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)


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!


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.



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
*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)


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.