Uncategorized

The Innkeeper’s Daughter

My Review:

The Innkeeper’s Daughter is set in 1808 Dover, England and tells the story of a London officer who goes undercover to expose a plot against the crown. During this time, he meets Johanna Langley who is trying to keep her family’s inn afloat. She doesn’t know what is going to happen when the rent and the hearth payment is due at the same time.

This was a great book! I love reading historical fiction. Life seemed more simplistic then but the struggles were the same as the struggles we face now. The research that was put into writing this book was impeccable. Reading about a spring holiday that I’ve never heard of, Oak Apple Day, made me want to research and learn more about this day. The Innkeeper’s Daughter is a great book.

I received a copy of this book for free however a favorable review was not required. I chose to write this review.

About the Book

Title: The Innkeeper’s Daughter

Author: Michelle Griep

Genre: Historical Christian Fiction

Release Date: March 1, 2018

A London officer goes undercover to expose a plot against the Crown
Dover, England, 1808: Officer Alexander Moore goes undercover as a gambling gentleman to expose a high-stakes plot against the king—and he’s a master of disguise, for Johanna Langley believes him to be quite the rogue. . .until she can no longer fight against his unrelenting charm.

All Johanna wants is to keep the family inn afloat, but when the rent and the hearth payment are due at the same time, where will she find the extra funds? If she doesn’t come up with the money, there will be nowhere to go other than the workhouse—where she’ll be separated from her ailing mother and ten-year-old brother.

Alex desperately wants to help Johanna, especially when she confides in him, but his mission—finding and bringing to justice a traitor to the crown—must come first, or they could all end up dead.

Click here to purchase your copy!

About the Author

Michelle Griep has been writing since she first discovered blank wall space and Crayolas. She seeks to glorify God in all that she writes—except for that graffiti phase she went through as a teenager. She resides in the frozen tundra of Minnesota, where she teaches history and writing classes for a local high school co-op. An Anglophile at heart, she runs away to England every chance she gets, under the guise of research. Really, though, she’s eating excessive amounts of scones while rambling around a castle. Michelle is a member of ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) and MCWG (Minnesota Christian Writers Guild). Keep up with her adventures at her blog “Writer off the Leash” or visit www.michellegriep.com.

Guest Post from Michelle Griep

Celebrating Oak Apple Day

Spring is just around the corner, or maybe it’s in full bloom in your neck of the woods. Regardless, by this time of year, everyone is ready to celebrate. . .and nothing new is under the sun. For centuries people have been eager to welcome budding greenery and warmth.

In my recent release, The Innkeeper’s Daughter, I incorporated a spring holiday that’s been around for over 500 years in England, one you may never heard of.

Oak Apple Day.

This ancient celebration dates back to the year 1651. At the time, Charles II escaped the Roundhead army by taking cover in an oak tree. Everyone loved ol’ Charlie and was glad he lived, so in his honor, a new national holiday was born—one that in some parts of England is still celebrated today.

Another name for this annual event is Royal Oak Day and the festivities occur every May 29th. Celebration traditions vary from parades to the ringing of bells, but one thing that is standard is that it’s a day to pin an oak leaf on your lapel. If you fail to wear one, you could end up getting pinched.

The hero in my latest release is kind enough to remind the heroine that she forgot to pin on her leaf, thus saving her from untoward pinches. Interested in hearing more about this gallant fellow and the forgetful miss? Here’s a blurb about The Innkeeper’s Daughter

Tension is high with the threat of a Napoleonic attack in Regency England, but risk from abroad means nothing when there’s danger at home.

Officer Alexander Moore goes undercover as a gambling gentleman to expose a high-stakes plot against the crown—and he’s a master of disguise, for Johanna Langley believes him to be quite the rogue . . . until she can no longer fight against his unrelenting charm.

All Johanna wants is to keep the family inn afloat, but when the rent and the hearth payment are due at the same time, where will she find the extra funds? If she doesn’t come up with the money, there will be nowhere to go other than the workhouse—where she’ll be separated from her ailing mother and ten-year-old brother.

Alex desperately wants to help Johanna, especially when she confides in him, but his mission—finding and bringing to justice a traitor to the crown—must come first, or they could all end up dead.

It’s a race against time for them both.

