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Friday, June 22, 2018

Book Review: Tremors of Doubt By Lael Harrelson on tour with Celebrate Lit

Tremors of Doubt FB Banner copy

About the Book

Tremors of Doubt

Title: Tremors of Doubt
Author: Lael Harrelson
Genre: Contemporary Amish Alternative
Release Date: March 19, 2018
Would the will of God ever lead a young woman against the counsel of family and church? For a young Mennonite woman who wants to make a difference in the world, growing up on the mission field in Haiti should be the perfect fit. But not for Callie Zimmerman. Raised by her aunt and uncle after the death of her parents, Callie works beside her aunt cooking, cleaning and sewing each day as the men head off to serve the community. She longs to do more to alleviate the poverty and sickness that surrounds her, but tradition and her uncle forbid it. On the eve of her twenty-third birthday, struggling with hopelessness as another year passes, Callie pleads with God to open a door for her. The prayer has barely left her mouth when she finds a stack of letters with secrets about her parent’s deaths and their excommunication from the Mennonite church. Devastated, Callie cries herself to sleep, only to be awakened a few hours later by her uncle with the startling news the Noah Koehn has asked permission to court her. Is one of these the answer to her prayer? Would exploring her parents past mean losing a future with Noah? Is it worth the risk?

Click here to purchase your copy!

About the Author

Lael Harrelson
Raised by a fun loving, atheist single mom who struggled with depression and mental illness I spent my childhood backpacking around Europe, visiting yoga communes, eating vegan, living on a houseboat, then an old pony express outpost in the backwoods of Montana. My teen years took a drastic turn when my mom got saved, got married, and joined an ultra-conservative Mennonite church. Faith, step parents and unquestioning obedience is a dangerous combination when mixed with mental illness, legalism, and heavy handed physical correction.
I became a confused believer with a heart for Jesus but drowning under a sea of rules, regulations, and legalism. I became a missionary teacher and then a nurse and escaped to the mission field, the one avenue open to single women. I taught VBS on Indian reservations, led school for missionary children in Haiti and Africa. All around me was heartache and disease and glaring need. I longed to make a difference but was limited to working on the mission compound – teaching, cooking, cleaning. Work outside the walls of the compound was reserved for the men.
On a furlough, I met my future husband – a new believer who wasn’t looking for a door mat in a wife but a partner. As he grew in his faith, I reexamined mine and what Biblical womanhood looked like. Timidly at first, but then eagerly, as I discovered a new relationship with Jesus Christ based on grace and not performance. I left the Mennonite church and married the love of my life twenty years ago. We have five beautiful teenagers, two by birth and three through adoption from Haiti. My husband is adopted and God used my time in Haiti to prepare me to understand my children’s culture and language and ease their transitions home.
Two people in my family have mild Asperger’s and one has Reactive Attachment disorder, PTSD, and ODD. Our house is not a quiet, well greased machine but a chaotic, happy, crazy, nerve racking, love filled oasis where we all try to help each other grow and thrive. I am so thankful for my life – the good and the bad. I feel blessed to have experienced so many unique situations and to love and be loved by so many wonderful and eccentric people. It is from these experiences I draw the fiction stories I write. I like to think of them as fiction with grit – fast paced and entertaining stories that make you want to read till the very last page while at the same time tackling real life issues – legalism, abuse, divorce, adoption, Asperger syndrome, mental illness, etc.

Guest Post from Lael Harrelson

To the casual observer, Haiti is a magical island of swaying palms, laughing children, and azure blue oceans, but for one who takes the time to look deeper, a darker truth emerges. Starvation. Desperation. Darkness. Hopelessness.
Callie’s church is a shining beacon of family values, sincere faith, and simple living but, again, for one who takes the time to dive deeper, there is a hidden trail of broken spirits, crushed dreams, and oppressed women and girls.
Drawing inspiration from my experiences as a Haitian missionary and former Mennonite, I hope you will find Tremors of Doubt not only entertaining but life changing as you follow Callie’s journey through self-doubt, crushed dreams, love triangles, life changing secrets, and fragile hope as she navigates being the daughter of Haitian missionaries on an exotic Caribbean Island where danger is lurking just below the surface.

