Fiction Books

Hope Travels Through Blog Tour & Giveaway


My Review:

I was only a 4 months old when the University of Evansville Men’s Basketball Team’s plane crashed, but I remember hearing about as I got older. Hope Travels Through is based on actual events from that day December 13, 1977. Hope Travels Through is a fiction novel in the contemporary Lit genre, written by Loni Kemper Moore. I found this book to be a good read and one that I could relate to on certain issues. Many times have I decided to give up on God and just go about my life thinking things would be better. I couldn’t hurt God anymore with the decisions I chose to make. That isn’t true, I hurt God even more by giving up on Him. TeJae Smythe did the same thing, but amidst the pain and heartache, she knows where her heart is and whom she can trust. Turning back to God is the only options she has.

Hope Travels Through is one book that I do recommend to those who are going through something similar.

To read more about the Book, look below. Don’t forget to enter the giveaway at the end of this post.

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

About the Book

Name of book: Hope Travels Through

Author: Loni Kemper Moore

Genre: Contemporary Lit

TeJae Smythe gave up on God and her hometown of Evansville, Indiana, ten years ago, but a deep personal loss requires her to return to both. Her life as a stewardess is going to be perfect. She has a plan. If only life would stick to it.

In Hope Travels Through, TeJae finds the biggest challenge comes from the conflict within herself. Will she hold it all together? Or will she fall apart and embrace the beauty in the midst of disaster?

Based on actual events of December 13, 1977, a date most people don’t remember, but one many living in the Ohio River Valley will never forget, the crash of the University of Evansville men’s basketball team plane.

Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Author

Loni Kemper Moore is a Denver-Broncos cheering, Diet-Pepsi sipping, Rocky Mountain adventure-seeking kind of girl. She’s passionate for God and wants to share His beautiful love through life’s ugliness with remarkable women around the globe. Her writing came alive seven years ago after she broker her ankle. The crazy time of being laid up forced her to flip through decades of diaries which inspired the story that became Hope Travels Through. When she’s not writing, she’s an entertainer, technical support analyst; mom of a teenager named Adam; traveler with Robert, her dear “Hugsband,” stepmom to University of Evansville alumna Becca and her husband, Anthony; and spender of way too much time on Facebook. With her experiences of learning to trust God through tragedy, being employed by travel agencies and Delta Air Lines, and attending University of Evansville graduate school, she’s the best person to tell this story.

Guest Post from Loni Moore

What Made Me Write Hope Travels Through?

The weathered orthopedic surgeon shook his head and stared at the x-rays. Without making eye-contact, he said, “I usually work on Olympians and professional athletes. This doesn’t look good. She’s going to have arthritis and limp for the rest of her life.”

I hadn’t had anything stronger than Tylenol since the entire weight of my 128 (at the time) pounds crunched my left ankle, 24 hours earlier.

Robert, aka Dear Hugsband, had told me, so very graciously, when we arrived at Skate City, “Once you’re over 50, you shouldn’t roller skate.” But our son, Adam was 10 and I wondered how many more years he’d want me to hang out with him, so I’d strapped on the skates and joined the crowd of skaters. I avoided landing on the body of the five-year old who cut me off. Didn’t that count for something?

However, none of that mattered at that moment. I needed drugs, and Robert agreed to whatever that surgeon said to get my prescriptions.

One afternoon, my stomach growled on a gurney as I waited in the surgery center with IVs in my hands until a perky nurse announced, “The doctor will need to reschedule because something came up.”

REALLY? After waiting 10 days, he no-shows?

I’ve never loved Robert’s New York attitude more than the next day when by 7 pm that evening I was at Red Robin, post-surgery, eating a celebratory French Onion soup. Thanks to a nerve blocker the new, cute surgeon had provided after rebreaking bones and inserting pins.

Adam was able to complete his homeschool work with little interference from my drug infested brain and I occupied my time by flipping through decades of accumulated diaries. The story of a woman surviving tough times percolated in my brain and I remembered my mother saying, “Everyone has a Great American Novel in her. You just need to take time to write it.”

As my leg healed leaving no arthritis nor limp, I returned to the million things life demands, including a visit to our Becca at the University of Evansville, where I’d done my graduate work. As she showed us the Weeping Basketball, my protagonist informed me the story began in 1976, not 2011. The story climaxed when the university’s men’s basketball team plane crashed, but I was too busy to spend much time on it.

