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Monday, January 14, 2019

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About the Book

5 simple steps to financial freedom
Title: 5 Simple Steps to Financial Freedom
Author: Dan Willis
Genre: Finances/Christian living
Release date: January 8, 2019
Publisher: Whitaker House
As a young and naïve pastor, Dan Willis maxed out twenty-three credit cards and ruined his credit to support his ministry. It wasn’t until massive debt caused the cards to stop working that he realized that God never asked him to do this. Through his candor and honesty, Dan reveals the five steps God showed him to get out of debt: stop spending, create a budget, develop a debt payoff plan, begin saving, and repair bad credit. This led him to becoming a thriving and financially-free ministry. Now, Dan is on a mission to teach this to the world. Using biblical principles, but not relying on miracles or “name-it-and-claim-it” theology, Dan provides easy-to-follow, practical steps that can be used by anyone to escape financial bondage. Finally, he encourages readers to use their financial freedom to help others and advance God’s kingdom, and to use their newfound fiscal wisdom to store up wealth. Without shaming those who struggle financially, 5 Simple Steps to Financial Freedom is the perfect combination of spiritual wisdom and practical advice for those who desperately need it.

Click here to purchase your copy!

About the Author

Dan willisAs a young boy, Dan Willis’s dreams involved entering the medical field until that fateful day when, at age sixteen, he was called to “temporarily” take over the pastor position of a local church. More than thirty years later, Dan is still there, serving as the senior pastor of The Lighthouse Church of All Nations in Alsip, Illinois. He took the small ministry of sixteen people and nurtured it into a thriving multicultural body of more than 1,500 people. Dan’s previous books with Whitaker House were Freedom to Forget: Releasing the Pain from the Past, Embracing Hope for the Future and Praise Is My Weapon.

Guest Post from Dan

Not 23 Ways to Money Greatness or 67 Options to Financial Well Being. Just Five Simple Steps to Financial Freedom. Why complicate this? Wipe out debt and create wealth.


I'm sure most of us can relate to the author's story of watching our credit cards bounce from store to store. Before we have realized it, it stops bouncing and you hear the horrible beep of denial across the loud speaker in the store. Well, maybe not the loud speaker, but it might as well be.  I can remember how I was excited to get my first credit card. My husband and I said we will use it for emergencies only. How long did that great plan last? Not very long as more "we are pleased to inform you that you have been pre- approved for a new credit card from ...."   

I loved the visual of shredding your credit cards. The author is right. If they are maxed out, you can't use them anyway. Better to get rid of them and pay them off, then keeping them and paying on them just enough to use again. It must have been so hard for his congregation to take that first step toward the shredder that morning.  But what freedom they must have experienced as they knew they would never be using the card again. The enemy's hold was lessening as their freedom from credit became closer for them.

The scripture, " The love of money is the root of all evil," has been misquoted so often. I have heard people say "money is the root of all evil, " but the scripture specifically says "the love of money." It  sure makes a big difference when you know the correct way to follow the word of God. I get the premise of the book, that we should be debt free, but I don't like to feel guilty because the only way I could afford a medical procedure was to charge it. We all have choices and sometimes those choices are not  agreeable by others. I do pray about our finances and I know what we need to do. 

There are times that emergencies come up and a credit card or borrowing money is your only choice. Does it mean I lack faith because I used a credit card? I don't think I should beat myself up when I have to act quickly during an emergency. There are so many teachings on tithing and I always want to make sure that the words I'm hearing are lining up with the Bible. 

I liked when the author said the prayer to lead people to Christ until he put in about tithing during the prayer of salvation. I can't recommend this book because I found it to be more about tithing and how to have lots of money which seemed important to the author.  The author does have a few good points, but I found it difficult to follow his train of thought and the use of some of his examples. The best thing I can say is use your judgement when reading a book such as this and seek God for wisdom in what you should do about finances.

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

Blog Stops

Robin is Bookish, January 11
Remembrancy, January 14
Texas Book-aholic, January 15
Bigreadersite, January 15
Aryn The Libraryan, January 16
Mary Hake, January 18
A Reader’s Brain, January 19
Carpe Diem, January 21


To celebrate his tour, Dan is giving away 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.

