Babel Review and Giveaway

About the Book

Book: Babel

Author: Brennan S. McPherson

Genre: Biblical fiction

Release Date: July 29, 2019

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A sweeping, epic retelling of the story of the Tower of Babel. . . 

More than a century after the worldwide flood, Noah, now the forefather of the living world, works peacefully in his vineyard until tragedy tears apart his relationship with his son, Ham.

Years later, dark prophetic dreams inextricably link him with a young man carrying scars from a painful past, and a young woman who longs for acceptance yet harbor secrets darker than either of them imagine.

Will Noah face the role he played in the slow unraveling of his family? Or will everything collapse when they meet the evil attempting to swallow the world at. . . the Tower of Babel?

Read today to experience biblical fiction that helps you think biblically and feel deeply.

 

Click here to get your copy!

Guest Review from Mindy Houng

“Trust the Almighty. Give him your heart. Surrender to his will. Obey his word. Love him more than you hate your father. Choose him over your desire for Zillah. Believe he is greater than your sin. He has chosen you to receive his grace. I am more convinced of this than of anything.”
This is the first book by Brennan McPherson I have read and it’s definitely an epic tale of God’s all-encompassing, unwavering love and humanity’s repeated, innumerable failures in loving Him back. Yet His great mercy does not leave us entrenched in darkness but rescues us. This book is not like the other Biblical fiction out there (I’ve read Connilyn Cossette, Jill Eileen Smith, Angela Hunt, Tessa Afshar, Mesu Andrews, Carole Towriss to name a few authors) and I’m not completely sure if I would call it Biblical fiction. Quite a few of the characters in the book and events surrounding Babel are based on Biblical accounts but most of the plot is imaginary and has a heavy speculative and fantasy component.
I highly recommend all readers read the author’s Research Notes and his Themes and Motives Behind Fall of Man series at the end of the book first before starting the book. Reading the author’s thoughts first will give the reader a better perspective of the novel and a different lens to appreciate the book.
The author’s voice is melodious, lyrical, and captivating. There are many characters in the book, some mentioned in the Bible and some not, so it takes a bit of time until all the main players can be sorted out. The journey that Noah takes, even as the oldest man on earth, is soul-piercing and convicting on multiple levels as he seeks to dispel evil and bring people to the Almighty. Aran and Zillah’s journey is equally heart-rending as they encounter narrow escapes from death and evil but also kindness and touch from the Almighty.
This is book 3 in the Fall of Man series but is a stand-alone novel. If you enjoy speculative fantasy novel with supernatural component, you will enjoy this book. I received a copy of the book from the publisher 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

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BRENNAN S. MCPHERSON writes epic, imaginative biblical fiction with heart-pounding plots and lyrical prose, for readers who like to think biblically and feel deeply. He lives with his wife and young daughter in the Midwest, and spends as much of his spare time with them as possible. Find out more about him at brennanmcpherson.com.

 

More from Brennan

10 Facts You Might Not Know About the Story of the Tower of Babel

When I first heard the story of the Tower of Babel as a kid, it was hard for me to take it seriously. A guy named Nimrod builds a tower that he thinks is going to reach to the heavens (what a nimrod) and God punishes him? That’s pretty humorous sounding.

But is that really the whole story?

Upon closer look, we see that’s not quite what happened! And neither is the story any laughing matter. So, let’s dive through 10 facts you might not know about the story of the Tower of Babel in the book of Genesis:

  1. The entire account of the Tower of Babel is in Genesis 11:1-9, but additional details and references are found from Genesis 9 through Genesis 11:26. There’s WAY too much here for just one point, so suffice it to say that to get a true understanding of the events in Genesis 11:1-9, you have to dig deep and cross-reference the surrounding Scripture text heavily. Because Genesis is written as what seems to be a poetic historical account, the events of the flood in Genesis 6-9 directly impact the events of the Tower of Babel. As do the troubles between Noah and his children, Shem, Ham, and Japheth. In addition, the text of Genesis 9 through Genesis 11 is not perfectly chronological. Noah’s death is talked about in Genesis 9, and yet Noah was alive during the events of the tower of Babel in Genesis 11. This is part of the reason why we have to read carefully, and cross-reference often, to make sense of the nuanced details in the story.
  1. The story of the Tower of Babel wouldn’t have happened without Noah getting drunk in Genesis 9. In Genesis 9:18-29, we are given a general overview of the breakdown of Noah’s family, and the end of Noah’s life. Noah plants a vineyard, gets drunk, then gets naked (a little strange), and his son Ham sees him naked and ridicules him to the family. Noah wakes up, hears what happened, and curses Ham’s lineage instead of directly cursing Ham, because as a prophet of God, Noah doesn’t presume to curse whom God has blessed (Genesis 9:1). This curse splits the family, and Noah’s failure to be a spiritual leader in his family is part of what allows the events of the tower of Babel to happen, because the Tower was most likely a religious structure made to aid in the worship of the celestial bodies (i.e. sun, stars, moon). If Noah had not allowed a schism in his family, he would have been more capable of speaking against occurrences of idolatry. Seeing this connection, along with the next point, was what gave rise to the plot for my full-length novelization of the story, BABEL: The Story of the Tower and the Rebellion of Man.
  1. Noah was alive during the events of the tower of Babel. In Genesis 9:28-29, we’re told that Noah lived 350 years after the flood, and died when he was 950 years old. If we flip ahead to Genesis 11:10, we find several VERY interesting clues that help us piece together a reasonably accurate timeline. Shem’s son Arpachshad (I don’t know how to pronounce that either) was born two years after the flood. If we assume that every descendant afterward is a father-son relationship (meaning that there’s no skipping generations—which we see in other genealogies in Scripture), we end up finding out that a man named Peleg was born 101 years after the flood. We’re also told Peleg lived 239 years, so he died 340 years after the flood (ten years before Noah died). We’re also told in the mirrored genealogy in Genesis 10 that the earth was “divided” in Peleg’s lifetime. We know that this doesn’t refer to a continental divide, or the flood, because the flood happened 101 years before Peleg was born, and a continental divide would have caused worldwide flooding again (which God promised to never do). The only other divide we’re told about in Scripture is the divide in languages and countries from the events at the Tower of Babel. Thus, we can pretty safely conclude that Noah was alive during the events of the tower of Babel.
  1. Abram could have been alive during the events of the tower of Babel, and was definitely alive during Noah’s lifetime. Following the timeline given in Genesis 11 (along with the assumption we already talked about in point 3 above), we see that Abram was born 292 years after the flood. This is 58 years before Noah died, and 48 years before Peleg died. It’s therefore reasonable to assume that Abram could have both known about (or been present at) the Tower of Babel event, and that he could have been directly discipled by Noah himself, learning about the beginning of the universe and the world’s greatest cataclysm from someone who had experienced the violent baptism of the world first-hand. In addition, Noah’s father, Lamech, could have known Seth (Adam’s son), and gotten a second-hand account of the garden of Eden. Not hard to see how an accurate oral tradition about the beginnings of the universe could have been passed down to Abram’s lineage and written in some form in his day (because they definitely had Semitic cuneiform writing back during the Tower of Babel days).
  1. The Tower of Babel story could have happened anywhere from 101 years after the flood, to 340 years after the flood. This is interesting for several reasons. The closer the events were to the timing of the flood, the more we question what in the world Noah was doing during the events of the Tower of Babel. Why wasn’t the prophet of God stopping the world from gathering in rebellion against God with blatant idolatry? This was the provocative “What-if” question that gave rise to my novel, BABEL: The Story of the Tower and the Rebellion of Man, which is (you guessed it) largely about Noah’s involvement (and failure) in the events at the Tower of Babel. But in addition to that, we can also see that the population size could have varied widely, from a thousand or so people, to tens of thousands of people.
  1. Just like the hundreds of flood myths in myriad cultures around the world, there are countless myths about the confusion of the world’s languages. Many of these language myths arose through oral tradition in areas that were untouched by the biblical text, which strongly indicates that there was a real event that spawned the disparate accounts. Some of the accounts include an Australian myth that attributes the language split to cannibalism, an African tale where madness struck people during a famine and they all spoke different languages and scattered, and a Polynesian tale that talks of a God who, in his fury, scattered the builders of a tower, broke its foundation, and made the builders speak in many different languages. Pretty crazy, right?
  1. It’s possible that Nimrod didn’t build Babel OR the Tower, though he was likely involved in the process. We’re told in Genesis 10:9 that Nimrod was primarily a hunter (a man of violence), and that the “beginning of his kingdom” was Babel, among other cities, before he went and built Nineveh, among others. If he built Babel, it likely would’ve said so there (though this is, of course, still up for debate). In addition, the actual account of the Tower of Babel in Genesis 11 cites that the people communally said to one another, “let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the heavens.” There was no one person who was commanding the building, but rather a group deciding in unison. Again, Nimrod could have been involved in this process. Or, he could have come to power afterward.
  1. The trinity was involved at the events of the Tower of Babel. Traditional interpretation of Genesis 11, and God’s words saying, “Let us go down and see the tower” that mankind had built, is that Jesus, God (Yahweh), and the Holy Spirit were present and involved in the event. This makes sense with our New Testament understanding of the trinity for several reasons. First, Jesus is the Word, and his relation to God’s spoken revelation is inseparable throughout Scripture. Second, the world was created through Jesus (John 1:3), so he and the Holy Spirit are shown as involved in everything God has done from the beginning (“Spirit hovered over the face of the waters”). We also know the Holy Spirit’s involvement in human speech is profound from the account at Pentecost in the Book of Acts, which seems to be a sort of divine symbolic reversal of the confusion of languages at the Tower of Babel. Furthermore, if God was speaking in the plural to beings unified with him and who needed to be involved at the Tower, he could only have been speaking to Jesus and the Holy Spirit. If God took a physical form in some way, traditional interpretation says that it would likely have been as a humanoid prefigurement of the Christ. Now we’re getting kindof “out there,” but this is important because we can see Christ and the Holy Spirit at work in this ancient, Old Testament story, along with links to their work in the New Testament church and the covenant we have with God under Christ’s sacrifice and resurrection. Because Noah was atypeof Adam. The world began anew with Noah through the baptism of the world. And we know that Christ is the last Adam, the undoing of Adam’s mistakes, and that his baptism is by the Spirit, not by water, which pointed ahead to the baptism we experience through Christ’s blood. Baptism came to represent the death of the old world because of the literal destruction of the old world through water at the almighty hand of God. In this way, we see powerful symbolic connections and importance layered into the Tower of Babel story, and the lives of those involved.
  1. The tower of Babel was likely finished when the languages were confused. In Genesis 11:5, it says God went down to see the city and the tower which the children of man “had built.” In addition, In Genesis 11:8, it claims God spread them out from there over the face of the earth, and that the people left off building the city (but not the tower, which implies the tower was already finished).
  1. For the last time, the Tower of Babel story is NOT about technological advancement. Baked bricks were no new technology. In fact, though modern sociologists who don’t hold the Bible to be trustworthy often say that iron-working didn’t exist until much later, the Bible claims that in the first couple generations of humanity’s existence (long before the flood), humanity was building cities, creating pipe and stringed instruments, forging bronze andiron, and cultivating livestock (Genesis 4:19-22). So, we know that brick-making and using mortar were no great technological advancements. Especially after reminding ourselves that Noah (who was still alive) built the world’s largest wooden boat, waterproofed it with pitch, and survived the greatest cataclysm to ever strike the earth. He had some advanced building skills and would not have been impressed by bricks. The point of the story of the Tower of Babel is to illustrate man’s pride (wanting to make a name for themselves separate from their identity as children of God – i.e. “children of man”), along with man’s tendency toward idolatry, and God’s unlimited power coupled with his mercy and gentleness. The confusion of languages was a brilliant, non-violent way of disrupting their prideful plans. All in all, however, this story is a fascinating view into human nature, family dynamics, mankind’s purpose and ambition, and God’s personhood. If you want a more detailed historical study on the Tower of Babel, check out Bodie Hodge’s book, Tower of Babel, which is a careful study of the historical details, and which is endorsed by Answers in Genesis.

Before working on the full-length novelization of the story of the Tower of Babel (BABEL: The Story of the Tower and the Rebellion of Mankind), I didn’t know any of this. This is part of the reason why I love writing biblical fiction. It drives me back to the text of the Bible in a way nothing else does. I hope reading it does the same for you! Blessings, and thanks for reading. And if you want to pick up a copy of the book, you can do so now on Amazon or Audible.

Blog Stops

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, January 4

Discipling4Life, January 4

Simple Harvest Reads, January 5 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, January 6

Literary Reflections Book Blog, January 6

For the Love of Literature, January 7

My Devotional Thoughts, January 7

Through the Fire Blogs, January 8

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, January 9

Betti Mace, January 10

Mamma Loves Books, January 10

Texas Book-aholic, January 11

janicesbookreviews, January 12

Novels Corner, January 12

Inklings and notions, January 13

Emily Yager, January 14

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 14

Aryn The Libraryan 📚, January 15

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, January 16

Pause for Tales, January 16

CarpeDiem, January 17

Hallie Reads, January 17

Giveaway

Babel Giveaway

To celebrate his tour, Brennan is giving away a McPherson Publishing Bundle, which includes paperback copies of Flood, Eden, the Psalm Series, and The Simple Gospel!!

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/f445/babel-celebration-tour-giveaway

The Seductive Slayers of Success Spotlight and Giveaway

 About the Book

Book:  The Seductive Slayers of Success

Author: Rosalinda Rivera

Genre: RELIGION / Christian Living/Women’s Interests

Release Date: November 19, 2019

9781641233217“I am not a neat nut. Let me start with that confession. Don’t let the title of this chapter, Clean the Clutter, fool you into thinking I have all my ducks in a row. If I had ducks, they would not be in a straight line. Or all accounted for.”—Rosalinda Rivera

The snooze button on your alarm clock. The “brilliant shortcut” that makes you late. The unwritten to-do list that you follow from the time you get out of bed till the time you crawl back in it, making each day seem like the last.

