Monday, October 31, 2016

Review: Wild Montana Skies by Susan May Warren

Click to purchase.
About the book:

The last thing Search and Rescue helicopter pilot Kacey Fairing needs upon returning home to Mercy Falls, Montana, is to run into her mistakes. After a devastating crash during her recent military tour in Afghanistan, she is emotionally broken but ready to start putting her life back together. She just wants to reconnect with her teenage daughter and spend the summer working as the new lead pilot of PEAK Rescue in Glacier National Park.
But her mistakes aren't so easily forgotten. Because Ben King is also back in town.
Country music star Ben King abandoned his past when he moved to Nashville thirteen years ago to start his career. He hoped to heal his broken heart, caused by losing the woman he loved. But when his father is injured, Ben is called home to help manage PEAK Rescue during his recovery. He doesn't realize his father has ulterior motives until his old flame, Kacey, walks into his house and back into his heart. 
Now, with Mercy Falls in a state of emergency due to flash floods, Kacey and Ben will have to work together to save lives. But when secrets are uncovered and old hurts rise to the surface, will they walk away again? Or can they find a different ending to their country love song?

My Review:

Wild Montana Skies is a great start to author Susan May Warren’s newest series Montana Rescue.  We are dropped into a natural disaster and we get to meet the team of PEAK rescue.  This story focuses the most on the romance and back story of Kacey Fairing and her high school sweetheart and now country music star sensation, Ben King.  When these two reunite it goes as well as expected when there are unresolved issues, bitterness, and anger.  And to top that off, Ben finds out about a life changing decision 13 years in the making. 

I was really rooting for these two to kiss and make up and get back to the life they always wanted.  There was a lot of angst and drama with a few side stories going on in the background.  We do get to meet other characters who make up the rescue team and Susan May Warren just scratches the surface of their stories.  This series has already started off on a high note and I look forward to revisiting Montana and getting a resolution for a couple more of these characters.  I think this might just be my favorite Susan May Warren book to date.

I received a copy of this book for free from the publisher.  I was not required to give a positive review.  All opinions and views expressed are my own.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Review: 40 Days to a Joyful Motherhood by Sarah Humphrey

 About the book:

40 Days to a Joyful Motherhood: Devotions and Coloring Book to Nourish Mom (Abingdon Press, August 2016)

Nourishment for a mother's soul through 40 days of devotion and . . . doodling!

Wouldn't it be marvelous if mothering came with a concrete set of instructions---an easy recipe we could follow? Instead, motherhood challenges women to find their faith, their true selves, and their family through daily doses of trial and error. It is a brilliant and healing time of life that is full of joy, pain, and beauty with a small side of crisis (and humor). What mothers do not know, they learn. And through this lifelong process of learning, they nurture and care for the most precious gifts on earth: children. In a modern society where moms often have a full and busy plate, these 10 minute daily devotions focus on six key topics of motherhood:

-Reconciling with grief, hope and expectations
In addition to the devotions, these beautiful pages are adorned with handmade illustrations to help you refresh from long days or even occasional sleepless nights. So, grab your colors and a little quiet time for yourself while doodling at the kitchen table. You will be grateful you did!

Purchase a copy:

My Review:

Coloring books are so popular right now, so I was interested when I saw that there was a coloring book and devotional together.  40 Days to a Joyful Motherhood is a coloring book and a devotional focused on Mom.  This book helps moms to focus on joy in all the ups and downs that life and parenthood sends our way.  The devotionals are short and to the point, with a lot of truth, great lessons, reminders, and ideas packed into them.  There is a Bible verse and a short simple prayer that accompanies each devotional.  What makes this unique is that there is a coloring page that follows.  These are very simple pages to color, which I like as I don’t have a lot of time to sit and make a masterpiece.  Just little simple reminders for Moms and also an opportunity to let a bit of creativity show through that would make a nice gift for any Mom in any stage of motherhood.  Even Grandmas, as my own mother enjoys coloring.

I received this book free of charge through Litfuse.  I was not required to give a favorable review and all views expressed are my own.