Blog Stops

Just the Write Escape, March 15

Fiction Aficionado, March 15

All-of-a-kind Mom, March 15

The Morning Chapter, March 15

Reflections From My Bookshelves, March 16

Reading Is My SuperPower, March 16

Mommynificent, March 16

Blogging With Carol, March 16

Among the Reads, March 17

Connie’s History Classroom, March 17

Mary Hake, March 17

Blossoms and Blessings, March 17

Karen Sue Hadley, March 18

The Power of Words, March 18

Christian Chick’s Thoughts, March 18

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, March 18

Kathleen Denly, March 19

Faithfully Bookish, March 19

Captive Dreams Window, March 19

Red Headed Book Lady, March 19

The Fizzy Pop Collection, March 20

Remembrancy, March 20

Inklings and notions, March 20

Book by Book, March 20

Moments Dipped in Ink, March 21

Black ‘n’ Gold Girl’s Book Spot, March 21

Singing Librarian Books, March 21

To Everything a Season, March 21

Bookworm Mama, March 22

Two Points of Interest, March 22

Vicky Sluiter, March 22

Carpe Diem, March 22

Pause for Tales, March 23

Have A Wonderful Day, March 23

A Baker’s Perspective, March 23

margaret kazmierczak, March 23 (Interview)

proud to be an autism mom, March 24

Bibliophile Reviews, March 24

A Greater Yes, March 24

Texas Book-aholic, March 25

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, March 25

Janices book reviews, March 25

A Reader’s Brain, March 26

Jeanette’s Thoughts, March 26

Simple Harvest Reads, March 26 (Mindy Houng Guest Post)

Kaylee’s Kind Of Writes, March 27

My Writer’s Life, March 27

Pursuing Stacie, March 27

Bigreadersite, March 27

Tell Tale Book Reviews, March 28

Jodie Wolfe – Stories Where Hope and Quirky Meet, March 28

Pink Granny’s Journey, March 28

The PhD Mamma, March 28

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Michelle is giving away a grand prize of a signed copy of The Innkeeper’s Daughter and a $25 gift card from Barnes & Noble!!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/cb72

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Fiction Books, Uncategorized

The Heart’s Appeal Blog Tour/Giveaway

My Review:

How many women do you know that are strong-minded, independent and know what they want out of life? When a women is determined to live out her dream, nothing or no-one will stop her. In Jennifer Delamere’s newest book, The Heart’s Appeal, you find this type of women.

The Heart’s Appeal is the second book in the London Beginnings series. Set in Victorian England during a time when becoming a doctor just opened up to women.  This is what Julia Bernay has come to London for. She is on her way to the London School of Medicine for Women. Julia witnesses a serious accident and her quick action saves the life of a young barrister, Michael Stephenson.

Michael Stephenson comes from a family who lost its status a long time ago. Family is everything to him. His latest case to put an end to Julia’s future as a doctor.

Ms. Delamere has did a great job on writing The Heart’s Appeal. She uses the life of Dr. Elizabeth Garrett Anderson and the school she co-founded as a backdrop to this book. By using real-life characters admits fictional ones, you have a novel that makes you want to keep reading and research what it was like for women during this time.

Between the relationship between Elizabeth and her husband, how Elizabeth is a mentor to Julia, to Julia and Michael’s relationship, there isn’t a dull moment in this novel. A great novel that will leave you wanting more.

I received a copy of this book for free, a favorable review was not required, all opinions expressed here are my own.

About the Book

Book Title: The Heart’s Appeal

Author: Jennifer Delamere

Release Date: March 6, 2018

Genre: Inspirational Historical Romance

Strong-minded and independent, Julia Bernay has come to London to study medicine and become a doctor–a profession that has only just opened up to women. When she witnesses a serious accident, her quick action saves the life of an ambitious young barrister named Michael Stephenson. It’s only later that she learns he could be instrumental in destroying her dreams for the future.

Coming from a family that long ago lost its status, Michael Stephenson has achieved what many would have thought impossible. Hard work and an aptitude for the law have enabled him to regain the path to wealth and recognition. His latest case puts him in the middle of a debate over the future of a women’s medical school. He’s supposed to remain objective, but when the beguiling and determined Julia reappears with an unexpected entreaty, he begins to question what he’s made most important in his life. But Julia may be hiding her own motivations. As the two are tangled into spending more time together, will their own goals be too much to overcome?

Click here to purchase your copy!

About the Author

Jennifer Delamere’s debut Victorian romance, An Heiress at Heart, was a 2013 RITA Award finalist in the inspirational category. Her follow-up novel, A Lady Most Lovely, received a starred review from Publishers Weekly and the Maggie Award for Excellence from Georgia Romance Writers. Jennifer earned a BA in English from McGill University in Montreal, where she became fluent in French and developed an abiding passion for winter sports. She’s been an editor of nonfiction and educational materials for nearly two decades, and lives in North Carolina with her husband.

Guest Post from Jennifer Delamere

Power couples?

Perhaps that’s not a concept that initially comes to mind when one thinks of Victorian England! And yet, they did exist. I love to include real people from history in my books, and in The Heart’s Appeal, Julia Bernay meets two inspiring real-life couples who will make a positive impact in her life.