These are some of The Seductive Slayers of Success—the little things that add up and try to stop you from moving forward and realizing your dreams. Rosalinda Rivera has been there and she knows just how to help you get up, move on, and Harness Your Strengths to Take Control of Your Destiny.
Using stories from her own life as well as Scripture, Rosalinda offers encouragement to help you kick the negative aspects of life to the curb and jump start your way to a brighter tomorrow. Like a close friend, she gives inspirational, down-to-earth advice with a dash of humor thrown in.

 

Click here to get your copy.

 

About the Author

Rivera_RosalindaRosalinda Rivera is both outspoken and passionate about helping others change their lives and accomplish their dreams. She is a sought-after speaker by major companies, non-profits, and ministries around the world for her high energy, humorous, and down-to-earth motivational style.

She is the executive director of New Life For Adults and Youth, Mercy House, and Mercy Moms House, a place for single mothers to find hope and healing. Rosalinda has been reaching out to families in crisis, poverty, and hopelessness for over twenty-five years.

Using her business skills, she developed a model of social enterprise to sustain the nonprofits she leads by creating businesses that train people in job skills and leadership.
Rosalinda is the founder of Bella Women’s Ministry in Richmond, Virginia, which hosts annual conferences for over five hundred women.

She is also the author of Dare to Begin Again: Let God Write Your Best Future and Wonder Women: Becoming a Hero for Christ.

Rosalinda has been a featured presenter at various events nationwide and has ministered throughout the world. From the White House to the local community, she has been nationally recognized for her impact in bringing hope to the hopeless. Rosalinda was appointed to the Board of Governors of the National Association of Nonprofit Organizations & Executives, headquartered in Washington, D.C. Style Magazine selected her as a “Top 40 under 40” leader for her impact in Virginia.

Rosalinda is the daughter of Victor Torres, an ex-gang member from the streets of New York, and his wife, Carmen, the founders of New Life For Youth and pastors of New Life Outreach International Church. She served as an associate producer on Victor, a movie about her father’s journey from drugs and gangs to Jesus and redemption.

Rosalinda and her husband, Carlos, have three children: Alana, Gabriel, and Victor.

 

More from Rosalinda

Shoot Your Snooze Button
Time doesn’t stop and allow us to make up for minutes wasted. Procrastination is not preparation, no matter what we tell ourselves as we reach for that seductive slayer of success. Think I’m being dramatic? The snooze habit is a symptom of a much bigger problem—one that seeps into many areas of our lives. The struggle is real.

Delay is the destroyer of dreams. It reduces our resolve. Procrastination is the poison that paralyzes our potential. How many opportunities are you hitting the snooze button on? Putting it off until tomorrow can easily become the habit that defines our lives. Instead of building the life we hope for, we are adding another log to the fire of future regret.

Right now, you may recall specific life-goals that have fallen by the wayside. In what areas of life have you chosen to roll over, closing your eyes to what your inner dreams require of you? Look at your gifts. Your talents. Are you harnessing your strengths to propel you in the direction of your desires? Or are you letting that power go to waste?

You’ve likely heard someone say, “She has potential.” Sounds like a good thing, right? In truth, it’s a compliment with a caveat. To say someone has potential is like looking in their pantry and noting there’s ingredients in there to make a cake. It does not mean there’s a cake. It doesn’t mean they will ever bake a cake. It just means this person could make a cake, if they so desired.

If you want to have your cake and eat it, too, you have to do something with what you’ve been given. If you want red velvet deliciousness in your future, remember: it’s not going to bake itself. Potential is pointless until it’s proven in performance. Are you ready to see your possibilities manifest into something tangible?

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, December 21

Writer Without A Space, December 22

For the Love of Literature, December 23

Artistic Nobody, December 24 (Author Interview)

Mary Hake, December 25

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, December 26

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, December 27

Simple Harvest Reads, December 28 (Author Interview)

Texas Book-aholic, December 29

janicesbookreviews, December 30

My Devotional Thoughts, December 31 (Author Interview)

A Reader’s Brain, January 1

Inklings and notions, January 2

For Him and My Family, January 3

All 4 and About Books, January 3 (Author Interview)

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Rosalinda is giving away the grand prize package of a $20 Starbucks gift card and finished 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/f307/the-seductive-layers-of-success-celebration-tour-giveaway

The Dating Charade Guest Review from Mindy Houng

The Dating Charade FB Banner

About the Book

Book:  The Dating Charade

Author: Melissa Ferguson

Genre: Contemporary Romantic Fiction, Romantic  Comedy

Release Date: December 3, 2019

The Dating Charade coverCassie Everson is an expert at escaping bad first dates. And, after years of meeting, greeting, and running from the men who try to woo her, Cassie is almost ready to retire her hopes for a husband—and children—altogether.

But fate has other plans, and Cassie’s online dating profile catches the eye of firefighter Jett Bentley. In Jett’s memory, Cassie Everson is the unreachable girl-of-legend from their high school days. Nervously, he messages her, setting off a chain of events that forces a reluctant Cassie back into the dating game.

No one is more surprised than Cassie when her first date with Jett is a knockout. But when they both go home and find three children dropped in their laps—each—they independently decide to do the right and mature thing: hide the kids from each other while sorting it all out. What could go wrong?

Melissa Ferguson’s hilarious and warmhearted debut reminds us that love can come in very small packages—and that sometimes our best-laid plans aren’t nearly as rewarding and fun as the surprises that come our way.

 

Click here to get your copy!

Guest Review from Mindy Houng

A fantastic debut novel from Melissa Ferguson! The author’s writing style is easy to read and the book will have you laughing out loud at the hilarious encounters and events that fill the plot. But don’t let the humor and the light-hearted title of “The Dating Charade” fool you. The author addresses deep emotional issues involved in broken families and also highlights the sacrifice needed in loving and rearing children, whether blood-related or not. If you enjoy hilarious and heart-warming contemporary romance, you will love this book.
Cassie, the director of center for disadvantaged girls, and Jett, a firefighter, are both relationship-shy for different reasons but end up hitting it off after a couple of hiccups. But their relationship is littered with trials thrown their way by children unwittingly landing in their homes, well-meaning friends and acquaintances meddling, and plenty of misunderstandings. After having been in their world, I’m hoping for a follow-up book or two about the other characters in this book, like Cassie’s best friend Bree and Jett’s roommate Sunny.
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

Melissa FergusonMelissa Ferguson lives in Bristol, Tennessee, where she is an adjunct professor at King University and pens books that make her laugh and grow. She used to have hobbies like running and backpacking the Appalachian Trail outside her door. Now she and her husband are outnumbered, and her hobbies include diaper changes, chasing toddlers in parking lots, and admiring the Appalachian Trail out her minivan window while singing “Winnie the Pooh.” She survives by Jesus, rom coms, and roughly two espresso shots a day. The Dating Charade is her first novel.

 

Read an Excerpt

Read an excerpt of The Dating Charade here.

