Saturday, July 11, 2020

About the Book

Book:  6 Hidden Behaviors that Destroy Families
Author: Dr. Magdalena Battles
Genre: RELIGION / Christian Living/Family & Relationships
Release Date: June 9, 2020
Families are complicated.
There is no such thing as a perfect family…or an easy family. We all make mistakes that hurt or disappoint our family members, and we’ve all been hurt or disappointed by those we love.
Within our human makeup is a deep and basic need for healthy family relationships. Family was designed to provide us with love, a feeling of belonging, a shared history, traditions, comfort, affection, quality time, feedback, learning, and a safety net. When our family fails to provide for these needs, we feel a deep sense of loss.
6 Hidden Behaviors That Destroy Families by Dr. Magdalena Battles addresses the top conflicts in extended families that cause relationships to become strained, disjointed, or broken. These hidden behaviors are: criticism, gossip, lack of inclusion, deception, refusing to accept differences, and a failure to apologize and forgive. Dr. Battles provides practical tips and solutions based on research, biblical principles, and her own observations of what has worked in families.
Most families have some dysfunction, causing pain, damage, and division. While every family has problems, what really matters is how we deal with those issues. Are we working in a way that heals and resolves problems, or are we allowing them to fester, divide, and explode, causing tremendous damage to our relationships? Families are always in a state of change, and they are a work in progress. But they can function in a way where love, support, belonging, and kindness are exemplified and practiced.
Doing nothing about our family conflicts often contributes to the problems. The healing in your family can begin with you. To have a family that is loving and supportive, you need to be part of the solutions and healing. You just have to take those first steps! It is a process, but the result will be happier lives and more fulfilling relationships. 

Click here to get your copy!
 MY REVIEW 
Coming from a very dysfunctional family growing  up, I could relate to this book  in many ways. The author presents a book that gives readers an insight into how we can improve communication with our family. There are some  very emotional stories the author shares that allow us to understand how the family can easily be torn apart. Forgiveness is a definite key in moving forward and letting go of bitterness. For years I have held onto bitterness because of the childhood I endured. When I finally was able to forgive I felt for  the first time that I was free and at peace.
I liked the chapter on criticism because it is one thing I heard all my life. I was never good enough, not smart enough and would never amount to anything. Words hurt so much more because they last a lifetime. “Insults are used like swords in battle. They pierce the soul and damage a person to their core.” There is constructive criticism that can be helpful when said in love. The author gives great examples throughout the  book that is encouraging and helps readers to understand how important a strong family is.
As the title implies the author shares key behaviors that if not addressed can destroy a family. I can’t count the times I felt left out when going anywhere with my family. I was shunned and verbally abused by brothers and parents. I think this book would be a great resource for every parent. It would benefit families  and give them directions of how to overcome obstacles that cause division. The author includes questions at the end of each chapter that I found very resourceful. I really enjoyed the checklist the author provides of ways to include all family members. When we work together we are stronger . 
I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion. 

About the Author

Dr. Magdalena Battles is a writer and conference speaker whose specialties include parenting, child development, family relationships, domestic violence, and sexual assault. She shares her real-life experiences and professional insights on her website, LivingJoyDaily.com, and on Lifehack.org, where she was named one of their top writers. She is also the author of Let Them Play: The Importance of Play and 100 Child Development Activities (September 2019). Dr. Battles earned a bachelor’s degree in child psychology and a master’s degree in professional counseling, both from Liberty University, and a doctorate in Clinical and Academic Psychology from Walden University. She has also completed post-graduate studies on “Technologies in Education” at Harvard University. While she may seem all business, in her spare time, she enjoys camping with her family, visiting national parks, reading nonfiction, decorating, organizing, shopping, spending time with extended family, and incubating/raising Silkie chickens. She is also an active volunteer in her community and church. Dr. Battles and her husband, Justin, reside in Texas, where they are raising their daughter, Brielle, twin boys, Alex and Charlie, a dog named Max, and a Silkie chicken named Marshmallow.

