21 Days of Grace Review & Giveaway

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About the Book

21 Days of Grace
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Book: 21 Days of Grace

Author: Compiled by Kathy Ide

Genre: Devotional

Release Date: March 24, 2015

Love fiction? Looking for a devotional? Check out 21 DAYS OF GRACE, book one in the Fiction Lover’s Devotional series (published by BroadStreet Publishing Group). Fictional stories followed by brief life applications written by best-selling Christian novelists and debut authors, including Angela Hunt, Cindy Woodsmall, and Deborah Raney. Great for individual or group study.

 

My Two Cents

As a reader of Christian fiction, I love this cute little devotional. Who wouldn’t when you are reading devotionals developed by Christian fiction authors?! What a treat! The devotionals are well written and applicable to life. I found encouragement, strengthening, and drew closer to the Lord through reading them.

I give 21 Days of Grace 5 out of 5 stars. If you love Christian fiction, you will love the devotionals!

 

About the Author

Kathy Ide-rectangle (1)Kathy Ide is the author of Proofreading Secrets of Best-Selling Authors and the editor/compiler of the Fiction Lover’s Devotional series. She’s a full-time freelance editor and writing mentor, working with Christian authors of all genres at all levels. She teaches at writers’ conferences across the country and is the director of the SoCal Christian Writers’ Conference and the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference. She’s a co-owner of the Christian Editor Network LLC and founder of the four divisions that comprise the CEN: Christian Editor Connection, The Christian PEN: Proofreaders and Editors Network, PENCON, and The PEN Institute. To find out more about Kathy, visit www.KathyIde.com

 

Guest Post from Kathy Ide

I’ve always loved Christian fiction, and I’ve seen the power of fiction to touch hearts and change lives, both firsthand and hearing about the experiences of others. But you know, in my quiet times with the Lord, reading a chapter from a novel just doesn’t seem quite appropriate. So a devotional with short fiction stories seemed like a great solution. And you can take these purse-sized devotionals wherever you go, to read when you have a few minutes of down time. It’s a great way to get “inspiration on the go.” And they make fantastic gifts for friends and loved ones.

Blog Stops

March 23: Reading Is My SuperPower

March 23: A Reader’s Brain

March 24: ASC Book Reviews

March 24: autism mom

March 24: It’s Storytime with Van Daniker

March 25: Chas Ray’s Book Nerd Corner

March 25: Inklings and notions

March 26: Blossoms and Blessings

March 26: The Power of Words

March 27: Lighthouse Academy

March 27: Because I said so – and other adventures in parenting

March 28: Moments Dipped in Ink

March 28: A Greater Yes

March 28: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations

March 29: Captive Dreams Window

March 29: Donna’s BookShelf

March 29: Southern Chelle

March 30: Pause for Tales

March 30: The Scribbler

March 31: Carpe Diem

March 31: Faithful Acres Body Soul Spirit

April 1: A Baker’s Perspective

April 1: Splashesofjoy

April 2: Christian Bookaholic

April 2: Karen Sue Hadley

April 3: Ashley’s Bookshelf

April 3: Lane Hill House

April 4: Stories Where Hope and Quirky Meet

April 4: History, Mystery and Faith

April 5: God is Love

April 5: Reader’s Cozy Corner

April 5: Simple Harvest Reads

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Kathy is giving away:

1st – 4th place winners: A set of all four devotionals in the series.
5th & 6th place winners: An autographed copy of 21 Days of Grace with a novel written by one of the contributing authors!!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/b2cd

Why the Reformation Still Matters Review

Why the Reformation Still Matters by Michael Reeves and Tim Chester is a 224 page nonfiction book in the Church History Genre. It is published by Crossway and was released on September 30, 2015.  To purchase your copy, click here.

Overview

why the ref still mattersIn 1517, a German monk nailed a poster to the door of a church, disputing key doctrines taught by the Roman Catholic Church in that day. This moment set in motion a movement that changed the entire trajectory of church history. But do the Reformers still have something to teach us?

In this accessible primer, Michael Reeves and Tim Chester answer eleven key questions raised by the Reformers—questions that remain critically important for the church today.

 

My Two Cents

Why the Reformation Still Matters is a careful description of how the Reformation changed how the believer should think about the doctrines of justification, scripture, sin, grace, the cross, union with Christ, pneumatology, the sacraments, and ecclesiology. The authors also provide and excellent contrast between what we believe about these doctrines and what Rome taught (and in most cases still teaches today). I especially appreciated the focus on why the Reformation is still of relevance and importance even today. The church at large would benefit from reading this book. This book is a great start in church history for the person who is intimidated by the multi-volume epics written by other authors; it is short and concise and will most likely whet your appetite for more church history.

 

I give this book 5 out of 5 stars because it is an easy read, an excellent introduction to church history in a concise form, and a careful description of the Reformation and why it still matters in our current age. Why the Reformation Still Matters is a great resource for any Christian library.

 

About the Authors

Michael Reeves (PhD, King’s College, London) is president and professor of theology at Union School of Theology in Oxford. He is the author of Delighting in the Trinity, Rejoicing in Christ, and The Unquenchable Flame: Discovering the Heart of the Reformation.