Three days before Christmas that year, my younger sister passed away from Lyme complications, I could barely breathe. I’ve seen it a dozen times someone’s busy life prevents her from taking care of herself until something stops them in their tracks and they cannot move on. That happened to me.

At the time, Dear Hugsband programmed Coca-Cola’s Freestyle machine (you’re welcome), so Adam and I joined him in Atlanta for several months. During that time without the cooking-cleaning-requirements and Adam insisting he preferred independence of his homeschool curriculum with minimal input from me, I processed my grief by putting the story that became Hope Travels Through on my computer.

“In a weak moment, I have written a book.” Margaret Mitchell – Gone With The Wind

Dear Hugsband loved his project with Coca-Cola and enjoyed everything about working in Atlanta except the humidity, the traffic and the commute. Typically, he worked in Georgia every other week, and was home every weekend.

But occasionally, he’d be forced to stay in Atlanta over the weekend and tried to find something to entertain himself. One weekend, after seeing every movie running, he decided to go to the Margaret Mitchell House Museum where one of my favorite books, Gone With The Wind, was written.

He bought me a mug with the above quote on it which he said was to encourage me in my writing, along with several commonalities between myself and the famous author.

  1. She was short—I am 5 feet tall, if I stretch;
  2. Her husband was over 6 feet tall—mine is 6’3 1/2”;
  3. She started writing her novel, after an ankle injury– I started writing after I a similar injury;
  4. She used a typewriter—I use a computer;
  5. Her mother gave her the quotes she used about how to survive in an upside-down world – my mom had a Bible verse for every occasion. I think her favorite was Ephesians 4:32 “And be ye kind, Loni to whomever…”;
  6. It took Margaret ten years to complete her novel – I’m not far behind, at nearly eight years.

Obviously, I don’t have one commonality with Margaret, in that she died at the age of 48 in a traffic accident, but his conclusions are precious.

I’m well aware the odds of my little novel being successful, without the industry connections Margaret had, are low, but it’s been a fun journey even if no one buys a copy!

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, December 16

Karen Sue Hadley, December 16

Jami’s Words, December 17

Quiet Quilter, December 18

Reading Is My SuperPower, December 18

Inspiration clothesline, December 19

Texas Book-aholic, December 19

Radiant Light, December 20

Carpe Diem, December 21

Avid Reader Book Reviews, December 21

A Reader’s Brain, December 22

A Greater Yes, December 23

Blogging With Carol, December 23

Books, Books, and More Books, December 24

SusanLovesBooks, December 25

Remembrancy, December 26

Mary Hake, December 26

Janices book review, December 27

The Power of Words, December 28

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, December 29

Just Jo’Anne, December 29

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Loni is giving away a grand prize of a $50 Amazon Card!!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/c5be

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Non-Fiction Books

Are you Overextended?

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Are you feeling overextended or stretched to your limit? Well Lisa Harper’s new book, Overextended and Loving Most of It is the book for you. In this wonderful tool for us busy bodies, Lisa shows us how to still glorify God while we are running ourselves raged.

This book was written with me in mind, I sometimes feel that there isn’t enough hours in the day to get everything I need to get done and still have time for God. Lisa packed a punch and stepped on my toes. Not only did I just finish this book but I had the opportunity to see Lisa during the Women of Faith conference. All I can say is wear still toed boots or your toes will hurt.

Lisa uses her own life stories from adoptions, to family deaths, to disappointments to help you understand how being overextended can still be a godly thing. She explains how to thrive in tense times and still have a blast. Blast stands for B for breathing, L for listening, A for asking, S for smiling, and T for taking the next step. Just breath by inhaling God’s peace and exhale anxiety and listen because God gives us specific directions even amidst our chaos, followed by asking God for clarity, remember to smile even when we know we can’t, and finally just take the last step or just jump right in, don’t turn back.

We will have painful times in our lives and not everything will work its self out, but we have to remember that God is in control and remember when you find yourself complaining to “Stop and Give Me Ten!!!” You will need to read the book to understand what that means!!!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com® <http://BookSneeze.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Non-Fiction Books

A Sudden Glory!!!!

www.randomhouse.com

A Sudden Glory

I love reading a book by author Sharon Jaynes; she is a wonderful speaker, author and woman of God. It seems that she knows what I am going through every time I pick up one of her books. A Sudden Glory was no different, it is a must read for all woman.

