COVER REVEAL: GOLGATHA by Angela R. Watts!

Friday, March 27, 2020

Hey everyone!  Today's post is one that I'm super excited about: a cover reveal for Angela R. Watts' upcoming fantasy novel, Golgatha.  It sounds like an awesome book, and the cover...mind blown.  So without further ado...




SYNOPSIS

DARKNESS HAS A PRICE AND THE LIGHT HAS NO MERCY FOR SINNERS
Prince Moray will lead his empire to glory, even if it means dabbling with forbidden black magic. But when their parents are murdered, Moray and his brother are cast into Golgatha -- the second realm where no man can survive. Finnigan fiercely believes the Creator Elohai will help them escape, but Moray will never trust again.
Princess Ama promised marriage to Moray to ensure her Clan's safety from rival tribes. But she arrives during a coup and becomes trapped in a realm where hope is dead. Surrounded by strange monsters and ravenous demons, Ama must fight to hold onto her faith in the Creator -- or lose everything.
Despite Ama’s Gift of prophetic dreams, Finnigan’s Gift of energy, and Moray’s magic, nothing can rescue them from their own wicked hearts. If they fail to find their way home, the darkness will devour them and their peoples will suffer under a traitor’s rule.
NO ONE IS SO FAR GONE THAT THE LIGHT CANNOT SAVE THEM

ABOUT THE AUTHOR



Angela R. Watts is a Christian author who strives to glorify the Lord in all she does. She lives at Step By Step Sanctuary, Tennessee, though with Gypsy and Norwegian in her blood, she tends to travel. She’s been writing stories since she was little, but also enjoys chores, painting, and watching sunsets.


Are you looking forward to reading Golgatha?  And what about that cover?!?  Sound off in the comments! 

NOW WE HAVE TIME TO READ: Kindle eBook sale!

Thursday, March 26, 2020



Hey everyone!  So...lots of crazy stuff going on in the world right now.  The whole world.  That's what's so astounding - this virus is so widespread.  So while people all around the globe are pausing, it's a good time to take your mind off the present and read some good books.  I've been seeing some people requesting book recommendations for "nice soft stories" and that's basically what I write.  Yay! 

(Meanwhile, I've been debating whether or not I should reread The Hunger Games and scare myself by drawing similarities to our government.  Don't be like me.)

Anyway, on Monday (or was it Sunday?) when I scheduled this sale, a part of me was really hoping that all of this would blow over by now.  I know a lot of people who are legitimately fearful in this time, and not the kind of fearful that goes out and buys all the toilet paper in the universe.  I'd be lying if I said I had no concerns.  But we're still in the midst of the most chaotic "global pause" I've ever heard of.  And a fine distraction is to read. 

So all of my books are currently free for Kindle from Thursday through Saturday (the 26th-28th, if you still know what day it is.  I don't, but I guess Amazon does.) Please click HERE to check out my books!

Stay safe, read lots of books, leave a review or two if you can, and please pray for those who are most at risk for this virus and the essential workers who are risking infection daily.  If you have a prayer request, please feel free to DM me on my Instagram. 




COVER REVEAL: Sarah Delena White's SHADOW LIGHT!

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Hey everyone!  Today, I'm super excited to help in the cover reveal for Sarah Delena White's upcoming novel, Shadow Light!  With all the craziness going on in the world right now, it's nice to take a moment and appreciate a well-done cover design, isn't it?  And best of all, the wait for Shadow Light's release isn't that long - March 31st!  So you'll want to add this to your TBR as soon as possible.  Shipping might be slower over at Amazon right now, but that just means it's your Kindle's time to shine!


So without further ado, here's the cover for this gorgeous new book...and can I say that I LOVE this? 




SYNOPSIS

Night lived in a tower at the end of the world.
Her name was Layla, and the world did not know her.

Day had no tower.
His name was Aeric, and the world held no refuge for him.

Yet with the evil Coroc and his army of shadowfiends terrorizing the lands, Layla and Aeric must work together to restore light and hope before all is lost.

Night and Day must unite to save all peoples from eternal, terrifying evil in this lyrical tale that combines the wonder of George MacDonald's fairy tales with the beauty of Tolkien's The Silmarillion.



