Monday, February 18, 2019

The Seamstress by Allison Pittman


About the Book



Title: The Seamstress  
Author: Allison Pittman  
Genre: Historical Fiction 
  Release date: February 5, 2019  
Publisher: Tyndale

A beautifully crafted story breathes life into the cameo character from the classic novel A Tale of Two Cities. France,

1788 It is the best of times . . .

On a tranquil farm nestled in the French countryside, two orphaned cousins—Renée and Laurette—have been raised under the caring guardianship of young Émile Gagnon, the last of a once-prosperous family. No longer starving girls, Laurette and Renée now spend days tending Gagnon’s sheep, and nights in their cozy loft, whispering secrets and dreams in this time of waning innocence and peace.

It is the worst of times . . .

Paris groans with a restlessness that can no longer be contained within its city streets. Hunger and hatred fuel her people. Violence seeps into the ornate halls of Versailles. Even Gagnon’s table in the quiet village of Mouton Blanc bears witness to the rumbles of rebellion, where Marcel Moreau embodies its voice and heart. It is the story that has never been told. In one night, the best and worst of fate collide. A chance encounter with a fashionable woman will bring Renée’s sewing skills to light and secure a place in the court of Queen Marie Antoinette. An act of reckless passion will throw Laurette into the arms of the increasingly militant Marcel. And Gagnon, steadfast in his faith in God and country, can only watch as those he loves march straight into the heart of the revolution.

Click HERE to purchase your copy!


My Review

I don't think I can give The Seamstress enough praise- I was hooked from page one and I finished the book in a weekend. The last time I read A Tale of Two Cities had to be in high school, and to be honest I was kind of lost at that time reading it. This book brought that story to life in a whole new way centered around the most unlikely of heroes and heroines. The thread of the Gospel and the Lord's strength through the entire plot was a blessing to me as well. The author was so seamless in her ability to bring in the history, the Christian aspect, and a truly realistic plot and scenes that truly captured the essence of both Queen Marie Antoinette, and the reality of the starving French. I truly was endeared to the characters especially Gagnon, Laurette, and Renee in particular. I loved how even among the bleak backdrop of the French Revolution how our characters cling even closer to their faith, and how some find faith in the bleakness. My heart was truly broken and uplifted amongst the stunning historical backdrop presented. Realistic, riveting, historical, inspirational, and heartbreaking all in one, The Seamstress is NOT to be missed!

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


About the Author



Allison Pittman is the author of more than a dozen critically acclaimed novels and a three-time Christy finalist—twice for her Sister Wife series and once for All for a Story from her take on the Roaring Twenties. She lives in San Antonio, Texas, blissfully sharing an empty nest with her husband, Mike. Connect with her on Facebook (Allison Pittman Author), Twitter (@allisonkpittman) or her website, allisonkpittman.com.




Guest Post from Allison

My dream of being an author began by “finishing” other author’s works, fleshing out the stories of neglected characters. When I read the final books in the Little House series, I was far more interested in Cap Garland than I was in Almonzo Wilder, and I imagined all kinds of stories in which he was the hero. This, The Seamstress, is one of those stories that came to me in a single burst of thought. I was teaching my sophomore English class, discussing through the final scenes in A Tale of Two Cities, when the little seamstress in those final pages reached out to me. She is a nameless character, seemingly more symbolic than anything. Dickens, however, gives her an entire backstory in a single phrase: I have a cousin who lives in the country. How will she ever know what became of me? I remember pausing right then and there in front of my students and saying, “Now, there’s the story I want to write.” Now, years later, I have. While every word of every Charles Dickens novel is a master class in writing, what he gave to me for The Seamstress is the kind of stuff that brings life and breath to fiction. I have to convey the fact that any character on my pages—no matter how much story space he or she is allotted—has a life between them. Every man was once a child; every woman a vulnerable young girl. So, Dickens gave me the bones of the story. A seamstress. A cousin in the country. A country ripped apart; family torn from family. I did my very best to put flesh on those bones, but no writer can ever bring the life and breath. Only a reader can do that.