 

Tim Chester (PhD, University of Wales) is a pastor of Grace Church, Boroughbridge, and curriculum director of the Acts 29-Oak Hill Academy, which provides integrated theological and missional training for church leaders. He is the coauthor of Total Church and is the author of over thirty books, including You Can Change, A Meal with Jesus, and Good News to the Poor.

Covering Love Spotlight

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Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Book

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Book: Covering Love

Author: Caryl McAdoo

Genre: Historical Romance

Release Date: January 26, 2017


Love may cover a multitude of sins, but not knowing all the facts can also get a man killed.

A family calamity gathers the clan, then a dying request tests loyalties and changes lives. New York City’s posh society, living on a rugged Texas hill country ranch, and the isolation of Alaska’s frozen tundra share little commonality and make going from one to another difficult at best. Still, destiny drives Crockett and his sister Charlotte where neither wants to go or thinks they belong. Second and third generations of the Buckmeyer progeny encounter danger, challenges, heartaches, and joys. But then reunions are all the sweeter for it.

This tale continues the breathtaking—and sometimes heartbreaking—family saga of the Buckmeyers, Baylors, and Nightingales that readers around the world have come to love.

About the Author

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Caryl McAdoo loves writing stories for all ages that glorify God, thrilled that Christian fiction fits her life purpose so well. Bold not bashful, she’s quick to share the Bible principles she lives by through her characters. She hopes each title ministers His love, mercy, and grace. Known as the “Singing Pray-er”—with a YouTube channel to prove it, the prolific hybrid author also loves praising with new songs the Lord gives her. She and high-school-sweetheart-husband Ron moved from the DFW area—home for fifty-plus years—to the woods and seat of Red River County. After him, Caryl counts four children and sixteen grandsugars life’s biggest blessings. The McAdoos live a few miles south of Clarksville in the far northeast corner of the Lone Star State with two grandsons.

Guest Post from Caryl McAdoo

Book eight of the TEXAS ROMANCE Family Saga proved difficult to write in the beginning. At my bi-monthly Red River Writers’ Workshop where I read a chapter each meeting, I couldn’t get through one without weeping. This family’s story began in 1832 (book one, Vow Unbroken)—a true-love tale when Henry, a thirty-two year old bachelor living in his mama’s house, and Sue, a twenty-nine year old widow rearing two children find each other.

Fifty years have passed—it’s now 1885—and scripture says it is appointed for every man to die once. Henry is my Ron (my beloved husband), so I could barely get through his demise for his wife’s sake. I’m not giving a lot away. Readers find this out in chapter one of Covering Love. But in a family saga such as this series, characters must pass over into Heaven.

So who’s book is Covering Love? It actually has four love stories! One is sweet budding love, another is Houston’s romance set back in the 1860s, the third is Crockett’s and takes place in Alaska, and the fourth is Charlotte’s. She falls in love in New York City . . . my cover lady who is practically forced to go there and live in May’s brownstone. Well, her older brother wasn’t that happy about going to the frozen tundra of the far North, either.

Henry’s first five children didn’t have the ‘soft’ lives that May’s two offspring experienced. After I made it through the hard beginning, writing Crockett’s and Charlotte’s love stories was great fun! And of course, the old man who’s made appearances in the majority of my novels has his part to play in Covering Love.

Have my readers recognized him? If they’ve not made the connection in prior stories, they will definitely be enlightened in this one. Namrel is his real name, and he’s a delightful cherub who oft visits earth as an angel unaware. He’s also in A Little Lower Than the Angels, volume one in my Biblical Fiction series The Generations, and The King’s Highway, book one in my mid-grade/young adult Days of Dread trilogy.

I truly love how God has given me these multi-genre series and woven common threads through them . . . like the hero and heroine in my second Red River Romance Sing A New Song, have a conversation over the gravestone of the famous Texas Ranger, Levi Baylor, Samuel Levi Baylor’s ancestor. And in the soon coming book four in that contemporary series, The Pitch, readers will meet more descendants of these awesome families God has helped to create.

My slogan is ‘Praying my story gives God glory!’ And that’s what I want every single one to do. My characters are not perfect. They all have flaws and make some poor choices. But it’s in those times of our own lives that God shows up and shows out. Oh how wonderful, how marvelous is our Savior’s love!

Book Excerpt

Crockett tapped on the door. How many times over the years had he knocked on the same one? Better question, how many girls and ladies had called it their own?

“Go away.”

He knuckled it harder. “Come on, Sis. It’s me. Open up.”

She cracked the portal. “Crockett, what are you doing up here?”

“I need a favor.”

“Too bad. The answer is no.” She rubbed her eyes. “I am not lending you any more money, so go back to bed!”

“Let me in.”

The force of the door swung wide and moved her back. “Fine, Brother. Come on in.” She exhaled audibly. “Why can’t we discuss this tomorrow? Why do you always…grrrr…you see, Mother! He’s incorrigible!”

Ma sat on the bed. He smiled. “Sorry, didn’t know I was interrupting you ladies, but if you don’t mind, I need a word in private with Charlotte.”

“If you can’t say whatever it is in front of her, then you don’t need to be saying it at all. Just get out of here. You cannot come into my room and chase Mother out!”

