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Saturday, May 14, 2022


If you Really Knew Me

About the Book

Book: If You Really Knew Me

Author: Alison Cheah

Genre: Middle Grade Fiction

Release date: December, 2021

Cover full 1101 - If you really knew me_FrontTommy is glad of friendships which make him forget the situation at home. His father’s illness makes his behavior so unpredictable that the whole family must tip-toe around him for fear of becoming the butt of his anger.

Elise wishes her twin sister didn’t think being champion swimmers was an adequate goal for their lives. She has her own dreams to fulfil.

Carrie hides a secret, avoiding othe other students so nobody will ever find it out. But Tommy and Elise both look to Carrie to save them from their situations.

Until she disappears.

Tommy’s protective instinct kicks in, and Elise reassesses her priorities so she can help keep Carrie safe.

 

Click here to get your copy!

 

About the Author

alison-cheah-high resolution 1Alison Cheah worked at Youth for Christ for five years and volunteers with her church youth group. One of her favorite activities is preparing Bible Studies and seeking how to connect the stories of the Bible with her students’ own stories.

As a child she was always to be seen with her nose in a book, and nothing has changed. One of her favorite authors was Patricia St. John. Her characters are people you want to people you want to know, and you are rooting for them to overcome their problems, but for Alison, the added dimension was that each person discovers their answers in Jesus. She saw that the faith she had grown up with had applicability in real life.

Her prayer is that this story has the same result for you.

 

More from Alison

I spent five years working at Youth for Christ with middle school students like Tommy, Carrie, and Elise. They are not based on kids I met, but they are inspired by my experiences then.

My friend and mentor in youth ministry was Anna-Marie Valles who is also a character in Tommy, Carrie and Elise’s story helping them to make sense of some of the questions they have.

We don’t get to know her well in the book, but I had a chat with her recently about youth ministry and here is an extract from that conversation. I think you will enjoy getting to know her better.

 

Alison: In the story, Elise shares her problems with you. Do you find teens want to talk to an adult about their problems?

 

AMV: Kids are hungry to be able to unload their stories on people who are willing to listen. I remember in one club a student said that all day, adults were telling him what to do. But club was a space where people were asking him, “How are you feeling? “What are your thoughts on this?” He was shocked.

 

Alison: You were only eighteen when you started in youth ministry. After all these years, how do you stay current so kids still want to talk with you?

 

AMV: If you come to kids with a willingness to learn, you become relevant. Say to them, “Tell me what’s going on?” Don’t pretend you have all the answers. I find that has worked for me. “I don’t know your culture like you do. But I’m willing to see through your lens if you’re able to share that with me.”

Age is interesting. I always worried I would age out. At my application interview for seminary I said, “I always thought if I aged out of youth ministry, I’d be a chaplain.” And the professor called me out on that. You never age out because kids still need that safe place where someone is willing to listen.

 

Alison: The profits from this book will be used to send kids to camp. Why is this important to you?

 

AMV: Youth ministry is all relational. But trust can take a while to build. The beauty of camps is that you can create a bond in one week that could take two years without.

 

And at camp they hear the gospel presented in different ways by different speakers. Other people’s creativity and presentation may reach my students in a way that I haven’t been able to.

 

What saddens me is not everyone can go because camps are costly. My desire is that every student who wants to go will have the opportunity to do so.

 

For more of this conversation, see alisonrcheah.com

(Interview transcribed by https://otter.ai )

My prayer is that the story of Tommy, Carrie and Elise will be one of those different speakers Anna-Marie talked about, helping kids to begin their own relationship with Jesus.

 

Thank you.

Alison

MY REVIEW 

I really enjoyed this story centered around accepting yourself. Each child in the story had a feeling  that they  were not good enough  or wanted. Sometimes they tried to be overachievers and other times they wanted to run away. I loved how the author incorporated stories from the Bible that is easy for children to understand. I thought the way the author told the  story about the prodigal son was excellent. It was easy to apply it to our own lives when we realize that we are loved. 

The author touches on subject like disobedience, foster care and being abandoned in a way that illustrates what young people face today. They have obstacles to overcome and through learning about God it helped them to understand about unconditional love. There is a section  in the book where two young girls write something  for a class project. As I read the words, it made me cry. How many of us hide behind a mask everyday? We are afraid to let people see the real us for fear of rejection. When I was younger all I wanted to do was fade into the wall at school. I was bullied and no one did anything about it. 

