Friday, January 19, 2018

Fierce Faith Alli Worthington


Sometimes Jesus’s call to “fear not” seems like the hardest instruction to follow.
Some days you faultlessly juggle everything that is your life—kids, husband, house, job, church, friendships, school, pets, appointments, and on and on. Other days the very thought of which ball you’re going to drop puts your anxiety level through the roof. You’re afraid you’re forgetting something. And you are: God’s advice to fear not.
Alli Worthington knows all about the ways a woman can be hard on herself. She shares her own fear struggles with humor and honesty—while offering real strategies for coping with life’s big worries as well as those little everyday worries.
Alli uses biblical wisdom and practical insight to help you:
  • Identify fear-based thinking.
  • Overcome the big and little worries in life.
  • Learn a simple trick to stop the anxiety spiral.
  • Live a more confident, less worried life.
Grab a cup of coffee and sit down for some encouragement from a friend. Alli’s no-nonsense, wise advice will lighten your heart and help you cut through the daily clutter of fear and worry to reconnect with your own fierce faith.

Preorder your copy here...
https://www.amazon.com/Fierce-Faith-Fighting-Wrestling-Overcoming/dp/0310342252/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1515621433&sr=1-1&keywords=fierce+faith+alli+Worthington


Alli Worthington is the author of Fierce Faith and Breaking Busy, she's a speaker and business coach. Her goal is to help women live the life they were created to live.

Alli is a sought after coach and consultant who has helped individuals, small business owners and Fortune 500 companies be more successful.

Alli's no-nonsense, guilt-free take on motherhood, parenting and balance has lead to appearances on The Today Show and Good Morning America.

She lives outside Nashville with her husband, Mark, their five sons, and the only golden retriever who refuses to retrieve.

Alli spends way too much time on Instagram at @AlliWorthington and you can find out all about her at AlliWorthington.com

My Thoughts...

One of the hardest things is to Fear Not, we all fight with fear at sometime or another. I have had people tell me they have so much faith they never deal with fear, I say wrong, if your child has been given a bad diagnosis then you will experience FEAR. If you are a single mother and you are told your job is cutting back and they don't need you anymore, you will experience FEAR.
Well Fierce Faith is a book that we ALL need to read.  We need to learn the lessons in this book and try to adhere to them. This book is for the worrier, the gals that wrestle with anxiety, the gals they fight fear regularly.  
I found a lot of wisdom in this book and it's very well said.
I gave this book 4 stars. I recommend this to all the ladies.
The Mary Reader received this book from Wynn Wynn Media for review. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are our own.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Isaiah's Daughter By Mesu Andrews



In this epic Biblical narrative, ideal for fans of The Bible miniseries, a young woman taken into the prophet Isaiah's household rises to capture the heart of the future king.

Isaiah adopts Ishma, giving her a new name--Zibah, delight of the Lord--thereby ensuring her royal pedigree. Ishma came to the prophet's home, devastated after watching her family destroyed and living as a captive. But as the years pass, Zibah's lively spirit wins Prince Hezekiah's favor, a boy determined to rebuild the kingdom his father has nearly destroyed. But loving this man will awake in her all the fears and pain of her past and she must turn to the only One who can give life, calm her fears, and deliver a nation.

Pick up your copy here...
https://www.amazon.com/Isaiahs-Daughter-Novel-Prophets-Kings/dp/0735290253/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1515901168&sr=8-1&keywords=isaiah%27s+daughter



Mesu grew up with a variegated Christian heritage. With grandparents from the Pilgrim Holiness, Nazarene, and Wesleyan Churches, her dad was a Quaker and mom charismatic. As you might imagine, God was a central figure in most family discussions, but theology was a battlefield and Scripture the weapon. As a rebellious teenager, Mesu rejected God and His Word, but discovered Jesus as a life-transforming Savior through the changed life of an old friend.

The desire for God's Word exploded with her new commitment, but devotional time was scarce due to the demands of a young wife and mother. So Mesu scoured the only two theology books available--children's Bible stories and her Bible. The stories she read to her daughters at night pointed her to the Bible passages she studied all day. She became an avid student of God's Word, searching historical and cultural settings as well as ancient texts and original languages.

Mesu and her husband Roy have raised those two daughters and now enjoy a tribe of grandkids, who get to hear those same Bible stories. Mesu's love for God's Word has never waned. She now writes biblical novels, rich with spiritual insight learned through fascinating discoveries in deep historical research.

