Sunday, January 26, 2020

A No Good, Very Bad Day by B J Bassett


On a good day, enjoy yourself;
On a bad day, examine your conscience.
God arranges for both kinds of days
So that we won’t take anything for granted. Ecclesiastes 7:14

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day is a popular children’s book by Judith Viorst.


Alexander knew it was going to be a terrible day when he woke up with gum in his hair. And it got worse . . .

Recently I had that kind of day. It began with a phone call to my son. He’d been fired from a job he loved two months prior. I encourage him to trust God. His frustration broke my heart and after I hung up the phone, I was in tears as I poured out my heart to God.

Later, I paid a bill with my last check. For the rest of the day I looked for the box of checks I knew I had, and I prayed for God to help me find it. I searched everywhere. My shredder also stopped working. I was frustrated. I took a break and sat for a while.

By the end of the day, I ordered new checks only to find the box of checks. I also discovered the shredder wasn’t broken, but only overheated.

Have you ever had a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day?'

God gives us both good and bad days. How do we plan to handle them?

Father, You’ve blessed me with so many very good days, and I am grateful. Help me live for You and be grateful during the few bad days as well. Amen.

B. J. Bassett encourages others as an author, teacher and speaker. Her books include a contemporary novel, Gillian’s Heart; a historical novel Lily; Sweet Charity; A Touch of Grace—The G.R.A.C.E. Ministries Story; and coauthor of a children’s devotional My Time with God, Focus on the Family, Heritage Builders, with over 55,000 copies sold.

As a contributing writer, publications consist of Writer’s Handbook 2000, The Writer, and The Focus on the Family Guide to Growing a Healthy Home, Wolgemuth& Hyatt, Publishers, Inc.—consistently on Bookstore Journal’s Best-selling Christian Books List from November 1990 - February 1991, and voted the 10 Best Books for 1990 by Today’s Christian Woman.

Magazines, devotional booklets, curriculum and newspaper publishers include Focus on the Family, Woman’s World, The Quiet Hour, Pathways to God, Devotions, Harcourt Brace, WordAction, Gospel Publishing and Times Standard (newspaper).

She teaches writing workshops at Umpqua Community College, Roseburg, OR and at writer’s conferences. As a speaker for Stonecroft Ministries, she tells her story of rejection and acceptance, not only in life, but as a writer as well. She also offers book talks, including discussion questions and shares the journey -- from the seed of an idea to a published book.

Memberships: ACFW and Oregon Christian Writers (OCW).

She enjoys reading, jigsaw puzzles, knitting, munching warm scones oozing with butter and strawberry jam and sipping earl grey tea.

Saturday, January 25, 2020

The Story Behind the Story by Colleen Hall

When I finished writing Her Traitor’s Heart I knew that I wanted to continue Clint and Coral’s story. I wanted to remove them from the Reconstruction setting and take them someplace new and fresh that would give their story a whole new twist. And since their love story had already been told, I needed to add new characters whose story I could share with my readers.

After the Reconstruction, the Indian wars in the West heated up. Since in Her Traitor’sHeart Clint had expressed a desire to go west, it seemed natural to take my next story there. The West would give a lot of scope and adventure to my story.

I needed new characters to flesh out my tale and to fall in love. Della was easy—she was Clint Logan’s orphaned niece who would travel west with his family. Della is ill-suited for life in the West. Having grown up as a pampered Boston socialite, she has no idea of the challenges she will face on the trip to her uncle’s ranch in the Colorado territory. All she knows for sure is that living beneath the restrictive rules governing her life in Boston is smothering her. She wants more from life than attending teas and soirees and marrying an acceptable gentleman. The freedom represented by the West dazzles her, even if the risks are enormous. Della must decide what kind of life she’ll live, whether to accept the hardships and dangers of the western territory or the security of a life familiar to her.