(Okay, can I just say that I got chills reading that synopsis for the first time?!)


ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Sarah Delena White was raised by wolves in an alternate dimension. She writes eclectic speculative fiction that reworks mythology with a fine balance of poetry and snark.  She's an experienced world traveler who loves to weave world folklore and ancient concepts into vibrant, original story worlds.  She is the administrative manager of Uncommon Universes Press.  When she's not writing, she can be found making elegant designer bead jewelry, traveling to festivals as a professional ballad singer, drinking tea, and seeking to create the perfect latte.  She can be bribed with dark chocolate.




Are you looking forward to reading Shadow Light?  

SPECIAL POST: Online Learning Tips

Friday, March 20, 2020

Hey everyone!  We're definitely changing it up a bit today, but it's something I've been mulling through this week and I really feel like I need to share this.  Today's post is geared toward the switch to online learning, but it can just as easily be applied to those who are working from home right now - or those who are thinking about starting their own business from home.

A lot of people across the country - well, the world, really - are making the switch (or have already moved to) online/distance learning because of this nasty COVID-19 stuff.  I really feel for the seniors (both high school and college) who are up in the air at this point, not even knowing if they'll be able to walk in commencement or not.  It's a lot of stress to handle on top of the whole pandemic.  So I hope this post helps you in some way, shape, or form, and if you know someone who might be helped by it, please feel free to send it to them!  I'll be right here in the comments section if you want to ask questions or need to vent.  I've tried to make this list as broad as possible because everyone learns differently.


Maintain your normal schedule.  This is so important, not only in the event that this all blows over before the end of the semester, but also to control the stress levels in your body.  Your body gets stressed when you're thrown off a schedule you've held for quite awhile, so make sure to keep your schedule as close to normal as possible.  If you get up for school at 5 A.M., get up and get started.  If your first college class isn't until 2 P.M...well...whenever you wake up for that, keep it up.  It will also help you remember classes and assignments.

White noise.  If you are used to a lot of background noise, people talking, chairs squeaking (or the teacher who chuckles loudly over pictures on Instagram while you're taking a silent exam) - look into white noise videos on YouTube.  There are some that will run for up to twelve hours.  If you have an Amazon Alexa device, you can use it for the same purpose without slowing your computer down.

Movie scores and gaming soundtracks.  If you aren't into white noise and need a productivity boost, check out some movie scores or gaming soundtracks.  Legends of Zelda, the Marvel suite, Star Wars...see, a bit of psychology plays into this: for decades, movie scores have been created in similar fashion.  Sweet music plays for romantic scenes; loud bass for action; slow melancholy for death; the screechy violin that predicts something terrible is about to happen.  When we consume movies, while we might not know it, our brains are subconsciously affiliating those sounds with the subsequent action that occurs.  Gaming soundtracks are produced to encourage productivity and heightened senses.  When you hear the music get louder and more bass-filled, you know that your next enemy is approaching, right?  (And if you've watched the new Jumanji movies, you get a game soundtrack as a movie soundtrack).

So, if you're into music, look into some gaming or movie soundtracks to increase your attention to the task at hand.  It sounds weird, but it works.

Goal based learning.  If you're a go-getter, you'll do well with a goal-based system.  Create a list of goals for your daily or weekly school schedule - do you want to complete your normal day's schedule, or do you want to work ahead a bit so that you can have some free time to go for a walk?  Make sure to list your goals clearly and then check them off once you've accomplished them.  You'll be much more motivated to complete your schoolwork!

Reward based learning.  If you need a little encouragement to get through your normal schoolwork, treat yourself.  Again, create a to-do list of schoolwork to do for the day and give yourself a bit of a treat for completing each task.  Did you get all your English work done?  Have a cup of coffee (or tea) and a short break.  Finish that first senior seminar draft?  You deserve all the candy.  (Seriously, though, you do. Seminar drafts are hard!)  By doing this, you'll essentially condition yourself to be more motivated to complete schoolwork, because you know you'll get something good at the end. Just don't let your reward be "5 hours of scrolling on social media" because that is the opposite of motivation!

