Thursday, December 12, 2019

The Camera Never Lies by David Rawlings


About the Book


Book:  The Camera Never Lies
Author: David Rawlings
Genre: General fiction/allegory/magical realism

Release Date: December 3, 2019

David Rawlings, author of The Baggage Handler, returns with another probing story: what would you do if your secrets were revealed to those around you?

Daniel Whiteley is a successful couples counselor who regularly puts families back together, helping them face up to the things in life they hide. But his own marriage is falling apart.

His wife, Kelly, knows Daniel is hiding something from her, but she doesn’t dare probe for fear her own secrets will be revealed.

When his grandfather dies, Daniel inherits an old SLR camera from a time when cameras pointed away from the person taking the photograph. On the camera is an inscription: “Use this camera wisely and remember, regardless of the picture you think you took, the camera never lies.”
When Daniel first uses his new camera he finds someone has already filled the roll of film. Annoyed, he processes the film and finds photos of a secret that he’s been hiding from his wife and daughter.
He has no idea who took them.

Now every time he uses the camera, the photographs reveal another secret about himself the he is desperate to keep-as well as those of his wife, which he is desperate to uncover.



Click HERE to get your copy.  




My Review

David Rawlings does it again! He creates a book that is so relatable to any reader, I feel anyone could pick it up and connect after reading it in some way. He gives us just enough of the fantastical to give it an unexpected twist, and uses that twist to give us a very real and raw look at something we can all relate to. In this book we get a family wrapped up in the American dream, and how the camera shows the stark reality of each other's secrets that are tearing them apart at the seams. The book is seamless, and is impossible to put down once you start reading. The contemporary nature of it is spot on in language and backdrop. The faith message is not overbearing, but nonetheless unforgettable. This book as well as his previous both are great for the non-reader and would check the boxes for any type reader. If you haven't read David Rawlings, you need to pick up a copy of The Camera Never Lies today!



I received a complimentary copy of this book, and all opinions given are entirely my own.




About the Author


David Rawlings is an Australian author, and a sports-mad father of three who loves humor and a clever turn of phrase. Over a 25-year career he has put words on the page to put food on the table, developing from sports journalism and copywriting to corporate communication. Now in fiction, he entices readers to look deeper into life with stories that combine the everyday with a sense of the speculative, addressing the fundamental questions we all face.  



Read an Excerpt

Read an excerpt of The Camera Never Lies https://aerbook.com/books/The_Camera_Never_Lies-228751.html?utm_source=pubpage




Blog Stops

amandainpa, December 5
Older & Smarter?, December 6
Blogging With Carol, December 6
Emily Yager, December 8
Splashes of Joy, December 8
As He Leads is Joy, December 9
Mamma Loves Books, December 9
Vicky Sluiter, December 10
Robin’s Nest, December 10
Bigreadersite, December 11
Genesis 5020, December 12
Remembrancy, December 12
Pause for Tales, December 13
A Reader’s Brain, December 13
Inklings and notions, December 14
Artistic Nobody, December 15
Texas Book-aholic, December 15
Just the Write Escape, December 16
janicesbookreviews, December 16
Hallie Reads, December 17
Quiet Quilter, December 18
Godly Book Reviews, December 18

Letter from Paul by Mary Weins


About the Book


Book: Letter from Paul
Author: Mary Weins
Genre:  Christian Non-Fiction, Bible study
Release Date: April 5, 2019

A devotional workbook on Galatians that gives enough substance for the interactive part of the workbook. It is worthwhile for small groups or individuals.” Dr. Dennis Beatty

Draw closer to God. Revel in the knowledge that you are saved by grace, not works. Discover how Paul addressed the Galatian people when they veered from the truth back into bondage to the rules and customs of their time.

This Bible study takes you verse by verse through the book of Galatians, with insights into what occurred so many years ago yet is still relevant today. Bringing home the truth that we don’t have to perform a certain way to be accepted as heirs to Christ, Letter from Paul offers relief to those who feel pressured to live by the world’s standards.

You will be refreshed and renewed as you lean into the fact that God loves you just as you are. Yes, He has given us the commandments, but He doesn’t pile additional rules on us that we can’t possibly follow. Instead, He gives us grace. And mercy. And love.