About the author:

Often considered a dreamer and silly heart, Sarah Humphrey uses inspiration from her most beloved career, motherhood, to fuel her passion for writing, creative movement and teaching. She has and is authoring several books and children's books. Sarah currently resides in Nashville, Tennessee with her husband and three beautiful, bouncy kids.

 What others are saying:

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Review: Newton and Polly by Jody Hedlund

Click to purchase.

About Newton and Polly

Amazing grace! How sweet the sound 

that saved a wretch like me. 
I once was lost, but now am found…

Now remembered as the author of the world’s most famous hymn, in the mid-eighteenth century as England and France stand on the brink of war, John Newton is a young sailor wandering aimlessly through life. His only duty is to report to his ship and avoid disgracing his father—until the night he hears Polly Catlett’s enchanting voice, caroling. He’s immediately smitten and determined to win her affection.

An intense connection quickly forms between the two, but John’s reckless spirit and disregard for the Christian life are concerns for the responsible, devout Polly. When an ill-fated stop at a tavern leaves John imprisoned and bound, Polly must choose to either stand by his side or walk out of his life forever. Will she forfeit her future for the man she loves?

Step back through the pages of history, to uncover the true love story behind a song that continues to stir the hearts and ignite the faith of millions around the globe. 

My Review:

The story of John Newton and Polly, the woman he loved with everything he had in him, was truly a mesmerizing story.  As always, I appreciate the author’s notes in the back that helps delve deeper into these real historical people’s lives and we are told what is true and what license the author took in telling their story.  At times this story was hard to read due to John’s character and his many sins and failings, the trouble he found himself in due to drinking and gambling, and ultimately his part in slave trading.  Jody wrote about a John who felt unloved and abandoned by his father, his mother even in her death, and ultimately God, who for a while he refused to believe in.  But what a redemption story about a man who was so loved by God, then saved by Him, and for him to go on to pen one of the most beautiful hymns of all time, Amazing Grace.  I enjoyed reading about Polly, John’s one true love, and how her pure love for him was used by God as a light to draw John to Himself.  She herself had a tough situation, does she continue to love a man who does life his own way, and whom her father is against, continue to pray and wait for John, or does she decide to move on?  This was a beautiful, romantic, and uplifting story.

I received this book for free.  A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are my own.

About Jody Hedlund

Jody Hedlund is a CBA best-selling and award-winning author of fourteen books. Among a variety of genres, she especially loves bringing long-forgotten women of history to life. She is the author of Luther and Katharina, which was awarded the ECPA Book of the Year Award in Fiction. Her other novels have won the Carol Award, the INSPY Award, and the Christy Award. She resides in Midland, Michigan, with her husband and five busy children.







Review and Giveaway: The Devoted by Suzanne Woods Fisher

To purchase your copy, click here.

 Click to purchase.
About the Book

Restless and adventurous, Ruthie Stoltzfus is right on the cusp of leaving her Amish home. Secretly, she’s earned her GED, saved her money—but she can’t quite set her journey into motion. Just as everything falls into place, along comes Patrick Kelly.

Patrick is a young man on a journey of his own. He’s come to Stoney Ridge to convert to the Amish and has given himself thirty days to learn the language, drive a buggy, and adapt to “everything Plain.” Time is of the essence and every moment is to be cherished—especially the hours he spends with Ruthie, his Penn Dutch tutor.

Ruthie’s next-door neighbor and cunning ex-boyfriend, Luke Schrock, is drawn to trouble like a moth to a flame. Rebellious, headstrong, defiant, Luke will do anything to win Ruthie back—and Patrick Kelly is in his way.

Bestselling author Suzanne Woods Fisher invites you back to Stoney Ridge for a story of dreams deferred—and the promise of hopes fulfilled.

My Review

I have really enjoyed Suzanne Woods Fisher’s The Bishop’s Family series, and I think this third in the series tops them all.  From the very shocking beginning incident to the delightful ending, what a powerful book full of so many deep, pressing issues and so many truths to be learned and reminded about ourselves.  I really liked so many things about this book:  the sense of community, contentment versus discontent, the effects of depression and alcohol, trusting the gift more than the giver, and so much more.  

