Sunday, August 2, 2020

The Man Inside the Box by Jimbob Striplin




About the Book


The past fifteen years have weighed heavily on the shoulders of Miss Jackie Neher, as she’s worked hard to suppress thoughts of misfortune that have defined her. Although she has found some comfort in her new life as caretaker in the orphanage, it’s what could have been that continues to haunt her. To add to her struggle, orphan Thomas Henry has made her situation more difficult than ever before. His hatred toward the life he was given has caused him to rebel and his perceived lack of purpose has led him to believe that living is no longer an option. It seems that their lives have become nothing more than a series of unanswered prayers, until the fateful encounter with the journals of a man, long forgotten, emerge from within an old box in the darkest corner of their home and change everything.


My Review


This new author to me certainly impressed with his creative plot line that kept you turning the page. This book would resonate with YA readers and adult readers as well. I certainly did not see the ending coming that did, and there were many twists and turns along the way. We see more than one faith journey and a lot of character development. Thomas and Jackie both have their pasts to work through. We also get a look into a small subplot of historical backdrop (earlier than the book is set) that relates to our characters In unexpected ways. I enjoyed how the author showed how our struggles can be eased or made heavier by the influence of those around us, no matter how little of a role they play in our life. The only difficulties I had was that the flow was a tad choppy, some of the action seemed to go a little too far for feasibility, and the secondary characters needed a little more development. I thought there maybe were just a few too many twists and turns to promote proper flow. With that said, I feel a lot of talent shines through in this book that could be enjoyed by a very wide audience and may lead someone who also has a broken past and is struggling to find the Lord as well. 

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



About the Author

Jim Bob Striplin is a high school football coach, teacher, former college athlete, husband and dad. He graduated from Auburn University with degrees in world geography and physical education in 2000.

These undertakings have prepared him to produce six books to date: The Gift of Christmas, The Gift of Christmas ‘Origins,’ The Gift of Christmas ‘The Final Winter,’ Saving the Coach and The Man Inside the Box, all of which have had positive reviews.His lone non-fiction work is called ‘The Fundamentals of Quarterback Play.’ He categorizes his books as, “Works of inspirational fiction designed to make the reader think.” Please feel free to reach out to “Coach” via email Jrstriplin@yahoo.com if you’d like him to visit your church, civic group or your football team!



 

Still Small Voice by Allen Brokken



About the Book

 
Book:  Still Small Voice
Author: Allen Brokken
Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy
Release Date: July 24, 2020

The Still Small Voice Leads the Way

Because of their faith, twelve-year-old Lauren and her younger brothers, Aiden and Ethan, prevailed in the battle for the Tower of Light. But their victory did not stop the Dark One. Darkness continues to spread across Zoura’s frontier.

Now, in a vision, Mother tells them to light a second tower in Blooming Glen. Before they can set out on their journey with the Knight Protector, their Uncle arrives with a different set of instructions. He doesn’t trust the Knight Protector or the Mighty Mercenaries and believes the children should go to grandma’s house instead.

Unyielding in his belief, Uncle unknowingly leads the children off their path.And a misguided acolyte follows them. Lurking in the shadows, he strikes at every opportunity as the dark forces prepare to descend.

Lauren, Aiden, and Ethan are Zoura’s last defense. Can they convince their Uncle of the truth—that he must listen to the still small voice—and make it to Blooming Glen before the Dark One’s forces overtake them?

Click HERE to get your copy!




My Review

What a treasure of a book for families to read together! This book is perfect for upper grade school through upper middle school ages and honestly, I had a lot of fun reading it too as an adult. The book came across like an allegory with the darkness being evil and the light being God's presence. The children have adult helpers like Uncle and a knight, but ultimately they must show great bravery trying to fend off the evil and follow the vision to get to Blooming Glen and to the light. The ride is an exciting one, and yet the children are very innocent and honest (and their pets and their names are adorable). I love how their child-like faith reminds us of how the Lord calls us to be when trusting Him, which we forget all too often as adults. Overall, the plot, character development, and fantastical world really flow together to give us a book that makes us want more. Don't miss it!

