Made for Brave Spotlight & Giveaway

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About the Book

Book:  Made for Brave

Author: Alyssa Galios

Genre: Christian Memoir, Widowhood, Cancer

Release Date: November, 2019

MadeforBrave_CoverEFrom the testimony viewed over 100 million times on the internet:

“I am so sorry I have to deliver such awful news.” Shaking his head, the doctor muttered, “You are both so young.”

A young woman in her twenties with a future and a plan for her life comes up against a tragic nightmare when her handsome and otherwise healthy husband is suddenly diagnosed with a rare inoperable cancer. As her husband’s beliefs grow stronger, Alyssa’s dreams evaporate, and her faith slips away when the worst happens.

Experience soul-searing pain and miraculous moments of joy in this poignant true-life account. Journey with Alyssa as she grapples with life and death, faith and unbelief, disappointment and hope in a search for answers that takes her beyond grief to peace and a surprising new love.

Along the way, you’ll find answers to the questions you may be asking in your own life:

  • Where is God when it hurts?
  • Why doesn’t God answer my prayers?
  • Can God make something good come out of bad?
  • Does true love ever strike twice?

Made for Brave is a striking example of how God can create overwhelming good from even the worst of life when we choose to partner with Him.

 

Click here for your copy.

 

About the Author

AlyssaAlyssa Galios is a writer, speaker, social media influencer, and coach. Founder of the #MadeforBrave movement and CEO of the Made for Brave Company, Alyssa is known for helping countless people create better lives through faith, family, and fitness. Her life story has been featured on sites like Yahoo News, Christian Post, Fox News, HuffPost, and Viralized. Alyssa and her husband Jay run their business out of their home north of Seattle, where they happily raise their daughters. For more information, visit alyssagalios.com.

 

More from Alyssa

Some people come into your life as bright as shooting stars. They zip across your horizon then, all too soon, drop back into the blackness. Though you can no longer see them, you are forever changed by their brilliance. This is just as it was with Nicholas Magnotti. Six beautiful years changed the person I will always be.
Before my strapping, young and handsome 25-year-old husband got sick, I missed a large part of the point of living. I was a workaholic mainly; a worry wort often; and I got really good at playing the comparison game. As such, I spent the first three years of our marriage living in selfish fear. Nick’s presence in my life taught me something I won’t ever forget… It taught me that every single moment counts and that what we do in love for others is the only thing that truly makes a lasting impact. And, eventually, the strong faith he exuded through his trials would cause me to question and rebuild my own faith.
The day that I said yes to a blind date with a gorgeous man I had never met… the God of the universe set into motion a series of miraculous events that I couldn’t have possibly ever predicted. He didn’t cause the bad parts of my story. Not at all. But, He saw those parts, from way off in the distance and game-planned so that it would all still work together for good and for His glory. You’ll be amazed at all the good He was able to create. And, the craziest part? He is so not finished yet.
Made for Brave: A Journey Through Devastating Loss to Infinite Hope is an uncommon love story and, at times, a harrowing journey but, more than that, it’s my true life journey that I know I have been called to share. I hope you will walk it with me and come away knowing you have always been made for brave, too.

Blog Stops

Texas Book-aholic, December 2

A Reader’s Brain, December 3

Reader’s Cozy Corner, December 4

Just the Write Escape, December 5

As He Leads is Joy, December 6

Simple Harvest Reads, December 7 (Author Interview)

For the Love of Literature, December 8

Artistic Nobody, December 9

Inklings and notions, December 10

Lots of Helpers, December 11

janicesbookreviews, December 12

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, December 13

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, December 14

Through the Fire Blogs, December 15 (Author Interview)

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Alyssa is giving away the grand prize package of  $25 Amazon Gift Card & 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/f1b9/made-for-brave-celebration-tour-giveaway

Heart of a Royal Review & Giveaway

Heart of a Royal FB Banner

About the Book

Book: Heart Of A Royal

Author: Hannah Currie

Genre:  Young Adult/Royalty

Heart of a Royal coverBrought to the palace as a newborn, the royal life bestowed upon Mackenna Sparrow was never meant to last forever. With Princess Alina engaged to be married, Mackenna’s presence as companion is no longer required and, like it or not, she must return to the birthright which should have been hers – that of a commoner. But not everyone at the palace wants her gone. When the truths she’s based her life on start crumbling as fast as her future, will she find the courage to trust, both herself and the prince she’s fallen in love with?

 

Click here to get your copy!

 

Guest Review from Mindy Houng

“Having a heart that cared was nothing to apologize for, even if one was a maid.”
Such a surprising and delightful debut novel from Hannah Currie! Yes, the cover is absolutely gorgeous and there is definitely an ethereal romantic element of a country named Peverell ruled by a monarchy and the dazzle and glamour of royalty, but the book is so much more than another sweet YA prince-falls-in-love-with-a-commoner trope. There is a certain layer of politics and intrigue woven into the storyline and the way faith is integrated into the plot and characters is refreshing and fascinating. Kenna’s almost 18 year old voice is fresh, quite mature for a teenager but also peppered with temper tantrums, recognized selfishness, and flighty thoughts to remind us that she is still indeed a teenager. Prince Thoraben is amusing, absolutely adorable, patient and thoughtful. The story is told in Kenna’s first person voice only, which paves way for us to walk in her shoes and feel all the whirlwind of emotions she experiences.
Wow, I could not put this book down. If you enjoy YA novels, you will absolutely love this book. I’d love a sequel (maybe there will be one since the book is subtitled “Daughters of Peverell”….).
I received a copy of the book from WhiteFire Publishing via Celebrate Lit Tours and was under no obligation to post a positive review. All comments and opinions are solely my own.

About the Author

Hannah currieAussie author, Hannah Currie, loves God, family, people (in small numbers, let’s not go crazy here!) and writing. She and her husband live with their three adorable kids in sunny Queensland, where it really is beautiful one day and perfect the next. Except, maybe, during heatwaves. They’re not so fun. She loves to connect with readers at www.hannahcurrie.com.

 

More from Hannah

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been fascinated by royalty. Real ones like Queen Elizabeth II, who is such an incredible woman and a total hero of mine (not to mention, as a proud Australian and member of the Commonwealth, my monarch) but also the not-so-real ones. Those found in fairytales. Romances. Narnia.

I’m one of those people who blocks out an entire day to watch a royal wedding, sighs like a hopeless romantic through cheesy princess movies, reads just about any novel I find with a crown on the front and loves a full-spread photo souvenir magazine. I may have even written a short story starring a princess for an English assignment at school. More than once. [Side note, if you’re going to write a story about a princess who is totally adorable but can’t spell, don’t use a misspelled word as the title. It takes a lot of explaining to make sure the teacher knows you did it on purpose and doesn’t mark you down for it… sorry Ninth Grade English teacher!].

The glamor draws me in, the beautiful clothes, the history and romance of it all, but it’s the expectations they have on them which hold me there. Every title comes with a million expectations, whether or not they’re realistic. We expect royals, both real and fictional, to behave in a certain way. To be honourable (assuming they’re the good guys). To care for their people and put them first. To always be there. Yes, even to be beautiful.

But what happens when they’re not? When they’re shy? Fight anxiety? Hate the spotlight? Are blemished in some way? What happens when what’s best for the people isn’t what’s best for them? Or when they make a mistake? Something which, for anyone else, would be easily fixed or glossed over but for a royal, gets written into the history books forever. Purely because of their title.

Kenna, the main character in Heart of a Royal, never meant to be a princess. She wasn’t born into royalty, neither did she choose it. And yet, due to circumstances far beyond her control, there she is. Living in a palace. Part of that life.