Blog Stops

Fiction Aficionado, February 9
The Lit Addict, February 9
The Power of Words, February 9
Lis Loves Reading, February 10
Maureen’s Musings, February 10
Carpe Diem, February 11
All-of-a-kind Mom, February 12
Emily Yager, February 12
Mary HakeFebruary 12
Stories By GinaFebruary 13
Inspired by fiction, February 14
Remembrancy, February 14
Inklings and Notions, February 16
Bibliophile Reviews, February 17
Texas Book-aholic, February 17
Margaret Kazmierczak, February 18
A Reader’s BrainFebruary 18
By The Book, February 18
Multifarious, February 19
Pause for Tales, February 19
Bigreadersite, February 20
Simple Harvest Reads, February 20
Janices book reviews, February 20
For the Love of Books, February 21
Book by Book, February 21



Giveaway

 
To celebrate her tour, Allison is giving away a grand prize of a $25 Amazon gift card, a hardcover copy of The Seamstress, and this copy of A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens!!
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/db0e/the-seamstress-celebration-tour-giveaway


Monday, February 11, 2019

Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge: A Biography for Children by Susan Barnett Braun


About the Book



Title: Katie Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge  
Author: Susan Barnett Braun  
Genre: Children’s Non-Fiction  
Release date: July 25, 2013, and updated with chapters on each of William and Kate’s children

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, is known to most of the world as Kate Middleton. She was an ordinary girl on her way to an ordinary life until she met her Prince Charming. Now, she appears on television and in magazines. She wears beautiful, expensive clothing and travels all over the world. One day, she will be Queen of England. But along the way, she was bullied as a schoolgirl and she waited nearly ten years before marrying Prince William. Learn more about Kate’s road to royalty in this book! Written at Lexile level 930 (same as the Little House on the Prairie books), this book will appeal to girls eager to learn more about the most popular royal since Princess Diana. Full-color photos; timeline that places Kate’s life events into context next to world historical events


Click HERE to purchase your copy.


My Review

Kate Middleton herself is an intriguing person because of her rise to fame like Princess Diana had. We all enjoyed watching her wedding, getting to see her children, and are looking forward to her future as queen. As an American, the royalty concept itself is just an interesting one because we don't have anything like that. The author did a really good job of meeting her target age group by writing on that level. I would say good for children up to 10 or 11 depending on your child's reading level and speed. It was a short enough read that it was informative but to the point for children.  There was a nice picture included with every chapter. It is always inspirational to see someone rise from being bullied to getting to be a duchess, and Kate's story is one definitely worth reading. This may be good for a resource for a beginner research paper for children as well. Overall, I learned some and thought it was appropriate for the age group targeted.

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


About the Author



Susan Barnett Braun earned a BS in retail management from Indiana University and an MA in education from the University of Alabama. She taught for eight years in northeast Indiana, earning a Lilly Endowment Teacher Creativity Fellowship and a National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Study Scholarship. Susan has had work published in Parents, Children’s Ministry, and The Secret Place. She also writes online for Fort Wayne Visitor’s Bureau and blogs at Girls in White Dresses. She is married with three wonderful young adult daughters. Susan enjoys reading, playing piano and organ, and spending her time with her family and pets (currently three rabbits and a chinchilla). She has loved the British Royal Family since Diana came onto the scene back in the 1980s.


Guest Post from Susan

Back in 1981, as a teenager, I woke early to watch Prince Charles marry Lady Diana Spencer. My fascination with the British royal family began with Diana. As a high school senior, I submitted my senior paper topic: Charles and Diana and the royal romance. My teacher was not amused — but once he read the paper, he did enjoy it and asked to keep a copy. Over the years, I’ve continued following and enjoying the British royals. When I worked as an elementary teacher, and the next generation of royals came along, I felt that there should be books about Prince William’s wife, Kate. I fondly remembered reading books about Diana when I was younger and felt that today’s girls might be fascinated by Kate in a similar way. I didn’t find many books about Kate, so I decided to write one myself. I learned much while researching Kate (or Catherine, as she prefers to be called). She’s a wonderful role model for girls today in many ways. To name just a few examples: she overcame being bullied by other girls at one of the schools she attended. And, she developed lots of patience during her nine-year courtship with Prince William. I hope you and the young people in your life will enjoy this biography of the Duchess.



Blog Stops

Giveaway



To celebrate her tour, Susan is giving away a grand prize of a paperback copy of the book and a stuffed Beefeater bear!!
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/d9a7/kate-middleton-the-duchess-of-cambridge-celebration-tour-giveaway

Thursday, January 31, 2019

The Deceived by Kelly Harrel


About the Book




Buy your copy HERE



My Review


Danny's story was one sadly we hear in reality a lot today. Some of us have been there. God seems so far away, and we fill that longing for acceptance, love, and more with things- things that have consequences. It has become harder and harder for teens especially surrounded by lies that satan tells us through media, other lost peers, and through our own thoughts. I have to say I was glued to the page on this one as Danny was so relatable and down to earth. Each interaction he had with other characters was clear in my mind, and each character was very clear in my mind. I think that this book could really reach out to those the age of Danny as a way to share the Gospel with them and help them know that living life is hard, and without Christ and fellow Christians, it is impossible. The plot within was engaging, and the emotions I felt while reading were very real. Kudos to the author for making this a realistic, relatable, riveting read!

