Author: Tammy

Whatcha Readin’ Wednesdays!

Whatcha Readin’ Wednesdays!

 

If you haven’t finished Christmas shopping for the young ones on your list, may I suggest a book series? I fell in love with the background of this series while taking a class from the author, Paula Mowery, at The Blue Ridge Christian Writer’s Conference this past May. I’m just “Tickled Pink” to share about this series with you today — just in time for Christmas!

In trying to get young children interested in reading and writing, she started a blog about a young girl the same age as the class she was teaching. It was a kindergarten class and so Miss Chloe Ann Parker was also a kindergartener. The kids would read all about the antics and issues Chloe Ann was going through as she acclimated to a new school. Mrs. Mowery said the kids got so into the story, they would even have their parents pull it up at home over the weekend on their smart phones so they could read the next part of the story. They didn’t want to wait until Monday’s class!

Mrs. Mowery would have conversations throughout the week with the children as they would tell her all about what “problems” they were having like someone pushing someone on the playground, somebody cutting in line or another person broke a pencil that didn’t belong to them. And low and behold, Miss Chloe Ann had some of those same problems as well.

It became such a hit that she has continued it on, with Chloe Ann Parker now being a third grader. The children still follow along and also give her more ideas, too!

I was fortunate to read the newest book to review for the author. Knowing the background of the book made it that much sweeter. The blog is still going for the children, too.

If you have young ones in your home — or maybe you have grandchildren, I think this series would be a great one to get and read along. Or if you’re like me (or my friend, Michelle) we enjoy young adult books, too! Christmas break would be a great time to read together under a cozy quilt with a side of hot chocolate!

 

Here’s the interview I had with Paula Mowery, author:

Where did the story of Chloe Ann come from for you?

Paula: For four and a half years before this school year (2017), I worked in a Title 1 school. I was visiting classrooms, doing writing lessons. I told the kids the best way to improve writing is through reading. Realizing many of our kids didn’t have access to reading material, I decided to create a character and have her story play out weekly on a blog. Thus, Chloe Ann Parker was born.

Do the students in your class ever ask you “which one is me?” in the stories?

Paula: Nope. The first grade teacher and I sent home permission slips for including first names. Now, normally it’s hard to get forms back, but I got every one of those papers back. Each week I would meet with that group and get their input on the story. When I returned the next week, before we jumped into creating the story for that week, I would read the post from the week before. They heard their names. When the first grade book came out, I marked with small post-it notes each name mentioned throughout the book. Each student signed their name on a page with their name mentioned.

The third book in the series came out this summer, is that Chloe’s second grade?

Paula: Actually, Chloe is still in first grade in the third book. She gets a little surprise in that book.

How many grades can we count on for the adventures of Miss Chloe Ann?

Paula: I hope to write her series at least through the elementary grades – fifth grade.

Do I remember correctly that you have color pages for the readers?

Paula: Yes, my illustrator has created a coloring page for each book that is out so far. They are located on the blog under the Chloe’s Stuff tab.

Where can others find your books?

Paula: The books are available in digital and print formats on Amazon. Also check out the blog, www.getkidswriting.blogspot.com to follow her story and be informed when another of her books releases.

 

Please add anything you would like others to know.

Paula: I wanted to make sure Chloe’s books were what the kids wanted to read and concerned them. That’s the reason I met with the kids and got their input. There’s much discussion on making children’s books appeal to parents because they buy them. But I’m happy to report that adults enjoy Chloe’s adventures too. My mother has passed the whole series up to this point around to her Sunday school class, and those women report they love Chloe too.

I just really want to encourage kids to read and write. It’s my fun!

 

Paula Mowery has always been an avid reader of Christian fiction, especially
romances of all sub-genres. She holds a Master of Education and taught
English/Language Arts in public school and then came home to educate her
own daughter, first through twelfth grades. She teaches at writing conferences
such as the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference.
TAG,Tomorrow’s Author Guild, is a pilot program she is currently creating in which
she teaches and designs writing lessons to encourage young writers as well
as assisting teachers with writing instruction.
Paula is a published author in Christian fiction. One reviewer stated that her writing “thunders with emotion.” Her novella, Be The Blessing, won the 2014 Selah Award. Her story, The Prayer Shawl, from the book, Legacy and Love, was a finalist in The Carolyn Readers’ Choice Awards from North Texas Romance Writers of America. Her devotions have also been included in several devotional anthologies.
Connect with her on her blog — www.paulamowery.blogspot.com.
T. A. G. stands for Tomorrow’s Author Guild. The goal of this program is to encourage the writers of the future. Because lack of purpose can equal lack of motivation, writing lessons are created and taught with the aim of sparking interest in the student and providing a platform in which to practice good writing skills. The writing lessons are created to help alleviate some of the pressure and demands of teachers so that they can accomplish the writing objectives in fresh ways. www.getkidswriting.blogspot.com
The TAG blog is where Chloe Ann Parker was born. The story is set in West Elementary School
and includes people from the school as secondary characters. Chloe’s story has appeared in a
serialized and somewhat condensed fashion as weekly posts at www.getkidswriting.blogspot.com.
I hope you enjoyed the interview and getting to hear a little snippet of how Chloe Ann Parker began! Better yet, I hope you will start the series with a special young someone in your life. And maybe even follow along on the blog, too.
Keep reading!