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




About the Author



Allen Brokken is a teacher at heart, a husband and father most of all. He’s a joyful writer by the abundant grace of God. Follow his endeavors @towersoflight, @twodadsandajoke, and http://www.brokken.net Your children can grow their own faith and love of God by following the adventures of Lauren, Aiden, and Ethan (plus their pets!) at instagram.com/towersoflight




More from Allen

Still Small Voice is the much anticipated 2nd book in the Towers of Light series.  We will be launching the book with a Celebrate Lit tour on July 24th.  Come on the tour to learn about some of the places author Allen Brokken visited to research the unique frontier setting for the series.  Five of the tour stops are interviews where he shares what he learned at different historical locations as well as his inspiration for the second book which focuses in listing for the Holy Spirit’s still small voice.
As defenders of the light, three children embark on a journey to stop the dark forces invading their land.

Louder than ever before, the message of listening to the holy spirit’s still small voice resonates with an urgency that demands action.

”Still Small Voice by Allen Brokken is an adventure of a lifetime! Filled with mystery, action, family bonds, and a healthy dose of animal friends this second book in the Tower of Light Series is a fantastic continuation of the journey of siblings Lauren, Aiden, and Ethan. Their quest to spread the Light as Darkness creeps across the land is a faith-filled adventure worth joining. ~Katie Clark, author of the Enslaved Series”


Blog Stops

Texas Book-aholic, July 23

For the Love of Literature, July 24

Artistic Nobody, July 25 (Author Interview)

Inklings and notions, July 26

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, July 27

Vicky Sluiter, July 28 (Author Interview)

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, July 29

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, July 30

A Baker’s Perspective, July 31 (Author Interview)

Blogging With Carol, July 31

deb’s Book Review, August 1

A Reader’s Brain, August 2

Through the Fire Blogs, August 3 (Author Interview)

For Him and My Family, August 4

My Devotional Thoughts, August 5 (Author Interview)


Giveaway


To celebrate his tour, Allen is giving away the grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.



Saturday, July 4, 2020

I AM by Diane Stortz


About the Book



Book:  I AM
Author: Diane Stortz
Genre:  Juvenile nonfiction, Bible stories
Release Date: 2016

Creator, Comforter, Healer, Friend. God’s names tell us who He is, what He is like, and what He does. This beautiful book covers 40 of the Bible’s many names and descriptive titles for God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, including Jehovah Jireh, The Lord My Shepherd, Immanuel, Rabbi, and I AM.
Through Bible stories, short devotions, and prayers, children discover the meaning of each name and how it relates to their lives. As they develop understanding of God’s character and His love for them, children will grow to know, love, and trust the great I AM more and more.
“Those who know your name put their trust in you.” –Psalm 9:10



Click HERE to get your copy!




My Review

Diane Stortz's books are just a treasure for families to enjoy with their children while learning about the one true God. The book itself is lovely quality that is perfect for a gift for the special child in your life. I recommend ages 5-10. What I love is that it's not just Bible stories- it takes the true accounts from the Bible and ties them back to God and salvation and tells the stories in continuum to show the Bible as one larger story centered around Christ like it should be. The illustrations are absolutely breathtaking! The way the story is told is perfect for children to understand and really get into. It includes Scripture, further reading, a prayer for the day, and questions to consider. I really can't say enough about how wonderful her books are for families to really dive into with their children to enjoy learning about our Savior. Pick a copy up for your family today!


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






About the Author


Diane Stortz is a multipublished author who writes to make God’s wonders known to the next generation. Her children’s releases include the best-selling Say & Pray Bible and I AM: 40 Reasons to Trust God, both from Tommy Nelson. Diane’s books for women, A Woman’s Guide to Reading the Bible in a Year and Encountering God’s Heart for You, both from Bethany House, encourage women to get to know God through His Word, the Bible. Diane and her husband have two married daughters and five grandchildren—all boys! Visit her at www.DianeStortz.com.


More from Diane

You can often guess someone’s age by considering their name. Diane, for example, was popular in the 1950s, so . . . that tells you something about me.

But God’s personal name? Well, it’s ageless. Just like Him.

