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Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Book Review and Giveaway - White Stick Author: Jacqueline Middler On Tour with Celebrate Lit

 


About the Book

Book:  White Stick

Author: Jacqueline Middler

Genre:  Memoir

Release Date: May 13, 2020


When a positive pregnancy test upends her carefree coed life, Jacqueline Marie decides to end the life of her unborn child. That abortion and the one that followed not only destroyed two lives but also wrecked Jacqueline’s soul.

Unprepared for the emotional wounds abortion inflicts, Jacqueline turns to drugs and alcohol to mask her pain, but nothing she does assuages her deep-seated guilt. When staying with relatives in Florida—intended to give her a fresh start—she hears the gospel message, and while reading the creation story and promises of God, she encounters a God who loves her despite her choices.

As she experiences God’s grace and forgiveness, Jacqueline is able to finally forgive herself. Now a doula and a voice for the unborn, she shares her story to help other women who have had abortions know that healing and redemption are possible through Jesus.

 

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author


An avid reader and devoted mother of three, Jacqueline Marie gives voice to the women who have had abortions and live with the regret and shame of that decision. White Stick is her debut work, birthed from the years-long journey to healing and redemption and her desire open the eyes of the world to the harm this choice brings to women. She has a degree from Johnson & Wales in marketing, with concentrations in English and psychology.

 

More from Jacqueline

White Stick was written in hopes of freeing women from the bondage of shame and guilt that comes with the choice of Abortion. This book’s purpose is to shed light on the after effects of what this choice does to a women’s soul and life. This choice is not the quick decision or the “easier choice” that the media portrays but can effect every one of your choices after for the rest of your life. Only Gods love and Jesus’s grace can free you. I was a Christian many years before I was able to forgive myself. Until you forgive yourself it is hard to walk in the plans God has for you. You the reader are able to walk with me through my abortion to redemption. This is a raw honest look at the devastation this choice brings.

My Thoughts

First and Foremost, Kudos to the author for sharing her story. I am sure that it was not easy. I love when people share their lifes experiences, decisions and choices and how God turned it around for HIS glory. The best thing about this book - is how RAW she tells it. She tells it how it is, and does not sugar coat it. I prefer those who tell their stories like this. She tells her story with the good, the bad and the ugly. My heart broke as she remembered the abortions (I cried at this part)  - and how she felt afterwards. It broke as she was on her path of self destruction - and really did not have a support system. But, the good news is, God placed people in her path that helped pull her out of the darkness. She found Jesus. He was able to heal her from her wounds - He was able to heal her heart. 

This is a great book for someone that may have walked this road and feels lost, alone and guilty. 

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

Blog Stops

Artistic Nobody, September 22 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Rebecca Tews, September 23

My Devotional Thoughts, September 24 (Author Interview)

Maureen’s Musings, September 24

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 25

Texas Book-aholic, September 26

Inklings and notions, September 27

For Him and My Family, September 28

Stories By Gina , September 29 (Author Interview)

deb’s Book Review, September 29

Locks, Hooks and Books, September 30

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

Ashley’s Bookshelf, October 2

Sara Jane Jacobs, October 3

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, October 4

Pause for Tales, October 5

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Jacqueline is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 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/10103/white-stick-celebration-tour-giveaway


Monday, September 28, 2020

Book Review and Giveaway --- About Face, Rest, and Intents & Purposes Author: Tonia Colleen Martin On Tour with Celebrate Lit

 



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About the Book

Book: About Face, Rest, and Intents & Purposes

Author: Tonia Colleen Martin

Genre: Illustrated Poetry

Release Date: 2019 and 2020

The terrible accident happened too long ago to remember the specifics. Having lost what she doesn’t remember owning, it takes the miracle of crossing paths with Hush, Shush and Silence, to reveal the truth. The shock of realizing she struggled to maintain an identity never meant to be hers, floors her. From a position of surrender, the surface of her tears mirrors who she has always been but hasn’t seen and does not know. Unimaginable possibilities, surprising choices and thrilling freedom ensues.

At the core of all anxiety is mistaken identity. About Face invites readers to consider who they might be apart from other people’s expectations and who they might become.

 

Click here to get your copy of About Face!

