Saturday, July 11, 2020

Celebrate Lit Presents: 6 Hidden Behaviors that Destroy Families by Dr. Magdalena Battles


About the Book

Book:  6 Hidden Behaviors that Destroy Families
Author: Dr. Magdalena Battles
Genre: RELIGION / Christian Living/Family & Relationships
Release Date: June 9, 2020

Families are complicated.
There is no such thing as a perfect family…or an easy family. We all make mistakes that hurt or disappoint our family members, and we’ve all been hurt or disappointed by those we love.
Within our human makeup is a deep and basic need for healthy family relationships. Family was designed to provide us with love, a feeling of belonging, a shared history, traditions, comfort, affection, quality time, feedback, learning, and a safety net. When our family fails to provide for these needs, we feel a deep sense of loss.
6 Hidden Behaviors That Destroy Families by Dr. Magdalena Battles addresses the top conflicts in extended families that cause relationships to become strained, disjointed, or broken. These hidden behaviors are: criticism, gossip, lack of inclusion, deception, refusing to accept differences, and a failure to apologize and forgive. Dr. Battles provides practical tips and solutions based on research, biblical principles, and her own observations of what has worked in families.
Most families have some dysfunction, causing pain, damage, and division. While every family has problems, what really matters is how we deal with those issues. Are we working in a way that heals and resolves problems, or are we allowing them to fester, divide, and explode, causing tremendous damage to our relationships? Families are always in a state of change, and they are a work in progress. But they can function in a way where love, support, belonging, and kindness are exemplified and practiced.
Doing nothing about our family conflicts often contributes to the problems. The healing in your family can begin with you. To have a family that is loving and supportive, you need to be part of the solutions and healing. You just have to take those first steps! It is a process, but the result will be happier lives and more fulfilling relationships.

Click here to get your copy!


About the Author


Dr. Magdalena Battles is a writer and conference speaker whose specialties include parenting, child development, family relationships, domestic violence, and sexual assault. She shares her real-life experiences and professional insights on her website, LivingJoyDaily.com, and on Lifehack.org, where she was named one of their top writers. She is also the author of Let Them Play: The Importance of Play and 100 Child Development Activities (September 2019). Dr. Battles earned a bachelor’s degree in child psychology and a master’s degree in professional counseling, both from Liberty University, and a doctorate in Clinical and Academic Psychology from Walden University. She has also completed post-graduate studies on “Technologies in Education” at Harvard University. While she may seem all business, in her spare time, she enjoys camping with her family, visiting national parks, reading nonfiction, decorating, organizing, shopping, spending time with extended family, and incubating/raising Silkie chickens. She is also an active volunteer in her community and church. Dr. Battles and her husband, Justin, reside in Texas, where they are raising their daughter, Brielle, twin boys, Alex and Charlie, a dog named Max, and a Silkie chicken named Marshmallow.

More from Magdalena

While every family has its problems—some minor, some major—what really matters is how we deal with these issues. Are we working to heal and resolve the conflicts, or are we allowing them to fester, divide, and explode, perhaps causing irreparable damage to our relationships? The six hidden behaviors that destroy families are described as “hidden” because we often ignore, deny, or cover up our family issues. The family unit is a living organism, never remaining the same. Sometimes, it is healthy and working well, and other times, it is not as healthy or functional. All it takes is one person to start a trend of love, compassion, and support that can change generations to come.

Blog Stops

Artistic Nobody, July 13 (Spotlight)
A Baker’s Perspective, July 16 (Spotlight)
Simple Harvest Reads, July 19 (Spotlight)
Mary Hake, July 21
Through the Fire Blogs, July 22 (Spotlight)
Splashes of Joy, July 23
For the Love of Literature, July 24 (Spotlight)

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Magdalena 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.

