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Sunday, October 18, 2020

Book Review and Giveaway - Courage to Thrive Author: Robert D. Flanagan On Tour with Celebrate Lit

 


About the Book

Book: Courage to Thrive

Author: Robert D. Flanagan

Genre: Christian Living, Depression & Anxiety

Release Date: June 30, 2020


When wrestling with depression and anxiety, getting out of bed is a courageous move. When panic attacks and suicidal thoughts strike, finding victories in the small things of life and reframing feelings can help a person flourish even in the midst of mental health struggles. Rev. Dr. Bob Flanagan knows all about that—he’s spent two decades combatting mental illness head on.

In his first-person spiritual journal Courage to Thrive, Flanagan takes the reader with him as he traverses the dark and scary landscape of his mind and then the paths of faith that lead him to the Source of light and hope. Through a vulnerable look at the realities of a priest battling mental illness and still thriving, readers—whether dealing with similar mental health challenges or the stressors of everyday life—are left with a quiet confidence that assures them they too can thrive and enjoy the gifts God has given them.

Each of the forty reflections concludes with a heartfelt prayer that revels in God’s healing mercies. Join Flanagan on a journey to joy, peace, and hope.

 

Click here to get your copy!

 

About the Author


Rev. Dr. Bob Flanagan has struggled with mental illness and managed to thrive for over twenty years. He holds a doctorate of ministry degree in Christian Spirituality and is an adjunct faculty member at General Theological Seminary in New York City, teaching on Christian spirituality. He has served for over ten years as a state and federal advocate for and board member of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. His previous book, Growing a Sustainable Soul, won a bronze medal in the Reader’s Favorite International Book Contest. Bob lives with his wife, Lanie, in Bridgewater, Connecticut. They have two grown children.

 

More from Robert

Courage to Thrive: Finding Joy and Hope in the Midst of Mental Health Struggles is a pioneering and beautiful book that will help people feel better about themselves and their mental health struggles. I smile knowing that readers will feel the love of God and God’s healing mercies by spending time journaling about their own challenges.

As a priest who struggled with suicidal ideation during seminary and anxiety and depression at various times in my live, I feel this book is a way to change the conversation about mental health within the Christian community.

 

Trivia

I was a top athlete during college.

My favorite type of dog is the Newfoundland. While that is the best dog in the world. I only have a cat right now.

I became a Christian when I was five and remember my baptism.

My wife and I are avid gardeners. We have a big garden that includes sunflowers, potatoes, and many herbs that can be used as medicines. Its based on the English physic gardens that pastors grew in the 1700s.

My Thoughts

I have previously had issues with anxiety and depression. I tried to commit suicide at age 13. It was then I finally confessed to my parents about the sexual abuse I had been enduring since age 8. Some of my children have had to deal with it also. This is a great devotion. The author shares how he walked through the darkness and how he has been able to come out on the other side. This book is broken down into 40 chapters. Each chapter starts off with a Bible verse and focuses on a specific subject. There is a prayer in each chapter and a prompt that you can write down what God is saying to you. Each chapter is around 3-5 pages. I can see this book being used in a small group study. The author has done a wonderful job with this devotion. 

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

Blog Stops

Texas Book-aholic, October 15

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 16

Sara Jane Jacobs, October 17

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, October 18

Captive Dreams Window, October 18

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

deb’s Book Review, October 20

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, October 21

For Him and My Family, October 22

Ashley’s Bookshelf, October 23

Locks, Hooks and Books, October 24

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, October 25

Inklings and notions, October 26

Mary Hake, October 26

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 27

Writing from the Heart Land, October 28

Giveaway

To celebrate his tour, Robert 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/10257/courage-to-thrive-celebration-tour-giveaway


Saturday, October 17, 2020

Book Review and Giveaway - Truly Known Author: Jayne Martin Patton on tour with Celebrate Lit

 


About the Book

Book:  Truly Known

Author: Jayne Martin Patton

Genre:  Christian Nonfiction/Christian living

Release Date: March 9, 2020



Knowing God—really knowing God—often seems like an impossible endeavor, especially when we hardly know ourselves. Jayne Patton saw that truth firsthand after ministering to women at a maximum-security prison. And soon she realized that women everywhere—even sitting in the church pew next to her—were living in emotional, spiritual, and mental prisons within their own hearts and minds.

