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Saturday, September 21, 2019

Beautiful in his Sight FB Banner

About the Book

Book: Beautiful In His Sight
Author: April W. Gardner
Genre: Historical Romance
Release Date: May 11, 2019
Beautiful in His SightIt’s 1917, and Halifax is at war. Silas Quinn, street sweeper and army reject, remains on the home front, shunning God and society as religiously as they shun him. But the night he stumbles across a half-frozen prostitute, his eyes blink open, and his greater purpose is born: preserve and protect.
There’d been a day when shop girl Helen Fraser was desperate enough to believe a few nights in a brothel would cure her troubles. By some miracle, Major Jack Gordon deemed her worth saving, but Helen knows her meticulously recreated identity cannot last. What she doesn’t expect is for its destruction to come about, not by an old john or one of the madam’s goons, but by a force great enough to flatten a city and bury her alive.
Set against the backdrop of the Halifax Explosion, Beautiful in His Sight is a Christian historical romance that explores unequivocal grace and identity in Christ.

About the Author

April headshotAPRIL W GARDNER writes history with a Christian perspective and a little imagination. She is a copyeditor, military wife, and homeschooling mother of two who lives in Texas. She writes Christian historical romance with a focus on our Southeastern Native Tribes. In no particular order, April dreams of owning a horse, learning a third language, and visiting all the national parks.
April loves to hear from her readers at:

More from April

The Story Behind the Story
My novels are never purely fiction. They are stories constructed around truth, around some segment of the past that’s both stunning and stunningly forgotten. My latest novel, Beautiful in His Sight, is set during the Halifax Explosion, a WW1 event little known in most of the world. For those in Halifax, Nova Scotia, in December of 1917, it literally shattered their world.
That’s the setting we find my characters Silas and Helen struggling to survive, but—as in every good romance—love (and God’s grace!) brings them through.

The Story Behind the Setting
By December 1917, Halifax had passed tens of thousands of soldiers and sailors through its railyard and onto the naval vessels in its harbor. With the military came the prostitutes who migrated in droves to the slums. It’s reported that some days, the only passengers disembarking from the trains were women in short skirts. Slumdom’s seams overflowed with carnality, public drunkenness, and solicitations. Prostitution wasn’t the only job to be had for women. With so many men wearing army green, ladies of the proper class and training stepped behind registers and bookkeeping desks and kept Halifax running.
This is the world in which we find our female lead, Helen Fraser, a reformed prostitute desperately trying to start over as a salesclerk.

The Story Behind the Explosion
As Silas, the story’s male lead, puts it, the explosion was “a tragic accident, a miscommunication between passing ships.” In short, it was a dozen small decisions that accumulated to one very horrific event. The collision and blast released the equivalent energy of 2.9 kilotons of TNT and instantly obliterated everything within a half-mile radius. The munitions vessel that exploded, the Mont Blanc, rained iron shrapnel all over Halifax. Its 1,160-ton anchor landed 2.5 miles away where it can still be found today.
The numbers: Over 2,000 deaths. Over 1,000 injuries. Almost 300 blinded.

The Story Behind the Name
The name Helen Fraser (female lead) is an honoring nod to Helen Clark, a courageous young woman who survived the explosion. This is her story.
Helen Clark, age eight, was beginning her school day at St. Joseph’s when she felt something disturbing. “Like thunder was taking place alongside of you,” she later said, “instead of up in the sky.” She looked to the window and gaped at the glass bowing inward. She flung her arms over her face and ducked an instant before it blew in. Then, in her words, “The ceiling above gave way at one corner and down two sides of the room, hanging like the flap of a great envelope and spilling out children from the room above.”
A nun grabbed her arm and said, “My heavenly God, the Germans have arrived! Get down on your knees girls.” In lieu of prayer, Helen wrenched away and jumped out the second-story window, narrowly missing the debris that, in the next moment, struck and killed the nun. A snow mound broke Helen’s fall. Suddenly very tired, she laid down right there, feeling no cold or pain, and went to sleep.
Eventually, two men approached to see if she was dead. Though she couldn’t speak, she managed to get to her feet. They straightened the bow on the top of her head and told her to go home if she had one to go to. The blood crusted over her eyes limited her vision, but she shambled along best she could, recognizing nothing. She knew her street only by the change to cobblestones under her feet, and her grandmother recognized her only by the bow in her hair.
Quick-thinking and bold, little Helen avoided both death and blindness, and I’m honored to name my heroine after her.