Whatcha Readin’ Wednesdays!

 

Looking for a Christmas gift for the young adult in your life? You know I’ll ALWAYS suggest a book! And I have one for you today, The Coronation by Livy Jarmusch. Not only is this book for a young adult, it was written by a twenty something young lady — how cool is that? Besides sharing with you a bit about the author, I’m able to also share an excerpt of her book! Make sure you read all the way to the end as her publisher is offering a Giveaway for a $20 Amazon gift card. Fun!

 

 

Excerpt of — The Coronation:

At ten o’clock sharp, Prince Addison was summoned to a downstairs parlor, a space most popularly dubbed as ‘The Courting Room.’ Addison’s crystal eyes grew wide as he was ushered inside.

Standing before him was a line of twelve ladies, all varying heights, hair colors, shades of skin, and facial features. When Deborah told him a few, he’d only expected two or three; not an entire room full!

They all curtsied upon his entrance, and Addison smiled politely. He felt as though he had stepped into the middle of a bizarre game show, like the 1970’s phenomenon, The Dating Game. He shook his head. Dazzling white teeth flashed from each flawless girl. This was too much. He turned to Deborah with pleading eyes begging to find a way out of this mess. But Deborah had her orders. She was to issue a meeting with twelve of the most well-bred, educated, classy, and beautiful young women from the guest list. All the ladies selected were from wealthy families, and believed to be solid wife material. Each girl in the room stood in an honored position. If one of these could capture the heart of the Prince, she had the chance to become Queen.

The nervous energy in that room was unparalleled to anything these young women had ever experienced before. After receiving the mind-blowing phone call late last night, some screamed with excitement, and others fainted. Hands shook in anticipation as they prepared themselves for hours, with curling irons, flat irons, cosmetics, and last-minute, midnight shopping trips. But now, no matter what great stress and torture they had put themselves (and the rest of their households) through before their encounter with the Prince, it was now forgotten. Preparation time was over. This was their moment to shine.

Addison forced a smile onto his face and began making his rounds about the room, welcoming each young lady and properly thanking her for attending. Addison’s blonde hair gently brushed just above his ears, making it the perfect length for Tarsurella’s swoon-worthy Prince. His strong, chiseled jaw and charismatic grin was too much perfection presented in one package, for the spastic fangirls to handle. But the crowning jewel of Addison’s flawless appearance was his sapphire eyes.

“Welcome,” Addison shook hands with the first girl in line, “It’s a pleasure to meet you.”

The girl smelled strongly of hairspray and some kind of putrid, gag-worthy perfume. Addison felt as though he may be sick. He held back the cough that was surfacing.

“Thank you!” she gushed. “I’m so excited to be here! I cannot wait for the Coronation. It’s all we’ve been talking about at home. Edward Stefanick is designing my gown, and it is stunning! I can’t wait for you to see it!”

Addison kept the fake grin plastered to his face, “Ah, yes!” He pretended that her words interested him, “I’m sure it’s lovely.”

He casually inched himself closer to a nearby window and hoped to open it up without appearing too obvious. Perhaps the fall breeze would help dissipate the choking smell.

“Excuse me,” Addison smiled at another girl who stood in front of the window, “Do you mind if I just reach in here and–”

The girl’s face suddenly turned pale. She grew light headed, tossed a hand over her mouth, another on her stomach, and bolted from the room.

Addison shot a concerned glance toward Deborah. Deborah hurried out after her. Addison sighed. He felt bad for the poor girl. So many of these ladies had lost their minds over him. As flattering as it was at times to have so much attention and adoration from his female citizens, it was mostly annoying and disturbing. He knew that it came with the territory of being a Royal celebrity, but he blamed pop-culture for all the extra hype. Magazines and the media enjoyed obsessing over the bland details of Addison’s life, and reported them on the daily. Did so many people really care about what he had for breakfast that morning? Or whether he was a “cat person,” or a “dog person”? Apparently so, because the Royal fangirls excitedly ate up anything published about him. The young ladies in his Kingdom had puffed him up in their minds to be some sort of glorious fantasy. The idea of meeting the Prince made some of them go weak in the knees and lose every ounce of common sense they possessed. It was ridiculous.

“Oh my goodness!” A third girl pushed herself into Addison’s personal space and started talking, “I can’t believe that I’m actually meeting you! This is like a dream come true! When Mother told me that I would be attending your ball, I totally freaked out! I’ve been to some of your other events, like races and polo matches, and I was even at your sixteenth birthday party, but you’ve always been so busy mingling with others that we never got the chance to meet! I’m Adaline Shortmyers!”

“Pleasure to meet you,” Addison shook her hand, then another girl hopped into the conversation who smelled just like the first girl. But she was short, with jet black hair and snow-white skin. The oriental beauty reminded Addison somewhat of the Disney Princess, Mulan. Of all the Princess movies his younger sisters forced him to watch, he actually enjoyed that one.

“My name is Mim,” she spoke with a slight bow. “Your Governess, Mrs. Gram, has served my family as well.”

The fifth girl spoke up. “I wasn’t aware that the practice of having in-home governesses was still a thing in Tarsurella.” Addison remembered her from the profiles. Her name was Sapphire, and Addison thought the name suited her well. Her dazzling blue eyes sparkled and danced as she spoke, and she didn’t throw her words around nervously like the others had. The British girl presented herself with elegance, and grace. Her accent was quite captivating.