Blog Stops

A Baker’s Perspective, December 16

Genesis 5020, December 16

Kat’s Corner Books, December 17

Robin’s Nest, December 17

EmpowerMoms, December 17

Reflections From My Bookshelves, December 18

All-of-a-kind Mom, December 18

For Him and my Family, December 18

Carla Loves to Read, December 19

CarpeDiem, December 19

Cultivating Us, December 19

Quiet Quilter, December 20

Through the Fire Blogs, December 20

Christian Chick’s Thoughts, December 21

The Christian Fiction Girl, December 21

SusanLovesBooks, December 21

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, December 22

Texas Book-aholic, December 22

A Reader’s Brain, December 23

janicesbookreviews, December 23

Just Your Average reviews, December 23

Emily Yager, December 24

Vicky Sluiter, December 24

Hallie Reads, December 25

Remembrancy, December 25

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, December 26

Just the Write Escape, December 26

Simple Harvest Reads, December 26 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

Locks, Hooks and Books, December 27

Mypreciousbitsandmusings, December 27

Pause for Tales , December 27

As He Leads is Joy, December 28

A Rup Life, December 28

Batya’s Bits, December 29

With a Joyful Noise, December 29

Inklings and notions, December 29

Daybreak Spotlight and Giveaway

Daybreak FB cover About the Book

Book: Daybreak

Author: Beckie Lindsey

Genre: YA Fiction

Release Date: July, 2019

Daybreak coverEvery girl has a secret she hopes the light will never find—

but the demons already have.

Krystal, Mackenzie, Tammi, and Sadie fight a spiritual battle between unseen forces of good and evil that reaches deadly proportions.

When Krystal’s relationship with lifelong friend, Bryce, turns romantic, she is faced with the most important decision of her life. No matter her choice—everything will change forever.

As the friends rally to help Krystal, they each face their own battles against the forces of darkness and within themselves.

When tension between the group and members of a rock band continue to escalate, only time will tell which bonds will grow stronger and which will break.

“The thief comes only to kill, steal, and destroy.”

 

Click here to get your copy.

 

About the Author

Beckie LindseyBeckie Lindsey is an award-winning author, poet, blogger, and the editor of Southern California Christian Voice, a division of One Christian Voice, a national news syndicating agency. She is a major coffeeholic and enjoys a good book with a cat on her lap. She also loves to hike and hang out with family and friends. Beckie and her husband, Scott have three adult children, two adorable cats and live in California.

 

More from Beckie

Why I write YA and the BFA series

 

I believe a teenager still exists inside each of us.

 

We hear a familiar tune from our “glory days” and are instantly tapping our toes. Mentally, we’re back in high school —poofy bangs, scrunchie, neon off-the-shoulder sweatshirt — and all. Oh, wait. That’s me back in the ‘80s!

 

Ah, yes. There is something wonderfully awful about those coming-of-age years.

 

From the first kiss to the first breakup, there are memories we cherish and some we don’t care to ever revisit. Being a teen can be exciting, confusing, painful, joyous, or even all of those things at once!

 

No matter how different your teenage experience was from mine, one thing is true for us all: these years have an enormous impact on who we become as adults. We can all sympathize with the plight of puberty and the longing for independence and acceptance. Yeah, there’s still a teenager in all of us!

 

These are the reasons I write YA.

 

My hope is to use the power of storytelling to move past barriers and open hearts to accept how much God loves and desires a personal relationship with us.

 

At every age, we all need the grace and love of Jesus.

 

In the Beauties from Ashes (BFA) series, I write about relatable characters with difficult issues and traumatic pasts to enlighten readers about the unseen spiritual battle referred to in Scripture. Each character has a secret that has left them vulnerable to the battle in an invisible realm where demonic creatures fight to keep them chained to their pasts and angels of light work to free them.

 

The characters and their issues are complex, just like real life. In fact, some of the topics are often considered too taboo to talk about openly. But what is left in the dark, festers and grows. It is only in the light that we can be free. In the BFA series, readers experience the character’s quest for truth, love, grace, and freedom while hopefully finding the same for themselves.

Blog Stops

Genesis 5020, December 23

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, December 24

Simple Harvest Reads, December 24 (Author Interview)

Texas Book-aholic, December 25

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, December 26

Emily Yager, December 27

Through the Fire Blogs, December 28

Where Christ & Crisis Collide, December 29

Blogging With Carol, December 30

For Him and My Family, December 31

Artistic Nobody, December 31 (Author Interview)

Remembrancy, January 1

Locks, Hooks and Books, January 2

janicesbookreviews, January 3

A Reader’s Brain, January 4

Inklings and notions, January 5

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Beckie is giving away the grand prize of a $20 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/f37e/daybreak-celebration-tour-giveaway

Rest for the Justice Seeking Soul Spotlight and Giveaway

 

About the Book

Book:  Rest for the Justice Seeking Soul

Author: Susan K. Williams Smith

Genre: RELIGION / Christian Living/Devotional

Release Date: November 12, 2019

9781641233088Susan K. Williams Smith is a minister and activist who has been on the front lines of social and racial justice for many years. As she has marched shoulder-to-shoulder to resist systematic oppression, she has heard the same question over and over: “How are we going to get through this?” Rest for the Justice-Seeking Soul was birthed out of those cries.

Here is a soul-care manual for social justice-seeking believers who stand in constant vigilance against all forms of racial, class, and gender oppression. The fight for justice and equality is an exhausting daily grind—and the work is never over. That’s why it is incumbent upon all who speak and advocate for the less fortunate to practice self-care. You can’t fight when your tank is empty.

In response to the many calls and emails she has received from friends, clergy, and strangers who are in utter despair and even deep depression, she has created ninety daily devotions to provide a daily spoonful of hope and encouragement, a healing balm to “strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees” (Hebrews 12:12). Lift your gaze upward toward a better future by allowing God to restore harmony and focus in your soul and justice in your community. Our God is bigger than whoever is oppressing you. As the old hymn states, “Earth has no sorrow that heaven cannot heal.”

 

Click here for your copy.

 

About the Author

9781641233088(1)Susan K. Williams Smith is an ordained minister, musician, writer, and activist living in Columbus, Ohio. She has written for the Washington Post and Huffington Post, as well as her blog, Candid Observations. She currently serves as one of the tri-chairs for the Ohio Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival. She also serves as national scribe for the African American Ministers’ Leadership Council (AAMLC), and communications consultant for the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference. The founder of Crazy Faith Ministries, she is a graduate of Occidental College and Yale Divinity School, and earned a D.Min from United Theological Seminary. Her previous book, Crazy Faith: Ordinary People, Extraordinary Lives, was published by Judson Press.

 

More from Susan

In response to calls and emails from friends, clergy, and strangers who are in utter despair and even deep depression in these political times, I’ve created ninety daily devotions to provide a daily spoonful of hope and encouragement, a healing balm for justice-seeking believers and social activists.