 


A perennial gift book for the stressed and beleaguered. Falling into the growing category of children’s books for adults, Rest: An Invitation to Freedom, lures readers out of frenzied productivity into a state of peaceful contemplation. Written for exhausted high achievers, this story is suitable for office lobbies, coffee and bedside tables.

“The heart of Christianity is a myth which is also a fact. At its best, the fairy story or fantasy is far from being a flight from reality; it is, rather, a flight to reality.”- JRR Tolkein

“The trumpet of imagination, like the trumpet of the Resurrection, calls the dead out of their

graves.” – GK Chesterton

“Some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again.” — C.S. Lewis

 

Click here to get your copy of Rest: An Invitation to Freedom!

Intents & Purposes

This story took longer to live than to transcribe. For daydreamers, truth-seekers, joy-feeders, and those longing to let your heart instruct your mind, this little book is for you. Falling into my own stylized category of children’s book for adults, Intents and Purposes, chronicles the path of a life abandoned by disconnection and loneliness as it moves to the threshold of hope and contentment.

Both text and illustrations are mine. Although countless versions reside in my constantly reconfiguring memory, this compilation seems to be its truest version.

 

Click here to get your copy of Intents and Purposes!

About the Author

I earned my MFA in Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts, received the Hallberg Award for Art; Best of Show, Blue Line Gallery, Membership Medley; published in The Arts in Religious and Theological Studies; Ruminate Magazine; Metonym; Sierra College Journal.

 

More from Tonia

They are ready! Finally! These three illustrated books are condensed chronicles of various phases of my spiritual development. Over the years, I’ve learned that the deepest matters of the heart seem to be resistant to the confines of words. Images aid in the capture of emotions, but even still, the heart is shy. It runs from impatience and requires a concentration of listening and a suspension of judgment.

Each one of these books hovers over distinct territories and touch down in depths most avoid. I struggle to put my experiences into a kind and beautiful package, hoping to lure readers into places of feeling many might avoid. Not realizing they would be officially released during this unnerving pandemic, I am now so grateful for the message of hope that invites readers into possibilities and faith in our merciful Father of Lights who brought all things into being and is, even now, administering Peace to those who simply ask and expect. For those who suffer in the unknown, as I have and often do, I invite to include the reading of these missives of encouragement and their distribution of the message of Hope hidden in their pages.  They were written to uplift you on the days when you can find no words for your longing, no relief for your uncertainty and a deep desire for encouragement.  I am eager to get them out in the world.

My Thoughts

When these first arrived in the mail - I was not sure what to think of them. I double checked that they were sent to me. Then I learned a huge lesson in, don't judge a book by it's cover. This whole series had messages that I needed to hear. The first one I started with was About Face. 

About Face: This book is all about how we perceive ourselves. Since I am on a weight loss journey, I am super critical of how I look at the moment. There are days I feel amazing - and others I still struggle with my self image. My husband does not understand it - I just tell him -it's a female thing. This book is a book for women that struggle. I love that this book, with it's wonderful abstract drawings reminded me that I need to see myself how Jesus does. Made in HIS image - daughter of a King. 

Rest: An Invitation to Freedom: This is the 2nd book that I went through. Rest is not something I do easily. Between being a mom, working full time, being a wife, working out and still trying to spend time with God - some days I feel stretched beyond my limits. The girl in this book feels like she does not have time to rest --- but even Jesus rested. 
Intents & Purposes - this is the 3rd and final book that I received for review. I am newly married - this books focuses on marriage and how the couple strays from their purpose. How often do we stray from what God has intended for us? 

All 3 books would make for a great addition to a bible study or women's conference. They are colorful and contain messages that every woman needs to hear. 
I received these books through the Celebrate Lit blogging program, all thoughts are my own. 