Truly Known invites women of all ages and stages to discover the life-altering freedom that God richly provides them, so that they no longer have to live within their own prisons but can be transformed in the presence of Jesus. Readers will be asking “So now what?” as they are empowered to snatch each moment and each day that God gives them to make a difference in the lives of others.

All proceeds from Truly Known will be donated to Samuel’s House, an orphanage in Venezuela that seeks to feed, shelter, educate, and evangelize children, bringing life to their souls.

 

Click here to get your copy!

 

About the Author


Jayne Patton loves crossing over denominational divides to bring the gospel to others in a way that is powerful and relevant. With over twenty years in women’s ministry, she has previously served as a women’s ministry director, worked with government officials in the plight of persecuted Christians worldwide, ministered to women behind prison walls, and more. Jayne is a popular speaker at churches, women’s events, and MOPS groups. She and her husband, Mike, have three children. Jayne loves to read in her spare time, can always be bribed with Mexican food, and never turns down a double-stuffed Oreo. Learn more about her at www.alteredministries.com.

 

More from Jayne

Let’s be real, prison ministry was never on my women’s ministry vision board. I didn’t lay in bed as a little girl and dream of going behind bars. I didn’t grow up knowing a single incarcerated person, my modern-day world didn’t include those who had been incarcerated, and I never thought it would be the thing that would change my entire life. Until 2017. In the fall of that year, I was given the opportunity to begin ministering weekly at a maximum security women’s prison in Missouri and remember thinking at the time how much it would bless those inmates if I would teach them the word of God. I couldn’t have gone in with the worst motivation. You see, it was the Lord who was bringing me there to be blessed and taught by them!

 

I soon discovered that Jesus was working hard in the hearts of those women and they were being transformed into Christ’s likeness unlike anything I had ever experienced within the church walls. In fact, I was so dramatically impacted by what I was experiencing, the Lord prompted me to launch a women’s conference style ministry entitled “Altered Ministries”. My ministry team and I began hosting women’s events at local churches sharing the same messages we were bringing to the women in prison. It was remarkable what God began doing! Lives were being restored, addictions were being shed, and relationships were being renewed!

 

As Altered was moving full speed ahead, I began writing short and pointed daily devotionals for those just beginning their walk with Jesus. Those short devotionals are what soon became my devotional book entitled “Truly Known”.  Why that name? Because God is the One who truly knows all the parts of us that we try to hide, and yet still desires that we draw close to Him. I could see His heart for not just the women sitting in church pews often held captive in prisons of their own making, but for the ones that were held behind very real bars. Jesus came to set all of us free.  My prayer is that “Truly Known” serves as daily encouragement that is easy to understand for the beginner and serves as a sweet reminder for the scholar.

My Thoughts

What a God inspired women's devotions that are great for all women. Each chapter starts off with a Bible Verse. The author will then share some personal connections - and then the author ties in the Bible Verse/story into that. I took a class at a previous church that teaches how to live in Freedom - and there was a lot to unpack in that class - this book brought it down to a not so intense level - that taught how God desires us to live freely from our past - and not look back. There were several chapters that spoke to me throughout this entire book. The chapter entitled "Ambushed" I have had to walk through some things lately that the only way I can get through it is with God. That is where the peace and the calmness is found. With all the chaos in this world - all the hate, all the anger, Jesus is where the Peace is. The world has you wanting to feel one sort of way - and if you don't you're wrong. I know that in times like we are going through right now, our focus as Christians needs to be on Jesus. 
This book is such a gem. This will be something that I keep on my bedside to read when I feel God calling me too. The author has done a great job. 

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 7

Texas Book-aholic, October 8

Inklings and notions, October 9

For Him and My Family, October 10

Rebekah Reads, October 10

deb’s Book Review, October 11

Ashley’s Bookshelf, October 12

Sara Jane Jacobs, October 13

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 14

Locks, Hooks and Books, October 15

Mary Hake, October 15

Artistic Nobody, October 16 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, October 17

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 18

SodbusterLiving, October 19

Splashes of Joy, October 20

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Jayne is giving away the grand prize package of a signed book and $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/101f2/truly-known-celebration-tour-giveaway


Friday, October 16, 2020

Book Review and Giveaway - Marry Me for Real, Cowboy Author: Valerie Comer On Tour with Celebrate Lit

 



About the Book

Book:  Marry Me for Real, Cowboy

Author: Valerie Comer

Genre:  Christian Contemporary Romance

Release Date: September 8, 2020


Adam Cavanagh’s rodeo championship tastes like dirt after a competitor’s critical injury, but going home to his family’s Montana ranch isn’t much of an improvement. If not even the coveted trophy earns his stepfather’s respect, what will it take?