Very few of us are royalty but I think we all know how heavy expectations can be and the pain of being thrust into situations beyond our control. And yet, even in those moments and seasons, just like Kenna, we have choices. They might seem small, maybe even insignificant in the grand scheme of things, but they’re there. Who we put our trust in. What we do with the circumstances we’ve been given. Where we go from there.

Heart of a Royal is as much my story as it is Kenna’s. No, I’m not a princess (thankfully!) but I have struggled through finding hope and purpose when life flies out of control and the expectations prove too much. And here’s what I’ve found – God is good. There is hope and God is good. I hope, through Kenna’s story, you are reminded of that too.

Blog Stops

Reflections From My Bookshelves, November 28

CarpeDiem, November 28

Hebrews 12 Endurance, November 28

Hallie Reads, November 28

Emily Yager, November 29

For the Love of Literature, November 29

Through the Fire Blogs, November 29

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 30

Back Porch Reads, November 30

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, November 30

To Everything There Is A Season, November 30

Books, Life, and Christ, December 1

Mia Reads Blog, December 1

Bigreadersite , December 1

Kathleen Denly, December 2

Genesis 5020, December 2

She Lives To Read, December 2

Texas Book-aholic, December 2

A Baker’s Perspective, December 3

Livin’ Lit, December 3

Kat’s Corner Books, December 3

The Becca Files, December 4

Becka Jiménez , December 4

HookMeInABook, December 4

janicesbookreviews, December 4

Blossoms and Blessings, December 5

Christian Chick’s Thoughts, December 5

Just the Write Escape, December 5

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, December 5

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, December 6

Avid Reader Nurse, December 6

For Him and My Family, December 6

A Reader’s Brain, December 6

Adventures of a Travelers Wife, December 7

Moments, December 7

Simple Harvest Reads, December 7

Remembrancy, December 8

Locks, Hooks and Books, December 8

Pause for Tales , December 8

Inklings and notions, December 8

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, December 9

Tell Tale Book Reviews, December 9

For The Love of Books, December 9

All-of-a-kind Mom, December 10

Just Your Average reviews, December 10

A Good Book and Cup of Tea, December 10

Living Life Free in Christ, December 11

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, December 11

Batya’s Bits, December 11

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour Hannah is giving away the grand prize of a $25 Amazon gift card and a copy of the book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/f1a8/heart-of-a-royal-celebration-tour-giveaway

From the Garden into Eternity Review & Giveaway

From the Garden into Eternity FB Cover

About the Book

Book: From the Garden into Eternity

Author: Pearl Nsiah-Kumi

Genre: Religious-Christian Evangelism

Release Date: June 25, 2018

From the Garden to Eternity - straight view

From the Garden into Eternity tells of mankind’s fall from God’s grace beginning in the Garden of Eden, all the way through to one’s individual choice: Will eternity be spent in Heaven with God or Hell with Satan?

As a result of sin, mankind suffered a loss of close fellowship with God – but do not fret!  The relationship can be restored in this life right into the next!  God does not, however, force anyone into a relationship with Him.  We are free to choose Him or the alternative: Satan.

This book, fully-supported by Bible verses, helps you determine where you are in this journey called “life”.  Rest assured that God loves you and longs to give you eternal life in Heaven with Him, but you must first repent and place your faith in Jesus Christ.  If you have never taken that step, please don’t wait any longer.  The alternative eternity – which will be by default – will be dreadful.

Call on Jesus today!

Start the relationship that guarantees your eternity in Heaven with God!

 

Click here to get your copy.

My Thoughts

This goal of this book is to help share the Gospel with others. The author does use scripture as her foundation and I appreciate that (Martin Luther would say Sola Scriptura here). However, what I found lacking was expounding on those scriptures. It was presented as “this is what the scripture says so you have to believe”. I agree as believers we should believe and obey the scripture word for word. Yet, even as believers, we need to interpret and apply scripture which is why we attend Bible studies, church on Sundays, etc. For a non-believer, it even more important for us to explain those scriptures and the Gospel to them. This is where I found this book to fall short.
From a believers perspective, I have found it so helpful to preach the Gospel to myself each and everyday. It reminds me of just how much the Lord has done for me, how great my sin is, how much the Lord has forgiven me, and how I should forgive others. This book could be helpful in reminding us the scriptures that present the Gospel.
I was given a copy of this book for review through Celebrate Lit. All opinions are my own and I have received no compensation for them.

About the Author

Pearl Nsiah-Kumi - black dress portrait

Pearl Nsiah-Kumi is a retired Registered Nurse; she grew up in Ghana, West Africa. She has lived in the USA for forty years and has three adult children, one son-in-law and four beautiful grandchildren. Pearl has authored two books in the past two years and loves to express her understanding of the Bible through writing articles and poems. Her goal is two-fold: To reach people with the truth of God’s word in inviting them to experience faith in Jesus Christ, and also to encourage Christians to mature in walking faithfully with their God through obedience to Him. In addition to writing, Pearl is also a Volunteer Counselor at a local Crisis Pregnancy Clinic.

More from Pearl

I wrote this book: FROM THE GARDEN INTO ETERNITY, because I felt the need to explain step-by-step how we, people created in the image of God lost our relationship with Him, and how that relationship could be restored. Along with the explanation, I also felt the need to stress the urgency of the restoration of that relationship. Why the urgency? It is urgent, because time is running out for all of us, and if one’s relationship isn’t restored in this life, eternity will be awful. Since no one knows how much time they have left in this life, we each need to respond to God’s love now, so we can have the assurance of a blissful eternity in heaven. Each person has to make a personal decision about their eternity.

Blog Stops

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 25

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 26

Vicky Sluiter, November 27 (Author Interview)

Texas Book-aholic, November 28

Just the Write Escape, November 29

My Devotional Thoughts, November 30 (Author Interview)

janicesbookreviews, December 1

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess , December 2

Wishful Endings, December 3 (Author Interview)

A Reader’s Brain, December 4

Inklings and notions, December 5

All 4 and About Books, December 6 (Author Interview)

Simple Harvest Reads, December 7

Christian Bookshelf Reviews, December 8 (Author Interview)

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Pearl is giving away the grand prize of an eBook copy of her most recent book, The Proof of Paternity!!

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/ed96/from-the-garden-into-eternity-celebration-tour-giveaway

Be a Disciple, Make a Disciple Author Interview & Giveaway

About the Book

Book: Be a Disciple, Make a Disciple

Author: Ellie M. Littleton

Genre: RELIGION / Christian Ministry / Discipleship

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The twenty-first century Church has the same Holy Spirit power and many more modern-day resources than the first century Church, yet the first century Church had greater success in making disciples. Why? They followed the plan Jesus gave them, and He blessed it. But the more worldly progress we’ve made, the more we’ve deviated from Jesus’s plan by choosing programs, entertainment, and socials with only surface-level encounters.  

We neglect to make a connection with the lost, and they see no real commitment from the church. So they come and go as we continue to meet and plan more programs. To end the cycle, we must go and make disciples as Jesus taught—investing our lives in the lives of others.  

Do you long to live the Great Commission and make disciples, but you’re not sure how? In Be a Disciple, Make a Disciple, Ellie Littleton offers biblical examples and concepts that break down the hard work of discipleship into sixteen thought-provoking lessons.  

So go and make disciples. “This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples” (John 15:8 niv). 

 

Click here to get your copy.