I found myself at times catching my breath due to some of the outcomes and other times giggling at the subtle underlying humor.  Author Fisher certainly has a way with her words that keeps me riveted in her stories, especially this particular family and town.  This is a story of individuals, a family, and a town, told through multiple viewpoints so that we are given a complete picture of how each individual is important and leaves their mark on the community.  There are a couple of romances to root for and some surprising outcomes.  The title, The Devoted, has so much more meaning as you read this story and come to the satisfactory ending.  These characters will stay with me for quite a while.

I received this book for free.  A favorable review was not required and all reviews expressed are my own.

About the Author

Suzanne Woods Fisher is an award-winning, bestselling author whose most recent novels include Anna’s Crossing and The Inn at Eagle Hill series, as well as nonfiction books about the Amish, including Amish Peace and The Heart of the Amish. She lives in California. Learn more at and follow Suzanne on Twitter @suzannewfisher.

Blog Stops

October 18: cherylbbookblog
October 18: Blogging With Carol
October 18: Mary Hake
October 21: Daysong Reflections
October 22: Back Porch Reads
October 23: Lighthouse Academy
October 23: The Power of Words
October 24: Bigreadersite
October 25: Artistic Nobody
October 25: Donna’s BookShelf
October 26: Pause for Tales
October 26: Bukwurmzzz
October 27: Splashes of Joy
October 28: ASC Book Reviews
October 28: Vic’s Media Room
October 30: Book by Book
October 30: Quiet Quilter


To celebrate her tour, Suzanne is giving away a copy of The Devoted and an iPad Mini 2 16GB! Click here to enter:

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Review: Another Day Another Dali by Sandra Orchard

Another Day, Another Dali

by Sandra Orchard

The world of art theft can be a deadly game--one that Serena Jones understands all too well.

When FBI Special Agent Serena Jones takes on the case of a forged Dali painting as a favor to her grandmother, she assumes it will be a typical investigation. Hopefully collaring the thief will also mean finally measuring up in her grandmother's eyes. But the deeper she delves into the forgery and the suspects surrounding it, the less typical it becomes.

The Dali isn't the only painting that's fallen prey to the forgery-replacing thief, raising the possibility of a sophisticated theft ring--one with links to dirty cops, an aspiring young artist, and the unsolved murder of Serena's grandfather. To make matters worse, someone connected to the forgeries seems to be determined to stop Serena's investigation--no matter the cost.

Another Day, Another Dali gives the plucky Serena Jones--and readers--a new high-stakes case to crack. You won't want to miss a single brushstroke!

My Review:

Another Day Another Dali by Sandra Orchard followed in the great footsteps of the first book. Serena Jones is a strong heroine who is just hilarious to read about- and very relatable for all us new adults who find ourselves able to empathize with one or two of the things she faces, like quirky family rife with matchmakers- plus art thieves and threats. The story itself is a great mystery, keeping you guessing until the very end and filled with both action (like I said- art thieves and threats) and romance (Tanner…). Speaking of romance, the hinted at love triangle between Serena, Nate, and Tanner continues, and while Nate is a nice enough guy, go Tanner! I don’t know if it was just me, but I think there was more of him in this book which is just what I want to see. And keep seeing. Tanner. Sigh. All around, it’s a clever book and I want to see more like it on the market. And more Tanner period!

I received this book for free from the publisher.  A favorable review was not required and all opinions and views expressed are my own.

Reviewed by Jes

Friday, October 21, 2016

Reviews: A Sister's Wish and An Amish Family Christmas by Shelley Shepard Gray

 About the book:

A Sister's Wish (Avon Inspire, September 2016)

In Shelley Shepard Gray's third book in her Charmed Amish Life series, a respectable young woman finds herself falling for an Amish man from the wrong side of the tracks.

Amelia Kinsinger is the perfect Amish woman---at least according to her neighbors. And while Amelia takes pride in her role as homemaker, she's also harboring a secret: She's been in love with bad boy Simon Hochstetler for as long as she can remember. Too bad he's about as far from "perfect" as an Amish man could get . . . but that's exactly why she's so drawn to him.