“Galatians is about the difference between salvation by works and salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. It is not about obeying all the rules versus having a good time. It is about a personal relationship with our Creator and Savior.” – Mary Weins



Click HERE to get your copy!





My Review

This author gave us a really down to earth Bible study on Galatians for any age adult, male of female, individual or group study. While I can't say I agree with everything, the book seemed on point when showing us the grace of God and living in that grace to glorify God and become more like Him. I like how she doesn't emphasize grace or living a Godly life above the other because it takes both as a Christian. Each chapter opens with a story of how one might be applying what is learned, goes through the Scripture passage with application, gives discussion questions, thoughts to ponder, and a prayer. The only place I felt it fell short was the short stories at the beginning. I just didn't feel it was necessary- I would have preferred a personal story from the author or someone the author knows because it would have been more relatable, and I didn't feel like the stories were as much. Overall, I think this is a down to earth Bible study we all could learn from in one way or another.


I received a complimentary copy of this book, and all opinions given are entirely my own. 


About the Author



As a Pastor’s kid, Mary has been involved in the church most of her life. She has led many Bible study groups in homes, in the church environment, and in jails; Mary has worked in various women’s ministries, and is a writer, speaker and Bible Teacher.
Currently, Mary and her husband are retired and live in Northern California. They have 3 sons, and 5 grandchildren who live nearby. When not writing, speaking, leading Bible study groups, or studying God’s Word on her own, Mary enjoys entertaining friends, cooking, and playing with her grandchildren…not necessarily in that order.
 

More from Mary

Letter from Paul: to the Church in Galatia…and Us! As a preacher’s kid, I was brought up in a strict, structured home environment. This upbringing created a harsh view of Christianity and an overwhelming fear of hell, fire, and damnation for me. It was not until years later that I found a church emphasizing God’s love. I read the Word and prayed daily and began to develop a close, personal relationship with God. But fear kept haunting me until I really got into Galatians and broke it down, verse by verse. The book of Galatians is a crucial book of the Bible for me because it emphasizes God’s love and forgiveness and provides assurance that, even though I mess up at times, God still loves me! It is my hope and prayer that you, too, can embrace the beautiful message of love and acceptance contained in Galatians and apply it to your life. When we fully submit and trust God for our lives, an overwhelming peace envelops us. We no longer need to fear Him. He is a loving God who provides all our needs and protects, encourages, comforts, and directs us. He is our heavenly Father, our constant companion, and a friend who really does have all the right answers. Living in a right relationship with God dramatically changes the way we view ourselves and the world. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation, old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” (2 Cor. 5:17 KJV). Written in a down-to-earth, easy-to-read approach, the Bible studies contained in Letter from Paul highlight the main points covered in each chapter of Galatians. It is my hope and prayer that this book will erase the doubts and fears of Christians who question their salvation or fear that they are not good enough to maintain it and to point the way for the unsaved to realize how easy it is to become a child of God.



Blog Stops





Giveaway


To celebrate her tour, Mary is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Amazon Gift Card & Paperback of “Letter from Paul”!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Finding Joy by J.C. Lafler


About the Book


Book: Finding Joy
Author: J.C. Lafler
Genre: Christian Fiction, Generational Fiction
Release Date: November, 2019

No matter what complications life throws your way, search until you find something to be joyful for.”
Elisabeth Davis has lived by these words for most of her eighty years. Through good times and bad, this mindset has served her well, and she hopes and prays that her grandchildren will carry this sentiment forward when she is gone.

But Max has heard his grandmother say this so many times, he is almost oblivious. And while he understands her point, putting it into action is not always easy.

When his girlfriend demands he make a choice between her and his best friend—in the same week his grandmother has a stroke!—Max struggles to find joy anywhere. He is forced to reexamine his life, his relationships, and even his faith in this heartwarming story of coming of age and leaving a lasting legacy.



Click HERE to get your copy.