When my husband and I took a research trip west before I wrote Wounded Heart, I still hadn’t decided what kind of character Shane would be. Della’s love interest had to be a man worthy of her, a strong man to match her spirit and who embodied the code of the old West. I toyed with several possibilities for Shane’s character, but it wasn’t until we visited the Buffalo Bill Cody museum that I found my inspiration. One of Buffalo Bill’s many exploits was to scout for the army during the Indian wars. When I learned that, it seemed the right thing for Shane.Making Shane an army scout fitted his character perfectly. Shane must also deal with a secret from his past that makes him feel unfit to love, yet he must grow enough so that he can admit that love is worth risking everything to gain.

Captain Quentin Asher is the recently-graduated West Point officer who heads the cavalry detail assigned to protect Clint Logan’s wagon train and the horses he’s taking west to the army. Captain Asher resents the authority that Shane wields over the group. He feels that his status as an officer should supersede that of Shane Hunter, a civilian. His resentment festers during the trip. His political ambitions make him think that Della, with her genteel upbringing and Boston contacts, would make him the perfect wife to launch him in society and politics.

Wild Wind is Shane Hunter’s half-Cheyenne brother. He is the leader of a band of Dog Soldiers, warriors devoted to eradicating the whites from the western territory and reclaiming the land for the tribes. When Della’s life intersects with his, neither of them will be the same.

I love creating my characters, and I fall in love with them while I tell their stories. They become real people to me, people who live and breathe, who have hopes and dreams, fears and struggles. They live, suffer, and love. I hope my readers love my characters as much as I do.

Wounded Heart Blurb:

Rustlers, Indians, and rattlesnakes add danger to the trek. A persistent cavalry captain who believes Della would make him the perfect wife and a Cheyenne chieftain’s son who tells her she’s brought sunshine to his heart complicate her life. And the handsome army scout who ramrods their wagon train guards a secret from his past that makes him believe he’s not worthy of loving Della. She must meet the challenges of the West and convince the man of her heart that love is worth risking everything to gain.

Colleen Hall is a displaced New Englander who came South to attend college. There she met and married her husband, who is a Southerner. She never returned to New England and has lived in the Upstate of South Carolina ever since.

In her historical books she combined her love of writing with her love of history. In her spare time she enjoys spending time with her husband, horseback riding, reading, and browsing antique stores. She lives in South Carolina with her husband and family, two horses and two spoiled cats.

Links for Colleen Hall:
Twitter: @ColleenGHall

FB: @ColleenHallRomance

Friday, January 24, 2020

Broken Promises Kick-Off Package and #giveaway!!!!

About the Book

Book:  Broken Promises
Author: Melody Carlson
Genre:  Middle Grade
Release Date: December 15, 2019
A school play sounds like fun…for some.
As she settles into life in the middle school of her new hometown, Zoey agrees to audition for the school play to encourage Louisa. Isn’t that what a BFF does? But she’s none too sure it’ll actually be fun—especially when she’s cast as a dog! Louisa really does need her support though when some of the older girls get upset at a sixth grader landing the lead role. Zoey does her best to be supportive and finally begins to feel really at home with her grandparents and at school.
Until someone pulls the plug on all her dreams.

Marilyn's thoughts:  Melody Carlson created a fun and realistic series Being Zoey.  Broken Promises is book 3, which can be read as a standalone. Zoey’s life isn’t easy living with her grandparents, having an overzealous BFF, feeling abandoned by her mother but she is willing to fulfill her promises. She knew what it felt like when promises are not kept. As her middle school gears up for a play, she takes the plunge and audition with Louisa, her BFF. She faced challenges, heard mean spirited remarks and so much more but is one determined young sixth grader that is giving her all. She faced her mother’s return with prayer and a heartfelt letter that showed her maturity. Carlson brought this story to life with all the drama found among preteens with a nice faith message for Zoey and Louisa. This is a series I would recommend for girls ages 8 and up that needs to see how they can shine by being themselves through God.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Celebrate Lit and the publisher. I was under no obligation to write a positive review. I have expressed my own opinion.

Click here for your copy.

