Monday, October 24, 2016

After September

About the Book

From the outside, Rose Davis had the perfect life: a long marriage to a successful politician,
two grown children away at college, and respect within her community. When she suddenly finds herself divorced, she turns her back on God.

In an effort to reclaim her life and pride, she spends the summer in the Caribbean. Her plan does not include meeting Patrick, the charismatic local doctor with a tragic past who ignites a passion both unexpected and thrilling.
As she begins to open up to love, doubt and fear creep in. Once again she finds herself broken hearted, left on her own to pick up the pieces. It’s only when she experiences the unmistakable love and grace from the very One she turned away from that Rose realizes what she needed most was there waiting for her all along.
My Thoughts: After September is a story about love and loss and learning to trust God when nothing else makes sense. I wasn't sure what to expect with this being Stephanie Smith's first novel, but I for one think she knocked it out of the park. Who hasn't had their heart broken at one time or another and struggled to trust again? The characters are real and relatable, you will find yourself rooting for thier happiness and shaking you head at some of thier decisions.  After September will get it's hooks in you and you won't be able to let go until the final page. I can't wait to see what Stephanie Smith writes next!

*I was provided a free copy of this book. All opinions expressed above are my own.  

About the Author

Stephanie’s love of the written word began long before she could read. As a child she would hold a newspaper in hand and move her fingers along the page, pretending to read along.
By the time she was a teenager, she dreamed of writing stories that would touch people’s lives, much like hers had been by so many authors.
She lives in the Pacific Northwest and enjoys listening to Christian rock music while she writes, spending time with her family, watching British television, or reading YA fantasy novels.

Guest Post from Stephanie Smith

I’m so excited to work with Sandra and Celebrate Lit to launch my debut novel AFTER SEPTEMBER which I’ve come to see as a labor of love and trust in the Lord.
You see, becoming a published author has always been my dream, but every time I’d try to write a novel, the inner critic would kick in and stop me in my tracks. I’d write a few paragraphs before giving up, unhappy with all my written imperfections. So, I continued my day job and the idea of writing a novel, let alone publishing it, became less and less realistic. For some reason I never lost that kernel of hope that it might happen one day. God was speaking to me then, I just didn’t realize it.
In 2010 I was diagnosed with Stage IV Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. After six months of intensive chemotherapy, I was in remission and had the strongest desire to write a novel. At first, the idea was to write a fictional story based on my experience. As I started to write, it just didn’t feel right. I then switched to writing a memoir, but that too fell flat. Frustrated, I gave up on writing once again.
Fast forward to 2013 and the idea of AFTER SEPTEMBER came to me. The premise was about a woman who goes through a divorce, spends a summer in the Caribbean and has a summer fling. The idea was so strong I began to write. I couldn’t help but write. As the story spoke to me, I kept this mantra in my head: “Just write. Just write.” I was finally able to quell my inner critic and nine months later, completed the first draft. Boy did I feel accomplished! Well, the feeling didn’t last very long. After getting feedback from a few beta readers, I re-wrote the entire story in a different point of view.
When I finished I realized I had to put this story in a box. A genre box. Was it women’s fiction? A romance? Christian or secular? After reading more about these genres I realized I’d made a big mistake. I hadn’t identified my brand from the get-go and the story didn’t really fit in any genre. Too secular for the Christian market; too Christian for the secular. It makes sense to me now why the first round of agent queries were declined.
I began to pray in earnest, seeking God’s will for this story. I felt He’d led me to write Rose’s story and realized my agenda had gotten in the way. Why would God have me write a story with pre-marital sex? The answer is He wouldn’t. Once my heart was satisfied I knew the direction He wanted me to go, I was back to the drawing board. Once again, I re-wrote AFTER SEPTEMBER. This time I kept my Christian viewpoint in mind and after the third re-write the final version was born.
Well, life has a funny way of stopping you in your tracks. I’d begun querying agents for the second version, and in June 2014 my cancer came back. You’ve got to be kidding me!
Okay, Lord. I trust you. I put my faith in You.
Another six months of intensive chemo put me back in remission. PRAISE GOD! I resumed my agent query and again met with rejection after rejection. This didn’t stop me. By this point I was bound and determined AFTER SEPTEMBER would be released. My hopes were raised when a small publisher I’d have given anything to work with wanted to read the entire manuscript. With baited breath I waited. When the disappointed rejection came, I nearly gave up. But God had other plans. See, when I placed my trust in Him, I had to accept His will, not mine. His time, not mine.
The last on my list to query before going the self-pub route was Desert Breeze Publishing. I submitted my story with the expectation of another rejection. Around January 1st of 2016 I received THE e-mail I’d dreamed about: an offer for a contract. I was in shock. THANK YOU LORD!! Nine months later, AFTER SEPTEMBER has been published. I want to pinch myself. I feel it’s all a dream and I’ll wake up.
A dream that began in my early teens took until my mid-forties to come to fruition. What I’ve realized is writing isn’t a dream but a calling. God knew this and remained patient with me as I finally figured that out. A calling to give women hope while reading a romance novel. Such became my tagline: “stories of life…love..hope”
What I’ve learned from this is to never give up on your dreams. Never stop believing God has something in store for your life, even when it seems like you are living one struggle after another. He is faithful to His promises!