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 19

Texas Book-aholic, September 20

Beauty in the Binding, September 21 (Author Interview)

deb’s Book Review, September 21

For Him and My Family, September 22

For the Love of Literature, September 23 (Author Interview)

Inklings and notions, September 24

Locks, Hooks and Books, September 25

Tell Tale Book Reviews, September 26 (Author Interview)

Artistic Nobody, September 27 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Ashley’s Bookshelf, September 28

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, September 29

Sara Jane Jacobs, September 30

Through the Fire Blogs, October 1 (Author Interview)

Mary HakeOctober 1

Emily Yager, October 2

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Tonia 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/100e9/about-face-rest-and-intents-purposes-celebration-tour-giveaway


Sunday, September 27, 2020

Book Review and Giveaway - Perfect By Nancy E. Wood - On tour with Celebrate Lit

 


About the Book

Book: Perfect

Author: Nancy E. Wood

Genre: Contemporary YA Fiction

Release Date: September 1, 2020


Isn’t that something everyone wants to be?

Gina has done everything she could to please her parents, gain her friends’ approval, and get that one guy’s attention, but it never seems to be enough. There’s no pleasing everybody.

She’s struggling just to get through the year when a mysterious guy abruptly decides to become part of her life and disrupts everything she’s ever believed in.

Could he actually be right? Is perfection really unattainable? Or by listening to him will everything she’s worked for fall apart?

 

Click here to get your copy!

 

About the Author


Nancy E Wood was born into a missionary family and lived in Hungary until she turned twenty. Her whole childhood, she loved reading and stories, writing some of her own, but never believing she actually had the talent to be an author. Speaking multiple languages, she never thought she would be good enough in any to become a wordsmith.

Her senior year of high school, she was encouraged to write short stories, one of which turned into Perfect, a novel that couldn’t stay short. After sharing it with a few people, she decided to get it published a couple years later. She went to college in Florida, where she studied English and Music. After graduating, she married and moved to California. She published her second standalone book, I’ll Take the Lie, in the summer of 2019 and is currently working on a sequel to Perfect. She also runs a blog for young women, where she writes relatable and motivational posts that point to God. She has also done some speaking in different Christian schools and youth groups, encouraging teens to pursue Christ through some of the most difficult years of their lives.

 

More from Nancy

You’re not good enough. No matter how much you do, you’ll never do enough. No matter how good you look, you’ll never be pretty enough. No matter how little you eat, you’ll never be skinny enough. No matter how kind you are, not everyone will like you. You’ll never be enough.

 

These words, or something very similar, have echoed in my head since I was a kid. I don’t know when it started, and I certainly don’t know when these words will fade away forever from my mind and heart.

 

I was born in Budapest, Hungary. My parents are missionaries, and they raised me to love God from the very beginning. I got saved really young, and church was my life. My parents reminded me many times that I was the example, and that my little sisters looked up to me, so I had to be careful about how I acted. My whole life, I was taught that I had to be good, had to please authorities, and had to do the right thing no matter what. But what was the right thing? And what if it didn’t please the authorities?

 

For much of my life, I was torn. I was told that something was not right, but to me it seemed perfectly fine. I wasn’t happy. I was confused. I was living my life according to other people’s expectations. I didn’t know what was right or wrong. I felt like a horrible person, even when I was doing “the right thing.” What was wrong with me? So many times I felt alone, even though I had many friends. Nobody could understand me.

 

Nothing about this lifestyle changed until my senior year, the year I had my first boyfriend. He was studying to be a psychologist and helped me change my thinking. Other than having constant conflicts with my parents, who weren’t too thrilled about my dating somebody, he opened up my eyes to how much people-pleasing had taken over my life. I realized I had so many masks for each person I was around, that I didn’t even know who I was underneath. Long story short, I thought a lot about who I was. I started questioning what I believed and why. I started writing “Perfect,” which has a lot of parallels to my life then.

 

God was there through it all. I didn’t know how to defeat it, but I took a step. I talked to my parents. I told them about all my bitterness, of trying to live up to standards I didn’t believe in, of all the things I did that I didn’t enjoy doing. I told them how much I wanted to please them, but how I felt like I always fell short. They were extremely surprised, and then supportive. We were able to work through years of hard feelings on my part that they hadn’t even been aware of.

 

More steps. I used to write and not share it with anyone. I was afraid of what people would say. When I finally decided to open up and show people, I was overwhelmed at the good feedback. Instead of judging me, people could relate! I wasn’t alone in my people pleasing. I take little steps all the time when I do something I’m not comfortable with; giving hard advice, telling someone something they don’t want to hear, going to other people for help, seeking mentors, opening up to people.