When Moses met God at the burning bush and received the task of leading the Israelites out of Egypt, he wasn’t exactly thrilled at first. He peppered God with questions, including, “When I tell the people that I met you here and you gave me this assignment, they’re going to want to know your name. What should I tell them?”

The Israelites had just about forgotten who the God of their fathers Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob was.
But God hadn’t forgotten them. Not at all. God told Moses, “I AM WHO I AM. . . . Say this to the people of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you’” (Exodus 3:14).

I AM WHO I AM. I always have been. I will always be. I will never change.

Choosing a book title is rarely easy, and choosing a title for this book about the names of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit took a long time. I couldn’t be more grateful to the Tommy Nelson publishing team who developed and settled on the title I AM: 40 Reasons to Trust God.

My prayer for every child who reads this book and every family that goes through the book together, and for myself: May we all grow mightily in our understanding of who God is and our relationship with Him! As Psalm 9:10 says, “Those who know your name put their trust in you.”


Blog Stops



Giveaway


To celebrate her tour, Diane is giving away  the grand prize package of signed copies of all three I AM books!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

Saturday, June 27, 2020

The Green Dress by Liz Tolsma


About the Book



Book:  The Green Dress
Author: Liz Tolsma
Genre: Christian Historical Suspense
Release Date: June 2020

Death Seems to Follow Harriet’s New Friend

Book 6 in the True Colors series—Fiction Based on Strange-But True History

When Harriet Peters came to Boston in 1882, the Robinson family took her in like one of their own, and Harriet became closer to Lizzie Robinson than her own siblings. Now, four years later, Lizzie is deathly sick, failing quickly just like several others in her family have done over the past few years. How can so many in one family die from the same mysterious illness? Harriet doesn’t have answers, but she is determined to help the family, bringing in a new-to-the-neighborhood doctor, Michael Wheaton.

As Harriet and Michael close in on the answer, putting their own lives at risk, can the cause be found before anyone else dies?


Click HERE to get your copy!




My Review

As usual, the True Colors historical crime series by various authors never fails to amaze! Harriet is perplexed and grieved by all the deaths in the family of her friends- good Christian people who continue to have horrific and unexplained deaths one by one. When Harriet's closest friend dies, she is determined to help take care of her remaining family and yet, family members continue to get sick. It is not long before foul play is suspected, and Harriet recruits Micheal, the kindly new doctor, who both have to put their own lives at risk to unravel the mystery. The book is based off of real history, and man does the mystery keep your skin crawling! At first reading the book, I was a little disoriented trying to grasp what was going on, but slowly the author starts making connections and dropping clues to lead us to the final answer. Micheal and Harriet were both deeply complex each on their own faith journey, and each drawing closer to each other. The book doesn't shy away from the reality of the cruel deaths each person suffered. The conclusion reached is based on real, terrifying history and certainly is a shock. Don't miss this book, and better yet this series!

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



About the Author



Liz Tolsma is a popular speaker and an editor and the owner of the Write Direction Editing. An almost-native Wisconsinite, she resides in a quiet corner of the state with her husband and is the mother of three. Her son proudly serves as a U.S. Marine. They adopted all of their children internationally, and one has special needs. When she gets a few spare minutes, she enjoys reading, relaxing on the front porch, walking, working in her large perennial garden, and camping with her family.




More from Liz

We’ve all been there—started a letter or an email or even a list, didn’t like what we had, crossed it out or hit the delete button, and tried again. Now imagine that happening when you’re writing a novel.

That’s what occurred with The Green Dress. Finding the perfect place to start a novel can be tricky, but when you’re trying to balance fact with fiction, it’s even harder. I needed the fictional heroine, Harriet Peters, to have a good reason to come into contact with and become close to the factual Robinson family. And I needed for the hero, Michael Wheaton, to meet Harriet early on. So I dove into the story. Five chapters later, the hero and heroine hadn’t yet met. The book wasn’t working.