This has been an emotional journey with characters that will never be forgotten. Helen is a wonderful character who has had a hard life. Her life seemed to be over until someone finds her laying on the ground with life threatening injuries. The compassion Silas shows Helen is far beyond what I could imagine. His willingness to help her was heartfelt and I feel that he had taken on a task only God could have ordained.

The history that the author gives us was very intriguing. It made the story more realistic and I learned things about a war I never knew. The explosion that wipes out everything in its path was hard to read. I loved how Silas never gave up finding Helen and their time together is well written. I really enjoyed reading that Silas had been a survivor of the Titanic. He does go through  a lot in the story which gives a lesson on perseverance. His determination was overwhelming and I loved seeing this man become someone who finally believed in himself.

Helen has a lot going for her as well. Being in the explosion has changed her life forever. her injuries were serious and I liked how the author used it to grow her spiritually. The story is filled with faith and encouragement. The story brings us forgiveness, redemption and healing.

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

Blog Stops

Simple Harvest Reads, September 9
Emily Yager, September 10
Betti Mace, September 10
Avid Reader Nurse, September 11
JosephineAnneWrites, September 14
For Him and My Family, September 15
A Reader’s Brain, September 17
Inklings and notions, September 18
CarpeDiem, September 19
Through the Fire Blogs, September 20
Bigreadersite , September 20
Inspired by fiction, September 21
Texas Book-aholic, September 21
janicesbookreviews, September 22


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

Friday, September 20, 2019

Hagar FB banner

About the Book

Book: Hagar
Author: Shadia Hrichi
Genre: Religion / Bible Study
Release Date: October 10, 2017
Hagar-3D-no-shadow-for-webYou are ”The God Who Sees Me.”
Discover a close relationship with God–no matter the pain or suffering in your life. Witness the depths of God’s compassion through the eyes of Hagar, a runaway slave who meets the living God in a desert of despair, where she gives Him the name El Roi, ”The God Who Sees Me.”
Through this seven week study, you will find that when you surrender your life into God’s hands, your trials and triumphs serve a magnificent purpose: to draw you into the arms of the faithful God Who Sees Me.
”Deep and packed with surprising insights!” Francine Rivers

Click here to grab your copy.

Click here to download a free sample, explore Shadia’s video teaching sessions, or sign up for the online Bible study.

About the Author

shadiaSHADIA HRICHI is a passionate Bible teacher, author, and speaker who has a heart for seeing lives transformed by the power of God’s Word. She has received a master’s in biblical and theological studies from Western Seminary as well as master’s in criminal justice from the State University of New York. Shadia is the author of several Bible studies, including HAGAR,Worthy of Love, and her latest study, LEGION, comes out in October. Shadia is often invited to speak at churches, conferences, and other events. Her insightful, witty, yet vulnerable teaching style reveals a compassion for the hurting, love for Jesus, and uncompromising commitment to the truth of God’s Word. Visit