“Of course!” Mim replied. “I would guess that everyone in this room has been greatly influenced by the perks of a governess. At least, those who know how to conduct themselves in the presence of Royalty.” Mim’s comment was throwing some serious shade at the girl who had nearly thrown-up on Addison’s shoes.

“Isn’t that comment a little harsh?” A brunette from the other side of the room spoke up. All eyes darted across to her. “I didn’t have a governess; does that mean I shouldn’t be here?” She spoke with a flicker of sass and passion. Addison was surprised by her casual attire. She was the only one in the room who wasn’t flaunting a designer dress, high heels, and diamond jewelry. Her simple summer dress looked like something a normal person would wear on any other regular old day. Addison found it refreshing.

“Oh, you poor dear!” Sapphire called to her. “However, then, did you learn to prepare for social events and gatherings such as these?”

The spunky brunette fought back a laugh, but her brown eyes still showed it. “I learned everything you could possibly need to know about attending Royal functions from watching the Princess Diaries. Queen Clarisse is like a Royal Jedi-Ninja Master. I took lots of notes.” She winked.

Only a few of the girls laughed. The rest of them frowned at her.

Addison cocked his head, not at all sure who this girl was. “Excuse me if I’m being rude,” he crossed the room to speak with her, “but I don’t think I recognize you from the guest list.”

“Oh no, you wouldn’t,” the girl quickly explained, “I’m actually just visiting Tarsurella. I’m here at the palace on a trip with my parents, as a graduation gift. A few days ago I heard about this fundraiser the King is doing, to open up tickets to the public for your ball, in order to raise money for the homeless in Tarsurella. I thought it would be a really, uh, interesting opportunity, so I bought a ticket. I was about to fly home this morning, when last night someone invited me to this little shindig. So, yeah, that’s my slightly long and uninteresting backstory.”

“Lovely accent,” Sapphire shot a sarcastic arrow in the girl’s direction. “Tarsurella is changing so swiftly; it’s hard to keep up, isn’t it? Apparently, now American tourists can buy a lucky lottery ticket to fawn over Prince Addison for a day– what a charming little marketing plan!”

The American was all too aware of the shot of venom coming from Sapphire’s ruthless jab. Several other girls in the room turned their slithery grins upward in agreement. The outnumbered American couldn’t help but feel that she had been thrown into a pit of sparkly snakes. “Personally, I thought that a benefit to raise money for the homeless community in Tarsurella was a great idea. I’m sure I’m not the only American who finds it bitterly ironic, that one of the wealthiest nations in the world tragically allows two-and-ahalf percent of their population to be homeless and hungry as they roam drug-infested streets. Meanwhile, an abundance of Tarsurellian teens are spending thousands of dollars on their newest designer dresses and paying their uppity governesses.”

Addison almost smiled. The young woman’s comment of retaliation was brilliant. Addison was presently surprised to hear the passion behind her complaint. “I’m sorry, I didn’t catch your name?”

“Vanessa.” Her hazel eyes met his gaze. She placed uncertain hands in her flowery pockets, then removed them again, trying to remain respectful. All at once she remembered to state her last name, “Bennett.”

“It sounds as if you’ve done a lot of research about our homeless crisis,” he marveled. “What sparked your interest in Tarsurella’s humanitarian work?”

“I wouldn’t say that I am intrigued by the work you guys are doing, but more like the shamefully embarrassing lack of it.” Vanessa’s reply was cold, “I’m puzzled by the fact that such a wealthy nation hasn’t done more to provide answers for and assist those who so vitally need them.”

“My, my!” Sapphire gasped, “Those are some lofty opinions from a girl who lives in a country that is nineteen-trillion dollars in debt.”

“Girls, please!” a girl named Lilly Chesterfield spoke up. Addison recognized her.

Lilly’s fair skin was sprinkled with freckles, and her blazing red hair framed her lovely face. “Let’s not get into a heated game of ‘my country is better than your country’,” Lilly laughed. “We are not the sum of the choices our countries make. But, I’m sure we are all confident of the fact that Prince Addison is going to do a fantastic job leading Tarsurella. In fact, let’s have a toast! To Prince Addison, and the beautiful future that is in store for him and his nation!”

Addison smiled at Lilly, impressed with the gentle yet firm way she changed the subject. Addison had known Lilly for many years. Their parents had been longtime friends. Lilly lived at Chesterfield Manner, a spectacular horse farm just several miles down the road. Their family was known for breeding the most beautiful and strongest thoroughbreds in all of Tarsurella. Lilly had chatted with Addison at many local horse events in the community, such as races and polo matches. Lilly possessed a certain zest and excitement for life, horses, and being outdoors. With a sudden pang, Addison realized that Lilly reminded him far too much of his late mother.

~*~

About the Author:

Livy Jarmusch is a twenty-something author, singer, and songwriter. She enjoys crafting YA Christian fiction that is pure, lovely, inspirational, and of course, entertaining! When she’s not writing, you can usually find her playing guitar, blogging, drinking peppermint tea, connecting with new friends, planning her next trip to Disney, or pinning images of Europe and Golden Retriever Puppies.