Her first novel, Love Amid the Ashes (Revell)--the story of Job and the women who loved him--won the 2012 ECPA Book of the Year in the Debut Author Category. Her subsequent novels have released with high praise, shedding light on some of the shadowy women of Scripture. Love's Sacred Song (Revell, 2012) tells the story of the beloved shepherdess in King Solomon's Song of Solomon. Love in a Broken Vessel (Revell, 2013) tells the story of Hosea and Gomer and is the final stand-alone novel in the Treasures of His Love Series. Her fourth novel, In the Shadow of Jezebel (Revell, 2014) tells the fascinating story of Queen Athaliah and the courageous Princess Jehosheba.

The Treasures of the Nile series (Waterbrook/Multnomah, 2015-16) included The Pharaoh's Daughter and Miriam and spanned Moses' life from birth to the Exodus. Her 2017 release, Isaiah's Daughter (Waterbrook/Multnomah), explores the life and ministry of the prophet Isaiah and the tumultuous days of Judah under the reigns of Ahaz and Hezekiah but focuses on the woman Hephzibah--a fascinating character in Jewish legends.

Mesu writes in their log cabin tucked away in the beautiful Appalachian Mountains. Her best friend is an American Staffordshire Terrier named Zeke, who keeps her company on long writing days. Zeke also enjoys watching movies, long walks in the woods, and sitting by the fireplace on rainy days.


Welcome Mesu

    1.       Can you tell us about your new book, Isaiah’s Daughter?
    Isaiah’s Daughter is a story of both tragedy and triumph. It tells of difficult days in Judah’s history under King Ahaz’s reign, when moral bankruptcy and child sacrifice led to a nation on the verge of destruction. A little girl named Ishma sees her parents brutally murdered and is led into captivity, but a series of events finds her miraculously delivered to the prophet Isaiah’s home to live—so it seems—as a servant in his household. The rest of the story follows this little girl from captive orphan to captivating queen, and I hope readers will feel the same wonder I felt as I watched the story unfold through my research.
     
    2.      What drew you to research the history of the main character, Hephzibah?
    I don’t remember the first time I discovered the prophet Isaiah had a daughter, but I was immediately intrigued. The Bible mentions his two sons (Isa. 7:3; 8:1) and calls his wife a prophetess (Isa. 8:3), but there’s no direct reference to a daughter—at least not specifically calling her a daughter. In Isaiah 62:4, Isaiah mentions the coming of a “vindicated” Jerusalem and calls the new and righteous city, Hephzibah. Imagine my surprise when I discovered rabbinic tradition teaches that King Hezekiah’s wife—Hephzibah—was Isaiah’s daughter! Connecting Hezekiah’s wife with Isaiah’s daughter opened all sorts of “what ifs” in my imagination.
     
    3.      Your biblical fiction novels tend to use biblical and historical facts as a foundation. What is your process like for interweaving these facts with fictional details?
    Research is my favorite part of the writing process. I get to dig into ancient texts and Bible commentaries. Dictionaries, encyclopedias, cultural commentaries and all sorts of archaeological data make this part of writing like a big treasure hunt. Weaving them all together is somewhat less glamorous than you might imagine. I open a blank Excel sheet and start filling in confirmed dates on the left side—column A. I then put important “Names” across the top (Row 1) and begin listing events in the appropriate cells corresponding with date and name as I find information in biblical and historical resources (making note of which resources used). I begin a second sheet in the same Excel document, labeled “Historical/Biblical/Fiction,” and again place all the dates in column A. This time, however, I put only three divisions across the top: Historical, Biblical, and Fictional. Then I fill in events from the first sheet under the proper category—never changing the truth of Scripture or facts of history—and begin to “connect the dots” by adding whatever fictional details in the third column will smooth out the story for a believable plot.
     
    4.      What was the most fascinating information you discovered in your research for this book?
    I think the prophet Isaiah walking around barefoot and naked for three years (Isa. 20) was pretty fascinating—and quite shocking! Perhaps even more fascinating was the idea that Isaiah may have thought Hezekiah was the suffering Messiah he spoke of in Isaiah 53. Christians see that chapter as a clear description of Jesus Christ, but some of my research made a strong case that Isaiah might have thought Hezekiah “took up [Jerusalem’s] pain and bore [their] suffering” with his near-death illness in Isaiah 38. This book really made me think about how prophets might have viewed their own words in their current circumstances.
     