Friday, July 10, 2020

Celebrate Lit Presents: His Pretend Amish Bride (Unexpected Amish Blessings Book 2) by Rachel J. Good

His Pretend Amish Bride FB BannerAbout the Book

Book:  His Pretend Amish Bride
Author: Rachel J. Good
Genre:  Amish Romance
Release Date: June 30, 2020
his pretend Amish brideIn a small Amish town like Bird-in-Hand, Pennsylvania, one solution to an indiscretion is to get married. Or perhaps, fake a respectable engagement . . .
 
Priscilla Ebersol has a fulfilling life teaching special needs children—until her boyfriend’s humiliating betrayal ruins her reputation and threatens her job. Shunned for something she didn’t do, Priscilla throws herself into a project on the benefits of camel’s milk for autism. Her research leads her to a newly opened Amish camel farm, where she discovers far more than she bargained for. . .
When a pushy Englisch company shows interest in shy, handsome Gabriel Kauffman’s camel farm, he struggles to get out of a sticky negotiation. Lovely, well-spoken Priscilla appears at the perfect moment and defends Gabe’s business so well that she is mistaken for his wife, a pretense they both secretly wish could be true. But though their bond deepens, Priscilla’s heart is still wounded, and Gabe battles with a troubling secret. And when a misunderstanding comes between them, it will take faith, honesty, and trust in God to overcome the past—and to allow their partnership to blossom into something more.


Click here to get your copy!



About the Author

rachel_headshotUSA Today bestselling author RACHEL J. GOOD writes life-changing, heart-tugging novels of faith, hope, and forgiveness. She grew up near Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, the setting for her Amish novels. Striving to be as authentic as possible, she spends time with her Amish friends, doing chores on their farm and attending family events.
Rachel is the author of several Amish series in print or forthcoming – the bestselling Love & PromisesSisters & FriendsUnexpected Amish BlessingsSurprised by Love (2021), and two books in Hearts of Amish Country – as well as the Amish Quilts Coloring Books. In addition, she has stories in many anthologies, including Love’s Thankful Heart, Love’s Christmas Blessings, Plain Everyday HeroesLove’s Truest Hope, and the forthcoming Amish Christmas Twins (September 2020) with Shelley Shepard Gray and Loree Lough. She is also the coauthor of the Prayerful Author Journey: Inspirational Yearly Planner.

More from Rachel

A few years ago, I passed Amish camel farm in Bird-in-Hand, PA. As an author, seeing anything new or different always piques my interest, so I went for a visit. Not only did I explore the farm and store, I bought camel’s milk to drink. I think it’s important to do in-depth research for the settings and information I include in my Amish novels.

I was fascinated to discover camels usually bond to one milker, only give a little milk each day, and are extremely expensive to buy. All of those are reasons why camel’s milk is so expensive. It costs $15 for a pint. Much pricier than cow’s milk.

And if you’re wondering how camel’s milk tastes, the best way I can think of to describe it is a slightly salty version of powdered milk. It’s more watery than cow’s milk.

Because I grew up drinking powdered milk during my early childhood years when we lived in Africa, I’d always vowed never again to drink it once we moved back to the United States. A vow I’ve kept. That was never a problem living in Pennsylvania, where there’s plenty of farmland, cow, and Amish, of course.

The camel’s milk was enough like powdered milk to make me gag. But because I want to be sure my books are authentic, I drank it. So, readers, now you know how much a I care about you.

My concern for you also extends to more than just getting factual information correct. I pray for each and every one of you as I write my stories. I hope that they will touch your heart and bring you closer to God.

Blog Stops

The Avid Reader, June 29
Among the Reads, June 30
Bigreadersite, July 9
Pause for Tales, July 11
Lighthouse Academy Blog, July 11 (Guest Review from Marilyn Ridgway)
Artistic Nobody, July 12 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)
Vicky Sluiter, July 12

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Rachel is giving away the grand prize package of an autographed copy of the book and $25 Amazon gift card!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.


My Review


This is the second book in this series that I have read, but it really can be read alone. We meet the characters from the previous but information is given.
This is a sweet story of people really living their faith, and actually touching the lives of others to bring them closer to God.
We see both of the main characters with a heart for children and wanting to do all they can to help. We also see the greed of some who don't care whom they hurt.
I enjoyed reading how this all played out, and throw in a little very sweet romance, and this is one enjoyable read!
I received this book through the Publisher Kensington Books and was not required to give a positive review.