My Review

This book reminded me a lot of my grandma, and made me miss the grandparents that I know are waiting in Heaven to see again. Elisabeth really carried the story with her unswerving faith and living out the joy we find in the Lord no matter our circumstances or feelings. The story is short and very sweet that reminds me of the early young Taylor Swift's "You Belong With Me." While Max and Sam along with the other characters give a sweet story line, they all seemed kind of static and the story outside of Elisabeth seemed a little too predictable, but it was a shorter read like I said, and especially around a sweet faith-filled read, predictability is comforting. I just really think Elisabeth carried the story, from missing her husband, to facing her own challenges, to hoping to leave a Godly legacy, and more, I found that entire aspect of the book to be totally heartwarming. Overall, this one would be a nice Christmas gift for yourself or others that might enjoy a sweet read with an inspiring message. 



I received a complimentary copy of this book, and all opinions given are entirely my own.



About the Author


J.C. Lafler has always enjoyed writing and dreamed of being published, but it wasn’t until she retired in 2015 that she realized her dream. J. C. and her husband, David, live in Battle Creek, Michigan—except in winter, when they escape to sunny Texas. Along with writing, she enjoys public speaking, reading, puzzles, traveling, and spending time with her children and grandchildren. Finding Joy is J. C.’s fifth novel to date. Her other books, also released through Redemption Press, include Lost and Found, Amazing Grace, Hope Everlasting, and Leap of Faith.

More from J.C.

“Finding Joy” by J.C. Lafler is a story about the challenge of finding joy in life’s most trying circumstances, and corresponding verses in the Bible that lead us to choose joy. This story came about because of a comment made by one of my children, who’s middle name just happens to be Joy. She (Lynsey) made the comment to me one day that her middle name reminded her that every day it is up to her to choose joy. Jokingly telling her that “Choosing Joy” would be a great title for my next novel, I let it go for a couple of months. While preparing to began said novel, I wrote “Choose Joy” at the top of the page and started writing. During editing I changed the title to “Finding Joy,” but the whole story developed around the idea of choosing to find a bit of joy every day, no matter what is happening in your life.



Blog Stops

Inklings and notions, December 10
A Reader’s Brain, December 11
janicesbookreviews, December 13
Texas Book-aholic, December 14
Artistic Nobody, December 15 (Author Interview)
For Him and My Family, December 15
Lighthouse Academy, December 17 (Guest Review from Marilyn Ridgway)
CarpeDiem, December 21
Simple Harvest Reads, December 22 (Author Interview)
Mary Hake, December 22





Giveaway


To celebrate her tour, J.C. is giving away the grand prize package of a signed copy of her book with a matching mug!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

Sunday, December 8, 2019

The Melody of the Mulberries by Tonya Jewel Blessing


About the Book


Book: The Melody of the Mulberries
Author: Tonya Jewel Blessing
Genre:  Historic Southern Romance
Release Date: September 16, 2019

This sequel is set in the late 1920s Appalachia, where granny witches and spiritualism often show the path for wanderers to take, especially in matters of the heart.
Coral sat in contemplation under a mulberry tree. It was spring, and the fragrant female blossoms promised the mid-summer arrival of first white, then pink, then crimson, and finally deep purple berries. The white berries were hard and tart and enjoyed by the quail, wild turkeys, mocking birds, and blue jays. The blackish purple berries were soft and sweet – perfect for pies and jams.
When the berries turned white, Coral would thank the good Lord for providing food for the birds, and when the berries ripened she would thank the good Lord for the sweetness savored in her mouth and curse the birds for wanting more than their share.

Where Emerald Ashby’s story leaves us in the last pages of The Whispering of the Willows, pure and innocent sixteen-year-old Coral Ashby’s story begins. Like the changing mulberries, Appalachian siblings Coral and Ernest Ashby, navigate their lives and loves through the Spanish Flu epidemic, poverty, and various as sundry prejudices. Coral is determined to visit the family nemesis, Charlie, who now stews in prison.When Ernest’s previous love interest, Mercy, returns to the holler of Big Creek, she discovers that Ernest has a new romantic attraction. He is singing a melody for Charlotte, the older Ashby brother’s widow. No matter, Mercy has brought along her own spiritual tools to circumvent the inconvenience and a special friend who guides her way.

Accompanied by friends and foes, matters of the heart complicate life for Coral and Ernest. Relationships must be journeyed carefully.



Click HERE to get your copy!