Website: http://www.livylynnblog.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/livylynnlibrary
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/livylynnglittergirl
Twitter: https://twitter.com/livylynnmusic
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/LivyJarmusch

BOOK LINKS:

The Coronation Amazon Link:
The Coronation

 

Make sure you enter the Giveaway below. Hope you win!

 

 

 

GIVEAWAY:                                          

Enter to win THE CORONATION giveaway! One person will win a $20 Amazon gift card. Enter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Whatcha Readin’ Wednesdays!

Whatcha Readin’ Wednesdays!

 

Happy Wednesday to you all! I hope you’ve had some time to sit and read this fall. I’m a little behind on my “To Be Read” pile myself. Today, I have something special for you. With everyone’s interest in essential oils for their many purposes and wonderful scents, I thought you’d like to know how they relate to the Bible. A brand new book, The Essense of Joy by Lynn Watson, shares all about the scents of the Bible. I’ve included the information about the book as well as a neat surprise at the end!

 

About The Book —The Essence of Joy:

 The scents of Christmas invite our imaginations into the holiday season. What emotions flood your heart when the holiday aromas waft your way?
         Did you know:
• Many favorite holiday scents like citrus, and cinnamon are found in the Bible?
• There is a rich heart connection attached to many of the plant essences found in Scripture?
• Myrrh is such an important essence, we can follow its trail from Genesis to Revelation with many significant
stops along the way?
• Women of the Bible have personal encounters with God bringing aromas of His love and joy into their lives?
• Palm branches are an important part of Biblical celebrations beginning in Genesis and ending in the ultimate beach party around the Crystal Sea? (Christmas at the beach, anyone?)
 In The Essence of Joy, you’ll meet women of the Bible and contemporary women like you and me who will encourage you to discover the refreshing essence of a life lived in the presence of Jesus. Let JOY fill your heart with the aromas of His nativity

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 .
Lynn ’ s Official Website: http://lynnuwatson.com/
Amazon & Social Media Links:

 

And to end this post on a sweet aroma – an interview with Lynn:

1. What inspired you to write Essence of Joy?
   Maybe the second question should be first. The answer to it provides insight into the inspiration for all three books in this inspirational collection. Upon completion of The Essence of Courage this one – The Essence of Joy – begged to be written. One more, The Essence of Love, is my WIP. I discovered a list of over 100 plants in the Bible. The first book,The Essence of Courage, included nine of them. The Essence of Joy introduces six more and adds further insight into frankincense, myrrh, and cinnamon. There was no way to leave those out of a Christmas devotional on aromas of the season. That makes fifteen, and leaves many others to choose from. Whichever nine are featured in The Essence of Love, I believe the third book will complete Cinnamah-Brosia’s Inspirational Collection for Women featuring the plants, spices, and oils of the Bible.
2. This is the second book in a devotional-series, what is your first book about, and why did you decide to do a sequel?
     My introduction to essential oils came thirteen years ago – way before they were cool and mainstream like they are today. The more I learned, the more fascinated I became with their connections in Scripture. God and I camped out in the locked garden verses from the Song of Solomon (Song 4:12-15) for twelve years before He released me to move forward with the book He had placed on my heart. In The Essence of Courage the attributes and aromatic influences of those nine fruits, spices, and essential oils in Solomon’s garden connect with the nine fruit of the Spirit found in Galatians, chapter five. He inspired me to create fictional characters (Cinnamah-Brosia and friends) whose stories of challenge and triumph emphasize lessons learned about the fruit of the Spirit. I invited women of the Bible who displayed the fruit of the Spirit in their lives to bring more clarity. Including other Scripture connections to each of the fruit, spices, and oils, a most unique devotional emerged.
   Once The Essence of Courage was completed, I believed more lessons awaited from other plants, fruits, spices, and oils in the Bible. We love the scents of Christmas, and often bask in nostalgic memories of Christmases past. That prompted looking into the scents of Christmas and how they may enrich our understanding of holiday traditions in light of the Bible and particularly focusing on the star of the manger, Jesus Himself.
3. In Essence of Joy, you talk a lot about scents and fragrances and the Biblical connections behind them. What is your all-time favorite scent, and why? 
   What a tough question for an aromatherapy lover! Aromas fill my home – always. . . my favorite would be a combination of orange, cinnamon, nutmeg, and spruce. Who knows? Next week it may be lemongrass.
 
4. What’s your least favorite fragrance? 
   Limburger cheese. My grandfather loved the stuff. I ran for cover when the lid came off the cheese dish. I looked it up today and learned the bacterium that creates limburger’s ‘distinctive’ odor is the same one causing body odor and particularly foot odor. Gross!
 
5. Do you have a favorite Christmas memory connected with a certain smell?
   Christmas tree – especially spruce! The smell brings back childhood memories of snow covered Christmas tree lots as our family searched for the perfect tree. I eagerly awaited our adventure each year. Like most families today, my husband and I have moved on from real trees to the artificial variety. Any opportunity to walk past a Christmas tree lot is like a breath of heaven.
 
6. What are you hoping readers will get out of Essence of Joy?
   Our sense of smell causes us to react before we think. All other senses we think first, then act. No surprise, the aromas of Christmas transport us to places and memories. I pray that readers will experience these scents in new ways – that they will smell Jesus in every one of them and be filled with His joy!
Enjoy!

