Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Love Her Well by Kari Kampakis

Love Her Well Blog Tour 

Welcome to the Blog Tour & Giveaway for Love Her Well by Kari Kampakis, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!


Love Her Well
Title: Love Her Well
Author: Kari Kampakis
Publisher: Thomas Nelson 
Release Date: August 18, 2020
Genre: Christian Living/Parenting

Moms are eager for tips and wisdom to help them build strong relationships with their daughters, and Kari Kampakis’s Love Her Well gives them ten practical ways to do so, not by changing their daughters but by changing their own thoughts, actions, and mind - set.

For many women, having a baby girl is a dream come true. Yet as girls grow up, the narrative of innocence and joy changes to gloom and doom as moms are told, “Just wait until she’s a teenager!” and handed a disheartening script that treats a teenage girl’s final years at home as solely a season to survive.

Author and blogger Kari Kampakis suggests it’s time to change the narrative and mind - set that lead moms to parent teen girls with a spirit of defeat, not strength. By impr oving the foundation, habits, and dynamics of the relationship, mothers can connect with their teen daughters and earn a voice in their lives that allows moms to offer guidance, love, wisdom, and emotional support.

As a mom of four daughters ( three of whom are teenagers), Kari has learned the hard way that as girls grow up, mothers must grow up too. In Love Her Well, Kari shares ten ways that moms can better connect with their daughters in a challenging season, including:

  • choosing their words and timing carefully,
  • listening and empathizing with her teen’s world,
  • seeing the good and loving her for who she is,
  • taking care of themselves and having a support system, and more.

  • This book isn’t a guide to help mothers “fix” their daughters or make them behave. Rather, it’s about a mom’s journey, doing the heart work and legwork necessary to love a teenager while still being a strong, steady parent. Kari explores how every relationship consists of two imperfect sinners, and teenagers gain more respect for their parents when they admit (and learn from) their mistakes, apologize, listen, give grace, and try to understand their teens’ point of view. Yes, teenagers need rules and consequences , but without a connected relationship, parents may never gain a significant voice in their lives or be a safe place they long to return to.

    By admitting her personal failures and prideful mistakes that have hurt her relationships with her teenage daughters, Kari gives mothers hope and reminds them all things are possible through God. By leaning on him, mothers gain the wisdom, guidance, protection, and clarity they need to grow strong relationships with their daughters at every age, especially during the critical teen years.

    PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & NobleBook Depository | Christianbook  

    AUTHOR Q & A

    1. Which area of parenting a teenage girl is the most challenging for you? Staying patient
    and choosing my words wisely. By nature I tend to be direct, and I like to say things
    before I forget, but I have learned that both my timing and my approach can influence
    whether they take my words to heart.

    2. Which area is the most rewarding for you? The relationship, the laughter, and the deep
    conversations you can have because our daughters are real people with their own unique
    thoughts, dreams, emotions, and way of looking at life. I

    4. Do you have a daily Bible/prayer routine to prepare yourself for parenting each day? I
    like to have quiet time and read the Bible in the morning before everyone wakes up, but
    some days that doesn’t happen. Some days I get my reading and reflection/prayer time in
    before I go to bed at night.

    5. How can the church support parents and daughters to foster a healthy relationship? The
    best thing the church can do for parents is 1) help them embrace God’s love for them
    (which they can rest in when they don’t feel loved by their family) and 2) talk about
    God’s mercy, power, and healing grace. As parents, we tend to think our failures or
    mistakes have ruined any chance of reconciliation or working things out after an
    argument, and that’s not true. The whole message of the gospels is about Jesus saving us
    as sinners and redeeming what is dead or broken, and no matter what challenges a family
    faces, this brings tremendous hope.

    6. What is the main takeaway you hope readers will glean from your book? I hope they will
    feel encouraged to love their daughters like God loves us - unconditionally and regardless
    of whether that love is reciprocated, because some days it won’t be. But that is the beauty
    of a mother’s love, and having just lost my own mother this past February, I can say that
    her enormous heart for me and the way she lit up when she saw me is what I now
    appreciate and miss the most.