Life hasn't been kind to Simon. He ran away from an abusive home at fifteen and things went downhill from there. Eventually, Simon landed in prison. But the experience changed him. Now back in Charm as a grown man, he's determined to make a new life for himself and not think too much about his wild past . . . unless it pertains to Amelia.

He's loved Amelia for years. To him, she represents everything good and kind in the world. When he realizes that she returns his affections, he starts calling on her in secret, even though her older brother Lukas---who just happens to be Simon's best friend---has made it perfectly clear that Amelia deserves better. Simon disagrees and believes he's the only one who can truly make her happy.

But when Amelia gets hurt, it sets off a chain of events that forces them to consider their future together---and face their past mistakes. There's a chance for love . . . but only if Simon dares to trust Amelia with the secrets of his past.

Purchase a copy:

My Review:

A Sister’s Wish is a story about Amelia, a young Amish woman who is still in love with her childhood crush, Simon.  Simon has come back to town after being gone for a while, including spending time in prison and he is dealing with some past demons.  He also desires to have a relationship and future with Amelia, unfortunately her family is not for them.  Amelia is the youngest of four siblings and all of them are still reeling from the loss of their beloved father.  Amelia is ready to stand on her own two feet and begins to grow bitter with the way her siblings are treating her. 

There is a lot of deep issues going on in this novel, one of them being that if you are forgiven are you really a new creation, or does your sins forever taint you, maybe not with God, but with others?  There are also issues of abuse and when should a community step in?   I liked seeing Amelia growing sure of whom she is by getting a backbone and standing up to her siblings and even Simon instead of continuing being a doormat. 

This was a very good Amish romance and I have been enjoying Shelley Shepard Gray’s writing.  I received this book free of charge from Litfuse Publicity.  The views and opinions expressed are my own.

 About the book:

About the book: 

An Amish Family Christmas (Avon Inspire, October 2016)

In Shelley Shepard Gray's fourth book in her Charmed Amish Life series, an unlikely Amish romance reveals that Christmas is a time for family, miracles---and love.

Ever since his father died in a tragic fire, Levi Kinsinger has felt adrift. Newly returned to Charm, Ohio, Levi is trying to fit into his old life, only to discover he seems to have outgrown it.

But when Julia, his young widowed neighbor, asks for his help with a Christmas project, Levi finds a sense of purpose for the first time in months. She and her daughter are new to Charm and could use a friend, a job Levi takes personally. Soon enough, friendship grows into attraction, but Levi can't help having doubts. There's something about Julia that doesn't ring quite true . . .

Like Levi, Julia Kemps has survived her fair share of hardships---but only by hiding the truth of her past. Being an unmarried mother in an Amish community was unthinkable. Feeling hopeless, Julia did the only thing she could do: she moved to a new town and pretended to be a widow. But meeting Levi, she's hopeful for the first time. Little by little, she begins to imagine telling him her darkest secret, and eventually . . . perhaps even sharing her life with him.

Christmas is a time for family, and as the holiday draws closer, Julia and Levi will have to face their pasts together . . . in order to find the healing, support and love they so desperately desire.

Purchase a copy:

My Review:

An Amish Family Christmas continues following the Kinsinger family, this time from the viewpoint of brother, Levi.  Levi has come back to Charm, Ohio at the request of his family and he is trying to step back into his new normal way of life after the very sudden death of their father.   Levi is having a hard time adjusting and is still very much grieving.

One cold evening on his way home, he comes to the help of his “widowed” neighbor and her little girl when she locked her keys up in the house.  Julia and her daughter are new to town and very private; she has secrets she is not willing to share.  Levi becomes interested in the pretty young woman who he is not aware is not at all who she says she is.  This novel deals with abuse at the hands of a loved one and Julia is hiding from the father of her child.  There is a sense of foreboding danger as Julia’s former beau, a very controlling man, has not given up on finding her. 

This story takes place around Christmas time and is a great novel to read with a hot drink during the upcoming holiday season as the author has a way with her vivid descriptions.   

I received this book free of charge from Litfuse Publicity.  The views and opinions are my own honest ones.