Blog Stops

October 14: Simple Harvest Reads
October 15: Back Yard Reads
October 16: Bibliophile Reviews
October 17: Daysong Reflections
October 18: A Greater Yes
October 19: Pause for Tales
October 20: Quiet Quilter
October 21: For the Love of Books
October 22: Bigreadersite
October 23: Carpe Diem
October 25: Christian Bookaholic


To celebrate her tour, Stephanie is giving away a $50 Amazon gift card!Click here to enter:

The Devoted

About the Book

Restless and adventurous, Ruthie Stoltzfus is right on the cusp of leaving her Amish home. Secretly, she’s earned her GED, saved her money—but she can’t quite set her journey into
motion. Just as everything falls into place, along comes Patrick Kelly.
Patrick is a young man on a journey of his own. He’s come to Stoney Ridge to convert to the Amish and has given himself thirty days to learn the language, drive a buggy, and adapt to “everything Plain.” Time is of the essence and every moment is to be cherished—especially the hours he spends with Ruthie, his Penn Dutch tutor.
Ruthie’s next-door neighbor and cunning ex-boyfriend, Luke Schrock, is drawn to trouble like a moth to a flame. Rebellious, headstrong, defiant, Luke will do anything to win Ruthie back—and Patrick Kelly is in his way.
Bestselling author Suzanne Woods Fisher invites you back to Stoney Ridge for a story of dreams deferred—and the promise of hopes fulfilled.
My Thoughts: I love Suzanne Woods Fisher's novels and this one was no exception. I think of all the characters Birdy, David's wife, was my favorite. She seemed to have a sixth sense of what all the kids needed from her and she gave them exactly that. She longed to have kids of her own but she never let that rob her of the joy of being a mom to her step-children. I also admired her strength, she never pushed her opinions on others and she never left David to shoulder the burden of Bishop alone. I have to admit Luke drove me batty. I guess I never considered an Amish man having that kind of vise. Especially one that young. He treated Ruthie like dirt and then, just like that, could use his silver tongue to win her affections. It wasn't that Ruthie was weak, she liked him as a friend and just wanted to help Luke be a better person. I truly loved the Devoted and I'm hoping there's going to be a fouth novel in the series. I would love to follow up with all the characters.
*I was provided a free copy of this book. All opinions expressed above are my own. 
About the Author
Suzanne Woods Fisher is an award-winning, bestselling author whose most recent novels include Anna’s Crossing and The Inn at Eagle Hill series, as well as nonfiction books about the Amish, including Amish Peace and The Heart of the Amish. She lives in California. Learn more at and follow Suzanne on Twitter @suzannewfisher.

Blog Stops

October 18: cherylbbookblog
October 18: Blogging With Carol
October 18: Mary Hake
October 19: Simple Harvest Reads
October 20: D’S QUILTS & BOOKS
October 21: Daysong Reflections
October 22: Back Porch Reads
October 23: Lighthouse Academy
October 23: The Power of Words
October 24: Bigreadersite
October 25: Artistic Nobody
October 25: Donna’s BookShelf
October 26: Pause for Tales
October 26: Bukwurmzzz
October 27: Splashes of Joy
October 27: Bibliophile Reviews
October 28: ASC Book Reviews
October 28: Vic’s Media Room
October 28: inklings and notions
October 29: Jeanette’s Thoughts
October 30: Book by Book
October 30: Quiet Quilter
October 31: Two Girls and a Book


To celebrate her tour, Suzanne is giving away a copy of The Devoted and an iPad Mini 2 16GB! Click here to enter:

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Aboard Providence

About the Book

In November 1860, Jonah Ashton boarded the Providence with a plan to escort his family to their new settlement in South America and then return to medical school in Pennsylvania before rumors of Southern rebellion erupt into all-out war. What he didn’t count on was getting lost at sea and falling in love. When they finally reach land, Jonah makes a startling discovery that changes everything, but will it change his heart?

