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Sunday, February 27, 2022

Book Review and Giveaway - Glimpses of God: A Spring Devotional for Women Authors: Harriet E. Michael & Shirley Crowder On Tour with Celebrate Lit


About the Book

Book: Glimpses of God: A Spring Devotional for Women

Authors: Harriet E. Michael & Shirley Crowder

Genre: Non-fiction, Christian Living, Devotional

Release date: March 10, 2021

0 spring frontCreator God made the world in which we live. He placed the moon and stars in the sky, the rivers and ocean on the earth. He also created seasons throughout the year. Each season is defined by specific features and attributes that are common, although the degree varies depending on where one lives. In winter we think of cold weather. In spring, blooming flowers take center stage. In the summer, we enjoy warm weather, and in the autumn, beautifully colored leaves.

As Christ-followers we also experience spiritual seasons. In the same way that nature’s seasons serve a purpose on earth, so do the seasons in our spiritual lives. God provides, cares for, and sustains the earth, and in His faithfulness, He does the same for us.

This devotional is focused on spring—both calendar and spiritual. During our spiritual springs, we catch a glimpse of the new life we have in Jesus Christ and the renewed life that He gives us.

Enjoy a season of rebirth, thirteen weeks of inspiration, full of God’s great love for us.


Click here to get your copy!


About the Authors

SCrowder 19Shirley Crowder was born in a mission guest house under the shade of a mango tree in Nigeria, West Africa, where her parents served as missionaries. She and co-author Harriet E. Michael grew up together on the mission field and have been life-long friends. Shirley is passionate about disciple-making, which is manifested in and through a myriad of ministry opportunities: biblical counseling, teaching Bible studies, writing, and music.

She is a biblical counselor and is commissioned by and serves on the national Advisory Team for The Addiction Connection. Several of her articles have appeared in “Paper Pulpit” in the Faith section of The Gadsden Times, and in a David C. Cook publication. She also writes articles for Life Bible Study, Woman’s Missionary Union, and She has authored, co-authored, or contributed to ten books.

Shirley has spiritual children, grandchildren, and even great-grandchildren serving the Lord in various ministry and secular positions throughout the world.


HMichael20Harriet E. Michael was born in Joinkrama, Nigeria, deep in the African jungle in the Niger River Delta, where her father served as the only missionary doctor at that station. A few years later, the mission moved the family to a larger hospital in Ogbomoso. Co-author Shirley Crowder and her family lived right across the dirt road. The two children became constant playmates. Today they continue to enjoy their lifelong friendship.

Harriet is a multi-published, award-winning writer, and speaker. She has authored or co-authored eight books (seven nonfiction and one novel), with more under contract for future release. She is also a prolific freelance writer, having penned over 200 articles, devotions, and stories. Her work has appeared in publications by Focus on the Family, David C. Cook, Lifeway, Standard Publishing, Chicken Soup for the SoulThe Upper Room, Judson Press, Bethany House, and more. When not writing, she loves speaking to women’s groups and teaching writing workshops on freelance, devotional, and memoir writing.

She and her husband of over 40 years have four children and three grandchildren. When not writing, she enjoys substituting at a Christian school near her home, gardening, cooking, and traveling.


More from the Shirley and Harriet

From time-to-time someone will comment on how difficult it must be to co-write with someone.


Guess what? It isn’t!


Including the books Harriet and Shirley have written together, both have collaborated with others to write books..


The most important thing in co-writing, after both of you being Christ-followers, is to share very similar theological beliefs and understanding. If these are too dissimilar, the final manuscript will be choppy and inconsistent in presentation of biblical truth throughout the book.


Practically speaking, there are a few things that help make the co-writing process work well.


  • Pray for each other.
  • Agree in advance who will write what portions.
  • Leave your pride behind.
  • Have the person with the most expertise in Word compile, make changes in, and maintain the combined document.
  • Be sure to turn on “tracking” so it is easy to see what edits the other person made.
  • Defend/explain why you think something you wrote should not be changed.
  • Explain why you think something the other person wrote should be changed.
  • Flexibility—be prepared for rewrites, edits, and delays.


As you work together, you read and edit each other’s work. The changes you each make in the other person’s writing will help give the book a more consistent writing style and presentation.


Finally, while there are portions of this process that can be tedious, like galley corrections, it is fun to work with another person. And, when you get stuck, they can help make suggestions that jump start your thought processes and make completing the piece easier.

My Thoughts

Glimpses of God: A Spring Devotional for Women is a devotion that is written by  Harriet E. Michael & Shirley Crowder. This book is broken down to thirteen weeks, with five days of devotions in a week. I love how easy it was to follow along. 