Reaching your addicted loved one FB banner

About the Book

Title: Reaching your Addicted Loved One
Author: Victor Torres
Genre: Self-help | Substance abuse & addictions | Drugs
Release date: January 8, 2019
Reaching your addicted Loved OneAs a teenager, Victor Torres was a gang warlord and heroin addict on New York City’s violent streets. Through the ministry of David Wilkerson and Nicky Cruz, Victor had a life-changing encounter with Jesus Christ and came to realize that God had a purpose for his life. Victor has spent the last forty-five years helping tens of thousands of young men and women find freedom from drug addiction and gang life. Now, he answers your toughest questions about your addicted loved one. Without pulling punches or promising easy answers, Victor provides wisdom and expertise that can lead you toward success.
Some of the questions Victor addresses are…
  • How can I know if my loved one has a substance abuse problem?
  • How can I tell the difference between helping and enabling?
  • What if my loved one refuses to get help?
  • When should I call the police?
  • What should we look for in a treatment program?
  • What can I expect when my loved one comes out of treatment?
  • How do I prepare for relapse?
God did not create your loved one to be an addict or a loser. On the contrary, God created him or her for a better life. Although, for the moment, it may seem like you are losing your loved one, they still have a God-given destiny and a purpose. No matter how bad the picture may look now, there is always hope.

About the Author

victor torresVictor Torres was a junkie, drug-pusher, and warlord in Brooklyn’s meanest streets. Since his conversion, he has ministered Christ to thousands. He and his wife Carmen have traveled to over thirty nations preaching the Good News. Their chief undertaking, however, has been New Life for Youth, which began in 1971 in Richmond, Virginia. This growing work is one of the most respected and largest organizations in the country. Today, New Life for Youth has a ranch in Spotsylvania County, Virginia, which is helping an ever increasing number of hurting young men searching for hope, as well as a home for women with drug-related problems called the Mercy House. Their other resources in the Richmond, Virginia, area include House of Hope, a home for recovering men, and Mercy Moms, which serves women and their children. Victor and Carmen are also the founders and pastors of New Life Outreach International, a fast-growing dynamic church in Richmond, Virginia with over forty nationalities worshiping together. In 2017, his story was made into an award-winning major motion picture, Victor.

Guest Post from Victor

New Life Success Steps
  • Pray, pray, and then pray some more. And after that, pray.
  • Have faith enough for the both of you. Have faith enough for the whole family if necessary.
  • Keep fighting for your addicted loved one until they can do battle for themselves.
  • Choose to believe beyond what you can see.
  • Picture their future and believe the vision.
  • Celebrate your loved one’s freedom—dare to believe!

Healing is yours for the taking. Reach out, ask God for help, and then receive it. Never lose hope that your loved one will be healed. My life, and the lives of so many others, is proof that God can even bring the dead back to life.
Your loved one was made for more than this. Don’t give up!


This was a very hard book for me to read. It had a personal meaning to me because I have a family member who became addicted to drugs at an early age. It destroyed his life as well as the family. It is hard to convince someone they need help and I wish I had something like this book at the time to encourage me and guide me through helping this person. I do agree with the author about not blaming yourself for their addiction.

I have a very strong opinion about addiction and I agree with the author that addiction is curable, but the person has to want to be cured. It's all about choices and sometimes people make bad choices because of their addiction.  One of the things I learned was not to give up and keep trying to help them. One of the best things about this book is the honesty the author has about his own struggle with addiction. His candidness is refreshing and although I may not agree with everything in the book, I applaud him for speaking out about something that others don't want to deal with. His experiences are real and can help others because he understands what they are going through. 

I liked the biblical facts he presented and how we need to lean on God when dealing with someone who is an addict. It isn't an easy road, but with God all things are possible. A support system is vital to helping you cope and I wish I had had that when I was in the midst of my addicted family member. Overall the book is informative and has a lot of information that will help people as they go through this battle. 

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

Blog Stops

The Power of Words, January 2
Reading is My Superpower, January 4 (Interview)
Artistic Nobody, January 6 (Spotlight)
Mary Hake, January 7
Carpe Diem, January 8
Simple Harvest Reads, January 10 (Spotlight)
Bigreadersite, January 12
Margaret Kazmierczak, January 13 (Interview)
Texas Book-aholic, January 14


To celebrate his tour, Victor is giving away a 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.