    5.      Which character do you most identify with from any of your books? Why?
    That’s easy. I’m Gomer from Love in a Broken Vessel. Though I wasn’t an actual prostitute, and my husband isn’t the prophet Hosea, I lived a pretty hard life before that good man followed God’s call and loved me in spite of my brokenness. He showed me what unconditional love really meant and introduced me to a personal relationship with Jesus. Then he married me six months later. J
     
    Historical fans you are in for a real treat with this one. I was very surprised how much that I enjoyed this one.
    Give this 4 star read a try. I recommend it.
    The Mary Reader received this book from the publisher for review. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are our own.

    Be sure to stop by the other blogs and see what they have to say about  Isaiah's Daughter.  www.wmbooks.com/IsaiahsDaughterTour
     

Saturday, January 13, 2018

The View From Rainshadow Bay By Colleen Coble




After her husband, Jack, dies in a climbing incident, Shauna has only her five-year-old son and her helicopter charter business to live for. Every day is a struggle to make ends meet and she lives in constant fear of losing even more than she already has.
When her business partner is murdered, his final words convince Shauna that she’s in danger too. But where can she turn? Zach Bannister was her husband’s best friend and is the person she blames for his death. She’s barely spoken to him since. But right now he seems her only hope for protecting her son.
Zach is only too happy to assuage his guilt over Jack’s death by helping Shauna any way he can. But there are secrets involved dating back to Shauna’s childhood that more than one person would prefer to stay hidden.
In The View from Rainshadow Bay, suspense, danger, and a longing to love again ignite amid the gorgeous lavender fields of Washington State.

Pick up your copy here...
https://www.amazon.com/View-Rainshadow-Lavender-Tides-Novel/dp/0718085760/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

 
Best-selling author Colleen Coble's novels have won or finaled in awards ranging from the Best Books of Indiana, the ACFW Carol Award, the Romance Writers of America RITA, the Holt Medallion, the Daphne du Maurier, National Readers' Choice, and the Booksellers Best. She has over 2 million books in print and writes romantic mysteries because she loves to see justice prevail. Colleen is CEO of American Christian Fiction Writers. She lives with her husband Dave in Indiana. Visit her website at http://colleencoble.com.

My Thoughts...

Well this was the best book by Coble I have read in a long time. I read it in one sitting and I had to keep reading to find out who, what and where. It was just so good, I did not see it coming good.
You are going to love the suspense, the romance and the God breathed story.
This is book one in The Lavender Tides series, I can not wait for book two.
This is a four star book. I recommend it. Don't miss it.
The Mary Reader received this book from the publisher for review. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are our own.

Friday, January 12, 2018

The Pillow Parade By Edward Dron




For generations, sheep have had a proud history of jumping over fences to help children sleep. But when a little bunny tries to join this bedtime ritual, will the sheep be ready to welcome her into their group? Join Olive on her adventure, as she sets out to change bedtime as we know it and, along the way, discovers the joy that comes from helping others and the importance of not giving up.

The Pillow Parade is a funny and lighthearted rhyming book that you will enjoy reading to your kids over and over again. In a playful and subtle manner, the story shows children the importance of not giving up when they are confronted with a difficult situation or a flock of veeeeeeery stubborn, and not-so-nice, sheep.

Pick up your copy here...
https://www.amazon.com/Pillow-Parade-Childrens-Bedtime-Book/dp/1775161803/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1515712266&sr=8-1&keywords=the+pillow+parade


As a child of the 80s, Ed Dron grew up on a healthy diet of ThunderCats, Alf, and Atari games (which he still owns). In the 90s he was drawn to the comedy stylings of Monty Python and a Canadian show called Kids in the Hall. These heavy doses of pop culture helped feed his imagination and shape his writing style.

These days, Ed enjoys writing fun little stories that capture a child’s short attention span. He loves the challenge of condensing a story into as few words as possible, without losing its charm or narrative.

Ed believes that, first and foremost, a children’s book needs to be fun. It should not only nurture their curiosity but also spark a lifelong love of books and reading.

He now lives with his wife and two children in British Columbia, Canada.     

My Thoughts...