Thursday, July 9, 2020

Celebrate Lit Presents: A Very Austen Romance

a very austen romance FB banner

About the Book

Title: A Very Austen Romance
Authors: Robin Helm, Laura Hile, Wendi Sotis, Barbara Cornthwaite, Chautona Havig, Mandy H. Cook
Genre: Historical Romance
Release Date: June, 2020
A Very Austen Romance - Ebook finalA Very Austen Romance features a delightful medley of novellas, each set in Jane Austen’s Regency world. Your friends from Pride and Prejudice, Emma, and Sense and Sensibility, enjoy new adventures in this lovely collection of stories by Robin Helm, Laura Hile, Wendi Sotis, Barbara Cornthwaite, Mandy Cook, and Chautona Havig.
Be treated to prequels, spin-offs, and sequels of Austen’s novels, along with original and supporting characters in starring roles. If historical romance is your preference, you’ll love these well-crafted stories written by beloved authors in the genre.

Click here to get your copy!



About the Authors

Robin HelmRobin Helm‘s books reflect her love of music, as well as her fascination with the paranormal and science fiction.
Previously published works include The Guardian Trilogy: Guardian, SoulFire, and Legacy; the Yours by Design series: Accidentally Yours, Sincerely Yours, and Forever Yours; Understanding Elizabeth;  More to Love; and Lawfully Innocent. Ms. Helm also contributed stories to A Very Austen Christmas and A Very Austen Valentine.
She plans to publish Maestro in 2020.
Her life in (usually) sunny, small town South Carolina is busy, but affords time for writing, reading, teaching piano, and playing games on her phone. (Would you believe she’s an elder in a war game?)


Laura HReaders are loving Laura Hile‘s joyous Regency novels. Her signature style—with intertwined plots, cliffhangers, laugh-out-loud humor, and romance—keeps them coming back for more.
The comedy Laura comes by as a teacher. There’s never a dull moment with teen students!
Laura lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and a collection of antique clocks.
Her fiction is for everyone, even teens.

Wendi SotisWendi Sotis lives on Long Island, NY, with her husband and triplets. While searching for Pride and Prejudice from Darcy’s point of view, she became thoroughly enamored with Jane Austen Fan Fiction or JAFF. In early 2010, she dreamed of an idea for a story and hasn’t stopped writing since: Promises, Dreams and Expectations; All Hallows Eve; The Keys for Love; Safekeeping (with just a dash of Austen); The Gypsy Blessing; Foundation of Love (The Gypsy Blessing 2); and A Lesson Hard Learned.
The Marriage Pact, and some of Wendi’s works-in-progress, have branched away from JAFF to Regency Romance (the Loving an Aldridge Series) and Contemporary Romantic Mysteries (the Implicated series). Wendi will also continue bringing Darcy and Elizabeth together again and again in an unusual manner.

Barbara CornthwaiteBarbara Cornthwaite lives in the middle of Ireland with her husband and children. She taught college English before “retiring” to do something she loves far more; her days are now filled with homeschooling her six children, trying to keep the house tidy (a losing battle), and trying to stay warm in the damp Irish climate (also a losing battle). She is surrounded by medieval castles, picturesque flocks of sheep, and ancient stone monuments. These things are unappreciated by her children, who are more impressed by traffic jams, skyscrapers, and hot weather.


Mandy Helms CookMandy Cook was an RN for over ten years, half of which she served in the Navy, living in far-flung places, enjoying experiencing the world while following her calling. Just before she and her handsome Marine were both deployed to different places, they married. They now have three children, ages five and younger.
She previously published The Gifted, using her nursing experience to lend accuracy to her story about an ER nurse who is handed a gift that changes her life forever. Adversity, and a long history of secrets, constantly battle against her natural instinct for truth and justice, but will the truth be worth the dare?
Mandy also contributed a story to A Very Austen Valentine: Austen Anthologies, Book 1.


