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Saturday, January 20, 2018

Staying busy is easy. Staying well rested- there's a challenge.
How can you keep your energy, happiness, creativity, and relationships fresh and thriving in the midst of never-ending family demands, career pressures, and the stress of everyday life? In Sacred Rest, Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith, a board-certified internal medicine doctor, reveals why rest can no longer remain optional.
Dr. Dalton-Smith shares seven types of rest she has found lacking in the lives of those she encounters in her clinical practice and research-physical, mental, spiritual, emotional, sensory, social, creative-and why a deficiency in any one of these types of rest can have unfavorable effects on your health, happiness, relationships, creativity, and productivity. Sacred Rest combines the science of rest, the spirituality of rest, the gifts of rest, and the resulting fruit of rest. It shows rest as something sacred, valuable, and worthy of our respect.
By combining scientific research with personal stories, spiritual insight, and practical next steps, Sacred Rest gives the weary permission to embrace rest, set boundaries, and seek sanctuary without any guilt, shame, or fear.

About the author:

Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith is an author, speaker, and board-certified physician. She has an active medical practice in Alabama (near the Birmingham area). She received her B.S. in Biochemistry at the University of Georgia, and graduated with honors from Meharry Medical College in Nashville. She has been an adjunct faculty member at Baker College and Davenport University in Michigan teaching courses on health, nutrition, and disease progression. Dr. Dalton-Smith is a national and international media resource on the mind, body, spirit connection and has been featured in Women's Day, Redbook, and First For Women magazine. She is the author of "Set Free to Live" and "Come Empty" (winner 2016 Golden Scroll Nonfiction Book of the Year and 2016 Illumination Award Gold medalist). She is a member of the Christian Medical and Dental Association and a repeat keynote speaker at their annual gathering. She has shared her tips on merging faith and medicine with over 16,000 health care professionals to encourage the current and next generation of doctors to treat the whole person.
Find out more about Saundra at


I’m pretty sure the author had me in mind when she wrote this life changing book. I’m the one whose mind goes a million miles an hour. I am always thinking what I need to do next. When my three boys were younger, I was always taking them places, staying up late with projects and worked full time. Some where along the way I forgot about myself and what it means to take a me day We live in a world where everything is fast. We have fast food, fast self service checkouts and now we can even order groceries over the Internet. We rush to get in our car, pick up the groceries that have been packed for us and off we go to the next errand.

Our society has lost focus on the truly important things in life, like our mind body and soul. I seemed to work so fast, I found myself exhausted when I got home. Then my next shift started as mom and wife. I slowly over the years began to get colds a lot, feel tired, muscle aches and headaches. Why was I getting sick all the time? The answer lies right here in this book. “Healing occurs when we allow ourselves the time, space, and grace to be in the presence of God in the middle of our busy lives.”

When we finally give in and let rest take over, we can relax and get in-tuned with replenishing ourselves, revitalizing ourselves and redirecting our energy. What a rat race I was in. I had forgotten that my mind needs to recharge along with my body . The author has given us wisdom to understand the need for rest. Each chapter gives a topic which has examples and applications you can use to apply to your life. Make sure you check out the Personal Rest Deficit Assessment Tool at the end of the book. It will guide you to areas you need to work on . 

“You alone can choose your best life. You have to decide to make rest a priority.”

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

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Blog Tour Schedule:

Michelle | New Horizon Reviews
Mary | Mary-andering Creatively
Savannah | The Modern Rules
Meagan | Meagan Davenport
Joan | Book Reviews from an Avid Reader
Sarah | Running Through Storms
Julie | Julie Arduini: Surrender Issues and Chocolate
Bridget | Antics of a Nutty Hiker & Military Spouse
Kristie | Moments
Carrie | Reading Is My SuperPower
Becky | In the Pages
Keri | My Table of Three
Amanda | Inklings and Notions
Carole | The Power of Words
Jill | I am believing God
Kasey | Four Seasons of Blessings
Colleen |
Joy | Deco My Heart
Wendy | Life at Rossmont
Nancy | sunny island breezes
Molly | Cafinated Reads
Mary | The Mary Book Reader
Britney | Buzzing About Books
Laura | Library of Clean Reads
Jendi | Jendi's Journal
Annie | Just Commonly
Kendra | Happily Managing a Household of Boys
Dawn | ReadLove
Kim | Window To My World
Kav | Best Reads
Julie | More Of Him
Deana | Texas Book-aholic
Julius | The Little Friar
Andrea | The Young Girl Who Loved Books
Ramona | Create With Joy
Amy | A Day of Small Things
Leslie | Edits & Reviews by Leslie
Lauren | A Beautiful Inheritance
Sarah | The Pajama Chef
Jennifer | A Peace of Mind
LeAnne | Rockin' My Mom Jeans
Laura | Once Upon a Storyville
Marjorie | The Wrter's Tool
Sue | Thoughts from Mill Street
Mindy | A Room Without out Books is Empty
Katherine | Katherine Scott Jones
Amanda | The Talbert Report
Bethany | The perfect beginning
Alexis | God is Love
Lydia | Noveltea
Pat | An Ordinary Woman Pursing Splendor