My Review

This book was certainly a lively, educational historical romance set in the Appalachians. I truly felt immersed in the culture of the time and place with the descriptive details, language, and touching on the influenza epidemic. Also, we are transported into the world of local folklore and mysticism used by the people of the area in that time especially. We are introduced to some racial tension as well as a cold-blooded murderer. I enjoyed each character and the many layers to each of their stories and how those stories intertwined with one another. Without giving spoilers, I would say where the book kind of lacked was in the spiritual arena- the elements were there they just seemed to awkwardly disrupt the storyline and didn't seem natural. Also, I felt like Mercy's whole bit in the story was a little unrealistic and rather awkward in resolution as well. Overall, if you're looking for an Appalachian romance with a thread of faith and descriptive history, this one is for you.


I received a complimentary copy of this book, and all opinions given are entirely my own.




About the Author


More about Tonya Jewel Blessing: Growing up Tonya spent numerous vacations and holidays in the Appalachian Mountains of West Virginia. Most of her adult life has been spent in full time ministry with a focus on helping women. She has traveled nationally and internationally as a conference speaker. For a number of years, Tonya and her husband operated a retreat facility in Colorado for pastors and missionaries. She and her husband currently live in South Africa. They are the founders and directors of Strong Cross Ministries, a non-profit organization that assists local churches, pastors, cross-cultural workers, and others in Christian leadership in providing spiritual reconciliation and humanitarian relief to the poorest in the world. Tonya writes monthly devotionals for women in ministry. She is the award-winning novelist of The Whispering of the Willows, which is Book 1 of the Big Creek Series. She is the co-author of Soothing Rain, a discussion starter handbook/devotional that provides women with important tools for sharing biblical truth.


More from Tonya

Greetings From Author Tonya Jewel Blessing
The Melody of the Mulberries is book two in the Big Creek Series. Both books are set during the late 1920s in the wild and wonderful state of West Virginia. The Appalachian Mountains were untamed in the 1920s and remain so in part today. The wonder of the hills is breathtaking, magnificent, and glorious. The term “wild wonderful West Virginia” was used as early as 1969 before being adapted in the 1970s as the state slogan. In 1937, my mother, Virginia Ashby, was born in the rural hills of West Virginia. She spent several of her formative years in an area known as Big Creek. I have borrowed my mother’s maiden name, several names from her past, and the name Big Creek. The morning mist hanging in the lowlands, the dew on the ground, along with the green of spring and the deep red, sparkling gold, and brilliant oranges of fall draw me visually, emotionally, and on some level spiritually to its feral fascination. John Denver recorded in his tribute to West Virginia, “Take me home country roads to the place I belong…” Certainly, there are seasons in my life where I long for the steep, curvy country roads of my youth. This is one deeply satisfying reason for writing about hope with connections to West Virginia, a life held close to my heart. It is a pleasure and an honor to share this story with the Celebrate Lit family. My southern story is an authentically derived historical romance for young adults and for women of all ages who love Appalachian lore and West Virginia history. It contains some depictions of spiritualism and traditional Christianity during the 1920s in West Virginia. It continues with the inter-racial dealings between two communities, where, some are friends and some are foes. If anyone would enjoy a free sample of the first audiobook, The Whispering of the Willows, please go to the link and click “play sample”.  This amazing voice actress, Courtney Patterson, will start reading you my story so that you will feel like you are eavesdropping on the Ashby family. Enjoy! Enjoy an excerpt from Tonya’s first book in the series, The Whispering of the Willows, here.



Blog Stops




Giveaway


To celebrate her tour, Tonya is giving away the grand prize package of a special pillow and reader’s choice of an eBook or Audiobook of The Whispering of the Willows!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

Saturday, December 7, 2019

Having Tried Everything & The String Theory Beginning With Me by Tonia Colleen Martin


About the Books

Book: Having Tried Everything & The String Theory Beginning With Me
Author: Tonia Colleen Martin
Genre: Coffee Table Gift, Adult Fairytale Illustrated
Release Date: July, 2019

Having Tried Everything


Sleep often eludes. We try this and we try that. Still, the night gives a wake up call we’d rather not answer. “Having Tried Everything” is the story of a terminally lonely insomniac who does answer. Stepping from the rut of routines and rituals, moving from the known to the unknown, she discovers not only mercy and abundance but who she is and the travesty and redemption of what it means to be human. “Having Tried Everything” is at once actual, metaphorical, providential and inexplicably true. The “YOU” in the story is both the reader and the writer. The very act of embracing this narrative provides the first step toward the wonderland of connection, acceptance and gratitude. Where words abbreviate the astonishment of God’s signature on creature and creatures, the illustrations enhance and annotate. Suitable for all dreamers and courageous pragmatists.