I scrapped those chapters and started at a different point. At first, it seemed to be going better. I was happy. Until I got to the fifth chapter, when I realized again that the book wasn’t working. Frankly, it was boring. So those ended up in the virtual trash bin. Meanwhile, the clock was ticking on my deadline. I was desperate to find the right starting point, at a place with high tension. Finally, I had an “aha” moment, and the story flowed from there. That’s how the first five chapters (and the rest of The Green Dress) came to be.

—Liz Tolsma



Blog Stops

Rebecca Tews, June 27
Genesis 5020, June 29
Emily Yager, June 29
Robin’s Nest, June 30
Bigreadersite, July 1
Betti Mace, July 3
Remembrancy, July 4
Vicky Sluiter, July 5
amandainpa, July 6
Hallie Reads, July 8
Artistic Nobody, July 9 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)




Giveaway


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

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Let Them Be Kids by Jessica Smartt

Let Them Be Kids Blog Tour

Welcome to the Blog Tour & Giveaway for Let Them Be Kids by Jessica Smartt, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

ABOUT THE BOOK

Title: Let Them Be Kids
Author: Jes sica Smartt
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Release Date: June 9, 2020
Genre: Christian Living/Parenting

As every parent hopes to raise kids with good manners and values, Jessica Smartt’s practical guide fills the gaps of uncertainty and provides tips on how parents can equip their children in purity, faith, and creativity.


Let Them Be
Kids by
Jessica Smart

Former English teacher and homeschooling mother of three, Jessica Smartt felt the weigh t of helping prepare her kids for life, especially with all the outside pressures and influence of the world. She struggled with how she could raise her children with a sense of adventure, self - confidence, manners, faith, and the ability to utilize technol ogy wisely.

Let Them Be Kids is Jessica’s offering of grace and confidence to moms, giving them practical ideas to meet these challenges. Her well - researched, tested methods, woven together with her personal stories and witty hum or, deliver wisdom on the tough topics of life, such as
  • family time vs. outside activities,
  • being “cool” or not,
  • boredom,
  • technology usage
  • sexual purity, and
  • showing grace when kids disobey.
Part story and part guidebook, every chapter includes doable strategies and encouragement for the journey.

Let Them Be Kids helps moms feel confident and equipped with ways to provide a safe, healthy, Christ - centered childh ood for their children. It leads them to conquer fear and find truth that transforms them and their families as it reminds them how to enjoy and cherish the special memory - making moments of building family values together.

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Christianbook



 

My Review

I really thought our author brought a down to earth, thought-provoking read to consider when it comes to our children and families. I thought the book was jammed pack of helpful resources and loose guidelines to try out at home with your family until you figure out what works for your kids. I thought the book lacked judgment or comparison, and the author did not seem to come from a superior standpoint. I really think the author just hit the nail on the head over things that we stress over so much while not always allowing our kids to simply be just kids. The author covered topics such as technology limits, outside time, free "boredom" time and imagination, showing grace in discipline while still being a parent, not putting adult burdens on our child, and protecting their innocence. I will say after reading all the book, I felt a little overwhelmed like some of these principles and putting them to practice are just totally impractical for me! However, the author does make it clear that finding what works with your family is a very individual thing. Some resources included were lists of books to read with your kids, conversations with discussion questions on difficult topics, and more. I think this book is great for any age parent to consider reading!


 I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.

________________________________________________________________________


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jessica Smartt

Jessica Smartt is a former English teacher turned homeschooling mama of three. A week after her first baby was born, she began her motherhood blog “Smartter” Each Day. Jessica and her husband live in beautiful North Carolina, where she loves hikin g with kids (mostly), steaming coffee in the afternoon, family bike rides, and anything that’s ever been done to a potato.