Chauton HavigChautona Havig lives in an oxymoron, escapes into imaginary worlds that look startlingly similar to ours and writes the stories that emerge. An irrepressible optimist, Chautona sees everything through a kaleidoscope of It’s a Wonderful Life sprinkled with fairy tales. Find her on the web and say howdy—if you can remember how to spell her name.


Take a Book-Themed Quiz

Giveaway

To celebrate their tour, the A Very Austen authors are giving away the grand prize of a $25 Amazon gift card!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.


Celebrate Lit Presents: Something I Am Not by Cher Gatto

Something I am not FB Banner

About the Book

Book:  Something I am Not
Author: Cher Gatto
Genre: YA Fiction
Release Date: January 25, 2019
Something I am NotA father who never loved him…
A woman who stole his worth…
And a brother he couldn’t protect.
Where does someone run in the face of his deepest shame?
Billy McQueen works hard to keep his life together … and concealed. At seventeen, he dreams of an escape from the barroom, his father’s manipulation, and the advances of his father’s girlfriend. However, on his eighteenth birthday, Billy is introduced to a younger brother he never knew he had. An eight-year-old who is barely capable of navigating the corrupt world of his father’s boxing club.
Now, in order to secure his freedom, Billy must fight for it. But to save his little brother who is next in line for the slave trade … he must die for it.
SOMETHING I AM NOT, formerly titled Billy, won the ACFW Genesis Award for the Contemporary category. It was published by Lighthouse Publishers of the Carolinas.

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

cher ghattoCher Gatto is a native to NJ and lives with her husband (pastor) and five teenagers. Their family spent 10 years in Mexico developing a horse ranch for kids (see more about the ranch below) and founded an addictions ministry (R-HUB) back in the states. Cher has a Master’s in Psychology and serves as president of the ACFW NY/NJ chapter. Cher’s debut novel won the Genesis Award in 2016 and the Christian Indie Award for Best YA in 2020. Her new novel, Regent, is scheduled to release this fall, and she has begun a sequel to Something I Am Not.

More from Cher

I never meant to be a writer. It’s something that happened to me when I wasn’t looking. Our family (my husband and I and our five children) lived in Mexico developing a horse ranch for kids, at-risk youth, and broken families in impoverished villages surrounding the ranch. Our co-workers ran a women’s shelter in the city, and we used the horses to love on the girls there. I say “women’s” shelter, but most were children (13, 14, 15 years old) trying to raise babies of their own. Many of the babies a result of abuse, rape, or incest. Some had been drawn out of trafficking. Their stories tragic and incomprehensible.
About a year after we got on the field, the shelter closed down for a dangerous breach in security. All the girls were sent back to where they came from. We could do nothing. Nothing at all, but watch them go. A few months later, I saw one of the girls at church escorted by her “father.” When our eyes met, the vacancy in hers shattered my heart. I will never forget it. And one day, while I was cleaning a horse corral, I had Billy’s story. Not the whole thing, but a piece of it.
I hid myself away whenever I could for months and wrote furiously. I had no idea how the story would unfold, or even what themes would develop. But three hundred and fifty pages later, I was done. I guess it was all in there, needing to come out. I thought I was writing a fiction novel, but Billy’s journey gave me the key to process and heal from things I saw around me but couldn’t change. Things that broke my heart.
I needed a different ending—a redemption. Billy’s story became an allegory on life. He lives under the wrong “father,” as an orphan, believing the fear and shame that those lies wield. But in finding the right Father, he finds where he truly belong. Billy’s story is about coming home. It’s his story, and it’s ours.
Something I Am Not was published by Lighthouse Publishers of the Carolinas. It won the 2016 Genesis Award for the contemporary category and 2020 Christian Indie Award for best Young Adult fiction.