“Fine, if you insist. I need you to go to New York.”

“What for?”

“It’s like this. My partner is a whiz at sniffing out great deals, but he needs someone to keep a firm grip on him. He wants to gallop when he should trot, if you get my drift. If I’m expected to gallivant all over the Northwest, I need someone I can trust in New York, watching over things. You’re it.”

“Son. You’re wanting your sister to take over your business while you’re gone? That’s asking too much.”

Blog Stops

January 17: A Reader’s Brain

January 17: The Power of Words (Spotlight)

January 18: Christian Bookaholic

January 18: Simple Harvest Reads

January 19: Karen Sue Hadley

January 19: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations

January 20: D’S QUILTS & BOOKS

January 21: A Greater Yes

January 22: Moments Dipped in Ink

January 23: Ashley’s Bookshelf

January 24: New Horizon

January 25: Giveaway Lady

January 26: Pause for Tales

January 27: Reading Is My SuperPower

January 28: Bigreadersite

January 29: A Simple Life, really?!

January 30: Neverending Stories

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Caryl is giving away:

GRAND PRIZE: Complete set of the Texas Romance Family Saga series; all eight books, print copies: Vow Unbroken (1832), Hearts Stolen (1839-1844), Hope Reborn (1850-1851), Sins From the Mothers (1851-1853), Daughters of the Heart (1853-1854), Just Kin (1861-1865), At Liberty to Love (1866-1867), and Covering Love (1885)

FIRST PLACE: Firsts of four series: Vow Unbroken (Texas Romance), The Preacher’s Faith (Red River Romance), A Little Lower Than the Angels (The Generations Biblical fiction), and The King’s Highway (Days of Dread)

2 SECOND PLACES: each get: CHOICE of any book in any of Caryl’s series with a surprise.

3 THIRD PLACES: each get: print copy of Vow Unbroken, book one of the Texas Romance Family Saga

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post to earn 9 extra entries in the giveaway!

Soar Like Eagles Spotlight

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To purchase your own copy, click here.

About the Book

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Carol becomes a Red Cross doughnut girl, serving GIs and boosting their morale. Convinced wartime romances are doomed to disappointment, she attempts to avoid entanglements. She didn’t plan on Chet, the navigator who tempts her to throw caution to the wind.

Chet’s father and brothers always belittled him. As a squadron lead navigator, he longs to prove them wrong. He’s already been offered a terrific job with PanAm after the war. First he must survive his combat tour. Will he even have a future?

About the Author

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Terri Wangard grew up in Green Bay, Wisconsin, during the Lombardi Glory Years. Her first Girl Scout badge was the Writer. These days she is writing historical fiction, and won the 2013 Writers on the Storm contest and 2013 First Impressions, as well as being a 2012 Genesis finalist. Holder of a bachelor’s degree in history and a master’s degree in library science, she lives in Wisconsin. Her research included going for a ride in a WWII B-17 Flying Fortress bomber. Classic Boating Magazine, a family business since 1984, keeps her busy as an associate editor.

Guest Post from Terri Wangard

For the third book of my World War II series, I needed something to involve my main character with. At first I considered the train canteens, where volunteers laden with food met troop trains crisscrossing the country. That wouldn’t work though, because my navigator was heading overseas and I didn’t want a correspondence relationship. Besides, someone else had already written a novel about the canteens. Then I discovered the Red Cross clubmobiles.

The American Red Cross operated canteens on the home front and clubs and clubmobiles overseas during World War II to provide soldiers and sailors with a cup of coffee, a doughnut, and a bit of friendly conversation that gave the men a familiar connection with home.

Around the world, the Red Cross staffed permanent service clubs, traveling clubmobiles, and other recreational facilities. Service clubs provided refreshments, accommodations, and comfort and recreational activities wherever American troops were located overseas. In major cities, they offered meals, recreational activities, overnight accommodations, and barbershops and laundries. Some also provided sightseeing opportunities, touring museums, castles and cathedrals, and attending local theaters and movie houses.

Smaller clubs provided food in outlying areas near American military camps. The Red Cross also operated rest homes, often in stately manor houses in rural, tranquil locations overseas, for service personnel needing respite from the pressures of war.

To serve military sites in isolated areas, the Red Cross used clubmobiles in Great Britain in 1942 and later, the continent. Staffed by three American Red Cross women and a local driver in England, they visited several sites in a day, bringing refreshments, entertainment, and a touch of home to the troops in a foreign land. They used converted half-ton trucks and single-deck London buses, which featured kitchen equipment for making and serving doughnuts and coffee. Some carried phonographs and loudspeakers to provide music for the troops, and the women often danced with the servicemen. On the continent, the women had to drive and service their trucks.

Many American servicemen had never traveled far from home. At Red Cross clubs and clubmobiles in far-flung places around the globe, they received a connection to home and civilian life through friendly American women and familiar food. The Red Cross served a basic purpose of raising morale.

Carol Doucet of Soar Like Eagles was proud to be a Red Cross Doughnut Girl.

