Wednesday, September 30, 2020

About the Book

Book: Seeking Life
Author: Brianna Holifield
Genre: Christian Nonfiction/Christian Living
Release Date: June 30, 2020
Have you ever wondered what God’s purpose for you is? Or what exactly God wants for your life? Have you ever asked yourself if what you are doing is where God wants you to be? If you have ever asked any of these questions, you are not alone. Many people, including myself, have questions like these every day.
Seeking Life will dive deep into what God’s purpose is for each of us on earth and how the fruit of the Spirit plays a role. It will go into detail about each fruit of the Spirit and how to obtain each one. All the fruit work together to help us become whole in Jesus Christ. Being fruitful will ultimately show others who God really is to others by how we act and respond to things.
Seeking Life will include:
  • An in depth explanation of what exactly a purpose is and how the fruit of the Holy Spirit ties into that
  • Who the Holy Spirit is
  • A chapter dedicated to each fruit of the Spirit, defining what it is, why we need it, and how to obtain it.
  • A practical “How To” at the end of each chapter
  • Evidence on how God communicates to us, and how we communicate to Him

Click here to get your copy!
MY REVIEW 
I wonder how many times I have asked what my purpose is? There is a very clear scripture in the Bible that addresses that and I often remind myself of it. God does have a plan for each of us.  I know that sometimes I strayed away from God and His plan because I though I knew what was best. That only got me in trouble and on a road that took awhile to get off of. Did I stumble in my journey or did God know exactly what I would do? The answer for me is clear. He knew what I would do and how I would react to my journey. After all the things I have been through, I would not change one thing. Why you may ask? Because it has made me who I am today. My tests are my testimony of how God forgives, gives grace and loves unconditionally
This book is very short but it has good insight into what our purpose is. I really enjoyed how the author expanded on The Fruits of the Spirit. Breaking down what the different types of love there is was very helpful. God tells us to “ love our neighbor as ourselves.” He wants us to love  without question or judgment. 
Each chapter covers one of The Fruits of the Spirit and shows us through scripture how we  can attain each one. Some are hard to achieve but with God nothing is impossible. God wants us to trust Him in everything. I liked the book and thought it brought up some encouraging points of how we need to walk the walk and talk the talk. 
I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion. 

About the Author. 

Hey there! My name is Brianna Holifield and I wrote this book to share what I have learned over the past few years on my journey with God in hopes to help you live a more peaceful and joyful life with Christ.
I became a Christian in 2015. Over time, I went from being filled with anxiety and fear to being filled with the Holy Spirit and it has changed my life completely. I want to share my love for the Lord so more people can know God’s love for us.
A few other quirks about me: I love coffee and tea, I enjoy hiking and being outdoors, I love animals and I have a passion for nutrition.
So that is enough about me. God is our creator, He is our Father, and He loves us. I am His child and a servant of Him and I want to Glorify Him. This is to be more about God and our relationship with Him than about me.


More from Brianna

Have you ever been so at a loss as to what God wanted for your life because everything you thought you knew and everywhere you thought you were headed was so upside down, sideways, and backwards so much that there was nowhere to turn except God Himself?

Well, this is exactly where my life was before I decided to write this book. My life was shaken. Emotionally, I was distressed, sad, and in pain and I felt alone and helpless.

I can recall the day I knew I needed to write this book. January 7th. The night before I stood in my living room listening to worship music as memories and emotions flooded through my mind until I couldn’t take it anymore. I fell to my knees, let go of everything, and started to worship God like I never had before. I completely, totally surrendered myself to Him.

Sometimes, the only way for us to know we absolutely need God and know for a fact He is in control is to be left with nowhere to turn except to Him. And sometimes, only then are we able to truly listen to what God has been trying to tell us all along.

The next morning I got to work early and just prayed and asked God to show me a revelation and a vision of my life and what He wanted me to do with it. I was ready to do His will, not my own. I wrote everything He told me down. In fact, I still have that ripped up, scribbled on envelope I had found in my car to use that day.

One of the things God told me was to write. I remember the still quiet voice in my heart. Me? Write? I had never considered myself a writer. I also had no idea what to even write.

Over the next two months, God started showing me, teaching me, and transforming the way I saw things. Every single thing God taught me was something I desperately needed. By March, I knew what God wanted me to write about. This book is simple yet so foundational to living and walking in Christ. I hope the contents of this book helps everyone who reads it to grow and strengthen their relationship with the Lord and gain a deeper understanding of God’s purpose for each of us, and a better understanding of who the Holy Spirit is.

“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you” (John 14:26, NKJV).