More from Shadia

Am I known? Am I loved? Am I home?
Every human heart is searching for the answers to these questions. Yet when pain and heartache enter our lives, we feel betrayed and cry out one question: God, do You see me?
The answer is yes. He is Behind the Seen.
Because we live in a fallen world, each of us will inevitably face hard times, even painful ones. Who among us has never seen or felt the fallout of broken homes, broken lives, or broken dreams? Hagar is a great example of someone who discovered God during a difficult time.
Maybe you have never heard of her. Or perhaps you came across her name in a study of the book of Genesis. But how much do you really know about this young slave girl? We often relegate her to the backstage as a minor character in God’s redemptive story. But was she?
As I explored Hagar’s story for another book I wanted to write, God continually amazed me as we journeyed together from the affluence of Egypt, into a life of slavery, to a desert of despair. It seemed the more I studied her life, the more I discovered about God. What began as a chapter evolved into a study all its own.
Two years and several thousand hours of study and prayer later, HAGAR: Rediscovering the God Who Sees Me came to be. Consider this book as your backstage pass to the life of Hagar.
I have never actually gone backstage during a live event, but I know that much more goes on behind the scenes than meets the eye. I invite you to come backstage with me and explore how God was involved in every detail of Hagar’s life. Her story has all the ingredients of a Hollywood tragedy: betrayal, loss, abuse, crisis pregnancy, abandonment . . . any of that sound painfully familiar?
Thankfully, Hagar’s story does not end in despair. God was working Behind the Seen—just as He has in your life and mine—all along. As a matter of fact, Hagar emerges victorious!
Hagar: an unsung hero if there ever was one.
Beloved, is the enemy using anything in your past to try to derail you from God’s plan, or hold you back from experiencing God’s joy to the fullest? Be assured, that is not how your story will end. Just as God did for Hagar, when He enters your story, victory is already assured.
So strap on your sandals and a grab a bottle of water. We’re heading into the desert. A place where we will rediscover the God Who Sees Me.
“The people who walked in darkness
have seen a great light;
those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness,
on them has light shone.”
—Isaiah 9:2


I love doing Bible Studies and was very excited to receive this one to do. When I do a Bible Study I take it seriously and want to get as much as I can from it. In order to achieve this I wanted to take my time and go through each chapter and do the homework involved in it. I hate to admit it but I knew very little about Hagar before starting this workbook.  The name is vaguely familiar so I was  ready to learn what I could in this in-depth study. 

It was a nice journey to start with Abraham and Sarah where we discover that Hagar was an Egyptian slave belonging to Sarah. I remember how much Sarah desired a child but became too impatient to wait on God. What she does questions her faith in God. She gives Hagar to her husband in order to produce a child. I wonder how Hagar felt as she realized she was being manipulated into something she had no say over? How many times have we felt trapped in our lives? Just like Hagar does, do we run away when we can't control our situation? 

The study is very well written and uses insightful scriptures to tell the story through God's Word. It is divided into different sections which takes us through trials, emotions and God's unfailing love. What an encounter Hagar experienced with God. She never thought she was important, but God shows her that she was called to give birth to Abraham's child. She was important and allowed God to heal her thoughts of not belonging anywhere. How many times have you felt unimportant? I know I have all my life. I allowed the enemy to steal my innocence as a child and allowed me to feel unworthy and unloved. 

I have enjoyed this study very much and appreciate the author's details of a woman who at one time felt worthless and allowed God to show her that her worth is valuable in His eyes. As women we all have faced a time when we felt unattractive, useless or lonely. Through this study God shows us by scripture that we are His treasure. We don't need to feel ashamed of our past anymore. With a loving God to guide us we can be set free from the bondage of self doubt and guilt and begin to walk with our head held high. 

I appreciate how this study has helped me understand my worth and see clearer the plan that God has for my life. Hagar is a wonderful story and the author does an amazing job of writing the Bible Study with clarity and compassion. I highly recommend this book to those who want a deeper understanding of His Word and promises for our lives.

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

Blog Stops

amandainpa , September 9
Emily Yager, September 9
A Reader’s Brain, September 10
Lights in a Dark World, September 10
Inspired by fiction, September 11
Genesis 5020, September 11
Robin’s Nest, September 11
Quiet Workings, September 12
Mary Hake, September 13
Godly Book Reviews, September 14
Moments, September 15
Retrospective Spines, September 16
Batya’s Bits, September 16
Pause for Tales, September 17
CarpeDiem, September 17
Aryn the Libraryan ?, September 18
For The Love of Books, September 19
Texas Book-aholic, September 20
janicesbookreviews, September 20


To celebrate her tour, Shadia is giving away to TWO winners 1 book of Hagar, 1 book of Legion and a $50 gift certificate for!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