In 1865, Elizabeth Garrett Anderson became the first woman to qualify as a physician in Britain. She did this through a legal loophole, but soon the laws were changed to open the medical field to all women. In 1874, Dr. Anderson co-founded the London School of Medicine for Women. She remained involved in the school in various capacities for the rest of her life, even as she continued to run her own busy practice. In The Heart’s Appeal, she becomes a mentor for Julia, opening doors for her education and introducing Julia to people who can help her succeed in medical school.

Dr. Anderson’s husband, James Anderson (Jamie), was the joint-owner of a successful shipping line and also served on the boards of several organizations (including a children’s hospital). He was a handsome man, very much in love with his wife, and fervent in supporting her choice of a career.

In a letter he wrote to her while they were engaged, Jamie explained his vision for their future—how they could keep their professional and private lives separate, yet still give each other plenty of love and support:

“I think we had better lay it down once for all as a rule that I am under no circumstances to bring people ‘favorably under your notice’ or ‘exert any influence’ or anything of the sort. It will give people a wrong idea of you unless I take a decided line in this matter — and as I mean to be if I can a successful man of business, neither interfering with your pursuits nor being interfered with by you (but having our confidences on all feasible subjects at off times of the day and week and mutually advising and fortifying one another), I must let people know unmistakably not to come bothering me about your public affairs. Will you think about this, dearest?”

Who couldn’t love a man like that?

Jamie Anderson’s outlook on life comes into play later on in The Heart’s Appeal, when he provides advice and aid to Michael Stephenson, the book’s hero, at a critical time.

Julia also has an inspiring encounter with Dr. Anderson’s sister, Millicent Fawcett. Millicent was married to a Member of Parliament and actively supported her husband’s career in many ways, including acting as a scribe for him since he was blind. She is most remembered for her role in the women’s suffrage movement. In fact, a statue of her will be placed in Parliament Square in London this summer. She was not a militant suffragette, but rather campaigned for suffrage under the banner “Law-Abiding Suffragists.”

Both couples raised families, too, and their children’s successes in life show they were raised to have the same energetic and “can-do” attitudes that their parents had.

Julia initially believes she must remain single to achieve her life’s goals. But soon she finds her heart drawn to successful barrister Michael Stephenson, who admires Julia’s intelligence and ambition. She learns that love and the freedom to pursue her dreams do not have to be mutually exclusive. A meeting of minds to spark a true romance? Yes, please! I hope readers will agree this can be the most satisfying of all.

Blog Stops

Reading Is My SuperPower, March 22

Inspiration Clothesline, March 22

Texas Book-aholic, March 22

A Greater Yes, March 23

Among the Reads, March 23

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, March 23

Splashes of Joy, March 23

Fiction Aficionado, March 24

History, Mystery & Faith, March 24

Red Headed Book Lady, March 24

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, March 24

The Power of Words, March 25

Mary Hake, March 25

Remembrancy, March 25

Janices book reviews, March 25

Cordially, Barbara, March 26

Genesis 5020, March 26

Moments Dipped in Ink, March 26

Jeanette’s Thoughts, March 26

Kat’s Corner Books, March 27

The Fizzy Pop Collection, March 27

Maureen’s Musings, March 27

Carpe Diem, March 27

Reflections From My Bookshelves, March 28

Seasons of opportunities, March 28

Singing Librarian Books, March 28

A Baker’s Perspective, March 28

Baker Kella, March 29

All-of-a-kind Mom, March 29

Inklings and Notions, March 29

Simple Harvest Reads, March 29 (Guest post from Mindy)

Pause for Tales, March 30

Cafinated Reads, March 30

Have A Wonderful Day, March 30

Pursuing Stacie, March 30

Locks, Hooks and Books, March 31

Connie’s History Classroom, March 31

Book by Book, March 31

Bigreadersite, March 31

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, April 1

Neverending Stories, April 1

Ladybug Chronicles, April 1

Smiling Book Reviews, April 2

Two Points of Interest, April 2

Vicky Sluiter, April 2

Kaylee’s Kind Of Writes, April 3

proud to be an autism mom, April 3

Bibliophile Reviews, April 3

Karen Sue Hadley, April 4

Live Love Read, April 4

Stories Where Hope and Quirky Meet, April 4

Faery Tales Are Real, April 4

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Jennifer is giving away a grand prize package of that includes All four March Bethany House historical releases (The Heart’s Appeal, plus A Most Noble Heir by Susan Anne Mason, A Chance at Forever by Melissa Jagears, In Places Hidden by Tracie Peterson) and a $20 Starbucks gift card!!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/cacd

Fiction Books

Soul’s Prisoner Blog Tour with Giveaway

My Review:

Soul’s Prisoner is set in 1891 Chicago during the winter. An Historical fiction novel that includes suspense as well as romance.

Mental Illness is very common today but back in the 1890’s it wasn’t something people wanted everyone to know about. Families would have their loved ones put away for many reasons, such as a having a child out of wedlock, if they suffered from a mental illness, and many more reasons. In Chicago, the Dunning Asylum for the Insane was where families would commit their loved ones. This is the setting of Soul’s Prisoner. Even though its a fictional book, there are some things about the asylum that are true. Can you imagine spending winter without any heat and without hot water? That is how these people had to live.