Sharon uses her own personal stories and the word of God to teach us about “a glory ache.” What is a glory ache you ask? Sharon describes a glory ache as being a persistent longing to experience God’s presence on a daily basis. I know personally I feel this way a lot and this feeling leaves me thinking I’m not doing enough for God so I find more things to do but that’s not what we should be doing.

I love this quote that Sharon makes in this book, “the real question is not “What does God want from you?” but “What does God want for you?” Sharon describes a day when she is having her quiet time and God reveals this to her by revealing Acts 17:28 In Him we live, we move and have our being. Wow, is all I can say, if we truly listened for God’s voice sometimes we will see that all God wants for us is to be still and listen.

I encourage every one of you to pick a copy of A Sudden Glory up and read it, expect a change of heart and expect for her to step on your toes. I am so thankful that God has blessed Sharon Jaynes with the ability to write what He lays on her heart.

“I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.”

You can visit Sharon’s website: http://sharonjaynes.com/

Follow her on FaceBook: http://www.facebook.com/SharonJaynes

Bible Studies, Non-Fiction Books

Let. It. Go and Let God!!

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Let me begin by giving you a brief description of the new book, Let. It. Go. By Karen Ehman.  “Many women are wired to control. You’re the ones who make sure the house is clean, the meals are prepared, the beds are made, the children are dressed, and everyone gets to work, school, and other activities on time. But trying to control everything can be exhausting, and it can also cause friction with your friends and family. This humorous, yet thought-provoking book guides you as you discover for yourself the freedom and reward of living a life ‘out of control,’ in which you allow God to be seated in the rightful place in your life. Armed with relevant biblical and current examples (both to emulate and to avoid), doable ideas, new thought patterns, and practical tools to implement, Let. It. Go. will gently lead you out of the land of over-control and into a place of quiet trust. A companion video-based study for small groups is also available.”

I am not ashamed to say that I am this woman, the woman who has to be in control of everything, and if I am not in control, I will go crazy. After reading the first chapter, my toes hurt from stepped on by Karen’s words.  Karen tells us in on page 13, “We Women crave control.”  She goes on to describe how we are born with this and we are ready to take charge of everything.

Karen uses humor, stories about her life and as well as stories about others to teach us how to LET IT GO and to LET GOD have control. It is definitely not something that will happen overnight but takes time. She also includes inventories for us to read and circle how we rate those activities or personalities.

I really enjoyed the chapter on our schedules and how we should think about how busy we are and how each family members activities affect each other. I love how Karen says, “ Being busy is the new measuring stick of family success.” This made me realize just how busy my life is, girl scouts on Tuesday’s, Church on Wednesday’s, Church on Sunday’s and whatever else comes up.  I really need to be praying about activities before I take them on and stop controlling what my family does.

I truly recommend this book to all women, young or old, it truly is a teaching tool that we can use to teach our daughters, and granddaughters about letting go of the control and keeping our faith.

“I received this book from the publisher for my honest review.”

http://zondervan.com/9780310333920

Movies, Thoughts

Me Again!!!!!

Tonight was family movie night and we chose to watch Me Again, a movie put out by Pure Flix Entertainment. Here is the description taken from http://pureflix.com “Be careful what you wish for.

From the outside looking in, Rich Chaplin (David A.R. White) has everything that any Pastor and family man could ever want. In reality he has lost sight of everything that matters the most, including his family. When he wishes for a life other than his own, he suddenly finds himself trapped within the lives of everyone his apathy has affected.

This unforgettable journey brings Rich to view life through the eyes of a diverse cast of characters including an elderly woman (Della Reese), a top fashion model (Logan White), his own wife (Ali Landry) and even a goldfish! It might even take an encounter with a strangely familiar angel, (Bruce McGill) to help him realize that he is wasting his chance to love and impact the most important people in his life. Join Rich as he finds himself on a wild and hilarious ride that will change his life forever.”