Blog Stops

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, December 19

CarpeDiem, December 20

Artistic Nobody, December 21 (Author Interview)

Just the Write Escape, December 22

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, December 23

Simple Harvest Reads, December 24 (Author Interview)

Texas Book-aholic, December 25

All 4 and About Books, December 26 (Author Interview)

For the Love of Literature, December 27

My Devotional Thoughts, December 28 (Author Interview)

janicesbookreviews, December 29

A Reader’s Brain, December 30

Through the Fire Blogs, December 31 (Author Interview)

Inklings and notions, January 1

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Susan is giving away the grand prize package of a $20 Starbucks gift card and a finished 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/f2e3/rest-for-the-justice-seeking-soul-celebration-tour-giveaway

Finding Joy Spotlight and Giveaway

Finding Joy FB BannerAbout the Book

Book:  Finding Joy

Author: J.C. Lafler

Genre: Christian Fiction, Generational Fiction

Release Date: November, 2019

FindingJoy_CoverFiles_FindingJoy_coverHighRes“No matter what complications life throws your way, search until you find something to be joyful for.”

Elisabeth Davis has lived by these words for most of her eighty years. Through good times and bad, this mindset has served her well, and she hopes and prays that her grandchildren will carry this sentiment forward when she is gone.

But Max has heard his grandmother say this so many times, he is almost oblivious. And while he understands her point, putting it into action is not always easy.

When his girlfriend demands he make a choice between her and his best friend—in the same week his grandmother has a stroke!—Max struggles to find joy anywhere. He is forced to reexamine his life, his relationships, and even his faith in this heartwarming story of coming of age and leaving a lasting legacy.

 

Click here to get your copy.

 

About the Author

JC LaflerJ.C. Lafler has always enjoyed writing and dreamed of being published, but it wasn’t until she retired in 2015 that she realized her dream. J. C. and her husband, David, live in Battle Creek, Michigan—except in winter, when they escape to sunny Texas. Along with writing, she enjoys public speaking, reading, puzzles, traveling, and spending time with her children and grandchildren.

Finding Joy is J. C.’s fifth novel to date. Her other books, also released through Redemption Press, include Lost and Found, Amazing Grace, Hope Everlasting, and Leap of Faith.

 

More from J.C.

“Finding Joy” by J.C. Lafler is a story about the challenge of finding joy in life’s most trying circumstances, and corresponding verses in the Bible that lead us to choose joy. This story came about because of a comment made by one of my children, who’s middle name just happens to be Joy. She (Lynsey) made the comment to me one day that her middle name reminded her that every day it is up to her to choose joy. Jokingly telling her that “Choosing Joy” would be a great title for my next novel, I let it go for a couple of months. While preparing to began said novel, I wrote “Choose Joy” at the top of the page and started writing. During editing I changed the title to “Finding Joy,” but the whole story developed around the idea of choosing to find a bit of joy every day, no matter what is happening in your life.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, December 9

Inklings and notions, December 10

A Reader’s Brain, December 11

Reading Is My SuperPower, December 12

janicesbookreviews, December 13

Texas Book-aholic, December 14

Artistic Nobody, December 15 (Author Interview)

For Him and My Family, December 15

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, December 16

Lighthouse Academy, December 17 (Guest Review from Marilyn Ridgway)

For the Love of Literature, December 18

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, December 19

Aryn the Libraryan 📚, December 20

CarpeDiem, December 21

Simple Harvest Reads, December 22 (Author Interview)

Mary Hake, December 22

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, J.C. is giving away the grand prize package of a signed copy of her book with a matching mug!!

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/f23c/finding-joy-celebration-tour-giveaway

The Wedding Dress Christmas Review and Giveaway

The Wedding Dress FB Banner About the Book

Book:  The Wedding Dress Christmas

Author: Rachel Hauck

Genre: Romance, Christmas

Release Date: October 22, 2019

The Wedding Dress Christmas CoverDecember covers quaint Heart’s Bend, Tennessee with a blanket of white and the glitter of Christmas lights.

For JoJo Castle there’s no place like home. It’s her safe place. Her one-time love of adventure ended when life in the big city shattered her hopes and dreams. Now that she’s returned to Hearts Bend, she never wants to leave again.

Buck Mathews, the biggest country singing sensation in decades, has the world on a string – his guitar strings, to be exact. However, when news of his mother’s illness sends him back to Hearts Bend for the holiday season, he remembers how good it can be to live among family and friends.

Working with her cousin Haley in The Wedding Shop, JoJo has no aspirations of love. Leaving home, surrendering her heart again, is just too risky.

When she runs into her friend and high school crush Buck Mathews, she discovers Love might have other plans for her[BV1] .

Buck’s career is on the verge of an momentous leap. But seeing JoJo awakens feelings he’d buried long ago. Falling in love is easy, but winning her heart will take more than one of his melodic tunes and clever lyrics.

JoJo and Buck want opposite things for their lives, leaving no room for compromise. Can love, especially the kind that touches hearts at Christmastime, overcome her fears andhis quest for greatness?

When a very special gown – the wedding dress – begins to make its presence known, JoJo and Buck’s hearts bend in a way neither ever thought possible.

 

Click here to get your copy.

Guest Review from Mindy Houng

“From every dark moment, from every trial, every happy moment. I’ve been here all along.”
Rachel Hauck writes emotional heartfelt novels with beautiful characters and message of freedom. This novella is no exception. It is a part of The Wedding Collection series but can definitely be read as a stand-alone (and is not a dual-timeline plot). For those who have been following the series, revisiting the characters from previous books through this one will bring all the nostalgic warmth and fuzzy feelings. If you’re a fan of contemporary romance, you don’t want to miss this novella.
JoJo and Buck, high school best friends, return to their hometown of Hearts Bend, TN for different reasons but end up falling for each other. JoJo has a lot of baggage that she needs to let go and Buck has some insecurity issues that he needs to deal with. Their journey is helped by a wonderful cast of characters who will have you falling in love with Hearts Bend. The ambiance of the Wedding Dress Shop (where JoJo works) during Christmas time will have you sighing with the romance of it all. And the mysterious aura of THE wedding dress will bring you into the other-worldliness of love.
I received a copy of the book from the publisher 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

rachel-hauck-HR-5Rachel Hauck is an award winning, New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author.

Her book The Wedding Dress was named Inspirational Novel of the Year by Romantic Times Book Reviews. She is a double RITA finalist, and a Christy and Carol Award Winner.

Her book, Once Upon A Prince, first in the Royal Wedding Series, was filmed for an Original Hallmark movie.

Rachel has been awarded the prestigious Career Achievement Award for her body of original work by Romantic Times Book Reviews.

A member of the Executive Board for American Christian Fiction Writers, she teaches workshops and leads worship at the annual conference. She is a past Mentor of The Year.

At home, she’s a wife, writer, worship leader and works out at the gym semi-enthusiastically.

A graduate of Ohio State University (Go Bucks!) with a degree in Journalism, she’s a former sorority girl and a devoted Ohio State football fan. Her bucket list is to stand on the sidelines with Ryan Day.

She lives in sunny central Florida with her husband and ornery cat.

More From Rachel

Hello Royal Rockstar Readers!

I’m thrilled to share The Wedding Dress Christmas with you. I’ve heard from so many how much The Wedding Dress has touched them, and as I noodled over new story ideas, my thoughts drifted toward the wedding dress and Christmas. What’s more romantic than a Christmas wedding?