My Thoughts: I truly enjoyed Aboard Providence. I got a little lost with all the talk about ships and how their pully systems and sails worked but it didn't distrace me enough to keep me from enjoying the story. I could sense Jonah's inner struggle to want to do the right thing not only by his family, but by himself. He's not completely sure what the right thing is but it's quickly becoming apparent he cannot please everyone.  His struggle is one we all face, how to do the right thing and figure out what the right thing is? Marian is stuck between a rock and a hard place. Trying to do right by her mom and wanting to forge a path all her own. I loved how she followed her passion and didn't care too much about what people thought of her. She was determined to make her mark. I fell in love with the caracters and the story line. I found myself getting sucked in the story for hours at a time. I hope you will give Aboard Providence a change and strike out on your own adventure. 
*I was provided a free copy of this book. All opinions are my own. 

About the Author

Keely Brooke Keith is the author of the Uncharted series (Edenbrooke Press) andAboard Providence (CrossRiver Media). Her novels are known for blending genres in unconventional ways. When she isn’t writing stories, Keely enjoys playing bass guitar, preparing homeschool lessons, and collecting antique textbooks. Originally from St. Joseph, Missouri, Keely resides with her husband and their daughter on a hilltop south of Nashville where she dreams up stories, hoping to encourage, comfort, and inspire readers. She is a member of ACFW.

Guest Post from Keely Brooke Keith

The Uncharted series has a past…
The Uncharted storyline begins in the 21st Century in a hidden land that was settled in the 1860s by Americans. Throughout the Uncharted books, the characters refer to their founders’ history. Soon after the release of The Land Uncharted, readers expressed their desire for more. Why did the founders leave America in 1860? How did they plan the group migration? Where did they believe they were going? How did they establish what is now a fascinating culture?
I too was drawn by the founders’ story. When I set out to write it, I enjoyed fleshing out the mystery of how the founders arrived in the Land and what it was like for them, not only for the characters who wanted that adventure, but also those who didn’t. I became swept away on a journey of faith, sacrifice, and God’s unfailing provision.
The result is Aboard Providence (CrossRiver Media, 2016).
Join the founders as they embark on their voyage to an uncharted land.

Blog stops

October 21: 1994
October 22: A Greater Yes
October 23: D’S QUILTS & BOOKS
October 24: cherylbbookblog
October 26: I Hope You Dance
October 26: Mary Hake
October 27: Genesis 5020
October 28: A Readers Brain
October 29: Bigreadersite
October 31: Bibliophile Reviews
November 1: Pause for Tales
November 1: Karen’s Krayons
November 2: Proverbial Reads


In honor of her tour, Keely is giving away The Uncharted Series ebooks! Click the link below to enter; be sure to comment on this post to claim your nine bonus entries for this giveaway!

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

From Depths We Rise

From Depths We Rise, A journey of Beauty from Ashes, Sarah Rodriguez welcomes you into her inner circle. She shares some of her most heartbreaking moments, as well as, some of life's greatest joys. She does not offer you advice on how to turn a lemon into lemonade, no it's much more than that, sweeter somehow. She simply opens up and shares her struggles with you. Letting you know that you are not alone.

I wasn't exactly sure what to expect when I started From Depths We Rise. I guess I was expecting Sarah to share bits and pieces of her story while maybe offering a plan to help you over come greif, loss and despair. I'm so glad that wasn't the case. Sarah is real, raw and honest. She shares her struggles with infertility and how she felt like a failure as a woman.

She tells you her love story. How she met her huband and fell in love. How they relied on each other during their darkest days. She is brutally honest on how she felt when Joel, her huband, was diagnosed with kidney cancer. How scared she was, but also how unshakable her faith was. She knew God could heal him and refused to belive anything less.

The book is not incredibly long, but it packs a punch. Sarah draws you in, you feel like you're in the coffee shop or curled up on the couch with one of your dearest friends, catching up on life. I cried several times during this book, I felt her pain and her sorrow, I can't imagine having to walk through half of what Sarah and her family has endured. I don't know if I could have risen above again and again and again.

Sarah is a beautiful soul and I'm greatful she has chosen to share her story. It will challenge you to look beyond your pain and suffering and see the beautiful joy that awaits you on the other side. It will also remind you miracles happen everyday. Even when we least expect it. It only takes faith as small as a mustard seed and man! What that mustard seed can do!

I really hope you will pick up From Depths We Rise and experience Sarah's journey for yourself. It's not pretty, but I believe something beautiful can come from reading and experiencing life's highs and lows together. You will be forever changed by Sarah and Joel's story and I for one am better for it.