The String Theory Beginning with Me





The String Theory Beginning With Me is an illustrated prose poem tracing the journey to freedom from an internal landscape of chaos and fear. Using specific images from the natural world, this story condenses and simplifies a very slow, methodical transformation indicative of those who consistently seek the larger experience of living both in and beyond the here and now. Because of its metaphorical language and its delicate presentation, The String Theory Beginning with Me, has a universal appeal and is an ideal gift for both contemplatives and the spirited.    





 Click HERE to to get your copy of Having Tried Everything and HERE to get your copy of The String Theory Beginning with Me.       



My Review

I found the poetry in each of these books to be a welcome change from the norm for the usual type books I review. Inside I found a very colorful, somewhat abstract picture book to accompany each verse of the poem. This book would be a great gift for one you might see displayed on a coffee table that is aesthetically pleasing, or for those who enjoy poetry, are deep thinkers, or are very artistic in spirit. For me, I have to admit some of the language and comparisons were a little over my head, but I feel those who enjoy reading poetry with deep meaning will really enjoy these books. The thread of truth from God and Scripture were really nicely incorporated into each poem.  I think the author's deep artistic spirit shines through and inspires others. So if you're looking for a decorative book for a gift, enjoy poetry, or enjoy words that make you stop and ponder for a while, these books are for you. 


I received a complimentary copy of this book, and all opinions given are entirely my own. 



About the Author


While I was still feeble in my selfness and narrow in my horizons, I became a collector of words. Words often come and go all on their own. I do my best to arrange them in beautiful order. This particular arrangement is called Having Tried Everything: An exploration of redemption, hope and possibility through the eyes of a terminally lonely insomniac. It is at once actual, metaphorical, providential and inexplicable. The “YOU” in the story is both the reader and myself as the writer/artist. Thank You for stepping into this with me. The weight of this truth is surprisingly heavy and less accessible than I would like it to be. Divine Love and His intervention is the hope I often forget to cling. The Lie: You are alone and will end alone, has subtly confused me without my knowledge or consent for a very long time. My ability to escape its debilitating effects is in direct proportion to name it as a lie. The miracle of being designed for relationship with the living God despite my frailties continues to astound me. My value as a human being is not predicated on my good behaviors or bright countenance, but rather by God’s compassion and mercy. The unshakeable truth of my wealth given freely to me by nature of my design and God’s generosity is not mine alone. Thus, the You in the story is ours together. God bless you as you consider with me the miracle of God’s unmerited favor towards us based on nothing we’ve worked for or earned.  


More from Tonia

On Labor Day morning, I woke up to an email reminding me I missed a deadline. This is not the kind of message that incites creativity. And now sitting here in my front garden, trying to imagine the sound of the neighbor’s leaf blower as that of a vigorous wind warming up to deliver an epic end-of- summer storm, I am face to face with a wordless me wondering how to communicate the enormity of what I want to be say…after all, what happens in these two little, tiny, shrunken, abbreviated, synthetic replications of what actually occurred in the chronological space of history crosses into speculative territory. And I haven’t even met you. If you dream of traveling but time, money or fear has held you back, The String Theory Beginning with Me is a story boat meant to sail you safely into the intergalactic waters of your own lonely soul. If you worry about failure, Having Tried Everything  is an illustrated syllabus developed from a rubbing pressed against the gravestone of a dream, carefully framed by God’s healing light.  Both books are designed to give you a holiday from clock watching and move you into a space of heart throb time.



Blog Stops

Simple Harvest Reads, December 1 (Author Interview)
Texas Book-aholic, December 3
All 4 and About Books, December 4 (Author Interview)
janicesbookreviews, December 5
Mary Hake, December 5
Blossoms and Blessings, December 7 (Author Interview)
A Reader’s Brain, December 8
Andrea Christenson, December 10 (Author Interview)
Artistic Nobody, December 11




Giveaway


To celebrate her tour, Tonia is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and a copy of each of the books!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.