 This was such a cute book. I loved all the rhyming. It made it such a fun read.
I think any little one would love this book at bedtime.
The illustrations were very well done.
I recommend this book for those with little ones.  It is sure to be a hit in your house. It will soon become a favorite I'm sure.
The Mary Reader received this book from the publisher for review. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are our own.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Beneath the Summer Sun By Kelly Irvin



 Jennie Troyer knows it’s time to remarry. Can she overcome a painful secret and open her heart to love?
 It’s been four years since Jennie’s husband died in a farming accident. Long enough that the elders in her Amish community think it’s time to marry again for the sake of her seven children. What they don’t know is that grief isn’t holding her back from a new relationship. Fear is. A terrible secret in her past keeps her from moving forward.
Mennonite book salesman Nathan Walker stops by Jennie’s farm whenever he’s in the area. Despite years of conversation and dinners together, she never seems to relax around him. He knows he should move on, but something about her keeps drawing him back.
 Meanwhile, Leo Graber nurtures a decades-long love for Jennie, but guilt plagues him—guilt for letting Jennie marry someone else and guilt for his father’s death on a hunting trip many years ago. How could anyone love him again—and how could he ever take a chance to love in return?
In this second book in the Every Amish Season series, three hearts try to discern God’s plan for the future—and find peace beneath the summer sun.

Pick up your copy here...
https://www.amazon.com/Beneath-Summer-Every-Amish-Season/dp/0310348080/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1515516497&sr=8-4&keywords=kelly+Irvin


New from Kelly Irvin! Upon a Spring Breeze, the first book in her Amish romance series, Every Amish Season, from Zondervan/HarperCollins Christian Publishing. The novel is the first in a four-book series that delves into the lives of four Amish women linked by life altering experiences that bring them together as wives, mothers, and grandmothers in the small town of Jamesport, Mo. Kelly Irvin is also the author of The Amish of Bee County series, which includes the critically acclaimed The Beekeeper's Son. Publishers Weekly called the first book in the series a beautifully woven masterpiece and Romantic Times Magazine called Kelly a storyteller extraordinaire. It was followed by The Bishop's Son and The Saddle Maker's Son, which is an ECPA bestseller.

Kelly is also author of several novellas, The Christmas Visitor, included in the Thomas Nelson anthology, The Amish Christmas Gift, and Sweeter than Honey, included in An Amish Market anthology.

She also penned the Bliss Creek Amish series and the New Hope Amish series, both published by Harvest House Publishers. Love Still Stands, the first book in the New Hope series, debuted in September 2014, and the follow-up, Love Redeemed, released March 1, 2014. The final book in the series, set in Branson, MO., was A Plain Love Song, released in July 2014.

The Bliss Creek Amish series, set in Kansas, includes To Love and to Cherish, A Heart Made New, and Love's Journey Home.

In the New Hope series, familiar characters from Bliss Creek move to Missouri to start a new district and a new life.

Kelly is also the author of two romantic suspense novels, A Deadly Wilderness and No Child of Mine, set in San Antonio, Texas.

The Kansas native is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and the ACFW San Antonio local chapter Alamo City Christian Fiction Writers.

A graduate of the University of Kansas William Allen White School of Journalism, Kelly wrote nonfiction professionally for thirty years. She studied for three semesters at the University of Costa Rica, learning the Spanish language. As a journalist, she worked six years in the border towns of Laredo and El Paso, where she was exposed to culture and language that serves as fodder for her fiction writing. She has written hard news, features, entertainment pieces, restaurant critiques, editorials, and weekly columns. Writing awards include the Silver Star Award from the Texas Mental Health Association for articles pertaining to mental health and numerous awards in news, feature, and editorial writing from the Texas Press Association and Texas Press Women.

Kelly retired in 2016 from her position of 22 years as public relations manager for the San Antonio Parks and Recreation Department, where her duties included writing and designing an employee newsletter, writing news releases, collaborating on marketing campaigns, coordinating ribbon-cuttings and groundbreakings, coordinating press conferences, updating the web site, and acting as a media spokesperson.

Kelly has been married to photographer Tim Irvin for almost twenty-nine years, and they have two young adult children and two grandchildren. In her spare time, she likes to write short stories, read books by her favorite authors, and visit the babies.


For more information, visit http://www.kellyirvin.com     

My Thoughts...

I really enjoyed book number two of An Every Amish Season series.
I  liked Jeannie, Nathan, and Leo's story. I could not wait to see what Gods plan for Jeannie's life was.
A widow with a house full of kids, she needed a helpmate but which one was the one for her?
You are going to love the out come of this one.
Again Kelly does not disappoint, I gladly gave this book 4 stars and I recommend it.
The Mary Reader received this book from the publisher for review. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are our own.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Sacred Rest By Saundra Dalton-Smith



Staying busy is easy. Staying well rested-now there's a challenge.