 

About the Author

Ellie Littleton Bio Pic

Ellie Littleton has spent most of her adult life teaching both high school and adult Sunday school. She is minister of Vision Teams at her church, and serves as an officer on the planning team of her church’s annual Women of the Word Conference. Her husband of twenty-one years and high school sweetheart, Brad Littleton, serves as minister of music at their church. Their daughter, Hannah Kate, has been active in AcTeens and children’s church. She plans to continue competitive cheer in college. Son, Grayson, is home from a six-month internship at Lifehouse Church in Tokyo, Japan, and is seeking a position as a youth pastor. Ellie and her family love their church, family-and-friend cookouts, volleyball, boat riding, and music. She also enjoys reading, women’s conferences, and sneaking away to occasional girlfriend getaways at the beach. 

 

More from Ellie

Eighteen years ago, I was blessed to be a part of a church plant in the community where I was raised and still call home.  The new church, South Shelby Baptist, gave me the opportunity to dig in and exercise the spiritual gifts given to me by the Holy Spirit.  As I begin to write and teach Bible lessons, a deep passion arose and bloomed within my heart to grow in the grace and knowledge of our LORD and Savior, Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3:18) and see others grow too.  I am a people-person and find great joy in connecting with people and seeing people connected, especially within the Body of Christ.  In the past five years, God has been and is pulling me out of that comfort zone of lessons into writing Bible studies.  My pastor, David Warren, leads the vision of our church- be a disciple and make a disciple.  He asked me a couple of years ago, to write a Bible study on the topic of discipleship for our folks as a resource to help us grow and activate the call to make disciples.  And that is how Be a Disciple, Make a Disciple Bible study began.  I wrote this Bible study for my church to use as resource to grow in discipleship, because my heart for ministry is in the local church, especially my local church, South Shelby Baptist.  But God.  God began prompting my heart with the dream to have Be a Disciple, Make a Disciple published… and here it is.  God is good and He is faithful; great is your faithfulness, O LORD!  It is my prayer that you can use it as a resource to help you and your local church grow in discipling others too.  To God be the glory and blessings to you in Christ,

Ellie

Mindy Houng’s Q&A with Ellie

  1. Can you describe your research process when beginning a new book? Do you complete all of the research before you start writing, or do you research as you write?

This is the first Bible study I’ve written that I felt led to have published.  The research I used to write this study I compiled over the last ten or so year for my personal growth as well as to write lessons for my Sunday school class.  I have taught the adults of my age for 18 years, writing my own lessons.

  1. Is there a specific person or experience in your life that prompted you to begin writing? Describe it.

My pastor, David Warren, asked me back in the spring of 2017 to write a series of lessons on discipleship or a Bible study to promote the vision of our church – Be a Disciple, Make a Disciple.  I knew it needed to be a Bible study.  I was and am passionate about this topic of discipleship; it’s even the name of my Sunday school class.  During that summer (I am a high school teacher) I was off, my youngest child had turned 16 several months earlier which meant I had more time to myself.  So I wrote, studied, prayed, typed the majority of the summer and I enjoyed the process so much.  I thought I was writing this study just for my church.

  1. Describe your writing process. Is it a regimented schedule, or does it shift?

The writing process for me shifts at times, but mostly I am routine.  Early mornings of quiet time alone with the Lord in prayer, study and praise music over good coffee are conducive to writing.  I call it getting in the zone.  However, there are times late at night when I can’t sleep, or driving down the road or evening sitting outside on our deck or pier when the thoughts seem to flow and I have to write it down then. It definitely is a process that takes time, effort and patience.  It’s also a process of allowing the Lord to work in me, preparing my heart just as 2 Timothy 3:16-17 says, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

  1. Are there books you have begun to write, but never finished? Is there a specific reason why you did not finish them?

I have a few other Bible studies I have written for our church on leadership and for our women to be prepared to host our women’s conference, but I haven’t felt led to have any of those published.  I also have 18 years of Bible lessons that I have considered compiling into a book, but time has not permitted that project yet.

  1. Who do you believe your audience it?

The Bible studies and lessons I write are primarily for those seeking to develop and grow in their faith in Christ.  The studies and lessons I’ve written require a fair amount of work and effort in writing down Scripture, comparing Scriptures and answering personal reflection questions.  Growth and development require effort and work. Some for less mature Believers and some for more mature Believers.

Thank you Ellie for letting us get to know you better!

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, November 21

Through the Lens of Scripture, November 22

Mary Hake, November 23

Sara Jane Jacobs, November 24

CarpeDiem, November 25

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 26

Artistic Nobody, November 27 (Author Interview)

Discipling4Life, November 28

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 29

Texas Book-aholic, November 30

janicesbookreviews, December 1

A Reader’s Brain, December 2

Inklings and notions, December 3

Simple Harvest Reads, December 4 (Author Interview)

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Ellie is giving away the grand prize package of a Bible study copy of her book and a $50 Visa 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/ee20/be-a-disciple-make-a-disciple-celebration-tour-giveaway

Reclaimed Author Interview & Giveaway

About the Book

Book: Reclaimed

Author: Stephanie Broersma

Genre: RELIGION / Christian Ministry / Counseling & Recovery

Release Date: August 21, 2019

reclaimedcover

Stephanie Broersma lived a charmed life . . . until the day she discovered a deleted online conversation between her husband and another woman. When confronted, he confessed to a ten-year addiction to pornography and multiple affairs. Yet even as her world crumbled, Stephanie refused to allow Satan to turn her marriage into another dismal statistic.  

Reclaimed: Finding Your Identity after Marital Betrayal is Stephanie’s story—from revelation to reconciliation and all the pain and confusion in between. But it’s also a guide for those whose lives have turned upside down—a raw and honest look at the emotions, decisions, and difficulties women face in marital betrayal. It’s a collection of stories shared by real women, a journal with leading questions to help put words to feelings, and an encouraging compilation of Scripture verses to give strength to the weary. 

Stephanie’s goal in sharing her story is that you will realize that you are not alone. That you are not without hope despite the chaos and pain around you. That you will find healing from the shame, anger, and brokenness that overwhelms you. That you will gain confidence as you rebuild trust and self-worth. And that you will walk out of this fire with your head held high, giving God the glory for the amazing, reclaimed story of your life. 

 

Click here to get your copy.

 

About the Author

stephanie b author shot

Stephanie Broersma is a living example of how God brings beauty from ashes in the lives of His children. Married since 2002, she and her husband, Tim, have walked through the valley of marital betrayal and come out the other side stronger, more in love, and fully devoted to Christ. She now heads Reclaimed Ministry, an organization that seeks to help other broken brides recover from the pain and devastation of marital infidelity. For more information or to find help, visit reclaimedministry.com. 

 

More from Stephanie

FUN FACTS about the book and Stephanie:

– In keeping identities private, Stephanie had to come up with a system to replace names when sharing stories from other women. She replaced the names with cast members from her favorite TV series, The Office.

– Stephanie has walked in two Susan G. Women 3 Day breast cancer walks and has ran in races with distances from 5k-50k.

– Her goal is to run a race in every state by the age of 50. She’s welcome to invitations and races with causes.

“Reclaimed is here to walk you through your season of brokenness. To support you with authentic tools and scripture based guidance that supports you and meets you exactly where you are. My name is Stephanie and I also have come from a place of dark despair. I created these materials to guide you on the path to wholeness and living a redeemed identity.

If your husband has had an affair… if pornography or sexual addiction has hurt your marriage… if you have discovered an emotional affair… then this message is for you.

Here’s why…

The problem is most women don’t know where to go for help when they discover an affair. Many will get counseling. Some will talk to close friends and family. Many will hide and pretend everything is fine. But none of that brings about the healing we need.

  • We need to connect with a community that understands what we are going through.
  • We need to discover the healing available through Jesus Christ.
  • We need a life that doesn’t feel out of control.

What happens if you don’t find healing? If you just keep doing what you have been doing? You remain stuck in brokenness and shame and may even continue enabling the same patterns of abuse.

