrate Lit for allowing me to read a copy of this book, all thoughts are my own. 


Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, March 16

Vicky Sluiter, March 17

Locks, Hooks and Books, March 18

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, March 19

Cover Lover Book Review, March 20

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, March 21

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, March 22

Texas Book-aholic, March 23

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, March 24

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, March 25

For Him and My Family, March 26

Mary Hake, March 26

Pause for Tales, March 27

Artistic Nobody, March 28

Simple Harvest Reads, March 29

Giveaway

To celebrate their tour, Lillian and Caryl are giving away the prize of a $25 Amazon 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.

https://promosimple.com/ps/24dbd/the-happy-rainbow-celebration-tour-giveaway