This book is a great  tool for middle school and up to learn how to overcome obstacles that hold us back from God and knowing that we are important. What I really liked about the book was  that the message is  not just for children but adults as well. We are not alone and don’t need to hide. We need to be ourselves and be confident in how God made us. 

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

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 13

Locks, Hooks and Books, May 14

Texas Book-aholic, May 15

Beauty in the Binding, May 16 (Author Interview)

Blogging With Carol, May 16

For Him and My Family, May 17

Inklings and notions, May 18

Blossoms and Blessings, May 19 (Author Interview)

deb’s Book Review, May 20

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, May 21

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, May 22

Simple Harvest Reads, May 23 (Author Interview)

Vicarious Living , May 23

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, May 24

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, May 25

Guild Master, May 26 (Author Interview)

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Alison is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Amazon gift card and a 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.

https://promosimple.com/ps/1db4d/if-you-really-knew-me-celebration-tour-giveaway


Friday, May 13, 2022

"Knowing and Following" by Jeannine Bennett BookTour and Give

knowing and following


About the Book

Book: Knowing and Following

Author: Jeannine Bennett

Genre: Christian Nonfiction, Women’s Bible Study Format

Release date: December 12, 2021

BookBrushImage-2021-12-12-18-2320eBookWhat do you do when you realize God is love? Do you remain stuck in a life of bondage, or do you follow His ways to live a life of freedom?

Imagine how easy life would be if everything happened by chance simply to give each of us our heart’s desires. It sounds pretty amazing until you realize not all individuals have the same innocent aspirations as we might. Some individuals would inevitably rise to the top while others would fall to the bottom forever, stuck in the rut of life. Chaos would flourish. It actually sounds pretty familiar, doesn’t it?

In Knowing and Following: Living a Life of Freedom, the third and final book in the God’s Way series, Jeannine Bennett shares a better option: recognizing that we have a mighty God who does not do anything by chance. There is freedom in knowing that we do not have to wait around, hoping good things will happen for us. In this book, Jeannine shares more about our Creator to help you grow in your knowledge of Him and what He does. God is love, and freedom comes from knowing Him and following His ways.


Click here to get your copy!


More from Jeannine

I wrote Knowing and Following: Living a Life of Freedom to close out the God’s Way Series. My intent was to share more about God our Creator, to help people grow in their knowledge of Him and what He does for them so that they can live a fulfilled life of freedom in following Him.

A pattern unfolded in the first two books in the series, Broken to Beautiful: Brokenness is Not the End of Your Story and Blessed and Transformed: Living the Life God Intended. In Broken to Beautiful, I shared my testimony of brokenness—lots of brokenness. I then purposefully conveyed the blessings that resulted when I finally embraced God.

The second book, Blessed and Transformed, further detailed those blessings in my life. It was exciting to realize that God does not have a one-and-done mindset regarding blessings. Instead, He continues to bless us beyond what we could ever imagine. I felt it was essential to testify that a relationship with God transforms us. Through our transformation we begin to appreciate just how loved we are by Him, and we start to live the life He intended for us.

Finally, in Knowing and Following, I focus on the freedom God gives us. We solidify our knowledge that the God of the universe is love. There is no one more intelligent, powerful, or present. His ways are beyond our ways. Yet, despite His greatness, He loves us and gives us the power to overcome the obstacles of this world that keep us stuck in a life of bondage. With spiritual perseverance, He helps us finish the race of our earthly life well. In knowing Him, we are drawn to our calling to live a meaningful life of service.

In following His ways, we begin to understand why it is better to embrace His will over ours, use good judgment, lift others up, and not concern ourselves with the fears of this world. Instead, we can choose to lead with humble hearts, connect with and care for others, and embrace the importance and power of forgiveness.

It is my absolute honor to share God’s Word with you in this final book of the series. I pray that you will be blessed by what you find.

In Christ,

Jeannine

MY REVIEW 

I want to encourage readers to grab a copy of this book if you are wanting to be encouraged and grow in Christ. The first chapter sets the stage for a thoughtful study that first and foremost reminds us that , “God is good, and God is love.” Even in our darkest moments  we need to remember  that we are unconditionally loved and are never alone. I think I forget sometimes that I’m never alone and try to handle situations on my own. Of course it doesn’t quite turn out the way I want it because I’m letting pride get in the way. 