Blog Stops

December 8: Blossoms and Blessings

December 8: Artistic Nobody

December 9: Daysong Reflections

December 9: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations

December 10: D’S QUILTS & BOOKS

December 10: Bukwurmzzz

December 11: Petra’s Hope

December 12: Chas Ray’s Book Nerd Corner

December 12: The Power of Words (spotlight)

December 13: A Baker’s Perspective

December 14: Carpe Diem

December 14: Reading Is My SuperPower

December 15: Bigreadersite

December 15: Quiet Quilter

December 16: Christian Bookaholic

December 17: A Path of Joy

December 18: Jeanette’s Thoughts

December 18: Karen’s Krayons

December 19: Simple Harvest Reads (Spotlight)

December 19: A Greater Yes

December 20: Moments Dipped in Ink

December 21: Bibliophile Reviews

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Terri is giving away a $25 Amazon gift card and a signed paperback copy of Soar Like Eagles. Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/aa5f

The Blue Ribbon Brides Review & Giveaway

To purchase your copy, click here.

Blog Stops

November 1: Simple Harvest Reads

November 2: History, Mystery & Faith

November 2: D’S QUILTS & BOOKS

November 3: Bibliophile Reviews

November 3: Smiling Book Reviews

November 4: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations

November 5: A Greater Yes

November 5: Blossoms and Blessings

November 6: Artistic nobody

November 7: cherylbbookblog

November 8: Reviewing Novels Online

November 8: Jeanette’s Thoughts

November 9: Chas Ray’s Book Nerd Corner (Spotlight)

November 9: inklings and notions

November 10: Lighthouse Academy

November 11: The Scribbler

November 12: Karen’s Krayons

November 13: Daysong Reflections

November 14: Splashes of Joy

November 14: Blogging With Carol

About the Book

Blue Ribbon Brides
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Meet nine men and women whose competitive goals take them to state and county fairs between 1889 and 1930. From baking pie to polishing pigs, from sculpting butter to stitching quilts, everyone has something to prove to themselves and their communities. But in going for the blue ribbon, will nine women miss the greatest prize of all—the devoted heart of a godly man?

My Two Cents

I loved these heartwarming stories. They were easy to get into and I didn’t want to put the book down! As soon as I finished one, I couldn’t wait to dive into the next. Many times when I read collections such as these, the stories seem incomplete and underdeveloped. That is not the case with these nine stories.

If you would like to remember why you began reading, pick up this book! You won’t be dissapointed. I give The Blue Ribbons Bride 5 out of 5 stars!

 

About the Authors

Jennifer AlLee believes the most important thing a woman can do is discover her identity in God—a theme that carries throughout her stories. She’s a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and RWA’s Faith, Hope and Love Chapter. When she’s not spinning tales, she enjoys board games with friends, movies, and breaking into song for no particular reason. Jennifer lives with her family in the grace-filled city of Las Vegas, Nevada. Please visit her at www.jenniferallee.com.

 

Angela Breidenbach is a bestselling author, host of Grace Under Pressure Radio, and the Christian Author Network’s president. And yes, she’s half of the fun fe-lion comedy duo, Muse and Writer, on social media.
Note from Angela: “I love hearing from readers and enjoy book club chats. To drop me a note or set up a book club chat, contact me at angie.breidenbach@gmail.com. Let me know if you’d like me to post a quote from your review of this story. If you send me the link and your social media handle, I’ll post it to my social media with a word of gratitude including your name and/or social media handle, too!”
For more about Angela’s books (especially more Montana-inspired romances) and podcast, or to set up a book club chat, please visit her website: http://www.AngelaBreidenbach.com
Twitter/Pinterest/Instagram: @AngBreidenbach
Facebook Author Page: http://www.facebook.com/AngelaBreidenbachInspirationalSpeakerAuthor
Bestselling author Darlene Franklin’s greatest claim to fame is that she writes full-time from a nursing home. She lives in Oklahoma, near her son and his family, and continues her interests in playing the piano and singing, books, good fellowship, and reality TV in addition to writing. She is an active member of Oklahoma City Christian Fiction Writers, American Christian Fiction Writers, and the Christian Authors Network. She has written over fifty books and more than 250 devotionals. Her historical fiction ranges from the Revolutionary War to World War II, from Texas to Vermont. You can find Darlene online at www.darlenefranklinwrites.com
Cynthia Hickey grew up in a family of storytellers and moved around the country a lot as an army brat. Her desire is to write about real, but flawed characters in a wholesome way that her seven children and five grandchildren can all be proud of. She and her husband live in Arizona where Cynthia is a full-time writer.

 

Carrie Fancett Pagels is a multi-published award-winning author of Christian historical romance. Twenty-five years as a psychologist didn’t “cure” her overactive imagination! She resides with her family in the Historic Triangle of Virginia, which is perfect for her love of history. Carrie loves to read, bake, bead, and travel – but not all at the same time!

 

TIFFANY AMBER STOCKTON has been crafting and embellishing stories since childhood. Today she is an award-winning author, speaker, social media consultant, and a freelance website designer who lives with her husband and fellow author, Stuart Vaughn Stockton, in Colorado. They have a daughter and a son and a vivacious Flat-coated retriever named Roxie. Her writing career began as a columnist for her high school and college newspapers. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Historical Romance Writers. Three of her novels have won annual reader’s choice awards, and in 2009, she was voted #1 favorite new author for the Heartsong Presents book club. You can read more about her at her website.