    Kari Kampakis

    Kari Kubiszyn Kampakis is an author, blogger, and national speaker from Birmingham, Alabama. Her books for teen girls, 10 Ultimate Truths Girls Should Know and Liked: Whose Approval Are You Living For?, have been used widely across the country by teen youth groups and church groups to empower girls through faith.

    Kari’s work has been featured on the TODAY Show, TODAY Parents,Yahoo! News, EWTN, Proverbs 31, Ann Voskamp’s blog, The Huffington Post, and other national outlets. She and her husb and, Harry, have four daughters and a dog named Lola. Learn more by visiting www.karikampakis.com or finding Kari on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter.

    CONNECT WITH KARI: Website Facebook | Instagram | Twitter


    (2) winners will receive a print copy of Love Her Well by Kari Kampakis!

    Love Her Well JustRead Giveaway

    Be sure to check out each stop on the tour for more chances to win. Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway will begin at midnight August 17, 2020 and last through 11:59 PM EST on August 24, 2020. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.
    Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.


       Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!


    *NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

    Saturday, August 8, 2020

    Rahab by Diana Wallis Taylor


    About the Book

    Book:  Rahab
    Author: Diana Wallis Taylor
    Genre:  Biblical Fiction

    Some biblical scholars maintain that the woman in Jericho who hid Joshua’s two spies was a harlot or a prostitute. But if that was the case, how did this woman, Rahab, become one of the ancestors of Jesus Christ? Wouldn’t the Father ensure a pure lineage for His Son?
    In this historical fiction, author Diana Wallis Taylor offers a beautiful story of intrigue that explains how Rahab came to be the mother of Boaz, grandmother of Obed, and great-grandmother of Jesse, the father of King David.

    In Rahab, Woman of Jericho, readers discover a Rahab who is a descendent of the tribe of Ephraim, one of the ten lost tribes of Israel. Her clan left Egypt and settled in Canaan before the Hebrews were enslaved. Although they did not wander in the desert with Moses for forty years, nor did they hear the laws that the Lord gave to His people, they still worshipped the one true God.

    Rahab marries Radames, a young Egyptian officer, who is to become the new governor of Jericho. They live in the Egyptian embassy set in the city wall. When the Israelites approach Canaan with their army, pharaoh sends word that he is withdrawing his troops. Radames fabricates a story to tell Jericho’s king, but Hammurabi doesn’t believe it…and he has his eye on the beautiful Rahab.

    What will happen to Rahab after the lecherous king poisons her husband? How can she save her family from the invading Israelites? God parted the waters of the Jordan River for them—will He likewise provide miracles and blessings to her Ephraimite clan if they can rejoin their people?

    Click Here to get your copy!

    My Review

    If you’re looking for a clean, sweet romance with a Biblical backdrop this one is for you. It was certainly not what I was expecting, but the backdrop was clearly described, the characters were well developed, and the plot was easy to get hooked on. The author used mostly artistic license in my opinion to form the character of Rahab, but I did enjoy the faith journey that she grows in while facing many obstacles of her being a woman and being part of the culture she was. I really enjoyed the account of the Israelite spies and how the author weaves the artistic license in with the Biblical account. However, Rahab is not portrayed as a prostitute in the book, and while it would be a difficult task to characterize her as such in a clean Christian fiction, I feel like too much reality was stripped away. I felt like part of the heart of the story was cut out because it took out the part that God uses anyone and cherishes anyone regardless of their past. Overall if you’re looking for an intriguing sweet faith based romance, and not as concerned about the artistic license taken with a Biblical character, this one is for you.

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

    About the Author

    Diana Wallis Taylor is an award-winning author of more than a dozen books, including such novels as Hadassah, Queen Esther of Persia; Lydia, Woman of Philippi; Mary, Chosen of God; Ruth, Mother of Kings; Mary Magdalene; and Journey to the Well. She is also the author of Halloween: Harmless Fun or Risky Business?
    Diana’s additional published works include a collection of poetry, Wings of the Wind; an Easter cantata, “Glorious,” written with a musical collaborator and available on Sheet Music Plus; and contributions to various magazines and compilations.
    She received her B.A. in Elementary Education at San Diego State University and was an elementary school teacher for twenty-two years. She operated two coffeehouse/used bookstores and later retired from a private Christian college as Director of Conference Services.
    Diana makes her home in San Diego, California. Readers are welcome to reach out to her and read her blog at www.dianawallistaylor.com.