Riley Dunning’s quick thinking is all that’s keeping her body, soul, and principles together, but demanding a kiss from a hunky cowboy to deter the weirdo following her might be taking things too far… especially when the cowboy comes up with a risky plan that might offer them both stability. If it doesn’t backfire completely.

Will a fake engagement give Adam and Riley the leg up they each need, or will the cost to their hearts be too high? Because neither believes the other will want to marry them… for real.

 

Click here to get your copy!

 

About the Author


Valerie Comer is a USA Today bestselling author and a two-time Word Award winner. She writes engaging characters, strong communities, and deep faith into her green clean romances.

Valerie’s life on a small farm in western Canada provides the seed for stories of contemporary Christian romance. She only hopes her imaginary friends enjoy their happily-ever-afters as much as she does hers, shared with her husband, adult kids, and adorable granddaughters.

 

 

More from Valerie

Oh, cowboys…

 

Four years after I began publishing farm romances, I added my first cowboy romance series to the lineup. “It’s not that different,” I told myself and anyone who would listen. “Ranches are almost the same as farms. A few more horses, a few less random other animals!”

 

Ah, but cowboys are deemed more attractive than farmers! Maybe it’s their uniform. You know, a Stetson. Plaid snap-front shirts under denim jackets. Well-worn jeans. Cowboy boots. That combo looks better on a book cover than the stereotypical farmer in a straw hat, overalls, and rubber boots!

 

Whether focusing on cowboys, farmers, or gardeners, all of my green clean romances feature engaging characters, strong communities, and deep faith. Are the characters perfect Christians? Nope. No more than you and I are. There’s always room to grow.

 

In Marry Me for Real, Cowboy, the first story in my new Cavanagh Cowboys Romance, Adam decides a fiancĂ©e is just what he needs to impress his stepfather. Not that Adam wants to get married any time soon, but surely it won’t come to that! But… how long do you think it will take for him to realize that he’s living a lie and not trusting God to handle his future? What will his path be to resolve his lack of faith as well as move forward both in romance and in his relationship with his stepdad? You may have to read Marry Me for Real, Cowboy and find out!

 

— Valerie Comer

My Thoughts

Marry me for real cowboy is book 1 in the Cavanagh Cowboy series. This book starts out with Adam Cavanagh coming back home to his families ranch. On the way home he stops at a local diner. He hears a woman in distress, and decides at first to mind his own business. However, as he is waiting to be seated the woman bounces into the diner. Riley goes up to Adam and asks him to kiss her. A weird request, but Adam is happy to oblige. The man that Riley was arguing with - comes in behind and tries to convince Riley to leave. However Adam tells him that Riley is his fiancĂ©. They then continue with these lies - and start to navigate together. Will their lies catch up with them - or can this turn into something real?  
The characters are well written - the story line is intriguing and I was swept away from page one. I love how we get to meet the families of the characters - it always makes it feel more real. I can't wait to read 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

Lighthouse academy, October 6

Fiction Full of Faith, October 6

Texas Book-aholic, October 7

deb’s Book Review, October 7

Sara Jane Jacobs, October 8

Genesis 5020, October 8

For Him and My Family, October 9

The Book Chic Blog, October 9

Inklings and notions, October 10

Joanne Markey, October 10

Locks, Hooks and Books, October 11

Simple Harvest Reads, October 11 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, October 12

Ashley’s Bookshelf, October 13

Mypreciousbits, October 13

Artistic Nobody, October 14 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Vicky Sluiter, October 14

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 15

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, October 16

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, October 16

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 17

Blossoms and Blessings, October 17

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, October 18

Britt Reads Fiction, October 18

Splashes of Joy, October 19

Book Love, October 19 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Valerie is giving away the grand prize package of a complete paperback set of all six books in the Saddle Springs Romance series!!

