Sunday, December 15, 2019

Building a Ridiculously Great Marriage by Gil Stieglitz


About the Book


Book:  Building a Ridiculously Great Marriage
Author: Gil Stieglitz
Genre: Christian Non-fiction
Release Date: November 2019  

Building a Ridiculously Great Marriage: Pre-Marital and Marital Habits

It’s no secret that couples in great marriages do different things than couples in bad ones.

But what are those things and how do ordinary folks start doing them? How can couples take a struggling marriage or even one that is “pretty good” to one that is, quite frankly, ridiculously great?


Based on thousands of counseling hours and personal practice, Gil Stieglitz spells out the 15 essential habits found in great marriages that aren’t found in difficult ones. Building a Ridiculously Great Marriage provides the short and dirty version of what it takes to have a marriage that is so great, other couples will stand up and notice—they might even call it “ridiculous.”

This book is a real game-changer for engaged couples just starting out, couples who are struggling, or couples who just want to take their marriage from good to ridiculously great. It is also a terrific resource for pastors, ministry leaders, and counselors who work with couples for pre-marriage and marriage counseling.



Click HERE for your copy.



My Review

I found this marriage help book to be Biblical, practical, to the point, and applicable book for the most part. The author goes over 15 habits for a "ridiculously great marriage," and I felt they were all spot on and one that we can all revisit or dive into as engaged couples in pre-marital counseling or as a married couple. The chapters are not long and are organized for easy reading even if one or both of the spouses is not much of a reader. This book is also a great resource for pastors and counselors as well. The only drawback for me was the issue I have with a lot of marriage books, the intimacy section- I feel it always puts a lot of burden on the wife and is unrealistic in day to day life. I feel like weekly date nights, scheduled intimacy, and all these things at the frequency suggested were probably fine for the healthy young couple, but may be difficult with chronic illness, disability, multiple jobs, or other stressors that are unavoidable in many marriages. Overall, however the author's experience really shined through in the ease of reading, Scripture included, and practical straight forward approach. Great for the newly engaged couple, or the seasoned married couple.


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



About the Author


Dr. Gil Stieglitz is a prolific author, engaging speaker, and insightful pastor who has spent thousands of hours helping, coaching, and strengthening marriages. Gil has written over twenty-five books on marriage, parenting, soul development, and spiritual warfare, including top-seller Becoming a Godly HusbandGod’s Radical Plan for Wives, and Marital Intelligence. He speaks to thousands of people each year about the wonders of God’s principles. Gil now serves as Discipleship Pastor at Bayside Church, a dynamic multi-site church near Sacramento, CA. He is on faculty with Principles to Live By, a nonprofit organization that helps people connect to God’s principles in everyday life. He and his wife, Dana, enjoy a ridiculously delightful life in Northern California. For more information, visit ptlb.com.


More from Gil

After thousands of hours counseling couples for marriage and pre-marital issues, I had a few couples who just wanted to know the very basics of what they needed to do differently to have a much better marriage. These concepts, coupled with some pre-marital counseling I was doing at the time, allowed me to develop a quick and dirty list of the top ten habits couples should develop if they really wanted a terrific marriage. I asked them to trust me in what I was telling them, and they did what I requested. The results were amazing. 
For the purposes of this book, I have added five more habits great couples do to make the material even more robust and effective, and I included the exercises I used in my counseling sessions for couples to practice and work out. Think of this book as the low down of what makes a marriage “ridiculously great.” This is the kind of marriage that will constantly surprise you with delight, love, growth, energy, longing, and connection. It is beyond the norm—where you feel like you lucked into this great relationship with this amazing person. 
If you showed up in my office and asked me to give you the bottom line, these are the things I would tell you to do. Many people know what they are doing is not working, and they just want to know what to do. These fifteen things are what work…no joke.




Blog Stops

Holly Jo Morris, December 7
All-of-a-kind Mom, December 9
Mary Hake, December 10
Stories By Gina, December 11
Artistic Nobody, December 12 (Author Interview)
Discipling4Life , December 12
Texas Book-aholic, December 14
janicesbookreviews, December 15
A Reader’s Brain, December 16
Inklings and notions, December 17
A Diva’s Heart, December 18
Simple Harvest Reads, December 19 (Author Interview)
For Him and My Family, December 19





Giveaway


To celebrate his tour, Gil is giving away the grand prize package of a $100 Amazon Gift Card plus a signed copy of Gil’s book!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/f23b/building-a-ridiculously-great-marriage-celebration-tour-giveaway

Breath of Joy! Winter Whispers


About the Book


Book: Breath of Joy! Winter Whispers
Author: Kathy Joy
Genre: Non-fiction, Gift Book, Picture Book
Release Date: October 1, 2019

The final book in the series, Breath of Joy, Winter Whispers speaks of the deep quiet earth movements that echo human proving grounds and transitions during rest. Photo Art and Prose. Three everyday celebrations on every page spread are not commercially Christmas but rather interrelational and spiritually poised. This is simply, because in Winter when the earth’s axis is the farthest away from the sun, people warm themselves and grow in the wonder of darkness, where God still sees us, breathing life. 