Not so happily ever after FB banner

About the Book

Not So Happily cover
Title: Not So Happily Ever After
Author: Susan Barnett Braun
Genre: Young Adult
Release date: July 12, 2012
Publisher: Self-published
Think history is boring? Then you’ve never met Mad King Ludwig, who inspired Walt Disney with his magnificent castle in the clouds. He ruled the German kingdom of Bavaria for twenty-two years, inspiring his people by his support for the arts. And yet, “Mad King Ludwig” rarely appeared in the capital or attended any government functions. He slept most of the day and stayed awake all night. He dined with his horse and waved pistols at servants. He created a fantasy world inside his castles, complete with caves and trap-door tables. To this day, no one is sure exactly what caused his untimely death in a lake. Who was this man: fairy tale king? Insane eccentric? Mad King Ludwig’s life followed many twists and turns on its way to Not So Happily Ever After. The book’s intended audience is young adults, but it is perfect for adults wanting to learn more about Ludwig also.

About the Author

Susan BraunSusan Barnett Braun earned a BS in retail management from Indiana University and an MA in education from the University of Alabama. She taught for eight years in northeast Indiana, earning a Lilly Endowment Teacher Creativity Fellowship and a National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Study Scholarship. Susan has had work published in Parents, Children’s Ministry, and The Secret Place. She also writes online for Fort Wayne Visitor’s Bureau and blogs at Girls in White Dresses. She is married with three wonderful young adult daughters. Susan enjoys reading, playing piano and organ, and spending her time with her family and pets (currently three rabbits and a chinchilla).

Guest Post from Susan

I first learned about King Ludwig II of Bavaria, Germany, while I was a high school German student. He fascinated me then, and he has continued to through several decades now.
Ludwig is a hero to the Bavarian people. In America, we too have our heroes: George Washington, Abraham Lincoln. But Ludwig was different. He was so eccentric and unusual that I found him impossible to ignore. As a teacher, I taught my students about this fascinating king each year. They, too, loved him. I decided to write Not So Happily Ever After so that teens could be introduced to Ludwig as I had been. However, since the book has come out, a majority of its readers have been adults.
What makes Ludwig so compelling? Oh, where to begin? There are many quirky anecdotes about him: he once invited his favorite horse to dinner in the palace, complete with china and crystal. Ludwig insisted on hiding behind large floral arrangements when he was forced to attend state dinners. He preferred to work at night and sleep during the day.
The king built wonderful castles. His most famous, Neuschwanstein, inspired even the talented Walt Disney. If you’ve visited Disneyland or Disney World, the castles at those parks are the Disney version of Ludwig’s real-life home.
Ludwig has an air of mystery too, continuing to his still-unexplained death. “I want to remain an eternal mystery to myself and others,” he once famously said.
You’ll have to read the book to learn more. I can pretty much guarantee that this king, who has been dead now for over 130 years, will pique your interest. I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if you decided to start planning a trip to Bavaria to see Ludwig’s castles in person once you finish reading …


The book captured my attention right away as a baby was born who was one day destined to be king. He was named Otto but within days his name had been changed to Ludwig.  I knew right away this was going to be an intriguing journey into a man 's life who would exceed all expectations. Ludwig has a few very strange relatives that I had to snicker at. Forgive me for laughing but I found it fascinating that someone with a royal title   thought she had swallowed a glass piano. The family had so many strange characters and they believed in marrying within their own family; like someone married their own nephew. Oh my the book just kept getting better and I must say I immersed myself in its historic facts with happiness. 

I know one thing from reading this book that money doesn't buy you happiness. We never know what goes on behind those big mansions or castle doors. Ludwig will soon learn how out of sync his life would become with a grandfather who gives up the throne for someone named Lola. I had to stop for a second when I read the famous saying, " Whatever Lola wants,  Lola gets." How strange that the saying came from a king.  Ludwig's story is not filled with much love and he always desired   his parents love and approval. I guess because he wasn't what they considered " king" material they tended to ignore him. What a sad and lonely person he was, but in his world he was happy and very creative.

His childhood was almost borderline abusive with little attention and hardly any food to eat. I can't imagine how his parents thought this treatment would be fitting for a future king. Ludwig is a very complicated person who felt more comfortable in a fantasy world where he was happy . To become king at the young age of eighteen was overwhelming for Ludwig. Was he going to be able to fulfill his duties as King? His story is surrounded with abuse, loneliness , fantasy and lacking love. I enjoyed the book and especially reading about the magnificent castles he had built and designed. His life was not a happy one as some would think, but he did leave many questions unanswered upon his death. Was he mentally ill like many thought he was? Did he ever find happiness in his isolated life? The most intriguing question I have is what really happened to him? We may never know who the true Ludwig was, but he left behind beautiful castles, a love for opera and a life filled with mystery and unhappiness. 