Whatcha Readin’ Wednesdays!

Whatcha Readin’ Wednesdays!

Happy Wednesday everyone! On today’s Whatcha Readin’ Wednesdays!, I have something a little different for you! I have been chosen to be on a Blog Tour for a brand new book just out. Below you will find information about the book and the author. Also, in this Blog Tour, you will get an excerpt of the book – WooHoo! There is also a giveaway happening, just click on the pink link that says “A Rafflecopter Giveaway” and it will take you to the sign-ups! Enjoy!

ABOUT THE BOOK:  

When Amanda Jarvis prays that a special friend will move into the vacant house near her isolated mountain home, she isn’t upset when God sends a boy instead of a girl. But Amanda’s not the only one receiving unexpected answers to her prayers. After fleeing with his mother from an abusive father, Tyler Armstrong finds much-needed love and acceptance with Amanda’s family over the next ten years.

As high school graduation nears, Tyler is shocked when one carefree afternoon with Amanda churns up an inner turmoil he would have never imagined; he’s crushing on his best friend. And for the first time in his life he’s hiding a secret from Amanda. Convinced the timing is all wrong, Tyler pushes his feelings aside as he and Amanda prepare for the future. He will soon begin training to pursue his dream of becoming a Navy SEAL, while Amanda makes plans to spend the summer in Manhattan with her aunt and then return home to the community college.

When Amanda’s summer job catapults her into a modeling career, she readily accepts the much-needed distraction. Tyler’s impending deployment is turning her world upside down. Along with the fact that she’s falling for her best friend. And, for the first time in her relationship with Tyler, she’s hiding a secret, too.

Phoebe Garrison, Amanda’s controlling aunt, is thrilled when she is given the power to act on behalf of her underage niece. Bored with her Fortune 500 advertising agency, becoming Amanda’s manager is just what she’s been looking for to rekindle her aspirations. But as Tyler becomes aware of Phoebe’s obsession to push Amanda into supermodel status, tensions rise. As the three of them become entangled in a mass of concealed ambition and desire, each will make decisions that will send ripples of turbulence across their futures.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

I began writing as a hobby while raising my two children. In 2015, I dusted off my stories and my dreams to see if I could turn my hobby into a career. My first story, Season of Hope, was inspired by summer vacations which always included a trip to Franklin, North Carolina, to visit family and explore The Smoky Mountains. When I’m not writing, I enjoy spending time with family. I love most any activity that involves being outdoors, especially camping, hiking and spontaneous excursions to splash in the ocean. I currently live along the Emerald Coast of Florida with my cat Selah and her delightful offspring, Colby, Jack and Tuesday.

AUTHOR CONTACT LINKS:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sarajanej

Twitter: https://twitter.com/sarajanejacobs

Website: http://www.sarajanejacobs.com

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/jacobsjanesara

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/50289360-sara-jane-jacobs

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jacobsjanesara

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCSpH25j4GdaoKDMXkOVNlxA

 

GIVEAWAY:

Enter to win the SEASON OF HOPE giveaway! One person will win the following items…

  • An eBook of Season of Hope

Enter below!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Season of Hope Excerpt

“Catherine, dear, I’ve booked a luxury suite at the Four Seasons in Atlanta for the last weekend of March. Can you meet me?”

Catherine smiled at the sound of her older sister on the other end of the telephone. Phoebe Garrison had always been very direct. “I’m doing fine, Phoebe. How are you?” Cradling the phone between her ear and shoulder, she finished wiping down the kitchen counter.

“If I weren’t fine I’d tell you. Just like I’d expect you to tell me if you weren’t fine. So? Can you come or do you need to check with Ephraim first?”

“Phoebe!” The sternness in Catherine’s voice made it clear she wasn’t in the mood for her sister’s rudeness.

“What? What? Isn’t it—it’s Ephraim, right?”

Catherine sighed. “It’s Ethan. And I’m not buying your act.” The sudden silence on the line caught her by surprise.

“I’m sorry.” Two words she had rarely heard from Phoebe. “Really. I was trying.”

Catherine rolled her eyes, shaking crumbs from her dishrag into the sink. “And after eighteen years of the same thing, I’m supposed to believe that?”

“Listen, Sis. I didn’t call to start a fight. I miss you. I know when you followed E…than to the mountains twenty years ago I thought you had lost your mind. I had.”

Catherine sighed, again. “Yes. You made it very clear to both of us what you thought.”

“Well, I won’t pretend that I don’t still hate it. If you could get the internet or cell phone service out on that mountain, we could keep in touch with all the modern technology. But I guess it could be worse. At least you have a landline.”

“Phoebe is this why you called? To just remind me of all the reasons why you think I should not be living the life that I’m extremely happy to be living?”

Her sister was quiet again.

“Are you still there?” Catherine found Phoebe’s behavior puzzling.

“No. I mean, yes. Yes, I’m still here. No, I did not call just to nag you. I’m sorry. The truth is, I ran into a young intern that we hired last week, and it occurred to me that I have a niece close to her age.”

