Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Month in Review - October

  • Wrote words
  • Sculpted  babies
  • Tatted  crosses
  • Sewed  sock monkeys  
  • Knit  hats
  • Exercised  days
  • Read in the Bible  days
  • Wrote up  backlogged book reviews 
  • Saturday, October 20, 2018

    "This Courageous Journey" by Misty M. Beller -- Review, Blog Tour, and Giveaway

    About the Book

    This Courageous Journey
    Book Title: This Courageous Journey
    Author: Misty Beller
    Genre: Christian Historical Romance
    Release date: October 9, 2018
    As the fifth daughter in a family of nine children, Noelle Grant has spent her life working to be unique. Her love of stories helps define her goal—to be known around the country as one of the top news correspondents of her time. And what better way to uncover sensational stories than to travel through the mountain wilderness to visit the brother she hasn’t seen in years? The trip comes together perfectly as she plans to journey with family friends who will be settling in the same area. Her first inkling that things may not be as perfect as planned comes in the form of the mountain man they hire as their guide for the final leg of the journey.
    When Daniel Abrams agrees to guide the small group of easterners along his usual journey northward to the Canadian mountains, his gut tells him he’s making the wrong decision. But if he doesn’t take them, who will? The man in charge refuses to consider turning back. As they start out, Daniel can’t help but notice the woman traveling under the care of her friends. Though she appears too genteel to last long in these mountains, she soon reveals a strength that draws him more than he should allow.
    As the dangers of this wilderness become more than the group bargained for, Noelle is faced with the choice to delay her journey northward or proceed alone with the man she’s come to trust against all reason. She never imagines her decision will place her—and the man she loves—in a situation more hazardous than any story her imagination could conjure.

    My Thoughts
    "This Courageous Journey" is the 4th book in the Heart of the Mountain series (plus a prequel). It isn't totally necessary to read the other books first, though. We had not previously met either of the main characters, but some characters from the previous books make appearances. I liked the personal growth the characters experience and the spiritual thread throughout the book. I knew that there were going to be hardships along the way, but the ones that they encountered were not what I expected. I enjoyed reading the book and look forward to reading more books from Misty M. Beller.

    About the Author

    MistyMisty M. Beller writes romantic mountain stories, set on the 1800s frontier and woven with the truth of God’s love.
    She was raised on a farm in South Carolina, so her Southern roots run deep. Growing up, her family was close, and they continue to keep that priority today. Her husband and daughters now add another dimension to her life, keeping her both grounded and crazy.
    God has placed a desire in Misty’s heart to combine her love for Christian fiction and the simpler ranch life, writing historical novels that display God’s abundant love through the twists and turns in the lives of her characters.

    Guest Post from Misty

    Ever Been Struck by Lightning?
    One of the fun things about being a writer is the crazy topics I get to research. Without giving away too much of the story, part of my research for This Courageous Journey included uncovering what happens when lightning strikes a person. It turns out anything can happen!
    Surprisingly, about nine out of ten people struck by lightning live to tell their story. Each person’s experience seems to be different—some are knocked unconscious, while others are horribly aware of everything happening. One person who was struck said it seemed as if time slowed to a crawl and a white haze surrounded him like a bubble, as excruciating pain shot through him.
    People usually try to determine the path the lightning traveled through them, based on where burn marks appear on both skin and clothing, but sometimes that can be difficult if jewelry or coins were touching the body. Survivors might suffer a variety of short- and long-term effects, including—but not limited to—cardiac arrest, confusion, seizures, dizziness, muscle aches, deafness, headaches, memory deficits, distractibility, personality changes, and chronic pain, among others. That may sound like an awful list, but it does beat the alternative!
    As I considered the possible effects of a lightning strike when I was writing This Courageous Journey, I was reminded once again how magnificent God’s creation is. Both the incredible power contained in one streak of lightning, and the beautiful inner workings of the bodies He created for us. As the Psalmist said, we are “fearfully and wonderfully made!”

    Blog Stops

    Among the Reads, October 11
    The Power of Words, October 12
    Multifarious, October 12
    Maureen’s Musings, October 12
    Splashes of JoyOctober 14
    Artistic Nobody, October 14 (Spotlight)
    Joy of ReadingOctober 15
    Mary Hake, October 15
    Livin Lit, October 16
    KarenSueHadleyOctober 17
    Remembrancy, October 18
    Carpe Diem, October 18
    Pause for Tales, October 19
    Bigreadersite, October 19
    Bibliophile Reviews, October 20
    Wishful Endings, October 22
    Simple Harvest Reads, October 22 (Guest post Mindy Houng)
    Texas Book-aholicOctober 24


    To celebrate her tour, Misty is giving away a 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.