 

Niki Turner is a novelist, journalist, and blogger. Her first completed manuscript earned second place in the Touched By Love 2009 contemporary category romance contest. She writes for local newspapers and won second place for best agriculture story at the 2013 Colo­rado Press Association annual convention. She is a coblogger at www.inkwellinspirations.com. Niki is the president of the Western Slope chapter of the American Christian Fiction Writers. Connect with Niki on Facebook or Twitter, and visit her website for information on her other books: www.nikiturner.net.
ECPA- bestselling author Gina Welborn worked for a news radio station until she fell in love with writing romances. She serves on the American Christian Fiction Writers Foundation Board. Sharing her husband’s love for the premier American sportscar, she is a founding member of the Southwest Oklahoma Corvette Club and a lifetime member of the National Corvette Museum. Gina lives with her husband, three of their five Okie-Hokie children, two rabbits, two guinea pigs, and a dog that doesn’t realize rabbits and pigs are edible. Find her online at www.ginawelborn.com!
Becca Whitham (WIT-um) is a multi-published author who has always loved reading and writing stories. After raising two children, she and her husband faced the empty nest years by following their dreams: he joined the army as a chaplain, and she began her journey toward publication. Becca loves to tell stories marrying real historical events with modern-day applications to inspire readers to live Christ-reflecting lives. She’s traveled to almost every state in the U.S. for speaking and singing engagements and has lived in Washington, Oregon, Colorado, Oklahoma, and Alaska.  She can be reached through her website at www.beccawhitham.com

 

Guest Post from Carrie Fancett Pagels

Welcome to the Celebrate Lit Blog Hop!!!

Carrie Fancett Pagels

Gina Welborn is the brainchild of this collection. The majority of the authors had participated in another collection with her and she got the notion of doing a fair-themed collection set at either state fairs or county fairs and the heroine going for the Blue Ribbon! We all agreed that it sounded like great fun! So Gina threw out the idea to us and we each picked the state we wanted and then the type of Blue Ribbon activity our heroines would have. Fortunately, we all chose different things!

Why I wrote “Requilted with Love” for the collection:

I am from Michigan, so I immediately thought of the Michigan State Fair. And when I go to the fair, I love to go to the Quilting Pavillions and my mother was an excellent quilter so I grew up sleeping under beautiful quilts and have many of my own that she made. For my novella, “Requilted with Love,” I got the idea of having a wedding quilt requilted with appliqués because my mother had made me a gorgeous wedding ring quilt for my first engagement. When we broke up, she held onto it. Later I told her, Mom, I’m not getting married – how about you just send it on to me, and she did. Then when Jeff and I got married, she made us a beautiful appliquéd quilt. I put those two together, so that my heroine, Sarah Richmond, whose first two fiancés died, has requilted atop the wedding ring quilt and is trying to win the Blue Ribbon as a vehicle to promote her wish for better medical care in upper Michigan, where she is from. Gina had suggested I include a balloonist, thinking that would be a fun addition at the fair. So Grant, my hero, is a balloonist who is also an engineer – but Sarah is confused by his uniform and thinks he is a state fair groundskeeper!

Giveaway

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To celebrate their tour, The Blue Ribbon Brides authors are giving away an award winning themed basket that included a quilt and an Amazon Kindle Fire!

Be sure to comment on this blog post below. If we have ten commentors (not including the authors), I will be picking one person to win a book!

Link to giveaway: https://promosimple.com/ps/a7ea

Expositional Preaching Review

Guest post from James Barela Jr.

Expositional Preaching: How to Speak God’s Word Today by David Helm is a 128 page book in the Church Ministry Nonfiction genre. It is published by Crossway Publishers and was released on April 30, 2014.  To purchase your copy, click here.

Overview

expository-preachingIn this accessible volume—written for preachers and preachers in training—pastor David Helm outlines what must be believed and accomplished to become a faithful expositor of God’s Word.

In addition to offering practical, step-by-step guidance for preachers, this short book will equip all of us to recognize good preaching when we hear it.

Part of the 9Marks: Building Healthy Churches series.

My Two Cents

Expositional Preaching is an excellent resource for all Christians serious about biblical exposition. While there is a sizeable amount of technical discussion related to the process of exegesis and preaching the book proves valuable for the layperson as well. This reviewer does not preach but has a passion for expositional preaching. After reading this book I have an increased appreciation for a sermon that has been carefully worked together. Expositional Preaching also gave me important tools for how to listen to an expositional sermon and how to rightly divide God’s word in developing lessons for my family. I would encourage you to not allow this book’s main audience to keep you from reading it because you will find it worth your while.

I give this book 4 out of 5 stars.  I give it this rating because it is fairly easy to read, filled with a necessary and sizeable portion of technical speak but able to be deciphered by the layperson. Expositional Preaching is a great resource for any student of God’s Word.