 

Am I completely free? No, not yet. There are times I still come under the icy grip of doubt and fear. What if people stop liking me? What would happen if I disappointed someone I love and they don’t forgive me? But I know that I am a lot farther along than I was years ago. I may never be perfect, (in fact, let’s just admit that’ll never happen), but I can keep taking steps, getting closer to God and farther from my perfectionism. And now I know that I’m not alone.

 

I may not be perfect, but I believe God can still use me.

My Thoughts

What an amazing book to read.  This is the first book that I have read by this author - and I will be looking for the other books in the series. While this is geared toward teenage girls - the message that comes across is meant for anyone. Most women (and a lot of teenage girls) struggle with self esteem. Am I thin enough? Am I pretty enough? Are my teeth straight enough? The main character in this story, Gina is also a PK (Pastor's kid) so there is a lot of pressure with that.  She is also a people pleaser and juggled a whole lot of different hats. There is immense stress in all of that. One of the best things of this book is the message. The overall message in this book is that God loves you even though you are not perfect. There is only one perfect human, Jesus. I know that I beat myself up sometimes because I feel like I fall short - this was a great God 2x4. 

This book is well written, God spoken, has real feeling characters and gives an amazing message. 

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 18

Rebecca Tews, September 19

Adventures of a Travelers Wife, September 20 (Author Interview)

The Book Chic Blog, September 20

Texas Book-aholic, September 21

Locks, Hooks and Books, September 22

Inklings and notions, September 23

For Him and My Family, September 24

Jodie Wolfe – Stories Where Hope and Quirky Meet, September 25 (Author Interview)

deb’s Book Review, September 25

Artistic Nobody, September 26 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Ashley’s Bookshelf, September 27

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, September 28

Sara Jane Jacobs, September 29

Batya’s Bits, September 30

Spoken from the Heart, October 1

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Nancy is giving away the grand prize of a $20 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/100e7/perfect-celebration-tour-giveaway


Thursday, September 24, 2020

Book Review and Giveway --- Scrumptious Independence by Melissa Wardwell On Tour with Celebrate Lit

 

About the Book

Title: Scrumptious Independence

Author: Melissa Wardwell
Genre:  Christian, Romance, Fiction
Series: Independence Island


“Taste and see that the Lord is good.”

And so is Beth’s cooking! It’s a good thing, too. After a lifetime of her family’s smothering embrace, a whole new world opens to her with the passing of her beloved grandmother.

Armed with an inheritance she never expected and orders on how to use it, Beth sets off for Merriweather Island and fulfillment of a lifetime of dreams.

Or so she hopes.

What she didn’t hope for was what most women would—a man who fills her thoughts at the most wonderfully unwelcome times. She doesn’t have time or space for a relationship, but how do you tell love to just go away?

Of course, starting over in a new place is never easy, especially as an outsider in a small community. Add to that a mayor who has her dander up and a woman bound to make her life miserable, is it any wonder that Beth begins to doubt God’s and Gram’s plans?

With her heart betraying her resolve and challenges to her faith, Beth finds it takes bravery she didn’t know she had to discover just how scrumptious independence can be.

This “Merriweather book” is the second in a new series featuring five islands, six authors, and a boatload of happily-ever-afters.

The Independence Island Series: beach reads aren’t just for summer anymore.

 

Click here to purchase your copy!

 

About the Author


Melissa Wardwell resides in Owosso, Michigan with her husband Jonathan, three children, a cat, and two pitbulls.

Besides writing, she enjoys reading, having coffee with friends, and spending quality time with her husband kayaking and fishing.

Melissa likes to joke about the voices in her head, but it is those voices have inspired her to write several romance novels such as “I Know the Plans” (a story based in her hometown of Owosso) and “Finding Hope in Savannah”. When she is not penning works of fiction, she is busy reviewing books on her blog, Back Porch Reads.

To see more from Melissa Wardwell, visit www.melissawardwell.com

 

More from Melissa

“Lord, I don’t know how I can keep doing this.”

That was my prayer one evening in 2019 as I made my way to praise practice. I knew that writing was something God had called me to (because He never seems to call you to do something you enjoy) but the finances were just not there to publish another book. I felt lost in the uncertainty of the path moving forward and I needed a light. I had just shared all my concerns with my parents and left with my dad’s words ringing in my head. Are you writing to gain notoriety or are you writing for God?