This novel will send chills and will also have you feeling pain for what these people endured. I really enjoyed reading Soul’s Prisoner, Cara Luecht completed her research well upon writing this book. I highly recommend picking a copy of this book up today.

“I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author/publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.”

About the Book

Book Title: Soul’s Prisoner

Author: Cara Luecht

Genre: Historical fiction with some suspense and romance

Release Date: December 15, 2015

Chicago, Winter, 1891

Rachel is in danger. She’s seen too much.

She creeps along the cement walls through the dank underbelly of the asylum. She’d never planned to leave her quiet farm life, never thought she’d find a place in the city, never imagined she’d be in the kind of danger that would have her cowering in Dunning’s cold, labyrinthine basement.

Jenny has finally found her place. After a childhood of abuse, she has friends, a real job, and her only wish is to give her adopted son the kind of life she never had.

A life of stability, without the risk and uncertainty of a father.

But when Jeremy, Rachel’s brother, stumbles into their warehouse, asking for help to find his missing sister, Jenny’s carefully constructed life begins to crumble.

Click here to purchase your copy!

About the Author

Award winning author, Cara Luecht, lives in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin with her husband, David, and their children. Cara graduated summa cum laude with a B.A. in English Literature from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Currently, Cara is studying for a Masters of Divinity at Fuller Theological Seminary.

Guest Post from Cara Luecht

The Setting for Soul’s Prisoner: Dunning Asylum for the Insane

Dunning Asylum for the Insane was built in the 1850s and housed psychiatric patients until the early 1900s. It has since been demolished, and a small park currently stands as the only remaining testament to the people who lived and died on the grounds.

The original plot of land also included a poor farm and a cemetery. A railroad used to connect the grounds to Minneapolis, Chicago, and Milwaukee. It was nicknamed the “Crazy Train”—a phrase that still survives in our language today. Those buried in the cemetery include Civil War Veterans, victims of the Chicago fire of 1871, orphans, paupers, and the residents of the asylum for the insane. Most estimates agree that nearly forty thousand people were buried on the grounds.

There is no doubt that mental illness is hard on families, but in the 1800s, having a family member who struggled with mental illness was an embarrassment. With little understanding of mental health in general, and even less compassion for those who suffered, examples of this tragic response to the threat of mental illness can be seen in the numerous inmates who were there simply due to addiction or depression. There are even cases where women were committed because their families were humiliated by their giving birth outside the bonds of marriage. Often times, challenges with mental health were synonymous with the notion of moral failure or vice. Because of this, even many charities looked the other way when corruption or abuse was exposed. Reporters sometimes wrote about the horrors of the institutions, but once the sensational story was out, and the initial outrage worn away, few worried about the people who suffered on a daily basis. And because of the moral implication of mental illness, families commonly turned over their suffering members to the county, and later simply explained to friends that the person had died.

And that is exactly what the mentally ill would do in the institution. Live there until they died, forgotten.

And that’s how the story played out at Dunning, until late in the 1900s when developers began to dig the roads and foundations for a new neighborhood on the grounds of what was once the Asylum. At that time, Dunning, and the people who had resided there, were still within living memory, so when bones were unearthed, it was no mystery how they ended up on that patch of land. What had slipped from memory was the magnitude of the collective stories of suffering and hardship.

For this novel, the people and events are fictitious. However, when examining old news stories from an institution known for corruption, it is not hard to imagine situations like the ones in the novel. The details that are true are the nearly one thousand inmates, no hot water, little to no heat in the winter, bad food, and the general feeling of living ghosts, intentionally forgotten, and doomed to never leave the grounds.

Blog Stops

A Baker’s Perspective, March 8

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, March 8

Multifarious, March 9

Remembrancy, March 9

Connie’s History Classroom, March 10

History, Mystery & Faith, March 11

Reading is My Superpower, March 11

amandainpa, March 12

Locks, Hooks and Books, March 12

Texas Book-aholic, March 13

Carpe Diem, March 14

Maureen’s Musings, March 15

Blogging With Carol, March 16

Two Points of Interest, March 16

proud to be an autism mom, March 17

A Greater Yes, March 17

Bibliophile Reviews, March 18

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, March 18

Janices book reviews, March 19

Jeanette’s Thoughts, March 19

Simple Harvest Reads, March 20 (Guest Post from Mindy)

Pursuing Stacie, March 20

For The Love of Books, March 21

Bigreadersite, March 21


Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Cara is giving away a grand prize of a signed copy of Soul’s Prisoner and sketching art supplies!!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/cb74

Fiction Books

Storms in Serenity Blog Tour and Giveaway

My Review:

Storms in Serenity is book one in the Serenity Key series by Fay Lamb. Set in Serenity Key, Florida during hurricane season. This book is classified in the Romance, Mystery Genre.