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



About the Author


In addition to the Lauren Drake series, Kelly Harrel has written the Walking the Walk series, inspirational fiction geared toward showing the real-life struggles of young adults in the light of God’s love and grace. She enjoys speaking at women’s events and retreats, as well as teaching at writer’s conferences. Her heart’s desire and life goal is to bring others into a deeper relationship with Christ through her writing and speaking.

Kelly holds an MS in Educational Counseling and a Pupil Personnel Services credential as well as her California teaching credential. After several decades in education and ministry, she still claims her biggest accomplishment as homeschooling her children. She resides in Southern California with her husband, teens, and desert tortoise named George.

Read more about Kelly and her ministries at kellyharrel.com

Author's social media:

Saturday, January 26, 2019

The Essence of Humility by Lynn U. Watson


About the Book


Title: The Essence of Humility  
Author: Lynn U. Watson  

Genre: Devotional  
Release date: January, 2019

We live in a culture overwhelmed with disrespect, egos, entitlement, rudeness, and offense — lives focused on self, rather than God or others.

The Bible defines love in 1 Corinthians 13.

Every descriptive word included in the list whispers humility. Patience — humility
Kindness — humility
Not rude — humility
Not arrogant — humility
Rejoices in truth — humility
No envious or boastful — humility
Not irritable — humility
Keeps no record of wrong — humility

 Jesus entered our world and walked among us. He placed no importance on rank or position. Jesus life reflected love because it reflected humility, and He invites us to live and love like Him. Journey with our hostess, Cinnamah-Brosia and her friends at The Coffee Cottage. They lead us on a journey to meet real life people — our contemporaries and those on the pages of God’s word, who encountered the same real life challenges you and I face each day. Learn the blessings of a life lived like Jesus lived —- with love and humility.

Click HERE to purchase your copy!
 




My Review

This devotional was so not what I was expecting in a good way! I happen to be into essential oils, so finding out this devotional revolved around that was really interesting to me. I have to say, because of the setup I found it a little difficult to follow at first. Once I saw how it was set up I was able to follow better. The author does give a great intro to explain how everything reads however epecially since this book is in the middle of the series. I liked how each chapter revolved around an oil and a different aspect of humility. Each day had a story with the characters that truly set a scene that reminded me of the discipleship group I am currently in! Then the author would present the oil from the Bible and where it was incorporated. Some fun facts about the oil and how to use them with resources were also handy. I found this devotional to keep your interest because it was Biblical, quirky, and fun, and is so different from your typical devotional. I enjoyed how the author brought out aspects of Scripture that I hadn't considered before. I think this would be great for a group of women to use together! If you are looking for an out of the ordinary, Biblical devotional (and if you use oils that's a plus), you will be blessed by this book!

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


About the Author



Lynn Watson combines many years’ experience in women’s ministry, love of essential oils, and her passion for God’s word to bring her readers freshly inspired encouragement for their walk with Jesus. Her devotional, The Essence of Courage, was recognized as a ‘must read’ by regional publishing industry leaders. Married since 1973, Lynn and Steve have filled their Bartlett, Tennessee home with handmade treasures and lots of love for family, especially their five beautiful (of course) grandchildren. Aromas of freshly baked bread often fill Lynn’s kitchen. Jasmine, her tuxedo kitty, enjoys sleeping in Lynn’s lap while she writes.



Guest post from Lynn

My first lesson in humility for Volume 3 of Cinnamah-Brosia’s Inspirational Collection came from an assumption. Right. Those are never a grand idea. When God spoke to me about writing this book, he clearly gave me the subject: Love. I immediately headed to 1 Corinthians 13 – The Love Chapter of the Bible. Of course the book’s title would be The Essence of Love. The end material of The Essence of Joy announced the new “Love” title coming in 2018. And God laughed. I read 1 Corinthians 13 over and over again. It whispered “humility” over and over again. I called my dear friend – the one I consult with on every one of these books – and said, “You know what? Listen to this. Love is patient – humility. Love is kind – humility. Love is not arrogant – humility. You get the idea. Every single line of this beautiful passage comes down to the barest bones: humility.” We both laughed a little, too. And we thanked God He clarified His instructions. To live and love like Jesus requires us to humbly trust God and to humbly serve others. In Philippians 2, the Apostle Paul presents a lengthy discourse on the humility of Christ. It begins like this: If then there is any encouragement in Christ, if any consolation of love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, fulfill my joy by thinking the same way, having the same love, sharing the same feelings, focusing on one goal. Do nothing out of rivalry or conceit, but in humility consider others as more important than yourselves. Everyone should look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. ~Philippians 2:1-4 (HCSB) The title morphed to The Essence of Humility. I placed the focus on common everyday botanicals and plants – those familiar to us today – for this third volume in the collection. The fun came as I dug the plants from Scripture. I pray you enjoy the connections as much as I did uncovering them and connecting them to Jesus’ life, and to a whole list of characters who lived on the pages of the Bible, along with our contemporaries here in the 21st century. Thank you for choosing The Essence of Humility. So very many titles out there shout to be read. I am humbled for you to spend time with me here. I have prayed for every one of you. Copyright 2018, Lynn U. Watson


