Wednesday, August 29, 2018

The Struggle is Real

About the Book

Title: The Struggle is Real

Author: Nicole Unice

Genre: Non-fiction, Christian life, spiritual Growth

Release date: August 21, 2018

“It just shouldn’t be this hard!”
Raise your hand if you’ve ever had a day where everything that could go wrong does go wrong—you lock your keys in the car while it’s running, lose control with your kids, make a mistake at the office that results in hours more work. And just when you think not one more thing could possibly happen . . . well, fill in the blank.
The struggle is real, friends. It may not be major stuff. Lives are not on the line here. But it makes us feel awful . . . and then we feel guilty for stressing when other people have “real” problems that are so much more serious.
Yet the fact remains: We live in a world that often feels harder than we think it should be. And so it can be easy to believe the stories we tell ourselves—that we’re doing it wrong, that we’ll be stuck in this place forever, that God doesn’t love us. We struggle to practice gratitude, to make godly choices, and to live our daily lives with confidence and contentment. So what can we do?
Join popular Bible teacher and counselor Nicole Unice to discover why the struggle is real . . . and what to do about it. Nicole offers practical tools to help you navigate the daily ups and downs, and ways to rewrite your struggle into a new, God-centered life story. The Struggle Is Real is an invitation to take the hard, hurtful, and confusing moments and turn them into opportunities to grow in wisdom, strength, and joy
My Thoughts: A definite must read! It's just like sitting down with a much needed chat with your girlfriends. The Struggle is Real is full of practical advice that everyone can use but it doesn't come off as preachy. You can tell the author has "been there" and she get's it, she wants you to know that you can rise above the struggle and offers tried and true tips to help you overcome. This is isn't a book you will read once and set aside, you will read it over and over again and maybe even share with your friends!
*I was provided a free copy of this book. All opinions expressed above are my own. 

About the Author

Nicole Unice is a Bible teacher, author, and passionate communicator who delights in
bringing God’s Word to life in a personal and relevant way. Her training as a counselor informs her work, as she emphasizes the importance of facing our own reality and embracing the transforming power of God’s grace.
Her heart belongs to Hope Church in Richmond, Virginia, where she serves as ministry director, leading discipleship and Praxis, a full-time ministry residency program for young leaders. In addition, Nicole co-hosts Hope Cast, a podcast on spiritual formation, leadership, and relationships.
Nicole’s invitations to speak have taken her across the world, and her books come to life through her popular video curriculum series found on RightNow Media. Her first book, She’s Got Issues, released in May 2012 and speaks to a fundamental question of faith: Is being a Christian supposed to change me? Also available is a companion curriculum, She’s Got Issues DVD Group Experience, a six-session journey that includes interviews, questions, and teaching expanding on the book. Her subsequent titles—Brave Enough and The Struggle Is Real—help people distill the complicated stuff of life into a simple and clear path to Jesus.
Nicole holds degrees from the College of William and Mary and from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. She loves creating a space for ministry and spiritual formation in the everyday rhythms of life with three children, two pups, one husband, and a whole community of twentysomethings who regularly raid her fridge.
Nicole is known for making friends in all corners of the world, especially via social media. Connect with her on Instagram, YouTube, or at nicoleunice.com—and hopefully face-to-face at one of her upcoming events.

Guest Post from Nicole Unice

There’s a question we throw around that I bet means a whole lot more than we would expect. How many times a week—or a day!–are you asked:
How are you?”
I don’t know about you, but the answer I hear and give the most is something like …. ”fine”, or —“busy but good!”? It’s kind of the socially acceptable answer, right?
A friend asked me this question just this week as I walked into work. I was multitasking as usual while knee deep into a cell phone conversation about yet another problem. I didn’t answer her, because if I did—if I really stopped and answered—I might have started crying, right there on the spot. My lips formed the word “fine” when in reality, I was anything but—at least not in that moment. And life doesn’t always stop long enough to give a real answer….
But isn’t “fine” the socially accepted answer because it works….or does it?
The reality is, we are all struggling, to different degrees and complexity levels, each and every day. The Struggle IS Real, and when you add up both the little and big daily struggles, it’s easy to understand why this hashtag social media rockstar exists—over 3 million deep at #thestruggleisreal.
But if we dig a little deeper into this common complaint, we might discover a much more sinister root—and real help toward freedom and wisdom in Christ.
In my newest book, The Struggle is Real, that’s what I’ve done. I address issues like:

  • Life is much harder than I thought it would be, and I feel bad saying it.
  • There are some things about myself that I can’t change…it’s just how I am, and it frustrates me.
  • I really don’t know if God is interested in my life, and even if He is, I don’t know how to hear from Him.