We all go through storms in our lives, some worse than others. There is one person who sees us through these storms, God. He is always by our side. Sometimes these storms will lead to destruction, death, or just pain. What we learn from them is what matters the most along with who we put our trust in.

Storms in Serenity is the modern day story of David and Bathsheba. The aftermath of any sin is dangerous and leaves a path of destruction along the way. You will meet characters that have kept secrets for years. Those secrets will bring a storm to the town of Serenity that no one is prepared for.

“I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author/publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.”

About the Book

Book Title: Storms in Serenity

Author: Fay Lamb

Release Date: February, 2018

Genre: Romance, Mystery

How can one man save the town he loves when he’s the reason for the destruction?

Serenity Key, Florida, has seen its share of hurricanes, but this time, one foul weather system is about to collide with another storm, and this one has nothing to do with atmospheric pressure.

David New has guarded his secrets for years, but when two brothers, John and Andy Ryan, arrive in town and he gets news that the daughter he’s never told anyone about has disappeared, possibly the victim of a heinous crime, and the lives of many of the town residents begin to unravel in the gale force consequences of Jake’s past, he has nowhere else to turn.

God is the only one Who can calm the storms, but can David and the good folks of Serenity Key survive until He does?

A tempest has been brewing for thirty years, with only one island town in its path.

Click here to purchase your copy!

About the Author

Fay Lamb writes emotionally charged stories with a Romans 8:28 attitude, reminding readers that God is always in the details. Fay donates 100% of her royalties to Christian charities.

Storms in Serenity is the first book in Fay’s Serenity Key series. Fay’s other series include, Amazing Grace and her novels, Stalking Willow, Better than Revenge, Everybody’s Broken, and Frozen Notes. The Ties that Bind Series includes Charisse, Libby, and Hope. Delilah, is coming soon.

Fay’s is also the author of The Art of Characterization: How to Use the Elements of Storytelling to Connect Readers to an Unforgettable Cast.

Guest Post from Fay Lamb

ONCE UPON A STORM

I’m one of those people who love storms. I revel in the lightning that streaks across the sky, the rumble of thunder as it rolls over the air, and I dance to the eerie sound of the wind coming through a crack in the window. Storms don’t frighten me. I’m an East Coast Floridian. I’ve lived through many a tempest.

However, so that you won’t think me completely insane, I have also fled a few hurricanes. In our house, a Cat III storm is something to debate as we watch to see how low the millibars fall at the storm’s center. A Cat IV means gather the important documents, place them into plastic bags and tuck them into plastic tubs, batten down the hatches, and depending upon its projected proximity, hunker down or flee. A Cat V is a no-brainer. Run!

If only the storms in our lives had categories so that we know when to stand and face the winds of life or to debate the direction, or to decide when to flee. Sometimes, the storms of life come at us without warning, with no stirring up of the waters by our own hands. Other times, the storms can be abated by the stance we take, the decisions we make, and by failing to move out of harm’s way, perhaps in an opposite direction.

That’s what my first novel in The Serenity Key series is about: one man stirred up a storm many years prior. The destructive force of that storm amassed because he didn’t take a stand, he failed to make crucial decisions, and he choose to run from a situation that God would not allow him to outrun. Storms in Serenity is a modern-day retelling of the Biblical truths of the aftermath of David’s sin with Bathsheba and the destruction the storms of life that blew apart not only David’s family but also those he called friends.

Mostly, though, Storms in Serenity, is a novel that proves that when it comes to sin, truly, no man is an island.

Blog Stops

Bibliophile Reviews, March 13

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, March 13

A Greater Yes, March 14

Bigreadersite, March 14

proud to be an autism mom, March 15

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, March 15

Multifarious, March 16

Christian Author, J.E.Grace, March 17

History, Mystery & Faith, March 18

A Baker’s Perspective, March 19

Simple Harvest Reads, March 20

MargaretKazmierczak, March 21

Texas Book-aholic, March 22

Carpe Diem, March 23

Pursuing Stacie, March 24

Janices book reviews, March 24

Jeanette’s Thoughts, March 25

Red Headed Book Lady, March 25

Daysong Reflections, March 26

Among the Reads, March 26

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Fay is giving away a grand prize of an Echo Spot!!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/ca75

Devotionals

The Essence of Joy Blog Tour with Giveaway

My Review:

Christmas is my favorite season for many reasons but the most important reason is that we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. Leading up to Christmas we celebrate the Advent season. I always try to do some sort of devotional or study during the Advent season to prepare myself for this wonderful time of year. Lynn Watson has written a Advent devotional for women that uses women of the Bible and everyday women like me to help prepare our hearts for this season.