About the Book

a courtship on huckleberry hill MM (1)
Title: A Courtship on Huckleberry Hill
Author: Jennifer Beckstrand
Genre: Christian Amish Fiction
Release Date: December 26, 2017
Elsie Helmuth’s plain-spoken ways got her in trouble once before, so she needs to make a good impression at her new teaching job. But she’s not about to let disabled student Wally Sensenig work below his potential. And she definitely won’t put up with his hot-headed older brother sabotaging her efforts, no matter how handsome he is. . .
Sam is nearly at the end of his rope caring for his ailing,
 widowed mother, working their farm, and raising his siblings.
 He’ll admit Elsie’s ideas are bringing Wally out of
 his angry shell—but why does she have to be as
stubborn as she is pretty? Yet as it turns out,
Elsie has taught Sam something about himself as well.
And he’ll do whatever it takes to make up for his
mistakes—and win her heart forever.

Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Author

Jennifer BeckstrandJennifer Beckstrand is the RITA-nominated, award-winning Amish romance author of The Matchmakers of Huckleberry Hillseries and The Honeybee Sisters series for Kensington Books. Her much-anticipated Amish series, The Honeybee Sisters, has created a lot of romantic buzz. Sweet as Honey received a starred review from Publisher’s Weekly and Sweet as Honey and A Bee in her Bonnet were both awarded Top Picks from RT Book Reviews. Jennifer has always been drawn to the strong faith and the enduring family ties of the Plain people and loves writing about the antics of Anna and Felty Helmuth and the Honeybee sisters’aendi Bitsy. Jennifer has a degree in mathematics and a passion for Jane Austen and Shakespeare.
She and her husband have been married
 for thirty-three years, and she has six children and
six adorable grandchildren, whom she spoils rotten.

Guest Post from Jennifer Beckstrand

I have a very special place in my heart for teachers.
My dad was a high school math teacher. My mother taught second
 grade for over twenty years. My son-in-law taught choir in
 high school, and my daughter taught seventh-grade science.
Another daughter taught American history labs at the
university and still another daughter taught classes for a youth summer program.
Elsie Stutzman is a dedicated teacher who was dismissed
 from her last teaching job in Ohio and is trying to make
 a fresh start and a good impression in Bonduel, Wisconsin.
 Unfortunately one of her students, Wally Sensenig,
is making things difficult for her, and Wally’s hot-headed
 older brother seems determined to get her fired. But Elsie is a
 dedicated teacher, too stubborn to back down and too
 steadfast to give up on anybody.
Elsie’s grandparents, Anna and Felty Helmuth, have other plans for her.
 They want her to fall in love with one of the local boys,
but they’re finding it a little difficult to get the two young people together.
Teachers have an immense impact on our lives. We all remember a
favorite elementary school teacher who inspired a love of learning
 or a high school teacher who encouraged us to reach for greatness.
 One of my favorite teachers was Mrs. Zobell, who taught
 ninth grade English. I distinctly remember her reading “The Outsiders”
out loud to our class. She had a way of making great books and
 great stories come to life, and she sparked a love of
 reading (and writing) that I will always be grateful for.
The teacher who had the most impact on my life is my dad.
He helped me through Calculus in high school and inspired me to major in math in college.
I hope we will take the time this month to thank the teachers in
 our lives for all they do for us and all they do for our kids.
Who was one of your favorite teachers and why?


Fans of this series are in for a treat with this book. The author has a gift
 of writing characters that are so relatable. I enjoyed getting to know Elsie. 
She is an outspoken, compassionate person. When she takes a job as a teacher in the little community nothing will ever be the same. I can remember being
 a teacher’s assistant and wondering if I would make it through the day.
 There were times I went home and cried but I got up the next 
day determined I wouldn’t give up. Elsie has her hands full with
 one particular young boy that will test her patience. Can she stand up to a bully? 