About the Author

David R. Helm (MDiv, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary) serves as lead pastor of the Hyde Park congregation of Holy Trinity Church in Chicago. He also serves as Chairman of The Charles Simeon Trust, an organization which promotes practical instruction in preaching. He is the co-author of The Genesis Factor (with Jon Dennis), a contributor to Preach the Word: Essays on Expository Preaching, and the author of The Big Picture Story Bible and 1 and 2 Peter and Jude in the Preaching the Word commentary series.

Wrapped in God’s Grace Spotlight & Giveaway

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To purchase your copy, click here.

About the Book

3d-book-cover-wggThe crushing pain of seven years of unanswered prayer for a child. A miraculous adoption story, followed by unforeseen challenges and heartbreak.

Barbara Bras begins her memoir by sharing God’s answer to her prayers and the difficult times that followed. Although God does not provide an easy fix, the intricacies of God’s plans reveal themselves to her, and she relives her life in a new light.

Bras then recounts the stories of her grandfather Arshag and her grandmother Gulle, survivors of the atrocities of Armenia in 1915. Arshag, sent to South America for his protection, returns as a soldier of the Armenian Legion to fight for his country. Gulle is the only member of her family to survive the death march into the desert. Through God’s grace they find each other, marry and move to America in 1921. Bras is their first grandchild.

The final section of the memoir follows Bras as she marries and moves to Hawaii, only to return as a single mother to teach school in a small town. It is there she finally realizes that God has provided her with protection and direction. Bras discovers that once we truly surrender our will to God, His plan always produces blessings beyond our wildest dreams!

About the Author

book-cover-pic-1-1In 2015, Barbara Bras left her career to pursue her dream of serving God. She believed that her first step would be to share the amazing ways God had blessed her. As she wrote of her son’s miraculous adoption and the challenging years that followed, it led to the rediscovery of her entire life, including the history of her grandparents’ remarkable survival in Armenia and her search for purpose and love. Her memoir led to her first novel, which she hopes readers will find engaging and memorable.

 

Guest Post from Barbara Bras

An Unanswered Prayer

I struggled for many years with one unanswered prayer. It was my “go to” request every time I came before the Lord.

Convinced that with God nothing is impossible, I also knew that the Lord may say “Not now” many times, even before he says no. I acknowledged that the Lord probably had a much bigger and better plan in mind for me, but none of that offered any comfort. As I struggled year after year with my unanswered prayer I found more questions than answers.

Was I fooling myself and ignoring God’s “No”? Could my lack of faith be the reason I couldn’t hear the Lord? And if not now, then when dear Lord?

Then I discovered that the Lord said “Not now.” because he had a miracle waiting for me, more amazing than I could have ever imagined. Like Hannah, God finally answered my prayer for a child. And through that miracle I learned that surrendering my will to God allows Him to bless me beyond my human understanding.

To my further surprise, I discovered that the miracle didn’t mean the end of the story. Experiencing a miraculous adoption didn’t come with a guarantee or a promise that the rest of my life would be free of heartache.

After all of those years of unanswered prayer, I found myself back on my knees with a new daily prayer request. The Lord had something else to teach me through this new struggle, a lesson that took me another fifteen years to learn.

Not only did those fifteen years lead me right back to where I started, surrendering my human will to His and trusting in His greater plan, but it convinced me that the Lord wanted me to share my story.

Wrapped in God’s Grace, a Life Rediscovered begins with my unanswered prayer for a child, but as I wrote it, God’s plan for me became clear. The second section of the book recreates the events surrounding the survival of my grandparents through the Armenian Genocide of 1915. Their immigration to America in 1921 led to my existence. The book closes with the Lord blessing me with a loving husband in spite of the many missteps I made directing my own life. A reviewer found this nonlinear sequence of events unusual, and I am fine with that, since that’s how the book unfolded before me.

Captured by St. Paul in 2 Corinthians 1:3-4, I now view my writing as a tribute first to the God who comforts and strengthens all of us in hardships and trials, and second as my mission to encourage others.

A photo gallery for Wrapped in God’s Grace, a Life Rediscovered can be found on my website AuthorB.Bras.com. Click here to view the Photo Gallery

Blog Stops

October 11: Bibliophile Reviews

October 12: Rockin’ My Mom Jeans

October 13: Eat, Read Teach, Blog

October 14: Book Love

October 15: A Greater Yes

October 15: Book Reviews From an Avid Reader

October 16: Carpe Diem

October 17: A Baker’s Perspective

October 18: Pause for Tales

October 19: A Reader’s Brain

October 20: Bigreadersite

October 21: Book Bites, Bee Stings, and Butterfly Kisses

October 22: Mary Hake

October 22: Simple Harvest Reads (Spotlight)

October 23: Christian Bookaholic

October 24: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Barbara is giving away a $100 Amazon gift card! Click here to enter: https://promosimple.com/ps/a561

50 Crucial Questions Review

50 Crucial Questions Review

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Guest post by Jim Barela Jr.

50 Crucial Questions: An Overview of Central Concerns about Manhood and Womanhood by John Piper and Wayne Grudem is a 336 page novel in the Young Adult Science Fiction genre. It is published by Thomas Nelson Publishers and was released on March 17, 2015.  To purchase your copy, click here.

