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Monday, August 15, 2022

Book Review and Giveaway - Prodigal Lives Author: Carol McClain On Tour with Celebrate Lit

 



About the Book

Book: Prodigal Lives

Author: Carol McClain

Genre: Contemporary Fiction

Release date: April 1, 2022


Life keeps piling problems on Meredith Jaynes. She loses her second foster child—one she was scheduled to adopt. Then Parker Snow refuses to marry her. With only her goats and artisan soap to support her, life will get no better.

If she is honest, though, she still has Crystal. Her funny, happy, loveable toddler makes the sun shine and reminds her of the never-failing love of God.

Pearl Solomon loves her life with her grandfather Guy, but every one of her triumphs is overshadowed by her sisters’ lives. With Mama Meredith, they live a life she envies. Because of her jealousy, she refuses to contact them.

Years later, life for both families twist down paths they do not wish to travel. Pearl knows she’s lost what was most precious in life but has no means of fixing things. Left to her own devices, she spirals out of control.

Meredith finds it harder to mask the despair infertility has brought to her life.

Both families believe they must reconcile themselves to their fates as reality shatters their dreams unless they dig deep for the promise of love.

 

Click here to get your copy!

 

About the Author


Carol McClain is the award-winning author of four novels dealing with real people facing real problems. She is a consummate encourager, and no matter what your faith might look like, you will find compassion, humor and wisdom in her complexly layered, but ultimately readable work.

Aside from writing, she’s a skilled stained-glass artist, a budding potter and photographer. She lives in East Tennessee with her husband and growing farm. Inspired by Meredith Jaynes, she owns two goats. One will kid soon.

You can connect with her at carolmcclain.com.

On goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14030286.Carol_McClain

On BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/carol-mcclain

On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/author.Carol.McClain

 

More from Carol

Have you ever thought you’ve seen yourself in a novel?

 

If you know an author, you probably have.

 

For years I worked with recovering addicts and those helping them in organizations like Celebrate Recovery, a Christian-styled support group like AA. If I read the events of these people’s lives in a novel, I would say, “Too fake to believe.”

 

Their lives are tragic, funny, heartbreaking, heartwarming.

 

Many of their stories made it into my latest novel Prodigal Lives (modified, disguised, and novelized).

 

I not only incorporate others into my work, but I live through my characters’ lives (Please don’t suggest a sky diving protagonist).

 

In Prodigal Lives one of my main characters owns goats. For years, I begged my husband too let me have a goat or two. He promised. Then, he wimped out, so I created Meredith Jaynes a successful artisan specializing in goat soap and raising Nubians.

 

Prodigal Lives is a sequel but can stand alone (reading both books amplifies your enjoyment, of course). This book follows the loss Pearl and Meredith feel as Pearl is adopted by her grandfather. Pearl becomes jealous of her sisters who stay with Mama Meredith, and they lose touch. Although they hear nothing from each other, neither is forgotten.

 

I believe in redemption. All my work illustrates that no matter how far you fall, a loving Father is going to make a way to redeem you. He’s done it for me, and I was an impossibly problematic child of the King.

 

I hope you enjoy Prodigal Lives. Sign up for my newsletter and blog and never miss a new release, my Biblical thoughts or an appearance I’m making. Believe me, I wouldn’t live, my blog and newsletter are fascinating.


My Thoughts

Prodigal Lives is book two in the Treasured Lives series that is written by Carol McClain. I would recommend reading the books in order as I have so you can grasp the whole story. 

In the first story we met Meredith. She helped a young girl that was stealing from her. She ended up taking in the girl and her siblings. I’m this story we revisit Meredith and she’s going through some things. 


She was hoping to adopt one of the foster children she’s been caring for and then that doesn’t happen. However one is left behind. I love how being a foster parent is in both of the books that I’ve read. There’s so much going on. These poor children feel so unloved and unwanted. It’s heartbreaking. This book tugged at my heartstrings. I will admit there are a few places that had me tearing up. 


We also got to see Pearl again. She is now staying with her grandfather. However things go downhill for her when some negative influences come into her life. 


This book focuses on some sensitive topics. It touches on drugs and how addictions can change lives. I felt the author did an amazing job bringing Gods forgiveness and Glory through it. 