About the Author

Melody Carlson has written more than 200 books for teens, women, and children. That’s a lot of books, but mostly she considers herself a “storyteller.” Her young adult novels appeal to teenage girls around the world. Her annual Christmas novellas become more popular each year. She’s won a number of awards (including RT’s Career Achievement Award, the Rita and the Gold Medallion) and some of her books have been optioned for film/TV. Carlson has two grown sons and makes her home in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and yellow Lab dog.

More from Melody

For many tweens, middle school is a jungle of insecurities, mean girls, and disappointments. As usual I gave Zoey plenty to deal with. Including a BFF with high expectations and an absentee mom who still hasn’t grown up. Even though some people let her down, Zoey keeps plugging along, even playing Sandy the dog in the school play. And through her struggles she changes and matures — kind of like real life.

Blog Stops

janicesbookreviews, January 19
deb’s Book Review, January 22
Texas Book-aholic, January 23
Older & Smarter?, January 25
Mary Hake, January 25
Blogging With Carol, January 29
Remembrancy, January 29
Vicky Sluiter, January 30


To celebrate her tour, Melody is giving away the grand prize package of a copy of Broken Promises and the classic Annie movie (DVD or digital download, winner’s choice)!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Afterglow (Lantern Beach Escape Book 1)


(Lantern Beach Escape Book 1)


by Christy Barritt (Author)

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

The Cowboy's Convenient Marriage: A Montana Ranches Christian Romance (Saddle Springs Romance Series)

The Cowboy's Convenient Marriage: A Montana Ranches Christian Romance 

(Saddle Springs Romance Series #4) 

Paperback – ebook

July 24, 2019

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Shelter from the Storm (North Country Amish)

Shelter from the Storm 

(North Country Amish) 

Mass Market Paperback – ebook

August 20, 2019

Monday, January 20, 2020

Love You, Love You / Big Dreams and Powerful Prayers Illustrated Bible: 30 Inspiring Stories from the Old and New Testament

Love You, Love You


With an adorable cover case adorned with glitter, this book is perfect for Valentine’s Day, baby showers, baptisms, birthdays, new parents or grandparents, aunts and uncles, brothers and sisters, or anyone who wants to express love to the precious child in their life.

Love you, Love you,
Mama squeaked.
Into her nest she quickly peeked.
Sleeping babies
softly snore.I couldn’t love you any more.

My thoughts (LVH):  LOVE YOU, LOVE YOU is a bedtime story book for babies and small children.  The pictures are sweet and could bring conversations, the words simplistic but would be fun to read how the animals say it.  Not faith-based so appropriate for anyone.
I was given a copy free. All opinions are my own.


Big Dreams and Powerful Prayers Illustrated Bible: 30 Inspiring Stories from the Old and New Testament 

Hardcover – ebook

January 7, 2020

Big Dreams and Powerful Prayers Illustrated Bible, written by Mark Batterson, the New York Times bestselling author of The Circle Maker, presents 30 inspiring stories from the Old and New Testament that will help children understand and embrace the power of prayer in their everyday lives. With Scripture references from the NIrV and stunning illustrations from Omar Aranda, this powerful book will touch the hearts of young readers and help connect them to God. Short Prayer Points after each story encourage children to talk to God and allow him to work in their lives.
Prayer changes things. It brings us closer to God and allows us to communicate with the One who loves us most.

My thoughts/; (LVH):  One of the most important elements of following God and Jesus is prayer. And sometimes, teaching children about the many facets of this powerful communication may be complicated. Mark Batterson's book is filled with 30 Bible stories, examples and explanations, simple prayers and verses that help explain the wonder of talking to God. 

Children will likely enjoy the colorful well drawn illustrations. Big Dreams and Powerful Prayers would be a great tool to use in Sunday School, Bible  School or Bible Club or for family devotions. 

I received a free copy of this book. Opinions are my own.

A No Good, Very Bad Day by B J Bassett

  On a good day, enjoy yourself; On a bad day, examine your conscience. God arranges for both kinds of days So that we won’t take any...