Be timely.  Consider this an exercise in the "real world" where you'll be expected to be self-motivated and complete workplace assignments on your own.  If you get an email from a teacher or a new assignment is handed out, make sure it's taken care of in a timely manner - same goes for your normal courseload as well.  If you don't procrastinate, you'll feel a lot better.

Audio learning.  Some people learn best if they're hearing instructions spoken to them.  While you might excel in school because you like listening to your teacher talk, that might not be an option now that you're a distance learner.  Some professors and teachers will probably do videos, while others may not.  If you're struggling to retain information, read your textbooks aloud or, if you're using an e-text, see if you can have the computer read it to you!

YouTube.  Okay, so don't go down the rabbit hole where you're looking for a certain video and then, five hours later, you're watching Dr. Pimple Popper.  But YouTube is actually a fantastic resource if you need help on an assignment and your teacher's not readily available (and give them some slack, too - they're just as new to this as you are).  Search for the specific issue you're having, such as conjugations in Spanish, grammar diagramming, or any kind of math topic.  I can guarantee you'll find some great resources.

Stay AWAY from your phone!  Seriously.  If you don't already turn your phone off or put it on silent when you're working, now's a good time to start.  When you're left to complete assignments on your own, it's super easy to procrastinate and scroll through social media, especially to see what your buddies are up to in their own quarantine situations.  It's okay to take short breaks, but don't let the siren song of social media drag you in.  It'll create a lot more stress in the long run if you put off assignments to the last absolute second, and you do NOT want to do that as an online student.  Internet outages and learning platform glitches are a very real thing.

Explore your learning platform/modules before your first due dates.  In doing so, you can familiarize yourself with the layout and how the website works.  It'll put your mind at ease, kind of like having a map so you don't get lost your freshman year.  If anyone is using D2L (Desire2Learn) and need help with figuring something out, feel free to comment - that was my entire existence for the past four years.

Check to make sure your syllabus is still the same.  Chances are, your teacher or professor might change assignment due dates depending on how everyone's doing with online learning.  Some might change the syllabus without letting you know, but hopefully that isn't the case.  All the same, it's a good idea to check maybe a few times a week, especially in the first couple of weeks as everyone gets used to online learning.

Take breaks!  Especially if you're studying for an exam, it's a good idea to take a fifteen minute break every half hour or so, especially to get up and move around.  If it's nice outside, go for a walk - your brain will get a break and you'll feel refreshed.

Keep in touch with your peers.  Even though you're not in the same classroom anymore, that doesn't mean you can't keep in touch!  Email, direct message, or text your peers to see how they're doing.  Even though I spent my entire college career online, I was involved in the college newspaper and some honor societies that were on-campus.  I also have several friends who were/still are in college at the same time.  Chatting with friends and on-campus peers from those groups really grounded me.  Not only did I see that some of my issues with school were the same as theirs, but I was also able to keep up with campus news!  Especially right now, when everyone's feeling a bit stir-crazy and isolated, it's important to keep in touch with others.  We're all in this together.

You aren't alone.  Legitimately the vast majority of people across this country - and abroad - are dealing with the same exact issue to some extent.  You aren't the only one struggling to make the change to online learning; in fact, your teachers are too!  Take it easy on yourself and on your instructor.  We'll get through this.



Were you homeschooled or have you participated in online learning before?  Feel free to add your tips in the comments section below!  Again, if you need to talk, I'll be floating around in the comments section.

COVER REVEAL --- TREASON'S CROWN by Anne Wheeler

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Hey everyone!! Today I have a cover reveal for Anne Wheeler's newest book, Treason's Crown -- and the cover is gorgeous!! It was designed by Alea Harper (follow her on Twitter, Instagram, or her website).



About Treason’s Crown:
The last thing Riette expects on a snowy winter’s evening is Meirdre’s royal guard appearing on her doorstep. Their purpose? The king needs a bride, and tradition dictates the position is hers to accept. Desperate to secure her parents’ future, she agrees to the marriage and is whisked away to Lochfeld Castle, all too aware her childhood friend is there as well—imprisoned as a rebel in the dungeons below.

Leaving him to hang isn’t an option, even as her nuptials and his execution grow closer. No matter what secrets the castle holds—mysteries she alone can see—or how desperate King Laurent is to marry an unknown peasant girl, the glittering crown in her future is nothing more than a distraction from her new mission: she’ll free Thomas or die trying.