I know you are probably thinking, “Why are you reviewing a Christmas book in March?” Well, is it ever to early to celebrate the birth of our Savior? I don’t think it is, in fact I believe we should celebrate his birth, death and resurrection all year long. He came to earth for us, he died for us and he arose for us.

The Essence of Joy will teach us things we didn’t know while preparing us for Christmas. I really enjoyed reading this devotional and plan to use it with my children this holiday season.

“I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author/publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.”

About the Book

Book Title: The Essence of Joy

Author: Lynn U. Watson

Release Date: October 12, 2017

Genre: Women’s Devotional; Women’s Inspiration; Christmas/Advent Devotional

It’s Christmas in March!

The scents of Christmas invite our imaginations into the holiday season. What emotions flood your heart when the holiday aromas waft your way?

 

Did you know:

  • Many favorite holiday scents like cinnamon, citrus, and cinnamon are found in the Bible?
  • There is a rich heart connection attached to many of the plant essences found in Scripture?
  • Myrrh is such an important essence, we can follow its trail from Genesis to Revelation with many significant stops along the way?
  • Women of the Bible have personal encounters with God bringing aromas of His love and joy into their lives?
  • Palm branches are an important part of Biblical celebrations beginning in Genesis and ending in the ultimate beach party around the Crystal Sea? (Christmas at the beach, anyone?)

In The Essence of Joy you’ll meet women of the Bible and contemporary women like you and me who will encourage you to discover the refreshing essence of a life lived in the presence of Jesus. Let JOY fill your heart with the aromas of His nativity.

Watch the book trailer here!

Click here to get your copy!


About the Author


Lynn Watson combines many years’ experience in women’s ministry, love of essential oils, and her passion for God’s word to bring her readers freshly inspired encouragement for their walk with Jesus. Her devotional, The Essence of Courage, was recognized as a ‘must read’ by regional publishing industry leaders. Married since 1973, Lynn and Steve have filled their Bartlett, Tennessee home with handmade treasures and lots of love for family, especially their five beautiful (of course) grandchildren. Aromas of freshly baked bread often fill Lynn’s kitchen. Jasmine, her tuxedo kitty, enjoys sleeping in Lynn’s lap while she writes.

Guest Post from Lynn Watson

A walk down memory lane on a snowy day (today) transported my thoughts to a Christmas shop our children and I visited every year. Open only for the holiday season, rich aromas reached out and drew you into this wonderland. The owners filled the space with unique treasures. A few we chose years ago remain prized member of my Christmas favorites close to four decades later.

My debut encounter with essential oils came many years later. I loved their aromas (including many of those Christmas scents) and studied their aromatic influences and potential benefits. Bible verses jumped to life in new ways. God created all plants and inspired the Biblical authors to include many. The desire to share my discoveries burned in my heart, until God finally released me to publish The Essence of Courage in December 2016. Before I completed the devotional based on Solomon’s locked garden in Song of Solomon 4:12-15, God reminded me just how many aromas and tastes of the Christmas season are found in the pages of His word, too.

Cinnamon, cedarwood, mint, citrus, myrrh, frankincense, rose, and figs are found in the pages of Scripture. So, are palms. They may not appear Christmasy unless you favor a tropical holiday, but they are an integral part of celebration in the Bible. The Essence of Joy offers discoveries of connections of all this plant life to Jesus’ nativity.

Looking back a dozen years to my first not-quite-inspired imaginings of a devotional book with aromatic offerings, I’m grateful God chose different timing. He presented me an unusual format for the collection. — one of those things easier experienced than explained. Contemporary women’s very real stories (fictionalized and often combined to create anonymity), stories from very real women living on the pages of Scripture, and a focused look at the botanical and its aromas, flavors, and essences as found in the Bible, are topped off with icing on the cake: ‘Fun Facts” and ‘Your Turn’ to invite the reader to more than read – to participate.

In The Essence of Joy you’ll encounter Scriptures in ways you had not considered before. Your faith will be enriched and stretched as you relate to the ancient women of the Bible and those that may be your next door neighbor today. You’ll be encouraged to breathe in the aromas of Jesus’ nativity, sample goodies from The Coffee Cottage’s specials of the day, and tune in to musical selections welcoming you into a posture of worship. I’m praying you are filled with His joy!

NOTE: Cinnamah-Brosia, the owner of The Coffee Cottage in the fictional stories asks readers at the very beginning of the book to be sure to read the introductory material. It helps set the stage for the book’s character and personality.