This novella is set in Hearts Bend, Tennessee, the fictional town ofThe Wedding Chapel and The Wedding Shop. Even if you’ve never read one of books inThe Wedding Collection, you’ll enjoy this story, the mystery of the dress, and the women whose lives it changed.

I love weddings. They remind us of the purity and the hope of love, the power of commitment. Something powerful is released when two people pledge to spend their lives together, loving and serving one another in both good and bad times. Every wedding I attend reminds me of the vows I made to my husband and I sign up all over again.

Stories are a powerful reflection of life. Yes, fictional stories are often told with wild hyperbole, but that’s what makes them fun to read.

I also love wedding stories because they remind us of God’s love for us, and that one day there will be the grandest wedding of them all. Isn’t it wonderful that God planned a wedding before He created the earth?

In The Wedding Dress Christmas, JoJo and Buck have their issues, but love proves strong enough to conquer them all.

Thanks for going on this little tour with me and The Wedding Dress Christmas.

Yours,

Rachel

Blog Stops

The Avid Reader, December 18

Through the Fire Blogs, December 18

Livin’ Lit, December 18

Robin’s Nest, December 18

Reading Is My SuperPower, December 19

By The Book, December 19

Wishful Endings, December 19

All-of-a-kind Mom, December 19

Among the Reads, December 20

Genesis 5020, December 20

Life as Lanhams, December 20

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, December 21

Daysong Reflections, December 21

Christian Chick’s Thoughts, December 21

Bigreadersite, December 21

Simple Harvest Reads, December 22 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

Remembrancy, December 22

Britt Reads Fiction, December 22

She Lives to Read, December 23

Empowermoms, December 23

Inside the Wong Mind, December 23

Mia Reads Blog, December 23

Splashes of Joy, December 24

Christian Bookaholic, December 24

Hallie Reads, December 24

Jeanette’s Thoughts, December 25

Where Faith and Books Meet, December 25

Blogging With Carol, December 25

For Him and My Family, December 26

Hebrews 12 Endurance, December 26

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, December 26

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, December 26

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, December 27

My Devotional Thoughts, December 27

Locks, Hooks and Books, December 27

Mamma Loves Books, December 27

Betti Mace, December 28

Batya’s Bits, December 28

The Christian Fiction Girl, December 28

Quiet Quilter, December 29

mypreciousbitsandmusings, December 29

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, December 29

janicesbookreviews, December 29

A Reader’s Brain, December 30

Inklings and notions, December 30

Texas Book-aholic, December 30

Carla Loves to Read, December 30

Back Porch Reads, December 31

CarpeDiem, December 31

Stephanie’s Life of Determination, December 31

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Rachel is giving away a print copy of the book and a Visa gift card for $25. Swag!!

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/f1fe/the-wedding-dress-christmas-celebration-tour-giveaway

Crown Review and Giveaway

Crown FB Banner

About the Book

Book:  Crown

Author: Nancy Kaser

Genre: Christian Non-Fiction, Biblical Marriage

Release Date: August 20, 2019

crown coverWhether you’re in the honeymoon stage or celebrating your fiftieth anniversary, you have never before been in this season of your marriage. Your family dynamics, finances, health, emotional state, location, ministry, employment status—all the factors of your life—are in a perpetual state of transition. As a married woman, you are continually wife-changing. The Scriptures never change, but they can always be freshly applied to every season of marriage.

Crown is a resource that combines solid Bible teaching, humorous and humbling tales from the author’s own marriage journey, and dozens of compelling stories from real women just like you. Based on Proverbs 12:4, “An excellent wife is the crown of her husband,” Crown includes concrete Scriptural truths and real-life examples that will equip you to be the excellent wife God created you to be. Complex issues such as biblical roles within marriage, physical intimacy, communication, forgiveness, and home management are all addressed with candid honesty, encouragement, and biblical substance. In thirty wife-changing lessons, you will be instructed, challenged, and motivated to walk in obedience to God’s beautiful design for marriage.

 

Click here to get your copy.

My Thoughts

My review is coming; I have been unable to put my review together due to health issues. Thank you for your patience and understanding!

About the Author

Nancy Kaser Bio PicNancy Kaser is a passionate pastor’s wife and veteran missionary. For over twenty-five years, she has taught women’s Bible studies, provided biblical counseling, and been a dynamic women’s conference speaker. Based in Southern California, Nancy teaches literature and history classes at The Writtenburg Door. She and her visionary husband also lead short-term mission trips with the Calvary Chapel movement and run a child-sponsorship organization.

 

More from Nancy

Closing the church door after my seventh counseling appointment that week, I was overcome with the realization that every appointment had been relatively indistinguishable. The women I counseled from our congregation were generally unsatisfied, disappointed, and disillusioned with their marriages, and some were downright rebellious in their role as wives. The same anxieties, the same troubles, (and the same sins creating the anxieties and troubles) came up in almost every meeting. Though these church ladies may have been well-versed in the scriptures, no one had taught them how to live out biblical principals in their everyday lives.

As a pastor’s wife, I wished I could meet with every married lady in my church and offer practical discipleship with this hope: that a glorious, fulfilling, and God-honoring marriage—to the same guy she is married to right now! —is absolutely possible through obedience to God’s word.  

Crown – 30 Wife-Changing Lessons is a resource that combines solid Bible teaching, humorous and humbling tales from my own marriage journey, and dozens of compelling stories from real women just like you. Based on Proverbs 12:4, “An excellent wife is the crown of her husband,” Crown includes concrete, scriptural truths and real-life examples that will equip you to be the excellent wife God created you to be. Complex issues such as biblical roles within marriage, physical intimacy, communication, forgiveness, and home management are all addressed with candid honesty, encouragement and biblical substance.

Whether you’re in the honeymoon stage or celebrating your fiftieth anniversary, you have never before been in this season of your marriage. Your family dynamics, finances, health, emotional state, location, ministry, employment status— all the factors of your life—are in a perpetual state of transition. As a married woman, you are continually wife-changing. The scriptures never change, but they can always be freshly applied to every season of marriage. In thirty wife-changing lessons, you will be instructed, challenged, and motivated to walk in obedience to God’s beautiful design for marriage.

Blog Stops

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, December 13

Mary Hake, December 13

Inklings and notions, December 14

Artistic Nobody, December 15

All-Of-kind Mom, December 16

Just the Write Escape, December 17

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, December 17

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, December 18

Texas Book-aholic, December 19

janicesbookreviews, December 20

Simple Harvest Reads, December 21

For Him and My Family, December 21

A Reader’s Brain, December 22

As He Leads is Joy, December 23

Lots of Helpers, December 24

Quiet Workings, December 25

Godly Book Reviews, December 26

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Nancy is giving away the grand prize package of 2 copies of Crown and a $50 Amazon gift card!!