During the movie, our oldest daughter Marissa was on one side of her dad and I on the other, our youngest daughter was playing with her ponies and watching the movie, our middle daughter and youngest son were sitting beside each other. We all enjoyed this movie and we laughed at times, cried at times, but most of all we were happy to be together. It was a wonderful time together, something we haven’t done in a while, something that we need to make time for.

After watching Me Again, I started to compare my life to that one of Rich Chaplin’s and realized that we are no different. There are times when I try to be someone I am not or wish things could be better, and even feel like there is something better for me out in this world. After having my eyes opened by this movie but most importantly by God, I need to love and tell others around me about the love of Christ and by realizing this I can be Me Again.

This weekend God has really made it clear just how important my family is: Family game night on Friday night, Family movie night tonight and tomorrow is Church and who knows what we will do tomorrow night. Whatever God has in store for us, I am going to cherish it all and have mental pictures that will last a lifetime.

I am currently reading Praying Circles around Your Children by Mark Batterson, this is a wonderful book and a must have for all parents. My review of this book will be posted the week of January 14th per the publisher’s request. I would love to give one of my readers a chance to win this small and delightful tool to help them learn to pray circles around their children.  A few rules apply: I need you to be a follower of my blog, leave me a comment about something you and your family enjoys doing together, and share this blog post to your friends on FaceBook. I will choose and announce the winner on Monday afternoon, what a great ending to this year.

Can’t wait to hear what all of you have to share!!!!

God Bless,

Crystal

Fiction Books

Sisterchicks in Gondolas, Just Show Up!!!!!!

Sisterchicks in Gondolas!!! Wonderful Book!!!

Let me begin by saying that this is the first Sisterchicks book that I have read. I was blown away by the messages that she puts into her work and how this book is based on her own travels and experiences from Venice.

Jenna is awakened at 3am with one phrase “your not done yet.” She had no clue what she wasn’t done with and yet the next morning she was awakened by the phrase. Then she received a letter from her friend Sam asking her to come to Venice and cook for the men’s Mission Leader Retreat that would be taking place in July. She agrees to go and she asks her sister-in-law, Sue to accompany her.

As they embark on their journey to Venice, they encounter God’s grace and mercy everywhere they go. From the beautiful view from the rooftop of the palace they were staying at to the gondola ride they took their last day there. From the injured bird to the gift of the coffee, they learned that gifts could come in all shapes and sizes.

Jenna and Sue go on an amazing journey that includes a very funny moment and some serious moments as well. They laugh, they cry, and they learn how to live again. Jenna tells Sue that “I believe it could be well with our souls even when it might never be well with our circumstances.” At that moment Jenna knew that their season of refreshing had came.

I highly recommend this book, I took a lot from the messages and realized that I need to just show up and let God handle the rest. If you have never read any of the Sisterchicks books, please pick up one today. I promise you will not regret the decision.

“I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.”

http://www.robingunn.com/, author’s page
http://waterbrookmultnomah.com/catalog.php?work=72911, go here to purchase this book

Thoughts

Listening for God’s Voice

As I sit here and ponder on the things that have happened in my life, I sit back and think “Have I always heard God’s voice about the decisions I have made?” If I haven’t then why did I do those things? The answer is simple because I wanted to control the decisions made in my life and I refused to trust God. WOW, did I just say that? Yes I did and admittance is the first step to recovery.

I find that I am not patient when it comes to listening for His voice or even trusting Him to see me through. I want to take control and fix it myself and in the end God will win either way. There are a lot of times it comes as a smack in the face or a big fat I told you so.
I am reminded by what Paul tells us in Galatians 5:22 -23, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law.” Patience is one of the fruits but why is it so easy not to have patience and why is it so easy to want to control our lives and not listen for God’s voice and not to trust Him.
Our Flesh is what stops us, the enemy is what stops us. That is why we need to put on the full armor of God and stay in His word and always listen for His voice, His direction, His guidance and most importantly, that is why we need to trust Him, trust that He will see us through no matter what we are going through, no matter what mountains are in our way, King Jesus can move them.

When I am having these kind of days, I always listen to Chonda Pierce’s God Loves You, because it reminds me that no matter the mountain, no matter the issue, God Loves Me. He loves me even if I don’t listen to His voice or even if I don’t place my trust in Him. I leave you today with this video, I hope it blesses you like it does me.

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