The Key to Dreaming Again FB Banner About the Book

Book: The Key to Dreaming Again
Author: Rick Unruhkey to dreaming again
Genre: Non-Fiction, Inspirational
Release Date: July 10, 2019
“We parked our car in front of Yankton’s Federal Prison Camp and walked through the doors of the control center. ‘I’m Rick Unruh, and I’m here to self-surrender,’ I told the corrections officer. There is no way I could comprehend what those words would mean over course of the next year, as God would begin a new work in me.”
Born and raised in a small town in Kansas, Rick Unruh was called to be in the ministry. But when he lost his mother to cancer despite her unwavering faith that God would heal her, it planted seeds of doubt in his heart. He served as a traveling evangelist for years but later faded away from the ministry.
He and his wife lost their house in a fire, but a year later, far worse pain was ahead when they[dori1] , lost their twelve-year-old son in an ATV accident. Just when it seemed there was hope and recovery ahead, Rick was blindsided by a federal investigation into a mortgage consulting group he’d been involved with. He was eventually charged and then sentenced to over a year in prison, embarrassed and sure that God was done with him this time. But God wasn’t finished.
This book is a testament to the God who restores us and allows us to dream again—if we will only surrender ourselves to him.

About the Author

Rick Unruh is a US MAPS missionary and is the founder of Dream Again Ministry. He holds a master’s degree in counseling from Logos University (Jacksonville, FL), with a special interest in grief ministry. He lives in Kansas with his wife, Tamela, and travels the country sharing his Dream Again testimony, a message of hope and finding our purpose. He recently added workshops for the church, helping them understand and minister to the grieving. Rick also recruits full-time missionaries to serve with MAPS.

More from Rick

I actually wrote the first chapter of my book in 2011 and then it just sat there until December of 2018.  I continually have had people ask me to write a book about my story, since I travel nearly every weekend sharing my story.   I could just never get the desire or focus to finish it.  After writing it, I realized, that I was hesitating because I didn’t want to go back to some of those places and dig deep, stirring painful emotions, just to write about them.  I would feel the anxiety building as I was getting closer to those moments. There is great healing in writing, but the early process of writing this book caused me to shed many tears.  But, if it can help others who are struggling with the loss of a loved one or a major setback in life, and bring hope and encouragement, then it has all been worth it.


I enjoyed how the author was very transparent about his struggles. It was interesting to follow him as he struggled with his faith. High school is very hard and at this time in your life it is all about acceptance. The author had a good example to follow as his parents were faith filled and embraced God everyday. The missteps that the author faced in his teens are pretty typical for most as we all rebelled against our parents. I liked how his parents disciplined him with love. It reminds me of the scripture. "God disciplines those He loves." It was a true example of following God's word and showing unconditional love to their son.

The book takes us on  a journey through the trials of a man who could have given up but never did. At times I felt like I was reading the book of Job. How much more could be endured before the author gave up? One of the most devastating things to read was when his son died. My heart ached for this family as their grief was overpowering. My brother lost his son to a car accident years ago. I will never forget the phone call he made to me. We had just buried my mother a week before and now my nephew was dead. In the days ahead I couldn't understand how these two tragedies could happen to a family.

 I admire the perseverance the author has as he shares his story. It is obvious that his deep faith as helped him to walk through trials and come out stronger. His ability to find  new financial opportunities were inspiring. One such job would become a nightmare and cause the author's life to take a dark turn into the world of lawyers, judges and prison. It was hard to read how other people involved in the crime cut a deal and left him out to dry and  to  take the brunt of the punishment. The author had to turn to God to guide him to  forgiveness and accept what lay ahead of him.

The book is not an easy read but is filled with hope and a fierce determination to never give up on your dreams. It may seem like you will never get ahead, that bad things keep happening, but God is still there walking beside you. The author uses his story to encourage others to keep moving forward and allow God to direct your path. 

"God often uses our dark times to grab our attention."