But what happens when succeeding at either means the downfall of Meirdre?

Click HERE to preorder Treason's Crown! It releases May 12th and, at the time which I wrote this post, is a #1 new release in Christian Fantasy on Amazon!


About the Author:
Anne Wheeler grew up with her nose in a book but earned two degrees in aviation before it occurred to her she was allowed to write her own. When not working, moving, or writing her next novel, she can be found planning her next escape to the desert—camera gear included. She currently lives in Georgia with her husband, son, and herd of cats.
Website  Facebook  Instagram

You can also check out Anne Wheeler's blog post HERE!



Do you plan on preordering Treason's Crown?  Sound off in the comments below!

REVIEW + RELEASE DAY: The WINGFEATHER SAGA 1 & 2 by Andrew Peterson!

Tuesday, March 10, 2020


Has anyone read the Wingfeather saga by Andrew Peterson?

I was introduced to the series by a friend a few years ago, but truly dug into it in earnest a few weeks ago, having had the wonderful opportunity to be on the launch team for the first two books in the series, On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness and North! Or Be Eaten.  I mean, the titles alone will draw your attention!

I was completely taken aback by how easy it is to fall in love with these books! Within the first few chapters of the first book, I knew I wouldn't be able to put it down.  Between the splendid prose, the gorgeous illustrations, and the captivating storyline, it's easy to see Peterson becoming the C.S. Lewis of our time.  If you have read and enjoyed the How To Train Your Dragon series by Cressida Cowell, you'll also enjoy this series thanks to the imaginative worldbuilding and prose.

ABOUT THE BOOKS

On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness:

Once, in a cottage above the cliffs on the Dark Sea of Darkness, there lived three children and their trusty dog, Nugget.

Janner Igiby, his brother, Tink, and their disabled sister, Leeli, are gifted children as all children are, loved well by a noble mother and ex-pirate grandfather. But they will need all their gifts and all that they love to survive the evil pursuit of the venomous Fangs of Dang, who have crossed the dark sea to rule the land with malice. The Igibys hold the secret to the lost legend and jewels of good King Wingfeather of the Shining Isle of Anniera.

Full of characters rich in heart, smarts, and courage, On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness is a tale children of all ages will cherish, families can read aloud, and readers' groups are sure to enjoy discussing for its many layers of meaning.

Order from Amazon HERE. 

North! Or Be Eaten: 

Now in hardcover for the first time, featuring all-new illustrations! First they found themselves On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness. Now they must make their way North! Or Be Eaten . . .

Janner, Tink, and Leeli Igiby thought they were normal children with normal lives and a normal past. But now they know they're really the Lost Jewels of Anniera, heirs to a legendary kingdom across the sea, and suddenly everyone wants to kill them.

In order to survive, the Igibys must flee to the safety of the Ice Prairies, where the lizardlike Fangs of Dang cannot follow. First, however, they have to escape the monsters of Glipwood Forest, the thieving Stranders of the East Ben, and the dreaded Fork Factory.

But even more dangerous are the jealousies and bitterness that threaten to tear them apart. Janner and his siblings must learn the hard way that the love of a family is more important than anything else.

Full of characters rich in heart, smarts, and courage, North! Or Be Eaten is a tale children of all ages will cherish, families can read aloud, and readers' groups are sure to enjoy discussing for its many layers of meaning. Extra features include new interior illustrations from Joe Sutphin, funny footnotes, a map of the fantastical world, inventive appendices, and fanciful line art in the tradition of the original Frank L. Baum Wizard of Oz storybooks.

Order from Amazon HERE.

Might I add that the all-new collectible hardcover versions of both books are on sale from Amazon right now?  Best time to order them!

You can also order from the Rabbit Room Store HERE.

These stories have been published previously, but feature over 40 new illustrations as well as new covers, which are gorgeous.  The other two books in the series will be releasing September 15th of this year!  


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Hey, folks. If you're just discovering me or any of my work, it can be a little confusing because there are several facets to it. Here's the rundown:

* I write songs. I also record them to these cool things called CDs and put on concerts around the country. (And beyond! To my great delight, I get to play in Europe every year or so.)