    Read an Excerpt

    At one large, ornate building that was obviously a temple, young women wearing flimsy garments, much jewelry, and elaborate make-up were lounging on the steps.
    “Who are they, Radames?”
    “Temple priestesses.”
    “Women priests? They do not look like priests.”
    He took a deep breath. “They are temple prostitutes who serve their god. By laying with a worshipper, they believe they assist him or her to honor their god.”
    She put her hand on his arm. “I cannot judge others, but my people worship one God, Jehovah, who does not require that sort of worship.”
    Radames seemed thoughtful and made no reply.
    Her family had lived among the Canaanites for years, but she had never seen such a temple before. Beth-horon was so small—wouldn’t she have seen one if it was there? Perhaps her parents and their parents had endeavored to shield their children from the worst pagan practices.
    Just before they returned home, she looked back at the palace, looming over the city like some evil monster. It sent a chill through her.
    When they were safely in the embassy again, they sat in the dining hall and ate their mid-day meal: fresh bread, goat cheese, figs, and pomegranates, with a cup of beer for Radames and wine for Rahab.
    Rahab turned to Radames. “My lord, the Canaanites have so many gods. You said you worshipped a fewer number. I am not familiar with Egyptian gods and would like to hear about them.”
    He looked at her thoughtfully and took her hand in his. “Amon is the main one; he is considered the king of the gods and goddesses, and we believe he is father to the Pharaohs. His female counterpart is Amunet, called the Female Hidden One. They had a son, Khonsu, the moon god. Mut, which means ‘mother’ in Egyptian, is a deity who wears two crowns on her head. Osiris is considered the oldest child of the earth god, Zeb, and the sky goddess, Nut. He is the god of the afterlife. That is why many things are buried with the body when an Egyptian dies, so that he has what he needs in the life after death.”
    She remained silent, listening, her thoughts twirling round about. She had married Radames out of love and her father had assured her that marrying an Egyptian was not forbidden because of their family heritage. But how was she to deal with a husband who worshipped idols? She smiled at him. “Tell me more.”
    He sliced a piece of cheese and playfully fed it to her before continuing.
    “Anubis is the divine embalmer. Before Osiris, Anubis patrolled the underworld. He is known for mummifying the dead and guiding their souls toward the afterlife. Horus is the god of vengeance and is the child of Osiris and Isis. He avenged his father’s death and ruled Egypt. Thoth is the god of knowledge and wisdom, who settles disputes between good and evil. He maintains the universe by his mastery of calculations. We believe him to be the author of science, philosophy, and magic. He is also the one who created our calendar. Sekhmet is the goddess of war and healing. She can destroy the enemies of her allies. Geb is the god of earth, who represents crops and healing. We believe he retains the souls of the wicked.”
    It was a lot to digest. “Those are all your gods?”
    He shook his head. “Only some of them, the most important ones.”
    “And you worship all these gods?”
    “When I am home with my family or with my soldiers, I profess to worship them. My father would be insulted and perhaps disown me if I even hinted that I did not.”
    She stared at him, realizing what he had just revealed. Hope rose in her heart. “You say that as if there is something else you believe.”
    Radames hesitated, as if uncertain how to proceed. “I don’t know,” he said finally. “I have grown up with all our gods, but prayers to them are not answered. I have not mentioned this before, beloved, but I was married years ago, at the age of eighteen. My wife was only fifteen. Both she and our infant son died in childbirth a year later. I made offering after offering to the gods, praying for her to live, but there was no answer—and no comfort. So I do not put my faith in any god.”
    Rahab reached out to touch his arm. “Oh, Radames. I am so sorry about your wife and child. That must have been so hard to bear. Did my father know of this?”
    “I told him that first night I came.”
    “And what did he say?”
    “He said that I may someday wish to speak to you about your God…when I am ready to do so.”

    Blog Stops


    To celebrate her tour, Diana is giving away the grand prize of a $20 Starbucks gift card!!
    Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

    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)


    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.