More from Magdalena

While every family has its problems—some minor, some major—what really matters is how we deal with these issues. Are we working to heal and resolve the conflicts, or are we allowing them to fester, divide, and explode, perhaps causing irreparable damage to our relationships? The six hidden behaviors that destroy families are described as “hidden” because we often ignore, deny, or cover up our family issues. The family unit is a living organism, never remaining the same. Sometimes, it is healthy and working well, and other times, it is not as healthy or functional. All it takes is one person to start a trend of love, compassion, and support that can change generations to come.

Blog Stops

Artistic Nobody, July 13 (Spotlight)
A Baker’s Perspective, July 16 (Spotlight)
Simple Harvest Reads, July 19 (Spotlight)
Mary Hake, July 21
Through the Fire Blogs, July 22 (Spotlight)
Splashes of Joy, July 23
For the Love of Literature, July 24 (Spotlight)

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Magdalena is giving away the grand prize of a $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.

Friday, July 10, 2020

Kentucky bride FB Banner

About the Book

Book:  Kentucky Bride
Author: Caryl McAdoo
Genre:  Historical Christian Romance
Release Date: June 9, 2020
KENTUCKY outer-glow 2A Country Divided…And so is her heart.
Some might say you can’t be too fussy when almost every unattached young man is off fighting for Southern freedom, but that shouldn’t mean a rebel’s daughter has any business with a Union soldier. Forbidden love never created greater battles than Gigi’s unexpected love for a Union soldier.
A dashing Rebel Soldier. The daughter of a Federal Soldier. How will they overcome the odds and a war to be together? Find out in this twist on Romeo and Juliet.


Click here to get your copy!
 MY REVIEW 
Oh love at first sight is such a cherished blessing. There are times when the heart wants what the heart wants. I don’t believe in set rules about falling in love. That’s why this story is so special. Gigi is such a delightful character. She has a spark in her eye when she meets the dashing Texas Ranger known as Ephraim. Her heart did a flip flop seeing him for the first time. I admired her faith and how much she loved her gramps.
The author does an amazing job of taking readers back in time to the Civil War. It was a difficult time for  the country as brothers and friends took opposite sides in the war. My heart would break if my sons were on different sides.  Many  families faced this and the heartbreak they endured was overwhelming. I enjoyed reading how Gigi’s family supplied much needed supplies to  soldiers. There is a bit of danger that Gigi faces as she travels to deliver the much needed merchandise. God was definitely there to protect her.  The author portrayed the time period  with  accuracy which  made the story more realistic. 
The relationship between Gigi and Ephraim was enjoyable to read. I loved how they wanted each other to be safe and their ingenious way to talk to each other while surrounded by people. Their faith was evident in their actions and respect for each other. The author does  include slaves in her story which was present during this time. What I liked was how she included them in the story in a way that was not offensive and gave them a love interest. 
The story ended a little too soon for me. I was so involved with the characters that I wanted the story to continue as they started their lives together. I’m hoping the author will do a follow up book to continue the journey of Gigi and Ephraim. As I always   say with each book the author writes, I draw closer to God with her faith filled stories that shine a light on Him. 
I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion. 

About the Author

carylAward-winning author Caryl McAdoo prays her story brings God glory, and her best-selling stories—over fifty published—delight Christian readers around the world. The prolific writer also enjoys singing the new songs the Lord gives her; you may listen at YouTube. Sharing four children and eighteen grandsugars with Ron, her high-school-sweetheart-husband of over fifty years, she lives in the woods south of Clarksville, seat of Red River County in far Northeast Texas. The McAdoos wait expectantly for God to open the next door.