My Thoughts

This is a new author to me. The desciption of the book is what drew me in and made me want to read it. It sounded so different then other Amish books that I have read. When you start this book, make sure you have a lot of time to read it. You will NOT want to put it down. Beautifully crafted, well written characters, intriguing storyline and a wonderful read. You will be drawn in within a few pages. I loved how Callie put her complete faith in God to go overseas for mission work. It's a great reminder that God's plan will always work out, and trusting HIM completely is the best thing we can do. The author writes from her personal life and tells a great story. I look forward to reading more from this author. 

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

Blog Stops

Quiet Quilter, June 12
Among the Reads, June 12
Mommynificent, June 13
Bigreadersite, June 13
The Avid Reader, June 14
Carpe Diem, June 15
Mary Hake, June 17
margaret kazmierczak, June 17 (Interview)
ansel book blog, June 22
cherylbbookblog, June 23


To celebrate her tour, Lael is giving away a grand prize of an autographed copy of Tremors of Doubt, an adorable set of Amish dolls, a set of handwritten recipe cards with mouthwatering Amish recipes, a handmade Haitian bracelet made by Haitian students, a pound of nationally acclaimed Haitian coffee, a bar of rich Haitian chocolate, and a $25 Amazon gift card!!
Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!

Friday, June 8, 2018

Book Review and Giveaway!!! The Firefighter's Twins by Heidi McCahan

The Firefighter's Twins Blog Tour
the firefighter's twinsTitle: The Firefighter’s Twins
Author: Heidi McCahan
Publisher: Love Inspired
Release Date: June 1, 2018
Genre: Inspirational Contemporary Romance
One single dad plus twin toddlers
A formula for her new family?
Since his wife left, fireman Shay Campbell has focused on work and his twin toddlers. But the lovely Natalie McDowell is making him rethink that decision.
She’s great with his boys, and they adore her. But he can’t go through losing someone again. Will a dream job offer win Natalie’s heart, or does it belong to Shay and the twins?
LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | CBD | Book Depository | Harlequin

heidi mccahan
Heidi McCahan is the author of Covering Home, Unraveled, and Love Flies In. She is also an active RWA member and currently serves as secretary of the North Carolina chapter of ACFW. Heidi won the 2014 Idahope contest, and was a 2015 finalist in Harlequin’s Blurb 2 Book contest. A Pacific Northwest girl at heart, she was transplanted in the South several years ago, and currently lives in North Carolina with her husband and three boys. Heidi is a huge fan of coffee, dark chocolate, and happily ever after, and can often be found enjoying a good cup of coffee and a great book. The Firefighter’s Twins, her first novel with Harlequin Love Inspired, is available now.
CONNECT: website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Google+ | Newsletter

 One of the things that I love about the Love Inspired series is that no matter what book you pick up, you know that it will be clean, sweet, and inspirational. This is a new author to me -- so I was excited to see how it was. First and foremost.... the cover just DRAWS YOU IN!!!! The kids on the cover are the cutest. The characters are so well written. I just loved Natalie and Shay. You can feel their chemistry, no matter how hard they try to notice it. Great story line, moves at the right pace. I am going to have to find more to read from this author. 

I received a copy of this book through the Just Read Blogging program, all thoughts are my own. 

The Firefighter's Twins giveaway
(photo by Heidi McCahan)
Heidi McCahan has put together a FABULOUS giveaway for readers! One winner (US only) will receive:
Magnolia Market tote bag
Hearth & Hand Magnolia Notepad + tell your story pencil
4 magnetic bookmarks
$25 Amazon Gift Card
Gratitude journal + lists notebook
weekly planning pad
Things I Never Told You by Beth K. Vogt
Falling for You by Becky Wade
The Firefighter’s Twins by Heidi McCahan
Giveaway will run from midnight June 1, 2018 through 11:59pm June 11, 2018. It is subject to the policies found here.
Enter via the Rafflecopter giveaway below.

tour schedule
 Launch @ JustRead

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Tillmans go to Pensacola --- our adventures.