Blog Stops

By The Book, July 4 (Author Interview)
Artistic Nobody, July 7 (Author Interview)
Wishful Endings, July 9 (Author Interview)
Rebecca Tews, July 9
For the Love of Literature, July 12 (Author Interview)
Library Lady’s Kid Lit, July 15 (Author Interview)

Giveaway

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

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Steadfast Mercy (Amish Mercies #3) by Ruth Reid


She’d told herself she’d never go back home. But that was before the accident—before life changed forever.
After the tragic death of her parents, Jonica Muller must return to the Amish community she left in shame. Tasked with settling her father’s estate, she plans to keep her visit as brief as possible so she can return to start a life with Ephraim, a widower who has offered her and her five-year-old son the stability of a family.
But Jonica’s childhood home in Posen, Michigan, won’t let her go so quickly. Her father’s sister, Aenti Edna, is showing signs of a slipping mind. To Jonica’s alarm, Edna’s begun entertaining a mysterious redheaded Englischer who has unclear intentions toward the aging woman and the Mullers’ property.
Caleb is a young farmer working Edna’s land, trying to hide his own secret shame from his family and his girlfriend, Darleen. But when Jonica asks him to come to Edna’s aid, she unwittingly sets events in motion that change everyone’s ability to live in the shadows of their lives.
Steadfast Mercy is a tender love story at the intersection of heartbreak, forgiveness, and grace.

Amazon


About The Author


I grew up in Northern Michigan an introverted child who observed more than participated. I was the type of kid who if a sign read wet paint, I had to touch it to see if it was wet.
I spent many school hours daydreaming, mostly about horses. Coaxed by my teacher to submit a short story to the Young Authors Writing Contest, I wrote, A Dream to Remember, about a girl who daydreamed about wild horses. That contest opened my eyes to daydream with a purpose. After that, my endless imagination was limited only by how fast I could write, and sometimes I stayed up late at night writing by flashlight to finish a story.
Although the desire to write had been planted years ago, it lay dormant while I gained life experiences. I attended Ferris State University School of Pharmacy, in Big Rapids, Michigan where I met my husband, Dan, who was a native Floridian. We married, moved to a small town in Florida, and had three children. (Lexie, Danny, and Sarah).



My Review


This is the third book in this series, but you won't be lost to read just this one, but the others are so good!
A young Amish woman, having just lost her parents, returns to her previous home after being gone five years, but she is not staying. She is at her Aunts, and her darling aunt is having memory problems and there seems to be a man hanging around that causes our Jonica to question his motives.
Enter an Amish man who is recalling from the unexpected death of his brother, whom he blames himself for, Caleb seems to be a blessing in all their lives.
Jonica has a young, delightful son, whom you will grow to love, and he is the catalyst to some of the questions you will be having.
I wished I could go on in the lives of these individuals, what a great read, and visit!
I received this book through Net Galley and the Publisher Thomas Nelson, and was not required to give a positive review.

A Springtime Heart (The Promise Glen #2) by Marta Perry






A second chance at love blooms in the quaint Amish community of Promise Glen, from national bestselling author Marta Perry.

Dorcas Beiler's reckless teenage years are far behind her. She's serious and responsible now, and the good people of Promise Glen trust her with the education of their children. But when her first love returns after years of exile from the community, her past comes rushing back. Thomas is the only one who knows her secret, and despite his careless charm and teasing manner, she refuses to let her guard down.

Thomas Fisher has plans. Plans to start a construction company and prove himself a success to all those who doubted him, and plans to find the woman he left behind. His chance comes when he lands the opportunity to rebuild the stable and shed at the community school. He won't be paid for his time, but he'll be able to showcase his abilities...and spend time with Dorcas.

Scenting love in the air, Dorcas's young pupils make excuses to bring them together. As old feelings stir, Dorcas and Thomas wonder whether their first love might also be their last.


Amazon


About The Author






Marta Perry is a Pennsylvania-based author of over 35 novels, many of them inspirational romances. She uses her rural Pennsylvania life and her Pennsylvania Dutch heritage in writing her books, especially in her Pleasant Valley Amish series for Berkley Books and her new Amish-set suspense series for HQN Books.