My heart is for you to

  • Find your true identity
  • Develop confidence
  • Learn to love again”

Mindy Houng’s Q&A with Stephanie Broersma

  1. What does success as an author look like to you?

When I consider what success as an author looks like, I instantly think about the hands that purchased the book and flipped page by page as the reader takes in every word written. Success is not about how much money one makes or the potential fame that could be had; success is about making a difference in one readers life. For me, if I can reach one reader, if my message of hope and healing can encourage a single woman experiencing betrayal to fight for one more day, take a step and get out of bed or perhaps tell herself that she’s enough – worth it. That is success.

  1. Is there a specific person or experience in your life that prompted you to begin writing? Describe it.


Reclaimed: Finding Your Identity after Marital Betrayal was written out of a place of brokenness that God had redeemed and gave voice to my testimony. After two years of intentionally focusing on repairing our messy marriage, my husband and I were asked to film our testimonies which eventually led to The 700 Club airing our story twice on their show. From there, women began calling, emailing and asking to meet for coffee so they could share their journey with me. This begin a year of encouraging, supporting and praying for many women. At the end of a year, the women started questioning me as to why I hadn’t started a support group or wrote something for them to read. A seed that God planted started to mature and has now matured into the 30 Day Journey along with our Reclaimed Small Group Guides.

  1. Describe your writing process. Is it regimented schedule, or does it shift?

My husband and I have 4 kids. As much as we try to, nothing is regimented and more often is a moving, always changing type of busy family schedule. I’ve learned to be very flexible and patient as parenting, family dynamics and careers consistently shift. When I do have focused writing time, you’ll find me wrapped in a blanket in my prayer chair or at our local used bookstore with a fresh cup of coffee in hand. Somedays I wrote for 6 hours and others it was thirty minutes here, switch out the laundry, make lunch, attempt nap time and crank out another hour if I was lucky to get that. God has given me an extremely supportive family that sees the importance of this message reaching all corners of the world allowing me to have the needed hours to meet deadlines. I’m so blessed by each one of them.

  1. Who do you believe your audience is?

When I wrote Reclaimed, I pictured the woman who just discovered her husband’s infidelity in their marriage. I wrote to her broken spirit, the cord of trust that was just shattered and to her identity, that I know from experience, is now in question. I also wrote to the women who have been divorced as a result of betrayal and still can’t find their footing. The audience is broad but yet very focused. Reclaimed is for any woman who has experienced sexual betrayal within her relationship and is seeking to find wholeness through Christ. Many readers have also read this with their spouse using the Reclaimed Reflection as conversation starters as they restore their marriage.

Thank you Stephanie for letting us get to know you better!

Blog Stops

CarpeDiem, November 19

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 20

Book Love, November 21 (Spotlight)

Artistic Nobody, November 22

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 23

A Baker’s Perspective, November 24 (Author Interview)

Texas Book-aholic, November 25

janicesbookreviews, November 26

SusanK. Beatty, Author, November 27 (Author Interview)

A Reader’s Brain, November 28

Inklings and notions, November 29

Andrea Christenson, November 30 (Author Interview)

Quiet Quilter, December 1

Simple Harvest Reads, December 2 (Author Interview)

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Stephanie is giving away a $250 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/ee1b/reclaimed-celebration-tour-giveaway

Dreaming of the Majors Author Interview & Giveaway

About the Book

Dreaming of the Majors Front Cover

Book: Dreaming of the Majors

Author: Dick “Lefty” O’Neal

Genre: SPORTS & RECREATION / Baseball / History

Release Date: April 4, 2014

By all counts, Dick “Lefty” O’Neal didn’t have a chance of playing professional baseball. However, today he holds the distinction of being the only white baseball player to pitch for two teams in the Negro Leagues that flourished throughout the twentieth century. “Dreaming of the Majors” is his account of the dream he nurtured from the age of five to play Major League baseball, the people God brought into his life who shaped the dream, and the amazing and unexpected twists and turns Dick experienced along the journey toward fulfilling the dream.

 

Click here to get your copy.

 

About the Author

Richard O'Neal_Dreaming of the Majors

Lefty is currently an Adjunct Professor in Speech, Motivational Speaker, and MLB Scout. He is also a consultant for a possible movie, “Dreaming of the Majors,” which would be based on Dreaming of the Majors – Living in the Bush. He has two grown children, Amy and Adam. He and his wife Harriett have been married forty-plus years and live in Universal City, Texas.”

 

More from Lefty

“I wrote my story in order to pass on to my son and daughter what their father experienced in his walk through life as a Christian. I wanted them to understand that  if you have the right purpose, surrounded by the right people, you can make a difference if you listen to His guidance. Using a sports platform was perfect for me to share that whatever your dream is as you are growing as a ballplayer and a Christian helps you stand as an example for all who dreamed of playing a sport.

I had no idea the book would relate so well to anyone who dreams their dreams,  but more importantly, if it doesn’t turn out the way you thought it would they realize it was God’s plan to put them where they are. People have found that blooming  where they you are planted is right where God wants you to make a difference.

My story is one of hope, persistence, never give up attitude, and it encourages all of us to pursue our dreams regardless of the obstacles that stand in our path. But to remember that our Heavenly Father’s spirit has always been with us throughout the journey, wherever it takes us”.

Mindy Houng’s Q&A with Dick “Lefty” O’Neal

 

  1. How do you find an idea for a book you know you need to write?

    When I have an experience that I feel Christ wants me to pursue I know other people will feel the same way. Then you know He is the only answer. This is a great way to start.

  2. What does success as an author look like to you?

    When people’s hearts are positively touched by my message and when I get validation through my readers’s e-mails to me on how my book changed their lives. I could care less if I make any money for the book. In fact what I make I donate.

  3. Is there a specific person or experience in your life that prompted you to begin writing? Describe it?

    Yes it was my wife prompting me to write it so at least our children will know what we went through and are still going through. Since my wife’s stroke 18 months ago I need to write another book on how we have gone through this chapter in our lives With Him. A portion of my story people found hard to believe and my wife said write it down and the truth will set me free.

  4. Who do you believe your audience is?

    It’s for everyone who has a dream but somehow it doesn’t come true. If they follow Christ He will show them that where they ended up is exactly where He wanted you to be to do the most work for His kingdom. I have fans as young as 8 And as old as 99.

    I love a feel good real story.I can relate to them more and they help me through life. That is why the greatest book ever is the Bible.

  5. Why do you choose to write nonfiction instead of novels?

    They are true stories that inspire the reader. That is why I think my book is having such a positive affect on the reader.

    Thank you “Lefty” for your time letting us get to know you!

 

Blog Stops

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 18

Jacquelyn Lynn, November 19

Connie’s History Classroom, November 20

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, November 21

She Lives to Read, November 22

For the Love of Literature, November 23

Artistic Nobody, November 24 (Author Interview)

deb’s book review, November 25

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 26

Texas Book-aholic, November 27

A Reader’s Brain, November 28

janicesbookreviews, November 29

Inklings and notions, November 30

Simple Harvest Reads, December 1 (Author Interview)

Giveaway

To celebrate his tour, Dick is giving away the grand prize package of an autographed Dreaming of the Majors book along with two autographed baseball cards and 1 autographed baseball!!