Click HERE to get your copy. 





My Review

I thought Winter Whispers was really unique with a beautiful combination of words that really is mentally and visually stimulating. This book would be great for those who enjoy writing that makes them think, enjoys poetry, or perhaps as a gift or coffee table book for reading and aesthetics. Each page is a few sentences and lots of winter scenery. I would definitely take your time to read it and absorb it, as the words have comfort and joy wrapped up in them from a Christian standpoint especially all tied in to the surroundings of winter. If I had any criticisms, it would be that some of the photo art was blurry, some of it was a little too cluttered, and the book wasn't the highest quality it could be. Overall, however, the pictures and words together make a visual, mental, and spiritual adventure to enjoy.


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


About the Author


Kathy Joy enjoyed being a popular Christian radio D.J. in Colorado for many years. When her husband wanted to move to Pennsylvania to take over the family farm, Kathy Joy accompanied him with their two young daughters. Four years later, Kathy Joy found herself a widow raising two teenagers. To stave off despair, she began writing three every day celebrations in a journal. Friends on Facebook began prompting her to write a book, and so the beginning of the Breath of Joy series began. Kathy Joy now works in human services, speaking wonder on the weekends to grief therapy groups, motivational corporate meetings, and women’s retreats. Some of her topics include Vision Board workshops, Being a Harbor Pilot, Mirroring the Savior, The Fifth Season, and A Christmas Tea.  


More from Kathy

I’m so excited to join Celebrate Lit for this first real blog tour of my Breath of Joy series!
As a collector of celebrations, curating pithy delights and sharing them with my readers, I do hope you enjoy the visual experience and personal comfort offered in my Winter Whispers book.
Wintertime, especially Christmas and Valentine’s day, can be some of the toughest times of the year for people who have experienced trauma, or significant loss and grief. I’m one of those people.  Collecting three everyday celebrations for me was a means of refocusing on common joys in my life. They were a means of turning my despair into faith. Now, by publishing four books in less than two years, I have encountered another ladder of faith and I continue to face fear in order to live the adventure that God has for me.
Don’t you know, the Lord gives us many different kinds of gifts, and some of those gifts we would rather return to Him?  However, my seasonal “Breath of Joy!” books helped me not only to be thankful for the phase of life in which I found myself, but writing these books also built depth into my relationship with my real self, not my public persona, and specifically with the real God of the Bible.
It brings joy to my heart to collect snapshots of life and give my readers an opportunity to experience simple blessings in fresh, new ways. My books were borne out of sudden loss and grief when my husband of 23 years died of a massive heart attack. Gathering up my will to go forward, I remembered he always encouraged me to collect “beautiful moments” and write them down.
Now, when people connect with me, they say things like, “I couldn’t sleep, and so I picked up your book, and it gave me a new perspective that has helped me go on. If you can do it, so can I.” / “I went to one of Kathy Joy’s vision board making workshops. When I posted my board on the refrigerator, I had no idea how much I would rely on it to get me through the next year.  I am writing this to thank you for helping me stay out of the hospital for a full year.” /
”Just downloaded your file/book. Absolutely beautiful. I thought you wrote prose/poetry. Forgive me for putting you off. I loved perusing the pages. I went through it too fast. I need to sip it. I will peruse it again tomorrow. Totally different from what I thought it’d be. Hmmm. It’s more than a coffee table book. Gift book. Calming book. Nice, very nice.  Let me sit with it and ponder it. Lovely creation.
These kinds of receptions make my day. They let me know that God still has adventures for me to take and purposes for me to speak wonder into other people’s lives.