“Right.” Catherine shook her head, unimpressed with Phoebe’s epiphany. She loved her sister but Phoebe’s relentless ambition, along with her disdain for Ethan, had damaged their relationship over the years. Phoebe had made one trip to Nathan’s Mountain not long after Amanda was born almost seventeen years ago. Calling it a disaster would have been an understatement. Her visit was nothing more than a long weekend of constant disapproval of Catherine’s new life “out in the boonies.” She had only agreed to meet Phoebe in Atlanta over the years because her sister was all the family Catherine had left.

“Listen, Sis, I know I’m just the aunt who sends birthday and Christmas gifts. I want to change that.”

 

If you’d like to purchase your copy, here are the book links:

Amazon:  Season of Hope (The Seasons Book 1)

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-season-of-hope-sara-jane-jacobs/1125877392?ean=2940157214357

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/708666

This blog tour was coordinated by A Latte of Literature Blog Tour Services. Find out more:

http://christiswrite.blogspot.com/p/life-literature-blog-tour-services-for.html

 

 

 

 

Disclaimer:  I did not receive any compensation for this post, nor did I receive a review copy.

Affiliate Links: I do offer affiliate links to the products I recommend. Should you choose to buy through my link, I will receive a small commission which helps to pay for this site. I thank you for your support.

 

 

 

Whatcha Readin’ Wednesdays!

Whatcha Readin’ Wednesdays!

The title of this week’s book is A Family Shaped by Grace – How to Get Along with the People Who matter Most by Gary Morland. You may have heard of Gary’s daughters:  Myquillyn Smith (aka The Nester) and Emily P. Freeman. Both of his daughters have written books and they encouraged their dad to do the same. Though they admitted they thought they would have to write it for him! But he did it, and did it well.

The author, Gary, gets into some nitty gritty details of his life that lets us get a feel for just how far he has come before writing this book. So when he shares with us that grace and forgiveness can and should happen in our lives, he’s the first to admit it didn’t come naturally for him, but it can be done.  As his daughters put it, “This unlikely story of grace and forgiveness will help cast a hopeful vision for you if you’re desperate for some accessible encouragement and practical advice. Dad’s gentle instruction will be a kind companion for you in the midst of your own difficult family relationships.”

Throughout Gary’s story, he speaks of a man name Harold that came along side of him and modeled and mentored to his life what he never received at home – how to live kindly. By reading this book, it’s as if we are able to sit along side of Harold’s teaching, too. Gary shares some deep things he had to go through while he was learning the art of grace and forgiveness towards others. And not just that, but to himself as well. Couldn’t we all use a pinch of grace and a spoonful of forgiveness?

Whether you are in the midst of a huge crisis or storm with a family member… or several, I believe this book will equip you (and me, too) to be able to take a difficult situation and learn to diffuse it. It can teach us how our reaction to things can sometimes be the calm the tension needs.

It is well worth the read for anyone who has family (most of us, right?!) or have a rocky relationship you’d love to see mended.  I hope you will put it on your list to take to your reading corner!

So what are you reading this summer? Are you planning on joining me for the Read through the Classics? I think I’m going to start with “Jane Eyre” by Charlotte Bronte. I was going to go alphabetically off of the Barnes and Noble Classics List, but I have a couple classics here (or like this one, on my daughter’s shelf from high school!). I will start soon, but won’t start with the first review until the fourth Wednesday of August. There’s time to dig through your shelves, pick one up at a library book sale, download from the internet or check it out at the library. Let me know in the comments if you’re going to join me. OR – if you have a suggestion for the next book!

Grab an iced tea and a book – it’s the first day of summer…woohoooooo!

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book for my honest review.

Affiliate Links: I often offer affiliate links to the products I recommend. Should you choose to buy through my link, I will receive a small commission which helps to pay for this site. I thank you for your support.

Whatcha Readin’ Wednesdays!

Whatcha Readin’ Wednesdays!

I so wanted to get this book loaded for last Wednesday, but I did not. I had to keep putting it down. Not because it was a bad book. No way. It was because I had to use another kleenex and get myself together. Folks, this book…oh my, this book. If you have parents (don’t we all?), or are close to your grandparents or aunts and uncles, then you have probably seen or are seeing them age. If you have unfortunately lost a parent, you will be able to identify with most, if not all, of this book. The title is As My Parents Age Reflections on Life, Love and Change by Cynthia Ruchti. 

Oh. My. Word!

I have been the caregiver or helped my husband be the caregiver for our four parents and my grandmother on my mom’s side. I can tell you that I found myself shaking my head throughout this book. The author has done a great job of sharing all about this season of life from not only her perspective, but the words and thoughts from many other people she spoke to about this subject. The book is very well put together. There is so much information in this 285 page book. So much encouragement, too.

Although I lost my mom the day after Thanksgiving in 2016, (the last of our parents), I found comfort in the words that Cynthia wrote. Where I was feeling guilt, I feel the burden lifting. Where I was angry at myself for things I should have said or done, I’m feeling grace. And peace. Though the book is written primarily for those going through this season of caregiving, I was still able to come away with many nuggets of wisdom from it. I think anyone going through their parents aging or who have gone through it will be blessed and encouraged by this book.

Take a look…I think I marked a lot of spots I want to remember or share with someone!

 

 

 

 

 

There are so many great points in the book, I know I won’t be giving too much away by sharing some of the comments that resonated with me, such as:

“Take a few moments now – the elusive ‘later’ grows more elusive as time passes – to consider how you and your parents would answer the question, ‘At this season of life, what matters most to us as individuals and as a family?'”