Blog Stops

Texas Book-aholic, October 1
Godly Book Reviews, October 9
Artistic Nobody, October 9 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)
Sara Jane Jacobs, October 10
Mary Hake, October 12
Splashes of Joy, October 14

Giveaway

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

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Phoebes secret FB Banner

About the Book

Book: Phoebe’s SecretPhoebes secret
Author: Sydney Tooman Betts
Genre: Christian Fiction, Historical Mystery
Release Date: June 20, 2020
In April of 1843, Phoebe’s family hears about a murder while they are traveling to their new home in the Shenandoah Valley. They arrive to learn the victim attended the church her father has agreed to pastor and the crime took place on a leading church member’s plantation.
Eager to make new friends, Phoebe forms a unique relationship that propels her into the middle of the mystery, and she begins to question several acquaintances’ motives. Will she uncover their secrets before the plantation owner’s charming son discovers hers?

Click here to get your copy today!
 MY REVIEW 
I enjoy reading books by this author because they always have a faith element that compliments her stories. This story is set in 1843 where slaves were still being mistreated. Phoebe and her family are new to the town and it doesn’t take long for a mystery to take over. I really liked Phoebe and how thoughtful she was. Being a preacher’s kid she has sometimes been treated differently by people. Overall the family is welcomed and I liked how the people made them feel at home. 
I have to say how much I adored Augie. He is full of energy and quite inquisitive. Phoebe has her hands full looking after him while her mother is away. I liked how Phoebe took her chores seriously and helped run the house without her father having to worry about anything. The story flows very nicely and we get to meet several characters that enhance the story. There is one particular character that I kept trying to figure out how  they fit in the story. 
The mystery that flows throughout is good and I’m not sure I would have been brave enough to do some of the things Phoebe does. Her compassion for a mysterious person in the woods bring up the question of slavery. I liked how the author used scriptures to point out how wrong it was to own slaves and gave them a voice in the story of their plight. 
The story unravels two mysterious murders while placing Phoebe in danger. Her calmness was very impressive.  I did like the part at the end where the author talks about slaves and how they used particular quilts to warn slaves of danger. I didn’t know about this interesting information and was glad the author included it in her notes to readers. I look forward to the next book in this series.
 I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion.

About the Author

Sydney BettsSydney Tooman Betts resides with her husband near the extensive cavern system that inspired the setting for several chapters in her series The People of the Book.
While single, Ms. Betts (B.S. Bible/Missiology, M.Ed) took part in a variety of cross-cultural adventures in North and Central America. After marrying, she and her husband lived in Europe and the Middle East where he served in various mission-support capacities. Her teaching experiences span preschool to guest lecturing at the graduate level.
Before penning her first novel, A River too Deep, she ghost-wrote several stories for an adult literacy program.

More from Sydney

Proverbs 25:11 says, “Words spoken fitly are like apples of gold in settings of silver.” I was not a great reader as a child, but I loved stories. We remember stories, whether told through movies, good sermon illustrations, parables, or simple  novels.
Think of something you’ve read in the Bible. Did an instructional verse, a narrative, or a parable leap to mind? Stories have power because we can relate to them. We see ourselves in the shoes of the main character and ask what we might do in the situation. Mysteries, a new genre for me to write, are a little different. You are in the puzzle with the main character, working out the solution as you both come across the clues. I hope you will enjoy joining Phoebe in her first mystery as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Recipe:
Sally Lunn Bread
1 cup water
1 cup milk
¼ pound unsalted butter
8 cups of high-gluten or bread flour
⅔ cup sugar
2 tablespoons salt
¼ cup yeast
6 eggs
In a saucepan, combine water, milk and butter. Heat until the butter is very soft.
In a mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients with half the flour. Add the warm liquid, and mix well to form a smooth batter.
Add 3 eggs, one at a time, and mix well. Add another cup of the flour, and mix well. Add the second 3 eggs, one at a time. Add the remaining flour, and mix until the flour has been incorporated and the batter has formed a smooth ball. The dough should be less firm than bread and more firm than a batter.
Put the dough in a clear bowl with a little oil and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Proof until double in volume. Divide the dough between two bund pans or two loaf pans, or one of each. Proof again until risen and doubled in volume.  Bake at 350° for about 20 minutes. Makes 20 servings.