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

Blog Stops

Simple Harvest Reads, September 14 (Author Interview)
Mary Hake, September 14
Betti Mace, September 15
Spoken from the Heart, September 16
Older & Smarter?, September 17
Genesis 5020, September 18
Texas Book-aholic, September 20
Blossoms and Blessings, September 21 (Author Interview)
janicesbookreviews, September 22
A Reader’s Brain, September 23
Just the Write Escape, September 24
Inklings and notions , September 25


To celebrate his tour, Rick is giving away a $25 Amazon gift card and a eBook 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.

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Teaching Art Banner

About the Book

Book: Teaching Art
Author: Jerry E. Twitchell
Genre: Nonfiction  EDUCATION/Teaching Methods & Materials/Arts & Humanities
Release Date: February 20, 2019
Teaching ARtAs Simple as 1-2-3
Everything needed to structure and teach an effective art program for grades one to three is made simple for the home-school parent or teacher.
This step-by-step process for teaching art is perfect for home-school teachers or parents with limited art skills or time to create their own programs. This system of insight, responses to judgments, ideas, and feelings aligns with public school and state visual arts requirements.
Teaching Art in the Primary Grades is designed to foster lifelong interest in the arts, provide a gauge of what can be expected of children at various ages and grade levels, and present a baseline for measuring growth and skill.
Lesson plans with goals, objects, time frames, techniques, steps, illustrated examples, and assessment of growth are included.

Click here to get your copy.

About the Author

Jerry TwichellJerry E. Twitchell, DEd, is a retired educational administrator and art and history instructor. With over thirty years of experience as a teacher and principal, Jerry has nurtured primary through secondary students to experience the excitement of art. In his work with parents, teachers, and especially children, he has sought to bring to life a love and passion for art.

More from Jerry

Ever since I was young, I have always loved art.  It was only natural for me to be teaching and sharing the love of art to young people. Over the years, a number of parents, students and fellow teachers and administrators suggested that I should write a book about teaching art, particularly to the emerging beginning artist.  This would hopefully help them gain confidence in themselves in return would flow into their reading and writing subjects. After retiring, pondering and headaches, I started putting it together and throwing around ideas to myself on what should be included and “Wala”… it is.


I have the honor of being married to a talented artist. He is proficient in air brushing, creating murals, sketching and painting on canvas. He is not famous but he definitely has been blessed with a talent. You can see some of his murals in churches in our town and in homes around the area. Two of my sons are gifted artists as well. When I received this book I had to laugh. The  book is geared for young children but I was in doubt that I as an adult could do any projects in the book.

"Oh ye of little faith," I heard as I began to read the book. The book is a step-by-step process that is easy to follow. It is a tool that teachers should have in their classrooms and parents should have in their homes. I dreaded the times my children were young and had a project involving art What if my husband wasn't able to help them? I knew with my help they were destined for a poor grade. With this book I have confidence when grandchildren come along, I can do projects with them by using this book 

The author divides the projects by grade and gives a list of materials and easy to follow directions. I decided since I am a visual learner I would tackle one project in the book. My choice was to make a stick puppet. What a surprise I had when I followed each step and made my own puppet. It was fun and did boost my confidence. 

The author says, "Art is a major means of communication. Words of art are forms of feelings." Have you ever gone to an art museum and stared at a painting for a length of time? You look at the painting and start to understand what the artist was saying with their work. In this book the author encourages children to use their imagination and create art with freedom and encouragement. 

I really enjoyed the book and hope that others will grab a copy and make memories with their children and students. 

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

Blog Stops

Mary Hake, September 12
A Baker’s Perspective, September 13 (Author Interview)
Kathy Anderson, September 14
Vicky Sluiter, September 15
Lis Loves Reading, September 16
Creating Romance, September 17
janicesbookreviews, September 18
Texas Book-aholic, September 19
Quiet Workings, September 19
A Reader’s Brain, September 20
Older & Smarter?, September 21
Inklings and notions , September 22
The Artist Librarian, September 23
For Him and My Family, September 24
Beck To Basics, September 24


To celebrate his tour, Jerry is giving away Gift basket with Basic art Supplies, Stack Card and a Athabascan People of The North coloring book!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.