Wally is having a hard time adjusting since his accident. After losing a leg,
 he is angry and thinks everyone hates him. I admire the patience 
Elsie has with Wally. It’s refreshing to read how a teacher goes the 
extra mile to reach a hurting child. There were times Wally made me
 upset but then my heart would go out to him. I loved how the author wrote
 Wally as a troubled child who longed to be accepted. It gives readers a
 glimpse of how a child can feel different and how they learn to overcome that feeling. 

Sam really walked around with guilt over his brother’s accident. That guilt causes
 him to turn a blind eye to Wally’s behavior. When Sam feels like
 the new teacher is picking on his brother he stomps to the school to
 have words with her. Little does he know, Elsie is one tough person.
 She doesn’t back down and this makes for some fun bickering between the
 two stubborn people. Yes they are both hard headed and I loved their interaction. 

I can’t forget about Rose. Oh my that girl needs a reality check. She is for sure
 and certain that Sam is in love with her. She seemed to pop up everywhere
 Sam was and I wanted to tell her to back up and move on down the road.
 She is annoying and very jealous of Elsie. Rose is so envious of Elsie, 
the green eyed monster comes out and tries to destroy Elsie . Will the town 
believe what Rose is saying about Elsie? 

With all that is going on with a new teacher in town, we can’t overlook
 the matchmaking that is in full swing. I won’t say much about it, except get ready
 for laughs as Annie and Felty set their eyes on their granddaughter
 to find her a husband. How will the matchmaking go? Will Elsie prove to the
 town how much she loves to teach? The author has written a book 
that is hard to put down. Don’t miss this latest adventure in a town
 full of mischief, matchmaking and a story that brightens your day. 

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

Blog Stops

Blossoms and Blessings, January 16
Mommynificent, January 17
Bibliophile Reviews, January 18
The Power of Words, January 18
Multifarious, January 19
A Greater YesJanuary 19
Texas Book-aholic, January 20
Karen Sue Hadley, January 21
Splashes of JoyJanuary 21
A Reader’s Brain, January 22
Mary Hake, January 22
SusanLovesBooks, January 23
Janices book reviewsJanuary 24
Carpe Diem, January 25
Quiet Quilter, January 26
margaret kazmierczakJanuary 26 (Interview)
cherylbbookblog, January 27
Simple Harvest Reads, January 28 (Guest post from Mindy Houng)
Pursuing StacieJanuary 28
Vicky Sluiter, January 29
BigreadersiteJanuary 29


To celebrate her tour, Jennifer is giving away a $10 Amazon gift card to three winners!!
Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

The Valentine Verse FB Banner copy

About the Book

Author: JoAnn Durgin
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: May 5, 2017
Valentine’s Day isn’t just for February 14th anymore! Love should be celebrated every day of the year. That’s Thornton Fielding’s philosophy. In spite of a few false starts in the arena of love, he holds out hope he’ll eventually find the woman of his dreams. The problem? He loves his job, and there’s no end in sight to his travels. But when Thornton returns to his tiny hometown of Cherish, Minnesota, he meets a beautiful and intriguing woman he believes might be God’s answer to ending his bachelor status—permanently.
Vara Alexandris is soured on love and scoffs at the notion of soul mates. But soon after meeting the handsome and unconventional Thornton, the speech and language pathologist suspects he might be the perfect ally to help jump-start her stroke patient’s recovery—if only Vara can keep Thornton grounded in Cherish long enough. This man who spouts romanticized and idealistic ideas about love seems all too eager to resume his world travels. Could it be Thornton actually prefers globetrotting in order to avoid a romantic relationship?
Is it time for Vara to call the dreamer’s bluff? And can Thornton convince Vara to put past heartache behind her and trust in God’s plan for her heart?
Join Thornton and Vara in USA Today bestselling author JoAnn Durgin’s latest release full of her trademark humor, romance, and lively, small-town characters in a story of God’s fierce passion and loving guidance for His children—if only they pay attention! The Valentine Verse is sure to warm your soul during any season of the year.

Click here to purchase your copy!

About the Author

JoAnn Author Photo (Princess Cruise)JoAnn Durgin is the USA Today bestselling author of the beloved Lewis Legacy Series as well as Prelude, the prequel to the series. Her other works include the Amazon bestselling Catching SerenityHeart’s Design and its sequel, Gentle Like the Rain, The Wondrous Love Series, Echoes of EdinburghPerchance to DreamWhisper to My HeartThee Will I CherishThe Christmas Challenge, and the popular Starlight Christmas Series.
A former estate administration paralegal, JoAnn now writes contemporary Christian romance full-time and lives with her family in her native southern Indiana. Writing Christian fiction is her passion, and she loves nothing more than sharing the hope to be found in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