    "This Courageous Journey" is available in paperback:
    • Series: Heart of the Mountains (Book 4)
    • Paperback: 281 pages
    • Publisher: Misty M. Beller Books (August 4, 2018)
    • Language: English
    • ISBN-10: 0999701266
    • ISBN-13: 978-0999701263
    • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches

    and in Kindle edition:
    • File Size: 4633 KB
    • Print Length: 283 pages
    • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
    • Publisher: Misty M. Beller Books, Inc.; 1 edition (October 9, 2018)
    • Publication Date: October 9, 2018
    • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
    • Language: English
    • ASIN: B07FKT9VLS

    I got a free copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own and given voluntarily. No compensation was received for my review.

    Tuesday, October 9, 2018

    "When Your Kid is Hurting" by Kevin Leman -- Book Review

    About the Book 

    Children today live in an unpredictable, disruptive, and often violent world. Many of them live in two different homes with different sets of expectations. They face bullying at school and online. They hear news of school shootings, and racially or religiously motivated violence. They may have lost a friend or a loved one. 

    As parents, the impulse to protect our children is strong, but that very protection can end up handicapping them for life. Rather than seek to save them from the hard things, parents must teach their kids how to cope with and rise above their problems. In one of his most important books to date, internationally known psychologist and bestselling author Dr. Kevin Leman shows parents how to

    - be good listeners 
    - tell the truth, even when it's difficult
    - find balance between being protective and being overprotective
    - approach hurt and injustice as a learning experience rather than fostering a victim mentality
    - and much more

    Whether your child is dealing with a difficult family situation, bullies, the loss of friends, the death of a loved one, discrimination, abuse, a teen pregnancy, or even just trying to make sense of what they see in the news, this compassionate and practical book will help parents equip them to process, learn from, and rise above their situation.

    My Thoughts

    As my kids get older, different situations come up that aren't as easy to deal with as when they were little. Reading the information about this book, I thought it sounded like it would be helpful. While there was things I did find that were helpful, I was assuming it would be a Christian book since it was from a Christian publisher. I was disappointed that it was written for the general public. There is even an "Especially for Parents of Faith" section that upholds the fact that it isn't a Christian book. I didn't agree with some of the things Dr. Leman talked about. For instance, he talks about kids having "gender identity issues" and acts like it is perfectly normal for them to be LGBTQ. At another point, he says that a family who has a "no dating until you are 16" rule as being "strict". I think it would be more helpful for Christian parents to have advice that is actually Christian-oriented advice.

    "When Your Kid is Hurting" is available in hardcover:
    • Hardcover: 288 pages
    • Publisher: Revell (September 4, 2018)
    • Language: English
    • ISBN-10: 0800723066
    • ISBN-13: 978-0800723064
    • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1 x 8.4 inches

    and in Kindle edition:
    • File Size: 9193 KB
    • Print Length: 288 pages
    • Publisher: Revell (September 4, 2018)
    • Publication Date: September 4, 2018
    • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
    • Language: English
    • ASIN: B07D6XMCJP

    I got a free copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own and given voluntarily. No compensation was given for my review.

    Sunday, October 7, 2018

    "A Tale of Two Hearts" by Michelle Griep - Book Review, Blog Tour, and Giveaway

    About the Book

    A Tale of Two Hearts cover
    Book Title: A Tale of Two Hearts
    Author: Michelle Griep
    Genre: Christian Historical Romance
    Release date: September 1, 2018
    Innkeeper’s daughter Mina Scott will do anything to escape the drudgery of her life. She saves every penny to attend a finishing school, dreaming of the day she’ll become a real lady—and catch the eye of William Barlow, a frequent guest at the inn.
    William is a gentleman’s son, a charming rogue but penniless. However, his bachelor uncle will soon name an heir—either him or his puritanical cousin. In an effort to secure the inheritance, William gives his uncle the impression he’s married, which works until he’s invited to bring his wife for a visit.
    William asks Mina to be his pretend bride, only until his uncle names an heir on Christmas Day. Mina is flattered and frustrated by the offer, for she wants a true relationship with William. Yet, she agrees. . .then wishes she hadn’t as she comes to love the old man. And when the truth is finally discovered, more than just money is lost.
    Can two hearts survive such a deception?
    My Thoughts

    "A Tale of Two Hearts" is the second book in the Once Upon a Dickens Christmas series, but it is able to be read alone and still make sense. I enjoyed this book. I could picture the settings and could envision myself there. I found the book engaging and kept me wanting to read. I liked Mina and Will and rooted for them to find their happily ever after. The quotes at the beginnings of the chapters were fun. The setting was interesting and made me want to look more into life in that time period. I look forward to reading more books from Michelle Griep.