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

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, August 6

Splashes of Joy, August 7 (Author Interview)

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, August 7

Texas Book-aholic, August 8

Inklings and notions, August 9

For Him and My Family, August 10

Artistic Nobody, August 11 (Author Interview)

deb’s Book Review, August 11

Locks, Hooks and Books, August 12

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, August 13

A Reader’s Brain, August 14

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

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, August 16

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, August 17

Spoken from the Heart, August 18

Pause for Tales, August 19

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Carol is giving away the grand prize of a $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/20711/prodigal-lives-celebration-tour-giveaway

Sunday, August 14, 2022

Book Review and Giveaway -Meet Me on the Porch Author: Erin Stevenson On Tour with Celebrate Lit

 



About the Book

Book: Meet Me on the Porch

Author: Erin Stevenson

Genre: Christian fiction

Release date: May 13, 2022


Brynne Lockwood has come home to Brattleboro, Vermont after a humiliating job loss. She’s weary and broken, and still hasn’t truly forgiven herself for a former unhealthy relationship with long-lasting consequences. She doesn’t believe that she deserves anything good and can’t imagine that God could ever use her.

After recovering from a shattering loss, Pastor Adam Johnston is on his way to a new assignment. A mix-up takes him and his baby daughter to beautiful southern Vermont. If he stays, he’ll face opposition, but God has prepared his heart for ministry, and he’s committed to serving there.

Adam and Brynne connect quickly and unexpectedly, but circumstances demand that they be cautious.

Now, you are invited to join Adam and Brynne on the porch at her grandparents’ home—a special place where you’ll experience their joy as Adam and Brynne build a friendship rooted in Biblical principles, find healing for their wounds, and discover God’s plan for their lives.

 

Click here to get your copy!

 

About the Author


Erin has been writing fiction since 2014 and is published independently and with Pelican Book Group and Winged Publications. She is a 2021 American Christian Fiction Writers Carol Award Finalist.

Erin was raised in Illinois and has lived in many places in the U.S., including on both coasts, but is a Midwest girl at heart. She spent many years as an educator from pre-school through college levels, and currently works in communications for a global corporation.

When she’s not writing, Erin loves spending time with her children and grandchildren, and playing in the garden (which equates to mostly pulling weeds) at her central Iowa home. Her secret indulgence is plain M&Ms.

 

More from Erin

This book is part of Pelican Book Group’s Destination Romance collection, one set in each of the 50 US states. There were three random objects required to be worked into the plot: lace, shampoo, and a shovel. The twist was that they had to be presented in an interesting way—not, for instance, “Brynne was disappointed to discover that her favorite shampoo was out of stock.”

 

Here’s an excerpt of how I incorporated shampoo into this story:

 

Adam led her to the swing. After she sat, he set the mug on the table, then picked up a bulky case and placed it on top.

“What’s that?”

Adam smiled. “This is my sample case. Allow me to show you my display of shampoos.”

“Shampoos?”

“Yes. I have orange blossom, lemon verbena, strawberry vanilla.” He lifted out each bottle and lined them up. At least six more followed, each a different scent. “And this one is—um, oh, sorry, that’s for lice.” He grimaced.

Brynne nearly spewed her drink. “Adam Johnston, what are you doing?”

“I’m a shampoo salesman.” He lifted a shoulder. “Last night you said you would date me if I was a pilot or a shampoo salesman.” He sighed. “I’m terrified of flying.”

She had to hold her laughter as she put her hand over her heart. “You are beyond cute. Where did you get all this stuff?” A giggle escaped.

He let out a sigh. “It wasn’t easy, believe me,” he muttered.

My Thoughts

Meet Me on the Porch is written by Erin Stevenson. This is a Christian Fiction book. I have read a few other books by this author and have always enjoyed her style of writing.  


Brynne Lockwood lost her job and comes back to Brattleboro, Vermont. She comes home with a lot of brokenness, hurt, pain and regret. She goes back to Vermont and her grandparents bed and breakfast (which the description was so detailed and precise it made me wish it was real so that I could visit it).  When she arrives she meets guest, Pastor Adam Johnston. He is also healing and grieving. His wife died while giving birth to his baby daughter. 