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

Blog Stops

A Reader’s BrainJanuary 3
Genesis 5020, January 7
Rebekah’s Quill, January 7
All-of-a-kind Mom, January 8
Bigreadersite, January 9
Carpe Diem, January 9
Mary Hake, January 11
Bibliophile ReviewsJanuary 12
Texas Book-aholic, January 14
Janices book reviewsJanuary 16


To celebrate her tour, Susan is giving away a grand prize of a world/globe necklace and a paperback 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.

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Filghts of Fancy FB Banner

About the Book

Flights of Fancy
Title: Flights of Fancy
Author: Jen Turano
Genre: Christian Historical Romance, Gilded Age
Release date: January 1, 2019
Publisher: Bethany House
Miss Isadora Delafield may be an heiress, but her life is far from carefree. When her mother begins pressuring her to marry an elderly and uncouth duke, she escapes from the high society world she’s always known and finds herself to be an unlikely candidate for a housekeeper position in rural Pennsylvania.
Mr. Ian MacKenzie is known for his savvy business sense and has built his reputation and fortune completely on his own merits. But when his adopted parents are in need of a new housekeeper and Isadora is thrown into his path, he’s unexpectedly charmed by her unconventional manner.
Neither Isadora nor Ian expected to find the other so intriguing, but when mysterious incidents on the farm and the truth of Isadora’s secret threaten those they love, they’ll have to set aside everything they thought they wanted for a chance at happy-ever-after.

About the Author

Jen TuranoNamed One of the Funniest Voices in Inspirational Romance by Booklist, Jen Turano is a USA Today Best-Selling Author, known for penning quirky historical romances set in the Gilded Age. Her books have earned Publisher Weekly and Booklist starred reviews, top picks from Romantic Times, and praise from Library Journal. She’s been a finalist twice for the RT Reviewers’ Choice Awards and had two of her books listed in the top 100 romances of the past decade from Booklist. When she’s not writing, she spends her time outside of Denver, CO.

Guest post from Jen

Q & A With Jen Turano

“Flights of Fancy” is the first book in the American Heiress Series. What inspired you to write this series?
The inspiration for this entire series started off with a What If? All of my proposals for new series start off that way, and this time it was – What if Consuelo Vanderbilt had balked when her mother insisted she marry the Duke of Marlborough – and then that led to – What if she’d run away until her mother came to her senses? Just like that, an entire series was born – a bit of a different take on American heiresses because in all three books, my heiresses might decide to go a tad…rogue. We start off with Miss Isadora Delafield – who does run off to avoid marriage to a duke, then we get to meet Miss Poppy Garrison, who is an unexpected heiress but who can’t quite seem to get a handle on the expected social decorum of the day, and then the final book revolves around Miss Beatrix Waterbury – who gets banished to Chicago after she annoys her mother one too many times, and once there, well, gets up to a bit of mischief. 

How do you come up with the names of your characters?
I find most of my names as I research the New York Four-Hundred, although I normally take a first name here, a last name there so I’m not stepping on any toes by writing about an actual historical figure – except for some of the main figures in New York society back then, such as Mr. Ward McAllister – who was the social arbiter of the day, or Mrs. William Astor, who was the queen of that society. What I don’t do is simply make up names, no matter how outrageous they may appear. And, no matter how I may love a certain name, if the character decides it doesn’t suit them, that’s it, it’s out and I’m back to the drawing board. 

How do you picture your character? Do you use Pinterest, magazines, movies?
Odd as this may seem, I don’t use pictures for my characters. They start off in my mind as a blurry figure, and then, they develop from there – I like to keep my descriptions of them somewhat vague on the pages so that the reader can imagine them exactly the way they’d like them to be.

What are some of your favorite resources for historical research?
I’ve been building up a research library over the past few years and now have over 200 books dedicated to the Gilded Age. My favorites are – “A Season of Splendor” by Greg King, “Society as I Have Found It” by Ward McAllister, “The Gilded Age in New York – 1870-1910” by Esther Crain, and “ ‘King Lehr’ and the Gilded Age” by Elizabeth Drexel Lehr.

The setting for “Flights of Fancy” is a bit of a departure for you since it’s set in and outside of Pittsburgh. Any reason for that?
My mom was born in Pittsburgh, and unfortunately, her father, a prominent attorney back in the day, died when she was only four. I thought it would be cool to set a story in Pittsburgh, which would then allow me to really dive into some research. And get this – while I was doing that research, I found this obscure journal called “Memoirs of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. In that journal was a bit about my great-grandfather, Fred, his wife, Susie, my grandfather, and his brother and sister, but I’d never heard about this brother, who apparently died quite young. One of the most fabulous research tidbits I’ve uncovered to date.