Blog Stops


Giveaway



To celebrate her tour, Lynn is giving away a grand prize of a wire basket that includes a hand-stamped “Gratitude, Kindness, Humility, Love” spoon necklace, Hillhouse Naturals fresh Linen hand lotion, locally hand-crafted Lavender-Eucalyptus body and foot scrub, embroidered “Love One Another” hand towel (nice ‘n soft), cozy Chamomile herbal tea, and a paperback copy of The Essence of Humility!!
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/d93b/the-essence-of-humility-celebration-tour-giveaway

Saturday, January 19, 2019

5 Simple Steps to Financial Freedom by Dan Willis


About the Book



Title: 5 Simple Steps to Financial Freedom  
Author: Dan Willis  
Genre: Finances/Christian living  
Release date: January 8, 2019  
Publisher: Whitaker House

As a young and naïve pastor, Dan Willis maxed out twenty-three credit cards and ruined his credit to support his ministry. It wasn’t until massive debt caused the cards to stop working that he realized that God never asked him to do this. Through his candor and honesty, Dan reveals the five steps God showed him to get out of debt: stop spending, create a budget, develop a debt payoff plan, begin saving, and repair bad credit. This led him to becoming a thriving and financially-free ministry. Now, Dan is on a mission to teach this to the world. Using biblical principles, but not relying on miracles or “name-it-and-claim-it” theology, Dan provides easy-to-follow, practical steps that can be used by anyone to escape financial bondage. Finally, he encourages readers to use their financial freedom to help others and advance God’s kingdom, and to use their newfound fiscal wisdom to store up wealth. Without shaming those who struggle financially, 5 Simple Steps to Financial Freedom is the perfect combination of spiritual wisdom and practical advice for those who desperately need it.


Click HERE to purchase your copy!


My Review

From Mr. Willis's personal experience, we get to get a first-hand account of a man's journey into massive debt and his spiritual and practical experience out of it. What I loved about this financial book is that it was simple, there were worksheets included, it was down to earth, and it was short. Mr. Willis presented each step from the Biblical perspective and then showed us how to do it pure and simple. Also, a prayer was included at the end of each chapter which I thought was nice considering that sometimes we tend to separate our finances from being a spiritual thing. I liked how he emphasized that this was not a "name it, claim it" approach and that tithing was of utmost importance. We can't afford not to tithe, because we can never truly prosper financially unless we obey the Lord with our finances since all good gifts come from Him in the first place. :) Like anything, I can't say I agree with 100% of this book, but it is a good, simple, practical, Biblical guide that any person could read (even people that don't like to read), and benefit from. If you want a Biblical, no nonsense, simple approach to handling finances, this is the book for you.

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


About the Author



As a young boy, Dan Willis’s dreams involved entering the medical field until that fateful day when, at age sixteen, he was called to “temporarily” take over the pastor position of a local church. More than thirty years later, Dan is still there, serving as the senior pastor of The Lighthouse Church of All Nations in Alsip, Illinois. He took the small ministry of sixteen people and nurtured it into a thriving multicultural body of more than 1,500 people. Dan’s previous books with Whitaker House were Freedom to Forget: Releasing the Pain from the Past, Embracing Hope for the Future and Praise Is My Weapon.



Guest Post from Dan

Not 23 Ways to Money Greatness or 67 Options to Financial Well Being. Just Five Simple Steps to Financial Freedom. Why complicate this? Wipe out debt and create wealth.


Blog Stops


Robin is Bookish, January 11
Remembrancy, January 14
Texas Book-aholic, January 15
Bigreadersite, January 15
Aryn The Libraryan, January 16
Mary Hake, January 18
A Reader’s Brain, January 19
Carpe Diem, January 21


Giveaway



To celebrate his tour, Dan is giving away 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. https://promosimple.com/ps/d8d4/5-simple-steps-to-finical-freedom-celebration-tour-giveaway