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/ee19/dreaming-of-the-majors-celebration-tour-giveaway

Having Tried Everything & The String Theory Beginning with Me Book Spotlight and Giveaway

String theory and Having Tried FB Banner

About the Books

Book: Having Tried Everything & The String Theory Beginning With Me

Author: Tonia Colleen Martin

Genre: Coffee Table Gift, Adult Fairytale Illustrated

Release Date: July, 2019

Having Tried Everything

Having tried everything coverSleep often eludes. We try this and we try that. Still, the night gives a wake up call we’d rather not answer. “Having Tried Everything” is the story of a terminally lonely insomniac who does answer. Stepping from the rut of routines and rituals, moving from the known to the unknown, she discovers not only mercy and abundance but who she is and the travesty and redemption of what it means to be human. “Having Tried Everything” is at once actual, metaphorical, providential and inexplicably true. The “YOU” in the story is both the reader and the writer. The very act of embracing this narrative provides the first step toward the wonderland of connection, acceptance and gratitude. Where words abbreviate the astonishment of God’s signature on creature and creatures, the illustrations enhance and annotate. Suitable for all dreamers and courageous pragmatists.

 

The String Theory Beginning with Me

Sting Theory coverThe String Theory Beginning With Me is an illustrated prose poem tracing the journey to freedom from an internal landscape of chaos and fear. Using specific images from the natural world, this story condenses and simplifies a very slow, methodical transformation indicative of those who consistently seek the larger experience of living both in and beyond the here and now. Because of its metaphorical language and its delicate presentation, The String Theory Beginning with Me, has a universal appeal and is an ideal gift for both contemplatives and the spirited.

 

 

Click here to to get your copy of Having Tried Everything and here to get your copy of The String Theory Beginning with Me.

 

 

 

About the Author

Tonia Colleen MartinWhile I was still feeble in my selfness and narrow in my horizons, I became a collector of words. Words often come and go all on their own. I do my best to arrange them in beautiful order. This particular arrangement is called Having Tried Everything: An exploration of redemption, hope and possibility through the eyes of a terminally lonely insomniac. It is at once actual, metaphorical, providential and inexplicable. The “YOU” in the story is both the reader and myself as the writer/artist. Thank You for stepping into this with me. The weight of this truth is surprisingly heavy and less accessible than I would like it to be. Divine Love and His intervention is the hope I often forget to cling. The Lie: You are alone and will end alone, has subtly confused me without my knowledge or consent for a very long time. My ability to escape its debilitating effects is in direct proportion to name it as a lie. The miracle of being designed for relationship with the living God despite my frailties continues to astound me. My value as a human being is not predicated on my good behaviors or bright countenance, but rather by God’s compassion and mercy. The unshakeable truth of my wealth given freely to me by nature of my design and God’s generosity is not mine alone. Thus, the You in the story is ours together. God bless you as you consider with me the miracle of God’s unmerited favor towards us based on nothing we’ve worked for or earned.

 

More from Tonia

On Labor Day morning, I woke up to an email reminding me I missed a deadline.

This is not the kind of message that incites creativity.

And now sitting here in my front garden, trying to imagine the sound of the neighbor’s leaf blower as that of a vigorous wind warming up to deliver an epic end-of- summer storm, I am face to face with a wordless me wondering how to communicate the enormity of what I want to be say…after all, what happens in these two little, tiny, shrunken, abbreviated, synthetic replications of what actually occurred in the chronological space of history crosses into speculative territory. And I haven’t even met you.

If you dream of traveling but time, money or fear has held you back, The String Theory Beginning with Me is a story boat meant to sail you safely into the intergalactic waters of your own lonely soul. If you worry about failure, Having Tried Everything  is an illustrated syllabus developed from a rubbing pressed against the gravestone of a dream, carefully framed by God’s healing light.  Both books are designed to give you a holiday from clock watching and move you into a space of heart throb time.

 

Blog Stops

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 29

Just Your Average reviews, November 30

Simple Harvest Reads, December 1 (Author Interview)

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, December 2

Texas Book-aholic, December 3

All 4 and About Books, December 4 (Author Interview)

janicesbookreviews, December 5

Mary Hake, December 5

Just the Write Escape, December 6

Blossoms and Blessings, December 7 (Author Interview)

A Reader’s Brain, December 8

Inklings and notions, December 9

Andrea Christenson, December 10 (Author Interview)

Artistic Nobody, December 11

Little Homeschool on the Prairie, December 12

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Tonia is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and a copy of each of the books!!

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/f1b7/having-tried-everything-and-the-string-theory-beginning-with-me-celebration-tour-giveaway

Are You in the Game or in the Way Book Review & Giveaway

About the Book

Book: Are You in the Game or in the Way?

Author: Ross Holtz

Genre: RELIGION / Christian Ministry / Pastoral Resources

Release Date: March 10, 2017

Front Cover

Are You in the Game or in the Way?

A men’s ministry reality check: What is standing in the way of a vital men’s ministry in your church? 

The guy who should be at the forefront is often in the way of the program getting off the ground. 

·         Are you, as pastor, the main obstacle to the growth of a vital men’s ministry? 

·         Are you the guy who wants to start a men’s ministry in your church but don’t know how? 

·         Is fear or a sense of inadequacy keeping you from starting such a ministry? 

Pastor Ross Holtz tells his personal story of how he became a catalyst for growth, instead of an impediment will inspire pastors and men’s ministry leaders. 

What works, what doesn’t, and what is required in forming a vital men’s ministry. Practical and honest teaching filled with relevant and tested examples from recognizing the problem to finding the fix.  

Pastor Ross Holtz is a man who has earned the right to speak on ministering to and through men . . . One man’s journey from being a sceptic to a fully-engaged pastor who sees the power of a clear ministry to and through men . . . Pastor Ross bares his heart, and is, at times, brutally honest in a way that will resonate.  

—Chuck Stecker, president, A Chosen Generation

 

Click here to get your copy.

Guest Review from James Barela

Are You in the Game or in the Way? was written by pastor Ross Holtz to other pastors and men who are either already in or aspire to men’s ministry. The book is intended to be a source of teaching on how to get men’s ministry up and running as a successful church ministry: focusing on the role of the pastor. Holtz’s passion about this topic is apparent and his motive appears to be a love of men’s ministry. The flow of his writing and thoughts were easy to follow, even for a layperson (such as myself). In addition to the author’s passion and clarity he provides an honesty in relating some of his own struggles in ministry over the years and asks some questions that are important and difficult for those in Christian men’s ministry leadership.

 

Are You in the Game or in the Way? does not come without some concerns. Passion, clarity, honesty, and asking good questions does not automatically make a resource like this adequate for the job it seeks to fulfill. My first concern is that though it was written to pastors and men’s ministry leaders about ministry to men it lacked an adequate reliance upon scripture. The book is 153 pages long and my first encounter with any reference or usage of scripture was not until page 105. Rather than scripture being the standard for understanding the problem of a failing or struggling men’s ministry the reader will encounter numerous quotes from about 2-3 men’s ministry leaders he admires or respects. There is an assumption that the reader must make if they are not familiar with these men quoted – the assumption being that these men relied upon the scriptures for their work.

 

Another large concern for me was the apparent and seemingly reliance upon pragmatism for the sake of pragmatism. This comes in many forms throughout this book. One example is at the end of the chapter entitled Men’s Men and Me where the author indicates he was the problem in that the men he was attempting to minister to “evidenced no real attraction to what (he) was offering” (24). Well, what was he offering you ask? He says, “My passion was the Scriptures and the stuff of books.” He rightly points out that he wanted these men to become part of the life of the church as he saw it (love of the scriptures and doctrine which we find in books) but that he was “inadvertently, attempting to draw them away from their own lifestyles and community to participate in mine.” First, the author was honest enough to recognize and admit he wasn’t willing to like the things they liked outside of the church such as fishing and hunting. But, secondly, he also uses words that lead the reader to think he was wrong for having a love of doctrine and scripture and that he was wrong for  wanting that for these men only because he was not more of an outdoorsman than he was. I don’t know for sure that he wanted to convey this, but it is a reasonable question based upon his words.