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

https://promosimple.com/ps/f23e/crown-celebration-tour-giveaway

Building a Ridiculously Great Marriage Author Interview and Giveaway

About the Book

Book:  Building a Ridiculously Great Marriage

Author: Gil Stieglitz

Genre: Christian Non-fiction

Release Date: November 2019

Building a Ridiculously Great Marriage: Pre-Marital and Marital Habits
It’s no secret that couples in great marriages do different things than couples in bad ones.
But what are those things and how do ordinary folks start doing them? How can couples take a struggling marriage or even one that is “pretty good” to one that is, quite frankly, ridiculously great?
Based on thousands of counseling hours and personal practice, Gil Stieglitz spells out the 15 essential habits found in great marriages that aren’t found in difficult ones. Building a Ridiculously Great Marriage provides the short and dirty version of what it takes to have a marriage that is so great, other couples will stand up and notice—they might even call it “ridiculous.”
This book is a real game-changer for engaged couples just starting out, couples who are struggling, or couples who just want to take their marriage from good to ridiculously great. It is also a terrific resource for pastors, ministry leaders, and counselors who work with couples for pre-marriage and marriage counseling.

 

Click here for your copy.

 

About the Author

Dr. Gil Stieglitz is a prolific author, engaging speaker, and insightful pastor who has spent thousands of hours helping, coaching, and strengthening marriages. Gil has written over twenty-five books on marriage, parenting, soul development, and spiritual warfare, including top-seller Becoming a Godly HusbandGod’s Radical Plan for Wives, and Marital Intelligence. He speaks to thousands of people each year about the wonders of God’s principles. Gil now serves as Discipleship Pastor at Bayside Church, a dynamic multi-site church near Sacramento, CA. He is on faculty with Principles to Live By, a nonprofit organization that helps people connect to God’s principles in everyday life. He and his wife, Dana, enjoy a ridiculously delightful life in Northern California. For more information, visit ptlb.com.

 

More from Gil

After thousands of hours counseling couples for marriage and pre-marital issues, I had a few couples who just wanted to know the very basics of what they needed to do differently to have a much better marriage. These concepts, coupled with some pre-marital counseling I was doing at the time, allowed me to develop a quick and dirty list of the top ten habits couples should develop if they really wanted a terrific marriage. I asked them to trust me in what I was telling them, and they did what I requested. The results were amazing.
For the purposes of this book, I have added five more habits great couples do to make the material even more robust and effective, and I included the exercises I used in my counseling sessions for couples to practice and work out. Think of this book as the low down of what makes a marriage “ridiculously great.” This is the kind of marriage that will constantly surprise you with delight, love, growth, energy, longing, and connection. It is beyond the norm—where you feel like you lucked into this great relationship with this amazing person.
If you showed up in my office and asked me to give you the bottom line, these are the things I would tell you to do. Many people know what they are doing is not working, and they just want to know what to do. These fifteen things are what work…no joke.

Mindy Houng’s Interview with Gil Stieglitz

What inspired this book?

There is a stark contrast between people who have great marriages and people who have lousy ones. I find that couples just don’t know what to do to create a great relationship in marriage. I am amazed that a few simple routines and habits can make a sensational relationship. Yes, it is some work to add some new things to your day, week, and month, but the payoff is huge. The more I interview couples who have great marriages, I find they know exactly what I am talking about regarding these routines and habits. Couples who are only enduring their spouse and marriage have never heard of or thought about doing most of these.

I tend to make the most progress in my life when I admit what I don’t know and find ways to do whatever it is that needs fixing. It doesn’t matter whether it is finances, leadership, career, family, church, God, or marriage; there are things you need to do to be successful in each area. If you admit you don’t know, and you want to learn, you can find the changes you need to make to get really good at the thing. When the student is ready, the teacher will appear. I offer this book as a cheat sheet to have a ridiculously great marriage.

Which chapter was the most difficult to write?

I found the chapter most difficult to write was on the habit of Scheduling Sex, which is something great couples do. They have some system in which sexual intimacy becomes expected and regular, so both spouse’s needs are met. This needed to be said so couples can get out of the notion to wait until both of them are in the mood, which always leaves one spouse frustrated and one feeling put upon.

I didn’t want to try and become a sex therapist, but there are some rudimentary ideas and solutions that couples need to talk about in this area of sexual intimacy…the three kinds of sex, the physiological sexual cycles that exist in both men and women specifically. If this crucial arena of married life is going to be a source of delight and true intimacy, then in some form it must be scheduled and communicated. I refer to a few books on the subject that go into much more detail on the issue of sex in marriage; I do not want to be seen as an expert on the sexual dysfunctions in marriage—I do want people to get the help they need.

What would you like your readers to get out of this book?

I want them to have ah-ha moments—“Oh, I had never thought of that!” or, “You can do that?” I was very pleased as we were recording the audiobook that one of the sound engineers (who was divorced) kept saying at the breaks, “If I had only known this fifteen years ago.” I want people to add these practices to their life and watch their marriage change. These practical actions are like the change in the golf swing that immediately stops the ball slicing. They really do work. I want people’s marriages to be a source of joy, one that is ridiculously great.

My wife and I often say to each other, “Our marriage is not normal; it is so good. Let’s not mess it up.” In other words, we need to keep doing the things that got us here—the things addressed in this book.

Which author influenced you the most?

I have been the most influenced by Gary Smalley, who mentored me out of my lousy relational habits and into a whole new life relationally. His material has been a revelation to me over the years. It changed everything for me. People stopped being the key to meeting my needs and became a goal in themselves. I understood the point of the Scriptures about marriage and relationship because of his mentorship of me. Life Is Relationships. We must learn how to love, or life will not make a lot of sense.

Now, I find myself delighted, surprised, and reinforced by the work of Dr. John Gottman. He has done his work by studying couples in his Love Lab in Seattle, while I found the keys to relationship by starting with the Scriptures. I am so delighted with how these two sources of truth agree. Different sources, same truth.

What is your favorite Bible verse or life verse?

My life verse is Philippians 3:8, “I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord for whom I have suffered the loss of all things and count them but rubbish that I may gain Christ.” There have been many times when Christ has asked me to sacrifice what I might think is best to grow my relationship with Him more deeply. It has always been worth it in the long run, even though the short term can be very painful.

I find that Christ asks me to sacrifice what I want in some cases to have a relationship with Him and with others that is priceless. I love Scripture and tremble in front of it when it says, “Husbands love your wives as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for it.” There is sacrifice needed in great relationships, but it is so worth it to be deeply loved and to love deeply. Selfish people who seek to use people do not create great relationships.

Where is your favorite vacation spot?

I am always the most blown away by Yosemite National Park. I still have to pull over when we pop through the tunnel and glimpse the Valley. I am just stunned by the beauty, wonder, and grandeur. I also love Lake Tahoe, the Redwoods, the Swiss Alps, underwater in Monterey Bay and Lake Louise, but Yosemite takes my breath away every time.

What are you reading right now?

I am reading the Science of Trust by Dr. John Gottman. It is a wonderful compilation of the tests and studies that have quantified how to build and destroy trust in relationships. It’s a compilation of Scriptural ideas sifted through scientific studies and empirical data sets.

What is your most well-loved and well-used house appliance?

Probably the refrigerator. It is a magnet. I love to look into it and see if anything has changed or been added in the last twenty minutes. I love having snacks, fruit, and vegetables that come out of it. I sometimes find myself just staring into it with the door open hoping something new has happened in there.