*I received this book for free. A favorable review was not required and all views and opinions expressed above are solely my own.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Take Me Back To Texas

Take Me Back To Texas is a sweet, small town romance by Amy Lillard set in Loveless, Texas. I find it funny that the town is called Loveless in a romance novel! Take Me Back To Texas reminds us that nobody knows you better than the friends you grow up with and the only place you can really call home is a place where you are free to be yourself.

Elizabeth McGee  had her heart shattered in Loveless, Texas. She was head over heels in love with JD Carmichael and was sure they'd get married and have lots of babies. Even when her dad announced he was moving the family to Chicago she didn't worry. Sure, she was sad she'd have to go a year without seeing JD, but she was sure they could weather the year and get married and attend college together. What she didn't count on was the fateful phone call from JD telling her that he was marrying someone else and he was sorry but there was just not future for them.

JD Carmichael has made some bone headed decisions in his time. Like the time he went to a party and had a few too many drinks, then ended up with a manipulative woman who saw herself as a trophy football wife. Yeah, not his finest hour. Especially since it meant giving up the only woman he's ever loved, Elizabeth McGee, or Bethie Grace as he rememers her. Hired by the estate to remodel her deceased grandmother's house, the last thing he expects is to see the woman who haunts his dreams to come driving up the driveway.

JD has sworn to never marry again after what happened with his late wife. He believes the best thing for him to do is swear off women and take care of his daughter, Mallory. Of course, he never expected Elizabeth to waltz back into his life much less Loveless, Texas. Elizabeth is a self-made, self-assured woman who doesn't need a man to be happy. At least that's what she tells herself, but she has always found it near impossible to resist JD or his charms. They say opposites attract and with JD and Elizabeth that's pretty much the truth. She's a LA girl and he's a Texas man, but neither can deny the pull they feel when they are in close proximity to each other.

Take Me Back To Texas will make you long for a town like Loveless, which reminds me of Mayberry, or any small town really. Everybody knows everybody and the local busybodies love to play matchmaker. You can never forget your first love, no matter how badly your heart was broken.  I found myself giggling at some of the shenanigans the locals pulled to make sure JD and Elizabeth could see what was right in front of their faces.

I truly loved Take Me Back To Texas and all the colorful characters who live there. I'm hoping there are more books in this series because by the time you finish the book the characters feel like friends and I would like to know what happens to the rest of the town. I hope you will give Take Me Back To Texas a try.

You can grab a copy here:Take Me Back to Texas

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Mary Chosen of God

About the Book

“Blessed are you, Mary, chosen of God.”
Mary is ordinary girl from Nazareth. She helps her mother with household chores, she daydreams about a handsome carpenter’s son named Joseph, and at night she lies on the roof and contemplates the stars.
But one evening, a heavenly visitor comes with unexpected news—and her life is changed forever.
Experience the life of the Messiah from the perspective of his mother, who must place her trust and obedience in Adonai, the Most High, as he fulfills centuries of prophecy in the middle of her daily life. Walk with Mary as she witnesses Yeshua grow, mature, minister, and even be crucified—and then raised again, to the kindling of her new faith.
My Thoughts: Mary Chosen of God is a unique book. Although it's fiction, we can never truly know what was going on in Mary's heart and mind at that time, for me it made the story of Mary and the birth of Jesus come alive. Often times when I read the accounts of the men and women in the Bible I forget (or maybe just don't truly acknowledge) they were real peeople. Facing some of the same judgements and prejudices we face today. I loved how much care the author took in telling this story. Even though the story is familiar you will find yourself unable to put the book down because of how alive the characters become. I truly enjoyed Mary Chosen of God and hope you will too. 

About the Author

Diana Wallis Taylor has written eight biblical novels, including Mary, Chosen of God, MarthaJourney to the WellMary MagdaleneClaudia, Wife of Pontius Pilate, and Ruth, Mother of Kings. Well-known in the Christian book industry for her biblical fiction, her most recent five books have received over 3,000 ratings on Goodreads. Taylor is a former San Diego Christian Writer’s Guild’s “Writer of the Year” and her biblical novels have earned her a variety of awards. Diana lives in San Diego with her husband, Frank. They have six grown children and ten grandchildren.

Blog Stops

October 4: Simple Harvest Reads (spotlight)
October 5: Proverbial Reads
October 5: I Hope You Dance
October 6: Book by Book
October 10: A Greater Yes
October 10: Back Porch Reads
October 11: The Power of Words
October 12: Book Babble
October 13: For the Love of Books
October 13: Mary Hake
October 14: Splashes of Joy
October 15: Bigreadersite
October 16: Henry Happens


To celebrate her tour, Diana is giving away a gift basket that includes Mary, Ruth, Whitaker House’s study Bible, and The Lord is my Shepherd candle from Abba Anointing Oil! Click here to enter: