Sunday, November 17, 2019

Love's Allegiance FB Banner

About the Book

Book: Love’s Allegiance
Author: Linda Shenton Matchett
Genre:  Historical Romance
Release Date: August 15, 2019
Love's Allegiance ebook jpg coverWith most U.S. boys fighting for Uncle Sam in far off countries, Rochelle Addams has given up hope for a wedding in her future. Then she receives an intriguing offer from a distant relative to consider a marriage of convenience.
Conscientious objector Irwin Terrell is looking forward to his assignment at Shady Hills Mental hospital to minister to the less fortunate in lieu of bearing arms. At the arrival of the potential bride his father has selected for him, Irwin’s well-ordered life is turned upside down. And after being left at the altar two years ago, he has no interest in risking romance again.
Despite his best efforts to remain aloof to Rochelle, Irwin is drawn to the enigmatic and beautiful young woman, but will time run out before his wounded heart can find room for her?
Inspired by the biblical love story of Rebekkah and Isaac, Love’s Allegiance explores the struggles and sacrifices of those whose beliefs were at odds with a world at war.


About the Author

Linda Matchett Head ShotLinda Shenton Matchett is an author, speaker, and history geek. A native of Baltimore, Maryland, she was born a stone’s throw from Fort McHenry and has lived in historic places all her life. Linda is a member of ACFW, RWA, and Sisters in Crime. She is a volunteer docent and archivist for the Wright Museum of WWII and a trustee for her local public library.

More from Linda

Love’s Allegiance is the fourth book in the Wartime Brides series that retells biblical stories by setting them during World War II. Each story was challenging to write in some way, and this novella was no different.
While brainstorming ways to twist Rebekkah’s and Isaacs’s love story, I happened to take a phone call from my younger brother who is a pastor. I mentioned my quandary that I wasn’t sure which aspect of the home front to address with their story, and he suggested the topic of conscientious objectors (COs).
After we hung up, I realized I knew very little about COs and that I wasn’t sure how I felt about them. Were they cowards, as many people assumed? Were they right? Wrong? Were their convictions biblically based?
I began my research by reading first person account articles and watched oral history interviews with men who served in the Civilian Public Service, a government organization created to use COs who refused military service as medics and other non-combatant roles. More than 12,000 conscientious objectors chose not to take up arms during the war, and I knew I had to tell their side of the story.


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What I liked most about this book was the faith element throughout the story. It is evident that Rochelle is faith minded and has a sweet disposition. She loves everything around her and enjoys the little things like a flower that is starting to bloom or the garden which provides food . I thought she was so well written that I would like to be her friend.  Will she find happiness working at the mental hospital? That is a hard place to work I would think. I loved her determination to see the good in everything. 

Irwin is a hard person to like at times. He is a bit taken back with Rochelle and her decision to work at the hospital he also will be at.  His father has decided who Irwin should marry and this makes for a wonderful journey to finding faith and learning to  trust. He begins to see Rochelle as a 'God fearing woman" and wants to get to know her better. His hesitation in building a relationship will make him face his past.

The story is set during World War II and the author does a great job of letting readers get a feel for how hard it was during this time period. I remember when I was younger that gas was in short supply. People would line up for miles just to get their vehicles filled in hopes it would last them awhile. During WWII people had to endure rationing on another more intense level. Staple items were scarce so having sugar or bread was a luxury for many.  I liked how the author showed two people from different backgrounds come together and begin to accept each other. 

The author takes us back in time and describes the setting in a way that you feel a part of. The characters are well written and come to life as the story unfolds. I liked how Irwin stood up and decided he couldn't in good conscience serve in the war. His stance didn't set well with some but I liked how he wasn't swayed from his beliefs. It is a nice story that flows with ease and gives us a glance into how opposites attract.

I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion.

Blog Stops

Batya’s Bits, November 9
Betti Mace, November 11
Rebecca Tews, November 11
Genesis 5020, November 12
mpbooks, November 13
As He Leads is Joy, November 13
Back Porch Reads, November 15
Texas Book-aholic, November 17
For Him and My Family, November 17
janicesbookreviews, November 19
Inspired by fiction, November 19
A Reader’s Brain, November 20

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Linda is giving away all four books in the Wartime Brides series and a $10 Amazon gift card!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

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


About the Author

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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.



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One thing I can say about the author is he doesn't mix words. He is very transparent and shares his thoughts very openly. After reading the book I realized just how insecure he was in some areas. He didn't like the thought of a ministry starting up unless he was at the forefront of it. It was hard to let go of control and allow men to start a group that would be beneficial to the church. 

What I did discover as I dug deeper into the book was God working on the author to allow his flock to grow and spread their wings. Pastors are to disciple not hinder  growth.  I thought it was a bold statement he made when he said, " Church people sometimes go out of their way to be nice; they lie, but they are nice."  It sure isn't something I would want my pastor to be thinking .  It is true that if a pastor attends a group meeting, more people are likely to attend. It is like giving your blessing to the ministry which helps others to feel secure in knowing that it is backed up by the pastor.

Men's ministry has always seemed to be a hard group to start in churches. Many are busy or not comfortable to share their thoughts and open up to each other. I did appreciate that the author said he was not a disciple making pastor. To me that is the root of the problem for many pastors. They are afraid of letting go of of their control. God wants us to disciple others so they can walk in their calling. I remember someone saying in a conference, " You can only go as far as your leader will take you." If they hinder your growth, then they have set you up to fail. It is important to remember that pastors don't know everything and are continually learning just like us. 