The devotions are well written, contain a nice balance of personal experience and Biblical back ups. This is the 2nd devotion that I have read by these authors, and I love the way they write. I felt like I was sitting with friends discussing that devotion. While the authors have broken their devotion series into the series, you do not necessary have to be doing this in the spring. But while we are at the time where winter fades away and new life begins, it is nice to see the newness of a renewed relationship with God. 

Thank you to Celebrate Lit and the authors for allowing me to read a copy of this book. All thoughts are my own. 

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, February 17

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, February 18

Inklings and notions, February 19

Mary Hake, February 19

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 20

She Lives To Read, February 21

Texas Book-aholic, February 22

For Him and My Family, February 23

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, February 24 (Spotlight)

Miriam Jacob, February 24

Locks, Hooks and Books, February 25

deb’s Book Review, February 26

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, February 27

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, February 28

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, March 1

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, March 2


To celebrate their tour, Harriet and Shirley are giving away the grand prize package of an eBook copy of the book and 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.

Book Review and Giveaway - The Secret in the Wall: A Novel (Silver Rush Mysteries) By: Ann Parker -- Hosted by Great Escapes


The Secret in the Wall: A Novel (Silver Rush Mysteries)
Historical Mystery
8th in Series
Poisoned Pen Press (February 15, 2022)
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 400 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1464214948
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1464214943
Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B096L9XZ73

Sometimes you can’t keep your gown out of the gutter…


Inez Stannert has reinvented herself—again. Fleeing the comfort and wealth of her East Coast upbringing, she became a saloon owner and card sharp in the rough silver boomtown of Leadville, Colorado, always favoring the unconventional path—a difficult road for a woman in the late 1800s.


Then the teenaged daughter of a local prostitute is orphaned by her mother’s murder, and Inez steps up to raise the troubled girl as her own. Inez works hard to keep a respectable, loving home for Antonia, carefully crafting their new life in San Francisco. But risk is a seductive friend, difficult to resist. When a skeleton tumbles from the wall of her latest business investment, the police only seem interested in the bag of Civil War-era gold coins that fell out with it. With her trusty derringer tucked in the folds of her gown, Inez uses her street smarts and sheer will to unearth a secret that someone has already killed to keep buried. The more she digs, the muddier and more dangerous things become.


She enlists the help of Walter de Brujin, a local private investigator with whom she shares some history. Though she wants to trust him, she fears that his knowledge of her past, along with her growing attraction to him, may well blow her veneer of respectability to bits—that is, if her dogged pursuit of the truth doesn’t kill her first . . .


About Ann Parker

Ann Parker is a science writer by day and fiction writer by night. Her award-winning Silver Rush Mysteries series, published by Poisoned Pen Press, a Sourcebooks imprint, is set primarily in 1880s Leadville, Colorado, and more recently in San Francisco, California, the “Paris of the West.” The series was named a Booksellers Favorite by the Mountains and Plains Independent Booksellers Association, and Ann is listed in the Colorado Authors’ Hall of Fame. The Secret in the Wall is the eighth and newest entry in the series.

Author Links






Purchase Links – Amazon – IndieBound – Barnes & Noble – Books-A-Million – Nook – Kobo – 

Visit Towne Center Books Website for Signed/Personalized copies


The Secret in the Wall is written by Ann Parker. This is book 8 in the Silver Rush Mysteries series. This is the first book that I have read by this author. While this is part of a series,  I had no problems following along.  The story is filled with mystery and suspense. The story is well written, and has well developed characters. This book is set in San Francisco in the late 1800's. 

Inez and Moira own a home and want to knock the wall down and adjourn part of the home, when the demolition starts they are shocked to find a skeleton behind the walls. The skeleton is holding a bag of gold coins. Who was this guy and where did he come from?

As the mystery unfolds the author has woven a lot of historical facts about the area. These facts show San Francisco's history within the Civil War. I felt that along with the mystery I learned some new things that I did not before. 

Thank you to the author, publisher and Great Escapes Book Tours for allowing me to read a copy of this book. All thoughts are my own. 


February 15 – Ascroft, eh? – GUEST POST

February 15 – #BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee Blog – SPOTLIGHT

February 16 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT

February 17 – Literary Gold – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

February 17 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – CHARACTER GUEST POST

February 18 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT

February 18 – Books to the Ceiling – AUTHOR INTERVIEW


February 20 – Elizabeth McKenna – Author – SPOTLIGHT

February 21 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

February 21 – Novels Alive – REVIEW

February 22 – Cozy Up With Kathy – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

February 22 – Christa Reads and Writes – REVIEW

February 23 – I Read What You Write – CHARACTER GUEST POST

February 23 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST

February 24 – Mysteries with Character – REVIEW

February 24 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW

February 25 – CelticLady ‘s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

February 26 – Nellie’s Book Nook – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW  

February 27 – The Mystery Section – SPOTLIGHT

February 27 – Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting – REVIEW

February 28 – Author Elena Taylor’s Blog – GUEST POST

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Thursday, February 24, 2022

Book Review and Giveaway - KidVenture: Twelve Weeks to Midnight Blue (KidVenture #1) By Steve Searfoss Hosted by Prism Book Tours


Author Interview

What inspired you to write KidVenture: Twelve Weeks To Midnight Blue?