* I write books. I've just completed a four-book fantasy series for young readers called the Wingfeather Saga. I also drew some of the pictures (but not the awesome ones). (WingfeatherSaga.com)

* I'm the proprietor of the Rabbit Room, a community of songwriters, authors, and artists interested in storytelling, faith, and fellowship. We have a yearly conference called Hutchmoot, which is as strange and wonderful as it sounds. (RabbitRoom.com)

* I've been married for twenty-four years to Jamie, and we have three sweet children: Aedan (20), Asher (19), and Skye (16). We live in a magical place we call the Warren, just south of Nashville.

The common thread in all this is my love for Christ and his Kingdom, my belief in the power of story and art, and my need for family and community. If I had to boil it all down, I'd say this: I want to use my gifts to tell the truth, and to tell it as beautifully as I can.

That ought to get you started. For a more in-depth look at what I do, visit Andrew-Peterson.com. Thanks!





Visit Andrew Peterson on his website HERE and learn everything about the Wingfeather Saga on THIS website!



MY REVIEWS


On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness

As I mentioned before, this book drew me into the lore within the first few chapters.  The characters simply seemed to jump off the pages.  From a grandfather who chases varmint from his gardens to siblings who like to drag each other into trouble (well, mostly one in particular), this book starts out as a completely normal story for middle-graders.  That's one thing that Peterson instills very well in his stories: the absolutely ordinary in completely extraordinary, unique circumstances. It makes readers feel like they could just climb into the pages, or that the characters could just hop right out.  We soon learn about the absolutely worrisome corruption in the world that Tink, Janner, and Leeli are growing up in.  Children and elderly alike are taken by something called the Black Carriage, never to be seen again, and groups of things called Fangs terrorize citizens.  With a mysterious map, a few dangerous encounters with these Fangs of Dang, a mysterious man ostracized to the forest, and some equally mysterious jewels to track down, this story grabs you and draws you in.  While the story is fantasy-laced, the children, especially Janner, learn great lessons about family, bravery, and responsibility that will be crucial to middle-grade readers (and perhaps some great reminders for adult readers as well).  It's something that anyone of any age can enjoy, really.  It's a refreshing, original storyline that I loved.  And the prose is absolutely a work of art in and of itself. 





North! Or Be Eaten

This one is easily my favorite of the two.  While I loved the fast-moving pace of On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness, this book picks right up and dives into something deeper and grittier.  Some of the elements surprised me as being in a middle-grade novel because it deals with extremely real situations like child labor, kids being kidnapped and mercilessly put to work in a factory, and some other matters. Again, Peterson infuses the very ordinary/daily life into the extraordinary, as he did with Book 1.  It's so jam-packed with action that I feel like if I say anything about it, I'll be spoiling something...So beware! Continue with caution.  

Through a series of truly heartrending events, the kids have to fight through circumstances that are either brought on by themselves or by those around them - not even the adults are blameless here - and they have to do a lot of maturing in order to find a way out.  It's a book that, right down to the wire, you're wondering if they will really get out of that scrape alive....and it's "out of the frying pan and into the fire" (to quote Tolkien) for the next crisis.  There are a lot of twists and turns that are well-done, things that you won't see coming, and problems that are riveting.  Again, the prose is wonderfully executed - typical Peterson - and some scenes are especially touching.  I can think of about three or four in particular that really got to me, but I can't even name names because then the book will be spoiled.  But let me just say that if a middle-grade novel is making a "doesn't like to cry" adult reader tear up, it's doing something right.  Again, there are many themes that readers of all ages will gain something from; I might even say that if your kiddos read this book when they're young and re-read once they're adults, they might gain new layers to the story from circumstances that are more nuanced.  Tink (excuse me, Kalmar) and Peet's journeys were especially touching in this book, and although the book follows Janner more closely, it seems like the other characters are developed more in this book than in the first one.  And from what I can tell, the story's really just beginning!  

I can't wait to continue reading the series (I'm just trying to decide whether I can wait until September or if I'm going to go scrounging online for the former editions of Books 3 and 4...)



Have you read the Wingfeather Saga?  Do you plan on picking up these books?  And if you have read the Wingfeather books, feel free to discuss in the comments section below!  