Happy Memorial Day Weekend!

This past weekend my family and I took a mini-getaway to Pensacola. We have lived in SE Alabama for almost 2 years, and have YET to go to the beach.....

My youngest daughter, Stephanie goes back to Ohio to visit her father for the summer -- so we decided to fly her out of Pensacola and make a weekend of it.

We left Friday morning and drove the 2 1/2 hours to the Naval Air Museum

If you ever visit Pensacola put this on your list.

Wyatt, who is now 5 decided he did not want to be in the picture... and the other 2 at home decided to well..... be themselves.

This is my reality..... In pretty much every picture. 

One of the exciting things about this place --- it is FREE!!!! 
Repeat, FREE!!!

There is so much to do and see, we spent about 4 hours there and still did not get to see anything

Daddy and his boys. The boys loved sitting and watching all the movies through out the museum. 

Lots of hands on, interactive exhibts. 

Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Closed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year’s. For more information, call 1-800-327-5002.

Once we got checked into our hotel (Red Roof Inn Milton, FL) We asked where we could get local food. We were directed to Grover T's BBQ. 


I got a pulled pork sandwich and smashed potatoes. 

Website: HERE

Hotel Review: 
Image provied courtesy of their website. 

I am a budget friendly kind of girl. This one was in my budget --- and had GREAT ratings on trip advisor. We didn't want to stay right in downtown Pensacola and this was close enough to what we wanted to do. Upon checking in, the hotel staff was so friendly and helpful. We were supplied with extra towels right away. The room we stayed in was clean. We were provided with a continential breakfast in the morning (bagels, muffins, cereal and fruit). When we came back in the next night our room was completely spotless. Overall thoughts: Great Staff, Clean rooms, good for the wallet. 

Website: HERE

On Saturday we had some time to kill before taking our daughter to the airport. My husband found a flea market that was close to the airport. If you are in Pensacola on the weekend, you will want to stop by the T&W Flea Market. It seemed to go on forever! There were so many different stalls, and such a variety. My husband found some great deals for Christmas. Wyatt found a bunch of ninja turtles.... Favorite stall? The Toy Lady. She has a way with kids and was super helpful locating what Wyatt wanted. 

Website: HERE
Open 7 am to 5 pm 
Sat and Sun

Pensacola Airport Review

Like I said above, I like to plan. So, when my daughter's flight was early afternoon, I wanted to make sure that we got there around 3 hours ahead of time. I had expected a lot of people since it was Memorial Day weekend, but we walked right in.

This airport is super easy to navigate, has friendly staff, clean restrooms, and places to eat before and after security. 

The next plan was to attend a Pensacola Wahoo game. I am a die hard Cleveland Indians fan, and one thing I have missed since moving to the South is baseball. Last month we visited Montgomery and went to a Montgomery Biscuits game. One of the things that I have enjoyed about visiting minor league games is how fan friendly they are. 

When we entered the stadium there was a lot of energy from the employees. Everyone was excited to be there. The Pensacola Wahoos are the AA team of the Cincinnati Reds. (My husband's favorite baseball team) Despite the slight rain delay, and the Wahoo loss we had a great time.  The fireworks after the game were breathtaking - and it was easy to navigate back to the hotel. 

Pensacola Wahoo website: HERE

There is a lot to do in Pensacola. We were planning on staying through Sunday evening, but we left earlier rather then later but thanks to Tropical Storm Alberto. 

We hope to go back soon and visit since there is so much more to do. 

Side Note: We did NOT make it to the beach courtesy of Alberto...hopefully soon. 

Monday, May 21, 2018

Love Inspired Blog Tour! Book Review and Giveaway!