(and if you are wondering how real your struggle is, I’ve included a Good Life Inventory on p. 14!)
I wrote this book because I know how real the struggle truly is—and I want us to discover the true source of the answer to these age-old problems. My hope is to take my readers through a journey into this gap between our “just fine” lives and the truly good lives we are seeking and are hungry for. To offer hope that we can live the best life we can, this side of heaven.
Yep, the struggle is definitely real. But the struggle can also start the story. It can motivate us to rewrite our lives into a new story. The struggles can lead us to a new source of hope and freedom, and somehow, even the worst of life can become a place of strength and growth. The struggle is real. And the struggle can be good.

Blog Stops

Texas Book-aholic, August 28
All-of-a-kind Mom, August 29
Carpe Diem, August 30
Multifarious, August 31
Janices book reviews, September 1
Inklings and Notions, September 2
Book by Book, September 3
Mary Hake, September 3
Margaret Kazmierczak, September 5
Jeanette’s Thoughts, September 6
Godly Book Reviews, September 7
Bigreadersite, September 7

Giveaway


To celebrate her tour, Nicole is giving away a grand prize of a “The Struggle is Real” T-Shirt!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/d19c/the-struggle-is-real-celebration-tour-giveaway

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Toby's Troubles

About the Book

Book Title: Toby’s Troubles
Author: Carole Brown
Genre: Romantic Mystery, Cozy Mystery
Release date: July 1, 2018
Everyone loves Toby Gibson. A co-owner of Undiscovered Treasures, a unique shop of antiques, collectables and junk, Toby is friendly, generous to a fault, the director of the local plays in Appleton and supports his church’s youth functions. But the minute his sister, Caroline and her new husband, take off for their honeymoon, a “ghost” begins to haunt the shop—or maybe it’s just an intruder. If so, Toby has no idea for what he is looking. To add to his troubles, he suspects Amy, not only is bidding for the property he’s wanted forever, but is in love with him. And he’s not interested
Amy Sanderson who owns the only flower shop in Appleton—Bloomin’ Life—is drawn into capturing Toby’s “ghost” when her own business is damaged by a destructive intruder. Having loved Toby from childhood, she’s more than willing to join forces with him. But she has no interest in being his best friend or like a sister to him. And if she has to resort to schemes of outbidding him at his frequent auction attendences to get his attention, then so be it. She can be just as stubborn as the man who’s determined to ignore her love.

In between the break-ins, destruction of property, thefts and personal competitions against each other, Amy and Toby work together to find the thief who seems so determined to find a valuable item, he’ll stop at nothing.
My Thoughts: I really enjoyed this book. The plot was well written and the characters were ones you care about. It's not my typical read but I loved it just the same and I think you will too!
*I was provided a free copy of this book. All opinions expressed are my own.

About the Author

Besides being a member and active participant of many writing
groups, Carole Brown enjoys mentoring beginning writers. An author of ten books, she loves to weave suspense and tough topics into her books, along with a touch of romance and whimsy, and is always on the lookout for outstanding titles and catchy ideas. She and her husband reside in SE Ohio but have ministered and counseled nationally and internationally. Together, they enjoy their grandsons, traveling, gardening, good food, the simple life, and did she mention their grandsons?

Guest Post from Carole Brown

Antique Shops, A Thief, the Community Theater, and Love
Toby’s Troubles, Book Four from the Appleton, West Virginia Romantic Mysteries series
I knew when I wrote this book who Toby was. But capturing Toby’s personality and presenting it in the right way, was a challenge for me. Readers can see his teasing, fun-loving character when he labels the person who’s breaking into his shop as a ghost. But Toby is also serious, smart and successful. The side of him who has had plenty of girl friends, but who’s never gotten serious with any of them, is prominent too. But I didn’t want him to seem frivolous and uncaring, because he isn’t that. With a focus on his interests, love has never—as of yet—been a primary concern, so when Amy Sanderson strolls into his life, she turns out to be his confidant in the time of his troubles. The question is: can she not only have a place in his life as a best friend, but also capture his heart?
Let’s talk about:

Antique Shops
Who doesn’t love a place filled with valuable items, interesting history, and hard-to-find items? Undiscovered Treasures—a shop of antiques, collectibles and junk—could be described as the town gathering place. Everyone loves browsing there. Deciding on such a place for the business of brother and sister, Toby and Caroline Gibson, was a fun choice. From grandfather clocks to unique shaped vases, it’s a shop where treasure hunters could just find what they’re looking for.
A Thief:
There are way too many new people visiting Appleton, West Virginia, so how is someone like Toby suppose to guess what the thief is after? The thief definitely knows what he’s looking for, just not where. He’s tall, thin and a fast runner, especially when escaping across a rooftop. But then, maybe it’s not a new person in town. Maybe the thief is Toby’s part time help, who has a mystery all of his own. It makes things interesting, and a bit terrifying for everyone.
The Community Theater:
One of Toby’s loves is directing and overseeing the community theater. Caroline Gibson writes some of the plays, the actors are usually taken from the West Virginia area, and all proceeds go to charities. But when their main actors, of the current play, elope and leave the play desolate, someone has to step in to fill the gaps. Toby struggles with decisions he doesn’t want to make.
Love
Toby is smart, funny, and a resourseful man. He’s also busy with his community theater activities and his business. Known as the one man in town who’s not interested, at the current time, in getting married, his reputation of loving and leaving is in danger of being wrecked by one small woman. Can she sabotage his well-laid plans and help him realize it’s now or never? Could it be the time when real love is captured by two people, even when one of them seems doomed to ignore what God’s put in their hearts?
I love creating characters. Developing them into real people with real desires, moods, troubles

Blog Stops

Vicky Sluiter, August 21
Godly Book Reviews, August 21
The Avid Reader, August 22
Connect in Fiction, August 25
Splashes of Joy, August 27
Maureen’s Musing, August 29
Mary Hake, August 29
Pause for Tales, August 31
Lighthouse Academy, September 1
Texas Book-aholic, September 2
Jeanette’s Thoughts, September 2
Carpe Diem, September 3
Bigreadersite, September 3

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Carole is giving away a grand prize that includes winner’s choice of one of the two attached mugs, winner’s choice of a print or kindle copy of Toby’s Troubles and a tote bag!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/d1c2/toby-s-troubles-celebration-tour-giveaway

Thursday, August 9, 2018

A Promise Forged

About the Book

Book Title: A Promise Forged
Author: Cara Putman
Genre: World War 2 Romance
Release date: Originally released in 2010, Re-released in 2017
Kat transformed in front of him. Her chin came up, her fingers stopped twitching with the fabric of her gown, and a real sparkle bubbled in her eyes. It was like watching Snow White come to life when the prince kissed her.
A heartwarming WWII historical from award-winning author Cara Putman:
Kat Miller has dreamed of playing baseball her entire life. When she earns a spot on a team in the All-American Girls Professional Softball League, she finds that things aren’t as glamorous as she imagined. She struggles with long road trips, grueling practices, and older teammates who are jealous of her success. And to top it all off, an irritating reporter is constantly getting under Kat’s skin.
Events in Jack Raymond’s career have left him cynical and distanced from God. He never wanted to write at a small paper, and he certainly didn’t want to be assigned to something as inconsequential as a women’s softball team. Then Kat walks into his life. The fiery, young softball player somehow climbs the walls around his heart and makes him want to hope again.
When lies fly and the league appears to fail, will Kat and Jack’s new love survive?
My Thoughts: A Promise Forged is a well written book that will grab you from the beginning and won't let you go until the very end. The characters are engaging and the plot is well thought out and written. I hope you will give it a chance, you won't be sorry!
*I was provided a free copy of this book. All opinions expressed above are my own. 