Blog Stops

The Power of Words, December 4
Lighthouse Academy, December 5
Older & Smarter?, December 10
She Lives to Read, December 13
Texas Book-aholic, December 14
janicesbookreviews, December 15
A Reader’s Brain, December 16
Mary Hake, December 16
                                                   Inklings and notions, December 17 




Giveaway


To celebrate her tour, Kathy is giving away the grand prize of a copy of the book in reader’s choice of format!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

In the Cradle Lies by Olivia Newport


About the Book


Book:  In the Cradle Lies
Author: Olivia Newport
Genre: Christian Fiction
Release Date: November, 2019

Book 2 in the Tree of Life Series: A Father-Daughter Genealogy Team Link Faith Journeys on Family Trees

On a solo ski vacation in Canyon Mines, Colorado, Tucker has a love-hate relationship with his wealth, spending indiscriminately while skiing fearlessly and preparing to conquer the overgrown slope of Hidden Run, a dangerous run not attempted in decades. As genealogist Jillian tries to uncover enough of Tucker’s family tree to understand his charming nature but reckless resolve, Jillian’s equally charming father, Nolan, cajoles Tucker into giving him ski lessons to get him talking about the suspicious circumstances surrounding his grandfather’s life in St. Louis in the 1930s.

On the surface, Tucker’s family’s history seems too perfect. The secret may lie in the sealed envelope Tucker carries with him at all times—even on the ski slope. When no one can find Tucker to tell him the fiancĂ©e he never mentioned turned up in Canyon Mines, they realize he must be off attempting to ski Hidden Run alone in a snowstorm. And they may be too late.

In the Cradle Lies is the second book in the Tree of Life series by Olivia Newport. You’ll want to return to the lovely Colorado mountain town of Canyon Mines again and again to explore and celebrate unforgettable family stories that will inspire you to connect with your own family histories and unique faith journeys.



Click HERE to get your copy!    




My Review

I was looking forward to the next book in this dual timeline genealogy series, and I was not disappointed by any means! We dive into the interesting and detailed world of finding a family tree from the genealogist's point of view.  We get a dual timeline that looks at our protagonist and their ancestors which provides us both a contemporary and historical fiction that are connected and unveils an unexpected twist. The book keeps you glued to the page until the end, and the plot twists and turns similar to the many branches of a family tree connected together. Each character is well developed, and the book read seamlessly. I'm looking forward to the future installments and you should be too!



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




About the Author


Olivia Newport’s novels twist through time to find where faith and passions meet. Her husband and twenty something children provide welcome distraction from the people stomping through her head on their way into her books. She chases joy in stunning Colorado at the foot of Pikes Peak.  


More from Olivia

True confession. I live in Colorado and don’t ski. In the Cradle Lies includes several references to “How can you live in the Colorado mountains and not ski?” Jillian, a main character in the Tree of Life series, has lived in the mountain town of Canyon Mines since she was two, and by the time she was eight she knew she didn’t want to ski. I grew up in Illinois, and while my high school had a ski club and somehow found places to ski (I’m not sure where; um, not exactly mountain territory), I was sure I would break something. Arriving in Colorado in my forties did not persuade me to take up skiing at that age. I live at the base of Pikes Peak, not in the mountains like Jillian. I do love the views! But one of the fun things about being a writer is learning a lot about things you know little about. Enter Google and YouTube. And more YouTube. And … you get the drift. Some quick facts about Colorado skiing to help get you in the mood for In the Cradle Lies:
  • Colorado typically leads the country in “skier days”—days of skiing purchased in ski areas.
  • Actually, most people in the state don’t ski. By a large margin. Like 90 percent. (So I feel better and so does Jillian.)
  • People visiting the state to ski or snowboard are important to our economy. (So thank you!)
  • Colorado has hosted about 175 ski areas since it became a state in 1876. Today, we have only about 30 operating resorts—so there are lots of dormant, lost, and hidden runs like the one in my story.
I hope you’ll check out In the Cradle Lies—and find out why Tucker came from St. Louis to Canyon Mines to ski an abandoned run that put his life at risk.



Blog Stops

All-of-a-kind Mom, December 3
Daysong Reflections, December 4
Genesis 5020, December 5
Godly Book Reviews, December 5
Pause for Tales, December 7
Mary Hake, December 8
Betti Mace, December 9
Bigreadersite, December 9
Hallie Reads, December 10
Spoken from the Heart, December 11
Older & Smarter?, December 12
Texas Book-aholic , December 13
Blogging With Carol, December 13
janicesbookreviews, December 14
A Reader’s Brain, December 16
With a Joyful Noise, December 16




Giveaway




To celebrate her tour, Olivia is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon Gift Card and a free copy of In the Cradle Lies!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

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.