About the author:

Shelley Shepard Gray is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, a finalist for the American Christian Fiction Writers prestigious Carol Award, and a two-time HOLT Medallion winner. She lives in southern Ohio, where she writes full-time, bakes too much, and can often be found walking her dachshunds on her town's bike trail.

What others are saying:

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Review, Guest Post, and Giveaway: After September by Stephanie Smith

To purchase your copy, click here.

About the Book
Click to purchase.

From the outside, Rose Davis had the perfect life: a long marriage to a successful politician, two grown children away at college, and respect within her community. When she suddenly finds herself divorced, she turns her back on God.

In an effort to reclaim her life and pride, she spends the summer in the Caribbean. Her plan does not include meeting Patrick, the charismatic local doctor with a tragic past who ignites a passion both unexpected and thrilling.

As she begins to open up to love, doubt and fear creep in. Once again she finds herself broken hearted, left on her own to pick up the pieces. It’s only when she experiences the unmistakable love and grace from the very One she turned away from that Rose realizes what she needed most was there waiting for her all along.

My Review

After September is the debut novel of Stephanie Smith and I was unprepared as to how much I was going to enjoy this one.  This story shows life as gritty and sad, yet there is hope and love that can be found when we seek God’s will.  Rose is a 45 year old woman, still reeling from her divorce a year ago and living with an empty nest as her two children are in college.  Deciding to just do something for herself, she makes an impulsive decision to sell her home and spend the summer at Saint Croix Island.  This proves to be a vacation she really needed as she meets her new best friend Wendy, David a little orphan boy whom she adores, and Patrick the widowed doctor and caretaker of the local orphanage. 
All these people she meets have deep hurts that life has thrown them.  As Rose begins to live again and let’s go of her past, she realizes that her life may not be as lifeless as she once thought.   She and Patrick begin a relationship that quickly turns into love and begins to spin everything she knows out of control.

This book was just the story I was looking for: a little bit edgy, one that I could not put down (finished it in a day), and had me thinking about it when I wasn’t reading it.  It also showed a glimpse of true faith versus generic Christianity.   I look forward to more of Stephanie Smith’s stories as this one goes in my favorite’s category for 2016.

I received this book for free.  A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are my own.

About the Author

Stephanie’s love of the written word began long before she could read. As a child she would hold a newspaper in hand and move her fingers along the page, pretending to read along.

By the time she was a teenager, she dreamed of writing stories that would touch people’s lives, much like hers had been by so many authors.

She lives in the Pacific Northwest and enjoys listening to Christian rock music while she writes, spending time with her family, watching British television, or reading YA fantasy novels.

Guest Post from Stephanie Smith

I’m so excited to work with Sandra and Celebrate Lit to launch my debut novel AFTER SEPTEMBER which I’ve come to see as a labor of love and trust in the Lord.

You see, becoming a published author has always been my dream, but every time I’d try to write a novel, the inner critic would kick in and stop me in my tracks. I’d write a few paragraphs before giving up, unhappy with all my written imperfections. So, I continued my day job and the idea of writing a novel, let alone publishing it, became less and less realistic. For some reason I never lost that kernel of hope that it might happen one day. God was speaking to me then, I just didn’t realize it.

In 2010 I was diagnosed with Stage IV Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. After six months of intensive chemotherapy, I was in remission and had the strongest desire to write a novel. At first, the idea was to write a fictional story based on my experience. As I started to write, it just didn’t feel right. I then switched to writing a memoir, but that too fell flat. Frustrated, I gave up on writing once again.

Fast forward to 2013 and the idea of AFTER SEPTEMBER came to me. The premise was about a woman who goes through a divorce, spends a summer in the Caribbean and has a summer fling. The idea was so strong I began to write. I couldn’t help but write. As the story spoke to me, I kept this mantra in my head: “Just write. Just write.” I was finally able to quell my inner critic and nine months later, completed the first draft. Boy did I feel accomplished! Well, the feeling didn’t last very long. After getting feedback from a few beta readers, I re-wrote the entire story in a different point of view.