About the Author

Since the time she could read Nancy Drew, Cara has wanted to write mysteries. In 2005 she attended a book signing at her local Christian bookstore. The rest, as they say, was history.
There she met a fellow Indiana writer Colleen Coble. With prompting from her husband, Cara shared her dream with Colleen. Since those infamous words, Cara’s been writing award-winning books. She is currently working on book 30 and 31.
Cara Putman is an active member of ACFW, and currently serves on its Executive Board. She has also been the Indiana ACFW chapter president and served as the Area Coordinator for Indiana.
Cara is also an attorney, lecturer at a Big Ten university, active in women’s ministry, and all around crazy woman. Crazy about God, her husband and her kids that is. She graduated with honors from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (Go Huskers!) and George Mason Law School, and Krannert School of Management. You can learn more about Cara at www.caraputman.com<http://www.caraputman.com/>.

Guest Post from Cara

Each of my books starts with a hook that engages my interest, and then as I play with it, I think it will engage readers. A Promise Forged was no different. For this book I was writing a series of three World War II novels for Barbour. I already had two historical hooks that fascinated me: children evacuated from London to Ohio, a top secret project to break Engima in Dayton, but I needed one more. I knew the lead characters were going to be siblings, but I wasn’t sure what to do with the kid sister. Then I remembered the All-American Girls Professional Softball/Baseball League.
And I started thinking.
What would it have been like to desperately want a chance to play a sport you loved professionally?
And to be part of the nascent league when no one was sure whether it was a good or bad idea?
I decided that was the perfect place for Kat. She was the kid sister with fire and passion. She wanted a chance to prove herself, and this would be the perfect place. Then she needed a hero worthy of her. One who could go toe-to-toe with her and still see who she could be.
He came in the form of Jack, a cynical reporter who is disappointed to be assigned to cover girls’ baseball. But then he gets to know Kat and some of the others. And he sees something in her that she doesn’t see in herself. It’s the beginning of fireworks that he doesn’t think can go anywhere because she has to go home to her senior year of high school.
As I began researching the history of the league, I learned that the AAGPS/BL archives were kept at a small museum in South Bend, a couple hours from where I live. I spent a day there talking with the curator and exploring all the records. Because the league wasn’t expected to last there weren’t many records from the first year. That meant I had to guess about some things like schedules based on what happened in the years after.
A Promise Forged became a book I loved writing. Kat was feisty, Jack was cynical, and baseball provided a great setting. I can’t believe this football loving woman can admit that!

Blog Stops

Among the Reads, August 4
C Jane Read, August 5
Genesis 5020, August 6
Carpe Diem, August 7
Mary Hake, August 8
By The Book, August 9
Simple Harvest Reads, August 9 (Guest Post from Mindy Houng)
Lighthouse Academy, August 10
Remembrancy, August 10
100 Pages per Hour, August 11
Bigreadersite, August 11
Godly Book Reviews, August 12
Cafinated Reads, August 12
A Reader’s Brain, August 13
Book by Book, August 13
All-of-a-kind Mom, August 14
amandainpa, August 15
Pause for Tales, August 17

Giveaway


To celebrate her tour, Cara is giving away a grand prize that includes the movie League of Their Own, a box of cracker jacks, M&Ms and a $20 Amazon gift card!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/d2ac/a-promise-forged-celebration-tour-giveaway

Monday, August 6, 2018

A Love for Leah




A Love for Leah is Amy Lillard's second book in her Amish of Pontotoc, MS series. You don't have to read the first one to enjoy it, but I highly recommend you read them in order.

Leah Gingerich and her twin sister, Hannah, left the Amish to join the English a long time ago. Although Hannah eventually came back and is joining the Amish church, Leah just doesn't feel it's right for her. She tends to be outspoken and very independent, these things don't go well in the Amish faith so Leah chose to become Mennonite. Even though she has a different faith she is still close with her family visiting often and  even helping Hannah raise her son. Leah's life is perfect or so she thinks until she meets Jamie and his sweet but silent nephew, Peter.

Jamie Stoltzfus's life isn't going according to plan and hasn't been for a while. Not since about six months ago when a house fire killed his brother, sister in law and their infant daughter, leaving his nephew Peter without a family. Jamie was more than happy to step up and take care of Peter, but the boy hasn't said a word since that fateful day. With Peter's grandparents wanting to take him from Jamie if he doesn't start talking soon, Jamie is carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders. He thought leaving their home in Ethridge, TN and moving to Pontotoc, MS might give both him and Peter the fresh start they need. But, when he meets Leah Gingerich, he's not so sure he made the right move.