My kids are very curious and always asking how things work. Whenever they’d ask about something related to business or economics, I’d create imaginary scenarios where they were the business owner so they could understand better what was going on. For example: why one business would partner with another; why they would chose to sell a product at a loss; why the price of something changes; and so on.

And then one day it occurred to me to write one of these scenarios down as a story. And that’s how KidVenture started. When I was working on the first draft, whenever I told someone I was writing a book for kids to teach them about business, almost always they told me it was a great idea. And something that’s needed. I had a couple of my kids’ homeschooled friends read Twelve Weeks To Midnight Blue and they liked it. That told me I might be on to something.

There aren’t a lot of books out there for kids about being an entrepreneur and running your own business; and yet, it’s something that kids like learning about because they have a sense it’s important. Not everyone is going to grow up to be a farmer or doctor or airline pilot, but knowing how to manage money and negotiate is something most kids understand they should know more about because they see it every day.

What do you hope readers will take with them after they’ve read it?

I hope kids who read Twelve Weeks To Midnight Blue feel inspired to be more entrepreneurial. It doesn’t necessarily mean they start their own little business. It could mean they feel empowered to negotiate, to not reflexively take the first offer they’re given. I noticed that after reading the book with them, my kids started negotiating a whole lot more. Sometimes that would drive me crazy, but even as it did, I was proud of them for advocating for themselves.

KidVenture hopefully teaches kids to be problem solvers and inspires them to learn from experience. The characters in the story have a lot of learning to do, but it’s not book learning. It’s more…adventurous than that. They learn from trial and error. By making offers and counter-offers. By making a decision and then observing what happens. And they learn by talking to customers and picking their brains. It’s the way you learn as an entrepreneur: by doing. And failing. And trying again.

Which character do you most relate to and why?

I had a lot of fun writing this book. I definitely relate to the main character, Chance. He has a sometimes irrational confidence…and the blind spots that comes with that. There’s definitely some of me in him, the way he’s certain something will work because it should. Even when it doesn’t.

One time when I was backpacking with two friends in South America, I marched them to a bus station in Quito, Ecuador at midnight because I was convinced there was a midnight bus to Guayaquil. There wasn’t, so we spent the night in the bus station sleeping on the floor. They had just assumed that, as the Spanish speaker in our group, I had looked up the bus schedule, I seemed so confident we would catch the midnight bus. They were shocked to learn I hadn’t. I had just assumed there would be a midnight bus because, well, there should be.

Chance is at times self-deprecating and funny as he runs into trouble when reality doesn’t quite match his mental map and he has to change course. And he has his moments of empathy, those times he realizes other people are following him blindly to the proverbial bus station, which hopefully make him endearing.

What do you love the most about this story?

I love Chance as a character because he reminds me of what I was like as a kid. But what I really love about the story is the relationship with his parents. Now that I’m a parent, I wanted to write a story that, first of all, my kids could relate to, and second, that was edifying. There are plenty of books and movies about dysfunctional families.

I love that at key junctures in the story, Chance turns to his parents for advice. And their style is very different. The dad in the story is playful and sarcastic and doesn’t just give Chance the answers right away. It’s more like he gives him clues to follow. There is a dynamic where the son at times wants to impress, and even best, his father; and at other times, he turns to his dad for advice when he hits a dead end.

But while there’s a competitiveness to his interactions with his dad, there is a sweetness to Chance’s relationship with his mom. He’s able to be vulnerable with her, so when he he faces an ethical dilemma in the story, he turns to her. And she’s very savvy and gentle in how she asks questions that get Chance talking and reasoning through he solution himself.

What challenged you about writing it?

As the story unfolds, Chance and his sister Addie track how much money their little company is making, what their expenses are, their profit margin, and what each of their share of the business is worth. Interspersed throughout the book are their calculations as they go. So every time I changed the plot, I had to go back and recalculate everything and update all the graphics showing the calculations.

And, much like the entrepreneur in the story, I started writing the book without fully thinking through how the math would work in the end. So I had to tweak some plot elements (how many customers they got and when), to make the business profitable.

What do you enjoy doing when you're not writing?

My kids really like playing soccer and I like coaching their teams. So I spend a fair amount of time running practices, looking up new drills, thinking about lineups and player positions, and obsessing over tactics. It’s a ton of fun. It’s also why in the book Chance is a huge soccer fan and he compares his conversion rate in finding new customers with the success rate of his favorite team scoring goals.

What I love about coaching is that I get to have this alternative lens with which to see my kids. I get to see them not just as their dad, but as their coach. If I can brag a bit, my eight year old daughter, for example, is good at just about every position: striker, midfielder, defender and goalkeeper. So depending on the opponent, I can move her around to where we need the most help. She’s my secret X factor. So during a game, she’s the hero, and in a real sense, I am depending on her. And then the next day we’ll be in church and she’ll be in a cute dress and she’s back to being an eight year old girl and I’ll marvel at how little she is.

KidVenture: Twelve Weeks to Midnight Blue
(KidVenture #1)
By Steve Searfoss
Middle Grade Fiction, Contemporary
Paperback & ebook, 125 Pages
January 26, 2020 by Steve Searfoss

Chance Sterling launches a pool cleaning business over the summer. Join Chance as he looks for new customers, discovers how much to charge them, takes on a business partner, recruits an employee, deals with difficult clients, and figures out how to make a profit. He has twelve weeks to reach his goal. Will he make it? Only if he takes some chances.

KidVenture stories are business adventures where kids figure out how to market their company, understand risk, and negotiate. Each chapter ends with a challenge, including business decisions, ethical dilemmas and interpersonal conflict for young readers to wrestle with. As the story progresses, the characters track revenue, costs, profit margin, and other key metrics which are explained in simple, fun ways that tie into the story.

(Affiliate links included.)
 Tour Schedule

February 21st:
Rockin' Book Reviews
BookHounds YA 
February 22nd:
Wishful Endings
Andi's Middle Grade and Chapter Books
February 23rd:
Library Lady's Kid Lit
#BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee Blog
February 24th:
Splashes of Joy
Candrel's Crafts, Cooks, and Characters
February 25th:
Because I said so -- and other adventures in Parenting
Heidi Reads...

About the Author

Steve Searfoss: I wrote my first KidVenture book after years of making up stories to teach my kids about business and economics. Whenever they'd ask how something works or why things were a certain way, I would say, "Let's pretend you have a business that sells..." and off we'd go. What would start as a simple hypothetical to explain a concept would become an adventure spanning several days as my kids would come back with new questions which would spawn more plot twists. Rather than give them quick answers, I tried to create cliffhangers to get them to really think through an idea and make the experience as interactive as possible.

I try to bring that same spirit of fun, curiosity and challenge to each KidVenture book. That’s why every chapter ends with a dilemma and a set of questions. KidVenture books are fun for kids to read alone, and even more fun to read together and discuss. There are plenty of books where kids learn about being doctors and astronauts and firefighters. There are hardly any where they learn what it’s like to run small business. KidVenture is different. The companies the kids start are modest and simple, but the themes are serious and important.

I’m an entrepreneur who has started a half dozen or so businesses and have had my share of failures. My dad was an entrepreneur and as a kid I used to love asking him about his business and learning the ins and outs of what to do and not do. Mistakes make the best stories — and the best lessons. I wanted to write a business book that was realistic, where you get to see the characters stumble and wander and reset, the way entrepreneurs do in real life. Unlike most books and movies where business is portrayed as easy, where all you need is one good idea and the desire to be successful, the characters in KidVenture find that every day brings new problems to solve.


Twelve Weeks to Midnight Blue is written by Steve Searfoss. This is the first book that I have read by this author, and I will be checking out his other titles. I read this with my 8 and 10 year old son. I would recommend this book for 8-13 year olds. This book aligned with what I am currently teaching my sons, the value of hard work.

Chance wants to buy a really nice bike. Chance is 10 years old. He starts a pool cleaning business in order to get the necessary funds to get the bike. He has the help of his dad to market, manage the books and other business tasks. He has twelve weeks to earn his bike.

At the end of each chapter the author has inserted a challenge. It opened up great discussion between my sons and I. The boys brainstormed some ideas on how to make some extra spending money. My 10 year old was hired by his 20 year old sister to clean her guinea pig cages and made $15. I will definitely be watching out for more books by the is author, I think it gives great ideas and discussions.

I received a copy of this book through the author, publisher and Prism Boo Tours, all thoughts are my own.

Tour Giveaway

One winner will receive a print copy of KidVenture: Twelve Weeks to Midnight Blue and a $15 Amazon gift card (US, UK, Canada only)

Ends March 2, 2022

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