Blog Stops

Multifarious, March 3

Carpe Diem, March 4

A Baker’s Perspective, March 5

Blossoms and Blessings, March 6

Mary Hake, March 6

proud to be an autism mom, March 7

Bigreadersite, March 7

Texas Book-aholic, March 8

Seasons of Opportunities, March 9

Reading is my Super Power, March 9 (Interview)

Bibliophile Reviews, March 10

A Greater Yes, March 11

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, March 11

Janices book reviews, March 12

Jeanette’s Thoughts, March 12

Pursuing Stacie, March 13

Aryn the Libraryan, March 14

Simple Harvest Reads, March 15 (Guest post from Mindy)

margaret kazmierczak, March 15 (Interview)

Pause for Tales, March 16

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Lynn is giving away a grand prize of a “Choose Joy” hand made necklace, a “Cups of Joy” (adult coloring book) + set of 24 prismacolor colored pencils, a “Choose Joy Today” stamped silver-plated teaspoon,
flower Seeds, raspberry tea (it’s in the Cinnamah-Brosia story in the “Mint/Giving” section), a “Choose Joy” tote bag, and a signed copy of “The Essence of Joy”!!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/ca47

Fiction Books

Fine Print Blog Tour with Giveaway

My Review:

I love the Meddlin’ Madeline series from Chautona Havig!! Fine Print is book three in this series and it is one that you will love. This series is set in 1900 in the city of Rockland and Fine Print is another one that you will love and enjoy reading over and over again.

Madeline has gained quite the reputation since becoming a detective, I mean she does have two successful “cases” under her belt. Miss Madeline can’t wait for her next case but she doesn’t have to wait because the case will find her. Edward Gastrel has challenged Miss Madeline to prove just how well of a detective she is. She will have her work cut out for her with this one.

I don’t want to give it away so you will need to read the book to find out all about Miss Meddlin’ Madeline’s new case and all the trouble she can get into.

If you haven’t read books one and two, I highly recommend checking them out. This will be one series that will have you on the edge of your seat, laughing and shaking your head. As always Ms. Havig didn’t disappoint.

“I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author/publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.”

About the Book

Book Title: Meddlin’ Madeline Fine Print

Author: Chautona Havig

Genre: Historical, Mystery

Release Date: February 20, 2018

Budding detective, Miss Madeline Brown, has gained quite the reputation for “meddling” in the circa 1900 city of Rockland. With two successful “cases” under her belt, it was only a matter of time before she found something new to interest her insatiable curiosity.

This time, however, the “curiosity” found her.

Challenged by Edward Gastrel, to prove her deductive prowess, Madeline embarks on riddling out the puzzle of a journal left to him by his grandfather. If she can decode the contents, the local gentleman may find himself in the possession of something quite valuable.

As usual, however, things aren’t as they seem, and Madeline finds herself in a race against more than time and ambiguity.

About the Author

Chautona Havig lives and writes in California’s Mojave Desert where she uses story to point readers to the Master Storyteller.

Guest Post from Chautona

Denny’s. “America’s Diner.” It’s also my “office away from my office away from home.” Most nights I write at our local prayer house. But on Wednesday nights for a few hours, and then all night on Saturday, I sit in booth 14 and write.

It was a cold, frosty Wednesday night. With thoughts from Bible Study still swirling in my mind and heart, I ordered my loaded baked potato soup and began brainstorming with my writing and podcasting buddy, April.

She left around midnightish—as usual. And another evening regular began chatting.

Look. I like this guy. He’s a fascinating conversationalist. We have a lot of fun talking books, movies, politics, history, computers… He’s even given me a great idea for a book (without meaning to, but still).

But… that night, I needed to get a bunch done on Madeline and didn’t have time for chatting. So, when he started talking about his evening, I wanted to bang my head on the table. I kept repeating, “People are more important. People are more important. People are more important,” over and over in my head.

I can’t tell you how often this has happened at Denny’s. Employees stop to chat. Regular diners stop to chat. This guy starts a long conversation and always on nights I can’t afford to spend… chatting!

But everything shifted in an instant.

The man said something—what, I can’t remember—and my brain started churning.

I asked a question.

He answered.

The next thing I knew, he’d moved into my booth and began firing questions at me. Suggestions. Most of what he suggested wouldn’t work with the story, but he had no way of knowing that. Still, every time he did I got a new idea. And I’d ask a question. He’d answer, suggest. I’d counter—ask or answer. Ideas blossomed and exploded into seeds of even more ideas.

And right there, at two o’clock in the morning, with Angela the wonder server keeping me in fresh glasses of Coke, Fine Print went from not only my favorite of the Madelines (thus far) but also became much more exciting.

The whole thing taught me a couple of lessons. First, I always say that people are more important than the “stuff” I do. Sometimes, that’s not so easy to live. But the Lord is always faithful, like He did that night, to remind me that it sometimes helps me, too.

Second, sometimes a mid-book brainstorming session is just what I need to keep my excitement high. And, if that means a “wasted” Wednesday night in booth 14, then I’d say it’s worth it.