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/101db/marry-me-for-real-cowboy-celebration-tour-giveaway

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Book Review and Giveaway -- My Hair Went on Vacation by Paula Quinn on tour with Iread

 


Book Details:

Book Title:  My Hair Went on Vacation by Paula Quinn
Category:  Children's Fiction (Ages 3-7),  38 pages
Genre:  Children's Picture Book
Publisher:  Mascot Books
Release date:   August, 2020
Format available for review:  print, ebook (PDF)
Will send print books out:  USA
Tour dates: Oct 12 to Oct 30, 2020
Content Rating:  G. This children's book is for everyone.
Book Description:



This story is about Rosie, who lives in Chicago. Within three weeks she lost all of her hair and asked, "Where did it go?" Rosie loved to rock the bald, without even skipping a beat. She happily wore sunscreen -not even a hat!- in the summer heat. At bedtime, Rosie would tell her own stories with a smile on her face. She'd imagine her hair going on magical adventures all over the place. From a young age, Rosie loved herself and was not phased by her look, So her mother decided to share her spirit to teach others through this book. Come on this adventure with a confident bald girl, Who tells us Bald is beautiful! as she smiles with a twirl. We hope this book can inspire you to love others as they are, And to love yourself every day, whether your hair is near or far.
Author Paula Quinn
Meet the Author:

Paula and Rosie Quinn are the founders of Coming Up Rosies, a nonprofit dedicated to fulfilling Rosie’s dream to make bald kids like her smile confidently. At two years old, Rosie was diagnosed with alopecia universalis, an incurable autoimmune disease that results in baldness. From a young age, Rosie taught her parents how to embrace her difference by coming up with magical adventures of her hair each night before bed. Despite Rosie’s confidence, awkward questions and comments about her baldness started to bother Rosie. One day, her parents surprised her with a head scarf made from one of her paintings. Rosie immediately felt confident again, and wanted to share this feeling of pride with all bald children. Rosie lives in Chicago with her sister Caroline, her parents Paula and Larry, and their bernedoodle, Enzo. As a family, they love to go to Cubs games, have dance parties, and cook Italian dinners at home.

Connect with the Author:  website  ~ facebook  ~ instagram goodreads

My Thoughts
My hair went on vacation is a well written childrens book that deals with alopecia. The book shows how the young girl, Rosie,  becomes proud of her baldness. 
I love the message of this book - be proud of the skin that you are in. I read this book with my 9 and 7 year old and they enjoyed it. It did spark some conversation to what alopecia is, what causes it, etc. 
The book is beautifully written and illustrated. It would make a great edition to school libraries. 
I received a copy of this book through the Iread book tour program - all thoughts are my own 
Tour Schedule:
Oct 12 - Splashes of Joy – book review / author interview / giveaway
Oct 12 – I'm Into Books – book review / giveaway
Oct 13 – Library of Clean Reads – book review / giveaway
Oct 14 – Rockin' Book Reviews – book review / guest post / giveaway
Oct 15 – Because I said so -- and other adventures in Parenting – book review / giveaway
Oct 16 – Ice Fairy's Treasure Chest – book review / giveaway
Oct 19 – Jazzy Book Reviews – book review / giveaway
Oct 20 – Older & Smarter? – book review / giveaway
Oct 21 – Cover Lover Book Review – book review / giveaway
Oct 22 – Reading is My Passion – book review
Oct 23 – She Just Loves Books – book review / giveaway
Oct 26 – Stephanie Jane – book spotlight / giveaway
Oct 26 - Pick a Good Book - book review / author interview / giveaway
Oct 27 – Locks, Hooks and Books – book review / giveaway
Oct 28 – Authors Ace – book review
Oct 29 – Bound 4 Escape – book review / giveaway
Oct 30 – My Journey Back – book review / giveaway

GIVEAWAY

$20 Amazon Gift Card courtesy of the author of MY HAIR WENT ON VACATION (AMAZON.COM customers) (1 winner) (ends Nov 6)

ENTER: HERE

Book Review and Giveaway - Legend of the Storm Sneezer Author: Kristiana Sfirlea On Tour with Celebrate Lit


About the Book

Book: Legend of the Storm Sneezer

Author: Kristiana Sfirlea

Genre: Middle-Grade Fantasy

Release Date: May 5, 2020


Legend Seeker. Part-time Ghost Hunter. Time Traveler.

Thirteen-year-old Rose Skylar sneezed a magical storm cloud at birth, and it’s followed her around ever since. But when “Stormy” causes one too many public disasters, Rose is taken to Heartstone, an asylum for unstable magic. Its location? The heart of a haunted forest whose trees have mysteriously turned to stone.

They say the ghosts are bound to the woods … then why does Rose see them drifting outside the windows at night? And why is there a graveyard on the grounds filled with empty graves? Guided by her future selves via time traveling letters, Rose and Marek—best friend and potential figment of her imagination—must solve the mystery of the specters and the stone trees before the ghosts unleash a legendary enemy that will make their own spooks look like a couple of holey bed sheets and destroy Heartstone Asylum.