 

A couple other examples of this concerning pragmatism come in comments like the following:

  • “Most pastors and men’s leaders know the truth that doing something is men’s dominant form of spiritual expression, not religious talking and listening” (131). Before Jesus turned the disciples loose to preach, teach, and heal there was quite a bit of Jesus talking and them listening and there is no indication in scripture they complained.
  • After demonstrating several times that the men in his church, some saved some not, were not interesting in the things of church life, much less God, he states, “We didn’t know what most men wanted, but we thought we did.” In the book there is neither any discussion that he/church leadership considered what these men needed nor any reference to their need. The reader is left to assume it is all about what men want. Far too often than not this type of thinking leads to programs for the sake of programs in which in order to keep them in the doors you keep having to think about what gimmick you need to keep the men’s attention.

 

The number of concerns was far too long to include all of them here, but I believe it noteworthy to mention, in this review, there a few times the author chose to retell a story referencing in greater detail than necessary the use of unedifying language. In one story he refers to a Pentecostal who uses the “s- “word; though we read “he doesn’t always use the word stuff.” Is this necessary? In another section of the book he tells his readers he must use restraint from using a scatological term in reference to hearing that American men are not emotional. He also makes a comment about the disciples and flatulence. While these are not great sins in and of themselves, I must ask, “are they really becoming a pastor in a pastoral work to other pastors?”

 

As I bring this review to a close please keep in mind that I know that it is difficult to put your work out there for others to review and provide feedback. The heart and intent of my feedback is constructive. I would ask the author if he took the time think some of the comments through to their logical end. For this reader, I gained more insight from the last few paragraphs of the book where he briefly exposits a pastoral epistle written to Timothy – from a pastor to a pastor. This is what this book desperately needs to be a valuable tool to other pastors. Yes, it was honest, passionate, clear, easy to read, and asks good questions, but it fails to fully and biblically answer those questions adequately and for that reason I give this book 2 out of 5 stars.

I received a copy of this book from Redemption Press via Celebrate Lit Tours. All opinions are my own.

About the Author

Picture

Geoffrey Ross Holtz, DD, is founding and senior pastor of The Summit (ECFA) in Enumclaw. He was awarded “Pastor of the Year” in 2014 by the National Coalition of Ministries for Men. Ross and his wife, Athena, the founder and publisher of Redemption Press, have a blended family of eight adult children and seventeen grandchildren and enjoy time spent sailing.  

 

More from Ross

I’ve been asked to tell something about myself or tell a personal story. I’m not adverse to talking about myself, but I’d rather tell you a very personal story.

There was a show on television, maybe still is I guess, called Overhaulin’. The plot of the show was that each week they would sneak a person’s car away from them, with family help, and overhaul it to make it really cool. It was every car-guy’s dream; to have someone restore a vehicle for you, that was special to you. And to restore it at their expense; Wow, doesn’t get cooler than that.

I never was on that show, but I have a story that I want to tell you. It was late summer in 2014. I had just remarried after having lost my wife of 49 years awhile before. The church that I pastor was having a car show as a community outreach on this particular Sunday. The day had started out rather weird. Several people seemed to be inordinately interested in my movements and where I was going to be as we set up the show.

“Oh, Ross, you need to go into the church, someone is looking for you.” Or, “Hey Ross, would you run get this for us across town?” Yeah, weird things. But I obliged and made myself scarce for the time leading up to the church service before the car show officially started.

So, we do the obligatory service; it ends, and my new wife and I start walking through the grassy field looking at the custom and restored vehicles that had come to the show. I, as is my style, was meandering along the cars talking to people I knew and folks with their fancy cars. Athena, my wife, seemed to be hurrying me along which was not like her at all. And, which was like me, I was just strolling along enjoying the cars.

Then, down the row a few cars, I spot the open hood of a 1961 Chev pickup. That year had a very distinct hood which was used only one year. “Oh, look at that. I had a truck like that years ago. Wow, and look at that, it’s yellow. Isn’t that gorgeous.” Funny, I failed to see the horde of people and cameras set up in front of that vehicle, all looking towards me.

Anyway, I hurriedly moved towards it and recognized it as a limited addition of that year’s Chevy truck. I said, “Hey look at that. It’s the same model that I had. That’s not your normal ’61.” I wondered if someone had restored my old truck.

I must give a bit of back story on my old truck. It had been purchased new in Los Gatos, California by my dad. He had needed someone to drive it home so he pulled my out of school to do that. I was 14. My father was not a stickler for legal technicalities. So I was the first to drive his new truck. It was new, but it was ugly. It was painted an ugly shade of puce. I mean it was really an awful color. My mother called it “Rosebud” because it reminded her of some kind of flower.

In 1975 my dad gave me the truck because he had no further use for it. So I drove it until about 1988 when it was totally worn out. So I sold Rosebud to a friend named Randy who had plans to restore it eventually. I sold it with the understanding that if he should he ever sell it, I’d get first right of refusal.

Fast forward Twenty-five years. A bunch of guys were sitting around a campfire talking and Randy announces that he’s moving to another state and getting rid of everything he owns.

“What about my truck? Are you taking it with you?” “Oh,” he said, “I gave that truck away a while back.” Those who were there said I looked disappointed, or something. I don’t remember feeling that, but it was said.

Now, back to the story. I was looking at this beautiful truck, wondering if it was the same truck, when I saw Randy on the other side of it. “Randy, you son of a gun, you restored my truck.” He said, “It’s your truck.” “Yes, I can see that. You’ve done a beautiful job with her. But why didn’t you tell me?” He said once more with strong emphasis, “It is your truck.” “Are we playing games?” I wondered out loud. And, to make it more cruel, someone had entered the truck in the show under my name. That wasn’t nice.

I was not very situationally aware at that moment. I didn’t see all the cameras and people that were focused on me. People were laughing and cheering. I didn’t notice. I was focused on the pickup that had been my dad’s. It took them four or five time to finally get across to me that this beautiful bright yellow, completely restored truck was a gift from the men of the church to me. Randy had given it to the men’s ministry of The Summit with the request that they make it new for me as a gift for nearly 30 years of ministry to the church. Dozens of men had spent 18 months completely disassembling and rebuilding it from the ground up. It now had a fresh corvette motor, disc brakes, power steering, and a custom paint job. I had been Overhauled. Not by Chip Fouse, but by a group of men, and boys, who cared enough for me to invest months of blood sweat and tears. Not to mention the thousands of dollars it took. I wept. I still weep when I think about it.

One final part of the story that needs telling. I remarried after Cathy died, as her instructions (another story). I guess I didn’t wait long enough for some people, or something. People, about 100 people, abandoned me and left the church. They might not call it abandonment, but I do. I asked some of the more prominent people, “Is there a sin issue here?” “No,” They said, “We just don’t think it’s good for the church for you to remarry.” As you might imagine, it was an extremely painful time for this 67-year-old guy. I had found another person to finish off my life with, which I didn’t think possible, and some people considered it wrong for me to do. They didn’t consider my feelings, and needs, only thinking of  theirs. Or so it seemed.

But all the while this tragedy was taking place, a whole bunch of good and committed friends, were investing their time and efforts, in secret, to rebuild my dad’s old Chevy truck. All the time I was in such pain, these good men were giving up evenings and weekends to do this wonderful thing for me. Isn’t that like God? Sometimes while we are in the dregs of misery, He is working, unseen, to bless us, to encourage us, and to show His love for us.