I loved the small town atmosphere that the author has created. The porch conversations that Adam and Brynne have to get to know each other remind me of how it is down in the Deep South where I live. I love how real feeling and broken these characters are. Brynne is looking for direction and healing and Adam is making sure that he is in the right place. He finds out it was a clerical mix up and he was sent to the wrong church. 


The characters are well written. The storyline is humorous and I laughed a lot throughout the story.Thank you to the author, publisher and Celebrate Lit for allowing me to read a copy of this story. All thoughts are my own. 

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, August 2

Texas Book-aholic, August 3

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, August 4

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, August 5 (Author Interview)

Lily’s Book Reviews, August 5

Inklings and notions, August 6

deb’s Book Review, August 7

Guild Master, August 8 (Author Interview)

Locks, Hooks and Books, August 9

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, August 10

For Him and My Family, August 11

Artistic Nobody, August 12 (Author Interview)

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, August 13

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, August 14

Simple Harvest Reads, August 15 (Author Interview)

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, August 15

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Erin is giving away the grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card & 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/20709/meet-me-on-the-porch-celebration-tour-giveaway


Book Review and Giveaway -The Rubber-Band: Slingshot Summer By: Christy Hoss On Tour with Celebrate Lit

 




About the Book




Book: The Rubber-Band: Slingshot Summer

Editor: Christy Hoss

Genre: Middle Grade

Release date: May, 2022

Separated from each other at rival camps by a shared lake, the bond of the Rubber Band is challenged. Lead guitar player, Eddie attends a rustic camp for diabetics while across the lake, the rest of the band is at a posh resort for elite rich people’s children, sponsored by lead singer, Becca. During the annual Olympics between camps, the sabotage of a high-stakes kayak race threatens to sink friendships. From the moment they step off the bus to the last day of goodbyes, it’s a non-stop, hilarious and fun-filled first time-at-camp experience for the guys all while Becca is bullied by a long-time rival. Although both summer camps bring new possibilities, will it strengthen the bond of the band and change hearts or stretch them apart?

 

Click here to get your copy!

 

About the Author




Christy caught the writing bug in second grade after winning a prize for a five-page story about her dog, Noodles. Mrs. Olson told her she was destined to be a writer and that dream never left her thoughts. After teaching elementary school for fifteen years, Christy fulfilled her childhood dream with her debut novel, The Rubber Band. She substitute teaches to support her writing career, deriving writing inspiration from the students and situations she encounters.

At age twenty-five, she was diagnosed with type-one diabetes but refuses to let it limit her. Her diabetic alert dog, Aiden, has saved her life uncountable times and will appear The Rubber Band Snaps, the fourth book in the series. Christy lives by this equation: Living + diabetes = LIVE-abetes.

Christy is a freelance editor and writes children’s Bible stories for Focus on the Family ClubHouse magazine and has written articles for Guideposts. She is a featured speaker for conferences, retreats and special events. Christy lives in eastern Tennessee with husband Kevin, the love of her life. They have three grown children.

The Rubber Band Slingshot Summer is the third book in The Rubber Band middle grade novel series by Christy Hoss.

 

More from Christy

If you have ever been to summer camp, I guarantee you will enjoy the Rubber Band’s newest adventure. It takes place at two camps across the lake from each other. Although this is a fictional story, some of it is based on reality. Bearskin Meadow Diabetes Camp does exist and some of the names I used are real people who have given me permission to honor them and what they do. Becca’s exaggerated outdoor adventure camp is, however, purely non-existent and based only on my imagination.

I couldn’t resist writing this light-hearted, fun-filled, nonstop adventure for the band but not without its serious message that I am hoping will encourage strength in my readers.

One week at Bible camp was always the highlight of my summer, giving me something to look forward to. The week always ended too soon for me. Fresh out of high school, I flew to Southern California and worked as a counselor for inner-city kids at a Salvation Army camp in Malibu. It was so much fun, I worked three more summers at various camps on the East Coast and then two more back in Malibu. It was inevitable I would write about the experiences one day.