More from Caryl

It thrilled me to be a part of the North and South Collection series, a thirty-seven titles by seventeen authors project headed up by Christine Sterling Bortner. One reason is that my husband and co-writer has always been a Civil War buff, and the other because it’s such a huge undertaking. I’m actually writing two titles, Kentucky in 1861 and Nevada in 1865.
The stories are broken up by the years (1861-1865) and then the years divided into the states or territories (37 in all) as to when its most major event happened. So, if a reader stays with the series, one releases every other week, they will enjoy a chronological overview of the Civil War.
This story, Kentucky Bride is set near Bowling Green where the Confederates first set up their area headquarters. Twenty-thousand men descended on the city of seven hundred. Nearby, General Hindman with fifteen hundred men that included the 8th Calvary Regiment from Texas, a group of Texas Rangers who’d joined the effort. Of course, I had to have a Texan as a hero! 😊
My heroine is eighteen-year-old Gardenia Gladiola Garland who helps her grandfather in the family business as her papa, brother, and uncle were gone. They’d joined the Union Army several weeks before. She hates the flowery name her mother pinned on her almost as much as the war and insists on being called Gigi.

My Texas Ranger hero, Ephraim Edward Kerns is sent to meet a supply wagon and it surprises to find such a lovely young woman muleskinning. He ties his horse to the back of the wagon and takes over for her, falling in love with her intelligence, beauty, and determination practically at first sight.

This Texas author hopes readers will love these two young ones, and I’m always “Praying my story gives God glory!”

Blog Stops

Novels Corner, July 12
Pause for Tales, July 14
Bizwings Blog, July 18
Betti Mace, July 20
KarenSueHadley, July 21
Artistic Nobody, July 22 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Caryl is giving away the grand prize of a $25 Amazon Gift Card!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

Thursday, July 9, 2020

Love Riot FB Banner

About the Book

Book:  Love Riot
Author: Sara Barratt
Genre: Christian non-fiction
Release Date: May 5, 2020
Love Riot coverHave you ever thought about walking away from the church? Have you already left it in your heart? Does it seem like it’s not relevant to your life?
It’s time for a revolution. A holy uprising. A love riot.

Not content with safe religion that demands nothing of us, Sara Barratt is calling you to stop giving in to the status quo and devote yourself fully to Christ, following Him no matter what your friends do or the culture around you promotes. Sara challenges you to hand everything over–your comfort zones, your time, your loyalty, your pride–and invites you to embark on a radical journey of passionate love for Christ. Because once you experience His love, it will transform your life.
Love Riot is a battle cry from one teen to another to embrace a life of wholehearted commitment and relentless abandon for Christ . . . no matter the cost.
“Sara Barratt wants to start a riot. An uproar. A disturbance for Jesus. Unlike some teenagers who want to disrupt and destroy, she wants to bravely build.”–Kyle Idleman, author of Not a Fan and Don’t Give Up and senior pastor of Southeast Christian Church
“God is at work among my generation. There’s no denying that, especially after reading Love Riot. This book will challenge you, encourage you, and ignite your pursuit of Christ. I highly recommend it!”–Jaquelle Crowe Ferris, author of This Changes Everything
Love Riot will challenge your idea of what it means to be a teen who truly follows Christ. Sara Barratt raises the bar and calls her peers to a higher standard. This book has the power to change lives!”–Kristen Clark and Bethany Beal, authors of Sex, Purity, and the Longings of a Girl’s Heart and cofounders of GirlDefined Ministries

Click here to get your copy!
 MY REVIEW 
I love when a teen is fired up about God. They want to share the good news with others and are not ashamed to say they are a Christian. I loved the author’s sold out to Jesus attitude. She admits that there are things she needs to work on, but she is teachable and willing to share her knowledge with others. She wants her generation to succeed and follow Jesus on their journey to becoming an adult.  
The author is very grounded and I enjoyed reading how passionate she is about her generation changing  the world in a positive way. She gives great examples of how to overcome obstacles and the book is very encouraging. I love her biblical examples and personal ones as well to illustrate how God can change your life. Her enthusiasm is contagious and I would recommend every youth pastor to read this book. It would be an excellent bible study for a group setting. I don’t  want to overlook the fact that I learned a lot from this book and it made me realize how comfortable  I have become in my faith. I don’t have that fire like I use to. After reading the book, I could feel myself getting excited about Jesus again.

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

About the Author

SaraBarrattAuthorPicSara Barratt is an author, speaker, avid reader, chocolate lover, and lead editor for TheRebelution.com. Her passion is challenging and encouraging teens to live sold out and set apart for Jesus. Come hang out with her on Facebook, Instagram, and at her website, sarabarratt.com.