FREE ON KINDLE: All my books!

Friday, February 28, 2020

Hey everyone! Just popping in to let you know that all of my Kindle books are FREE today and tomorrow (2/28-29) because of leap year. When there's an extra day in the year, why not celebrate with free books?!  If you've been waiting to read my latest release, Guide Me Home, it's available for free too!  Click HERE to check them out! 

Do you plan on doing anything fun on the extra day we have this year? Plan on picking up any freebies?

REVIEW: COLLISION OF LIES by Tom Threadgill!

Tuesday, February 18, 2020


Hi everyone!  Today's review is for the Revell Reads program and is absolutely fantastic.  It has a compelling storyline, twists that will keep you engaged, and characters that you'll adore right away.

THE AUTHOR

Tom Threadgill is a full-time author and a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and the International Thriller Writers (ITW).  He is currently on the suspense/thriller publishing board for LPC, a division of Iron Stream Media.  He lives with his wife in rural Tennessee.  Visit him at tomthreadgill.com and follow him on Facebook and Twitter.


THE BOOK

The case was tragic.  But it was an accident.  Right?

Three years ago, a collision between a fast-moving freight train and a school bus full of kids led to devastation and grief on an unimaginable scale.  But a fresh clue leads San Antonio police detective Amara Alvarez to the unlikely conclusion that one of the children may still be alive.  If she's correct, everything law enforcement believes about the accident is a lie.  

With time running out, Amara must convince others - and herself - that despite all evidence to the contrary, the boy is still alive.  And she will do everything in her power to bring him home.

A fresh voice in suspense, Tom Threadgill will have you questioning everything as you fly through the pages of this enthralling story.  



MY REVIEW

This book isn't one you'll want to miss.  If you enjoy police procedural novels, thrillers, or mysteries, you'll definitely want to pick this one up, especially if you enjoy books by Lynette Eason.  It's fast-paced, has a great balance of humor and lightheartedness alongside the deeper, more serious portions of the book, and it keeps you turning pages.  I really enjoyed the chapter setup that Threadgill uses for this book: the serious stuff starts right off, but each chapter usually trickles into the next goal or plot point, leaving a mini-cliffhanger for almost every chapter, and almost all of them end with a bit of humor as well.  I haven't read many books with that kind of style before, but I loved it - a perfect balance.  The chapters are pretty short as well - most of them are much less than ten pages, so you keep telling yourself, "I'll only read one more chapter..." until you've spent most of the day reading  and have forgotten to do a million things on your to-do list.  

The characters were incredibly endearing.  I can't settle on which character I enjoyed the most: the cocky but caring Starsky, Texas Ranger Sara Colby, Downton Abbey-loving Wylie, the...quirky...ME Dr. Pritchard, or - of course, the fast-thinking Amara Alvarez.  I'll just have to settle for all of the above, because the characters lodge themselves in your heart so you can't shake 'em.  The characters are so realistic and well-written.  

As far as the story and plot itself goes, it's a fresh story that hasn't been explored very often...and I can't tell you exactly what because it'll be a spoiler.  But it's a fascinating (and terrifying, frankly) plot that keeps you rooted to the story.  It's the furthest thing from a predictable story, from the most part, and I have to agree with the novel's back matter - "a fresh voice in suspense" indeed.  I wholeheartedly hope that Threadgill brings Alvarez and her coworkers back for more cases - I'll be waiting!  

A solid 5/5 stars.  Snag this book on Amazon HERE and make sure to read it when you don't have plans.  



Have you read Collision of Lies or do you plan to?  Who is your favorite suspense author?




SPOTLIGHT: Diamonds 2020 Conference!

Wednesday, January 22, 2020



Hey everyone! Today's post is about Diamonds 2020, a free online conference for chronically ill Christians. It's an awesome concept started by S. G. Willoughby, author of He's Making Diamonds (which I reviewed HERE). If you're interested in attending this conference, register quickly -- it starts TOMORROW! (Thursday the 23rd). While I've never attended personally, I do know that Willoughby's book was deeply encouraging, and I know that the conference is probably even better. I really have to commend her for everything that she does to serve those who struggle with health problems. So make sure to read on for more info and make sure to check out the giveaway...starting now! If you don't know anything about the conference, check out the trailer HERE (and then come back ASAP because we're only getting started!)