The next morning, CelebrateLit had a post looking for submissions for a new and innovative series. Hope burst within me and I know I needed more information. I followed instructions and spoke with Sandy Barela and Chautona Havig. The more I was told, the more excited I became because I knew I needed to be part of this collection.

Ideas were hatched, characters began to talk, and a book proposal was sent. I continued to work on the development of characters and the mobile business knowing in my heart that God had given me this opportunity. I wouldn’t do things halfway. And when the confirmation email came, I was ready to share the beautiful story and characters that developed.

Beth is a food truck proprietor, so that means she spends most of her time cooking. In an effort to grow her recipes, I have been making videos of me cooking some of our family’s favorites as well as raiding my mom’s recipe box. The result is some amazing food to share.

Every book, pre-order card, and my YouTube channel has recipes on it. And so will this tour.

With it being summertime, our family doesn’t want those heavy meals so sometimes chips and sandwiches are all we need in the evenings. One favorite is my chicken salad.

Now, this recipe is easily substituted with other things like however, you like your chicken.

 

Melissa’s Chicken Salad

Feeds 4 (unless you have big eaters.)

2 cans of chicken (you can use cooked but this is quick and easy

1/2 cup of red grapes – halved

1/2 cup celery – diced

Make sure you rinse all of this well as you prep the salad

Dressing

1 1/2 cup of miracle whip (you can use mayo)

1/2 tsp mustard powder

1 tbsp white vinegar

1 tsp of sugar

Mix everything together and serve on your favorite bread option or on a bed of lettuce. I like mine in a pita pocket or on lettuce. This time it was with a pita pocket with a side of lightly salted chips and a pickle.

Now, just a little side note, you can add what ever veggie or fruit you like. Apples and cucumbers would be a great addition as well. So, don’t feel like you have to do things exactly like I do. Make it your own.

 

Bon app├ętit


My Thoughts

First of all, the chicken salad recipe above looks and sounds amazing... It is a little different then I make it - but I may have to give it a shot. 
Second, I love this author. She always writes such fun books to read. This book hit home hard - I lost my grandma earlier this year. She was the one person that never got mad, never got upset and always believed in me. So while I was reading and learning about Beth and her Gram, it made me miss mine <3. My grandma, like Gram in this story was always so full of wisdom and pearls of knowledge. 
When Gram passes, she leaves Beth a nice and special gift. A cottage in Meriweather Island. Her dream is to have a food truck and use her love of cooking to produce an income. However, coming to the island, Beth has some healing to do - and people from her past resurface. This book is a great reminder of God's love for us - and how he makes us white as snow. 
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 21

Soulfully Romantic, September 21

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, September 21

Sara Jane Jacobs, September 21

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 22

Texas Book-aholic, September 22

Inklings and notions, September 22

For Him and My Family, September 23

deb’s Book Review, September 23

Artistic Nobody, September 23 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

She Lives To Read, September 24

Adventures of a Travelers Wife, September 24

Locks, Hooks and Books, September 24

Ashley’s Bookshelf, September 24

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

Quiet Workings, September 25

21st Century Keeper at Home, September 25

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions , September 26

Older & Smarter?, September 26

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, September 26

Blogging With Carol, September 27

Mypreciousbitsandmusings, September 27

Batya’s Bits, September 27

Emily Yager, September 28

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, September 28

Stories By Gina, September 28

Reviewingbooksplusmore, September 28

CarpeDiem, September 29

Christian Bookaholic, September 29

Cultivating Us, September 29

Aryn the Libraryan, September 30

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, September 30

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, September 30

Connect in Fiction, October 1

The Collaborative Press, October 1

Livin’ Lit, October 1

Simple Harvest Reads, October 2 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

The Meaderings of a Bookworm, October 2

Godly Book Reviews, October 2

Joanne Markey, October 3

Captive Dreams Window, October 3

Vicky Sluiter, October 3

Blossoms and Blessings, October 4

Splashes of Joy, October 4

Pause for Tales, October 4

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Melissa is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 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/10105/scrumptious-independence-celebration-tour-giveaway