Marta and her husband live in a centuries-old farmhouse in a quiet central Pennsylvania valley. They have three grown children and six beautiful grandchildren, and when she's not busy writing her next book, she's usually trying to keep up with her gardening, baking for church events, or visiting those beautiful grandkids.


Website


My Review





Welcome back to Promise Glen and a new story that you will soon be page turning to find answers. This book can be read alone, but I was happy to read about past characters and be updated on their lives.
Can we overcome the sins of our past, that is what school teacher Dorcas Beiler must have been thinking when Thomas Fisher returns to town after years away. They had know each other as children, and now we find answers as to why he was away.
We see how one woman's gossip can hurt many, and judging when we don't know all the facts also hurts.
There is a sweet romance blooming here, and chuckles with some of the antics of the children.
As sweet read to get lost in!
I received this book through the Edelweiss and the Publisher Berkley, and was not required to give a positive review.

Monday, July 6, 2020

Promises of Tomorrow (Walnut Creek #4.5) by Shelley Shepard Gray






From the New York Times bestselling author of The Patient One and the “skilled storyteller who reminds the reader through her characters that faith can help us survive the ups and downs in life” (RT Book Reviews) comes a warm-hearted and charming enovella.

Two years after her older brother Andy’s death, Ella and her parents are still struggling. When a couple of Andy’s childhood friends realize that Ella spent the previous Christmas alone, they decide to make this year’s holiday better. They start stopping by Ella’s home, bringing with them stories about Andy and their love for him. Meanwhile, Ella finds herself spending more and more time with one of the friend’s siblings, who just happens to be waiting for his own Christmas miracle.

With Shelley Shepard Gray’s signature “thought-provoking, emotional” (Patricia Davids, USA TODAY bestselling author) prose, Promises of Tomorrow is an evocative and moving story of love, friendship, and faith.


Amazon 


About The Author





I grew up in Houston, Texas, went to Colorado for college, and after living in Arizona, Dallas, and Denver, we moved to southern Ohio about ten years ago.

I’ve always thought of myself as a very hard worker, but not ‘great’ at anything. I’ve obtained a bachelor’s and master’s degree…but I never was a gifted student. I took years of ballet and dance, but I never was anywhere near the star of any recital. I love to cook, but I’m certainly not close to being gourmet…and finally I love to write books, but I’ve certainly read far better authors.
Maybe you are a little bit like me. I’ve been married for almost twenty years and have raised two kids. I try to exercise but really should put on my tennis shoes a whole lot more. I’m not a great housekeeper, I hate to drive in the snow, and I don’t think I’ve ever won a Monopoly game. However, I am the best wife and mother I know how to be.
Isn’t it wonderful to know that in God’s eyes that is okay? That from His point of view, we are all exceptional? I treasure that knowledge and am always so thankful for my faith. His faith in me makes me stand a little straighter, smile a little bit more, and be so very grateful for every gift He’s given me.
I started writing about the Amish because their way of life appealed to me. I wanted to write stories about regular. likeable people in extraordinary situations-and who just happened to be Amish.
Getting the opportunity to write Inspirational novels is truly gratifying. With every book, I feel my faith grows stronger. And that makes me feel very special indeed.

Website


My Review



A sweet Christmas Novella and we are back with the eight. Although, this is a short read, this story packs a lot into it, and it filled with love and compassion, who wouldn't want to be friends with group.
At the top of each chapter there is a small blip of a side story, but then we are gifted by this author of a read that resonates of the true meaning of Christmas, and when the last page is turned, I wanted more!
Can't wait for future stories of this wonderful group!
I received this book through Net Galley and the Publisher Gallery Books, and was not required to give a positive review.

Celebrate Lit Presents: 6 Hidden Behaviors that Destroy Families by Dr. Magdalena Battles

About the Book Book:  6 Hidden Behaviors that Destroy Families Author: Dr. Magdalena Battles Genre:  RELIGION / Christian L...