Letters from the future are piling up. Rose can’t save Heartstone herself. However, five of herselves, a magical storm cloud, and a guardian angel who might very well be imaginary? Now that’s a silver lining.

But will they find what killed the ghosts before what killed the ghosts finds them?
Click here to get your copy!

 

About the Author


As an author, Kristiana Sfirlea knows what it means to get in character. She spent five years volunteering as a historical reenactor and trying her best not to catch her skirts on fire as a colonial girl from the 1700s (leading cause of death at the time next to childbirth). Working at a haunted house attraction, she played a jumping werewolf statue, a goblin in a two-way mirror, and a wall-scratcher—so if she’s standing very still, growling, checking her reflection, or filing her nails on your wall, be alarmed. Those are hard habits to break.

Kristiana’s speculative flash fiction has been published by Havok, and her debut novel Legend of the Storm Sneezer is a whimsical Middle Grade fantasy involving time travel and things that go bump in the night. She dreams of the day she can run her own mobile bookstore. Or haunted house attraction. Or both. Look out, world—here comes a haunted bookmobile! (And this is precisely why writers should never become Uber drivers.) She loves Jesus, her family, and imaginary life with her characters.

 

More from Kristiana

Should kids enjoy spooky things?

 

It’s the question on many Christian parents’ minds this time of year. Should my kid see that movie, wear that costume, celebrate that holiday? From tots to teens, most kiddos have an undeniable fascination with Halloween. But should this be encouraged—or cut down quicker than the first victim of a horror flick?

 

Let me tell you a story. (Don’t worry, it’s not too scary.) Once upon a time, there was a young girl with a monster that followed her wherever she went. It bit at her constantly, venom flooding her veins with anxiety, teeth gnawing her courage to worried nubs. But her monster wasn’t really a monster—it was a debilitating health condition that took the girl’s entire childhood to diagnose.

 

For years, her fears and pain and panic seemed like her only friends. But then one day, the girl discovered a book series unlike anything she’d ever read before. (And believe me, she’d read a lot.) It was filled with magic and monsters and chilling, thrilling adventures. The heroes faced so many scary things—and putting herself in their shoes, the girl had never felt so understood. Finally, she had friends to take with her to the endless doctor appointments, and somehow holding those books in her hands made her braver.

 

But in the end—for there is always an end to such things—those books failed her.

 

They failed her because they didn’t point her to the only true source of bravery: Jesus.

 

And so, with this in mind, the girl grew up to write a book called Legend of the Storm Sneezer, a story about ghosts and time travel and the true meaning of sacrificial love.

 

Should kids enjoy spooky things? Maybe. Should kids enjoy spooky things that show them how the power of God’s love frightens any monster—or monster-sized problem? Absolutely.

My Thoughts

The Legend of the Storm Sneezer is the first book in The Stormwatch Diaries series. This is also the authors debut novel. What a fun book to read with my 9 year old. Colton and I laughed a lot with this book. This book is part fantasy, mystery, adventure, scary story, comedy - all rolled into one.  This book is geared towards middle grades, but as an adult I enjoyed reading it also. 
Main character Rose, was our favorite characters. Marek her best friend are comical when they are together. However, Colton thought that Marek was pretend - and I thought Marek was real. Can the two of them find out why the ghosts are not confined to the forests like they are supposed to be. There is a lot that goes on with every page - so you will not find yourself bored. My son has really started to get into spooky, scary stories - and this book fit his personality perfectly. 
I received a copy of this book through the Celebrate Lit blogging program, all thoughts are my own. 

Blog Stops

Rebecca Tews, October 2

Blogging With Carol, October 3

Through the Fire Blogs, October 4

Vicky Sluiter, October 5 (Author Interview)

The Book Chic Blog, October 5

Texas Book-aholic, October 6

For Him and My Family, October 7

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, October 8

Wishful Endings, October 9 (Author Interview)

deb’s Book Review, October 9

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 10

Inklings and notions, October 11

Artistic Nobody, October 12 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Sara Jane Jacobs, October 12

Locks, Hooks and Books, October 13

Ashley’s Bookshelf, October 14

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, October 15

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Kristiana is giving away the grand prize package of a signed copy of the book, mini red umbrella, two mini storm-scented candles, a storm sneezer tissue packet, and a button!!

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/10197/legend-of-the-storm-sneezer-celebration-tour-giveaway