If you want to experience the camp Eddie attends, check it out here: https://dyf.org/why-camp/

In order to get to Bearskin Meadow, you must travel through Sequoia National Park. Take a sneak peek at its thousand-year-old trees here: https://www.fs.usda.gov/main/sequoia/home


My Thoughts

Our favorite middle grade band is back with The Rubber Band: Book Three- Slingshot Summer (Summer Camp). This series is written by Christy Hoss. While this book is part of a series, the author fills in important details of the main characters so you don’t feel left behind. I have read the whole series so it was good to see them again. I read this story with my 11 year old son. 


The members of Rubber Band are off to Summer Camp. Eddie aka Needles is headed off to Diabetes camp while the others are off with Becca to Sandy Hill Lake. Which really isn’t much of a camp. It’s more of a resort. Becca and her family sponsors Rocky, Oliver and Manny to go. 


Eddie meets some new friends when he is on the bus on his way. He is fascinated with his new friends diabetic dog, Chevy. He also makes friends with the camp trickster, Trevor. However he learns as in previous stories there’s more to then meets the eye. 


I enjoyed seeing my favorite middle grade band have fun in the summer. There’s summer enemies and rivals thrown in along with a rival camp competition. I felt the author did a great job showcasing what a diabetic camp would look like. 


The book is written well for the intended audience. The characters are well developed. I as an adult also enjoyed the story. My son and I hope the series continues. 


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

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, August 3

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, August 4

Texas Book-aholic, August 5

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, August 6

For Him and My Family, August 7

Inklings and notions, August 8

deb’s Book Review, August 9

Locks, Hooks and Books, August 10

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, August 11

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, August 12

Lights in a Dark World, August 13

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, August 14

Blossoms and Blessings, August 15 (Author Interview)

Vicky Sluiter, August 16 (Author Interview)

Book Zone Reviews, August 16

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Christy is giving away the grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card and a 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/2070a/the-rubber-band-slingshot-summer-celebration-tour-giveaway

Saturday, August 13, 2022

Book Review and Giveaway -Avalanche Series: Off the Itinerary #1 Author: M. Liz Boyle -- Hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours

 Welcome to the Blog Tour for Off the Itinerary series by M. Liz Boyle, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

ABOUT THE SERIES


Title: Avalanche

Series: Off the Itinerary #1

Author: M. Liz Boyle

Publisher: Independently Published

Release Date: September 26, 2019

Genre: Christian middle-grade/YA, Adventure

“Avalanche surprised me with its depth…a 5-star read…” -For the Love of Literature

Five friends. One moonlit summit. An unforgettable journey.

Excitement hangs in the air as Marlee and her sisters join their friends on a daring hike up a Colorado mountain - in the middle of the night. When Sawyer first proposes the idea of a moonlit summit during the two families’ annual backpacking trip, Marlee is terrified but also hooked. Having grown up taking trips to the mountains, they’ve learned a thing or two about hiking, and Sawyer is confident they'll be back by sunrise. But when disaster strikes, their knowledge, faith, and stamina will be put to the test. Digging out of the cemented snow is the first of many challenges in the coming days, and now Marlee has to trust Sawyer, who, by the way, was the brain behind the dilemma. Will their faith and friendship survive, or will they cave under pressure?

This engaging journey, told by fifteen-year-old Marlee Stanley, captures a timeless sense of adventure. The five young adults strive to exhibit godly character throughout their escapade, but it will take immense strength to hike out of this mess.

“I know that if their journey inspired me, it will certainly inspire others…Boyle has brought YA fans an uplifting, adventurous novel.” -A Baker’s Perspective

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble  | BookDepository | IndieBound

 


Title: Chased

Series: Off the Itinerary #2

Author: M. Liz Boyle

Publisher: Independently Published

Release Date: June 1, 2020

Genre: Christian middle-grade/YA, Adventure

“Chased would be a great addition to a k-12 Christian school library. Middle schoolers and up will enjoy it.” - Library Lady’s Kid Lit

It’s been a year since Marlee, her sisters, and the Miles boys survived an avalanche. Sure, it was a little embarrassing for them when all the neighbors saw them on the news, but they love being outdoors, and what are the odds that another tragedy would strike this adventurous group? Has anyone calculated the statistics of being hit with two natural disasters? It has to be low, so of course the two families planned to backpack again this summer.