Blog Stops

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 11

Vicky Sluiter, November 12

Artistic Nobody, November 13 (Author Interview)

Just the Write Escape, November 14

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 15

A Baker’s Perspective, November 16 (Author Interview)

Texas Book-aholic, November 17

janicesbookreviews, November 18

Christian Bookshelf Reviews, November 19 (Author Interview)

A Reader’s Brain, November 20

Inklings and notions, November 21

My Devotional Thoughts, November 22 (Author Interview)

Simple Harvest Reads, November 23 (Guest Review from James Barela)

Lukewarm Tea, November 24 (Author Interview)

Giveaway

To celebrate his tour, Ross if giving away a $50 Amazon gift card and a signed copy of his 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/f0bb/are-you-in-the-game-or-in-the-way-celebration-tour-giveaway

A Precious Loss Author Interview and Giveaway

About the Book

Book: A Precious Loss

Author:Sharon Fox

Genre: RELIGION / Christian Living / Death, Grief, Bereavement

Release Date: July 8, 2016

Front cover A Precious Loss_EN

Losing a child is the worst tragedy a parent can experience. And yet it happens to many from various causes, including Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), death from illness, stillborn birth, or miscarriage. A Precious Loss offers those who have experienced such a death a window into the grief process. It presents the biblical grief model and the emotions to expect after a loss, and it includes the steps to move forward toward peace and contentment. 

While each parent’s experience is unique, this book is written with deep insight and strong compassion. It provides grieving parents with: 

·         Concrete steps to coping and recovery, including how to care for your health and your relationships and how to cope with emotions and behaviors you can expect to experience 

·         Biblical support for finding comfort and hope in your darkest hours

Recognition of the hard questions you may have, such as these: 

·                     Why me? 

·                     Was this my fault? 

·                     Is someone to blame? 

·                     Is this some sort of punishment for things I did or did not do? 

·                     Is there a purpose for my child’s death? 

·                     Can I trust God? 

If you or a loved one is grappling with the devastating loss of a child, this book will provide hope and encouragement to press on, knowing that God will sustain you through this painful experience. 

 

Click here to get your copy.

 

About the Author

SSP_3738 (2)

Sharon Fox is a wife, author, speaker and co-founder of Brave Penny (non-profit). Her heart for those who mourn and struggle with loss has led her to write and teach about God’s model of grieving the death of his son, Jesus.  

 A Precious Loss, was written for families who have experienced miscarriage, SIDS, infant death and stillbirths. (Spanish – Una Perdida Preciosa) 

Sharon published Reframing Adoption, (also in Spanish) and a children’s Christmas book, The Stone Carver’s Son. 

She has led a grief recovery ministry for over twenty years. Sharon is a certified grief facilitator and has been a speaker at the National Conference on Adoption and the Anglicans For Life Summit. 

 

More from Sharon

Precious Loss (Una Perdida Preciosa– Spanish) was written to present a Christian perspective on the survival of families when a miscarriage, stillbirth or infant death (SIDS) have occurred. A miscarriage or infant death is strikingly harsh and so many times unknown by others, which leaves the mother and family without support or understanding.  The statistics tell the story.  One in four conceptions end in miscarriage.  Seventy Five Percent of the marriages end in divorce when a child under three dies.

How do families survive the death of a child, a miscarriage, or tragic illness or accident that is such a sacred, personal and bewildering lossevent?  A Precious Loss is packed with sage advice, coping skills, presentation of God’s Model of Grieving, the Gospel, helpful, authentic recognition of the emotional overload of loss.  The book presents the blueprint from chaos, sadness, upheaval, questioning, new and strong emotions to contentment. It presents the pathway to the reach contentment and live abundantly again.

Mindy Houng’s Q&A with Sharon Fox

  1. What does success as an author look like to you?

As a lay person in ministry, the “numbers” of those I reach is always a tempting measure of success.  But over and over Jesus witnessed individually to people in a very personal way.  Yes, he spoke to crowds – tens of thousands actually. I have had the opportunity to share about God’s Model to thousands over the twenty years I have spent in this role of grief minister.  I would love to sell millions of copies of the books, but the real measure is when I speak personally to the individuals who are hurting.  If I can’t personally speak directly or respond to those who grieve via social media the book is the all-encompassing method to minister to them. It is by way of its existence, a voice of compassion to those who are experiencing a very personal and deep loss.  I long for it to be in the hands of everyone who is searching for help.  A Precious Loss can offer information or a “takeaway” on biblical assurance of God’s compassion.  “sage” advice, in the form of activities. God and I through the book have done a “solid,” as a friend of mine says, to embrace those who grieve.

I wrote the book A Precious Loss.  God does the rest of the heavy lifting of the burden of loss.  He puts into the comfort of His love into the heart and soul of those who mourn the life of a child.  If a mother or family can find help to get through the day without drugs or relying on poor coping activities which cause a deeper depression, then that is a win for the kingdom.

2. Is there a specific person or experience in your life that prompted you to begin writing? Describe it.

  In 1996 my sister Penny Scaggs, was murdered by her husband of thirty-five years.  There were four TV programs produced and a book written about her death by Clint Richmond.  What could have been a very private matter for me, and my family, became a highly visible topic to be seen by millions over the course of ten years. (One of the TV programs was rerun for over ten years.)

About six months after my sister died,  I attended a class on grief offered at my church.  It was one of those “Sharon came to class and she never went home” experiences.  I knew grief recovery was going to be a ministry for me.  I joined the American Academy of Bereavement and became a Certified Grief Facilitator.  The certification program was focused on secular research which was valuable but was missing the comfort of biblical scripture.  I found in Matthew, God’s Model of grieving the death of his son, Jesus.  It matched the secular data by way of descriptions but presented it as a pathway to comfort and understanding of God’s compassion.

I compiled a program titled Shadowlands to teach at my church in Plano, Texas.  I have led the program for over twenty years.  From Shadowlands, I created a second program call Precious Losses, which, like the book, A Precious Loss, is focused on families who have experienced the death of a child. Churches across the U.S. are using both programs to offer grief recovery ministry to their members.  I wrote a Leaders Guide for each of the programs to enable leadership to offer a complete turn-key program on grief recovery to those who are grieving any type of loss. The book presents God’s Model and healthy coping tips.

I was not prompted to write the actual book which we are promoting, until several years after the program was developed.  A pregnancy center in Frisco, Texas, asked if I would write something for them to hand to families who had had miscarriages.  The only material they had was a trifold pamphlet written from a secular perspective.

3. Who do you believe your audience it?

The audience for A Precious Loss is very specific.  Mothers and families (spouse, grandparents, and perhaps siblings of the child who died) who have experienced the death of a child through miscarriage, SIDS, illness, injury or stillborn. Attracting the reader has been a challenge.  So often the loss is so private that for the parent or friend who knows about the loss, the search for a book does not occur to them because they simply don’t want to draw more attention to the loss.  Yet, one in four conceptions end in a miscarriage.  When I realized the size of the audience, and upon the request from the pregnancy center, I took up the challenge to write a Christian based and relevant book for those who grieve a precious loss of a child in their life.

4. Do you have a file of book ideas that you refer back to when you want to write a new book?

I don’t actually have a paper or PC file of ideas for new books.  However, there are titles that I think about in my head pretty often.  God has not yet prompted me to write.  He has gotten me up at three in the morning several times saying – “Sharon, today we are writing an article or another chapter in the book.”  You see, He dictates, and I record at the keyboard.