Describe your view as you’re sitting in your writing chair.

I am surrounded by huge book cases filled with books. On top of the cases are pictures and mementos of our family. Pictures of my girls, family trips, trinkets from my past. When I moved into the smaller office I now inhabit, I had to pare down my books from near 8,000 to only 4,000 of the keepers—it was very difficult. My desk is on my right side piled high with books I am reading or referring to. There is a window on my left that often stays closed because I am in a writing zone, and I don’t want to be distracted by what is happening outside.

If you could have one piece of art or music on a deserted island, what would it be and why?  

I am tempted to say a Yellow Submarine, but I think that evades your question. I would want the Bible, which is a work of art, ageless wisdom, an antenna into eternity to hear from God, lyrics written by inspired prophets, and the beauty of truth.

Blog Stops

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, December 6

Holly Jo Morris, December 7

Spoken from the Heart, December 8

All-of-a-kind Mom, December 9

Mary Hake, December 10

Stories By Gina, December 11

Artistic Nobody, December 12 (Author Interview)

Discipling4Life , December 12

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, December 13

Texas Book-aholic, December 14

janicesbookreviews, December 15

A Reader’s Brain, December 16

Inklings and notions, December 17

A Diva’s Heart, December 18

Simple Harvest Reads, December 19 (Author Interview)

For Him and My Family, December 19

Giveaway

To celebrate his tour, Gil is giving away the grand prize package of a $100 Amazon Gift Card plus a signed copy of Gil’s 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/f23b/building-a-ridiculously-great-marriage-celebration-tour-giveaway

All Is Bright Review and Giveaway

All Is Bright FB Banner (1)

About the Book

Book:  All Is Bright (Christmas Lights Collection 2019)

Author: Kari Trumbo, Toni Shiloh, Cathe Swanson, & Chautona Havig

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Release Date: October  17, 2019

Four of your favorite contemporary romance authors join festive forces to bring you the fourth-annual Christmas Lights Collection.

Kari Trumbo-  Merry and Dashing: Merry hates Christmas corporate greed. Jacob loves finding the perfect gift for everyone. When Scrooge and Santa volunteer at a local thrift store together, will the mix be Holly Jolly?

Toni Shiloh-  I’ll Be Home: What could be worse than being laid off right before the holidays? For Starr Lewis that would include returning home jobless, single, and, oh yeah, just in time to attend her sister’s wedding on Christmas Eve… to Starr’s ex-boyfriend. In the midst of it all, her brother’s best friend soon has her wondering if she can take another chance on love.

Cathe Swanson- Season of Change:  Charlea’s ready to sell Serenity Hill, but Drew is back in town, 15 years after their dream date ended in disaster, helping her mother and daughter turn the old commune into a commercial Christmas wonderland. Between poinsettias and sleigh rides, angst and romance collide in this Christmas second-chance romance!

Chautona Havig- The 12 Dates of Christmas : When Reagan runs into Alex, her high school nemesis, he is stunned to discover that’s how she saw him. It’ll take twelve dates and a lot of forgiveness on both sides to even hope for a Christmassy-ever-after.

Brighten your day with these four heart-warming novellas today!

 

Click here to get your copy!

My Thoughts

Readers, Have I ever told you how much I love Christmas collections? LOVE (insert emphasis). I can read them all year around. Each year I always look forward to this collection and once again, they didn’t disappoint. I can’t say which book I liked the most – they were all that good. I read them in one sitting because I couldn’t put them down. These put me right into the holiday spirit.
If you are looking for great stories that really put you in the Christmas mood, you won’t want to miss this collection!

About the Author

karitrumbo

Kari Trumbo:  Kari Trumbo writes swoony heroes and places that become characters with detail and heart. Kari loves reading, listening to music, singing when no one’s listening, and curling up with a fuzzy blanket, a book, and a hot cup of tea by the wood stove. She loves her make-believe people almost as much as the real thing. You can find out more about her and her worlds at karitrumbo.com.

 

ToniShiloh

Toni Shiloh:  Toni Shiloh writes ethnically diverse characters that could be your best friend. She writes to understand the Lord more and shares her lessons with her readers. Visit her at www.tonishiloh.com.

 

cathe swanson

Cathe Swanson:  Cathe Swanson, the author of the Great Lakes and Glory Quilts series, enjoys gardening, sewing, papercrafting, and kayaking on the beautiful Wisconsin rivers. As a child of the 60’s, she’s having fun writing about hippies and the Jesus People movement in her new Serenity Hill series.

 

chautona havig

Chautona Havig: Chautona Havig lives in an oxymoron, escapes into imaginary worlds that look startlingly similar to ours and writes the stories that emerge. An irrepressible optimist, Chautona sees everything through a kaleidoscope of It’s a Wonderful Life sprinkled with fairy tales. Find her at chautona.com

More From Chautona

 Christmas in “The Christmas City”

I wrote most of 12 Dates of Christmas in Noel, Missouri, otherwise known as “The Christmas City.”  That’s kind of funny, because Noel isn’t pronounced No-ell.  It’s “Nole”—rhymes with pole.  As in North. 😉

By the time I’d finished, it was almost time to leave the little town and head home after nearly six weeks with old and new friends.  I had to say goodbye to memories I might never visit in person again, and it was difficult to imagine.

So, I did the only thing I knew to do.  I wrote a super-short story.  It’s just over seven thousand words (including a bit of history behind different people, places, and things in the story), but it captured things near and dear to my heart—my mother’s house, the church I’ve loved for so many years, town traditions, and now characters I’m not sure I can let go of.

In fact, I am considering writing a full-length novella next year for the fifth-annual Christmas Lights Collection next year!  I think Rob and Lissa deserve to have their full story told.

As my thanks to readers who purchase or read the collection on Kindle Unlimited, I’m offering this short story, “A Noel Christmas,” FREE.  Just send me your receipt or a screenshot showing you’ve completed the collection and it’s yours.  Visit https://chautona.com/bonus for more information or just zip an email to any of the authors in the collection. We’re all happy to send it on.

We all hope you have a very meaningful Christmas this year—one that offers bright spots in your days. May God richly bless you now and in the new year.

Kari Trumbo, Toni Shiloh, Cathe Swanson, and Chautona Havig

 

P.S.  If you read the short story, do let me know if you think I should turn it into a full-length novella/novel. I’d love to know your opinion.

Blog Stops

Among the Reads, December 6

Texas Book-aholic, December 7

janicesbookreviews, December 8

Through the Fire Blogs, December 9

Mary Hake, December 9

Genesis 5020, December 10

Inklings and notions, December 11

Blossoms and Blessings, December 12

CarpeDiem, December 13

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, December 14

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, December 15

Batya’s Bits, December 16

She Lives To Read, December 17

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, December 17

Lots of Helpers, December 18

Simple Harvest Reads, December 19

Giveaway

To celebrate their tour, The Christmas Lights Authors are giving away the grand prize of a six-month Kindle Unlimited Subscription!!

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/f2b3/all-is-bright-celebration-tour-giveaway