How can you keep your energy, happiness, creativity, and relationships fresh and thriving in the midst of never-ending family demands, career pressures, and the stress of everyday life? In SACRED REST, Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith, a board-certified internal medicine doctor, reveals why rest can no longer remain optional.

Dr. Dalton-Smith shares seven types of rest she has found lacking in the lives of those she encounters in her clinical practice and research-physical, mental, spiritual, emotional, sensory, social, creative-and why a deficiency in any one of these types of rest can have unfavorable effects on your health, happiness, relationships, creativity, and productivity. SACRED REST combines the science of rest, the spirituality of rest, the gifts of rest, and the resulting fruit of rest. It shows rest as something sacred, valuable, and worthy of our respect.

By combining scientific research with personal stories, spiritual insight, and practical next steps, SACRED REST gives the weary permission to embrace rest, set boundaries, and seek sanctuary without any guilt, shame, or fear.

Pick up your copy here...
https://www.amazon.com/Sacred-Rest-Recover-Energy-Restore/dp/1478921676/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1515276052&sr=8-1&keywords=sacred+rest+saundra+dalton-smith


Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith is a Board Certified internal medicine physician. She shares with audiences nationwide on the topics of eliminating limiting emotions, correcting work-rest imbalances, and experiencing personal renewal. Dr. Dalton-Smith is a national and international media resource on the mind, body, spirit connection and has been featured in Women's Day, Redbook, First For Women magazine, Focus on the Family, and many other publications. She is the founder of I Choose My Best Life. Her other books include award-winning Set Free to Live Free: Breaking Through the 7 Lies Women Tell Themselves and Come Empty: Pour Out Life's Hurts and Receive God's Healing Love.

My Thoughts...

Some really good insights and  tips and thoughts. I found this book easy to read and easy to understand.
It's a book that is more a reminder of what is important and what comes first.
We all need to try to rest, but it is so hard. This is a great reminder of that.
I gave this book 4 stars. Give it a try when you are overwhelmed and need to slow down and rest.
The Mary Reader received this book from the publisher for review. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are our own.

Friday, January 5, 2018

No One Ever Asked By Katie Ganshert Win it before you can buy it!




Challenging perceptions of discrimination and prejudice, this emotionally resonant drama for readers of Lisa Wingate and Jodi Picoult explores three different women navigating challenges in a changing school district--and in their lives.When an impoverished school district loses its accreditation and the affluent community of Crystal Ridge has no choice but to open their school doors, the lives of three very different women converge: Camille Gray--the wife of an executive, mother of three, long-standing PTA chairwoman and champion fundraiser--faced with a shocking discovery that threatens to tear her picture-perfect world apart at the seams. Jen Covington, the career nurse whose long, painful journey to motherhood finally resulted in adoption but she is struggling with a happily-ever-after so much harder than she anticipated. Twenty-two-year-old Anaya Jones--the first woman in her family to graduate college and a brand new teacher at Crystal Ridge's top elementary school, unprepared for the powder-keg situation she's stepped into. Tensions rise within and without, culminating in an unforeseen event that impacts them all. This story explores the implicit biases impacting American society, and asks the ultimate question: What does it mean to be human? Why are we so quick to put labels on each other and categorize people as "this" or "that", when such complexity exists in each person?

Pre-order your copy here...
https://www.amazon.com/No-One-Ever-Asked-Novel/dp/1601429045/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1515115983&sr=8-1&keywords=no+one+ever+asked+katie+ganshert


Katie Ganshert was born and raised in the exciting state of Iowa, where she currently resides with her family. She likes to write things and consume large quantities of coffee and chocolate while she writes all the things. She's won some awards. For the writing, not the consuming. Although the latter would be fun. You can learn more about Katie and these things she writes at her website www.katieganshert.com.

My Thoughts...

Raw, honest, and deep, are just a few words to describe this book. I can't even begin to tell you how much I loved this book.
Ganshert was not afraid to write about a topic we all want someone to stand up and shout to the world about.
I devoured this book and was left wanting more. This is Ganshert's best book and it is one you will not want to miss out on.
I gave this one 5 stars two times and I HIGHLY recommend you preorder your copy!
The Mary Reader received this book from the publisher for review. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are our own.