Diamonds 2020 Webpage/Registration link: http://sgwilloughby.com/diamonds-conference/diamonds-2020/



What is Diamonds 2020?
Diamonds is an annual online conference for chronically ill Christians. Millions of chronically ill people battle impossible trials every single day. But so many of them feel so alone. The speakers of Diamonds 2020 want them to know they aren’t — not by a long shot. The theme for Diamonds 2020 is Fighting Together — all about relationships in the midst of chronic illness, from caregiver-patient relationships to spouse relationships to your relationship with God.

When is Diamonds 2020?
Diamonds 2020 occurs the last weekend in January — from Thursday the 23rd through Saturday the 25th. You can join live for as much as you are able, and if you miss anything you will still be able to view the recorded version.

Who is speaking at Diamonds 2020?
This year, we have even more speakers than last year, and each of these amazing people has a special message of hope and compassion to share with you out of their own experiences with long-term illness.

  • Bella Morganthal
  • Scott Degroff
  • Lynn Degroff
  • Bethany Beal
  • K. J. Ramsey
  • Hailey Rose
  • Tessa Emily Hall
  • Pamela Piquette
  • Becca Doss
  • Kristy Johnston
  • Hailey Hudson
  • Esther Smith
  • Stephanie Kehr
  • Anna Pustai
  • Kara Swanson
  • S. G. Willoughby
  • Bethany Rose
  • Joni Eareckson Tada



What does Diamonds 2020 cost?
Because we know that many chronically ill warriors face burdensome medical bills, and because our goal is to uplift instead of adding just one more thing, Diamonds 2020 is 100% free. 

Where is Diamonds 2020?
Diamonds 2020 is completely online. We know that traveling with an illness is difficult, so we want to bring this right to you — even if you’re in a hospital bed or are housebound. You can register for Diamonds 2020 for free here.

Giveaway
Enter to win a cheerleading/mentor session with Sara Willoughby or a paperback copy of He’s Making Diamonds by Sara Willoughby.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

BLOG TOUR: THE DRESSMAKER'S SECRET by Kellyn Roth!

Thursday, January 16, 2020


Hey everyone!  Today I have a post that I've been almost bursting to share...The Dressmaker's Secret by Kellyn Roth is now available to purchase, and let me tell you, it's fantastic.  I'll probably be using that word a lot in this post because I'm lacking all other words since I read this book's major plot twist last month as an ARC reader.  Whew.  Anyway, before I dive into the review, let's read the blurb.  Make sure to stick around and enter the giveaway!




If they knew who she was, they’d never accept what she’s become.
Claire will stop at nothing to provide for her daughters. An unwed mother, she does everything possible to raise them whilst avoiding her scandalous past. Some secrets are best kept, even between mother and daughter.

Alice longs for a father, especially if that means her mother will be happy. She takes matters into her own hands—but she never expected what she finds.

Despite her efforts to shelter her daughters, Claire’s ghosts rise up to haunt her, and any semblance of control over her life vanishes. If her secrets are uncovered, what will become of her family?

Genre is Christian historical women's fiction. Era is 1870s (Victorian). Setting is England (London, Kent, Yorkshire).


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kellyn Roth is a Christian historical women’s fiction & romance author from North-Eastern Oregon who has independently published multiple novels, the most notable being The Chronicles of Alice and Ivy series.

She founded the company Reveries Co. to help Indie authors achieve excellence affordably and without delay. Kell teaches writing through the Young Writer Lessons as well as privately and through her blog.

She lives in the country outside a small town in North-Eastern Oregon with her parents, two little brothers, conceited beta fish, arbitrary cat, precious border collies, and various cows and chickens.







MY REVIEW

This book was an absolute pleasure to read.  The characters seemed so very realistic, the situations were reminiscent of a classic Regency novel, and the overarching themes were perfect for a story such as Claire's.  While I don't want to spoil anything, I can say that the tricky situations that each character pushed through were dealt with from a wholesome perspective, one that is pretty realistic to the time period in which this is set.