More from Sara

Why are teens leaving the church?
Why are my friends drifting away from God?
What does it look like to be a teen who wholeheartedly follows Jesus?
In my early teens, I began wrestling with these questions. God was working on my own heart, shaking me out of my complacency, and leading me to a deeper walk with Him. Yet I knew I wasn’t the only teen battling apathy and the low expectations of our culture.
Everywhere I looked, I saw the evidence.
Friends drifting away from God. Compromise slipping in. Peer pressure strengthening.
It broke my heart to see these teens struggling. Because I’d walked in their struggles as well.
Teens like eighteen-year-old Brayden who said, “I’ve never pursued a passionate relationship with Christ, because I’ve never had anyone to share it with. No one else I know takes God seriously.”
Or like sixteen-year-old Trevor who realized something was missing. “I know God is real. I’ve seen Him work in other people’s lives, but I can’t find the strength to change, so I’ve just put God on the back burner.”
These are the words from real teens, battling in the trenches of an apathetic, post-truth, anti-Christian culture. We’re wrestling through questions and doubts about God and Christianity as our peers, the media, and the culture around us feed us a myriad of messages, trying to influence our hearts. Some stand strong. Most give in.
Something needs to change.
Is it possible for teens to reject apathy and live sold out for Jesus? Is it possible to turn our backs to the culture and choose to follow Christ? Is it possible, that instead of a generation leaving the church, we could become a generation building the church, living for the glory of God?
My journey of writing Love Riot began with these questions, but ended with this answer.
Yes.
God has not given up on this generation. On the contrary, I believe He has more in store for us than we can imagine. The power which rose Jesus Christ from the dead can raise up the spiritually dying remains of this generation and spark a passion in teenager’s souls for His name.
The world, and even the church, doesn’t automatically think of teenagers as passionate followers of Christ—but I’m out to change that.
In this new generation arising, it’s my heart-cry to see a remnant living out the message of the gospel, embracing our commission to go out and make disciples.
It’s not an easy journey. It requires risk. Sacrifice. Surrender. But as Jesus said, the life of a follower isn’t safe. It’s not just a call to pray a prayer and be saved. It’s a call to lay down your life and be transformed. Luke 9:23 counts the cost, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.”
For every teen, for every adult, for everyone who desires to follow Jesus, it’s time to pick up our cross, and in the words of Elisabeth Elliot, “live a life of reckless abandon for the Lord, putting all [our] energy and strength into it.”
It’s time for a love riot.

Blog Stops

Artistic Nobody, July 4 (Author Interview)
Remembrancy, July 6
Simple Harvest Reads, July 7 (Author Interview)
Emily Yager, July 8
Mary Hake, July 13
SODBUSTERLIVING, July 14
Through the Fire Blogs, July 15  (Author Interview)

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Sara is giving away the grand prize package of a signed copy of the book and a $25 Amazon gift card!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

About the Book

Book:  Jane Doe
Author: Lillian Duncan
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Release Date: June 26, 2020
A Broken Body. A Broken Mind. What If She Wasn’t The Last Victim?Jane Doe
Raven Marks survives a brutal kidnapping but just barely. Along with a broken body, her mind is broken. She wants to put the past behind her, but nightmarish memories won’t let her. . .At first because she doesn’t have them, and then because she does.
Even though her fractured memory can’t recall every detail, she’s haunted by one thought: What if she wasn’t the last victim? Her search for answers leads her to the highest politicians in the land. Each reclaimed memory brings her closer to the truth—and to even more danger.


Click here to get your copy!

MY REVIEW  
I don’t know why, but I kept thinking about this saying I have heard as I read this book. “Sometimes less is more.” It can mean that having less is more important than having more power, materialistic things or more recognition. I bring this up because the beginning of the book is not only hard to read, but goes into graphic details which could be triggers for some. I find that the author needed to give more details to understand the sheer torture and fear that Raven endured. I found myself seeing her as she crawled on the floor with chains securing her. She was at the point that only death would give her peace. The idea of being kidnapped is hard to even think about. Raven not only was kidnapped but spent months in the hands of a monster  who enjoyed inflicting pain on her. 