Both of my grief recovery books have “come to me”, not from research, nor a list of ideas, but from a very conscious knowledge that God had something to say – and I, apparently, was the one to write it. I have written one other book, Reframing Adoption.  It was, like A Precious Loss, requested by someone who represented a “need” and represented an audience who needed Christian based grief recovery information. (Reframing Adoption was written for birthmothers who had chosen adoption for their child.)   Not only presenting God’s Model, the book reframes the terminology from “giving up” a child to “gifting” a child.  It includes terminology such as Shadow Grief and Empty Arms Syndrome which are common, yet unknown to those who grieve the choice of adoption.

A good example of writing a book which was “dictated to me by God”, was a children’s book, “the Stone Carver’s Son” published by Redemptions Press.  It is about the shepherds and how they understood what the angels were talking about when they announced the birth of the baby Jesus.  The story answers the question of why these men were willing to leave their flocks and go to see the baby who was proclaimed by the angels as the Savior of the world. It was James,  the stone carver’s son who had told them of the prophesy of a Messiah. I had no conscious plan to write such a book.  One day while walking for exercise at a shopping mall, God dictated the entire book to me.  I came home, sat at the keyboard and out it poured.  The book is virtually word for word as I heard God speaking it to me.

5. Why do you choose to write nonfiction instead of novels?

A Precious Loss is not a non-fiction nor fiction book.  It is not a testimonial nor a self-help book.  It was written to fill a need from a Christian based perspective, on how to cope with a very specific type of grief event.  Miscarriage, SIDS, stillbirth and infant death, all group into losses which are personal, often very private and of such significant emotional impact that those who experience these losses feel hopelessness.  They are usually without any prior knowledge of how to begin to survive a tragic loss of a loved one.  Seventy-five percent of the families who have a live birth but lose a child under the age of three years, end in divorce.  If a couple doesn’t know the statistics – their marriage may simply drift to the point, that they determine divorce is the next step.  If they do know that, they can be intentional to learn ways to cope, and how to handle strong emotions without hurting others and themselves. Often there are outside pressures which create new and very strong emotions, which need to be managed as well.   The parents can achieve contentment both personally and as a couple when they know how to take care of themselves and choose to use good coping skills.

I published A Precious Loss in Spanish, Una Perdida PRECIOSA, because miscarriage and infant death crosses all types of culture, ethnic and geographic boundaries.

Blog Stops

Quietworkings, November 16

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 17

Artistic Nobody, November 18 (Author Interview)

Mary Hake, November 19

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 20

Simple Harvest Reads, November 21 (Author Interview)

As He Leads is Joy, November 22

Texas Book-aholic, November 23

For the Love of Literature, November 24 (Author Interview)

janicesbookreviews, November 25

A Reader’s Brain, November 26

My Devotional Thoughts, November 27 (Author Interview)

Inklings and notions, November 28

Just the Write Escape, November 29

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Sharon is giving away the grand prize of a $100 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/ee18/a-precious-loss-celebration-tour-giveaway

Lake Season Guest Review from Mindy Houng

Lake Season FB Banner

About the Book

Book: Lake Season

Author: Denise Hunter

Genre:  Contemporary Romance

Release Date: November 12, 2019

Lake SeasonA lost letter, a new love, and old secrets beckon this summer at the Bluebell Inn.

When their parents die in a tragic accident, Molly Bennett and her siblings pull together to fulfill their parents’ dream: turning their historic Bluebell, North Carolina home back into an inn. The situation would just be temporary—three years at the most—then they would sell the inn and Molly could get back to chasing her own dreams.

Adam Bradford (aka bestselling author Nathanial Grey) is a reclusive novelist with a bad case of writer’s block. Desperate for inspiration as his deadline approaches, he travels to the setting of his next book, a North Carolina lake town. There he immediately meets his muse, a young innkeeper who fancies herself in love with his alter ego.

Molly and Adam strike up an instant friendship. When Molly finds a long-lost letter in the walls of her inn she embarks on a mission with Adam to find the star-crossed lovers and bring them the closure they deserve. But Adam has secrets of his own. Past and present collide as truths are revealed, and Molly and Adam will have to decide if love is worth trusting.

 

Click here to get your copy.

Guest Review from Mindy Houng

“That’s where it had all begun. Where he’d found Molly. Where he’d mistaken her for his muse, only to find she was actually the keeper of his heart.”
I love Denise Hunter’s books. They’re gut-wrenching, soul-stirring, heart-breaking, redemptive and utterly romantic. This first book in the new series is no exception. The author does throw in a bit of split-time twist to the plot, which is something new in her writing style and surprised me (in a most pleasant way) when I stepped back in time to 1962. Her attention to detail in the plot and characterization is incredible and her writing is easy to follow and the plot moves at a good pace. Her characters are so lovable – Molly, our heroine, is the bubbly sunshine of an innkeeper who subconsciously builds a wall around her heart for fear of sudden loss and betrayal, and Adam, our beautifully flawed hero, is a best-selling romance author hiding under a pseudonym for fear of disappointing others. Their present day relationship as innkeeper and guest converges with the past when Molly finds an old unsent/unreceived letter from 1962 in the wall of the inn and both Molly and Adam are driven to find the two people who were involved. Their romance is incredibly sweet and their path to finding freedom from their fears is satisfying and rewarding.
I can’t wait for the second book in the series where we’ll get to know Molly’s older brother Levi better. And it promises another split-time plot!
I received a copy of the book from Thomas Nelson via Celebrate Lit Tours and was under no obligation to post a positive review. All comments and opinions are solely my own.

About the Author

Hunter DeniseDenise Hunter is the internationally published bestselling author of more than 25 books, including A December Bride and The Convenient Groom, which have been adapted into original Hallmark Channel movies. She has won The Holt Medallion Award, The Reader’s Choice Award, The Carol Award, The Foreword Book of the Year Award, and is a RITA finalist. When Denise isn’t orchestrating love lives on the written page, she enjoys traveling with her family, drinking green tea, and playing drums. Denise makes her home in Indiana where she and her husband are rapidly approaching an empty nest. To learn more about Denise, visit her website DeniseHunterBooks.com; Facebook: AuthorDeniseHunter; Twitter: @DeniseAHunter; Instagram: deniseahunter.

 

Read a premium Excerpt

You can read a premium excerpt of Denise’s Lake Season here.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, November 12

My Devotional Thoughts, November 12

The Power of Words, November 12

A Baker’s Perspective , November 12

Adventures of a Travelers Wife, November 13

Mia Reads, November 13

Back Porch Reads, November 13

Carla Loves To Read, November 14

All-of-a-kind Mom, November 14

Among the Reads, November 14

Genesis 5020, November 14

Wishful Endings, November 15

Reflections From My Bookshelves, November 15

CarpeDiem, November 15

Older & Smarter?, November 16

Cultivating Us, November 16

Inside the Wong Mind, November 16

Blossoms and Blessings , November 16

Sara Jane Jacobs, November 17

Christian Chick’s Thoughts, November 17

Avid Reader Nurse, November 17

Through the Fire Blogs, November 18

For Him and My Family, November 18

Jeanette’s Thoughts, November 18

Splashes of Joy, November 18

Robin’s Nest, November 19

Mary Hake, November 19

Baker Kella, November 19

Simple Harvest Reads, November 20 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 20

SusanLovesBooks, November 20

Lights in a Dark World, November 20

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, November 21

Vicky Sluiter, November 21

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 21

Quiet Quilter, November 22

Andrea Christenson, November 22

Pause for Tales, November 22

Just Your Average Reviews, November 22

Hallie Reads, November 23

A Good Book and Cup of Tea, November 23

To Everything There Is A Season, November 23

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 23

Texas Book-aholic, November 24

janicesbookreviews, November 24

A Reader’s Brain, November 24

Inklings and notions, November 24

Batya’s Bits, November 25

Livin’ Lit, November 25

The Christian Fiction Girl, November 25

Remembrancy, November 25