I like the way that the book is set up with a topic for each chapter. The author gives us illustrations to expand on the subject and follows up with scripture reading and questions at the end. The chapters are not  long, but they sure have powerful insights that I needed to read.  I feel like I have been in a slump lately and need to reenergize. How do I fill myself back up? I started with this book and began to see how the enemy has been whispering lies to me. I suddenly felt that stir in my soul and began to realize I needed to drink from God’s Word. 

The chapter I liked the most and struggled with the most was about forgiveness. In the last week I have had to really pray hard for God to help me in a situation.  What I learned from this chapter was the struggle with pride and anger. Sometimes we just want to ignore that word “forgiveness” but God won’t let us forget. In the end dies it matter that someone has hated you for forty years and still holds a grudge? What about the list of wrongdoings they have written down? I took ideas from this book and have started to apply it to my situation. First I needed to pray not just for me but for the other person. I can’t undo the past, but I can be forgiven from God. I needed to remember to, “Judge not, that you be not judged.”

I really enjoyed the book and found it very helpful as a tool to use everyday to remind myself how to overcome obstacles that make me struggle in my walk.

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

Blog Stops

Guild Master, May 12 (Author Interview)

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 12

Inklings and notions, May 13

Texas Book-aholic, May 14

Jodie Wolfe – Stories Where Hope and Quirky Meet, May 15 (Author Interview)

For Him and My Family, May 16

Locks, Hooks and Books, May 17

deb’s Book Review, May 18

Through the Fire Blogs, May 19 (Author Interview)

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, May 20

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, May 21

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, May 22

Simple Harvest Reads, May 23 (Author Interview)

Mary Hake, May 23

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, May 24

Lights in a Dark World, May 25

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Jeannine 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.

https://promosimple.com/ps/1db4c/knowing-and-following-celebration-tour-giveaway




Thursday, May 12, 2022

 

The Amish Twins

About the Book

Book: The Amish Twins Next Door

Author: Vanetta Chapman

Genre: Amish romance

Release date: April 26, 2022

TheAmishTwinsNextDoorTwo little matchmakers could change everything…in this novel by USA TODAY bestselling author Vannetta Chapman.

Falling for a pretend suitor could cause real complications…

Amish single mom Deborah Mast is determined to raise her seven-year-old twin sons her way. But when neighbor Nicholas Stoltzfus takes the rambunctious boys on as apprentices on his farm, she’ll learn the value of his help with more than just the children. And when the two little matchmakers hatch a plan of their own, Deborah could also discover how to reopen her heart…

 

Click here to get your copy!

 

About the Author

2018January3VannettaChapman-5060-EditVannetta Chapman is a USA Today and Publishers Weekly bestselling author of 39 full length novels, plus various novella collections. She has written for Abingdon Press, Harvest House Publishers, and Harper Collins Christian Publishing. She currently writes for the Love Inspired line of Harlequin Books. Chapman has received numerous awards including the ACFW Carol Award for best mystery (Falling to Pieces), and Christy Award finalist (Anna’s Healing).

 

More from Vannetta

When I married my husband 22 years ago, he had a 21-year-old daughter and 16-year-old twins. I was a single mom with a 10-year-old son. I was also a certified, experienced teacher. I could handle it. (Cue laughter) I had no idea what twins was like. I didn’t understand that special language they have with one another. I was perplexed by the way they could be fighting one moment and adamantly defending one another the next. Everything about twins confused me.

 

Now our children are all grown. They’re adults, and I wonder how the years have passed so quickly. The Amish Twins Next Door is my first book featuring twins, and I enjoyed every minute of writing it. I enjoyed telling a story about a mom who wonders if she will ever have a conventional family—because I was that mom. I also had way too much fun writing about a man who thought he could give parenting advice when he had no children.

 

Ultimately though, like all of my other books, The Amish Twins Next Door is a book about the over-arching grace of God and how it can carry us through all things. My hope is that you will laugh, maybe cry, and come away from the book feeling uplifted.