Blog Stops

Texas Book-aholic, March 6

All-of-a-kind Mom, March 6

Bigreadersite, March 7

proud to be an autism mom, March 7

Pause for Tales, March 8

Multifarious, March 9

Blogging With Carol, March 9

Bibliophile Reviews, March 10

Connie’s History Classroom, March 10

A Greater Yes, March 11

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, March 11

Lots of Helpers, March 12

Janices book reviews, March 13

Jeanette’s Thoughts, March 13

Carpe Diem, March 14

A Baker’s Perspective, March 14

The April Journal, March 15

Kristin’s Book Reviews, March 15

Mary Hake, March 16

New Horizons Reviews, March 16

Simple Harvest Reads, March 17 (Guest post from Mindy)

Among the Reads, March 17

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, March 18

Pursuing Stacie, March 18

Aryn the Libraryan, March 19

Have a wonderful Day, March 19

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Chautona is giving away a grand prize package worth over $50 that includes an antique journal, Pilot fountain pen (gold), Pilot refill cartridges, and a print copy of Fine Print!!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/cc14

Non-Fiction Books

Breaking Toxic Soul Ties Blog Tour with Giveaway

My Review:

There are people that come into our lives that at first we believe they are good for us to be around, but later in life we realize just how toxic those relationships are. We are afraid of hurting someones feelings, so we just keep them in our lives. I know this is the case for me. I hate hurting people’s feelings, but I don’t like all the drama and negativity they bring to my life. When I was offered the opportunity to read and review Breaking Toxic Soul Ties by Tom Brown, I knew I needed this book in my life.

In Breaking Toxic Soul Ties: Healing from Unhealthy and Controlling Relationships, Tom Brown discusses his own story of rejection and the process of healing that he experienced. He helps to identify and diagnose toxic relationships that we have by breaking down the positive and negative soul ties. He also shows us why these toxic soul ties develop and just how we can break them.

This book is amazing, you really have to sit down and focus while reading. Take plenty of notes and have highlighters readily available. Amazing book! Highly recommend.

“I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author/publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.”

About the Book

Title: Breaking Toxic Soul Ties: Healing from Unhealthy and Controlling Relationships

Author: Tom Brown

Genre: Non-fiction, relationships

Release Date: January 9, 2018

Going through this world in relationship with other people inevitably creates connections in our inner being called soul ties. When these relationships are loving, supportive, and nurturing, positive soul ties are created. But if the relationships become abusive or manipulative, or cause rejection, they can create a toxic brokenness within the soul that we carry with us, even long after the relationship ends. If these toxic inner soul ties are not broken, we will experience failure, fractured relationships, and even health problems throughout life.
In Breaking Toxic Soul Ties, Tom Brown describes his own story of rejection and the process of inner healing he experienced. He helps you to identify and diagnose toxic relationships as he breaks down the difference between positive and negative soul ties. He also shows why toxic soul ties develop and how they can only be broken by a process of inner healing through confession, forgiveness, and prayer. The truth is, unless your self-image is firmly rooted in the truth of your identity in Christ, you will always be susceptible to bad soul ties. Tom Brown describes the way for you to move forward in life and leave pain and brokenness behind for good!

Click here to purchase your copy!

About the Author

Tom Brown is best known for his deliverance ministry. Millions have seen him on ABC’s 20/20, as well as on MSNBC and the History Channel. He is a noted conference speaker, prolific author, and committed pastor. His award-winning Internet site, http://www.tbm.org, reaches more than a million people a year. His books published by Whitaker House are Devil, Demons, and Spiritual Warfare; Breaking Curses, Experiencing Healing; Prayers That Get Results; and Spiritual Gifts for Spiritual Warfare. Tom is the founder and pastor of Word of Life Church in El Paso, Texas.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, February 27

Reading is my Super Power, February 27 (Interview)

Allofakindmom, February 28

proud to be an autism mom, February 28

Bibliophile Reviews, March 1

Texas Book-aholic, March 2

Carpe Diem, March 3

A Baker’s Perspective, March 4

A Reader’s Brain, March 5

Simple Harvest Reads, March 6 (Guest post from Mindy)

Pursuing Stacie, March 7

Janices book reviews, March 8

Jeanette’s Thoughts, March 9

Margaret Kazmierczak, March 10

A Greater Yes, March 11

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, March 12

Bigreadersite, March 12

Giveaway

In honor of the tour, Whitaker House is giving away

Grand Prize Package: Breaking Toxic Soul Ties by Tom Brown, KJVER Study Bible, and “A Friend Loves at All Times” scented candle from Abba Jerusalem

1st Place: Breaking Toxic Soul Ties by Tom Brown, God That Saves worship music CD from IronBellMusic.com, and Whitaker House/Anchor Coloring Book and Colored Pencils

2nd Place: Breaking Toxic Soul Ties by Tom Brown, and Whitaker House/Anchor Coloring Book and Colored Pencils!!!

Click the link to enter! https://promosimple.com/ps/c6cd