    About the Author

    Headshot Michelle GRIEPMichelle Griep’s been writing since she first discovered blank wall space and Crayolas. She is the author of historical romances: The Captured Bride, The Innkeeper’s Daughter, 12 Days at Bleakly Manor, The Captive Heart, Brentwood’s Ward, A Heart Deceived, and Gallimore, but also leaped the historical fence into the realm of contemporary with the zany romantic mystery Out of the Frying Pan.

    Guest Post from Michelle


    So, it’s September, and you know what that means? It’s back to school. Pumpkin spiced everything is just around the corner. And it’s nearly time for cardigans and colored leaves. But besides all these autumn staples, it’s also time to start thinking about Christmas, because it will be here before you know it. How about this year you plan ahead to serve some traditional Victorian food?
    In my newest release, A Tale of Two Hearts, the heroine’s father is known for his annual oyster stew that he serves on Christmas Eve. Here’s a bit of the background on that tasty soup.
    Victorian Oyster Stew
    Oysters have been savored in Britain since the days of the Romans. By Victorian times, industrialization cheapened oysters to the point of them becoming a staple of the poor man’s diet and were a frequent fare served in public houses. This, however, depleted their abundance, and by the mid 1800’s, the natural oyster beds became exhausted, making it harder to find good oysters. While other foods were served as well on Christmas Eve, oyster stew was as common as goose or turkey.
    Another Victorian favorite that goes great on a crisp evening is good ol’ hot chocolate, though in Dickens’ England, it would’ve been called something else.
    Drinking Chocolate
    What we now call cocoa or hot chocolate was called drinking chocolate in the mid 1800s. This beverage was a favorite among Victorian ladies. You can find recipes for it even from the Regency era (early 1800s) and here is one for you to make at home.
    And last, but not least, who hasn’t heard of Christmas pudding? To our American ears, that sounds like a tasty dish that you’d eat with a spoon and slap a little whipped cream on top. Actually, it’s more like a fruit cake.
    Christmas Pudding
    Christmas pudding is quite a production, one that begins well before Christmas Day. In fact, it begins on Stir-Up Sunday, the last Sunday before Advent (which is five weeks before Christmas). This is why when Mina, the heroine in A Tale of Two Hearts, returns home from dinner at Uncle Barlow’s, and though it’s not yet Christmas, she sees the pudding moulds on the kitchen table.
    If these tastes and the accompanying smells still aren’t quite enough to get you in the Christmas spirit, then snatch yourself up a copy of the second book in the Once Upon a Dickens Christmas series. A Tale of Two Hearts is sure to get you in the mood.

    Blog Stops

    Creating RomanceOctober 2
    The Avid ReaderOctober 2
    Genesis 5020October 3
    The Power of WordsOctober 3
    Just CommonlyOctober 3
    Baker KellaOctober 3
    Among the ReadsOctober 4
    Fiction AficionadoOctober 4
    Godly Book ReviewsOctober 4
    Inklings and Notions , October 4
    MultifariousOctober 6
    Texas Book-aholicOctober 6
    RemembrancyOctober 7
    Splashes of Joy , October 7
    Back Porch ReadsOctober 8
    A Reader’s BrainOctober 8
    Simple Harvest ReadsOctober 9 (Guest Post from Mindy Houng)
    Mary Hake, October 9
    Carpe DiemOctober 9
    Britt Reads FictionOctober 10
    Luv’N Lambert LifeOctober 10
    By The BookOctober 11
    Book by BookOctober 11
    BigreadersiteOctober 11
    More Of HimOctober 12
    Pause for TalesOctober 12
    With a Joyful NoiseOctober 12
    Have A Wonderful Day , October 12
    Bibliophile ReviewsOctober 13
    Vicky SluiterOctober 14
    Daysong Reflections , October 14
    Henry HappensOctober 15
    All-of-a-kind MomOctober 15


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

    "A Tale of Two Hearts" is available in paperback:
    • Series: Once Upon a Dickens Christmas (Book 2)
    • Paperback: 192 pages
    • Publisher: Shiloh Run Press (September 1, 2018)
    • Language: English
    • ISBN-10: 1683222598
    • ISBN-13: 978-1683222590
    • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 0.9 x 7.9 inches

    and in Kindle edition:
    • File Size: 1049 KB
    • Print Length: 192 pages
    • Publisher: Shiloh Run Press (September 1, 2018)
    • Publication Date: August 15, 2018
    • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
    • Language: English
    • ASIN: B07D46MW97

    I got a free copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own and given voluntarily. No compensation was received for my review.