Overview

The roles of men and women are immensely contested in both society and the church today. Christians are looking for answers from the Bible regarding how God intends for men and women to relate to one another. In this concise and accessible resource, well-known authors and Bible teachers John Piper and Wayne Grudem respond to fifty crucial questions often asked in relation to biblical manhood and womanhood. Answering objections raised against the view that God created men and women equal in value but distinct in role, Piper and Grudem winsomely present a biblical vision of gender roles that is life-giving and fulfilling for both men and women.

My Two Cents

50 Crucial Questions is a well-composed book focused on the controversial and contemporary discussion regarding the role of men and women in the church and home. Piper and Grudem provide and excellent work clearly defining the biblical role of men and women in a time when pressure to rewrite and redefine the biblical mandate for distinguished roles comes from within the church and out. One of the most significant elements of this book is the tenacity to remain true to the meaning of scripture even when it poses a counter-cultural view – yet with gentleness and reverence for the holder of the opposing view. Additionally, Piper and Grudem are honest in their answers where there is no clearly defined answer from God’s word.

 

I give this book 5 out of 5 stars.  I give it this rating because it is an easy read and a careful exposition of scripture on the controversy between complementarians and egalitarians. 50 Crucial Questions is a great resource for any Christian library.

About the Authors

John Piper (DTheol, University of Munich) is the founder and teacher of desiringGod.org and the chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary. He served for 33 years as the senior pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and is the author of more than 50 books, including Desiring God, Don’t Waste Your Life, This Momentary Marriage, Bloodlines, and Does God Desire All to Be Saved?
Wayne Grudem (PhD, University of Cambridge; DD, Westminster Theological Seminary) is research professor of theology and biblical studies at Phoenix Seminary, having previously taught for 20 years at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. Grudem earned his undergraduate degree at Harvard University, as well as an MDiv from Westminster Seminary. He is the former president of the Evangelical Theological Society, a cofounder and past president of the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, a member of the Translation Oversight Committee for the English Standard Version of the Bible, the general editor of the ESV Study Bible, and has published over 20 books, including Systematic Theology, Evangelical Feminism, Politics—According to the Bible, and Business for the Glory of God.

The Devoted Spotlight and Giveaway

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To purchase your copy, click here.

About the Book

the-devoted

Restless and adventurous, Ruthie Stoltzfus is right on the cusp of leaving her Amish home. Secretly, she’s earned her GED, saved her money—but she can’t quite set her journey into motion. Just as everything falls into place, along comes Patrick Kelly.

Patrick is a young man on a journey of his own. He’s come to Stoney Ridge to convert to the Amish and has given himself thirty days to learn the language, drive a buggy, and adapt to “everything Plain.” Time is of the essence and every moment is to be cherished—especially the hours he spends with Ruthie, his Penn Dutch tutor.

Ruthie’s next-door neighbor and cunning ex-boyfriend, Luke Schrock, is drawn to trouble like a moth to a flame. Rebellious, headstrong, defiant, Luke will do anything to win Ruthie back—and Patrick Kelly is in his way.

Bestselling author Suzanne Woods Fisher invites you back to Stoney Ridge for a story of dreams deferred—and the promise of hopes fulfilled.

About the Author

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Suzanne Woods Fisher is an award-winning, bestselling author whose most recent novels include Anna’s Crossing and The Inn at Eagle Hill series, as well as nonfiction books about the Amish, including Amish Peace and The Heart of the Amish. She lives in California. Learn more at www.suzannewoodsfisher.com and follow Suzanne on Twitter @suzannewfisher.

 Blog Stops

October 18: cherylbbookblog

October 18: Blogging With Carol

October 18: Mary Hake

October 19: Reading Is My SuperPower

October 19: Books,Dreams,Life

October 20: Singing Librarian Books

October 20: D’S QUILTS & BOOKS

October 21: Seasons of Opportunities

October 21: Daysong Reflections

October 22: Back Porch Reads

October 22: Southern Gal Loves to Read

October 23: Lighthouse Academy

October 23: The Power of Words

October 24: Bigreadersite

October 24: Chas Ray’s Book Nerd Corner

October 24: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations

October 25: Artistic Nobody

October 25: Donna’s BookShelf

October 26: Pause for Tales

October 26: Christian Chick’s Thoughts

October 26: Bukwurmzzz

October 27: Splashes of Joy

October 27: Bibliophile Reviews

October 28: ASC Book Reviews

October 28: Vic’s Media Room

October 28: inklings and notions

October 29: Jeanette’s Thoughts

October 29: Book Bites, Bee Stings, and Butterfly Kisses

October 30: A Baker’s Perspective

October 30: Book by Book

October 30: Quiet Quilter

October 31: Two Girls and a Book

October 31: Blossoms and Blessings

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Suzanne is giving away a copy of The Devoted and an iPad Mini 2 16GB! Click here to enter: https://promosimple.com/ps/a60b

After September Spotlight & Giveaway

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To purchase your copy, click here.

About the Book

afterseptembercoverartFrom the outside, Rose Davis had the perfect life: a long marriage to a successful politician, two grown children away at college, and respect within her community. When she suddenly finds herself divorced, she turns her back on God.