Bound by Duty 
by Valerie Hansen

When Sgt. Linc Colson is assigned to monitor Zoe Sullivan and determine if she's secretly aiding her fugitive serial killer brother, his instincts tell him she's not in league with the criminal---she's in danger. It's up to him and his K-9 partner, Star, to keep the pretty single mom alive.

My Thoughts

WOW. The one thing I love about the Love Inspired Suspense Series is it always starts out action packed and never lets up. I love the K-9 series they are always so action packed. The characters are well written, loved the tension and the chemistry between Linc and Zoe. The dog sounds like a great partner. I hope to read more from this author. 

I received a copy of this book through Litfuse and the Publisher --- all thoughts are my own. 

WIN a $100 VISA Gift Card!
One winner will WIN a $100 VISA gift card!

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Book Review and Giveaway: Journible - By Robert Wynalda and Joel Beeke - On Tour with Celebrate Lit

About these Books

Exodus PhotoTitle: Journible: The 17:18 Series
Author: Robert Wynalda (a local businessman) and Dr. Joel R. Beeke (President of Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary)
Genre: Non-fiction, Bible study tool
Release Date: Series released in 2009
Why the 17:18 series?
In Deuteronomy 17, Moses is leaving final instructions concerning the future of Israel. As a prophet of God, Moses foretells of when Israel will place a king over the nation (v. 14). In verse 18, the king is commanded to not simply acquire a copy of the law (the entire book of Deuteronomy) from the scroll publishing house, but to hand write his own copy of the law. Thirty-four hundred years later, educators are discovering that students that physically write out their notes by hand have a much greater retention rate than simply hearing or visually reading the information. Apparently, God knew this to be true of the kings of Israel also. From such understanding came the conception of this series of books.

How to Use These Books
Each book is organized so that you can write out your very own copy of Scripture. You will be writing the Bible text only on the right hand page of the book. This should make for easier writing and also allows ample space on the left page to write your own notes and comments. From time to time a question or word will be lightly printed on the left page; these questions are to aid in further study, but should not interfere with your own notes and comments.

Click here to purchase your copy!

About the Author

BeekeDr. Joel R. Beeke is president and professor of systematic theology and homiletics at Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary, a pastor of the Heritage Netherlands Reformed Congregation in Grand Rapids, Michigan, editor of Banner of Sovereign Grace Truth, editorial director of Reformation Heritage Books, president of Inheritance Publishers, and vice-president of the Dutch Reformed Translation Society. He has written, co-authored, or edited seventy books (most recently, A Puritan Theology: Doctrine for Life, Living Zealously, Friends and Lovers: Cultivating Companionship and Intimacy in Marriage, Getting Back Into the Race: The Cure for Backsliding, Parenting by God’s Promises: How to Raise Children in the Covenant of Grace, Living for the Glory of God: An Introduction to Calvinism, Meet the Puritans, Contagious Christian Living, Calvin for Today, Developing a Healthy Prayer Life, and Taking Hold of God), and contributed 2,000 articles to Reformed books, journals, periodicals, and encyclopedias. His Ph.D. is in Reformation and Post-Reformation theology from Westminster Theological Seminary (Philadelphia). He is frequently called upon to lecture at seminaries and to speak at Reformed conferences around the world. He and his wife Mary have been blessed with three children: Calvin, Esther, and Lydia.

The 17:18 Series

My Thoughts

I was thrilled when I heard of this series. I chose to do the Romans study. I love the set up of this book. One side you write out the verses - the other you can answer questions and take other notes. I loved that when I wrote it out, and read it over I was able to grasp more of the meaning. I have big messy writing and I had plenty of room. This is a beautiful hard back book that I have enjoyed being able to review. 

I received this book through the Celebrate Lit Blogging Program --- all thoughts are my own. 

Blog Stops

Vicky Sluiter, May 17
Book by Book, May 21
Genesis 5020, May 23
amandainpa, May 24
Bigreadersite, May 24
Multifarious, May 27


To celebrate the tour, Reformation Heritage Books is giving away a grand prize of the entire set of New Testament Journibles!!