MY REVIEW 

With a perfect blend of emotions, adventure and faith this story is now on my list of  top favorite books for 2022. What’s not to like in this journey of a single mother with twin boys who are full of energy. Oh my they added laughs and  energy to this story and made me smile the entire time. Their shenanigans were epic and they stole the show at times. I laughed at how accident prone one of the twin’s were. They so want to be a help around the farm and this leads me into why I loved their neighbor Nick.

Nick  at first irritated me with his stoic attitude with the twins. He didn’t like them coming over and interfering in his plan for the  next five years. I had to consider what he was dealing with and this helped me understand why he was a bit standoffish. Having a broken heart will do that to you.   I think we all can understand that our plans don’t always turn out the way we want. After all God has a plan for each of us. Nick has a tender heart that shows the more he is around the  twins and their mother. 

Deborah is perhaps one of my favorite characters ever. She has raised twin boys by herself and has had to endure some ridicule from the community when she became an unwed teen mother. I love her sweet spirit and fearless love for her boys. Within her is a burden that only God can help with. Her desire to have another child weighs heavy on her at times. In her mind as an Amish woman she should have had more children by now. Being rejected by the boys father has given her a lack of self confidence. In those quiet moments alone, she turns to God for comfort and direction. 

I loved the idea Deborah came up with to put her parents off their persistent talk about dating. What could go wrong with this plan? Oh if only Deborah and Nick had thought this plan out more but then again maybe it was God’s plan all along. With wisdom from her parents maybe Deborah will open herself up to finding love again. I loved when her parents said,”Your boys will mirror your attitude.” 

I am sad that  the story is over but I did learn  some valuable lessons. We need to be sure we make ourselves happy and not do something we think others will approve of. Be courageous and step out in faith.  Love comes natural when you learn to trust and find confidence within yourself. “Maybe, just maybe,the perfect moment was when you decided to step out in faith.”

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

Blog Stops

The Avid Reader, May 6

Connie’s History Classroom, May 6

She Lives To Read , May 7

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 8

Simple Harvest Reads, May 9 (Guest Review from Marilyn Ridgway)

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, May 9

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, May 10

Inklings and notions, May 11

Jeanette’s Thoughts, May 12

For Him and My Family, May 12

Texas Book-aholic, May 13

deb’s Book Review, May 14

Locks, Hooks and Books, May 15

Miriam Jacob, May 15

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, May 16

Bigreadersite, May 17

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, May 18

Mary Hake, May 18

Lighthouse-Academy, May 19

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Vannetta is giving away the grand prize package of a signed copy of the book and 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.

https://promosimple.com/ps/1d72b/the-amish-twins-next-door-celebration-tour-giveaway

 

Corner Booth Kick-Off Package

Corner Booth

About the Book

Book: Corner Booth

Author: Chautona Havig

Genre: Contemporary Christian Romance

Release date: March 17, 2015

Corner Booth CoverA daring move forges the love of a lifetime

A rushed lunch and a bold move introduce Carlie to a stranger—one who hardly acknowledges her existence as he sits across from her, sharing his booth to save her a wait in a long line.
What began as a random encounter becomes a weekly date in which Carlie chatters about her life to a silent lunchmate. Much about him interests her–his slightly Euro fashion sense, his commitment to the work he does as he eats his lunch week after week, and his evident attention to the running monologue she shares between bites of meals that he inevitably pays for.
Dean gets to know the woman across from him–looks forward to their lunches each week, learns valuable lessons about himself—but when the cafe is threatened, and then when she doesn’t show up one day, he suspects their unusual friendship means more to him than he imagined.

Settle into the booth with Carlie and Dean and learn just how eloquent silence really is.

 

Click here to get your copy!

 

About the Author

ChautonaUSA Today Bestselling author of Aggie and Past Forwardseries, Chautona Havig lives in an oxymoron, escapes into imaginary worlds that look startlingly similar to ours and writes the stories that emerge. An irrepressible optimist, Chautona sees everything through a kaleidoscope of It’s a Wonderful Life sprinkled with fairy tales. Find her at chautona.com and say howdy—if you can remember how to spell her name.

 

More from Chautona

You know, originally, I had Dean as a guy who was too wrapped up in his own little world to care about anyone else—the stereotypical academic. I pictured him buried deep in original Biblical manuscripts, annoyed that anyone would dare to invade his study time.

But you know what? That’s the easy character.