CONNECT WITH JESSICA: Website | Facebook | Instagram | 


 
Follow along at  for a full list of stops! JustRead Publicity Tours
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*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

Sunday, June 14, 2020

Women of the Bible Speak Out by Marlo Schalesky



About the Book


Book:  Women of the Bible Speak Out
Author: Marlo Schalesky
Genre:  RELIGION/Christian Living/Women’s Interests
Release Date: June 2, 2020

With the recent headlines about gender-based abuse, power, harassment, and assault, it seems as if everyone is searching for answers. Marlo Schalesky provides a biblical response to the tough questions raised by these issues. She explores the stories of twenty women in Scripture, including Eve, Sarah, and Bathsheba—women who were betrayed, abused, endangered, blamed, and shamed. As she leads us in studying the biblical text, she draws our eye to God’s responses to these women and their situations:  Eve: The Way It Was Supposed to Be

Sarai: Betrayed
Hagar: – Used
Lot’s Daughters & A Levite’s Concubine: Abused
Two Tamars: Rejected
Hannah: Devalued
Abigail: Endangered
Bathsheba: Sexualized
Esther: Dominated
Mary & Martha: Oppressed
A Samaritan Woman: Shamed
A Sinful Woman: Scorned
A Woman Caught in Adultery: Blamed
Women at the Tomb: Disbelieved

She points out a way to healing, wholeness, and freedom. In the midst of today’s #MeToo conversations, this book will give new voice to the remarkable women of Scripture—and new hope to many, many women today.



Click HERE to get your copy!


My Review

Props to the author for this game-changing, Biblically based, oh so relevant book. While this book deals with women's issues, I feel lay leaders, pastors, and our Christian men need to read it to understand the reality of these women's issues. The church in general for too long has silenced women crying out for help, justice, encouragement and more, and now is the time to end it. The author takes Biblical women and actually focuses on how the women most likely felt while facing betrayal, being used, being lied to and more just because they were women. The book is not a political movement, it is a Biblical movement. This book is for those who have been hurt, used, abused, and more just because they are a woman to find hope, understanding, compassion, and a fresh start while not demeaning the horrific experiences many have suffered. While I can't say I agree with the theology 100%, this is an absolute must read to at the very least provoke discussion on difficult topics, and to hopefully change the way we look at the reality women face so often and be an agent of Biblical change. The book takes Eve, Sarai, Hagar, the women at the tomb, and more and shows the story from their perspective, how that can relate to women's experiences today, and how the Lord never called for this. At the same time, the author doesn't politicize the Bible, or try to minimize the differences between men and women, but rather celebrates what the Bible explains women were uniquely created to be. Don't miss this absolute must read, and consider using it as a ministry/counseling resource as well. 


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



About the Author



Marlo Schalesky is the founder and president of Wonder Wood Ranch, a California charitable organization that brings hope through horses to hurting kids. She’s had over one thousand articles published in various Christian magazines, is a regular columnist for Power for Living, and is an award-winning author of twelve books. Schalesky has a master’s in theology with an emphasis in biblical studies from Fuller Theological Seminary. She lives with her husband and six children in a log home on California’s central coast.




More from Marlo

1) Why did you write this book?
When I was first asked to consider writing a book about women in the Bible who experienced abuse, oppression, gender-based bias and discrimination, sexualization, and more, I didn’t know how their stories would intersect with mine and the experiences of women today. I thought I would find only horror, but beyond that I found a surprising hope; a God who is always seeking to redeem, to heal, and to make right where mankind has broken and betrayed.

This book is for others like me, for women who have been hurt, whose wounds sometimes seem too deep to heal. I wrote it for those who know that while justice is necessary, it is not enough. We need to see God. We need Him to see us. We need an experience with the God of Scripture whose fierce love is the only thing that can heal those hurts that lie deep within.

2) What do you hope your readers will take away from reading your book?
I hope they experience a renewed hope. And a deeper understanding of the God who loves them. I want readers to know that God sees them, and He sees what they’ve suffered, and He does not look away. He does not make excuses.]

After reading Women of the Bible Speak Out, I hope readers will see that instead of winking at the repression of women, the Bible exposes it. And the Bible reveals a God who not only shares in our suffering but seeks to redeem it.


Blog Stops


Emily Yager, June 12
Older & Smarter, June 12
Rebecca Tews, June 15
Holly Jo Morris, June 18
Lighthouse Academy Blog, June 19 (Guest Review from Marilyn Ridgway)
Hallie Reads, June 21
Splashes of Joy, June 22
Artistic Nobody, June 22 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)



Giveaway


To celebrate her tour, Marlo is giving away the grand prize package of a copy of the book plus a $10 Amazon gift card!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.