Thursday, November 30, 2017

The Pink Toolbelt by Mary Dodd and #giveaway!!!!

The author is very graciously giving away one copy of The Pink Toolbelt.  To enter, leave a comment. Please include contact information, because if we can't reach you, you will be disqualified. USA only. 

The Pink Toolbelt
A Guide to Spiritual Remodeling for Women

Description: C:\Users\rrobe\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\INetCache\Content.Word\ThePinkToolbelt_may2017_final.jpgfinal JG.JPGWith the walls of her family falling around her and an ever-present storm cloud of hopelessness overshadowing her, this carpenter from deep in the heart of Texas would begin the most important DIY project of her career. But this time, it was no building that would be transformed. Her very life would be slowly, but radically changed under the guiding hand of her Savior.

It is through this journey that Mary Dodd, a female carpenter following the Jewish carpenter, presents a practical guide for the everyday DIY woman in The Pink Toolbelt – Spiritual Remodeling for Women(Carpenter’s Guide Publishing, October 2017) – leading her readers to their own personal transformation to Christlikeness.

“The decision to be like Christ has touched every area of my life. Nothing has been harder to implement, yet nothing has been more rewarding,” reflects Dodd. “Because of the changes it has brought to my life, I am passionate about helping others remodel their lives according to the example we have in Christ.”

Throughout the book, Mary uses analogies from her lifelong work as a carpenter to illustrate and explain the spiritual lessons that she has learned. While some women might read The Pink Toolbelt in one sitting, it is designed to be read and used as a devotional guide. With the questions for application at the end of each chapter, the book can also serve as a great tool in group bible studies and ladies meetings. From learning to use the right tools, serving an apprenticeship, building in stormy weather, to passing final inspection, Mary develops the theme of remodeling one’s life through true discipleship with Christ.

The Pink Toolbelt is no study on the theory of spiritual transformation but is a work born out of Mary’s apprenticeship served in the workshop of the Master Carpenter – Jesus. In 70 daily readings, she will guide the reader through their very own remodeling process, enabling them to more closely match the life that Jesus intended them to live.

Mary will tell you that she was born with sawdust in her veins. From the rich, black-dirt farmlands of Minnesota, her fledgling instincts were fostered under the steady hand of her father who built the house she grew up in with her 7 brothers and sisters. When her brothers left home, she quickly became his right-hand girl, spending countless hours holding the flashlight, learning the tools of the trade, and assisting him in his next great project. As an adult, she pursued her passion as a carpenter in an industry where less than 2% of the jobs are held by women.

Today, along with her husband Tony, Mary leads Carpenter’s Guide Ministries, a non-profit dedicated to rebuilding the lives of others. They both enjoy sharing their story and the principles they have learned at conferences, seminars, retreats, and churches. In addition to The Pink Toolbelt, Mary will release her new marriage primer, Remodel Your Marriage in 2018. She also regularly shares her love for Christ and spiritual remodeling tips through her blog.

The Pink Toolbelt Spiritual Remodeling for Women by Mary Dodd

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

God Loves Me: My First Bible / May the Faith be with You Bedtime Prayers

God Loves Me, My First Bible 

Board book, ebook

September 5, 2017

by Susan Elizabeth Beck (Author), Lisa Mallett (Illustrator)

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Board book: 34 pages
  • Publisher: Zonderkidz; Brdbk edition
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310759317

The children came to Jesus
Who hugged them in his arms.
He blessed them, and he said a prayer
To keep them from all harm.

It’s never too early for little ones and toddlers to learn that—“God loves me!”
The God Loves Me, My First Bible contains simple, rhyming verses about Bible characters and important lessons about God’s love for his children. Parents and children will enjoy reading each story that emphasizes the overriding theme of the Bible: God loves his world, his people, and me!

My thoughts:  GOD LOVES ME: MY FIRST BIBLE is a cute story Bible for babies and toddlers (not the ages mentioned in the description). It is a short four line rhyming verse from a Bible story accomanied by a picture and a thought. Great for the younger set to start introducing them to God's word. 

Recommended for church nurseries, daycares, and for parents and grandparents.

I was given a free copy. All opinions are my own. 


May the Faith Be With You: Bedtime Prayers 

Board book, ebook

September 26, 2017

by Susan Collins Thoms  (Author), Robert Dunn (Illustrator)
  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Board book: 30 pages
  • Publisher: Zonderkidz; Brdbk edition 
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310758730

A Mighty God
No comet moves as fast as God,
No star can blaze as bright.
No planet in the universe
Can match his awesome might.

God is the source of everything,
Creator of us all.
He made and blessed this whole wide world,
All creatures great and small.
May the Faith Be With You: Bedtime Prayers is filled with colorful, space-themed art and fifteen simple prayers for children to read with their parents at bedtime or anytime. This padded cover board book even glows in the dark!

My thoughts: MAY THE FAITH BE WITH YOU BEDTIME PRAYERS is for the younger set.  It includes a  Bible verse and a prayer and cool pictures of colorful, space-themed art that your child can feel the different textures. It even glows in the dark! A great book for teaching small children how to pray and have evening directions. This would be a cool gift for new parents or your favorite toddler, baby, or preschooler. 

I was given a copy free. All opinions are my own. 

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Blue Ridge Sunrise

Blue Ridge Sunrise

A Blue Ridge Romance #1

Paperback, ebook, audio, audio CD

November 7, 2017

by Denise Hunter

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson
  • ISBN-13: 978-0718090500

"This must-read romance stirs a touch of heat into a sweet story of self-acceptance and rekindled love. Recommended!" USAToday

Former free spirit Zoe Collins swore she'd never again set foot in Copper Creek or speak to the man who broke her heart. But return she must when her beloved Granny dies, leaving the family legacy to Zoe--a peach orchard nestled at the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

When Zoe returns home with her daughter and boyfriend Kyle, she finds that she's the only person in town who doesn't expect her to give up the life she's established far away from Copper Creek. Everyone believes she was born to run the orchard, but how can she make it her home after so many years?

Cruz Huntley never quite got over his first love, Zoe Collins, the little sister of his best friend Brady. Not when she cheated on him during their "break," not when she took off to parts unknown with good-for-nothing Kyle Jenkins, and not even now--five years later.

As life-changing decisions and a history with Cruz hang over Zoe's head, tensions rise between her and Kyle. Even as she comes to terms with the shifting relationships in her life, Zoe still isn't sure if she can remain in Copper Creek with her new responsibilities . . . and her first love.

My thoughts: Denise Hunter used to be one of my favorite authors, I've read every single one of her romances she's written over the years. I've heard that Thomas Nelson is becoming more edgy and that is apparent with the last few romances Ms. Hunter has put out. 

Zoe is a wild child. The book starts when she's fifteen and she's got the stuff and is hot to trot. She has Cruz lusting after her, but he's her brother's best friend. When Brady goes off to college, Cruz promises to keep his eye on her... and he does. That, and other things. 

Then Zoe runs off to join a country band and sing backup. When granny dies, she comes back home with her four year old daughter in tow... 

Okay, you can see where this is going.  Zoe is not a character I like or identify with. With the exception of Granny and her brother and one girlfriend she's pretty much burned all her bridges behind her, too. Even her own dad is reluctant to help. Even Cruz hates her, but she's still hot... And of course they are forced together because... 

The ending was rather rushed and unsettled. Telling. Not a satisfactory end. 

Faith message was weak. She sings in church, says a prayer or two , and it's called good. Lives like the devil the rest of the time. 

I wanted to like this book. But I didn't. And I hate to say this, but it might be the last Denise Hunter book I ever read. That kind of breaks my heart. 

I was given a copy free. All opinions are my own. 

Monday, November 27, 2017

Interview with Melanie D. Snitker

Today we welcome Melanie D. Snitker to my blog. Melanie, tell us about the book – a brief blurb:

Finding Grace is the sixth and last book in the Love’s Compass series. For Tyler, falling in love is a risk he shouldn’t take. Too bad chance encounters and his stubborn heart keep trying to convince him otherwise.  After escaping a nightmarish relationship, Beth Davenport is content with her safe and blessedly normal life. Yet something about Tyler and his adorable daughter makes her wish for more. Can they let go of their fear and trust God to lead them to the love they desperately need?

Do you read your reviews? Do you respond to them, good or bad? Do you have any advice on how to deal with the bad?

I do scan through my reviews on Amazon, but rarely look at them on Goodreads. I never respond to a review, though, whether it’s good or bad. There have been some bad reviews that stung, but I try to remember that even the great books out there-the classics-have received their fair share of horrible reviews. As with everything else, bad always comes with the good. I find the easiest way to deal with them is to just scan the reviews once a week or less, rather than stalking them every day.

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

There are a number of authors that have helped me over the last four years. It’s nearly impossible to choose just one person, but if I had to, I would say Victorine E. Lieske. Her advice on book covers, writing to my genre, and promotional tips have been incredibly helpful!   

What book are you reading now?

I just finished Shanna Hatfield’s latest book, Chasing Christmas, this morning. It was a great story that kept me up reading way too late (or should I say early). LOL I love all her books, and this newest title didn’t disappoint!

What books have most influenced your life most?

This is a hard one for me because the answer varies. When I was a child, the Narnia series inspired imagination. As a teen, the Zion Chronicles by Bodie Thoene captured my attention, and I couldn’t get enough of those books. Finally, it was reading books by Lori Wick and Janette Oke that inspired me to write inspirational romance novels.

Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

Lori Wick is my favorite author. I love everything about her stories! They combine the best of romance, humor, detailed storylines, and well-developed characters. Every time I read one of her books, it inspires me to write better. While I’ve enjoyed all of her books, The Princess and the Royal Wedding Series are my favorites.

Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?

I don’t know about new, but I also enjoy reading books from Karen Witemeyer, Crystal Walton, Katy Huth Jones, and so many more!

If you didn't like writing books, what would you do for a living?

I would probably be doing some kind of graphics work or honing my photography skills. Thankfully, between God’s graces and my husband’s support, I’m able to do exactly what I’ve always wanted to do: Stay at home with our two kids, homeschool them, and write in my spare time.

Can you share a little of your current work with us?

I am in the editing process for Finding Grace. Tyler and Beth’s story was so much fun to write. It also gave me the opportunity to visit with previous characters in the series, give some updates, and tie up a few loose ends. It’s also been a bittersweet experience as I say goodbye to these characters that have been a huge part of my life for nearly three years now.

I also have another book, Marrying Mandy, that is a contemporary marriage of convenience story. It’ll be out early this winter.

I’m only now starting to outline my next project, so I don’t have much to share on that yet.

What book do you wish you could have written?

I would have to say The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings. I know, that’s more than one book, but you can’t really have any one of them without the others!

Share your bio, links for social media and to buy:

Melanie D. Snitker has enjoyed writing fiction for as long as she can remember. She started out creating episodes of cartoon shows she wanted to see as a child, and her love of writing grew from there. She and her husband live in Texas with their two children, who keep their lives full of adventure, and two dogs, who add a dash of mischief to the family dynamics. In her spare time, Melanie enjoys photography, reading, crocheting, baking, and hanging out with family and friends.

Direct link to the Love’s Compass Series:

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Experience Joy During the Holidays + #giveaway!!!!

Nan Brown Self and Brown Books Publishing are giving away one (1) copy of this book!  Leave a comment to be entered in the giveaway!  Please leave contact information. USA only. 

Experience Joy During the Holidays

The holiday season can be hectic, stressful and difficult for many people. When we compound that with issues of unforgiveness in our lives we are not able to fully rejoice and enjoy the season of gratitude and thankfulness.

Wounds that are not completely healed often cause unmet expectations, sadness and regrets. The litmus test to see whether a wound is completely healed is to ask yourself if you are uncomfortable when you see that person or you hear their name. If you feel discomfort, your wound is not healed. If your unhealed wound is a result of someone’s offense against you, there is a way to find healing.

Author and speaker Nan Brown Self unlocks the secret to experiencing and practicing this fundamental key to walking in freedom from our past offenses in her book Forgiveness: Making Space for Grace (Brown Books Publishing Group, 2017).

Nan has a passion for applying the teachings of Scripture to everyday life and has taught on the subject of forgiveness for over thirty-five years. But it was her own exhaustion and load of emotional baggage carried far too long that brought her to the foot of the Cross. “Why do you continually bring your burdens of unforgiveness but never leave them there,” she sensed the Lord saying. In seeking to answer His question, she found fresh perspective on one of the most fundamental teachings of Scripture and more importantly, experienced the grace of forgiveness that left her “past” where it belonged – at the Cross with Jesus.

With biblical insight, Nan helps the reader identify the roots of unforgiveness, experience healing of old wounds, begin the journey of restoring relationships, and maintain their walk in peace and freedom. Each chapter concludes with practical questions, a worksheet, and a prayer, making it ideal for study groups or private devotionals. Drawing from her personal encounter with the grace of forgiveness and the immutable truth of God’s Word, Nan charts the course to freedom from our past grievances and offers a prescription to maintaining that freedom on a daily basis.

“Forgiveness is the gift of grace from the heart of Jesus,” states Self. “He carried your sins to the cross and bore the pain of those sins so that you might be pardoned from their binding power and consequences. Through His grace, you receive a release from sin that you have not earned or deserved. In order to receive this gift, you need to accept His forgiving grace.”

Forgiveness: Making Space for Grace by Nan Brown Self. To read more about Nan visit   

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Book Spotlight and excerpt of Christmas Under the Stars

Book Spotlight: Christmas Under the Stars

This romantic suspense is set in Utah Territory in 1858 at the height of the westward expansion and wagon trains. It recalls a time in our country of great excitement as folks from the east set out to settle the land beyond the Kansas Territory. Tens of thousands of people headed west to find gold, claim land, escape their past, recreate themselves, or simply for the adventure.

Unfortunately, few went well-prepared. Numerous books were written purporting to give advice on how to pack light and travel safely, but in fact, most of the authors had never themselves made the trip, and the information in their books wasn’t only wrong or misleading, but in some cases, downright dangerous.

My heroine Edie is traveling west with her brother to meet up with another brother and his family who went ahead of them. Edie’s father was an itinerant preacher who barely managed to keep his family together. My hero Tom is heading to California to hopefully start a church. Already we can see problems, at least as far as Edie is concerned. And although Tom is attracted to Edie, once he’s introduced to her and hears she shares the same name as the man traveling with her, he assumes they are husband and wife.

Although he didn’t ask for it, Tom is soon appointed as head of their wagon train, and a series of accidents and unfortunate circumstances threaten to sabotage their journey. But are these incidents more than that? Or is someone determined to prevent them from reaching their destination?

Through miscommunication and unasked questions, Edie and Tom muddle through as best they know how, which is true of many of the emigrants. And the good news is that just like the travelers of the time, they do make it, although a little the worse for wear.

Here’s an excerpt:

Tom Aitken strode beside the lead wagon in the train, encouraging on the two lumbering oxen he could hear but not see. “Git on Blue, git on. Brick.” The beasts lowered their heads at the sound of his voice and strained into the traces. Tom grit his teeth against another blast of cold air blowing from the Canadian Rockies.
What had he been thinking, taking a wagon train to Echo at this time of year? He’d focused on the offer of free passage to California. Free, indeed. Might not have cost him any money, but the two-month journey was surely grinding years off his life.
Digging his hands into his armpits, seeking some warmth, no matter how small, he trudged along, head down, wishing for a heavier coat. Echo was just a few more miles up this canyon. In good weather, a half day’s travel.
In this storm, forever.
As he debated whether to pull the wagon train off the trail and set up camp for the night, a faint cry echoed off the rock walls behind him. He slowed his step, allowing the oxen to pass him, waiting to hear the sound again. Nothing. He pivoted on one foot to trace his steps back, straining to see who was calling and whether they were friend or foe. Having spotted Indians several times over the past week or so, he was determined to stay alert.
Nothing but swirling, blinding snow. Lots of it.
He must have been hearing things. Probably just the wind echoing down off the canyon walls. No doubt where Echo got its name. He turned to face forward and felt someone – or something – press on his shoulder. His right hand on the knife in a sheath at his waist, he whirled around, ready to fight.
The man in the second-to-last wagon stood before him, face white with cold – or fear – and hands raised in surrender. His rough Irish brogue bespoke his heritage, and his coarse woolen coat and muffler his financial status. “I can’t find the Meredith woman.”
“What do you mean, man? Speak up.”
“I saw her maybe a ‘alf hour ago, when the wind stopped blowin’ long enough to see me ‘and in front of me face. Me missus remarked then that the lass was looking peaked.”
Tom grit his teeth against the sharp retort rising. Must he be like a mother hen to these travelers? No sooner had the thought crossed his mind than he repented of his hardness of heart. Lord, forgive me. Help her. Please. For her husband’s sake.
His silent prayer done, Tom gestured to his wagon. “Take my place as lead. Keep them straight on the trail. We’ve got just about twelve miles to go.”
The man nodded and Tom stopped, allowing the rest of the train to pass him. Although the rule was that only the very young, very old, and very sick got to ride in the wagons, sometimes folks hitched a ride when they were exhausted.
He sighed, his breath escaping like a puff of smoke from a chimney, carried off on the northerly gale. He’d have to check every wagon that passed to see if she’d climbed aboard.
If she hadn’t – well, he’d pray she was curled up in a pile of quilts rather than consider the alternative.
Tom plowed through a snowdrift nearly up to his chest. Edie Meredith wasn’t in any of the wagons. Her husband, Mark, as leader of the final wagon in the train, had been walking at the head of his team to keep them on the trail and hadn’t noticed when she’d gone missing. Tom stopped the train, and word passed up and down the line until all of the wagons paused. Women-folk and children climbed aboard their wagons to warm up, and the men divided into several groups to go in search of Miss Meredith.
 The man accompanying Tom heaved along behind him, his breath sounding labored in the cold air. Harnesses jingled as the huge oxen shook themselves and got comfortable as they waited, and questions chased him as he traveled the length of the train.
“Found her yet?”
“What was she wearing?”
“Prob’ly find her froze to death.”
Tom shook off this last comment and pressed on. No, he would find her before that happened. He’d noticed the pretty young woman the instant he joined the wagon train, her red hair lighting up into a thousand pinpoints of gold in the afternoon sun. Freckles dotted across the bridge of her nose as she stared at him, a smile creeping across her face.
But that was as far as their relationship was likely to go. The broad-shouldered hulk standing next to her, laying claim to her with his protective attitude and gruff voice was enough to keep any sensible man in his place. No siree, her husband was not to be trifled with. Mark and Edie Meredith. That’s how they were introduced to him. That plus Meredith’s, “She’s spoken for” when she’d smiled and bobbed her head at him, was enough to keep any sane man a sensible distance away. No matter how he might wish the situation could be otherwise.
For now, he would look for her because that was his job.
And he was good at his job. Rather, his two jobs. Drover by day and preacher by night. Such a strange combination of occupations, he was certain. Still, the good Lord knew what He was doing, and drovering was just until he got to California. Then he would start his own church at the first town that needed him.
Tom peered into the storm, the faint outline of a shadow forming ahead of him, to the side of the trail. As he neared, he could have sworn he heard singing. A soft, lilting melody, like a lullaby.
A few more steps, and he paused over the form on the ground. Already snow gathered on her cheeks, filling in the concave hollows of her eyes, testifying to how cold her skin was that the particles didn’t melt.
He knelt beside her, fearing the worst. In a neat pile beside her, a pair of gloves and a shawl. Her coat unbuttoned, she looked dead.
But there, a slight flare of her nostrils confirmed there was life in her yet. He turned back to the man following him. “Over here. Over here.”
The man came running, and together they lifted the unconscious woman and carried her to the nearest wagon. She needed warming up, and soon.
He called to the man he’d put in the lead. “Pull the train over toward the palisades. There should be some caves around here that we can overnight in.”
The men hastened to do his bidding, and the wagon beneath him lurched, throwing him off balance. He landed in a tangle against Miss Meredith and stared into her green eyes, wide open in surprise.
 No doubt about it. She was beautiful. Tendrils of damp hair at her temples decorated her pale skin. But he couldn’t sit here admiring her. She was nearly frozen to death. Her blue lips and white complexion scared him.
He was alone in a wagon with a desirable woman who needed his help.
He had no choice.
He unbuttoned his jacket and pulled her to his chest. The sudden chill took his breath away, but he persisted in his ministrations. As the heat flowed from him, he was gratified to note color returning to her lips.
Her hands pressed against his chest, and he increased his grip on her. She needed warmth now. He’d heard of folks dying in the snow who’d stripped down to their underclothing.
He glanced at the woman now resting quietly in his arms, wishing he was holding her so close, so intimately, for a different reason.    
But she belonged to another.

About Christmas Under the Stars:

November 1858, Utah Territory

Edie Meredith strives to keep her temper and her tongue under control as she heads west with her brother to California. Raised in an itinerant preacher family, she promises she will never marry a man of the cloth.

Tom Aiken, drover of the wagon train, longs to answer his true calling: to preach, and while he realizes not every woman would choose a preacher for a husband, he hopes to soon find his help-meet.

Suspicious ‘accidents’ plague their journey. Is someone trying to keep them from reaching their destination? Or will misunderstanding and circumstances keep them apart?

About Donna:

Donna lives in Denver with husband Patrick, her first-line editor and biggest fan. She writes historical suspense under her own name, and contemporary suspense under her alter ego of Leeann Betts. She is a hybrid publisher who has published a number of books under her pen name and under her own name. Her recent releases include The Mystery of Christmas Inn, Colorado and Christmas Under the Stars. Donna is also a ghostwriter and editor of fiction and non-fiction, and judges in a number of writing contests. Donna recently taught the popular Don't Let Your Subplots Sink Your Story, an online course for American Christian Fiction Writers, and will teach another course in May 2018 on The Middle Muddle. Donna loves history and research, and travels extensively for both. Donna is proud to be represented by Terrie Wolf of AKA Literary Management. Receive a free ebook simply for signing up for our free newsletter!
Books: Amazon: and Smashwords:

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