I can tell you from experience, when you wait “until the time is right” to have the discussion of what your parents’ wishes are, it could be too late. My dad died 16 days after turning 58 years old. We never had a chance to discuss what he wanted for his burial or memorial service. Because of that, I did persist with my mom and her mom until they conceded and made their funeral arrangements. However, we did not discuss what her wishes were if she would have a stroke at 71 years old and never went back to her condo. She lived almost eight years in a nursing home because she needed total care. I physically could not care for her, but that didn’t help keep the guilt away.

“Don’t cast me off in old age. Don’t abandon me when my strength is used up!” Psalm 71:9 (CEB) I made sure my grandma and then my mom knew they weren’t cast off though they were in the nursing home. Can you imagine the feeling of full life, then left alone in a facility? I witnessed many people in the home our parents were in that never had visitors. I had friends of my mom say they just couldn’t visit her anymore it made them so sad to see her like that. Yet, when two of our neighbors from where I grew up came to visit (which they did several times a year) it made my mom’s weeks…weeks! I would hear her tell me over and over about all the things they talked about. It’s not about us – it’s about them.

I so highly recommend this book to any of you who are breathing and have an aging parent or two, a grandparent, or even an aunt or uncle that is still around. This book is for you. It is such a helpful book on guiding you along this often long and difficult road of caregiving. Whether you are a full-time caregiver or your loved one is being cared for in a facility, this book encourages you in this heartbreaking but unavoidable season of our lives. Get one for yourself and maybe a sibling or friend going through this. I promise, this book delivers.

But you might want to include a box of tissues with the book.

Jus’ sayin!

Blessings,

 

 

 

If you would like to purchase a book or two, it is officially released as of this week! YAY! Please click below to order one from Amazon.

 

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book for my honest review.

Affiliate Links: I do offer affiliate links to the products I recommend. Should you choose to buy through my link, I will receive a small commission which helps to pay for this site. I thank you for your support.

Whatcha Readin’ Wednesday!

Whatcha Readin’ Wednesdays!

Can you believe today is the last day of May already? This year seems to be flying by! I’ve been working through the pile on my reading corner stack only to find I’m adding more! I picked up a few last week at The Blue Ridge Christian Writer’s Conference. I’ll be digging into a couple of those real quick!

I’ve decided I’m going to add more to my reading corner stack and it’s some reading I have been wanting to do. Then I thought about it on my couple hour drive home last week and thought I’d offer it out to you as well. Beginning in August, I’m going to read through the classics. At my age, I don’t remember too much of what I read back in High School (if any of them) and I thought it would be a great challenge. Each month I will pick a classic to read for the month. Then on the last Whatcha Readin’ Wednesday, I’ll write about my thoughts on it. I’d love for some of you to read along, or chime in if you read it before, and have some fun! I’ll even take suggestions of which of the classics to read the next month. I picked up a list a while back at the library of the top 100 classics. I’ve set my goal to read ’em! Will you be joining me?

Back to the current book I have for today, or should I say books?!

I re-read the first book in this series recently and it brought back the good memory from when I first read it. The book is Sisterchicks on the Loose by Robin Jones Gunn. I read this book back when it first came out in 2003. Robin Jones Gunn is the author of several of the popular teen (and up) series: The Christy Miller Series, The Sierra Jensen Series, Christy & Todd: The College Years, The Katie Weldon Series and the new Christy and Todd: the Married Years. Our daughter loved all of them while she was growing up, so when Author Gunn started one for adult ladies, I thought I would give them a try. I remember back then getting the new book in the series as soon as my bookstore had it! I couldn’t wait to dig into the adventures the ladies would be into next.

What I like about the series is the fact that you can read them as a stand alone book should you not be able to get the next one. Although you will find a name of a character here and there from another book, you need not read the other book first.

The titles are: Sisterchicks on the Loose, Sisterchicks do the Hula, Sisterchicks in Sombreros, Sisterchicks Down Under, Sisterchicks Say Ooh La La!, Sisterchicks in Gondolas and Sisterchicks Go Brit!

I would tell you if you are looking for some light summer reading, this series is a must! It will keep you laughing and wondering what zany things will happen next. What I found most amazing is that some of the situations in the books were similar to escapades in my own life with my own personal sisterchicks!

I hope you’ll give them a read while sitting pool or beachside this summer!

Let me know in the comments if you would like to join me in the Classics Challenge. I’ll be announcing which book I will start with soon. Confession: I need to raid my daughter’s stash and see what she has compared to mine and make my choice!

Find a sunny spot, grab a glass of Iced Sweet Tea and open up a book!

Enjoy!

If your library doesn’t have them, you can click here to purchase them on Amazon:

Disclaimer: I use affiliate links in my posts. If you click on the link and purchase, it will not cost you anything more than the price of your book. I, however, will receive a very small commission to help with the cost of this website. For your support, I thank you!

Whatcha Readin’ Wednesdays!

Whatcha Readin’ Wednesdays!

It’s book review day – that means Wednesday on this blog! I am sharing a book today that I read last summer while I was on the Launch Team for it. I recently went back through it and thought I would share it with you. If you or someone you know suffers through the angst of depression, this book should be a must purchase on your list.