When she was finally found far away from where she had been held, I think her nightmare began again. The mind does funny things but one thing it does that amazes me is the ability it has to protect us from traumatic and emotional abuse. It blocks out memories and only comes back as God begins to heal that person from the inside out. We have heard that , “God will not give you more than you can handle.” Raven needed God to help her find her way back to Him. He needed to guide her to trust again and open up to people. As her memory started to return she kept secrets from family  and friends. It is sad to think that she was afraid of what people would say about her, so she hid her memory coming back until it became more than she could bare. The faith element is good and I enjoyed reading how others were there to help Raven find out how strong she is. 

I did like Hunter and thought he was good for Raven. I didn’t really like how they met because it was a bit obvious where the author was going with their introduction to each other. I’m glad that the story stayed focused on Raven and not if a relationship would develop between the two. There are hints of attraction but Raven was not ready for anything but healing and finding  out who kidnapped her. 

The story has some definite twists that will keep readers on their toes. There is no time to get comfortable as the book is fast paced and intriguing. I understand why Raven felt she needed to do a little investigating on her own, but it was  not very smart thinking on her part. After going through what she did, she needed to be able to control her life again and go back to her roots as an investigative reporter. 

The ending is well written and even though the author lets us know who the guilty person is halfway through the story, it was more of what the person represented that had a lasting effect on many. Power does something to some that causes them to resort to crimes in order to succeed at their ultimate goal. The author portrays the kidnapper or “monster ” as Raven  calls the person as a calculating, uncaring and deceitful person . The character is one that will not soon be forgotten. It was like reading a scene from a well known crime show. In the end the author succeeds in showing readers how God never leaves us and when we trust Him, He never fails us.

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

About the Author

Lillian Duncan… turning faith into fiction. 
Lillian lives in a small town in Ohio with her husband. She writes the types of books she loves to read. Even though her books cross genres, they have one thing in common, faith-based stories that demonstrate God’s love—and lots of action. OK, that’s two things.
She was a school speech pathologist for over 30 years but retired in 2012 after being diagnosed with bilateral brain tumors due to Neurofibromatosis Type 2 (NF2), a rare genetic disease.
Whether as an educator, a writer, or a speech pathologist, she believes in the power of words to transform lives, especially God’s Word. To learn more about Lillian and her books, visit:www.lillianduncan.com.

More from Lillian

JANE DOE is my latest novel and it’s a doozy!
What’s the genre you ask? It’s suspense with lots of drama and action…but it also a political thriller…but it also has a lot of mystery components…but there’s the romance element as well… and let’s not forget the spiritual message! No matter what genre you classify it as, it’s one I think you’ll enjoy!
So how did JANE DOE come about?
I’d finished all my edits on a current book and was feeling very uninspired. I had no idea for my next story, so I went on FB and asked people to send me an idea for my next suspense novel. An old high school friend sent me the suggestion to write a story where the main character struggled with memory loss.
Mmmm… but the old amnesia plot has been done and it’s a big no-no that writing experts warn against. I took the challenge and wrote JANE DOE. It’s definitely not your typical amnesia plot, but the main character is haunted by her memories.
First, because she doesn’t have them and then because she does!
Raven Marks survives a brutal kidnapping but just barely. Along with a broken body, her mind is broken. Even though she can’t remember the details of her kidnapping, she’s haunted by the thought that someone else is being victimized by the kidnapper she can’t remember.
Her journey to discover the truth leads her to the highest politicians in the state and then the country. Each reclaimed memory brings her closer to the truth—and to even more danger.
I’m not going to give away the plot, but there’s plenty of twists and turns to keep you reading late into the night!

Blog Stops

By The Book, July 4 (Author Interview)
Betti Mace, July 6
Andrea Christenson, July 7 (Author Interview)
For the Love of Literature, July 12 (Author Interview)
Bigreadersite, July 12
Artistic Nobody, July 13 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Lillian is giving away the grand prize of a $25 Amazon Gift Card!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.