When I finished I realized I had to put this story in a box. A genre box. Was it women’s fiction? A romance? Christian or secular? After reading more about these genres I realized I’d made a big mistake. I hadn’t identified my brand from the get-go and the story didn’t really fit in any genre. Too secular for the Christian market; too Christian for the secular. It makes sense to me now why the first round of agent queries were declined.

I began to pray in earnest, seeking God’s will for this story. I felt He’d led me to write Rose’s story and realized my agenda had gotten in the way. Why would God have me write a story with pre-marital sex? The answer is He wouldn’t. Once my heart was satisfied I knew the direction He wanted me to go, I was back to the drawing board. Once again, I re-wrote AFTER SEPTEMBER. This time I kept my Christian viewpoint in mind and after the third re-write the final version was born.

Well, life has a funny way of stopping you in your tracks. I’d begun querying agents for the second version, and in June 2014 my cancer came back. You’ve got to be kidding me!

Okay, Lord. I trust you. I put my faith in You.

Another six months of intensive chemo put me back in remission. PRAISE GOD! I resumed my agent query and again met with rejection after rejection. This didn’t stop me. By this point I was bound and determined AFTER SEPTEMBER would be released. My hopes were raised when a small publisher I’d have given anything to work with wanted to read the entire manuscript. With baited breath I waited. When the disappointed rejection came, I nearly gave up. But God had other plans. See, when I placed my trust in Him, I had to accept His will, not mine. His time, not mine.

The last on my list to query before going the self-pub route was Desert Breeze Publishing. I submitted my story with the expectation of another rejection. Around January 1st of 2016 I received THE e-mail I’d dreamed about: an offer for a contract. I was in shock. THANK YOU LORD!! Nine months later, AFTER SEPTEMBER has been published. I want to pinch myself. I feel it’s all a dream and I’ll wake up.

A dream that began in my early teens took until my mid-forties to come to fruition. What I’ve realized is writing isn’t a dream but a calling. God knew this and remained patient with me as I finally figured that out. A calling to give women hope while reading a romance novel. Such became my tagline: “stories of life…love..hope”

What I’ve learned from this is to never give up on your dreams. Never stop believing God has something in store for your life, even when it seems like you are living one struggle after another. He is faithful to His promises!

Blog Stops

October 15: Back Yard Reads
October 17: Daysong Reflections
October 18: A Greater Yes
October 19: Pause for Tales
October 20: Quiet Quilter
October 22: Bigreadersite
October 23: Carpe Diem


To celebrate her tour, Stephanie is giving away a $50 Amazon gift card!Click here to enter:

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Review, Guest Post, and Giveaway: Wrapped in God's Grace A Life Rediscovered by Barbara Bras

To purchase your copy, click here.

About the Book
Click to purchase. 

The crushing pain of seven years of unanswered prayer for a child. A miraculous adoption story, followed by unforeseen challenges and heartbreak.

Barbara Bras begins her memoir by sharing God’s answer to her prayers and the difficult times that followed. Although God does not provide an easy fix, the intricacies of God’s plans reveal themselves to her, and she relives her life in a new light.

Bras then recounts the stories of her grandfather Arshag and her grandmother Gulle, survivors of the atrocities of Armenia in 1915. Arshag, sent to South America for his protection, returns as a soldier of the Armenian Legion to fight for his country. Gulle is the only member of her family to survive the death march into the desert. Through God’s grace they find each other, marry and move to America in 1921. Bras is their first grandchild.

The final section of the memoir follows Bras as she marries and moves to Hawaii, only to return as a single mother to teach school in a small town. It is there she finally realizes that God has provided her with protection and direction. Bras discovers that once we truly surrender our will to God, His plan always produces blessings beyond our wildest dreams!

My Review

Barbara Bras has opened up about her past mistakes, her pain, and her family past in her memoir Wrapped in God’s Grace.  This book is divided up in three sections: the first deals with her longing for a child, the second deals with her grandparents and their survival of the Armenian massacre, and the third is more about Barbara and her life up to and when she meets her husband.