Blog Stops

Texas Book-aholic, September 29
deb’s Book Review, September 30
Mary Hake, October 4
Artistic Nobody, October 6 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)
Pause for Tales, October 6
Sara Jane Jacobs, October 9
Splashes of Joy, October 10
Lighthouse Academy Blog, October 10 (Guest Review from Marilyn Ridgway)
Betti Mace, October 11
Maureen’s Musings, October 12

Giveaway

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

Monday, September 28, 2020

Secret Life of Lady-banner

About the Book

Book:  The Secret Life of Lady Evangeline
Author: Jan Davis Warren
Genre:  Christian Historical Romance
Release Date: September 22, 2020
LadyEvangelineEveryone believes Lady Evangeline is dead, so why not let them? Her survival depends on it.
After escaping from assassins and healing from her injuries, Evangeline Stanton finds refuge in a crumbling abbey. Her physical scars are nothing to the wounds left by the death of her daughter and abandonment of her husband. She spends most days disguised as Sister Margaret Mary, but when necessary, she dons the disguise of the recently deceased bandit, the Fox, to steal from the rich and help the starving children and widows who come for aid.
Lord Henry Stanton still grieves the death of his beloved wife, Evangeline. Raising their young daughter is now the most important role in his life, even though the child serves as a daily reminder of the love he and his wife once shared. He may never shed the weight of his guilt for not protecting Evangeline from the band of outlaws who killed her, as well as the lies sown by his sister-in-law, which he allowed to separate him from his wife just before her death.
When Henry’s ailing father-in-law sends an urgent request for help to manage his lands, he has no choice but to take his daughter with him to Castle Brighton. But the nun who comes to care for the sick man catches Henry’s notice from the first moment he catches sight of her. When the life of their precious daughter is threatened, can they overcome the lies and secrets of the past and join forces to save their daughter before it is too late?

Click here to get your copy!
 MY REVIEW 
Oh how I wanted this story to never end. The author does a good job of transporting readers back in time to 1186 England. I loved the woods where  a group would hide out in search of helping those in need. The brilliance of the author to disguise the group made it more exciting. Yes I cheered because a woman was the leader and had courage that withstood test after test. 
Evangeline is everything I had hoped for in a Warrior. She is compassionate for the needs of people who struggle to survive everyday. Evangeline finds out a secret that will compel her to protect those she loves at all cost. What evil person would lie and  tell someone their child died? Evangeline has led a secret life but the truth will come out at a time when she is not prepared. Will she confuse her reasons for the deceit to Henry? Can they repair their relationship and save their daughter from danger?
The story is riveted with danger, secrets, and a road that takes them into enemy territory. The characters are realistic and I appreciated that the author focused on saving the child and not so much on rekindling a romance. God was there with Evangeline and Henry as their faith was tested. I held my breath as they became closer to the kidnapper who had their child. The ending is action packed and I liked how the author showed that it is never to late to forgive someone. 
I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion. 

About the Author

Jan Davis Warren photoJan Davis Warren is a mother, grandmother, and a young-at-heart great-grandmother. Her wonderful husband passed away the same year she won the ACFW Genesis Award for Romantic Suspense. That win and many others are encouraging reminders that God wants her to continue writing even in the tough times. Learn more at www.janwarrenbooks.com.

More from Jan

Hello Dear Reader,
That you are reading this means you come from some hearty and courageous ancestors. Over thousands of years, they survived good times and bad, plagues, famines, wars, and all manner of tribulations. No matter how many different places around the globe your ancestors ventured, or where they lived and died, you are living proof they existed.

This thought never crossed my mind while writing and winning awards with contemporary romantic suspense, westerns, and even sci-fi. It wasn’t until Lady Evangeline stirred me with her story that I was lured into writing about the Middle Ages. I was even more surprised when I won RWA Faith Hope & Love chapter’s, Touched by Love historical category and the overall award with The Secret Life of Lady Evangeline. Thus began my next exciting adventure, for I had never written a medieval.
While doing research for the time period, I was humbled by the revelation that I’m alive because of ancestors further back than my genealogy has thus far revealed. They survived not only the medieval era, but many other difficult, even horrific times over the centuries before my birth. You and I are truly blessed by our ancestors’ perseverance. We are alive at such a time as this for a reason. Help us Lord to be the light so others might find You and through You life eternal.
Blessings!
Jan Davis Warren

Blog Stops

Blogging With Carol, September 25
For Him and My Family, September 26
Inklings and notions, September 27
deb’s Book Review, September 27
Texas Book-aholic, September 28
Connect in Fiction, September 28
Ashley’s Bookshelf, September 29
Romances of the Cross, September 29
The Book Chic Blog, September 30
CarpeDiem, October 1
Older & Smarter?, October 2
Artistic Nobody, October 4 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)
Labor Not in Vain, October 4
Emily Yager, October 6
Sara Jane Jacobs, October 7
Mary Hake, October 7
Splashes of Joy, October 8

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Jan is giving away the grand prize of 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.