When I went back to edit the book, I had this thought. What if Dean weren’t reclusive at all? What if he were kind of a know-it-all who couldn’t keep his thoughts to himself. Maybe a child prodigy who was used to people thinking him rather brilliant and looking for his insights.

Yeah… I could get into that.

There was just one small problem. I’d written the entire book without him talking much at all on those Wednesdays. Now what?

After much deliberation, even more prayer, and a bit of fudging, I came up with the solution. What if he just challenged himself for “one lunch?” Just one hour or so of not talking to prove to himself (and his peers) that he could do it.

How could he possibly know he’d set things up for months of wordless lunches—on his part? And what would a person learn in a situation like that?

I’ve never admitted this before, but I tested it a bit. At situations where I could, I forced myself to listen to people’s stories, their questions, their opinions. The hard part was not spending my listening time formulating my response (how rude anyway!). I really had to focus on exactly what they said, how their voice altered based on their emotions, and what others around us had to say to encourage (or not—too often not, I’ll admit).

I learned a lot with the experiment, and I’ll be honest. I still catch myself listening with an ear to how I’ll respond instead of really listening. No, I don’t expect to find some cafĂ© romance for myself. My guy is amazing, and he’s probably the only person on the planet who could put up with me, so… I think I’ll keep him. But I do expect to keep learning how to really hear people. You know… kind of like Jesus did. Imagine that.

MY REVIEW 

I have come to expect this author to write unique stories, fascinating characters and faith mixed together to accomplish a story that moves me. Was I disappointed in this one? Oh my no. In fact I submerged myself from the beginning. Who is bold enough to go sit at a strangers table so they don’t have to stand in a long line? Well that my dear is one of the main characters who is named Carlie. I applaud her for her take charge getting to go to the front of the line work around. Who knew that the man named Dean would even allow her to dine with him? Isn’t life funny when you take chances. 

Now I’ve set up the story a bit with two complete strangers meeting in a unique way so let’s dig into what happens. As they start to meet every Wednesday  for lunch something starts to change very subtly. Carlie is a chatter box and at times annoyed me. On the other hand Dean said absolutely nothing and I couldn’t figure out why. How are these two people going to become friends if they never communicate? I wanted to sit down with them and help them along. Then something hit me. When was the last time  I listened and I mean really listened to someone? 

Dean does a remarkable favor for Carlie by listening to her go on about her day and  her problems. It becomes a habit for them to eat at their special booth every Wednesday. Carlie found someone who listens to her and helps her start to understand who she really is. She reminds me of a wall flower desperately wanting someone to ask her to dance.  Carlie needs encouragement and a big boost of self confidence. Dean wanted  to be a kind man who gave his full attention to a someone that desired to be accepted. He is known for rambling on and never really making sense at times. God has given him a chance to not speak but listen  without giving an opinion. Sometimes we don’t need to speak to communicate. Our actions or facial expressions speak for us. 

This story is a great lesson for all of us. It teaches us to listen with open ears and a compassionate heart and ask God to show us how we  can help someone who needs to talk without us giving  judgment. I loved how Carlie and Dean reach a point where the time has come for conversation between the two. The doors open for them to explore where their friendship will lead them. I love how the author doesn’t rush this process and allows the characters to share their feelings in a way that penetrates their hearts  with compassion and acceptance. 

Next time we get together with someone perhaps we should listen more and talk less. God wants us to guide others in wisdom and through the Word  of God. Carlie and Dean could be any of us longing to find a willing person to listen and help us when we feel discouraged. Be kind to others, lend an ear and open your heart to those who need compassion and guide then to Christ. 

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

Blog Stops

Pause for Tales, May 9

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 9

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, May 10

Lots of Helpers, May 11

Miriam Jacob, May 11

Texas Book-aholic, May 12

By the Book, May 13

Inklings and notions, May 14

Spoken from the Heart, May 15

For Him and My Family, May 15

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, May 16

deb’s Book Review, May 17

Locks, Hooks and Books, May 18

Mary Hake, May 18

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, May 19

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, May 20

Blogging With Carol, May 21

A Good Book and Cup of Tea, May 21

Simple Harvest Reads, May 22 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Chautona is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card 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.

https://promosimple.com/ps/1d735/corner-booth-celebration-tour-giveaway