When the teens first meet Thad, a dehydrated hiker on the trail, they give him water and food and help him recover. He seems harmless until he tells them to hike a few extra miles at sunset. Then Lydie finds a hand-drawn map that Thad dropped, and they discover why he is so eager to get away from the Stanley girls and Miles boys. So eager that he starts chasing them.

Now they have to climb up unforgiving ridges, sneak through the night, and - is that thunder and lightning? To make matters worse, Marlee has a nagging worry that her older sister Ellie is preparing to move away from home.

What is God’s plan? How will they get away from Thad before it’s too late?

“…realistic, exciting, and suspenseful…Chased is the perfect sequel to Avalanche. It’s gripping, suspenseful, entertaining, and, best of all, Christian.” -David M., Beta Reader

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | BookDepository

 


Title: Ablaze

Series: Off the Itinerary #3

Author: M. Liz Boyle

Publisher: Independently Published

Release Date: February 25, 2021

Genre: Christian middle-grade/YA, Adventure

"M. Liz Boyle tackles the topic of showering difficult people with grace and forgiveness, making this a must-read for Christian teens. Adventure seekers who loved Avalanche and Chased will fall head-over-heels for the adventure that heats up in Ablaze!" - Author Allyson Kennedy

This summer the Stanley sisters and the Miles boys are excited to hike together again, and now they have the unique opportunity to help two of their ranger friends with an outdoor program in the beautiful Montana mountains.

Marlee has always considered herself a willing follower. Give her a direction and she’s happy to help. Her older sister Ellie is a natural leader, and Marlee is content in her role as assistant.

Marlee and her sisters have been assigned to help with Ranger Rose’s team, and they are savoring the adventure. But in a heartbeat while the group is divided by a few hundred feet, fire breaks out between Ranger Rose and Marlee's group. In this enthralling finale to the Off the Itinerary series, Marlee must face her fears with courage that only God can provide.

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble


MY THOUGHTS


Avalanche

My 11 year old son and I really enjoyed this series. We did not read the books in order, but had no problems following along. This is the first story in the series. Marlee along with her two sisters along with family friends go on a secret hike. This hike takes place in the middle of the night. Marlee hopes and prays that everything will goes well. My 11 year old son commented here - that when you do a secret hike in the middle of the night things will NOT go well.

However, an avalanche happens. I loved that Marlee jumped in and used survival tips to try and dig out. The author put a lot of knowledge and research to make this feel as real as possible My 11 year old son is a Boy Scout and commented that he liked seeing things he had learned there in the story.

This is a middle grade/teen Christian Fiction story. The characters are well written, and the story is well developed.
Thank you to the author, publisher and JustRead Publicity Tours for allowing me to read a copy of this story. All thoughts are my own,.





ABOUT THE AUTHOR

M. Liz Boyle is an author, the wife of a professional tree climber and the mom of three energetic and laundry-producing children. She received her Associate’s of Arts at the University of Sioux Falls, where she received the LAR Writing Award for her essay entitled, “My Real Life Mufasa.” Liz once spent a summer in Colorado teaching rock climbing, which she believes was a fantastic way to make money and memories. She resides with her family in Wisconsin, where they enjoy hiking and rock climbing. Liz and her husband have also backpacked in Colorado and the Grand Canyon, which have provided inspiration for her writing. She likes making adventurous stories to encourage others to find adventures and expand their comfort zones (though admittedly, she still needs lots of practice expanding her own comfort zone). She has thoroughly enjoyed working on the Off the Itinerary series.

Connect with Liz by visiting mlizboyle.com to follow her on social media or subscribe to email newsletter updates.


TOUR GIVEAWAY

(3) winners will receive one Off the Itinerary series book (winner's choice), book swag, and $15 Amazon gift card!

Be sure to check out each stop on the tour for more chances to win. Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway began at midnight August 9, 2022 and lasts through 11:59 PM EST on August 16, 2022. US only. Items may vary from image. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

ENTER GIVEAWAY HERE



Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

JustRead Publicity Tours 

*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.