Guest Post from JoAnn Durgin

A Little More about The Valentine Verse from Author JoAnn Durgin
I adore writing and reading contemporary Christian romance, but I’ve noticed very few novels in the genre have an actual Valentine’s Day theme and/or title. Perhaps authors believe it would limit the “shelf life” of their book. The way I see it, if Christmas novels (and Hallmark Christmas movies) can be popular year-round, why not Valentine’s Day books?
I’ve always been somewhat of a rebel in my writing career. Don’t tell me I can’t do something or I might just try it (within reason)! After a Christmas release last year followed closely by the eighth installment (500 pages!) of my longest-running series, I knew I couldn’t possibly release a Valentine’s Day book. That’s when one of the primary themes of The Valentine Verse “hit” me—Valentine’s Day shouldn’t be reserved only for February 14th. Expressing our love to one another should be celebrated throughout the year! This concept became the philosophy of the hero, Thornton Fielding, and the book released in early May. Let me tell you a little more about the idea for Thornton…
I dedicated The Valentine Verse to my uncle, Mr. Thornton, and named my hero after him. My uncle was instrumental in my being able to quit my full-time paralegal job in mid-August 2014. Without going into specific details, there were three things that took place (“signs,” if you will) beginning earlier that same year, which seemed to clearly indicate I should try to make writing my full-time career. My debut novel released in late 2010, and the story of my road to publication can be found on my website at By early 2014, my books were beginning to find faithful readers, and I was blessed with decent sales. The third and final “sign” and blessing came from Mr. Thornton. Truly, it was as if God were saying, “JoAnn, what more will it take for you to step out in faith?” I promised the Lord and myself that I’d take a year and see how it went…and I haven’t looked back since! I took the leap of faith, but I’m also doing what I feel the Lord has called me to do. Almost three years to the day of quitting my day job, I released my 24th novel. God is so good, and it is my great honor and privilege to write for His glory.
Thank you to Celebrate Lit for the gracious opportunity for this blog tour. The Valentine Verse features fun characters (how can you miss with a small Minnesota town named Cherish?), heartwarming lessons, *sightings* of two of my most popular heroes from another series, and even a surprising twist at the end! I hope you’ll enjoy The Valentine Verse.
Blessings, friends.
Matthew 5:16

I love, love , love anything this author writes. As I read this story I thought of the word lyrical. Her words are like a sweet song that brings a feeling of warmth and content. The story is filled with Greek heritage that I was fascinated by. I loved Vara so much. She is the kind of person others gravitate to. Her warmth is evident and I loved how she is a bit guarded at times with her personal life. Her dedication to helping others is a refreshing trait. 

The information about strokes is very informative and I can tell the author has done extensive research in this area. I’m sure many of us know someone who has had a stroke. It can be life changing and I admire Vara for her dedication to working with stroke patients. I did laugh when she runs into Thornton at a coffee shop. Their banter was funny at times and I found him a bit mysterious. When they meet again Vara is very surprised to see him. I have to say I didn’t see that coming myself. It’s just another brilliant way the author writes that keeps readers involved in the story. She gives subtle hints of upcoming scenes but not enough to give it away.

The story is really a lesson in forgiveness and letting go of secrets. I found Charlotte to be a wonderful character. Something has held her back from giving her life to Jesus? Will she reveal her secret? With Vara and Thornton growing closer each day, can Vara let go of a past hurt to open her heart again? I loved how the story bleneded historical places with the characters and gave readers a glimpse into their heritage . I did like the reference to NASA and Houston, Texas as its my home town. What I loved the most about the story was how strong Thornton was in his faith and how he treated women with respect. This is one story that sweeps across years and finds its way to the present where truth will set someone free. It’s so nice to read how powerful forgiveness is and when you experience it, you feel renewed and joy for a brighter future. I highly recommend this book to everyone. It’s a beautiful story filled with scripture, family, love and forgiveness. 

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


Mommynificent, January 10
Power of Words, January 10 (Spotlight)
Karen Sue HadleyJanuary 11
Reading is my Super Power, January 11 (Interview)
Quiet Quilter, January 12
RemembrancyJanuary 13
Bibliophile Reviews, January 15
Texas Book-aholic, January 16
Janices book reviewsJanuary 18
Jeanette’s Thoughts, January 19
Carpe Diem, January 20
Simple Harvest Reads, January 21 (Guest post from Mindy Houng)
God is Love, January 22
A Greater YesJanuary 23
margaret kazmierczak, January 23 (Interview)
Pursuing StacieJanuary 24
BigreadersiteJanuary 24


To celebrate her tour, JoAnn is giving away a grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card!!
Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!