These stories were heartfelt and bittersweet, all painful yet held in God’s hands.   I mean who of any of us has not made a mess of our lives at some time or another and have had to live with the consequences?  This book is open and honest and gives an example of a child of God, at times wayward and other times seeking, looking to Him for the answers.  From the life changing decision of divorce to the pain of an empty wound and then the pain of a difficult child, the author shows that God was and is in control all the time and He wants what is best for His child, even if that best is sometimes difficult and hard to accept.

Then there was the story of her grandparents that was really tough to read, as mankind shows its ugly inhumanity to others.  However, through it all her grandparents persevered and were saved out of that horrible situation.  This story was a quick read and I thank the author for giving her testimony.

I received this book for free.  A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are my own.

About the Author

In 2015, Barbara Bras left her career to pursue her dream of serving God. She believed that her first step would be to share the amazing ways God had blessed her. As she wrote of her son’s miraculous adoption and the challenging years that followed, it led to the rediscovery of her entire life, including the history of her grandparents’ remarkable survival in Armenia and her search for purpose and love. Her memoir led to her first novel, which she hopes readers will find engaging and memorable.

Guest Post from Barbara Bras

An Unanswered Prayer

I struggled for many years with one unanswered prayer. It was my “go to” request every time I came before the Lord.

Convinced that with God nothing is impossible, I also knew that the Lord may say “Not now” many times, even before he says no. I acknowledged that the Lord probably had a much bigger and better plan in mind for me, but none of that offered any comfort. As I struggled year after year with my unanswered prayer I found more questions than answers.

Was I fooling myself and ignoring God’s “No”? Could my lack of faith be the reason I couldn’t hear the Lord? And if not now, then when dear Lord?

Then I discovered that the Lord said “Not now.” because he had a miracle waiting for me, more amazing than I could have ever imagined. Like Hannah, God finally answered my prayer for a child. And through that miracle I learned that surrendering my will to God allows Him to bless me beyond my human understanding.

To my further surprise, I discovered that the miracle didn’t mean the end of the story. Experiencing a miraculous adoption didn’t come with a guarantee or a promise that the rest of my life would be free of heartache.

After all of those years of unanswered prayer, I found myself back on my knees with a new daily prayer request. The Lord had something else to teach me through this new struggle, a lesson that took me another fifteen years to learn.

Not only did those fifteen years lead me right back to where I started, surrendering my human will to His and trusting in His greater plan, but it convinced me that the Lord wanted me to share my story.

Wrapped in God’s Grace, a Life Rediscovered begins with my unanswered prayer for a child, but as I wrote it, God’s plan for me became clear. The second section of the book recreates the events surrounding the survival of my grandparents through the Armenian Genocide of 1915. Their immigration to America in 1921 led to my existence. The book closes with the Lord blessing me with a loving husband in spite of the many missteps I made directing my own life. A reviewer found this nonlinear sequence of events unusual, and I am fine with that, since that’s how the book unfolded before me.

Captured by St. Paul in 2 Corinthians 1:3-4, I now view my writing as a tribute first to the God who comforts and strengthens all of us in hardships and trials, and second as my mission to encourage others.

A photo gallery for Wrapped in God’s Grace, a Life Rediscovered can be found on my website Click here to view the Photo Gallery.

Blog Stops

October 14: Book Love
October 15: A Greater Yes
October 16: Carpe Diem
October 18: Pause for Tales
October 19: A Reader’s Brain
October 20: Bigreadersite
October 22: Mary Hake
October 22: Simple Harvest Reads (Spotlight)


To celebrate her tour, Barbara is giving away a $100 Amazon gift card! Click here to enter:

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Review: Ask Me to Marry You by Heather Blanton

Ask Me to Marry You is my first read by Heather Blanton and it certainly has whetted my appetite for more.  This was a cute twist on the mail order bride and the marriage of convenience story lines Two complete strangers, Audra and Dillon, decide to marry for a year to each gain what they think is most important: Audra respect and Dillon his freedom and money.  Unfortunately neither has really thought through this crazy scheme and they are quite unprepared for the lashing out of a very evil man who will stop at nothing to control Audra’s ranch and Audra herself.  My only complaint: I wish this was a full length novel.  I would so much like to read more about this very unconventional couple and their romance. 

I received a free copy of this book from the author.  The views and opinions expressed are my own.