In an effort to reclaim her life and pride, she spends the summer in the Caribbean. Her plan does not include meeting Patrick, the charismatic local doctor with a tragic past who ignites a passion both unexpected and thrilling.

As she begins to open up to love, doubt and fear creep in. Once again she finds herself broken hearted, left on her own to pick up the pieces. It’s only when she experiences the unmistakable love and grace from the very One she turned away from that Rose realizes what she needed most was there waiting for her all along.

About the Author

stephanie-smithStephanie’s love of the written word began long before she could read. As a child she would hold a newspaper in hand and move her fingers along the page, pretending to read along.

By the time she was a teenager, she dreamed of writing stories that would touch people’s lives, much like hers had been by so many authors.

She lives in the Pacific Northwest and enjoys listening to Christian rock music while she writes, spending time with her family, watching British television, or reading YA fantasy novels.

Guest Post from Stephanie Smith

I’m so excited to work with Sandra and Celebrate Lit to launch my debut novel AFTER SEPTEMBER which I’ve come to see as a labor of love and trust in the Lord.

You see, becoming a published author has always been my dream, but every time I’d try to write a novel, the inner critic would kick in and stop me in my tracks. I’d write a few paragraphs before giving up, unhappy with all my written imperfections. So, I continued my day job and the idea of writing a novel, let alone publishing it, became less and less realistic. For some reason I never lost that kernel of hope that it might happen one day. God was speaking to me then, I just didn’t realize it.

In 2010 I was diagnosed with Stage IV Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. After six months of intensive chemotherapy, I was in remission and had the strongest desire to write a novel. At first, the idea was to write a fictional story based on my experience. As I started to write, it just didn’t feel right. I then switched to writing a memoir, but that too fell flat. Frustrated, I gave up on writing once again.

Fast forward to 2013 and the idea of AFTER SEPTEMBER came to me. The premise was about a woman who goes through a divorce, spends a summer in the Caribbean and has a summer fling. The idea was so strong I began to write. I couldn’t help but write. As the story spoke to me, I kept this mantra in my head: “Just write. Just write.” I was finally able to quell my inner critic and nine months later, completed the first draft. Boy did I feel accomplished! Well, the feeling didn’t last very long. After getting feedback from a few beta readers, I re-wrote the entire story in a different point of view.

When I finished I realized I had to put this story in a box. A genre box. Was it women’s fiction? A romance? Christian or secular? After reading more about these genres I realized I’d made a big mistake. I hadn’t identified my brand from the get-go and the story didn’t really fit in any genre. Too secular for the Christian market; too Christian for the secular. It makes sense to me now why the first round of agent queries were declined.

I began to pray in earnest, seeking God’s will for this story. I felt He’d led me to write Rose’s story and realized my agenda had gotten in the way. Why would God have me write a story with pre-marital sex? The answer is He wouldn’t. Once my heart was satisfied I knew the direction He wanted me to go, I was back to the drawing board. Once again, I re-wrote AFTER SEPTEMBER. This time I kept my Christian viewpoint in mind and after the third re-write the final version was born.

Well, life has a funny way of stopping you in your tracks. I’d begun querying agents for the second version, and in June 2014 my cancer came back. You’ve got to be kidding me!

Okay, Lord. I trust you. I put my faith in You.

Another six months of intensive chemo put me back in remission. PRAISE GOD! I resumed my agent query and again met with rejection after rejection. This didn’t stop me. By this point I was bound and determined AFTER SEPTEMBER would be released. My hopes were raised when a small publisher I’d have given anything to work with wanted to read the entire manuscript. With baited breath I waited. When the disappointed rejection came, I nearly gave up. But God had other plans. See, when I placed my trust in Him, I had to accept His will, not mine. His time, not mine.

The last on my list to query before going the self-pub route was Desert Breeze Publishing. I submitted my story with the expectation of another rejection. Around January 1st of 2016 I received THE e-mail I’d dreamed about: an offer for a contract. I was in shock. THANK YOU LORD!! Nine months later, AFTER SEPTEMBER has been published. I want to pinch myself. I feel it’s all a dream and I’ll wake up.

A dream that began in my early teens took until my mid-forties to come to fruition. What I’ve realized is writing isn’t a dream but a calling. God knew this and remained patient with me as I finally figured that out. A calling to give women hope while reading a romance novel. Such became my tagline: “stories of life…love..hope”

What I’ve learned from this is to never give up on your dreams. Never stop believing God has something in store for your life, even when it seems like you are living one struggle after another. He is faithful to His promises!

Blog Stops

October 13: Book Reviews From an Avid Reader

October 14: Simple Harvest Reads

October 15: Back Yard Reads

October 16: Bibliophile Reviews

October 17: Daysong Reflections

October 18: A Greater Yes

October 19: Pause for Tales

October 20: Quiet Quilter

October 21: For the Love of Books

October 22: Bigreadersite

October 23: Reviewing Novels Online

October 23: Carpe Diem

October 24: Chas Ray’s Book Nerd Corner

October 25: Christian Bookaholic

October 26: Through the Open Window

October 26: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations

Giveaway

anazon-gift-card

To celebrate her tour, Stephanie is giving away a $50 Amazon gift card!Click here to enter: https://promosimple.com/ps/a611