While having experience with depression myself, I find it difficult to read some of the books out there on the shelves that people have written on the subject. I was definitely a little apprehensive when approached to be on the Launch Team for this book because of my mixed feelings of previous books I’ve read that left me…well, maybe a little depressed.

Yet, I’m pleased to say that I was pleasantly surprised by this book. The amount of compassion that Dr. Bengtson showers throughout this book is amazing. But it would be hard not to understand why. Though she is a board certified neuropsychologist and highly trained and specializes in brain-behavior relations, she found herself being diagnosed by the very thing she diagnosis tons of patients throughout the year. But to quote her, “yet all my education and experience didn’t protect me from succumbing to this devastating condition myself.”

To say that you have a Dr. writing a book that can help you is one thing. But to have a Dr. that has the true compassion because she has lived it and understands is a totally different prospect. To be able to have a Dr. that can help you see improvement and give you direction with tried and true life experience is a breath of fresh air.

Her writing is very easy to understand. She doesn’t talk over your head, but rather writes as if she is sitting across the table with you, holding your hand and wanting you to get better. I have listened to many of her speeches online and you can feel her desire for your wellness come through each and every word she says.

I hope it’s a book that you will either get for yourself or for someone you love who could use the help in their health.

Reading for health!

 

 

 

Please click on the Amazon link below to purchase Dr. Bengtson’s book.

Disclaimer: I use affiliate links in my posts. If you click on the link and purchase, it will not cost you anything more than the price of your book. I, however, will receive a very small commission to help with the cost of this website. For your support, I thank you!

I received a PDF form of this book for my honest review of the book. All opinions of this book are mine.

Whatcha Readin’ Wednesdays!

Whatcha Readin’ Wednesdays!

Wednesday is here again. Today I am sharing a book a little different than the Fiction I usually share. But, I do like to share whatever I’m reading or have read in my comfy pink chair!

Today’s book is The Cheese Trap by Dr. Neal D. Barnard, MD, FACC. I have read a couple of other books by Dr. Barnard and had the privilege of seeing him at a lecture at John Carroll University in Cleveland, Ohio. I’ve never been a fan of meat ever since I was a little kid and over the last several years, I have eaten less and less of it. But I’ve been getting tired of some long-time stomach issues that I just couldn’t pinpoint what any of them were caused by. So I began to do what is called “the elimination diet.” You go to a simple diet and then little by little add back items until you see if anything triggers those same results.

Low and behold, animal products were showing a real problem. So, I have given up meat – no problem with that, since I wasn’t a fan to begin with! I gave up milk, sour cream, yogurt. Not too much of an issue…I am used to it now. But I could not give up cheese. Well, until I read this book.

When I read that most of the issues I have had and still had after giving up meat were likely related to cheese, I decided to see if there was any credence to his points.

And…

There truly was for me. The migraines are gone. The congestion is gone. The sharp shooting pains in my stomach and intestines are gone. And the “quick” exit to the bathroom after eating it has gone away. All because of cheese! Who knew! I have eaten cheese my whole life. Who would have thought I would suffer with these things for many years all because of cheese. I still shake my head at the relief I’ve had. I can’t believe how much better I feel.

Cheese is quite an addictive food industry made product. With the amount of salt (and other stuff) that goes into cheese, it’s no wonder we have all become cheese-heads, whether or not you live in Wisconsin!  The government has their hand in on this too, but you can read all about it in the book.

As with all of Dr. Barnard’s books, he spends a lot of time on research through his nonprofit Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine. I appreciate his due diligence before reporting the facts to us. He is a New York Times bestselling author and I have enjoyed his books and their clear presentation of information.

I would say whether you are looking to rid yourself of nagging health issues, lose weight or be a well informed consumer, Dr. Barnard’s newest book is a great read.

Here’s to health!

If you’d like to order a copy to read, please feel free to click on the Amazon link below. I appreciate your support!

 

Disclaimer: I use affiliate links in my posts. If you click on the link and purchase, it will not cost you anything more than the price of your book. I, however, will receive a very small commission to help with the cost of this website. For your support, I thank you!

 

 

Whatcha Readin’ Wednesdays!

Whatcha Readin’ Wednesdays!

It’s Wednesday – so it’s book review day! This week I’m sharing the second book in the Christiansen Family Series. This week’s title is It Had to be You by Susan May Warren. 

This story is about child number two, Eden Christiansen. Eden is a reporter living in Minneapolis, a little away from the family. However, she feels very stuck in her life. She is wanting something more. And boy does she get it!

I can’t help but tell you that I am a fan of Susan May Warren’s writing, so it would be hard for me to tell you that her stories are not enjoyable to read! She captures you right from the beginning and draws you into all the family drama! You want to…no NEED to find out what happens next! For me that is a good book.

In this story, with her brothers very into Hockey, one being a Pro,  Eden just may find herself mixed up with her own personal Hockey Love!

Another book to add to your reading corner stack on the table! Definitely a good book.

Happy Reading!

 

 

 

You can click on the link below to purchase the book through Amazon. Thank you for your support.

Disclaimer: I use affiliate links in my posts. If you click on the link and purchase, it will not cost you anything more than the price of your book. I, however, will receive a very small commission to help with the cost of this website. For your support, I thank you!