Right from the start sparks fly between Jamie and Leah. He thinks she's too outspoken for her own good. She thinks he looks down on others who don't share his faith. It seems the only thing these two can agree on is to not agree on anything!

I really enjoyed A Love for Leah and I think you will too. I love how with Leah and Jamie it wasn't love at first sight, it wasn't even like at first sight! It took time for their friendship to build and even though there were mishaps along the way they you could tell they held a mutual admiration for each other. They both put Peter first and even when they didn't agree on what was best for him, like should he go to school or not, they each wanted him to be healthy and happy.

I can't say enough how much I enjoyed A Love for Leah. It reminds us that friendships can come in the most unlikely of forms and that love covers a multitude of sins and differences.

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

You can grab a copy here: A Love for Leah
.

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Revealed

About the Book

Title: Revealed
Author: Elaine Manders
Genre: Christian Historical Romance
Release Date: December 27, 2018
Nothing can be hidden that won’t be revealed.
When her father dies, Katherine Levinson discovers her parents have kept secrets that render her happy childhood a farce. She and her gravely ill mother face eviction, and she has no choice but to appeal to the brother she’s never seen, the famous cattle baron, Rhyan Cason. Over her gravely ill mother’s objections, they move to Nebraska and the sprawling cattle ranch, Sollano.
Instead of the warm welcome Katherine expects, she and her mother are met with whispers and scorn in the little prairie town near Sollano. Gradually, the sins of her parents’ past surface, and Katherine begins to doubt her very identify. With her brother busy with cattle rustlers and her mother too ill to be bothered, Katherine turns to Colt Holliman, a soft-spoken neighboring rancher, for comfort.
Tired of waiting for the right woman to come along, Colt has promised to wait for Charley Ryder, an acclaimed female sharp shooter and equestrian acrobat with the Wild West Show, but it’s becoming clear Charley loves the show more than him. As his attraction to Katherine grows, he finds himself spiritually conflicted. How can he break from past commitments and follow his heart?
Then unexpected danger strikes, testing Katherine’s and Colt’s faith in God—and each other.
My Thoughts: A beautiful heart warming tale with just enough drama and intrigue to keep you wanting more. Once you start reading you won't want to stop! The characters jump off the page and into your heart and soon you feel like you are reading about friends instead of a work of fiction. 
*I was provided a free copy of this book. All opinions expressed above are my own. 

About the Author

Elaine Manders writes wholesome Christian romance and suspense about the bold, capable women of history and the strong, dependable men who love them. Her stories twist, turn, and surprise, told by characters who aren’t afraid to show their love for God and each other. She grew up a small town country girl and now lives in Central Georgia with her fur baby. Besides writing, she enjoys reading, sewing, crafts, and spending time with her family.




Guest Post from Elaine Manders

My Backstory
Intrigue under Western Skies Series, Book 3
Revealed
Back when I watched television, drama series were my favorite—Little House of the Prairie, the Waltons, the Virginian. I was caught up in the lives of these characters and looked forward to seeing what they were up to each week. For much the same reason, I enjoy writing episodic series.
Intrigue under Western Skies, a blended genre, historical romantic suspense series falls in this category. Some of the characters show up in every book, with new ones added along the way. But the books can be read out of sequence since each one has a different premise and plot.
In Revealed, Book 3 of Intrigue under Western Skies, I wanted to give Colt Holliman, previously introduced as a secondary character, his own HEA. Also, it seemed the time to reveal what happened to Rhyan Cason’s mother, the woman who’d caused so much angst in the first two books. More importantly, it gave me the opportunity to introduce Katherine, the sister he never knew existed.
Unexpectedly, my research led me to the history of show business, and how it developed through the Wild West shows of the nineteenth century. From that, a mystery evolved.
The spiritual thread running through Revealed explores the emotions of a young woman who discovers blood relatives have been hidden from her. Can she accept and love her new family and forgive the sins of her parents?
Maybe the greatest insight I gained from writing Revealed is that one can never trust his own heart without first trusting God.

Blog Stops

Carpe Diem, July 17
The Avid Reader, July 18
Remembrancy, July 19
Mary Hake, July 20
cherylbbookblog, July 27
Pause for Tales, July 27
Henry Happens, July 29
Bigreadersite, July 29

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Elaine is giving away a grand prize of a $50 Amazon 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/cee6/revealed-celebration-tour-giveaway