I especially appreciated seeing the start of Ivy's character and the health struggles she dealt with -- and what surprised me the most (and endeared Alice to me completely) was how Alice's perspective was written.  Ivy struggles realistically with health problems - if you've read the other books in this series, you probably already know that -  and oftentimes, those struggles affect Alice too, and she knows it keenly.  I just wanted to reach into the book and give them both a hug, okay?!!

*clears throat* Anyway --

  Unraveling the mystery of Alice and Ivy's birth was one I definitely didn't see coming -- there's a series of twists and turns that keep the reader engaged and curious.  The final plot twist is kept under wraps until the last absolute second, but it's well-written and makes you go "Ohhh, THAT'S why!" about several instances in the book. 

Finally, the prose for this book was also genuine and wonderful for the genre; readers of Austen and similar Regency authors will likely enjoy the first book in the Chronicles of Alice and Ivy.  It's a definite must-read!



GIVEAWAY


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Have you read The Dressmaker's Secret yet, or do you plan to?  What's your favorite historical book? 

REVIEW: STILL by Jenny L. Donnelly!

Friday, January 10, 2020

Today's post might be of interest to folks who have decided to cut back on stress and anxiety in the new year -- which is an excellent resolution, by the way. 

I had the opportunity to review Still: 7 Ways to Find Calm In the Chaos by Jenny L. Donnelly, with a foreword by Lisa Bevere.



SYNOPSIS

Discover the resting place God designed for you
Do you worry a lot? Do you dread upcoming events? Does pressure or stress trigger outbursts of anger, isolation, depression, or feelings of failure? Do you have a hard time finishing what you start? Do you find it impossible to work in the middle of chaos? Do you wonder if God is going to come through for you in difficult times?

In Still, Jenny Donnelly shows you how to experience true, life-giving rest even in the midst of chaos. Sharing her own personal story of struggling with life's pressures and emotional exhaustion, she introduces you to the source of peace and rest: Jesus. She shows you the steps to take to access rest any time, any place, under any conditions. And she reveals how operating from a place of stillness powers your identity, creativity, relationships, and so much more.


"I am thrilled that Jenny has written Still, because she encourages us--in the midst of chaos--to still our souls and to be present. It is there that we find God's presence and power."--from the foreword by New York Times bestselling author Lisa Bevere

"As the mother of three very active boys, the wife of a focused and driven husband, a successful business entrepreneur, and a church planter and pastor, I am so encouraged by this beautiful perspective."-- Diane McDaniel, cofounder and pastor of Bethel Dallas

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jenny L. Donnelly is an author, speaker, and business leader. She is the founder of Her Voice Movement, a national community gathered for the purpose of equipping and empowering women to live and lead biblical truth. She is a cofounder, with her husband, of The Collective Church in Portland, Oregon. They also founded Tetelestai Ministries, which develops and equips biblical leaders through online courses, conferences, and resources. She and her husband, Bob, are living this adventure with their five children in Oregon.

MY REVIEW 
I think this book can serve as an excellent starting point for those struggling to gain the upper hand on anxiety, fear, and other debilitating problems.  This book focuses on finding the root cause of your anxieties, rather than simply trying to cover them up with quick fixes.  When it's a spiritual issue, it's not going to be an easy thing to work through - but that doesn't mean that you CAN'T.  This book gives you an essential toolbox for starting that journey.  

I do wish that this book had a little more "meat" to it, like most nonfiction books I read, but as I said, this book is a great starting point for your journey, and maybe that's exactly what you need.  It might take some time to work through all of the prompts Donnelly includes, and that's exactly what it's meant for.  This book includes spaces to write notes or answer prompted questions meant to hit at or discover the core problem you're facing, asking God to reveal it so it can be cleansed.  I also have to admit that some portions of the book seemed as though they were skimmed over, making it seem as though the journey to "calm" easier than it is, which I could see actually becoming a source of discouragement for some.  Her strategies are also a new perspective, at least for me, so if you're tired of the same-old-same-old self help books, this may very well be what you need.  It's an easy read and definitely worth a shot!

Click HERE to buy it on Amazon. 


4/5 stars on Goodreads and Amazon, rounded up from a 3.7/5.  


Do you follow Donnelly's Her Voice Movement, and do you plan on buying Still?