What are you working on now?
I’ve just recently turned in the content edits for the second book in this series, “Diamond in the Rough,” and I’ve also turned in a novella about the Harvey Girls that will be coming out in a novella collection in Fall, 2019. With those out of the way, I’m now starting the third and final book in the American Heiress series, Miss Beatrix Waterbury’s story, but I’m having a bit of a struggle with the hero at the moment – he was supposed to be Edward, but he doesn’t want to be an Edward – I think he wants to be Norman – but, time will tell on that one – don’t hold me to the name – it’ll depend on if he changes his mind or not – pesky characters.

You seem to enjoy adding animals in many of your stories. Will we find any animals in “Flights of Fancy?”
Since Miss Isadora Delafield ends up on a farm, I do believe you will find a few animals, such as an adorable cow by the name of Buttercup, a few goats that seem to have a great liking for laundry, and…there might be some chickens. 

Thanks for stopping by today, everyone! Always enjoy visiting with all of you – in fact, that’s the best part of my job!
All the best,
~ Jen ~


There are so many good things to say about this book I'm not sure where to start. First I applaud the author with her delightful way to bring characters to life. She writes with a funny and subtle way that I find myself snickering at some of the characters while falling in love with them.

Let's begin with The Duke of Montrose and his uncanny ego. He is so sure of himself as a prize for any lady that he is shocked when Isadora doesn't jump into his arms and beg to be taken away to be his bride. Isadora has been brought up right and can certainly speak her mind when needed. The duke must be crazy to tell her to stop reading novels. I could hear a gasp as he says, " Novels are only suitable for the simpleminded and you would not care for anyone to believe you're simpleminded, would you?, " Now would be a good time to slap his face and walk away with grace. Isadora definitely puts him in his place with her very proper response. I love this spunky girl and know I am in for an adventure with her. Oh my the dance floor is where Isadora really shows the duke he is not in charge. Such great writing from the author I laughed so hard I cried.

The story is a grand adventure as Isadora has planned to run away and hide from the duke. There are rumors he may be desperate to do anything to have Isadora be his wife. Lets hope Isadora has thought everything out as she ventures off to become hidden from everything she knows. Is the duke dangerous? What horrible rumors of the duke would cause some to think he is capable of a crime? The story is filled with adventure and Isadora will find that " God occasionally throws obstacles our way so that we're forced to grow into the people He wants us to be." Let the journey begin.

Ian is a breath of fresh air compared to the duke. Will Isadora convince Ian to hire her so she can stay away from the dangers at home? As luck would have it, Isadora has found employment but it isn't exactly what she expected. She now has four children to look after, animals that run everywhere including inside the house and an uncle that could be a little strange.

The story is filled with laughter, characters who seek God in what he has planned for their lives, mysterious goings on at Ian's place and a blooming romance to capture the readers with a book that you will not be able to put down. Take a journey with Isadora as she seeks a new life and maybe happiness along the way.

I received a copy of this book from the author and Bethany House and Celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion.

Blog Stops

The Avid Reader, January 10
Among the Reads, January 10
Through the Fire, January 10
Blogging With Carol, January 11
Back Porch ReadsJanuary 12
KarenSueHadleyJanuary 12
Godly Book Reviews, January 12
Daysong RefectionsJanuary 12
Livin Lit, January 13
The Becca Files, January 13
Texas Book-aholic, January 13
Rebekah’s Quill, January 14
All-of-a-kind Mom, January 15
Stories By Gina, January 15
Splashes of JoyJanuary 16
Mary Hake, January 17
Maureen’s Musings, January 17
Bibliophile Reviews, January 17
Baker Kella, January 18
Simple Harvest ReadsJanuary 18 (Guest post from Mindy Houng)
Robin is Bookish, January 19
Carpe Diem, January 19
Have A Wonderful DayJanuary 20
Life with the Tribe, January 20
Inklings and NotionsJanuary 20
amandainpaJanuary 21
Pause for Tales, January 22
Live Love Read, January 23
A Rup Life, January 23
Bigreadersite, January 23


To celebrate her tour, Jen is giving away a grand prize of a trunk filled with all of Jen’s full-length novels released to date!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.