Sunday, September 27, 2020

About the Book

Book:  She Writes for Him
Author: Cynthia Cavanaugh
Genre: Women’s Issues
Release Date: May 12, 2020
It’s not often we speak about abortion, shame, betrayal, depression, anxiety, and loss in our circles of faith. It can be uncomfortable as we try to reconcile why a good God allows suffering and pain. Life is messy, and yet we need not silence these stories.
She Writes For Him: Stories of Resilient Faithis written by brave women who have boldly ventured out to tell their hard stories. These resilient women have found that God can be trusted in the midst of difficult and tragic circumstances. They have found God’s redemption in their pain and their willingness to look doubts in the face and claim God’s steadfast love over their trials.
This book is Redemption Press’s debut in a series meant to infuse hope and courage to others who have experienced a similar journey, that they might know they are not alone and can find healing.

Click here to get your copy!
 MY REVIEW 
I have reviewed several books lately that deal with subjects I have or still am struggling with. It is no accident that these books have come to me. There is healing right around the corner for me and I am soaking up every book God is sending my way. This book has several topics that I needed to read about. I appreciate the honesty in the book as well as Biblical stories that heighten the lesson in each chapter. 
We start off with shame as the first topic and right away I started feeling uncomfortable. God sure knows what I need to hear and I inhaled each word on the pages. It is so true that when you are a victim you feel more shame then the perpetrator. They are able to walk away while you continue in a spiral of guilt and condemnation.  We must remember that we should not feel condemnation. God wants us to feel free from anything the enemy tries to put on us. “Shame is when you believe you are something wrong.”
The book touches on subjects like loss and betrayal that  really spoke to me. Then I turned to the chapter about depression and anxiety. This is what God wanted me to see. I have PTSD and know first hand what depression and anxiety can do to your mind and body. The lies I have believed over the years that I was not smart enough, pretty enough, unloveable and unwanted have beat me down. This part of the book is just what I needed at this moment in time. I have kept  so much bottled deep down for fear of rejection and people not believing me that I have become a shell of myself. I loved when the book talked about how the church needs to do a better job of recognizing depression as an illness and not as “a sign of weakness or spiritual failure.” 
I have forgiven the church who turned their back on me but it has been a painful road. I am encouraged by “ we think we’re suppose to have it all together. But until we’re willing to get real, we can’t heal.” I love how the book  encourages readers to stand up and ask God for help. After all, He already knows what you are going through. Find peace in His embrace and let the truth set you free. Just admitting it here gives me a little peace as I continue to reread this book for the third time. I am thankful for authors who write truth even if it hurts. 
I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion.

About the Managing Editor

Managing Editor Cynthia Cavanaugh is a speaker, life coach, and award-winning author of Anchored: Leading through the Storms and Live Bold: A Devotional Journal to Strengthen Your Soul. She is the strategic marketing coach for Redemption Press, and you can find her at www.cynthiacavanaugh.com, Facebook, and Instagram, and her new podcast, Soul Anchor.

More from Athena

In May 2019, while driving home from the Northwest Christian Writers Renewal with the sun out and the mountain in view, God gave me a vision of a movement. He gave me the name “She Writes for Him,” and I knew it would start as a book compilation, then a podcast, and finally a conference.

Here we are a year later, and She Writes for Him: Stories of Resilient Faith launched on May 12, 2020. Featuring Carol Kent, Tammy Trent, and Dr. Saundra Dalton Smith, 27 brave women share their hard stories of abortion, depression and anxiety, betrayal, loss, and shame.

The second edition is already taking submissions, and best-selling author Liz Curtis Higgs leads the lineup of contributors sharing on suffering, cancer, mental health, addictions, and abuse for She Writes for Him: Stories of Living Hope.

My hope in this book series is to address topics that have long been a struggle for the church to be the safe place it needs to be for those still hurting from wounds of the past. Those of us who love the Lord but have trauma in our pasts and are still on our healing journey need to be encouraged by others who have walked in our shoes. Perhaps we haven’t even started our healing journey yet, convinced we are the only one struggling the way we do or are too ashamed to admit our failures of the past. Wherever you fall on the spectrum, this compilation of brave women will encourage you to process your pain and experience the redemption in your areas of struggle.

Athena Dean Holtz, publisher and creator of the She Writes for Him compilation series.

Blog Stops

For Him and My Family, September 25
deb’s Book Review, September 26
Texas Book-aholic, September 27
Inklings and notions, September 28
Locks, Hooks and Books, September 29
CarpeDiem, September 29
Artistic Nobody, October 1 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)
A Reader’s Brain, October 4
Sara Jane Jacobs, October 5
Splashes of Joy, October 7

Giveaway

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