The book focuses on men's ministry and why it is sometimes hard to start one. A church I attended started a men's ministry but soon faded away. It was clear to many that the leadership of the church didn't support it, so men didn't attend. Any ministry in a church needs to have the backing of the leadership in order to have a chance to succeed. The book would be a good tool for churches. There are a few things I didn't agree with, but it is my own convictions that I have about words or interactions the author had with other men in a setting I didn't care for. 

I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion.

Blog Stops

Vicky Sluiter, November 12
Artistic Nobody, November 13 (Author Interview)
Just the Write Escape, November 14
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.

Friday, November 15, 2019

Essential Oils Banner

About the Book

Book: Essential Oils
Author: Terri Secrest
Genre: Christian Non-fiction, Alternative Therapies
Release Date: October 8, 2019
Essential Oils CoverHave you ever wondered why the wise men brought frankincense and myrrh for the baby Jesus? As a curious and highly enthusiastic child, health and wellness coach Teri Secrest asked everyone she knew and met, but no one could tell her. She grew up thinking it was just a nice little story…but never stopped wondering.
This thirst for knowledge sparked Teri’s twenty-three-year quest to learn about essential oils. It has taken her to the far corners of the world—from Croatia and France to Oman, Israel, and beyond.
Teri has written this book to share the mystery, the romance, and the ageless intrigue of essential oils. She hopes you experience the Father’s love as He continually lavishes His children with these exquisite oils and you feel this rich, biblical history come alive in your spirit. Teri wants you to see how miraculous your body is and how it’s designed to heal itself when given proper nourishment and support.
Essential Oils: God’s Extravagant Provision for Your Health offers practical how-to’s that you can use immediately, including the use of oils for romance, balancing hormones, cooking, cleaning, pets, children, and fragrance, as well as health concerns such as stress, negative emotions, trouble sleeping, weight gain, and anxiety. You will find practical guidance to regain and maintain health naturally.
As you gain this understanding, Teri believes you will change the next generation as you discover the hidden secrets of these biblical plants and how to incorporate them into your everyday life.

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

Terri SecrestTeri Secrest is a health and wellness expert whose passion is to teach simple and proven methods for vibrant health to people around the world. That passion is rooted in her early experiences of learning about whole foods and herbs in her family’s organic garden and her mother’s passion for good food as the owner of a French cooking school. These early lessons guided Teri to a healthy path for herself and her own family, yet it was her first astonishing experience with essential oils as a young mother that ignited her lifelong passion for learning, practicing, and teaching people to take hold of God’s extravagant provision for their health.
Teri has traveled around the world to learn from leading experts about the beneficial uses of essential oils, research the promises and properties of each essential oil, and develop a deep working knowledge of their applications for daily health and wellness.
Teri loves to share the simple, practical principles that will help you live in vibrant health through her international keynote speeches, training programs, and best-selling books. She is a sought-after speaker who delivers her message of vibrant health with such enthusiasm, humor, and joy that she has gained the nickname “Ambassador of Joy” around the world. Connect with Teri at http://terisecrest.com

More from Teri

My purpose in writing this book is to inspire you with the mystery, the romance, and the ageless intrigue of essential oils. My hope is that you experience the Father’s love as He continually lavishes His children with these exquisite essential oils and that this rich biblical history comes alive in your spirit. I also hope you will see how miraculous your body is and how it’s designed to heal itself when given proper nourishment and support.
As you gain this understanding, I believe you will change the next generation, as you will know the hidden secrets of these biblical plants and how to incorporate them into your everyday life.



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I am somewhat familiar with this topic but was intrigued to learn more. It amazes me how many oils are available today to help with different problems like headaches, pain and colds.  I did like when the author says, " You should always check with your doctor before making any major health decisions." That statement reminds  me that this book is another way to look at health and the benefits of oils, but for us to be smart in deciding what is best for us. A good example is if you break a limb, you should go get it looked at. I think this book helped me not to be so close minded and look over the facts . 

The book is beautifully illustrated with pictures that pop off the pages. Everything is described in details and offers an array of oils that can be helpful. I am the type of person that is a bit wary of new things. If  someone tells me to try something I am hesitant to jump in right away. The book helps me to examine what the benefits are of oils and how to use them. 

The author fills the pages with different oils and scents and gives examples of how to use them. I liked the bible references and how they tie oils to everyday life. Have we missed what God has put before us as healing oils? That is a question I kept asking myself throughout the book. Native Americans used plants and oils to cure sickness without medicine that is commonly used today.  Essential Oils are beginning to prove helpful and more people are turning to oils as a way to overcome colds, stress and depression.

The chapter on "How to Select a Brand " was very helpful to me. I am lost when it comes to this subject and appreciated the insight the author gave. Just like most products there are many to choose from. The author breaks down what different oils are used for and how much should be taken. I enjoyed learning more about the subject and have decided to try a few that were mentioned in the book.

I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion.

Blog Stops

Genesis 5020, November 6
A Diva’s Heart, November 6
Moments, November 8
Quiet Workings, November 8
Emily Yager, November 9
Artistic Nobody, November 10
For Him and My Family, November 10
empowermoms, November 11
Stories By Gina , November 11
Vicky Sluiter, November 12
Jacquelyn Lynn, November 12
Splashes of Joy, November 14
Texas Book-aholic, November 15
janicesbookreviews, November 16
Sara Jane Jacobs, November 16
Betti Mace,  November 17
A Reader’s Brain, November 18
Inklings and notions, November 19
Livin’ Lit, November 19

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Teri is giving away the grand prize package of a copy of her book and $20 Starbucks gift card!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.