Category Archives: Books, reviews and more

Interview with Stacey Thacker, Author of Threadbare Prayer

Life sometimes brings difficult situations or circumstances that can leave us feeling run-down, drained, worn-out, and threadbare. Illness, the death of a family member, the loss of a job, natural disasters, a pandemic. The events of this year have left us struggling in ways we cannot articulate. These are the times we most desperately need prayer, but they can also be the times we simply don’t have the words to form a prayer. How do you pray when you can’t find the words?

In Threadbare Prayer: Prayers for Hearts that Feel Hidden, Hurt, or Hopeless (Abingdon Press), Stacey Thacker presents 100 simple yet heartfelt devotions to guide readers on the days they don’t know what to pray. Each entry in this attractive, gift-worthy devotional contains a Bible verse, a brief thought, and a simple, concise prayer to encourage the reader’s heart.

Interview with Stacey

Q: What is a threadbare prayer?

A threadbare prayer is a simple prayer based on Scripture that is easy to remember. Sometimes we go through seasons when we are feeling hidden, hurt, or hopeless and want to pray, but we just don’t have the words. I’ve gone through those times and found focusing on one simple prayer at a time was the key to holding on to Jesus.

A threadbare prayer can also be something we whisper in our hearts because we don’t have the strength to voice them aloud for others to hear. In those quiet moments, we can be sure that Jesus isn’t threadbare at all, and He will hear us and hold us together.

Q: Tell us a little bit about your new book, Threadbare Prayer. Who did you write it for and how is it intended to be read?

Let’s begin with who I thought about when I was writing this book. I thought about my friends, women I know from college and bump into at church or online who are feeling discouraged, overwhelmed, desperate and broken. Right now, I think that describes a lot of women—they feel worn and like they are hanging by a thread.

At the core of her heart, I think a threadbare woman is determined not to put distance between herself and God—but to draw near, press in, and cling to the hem of his robe. She shouts her ache to Jesus who she knows is holding her heart.

This book is a way to do just that. I wrote it so we could all focus on the Word, honestly pour out our threadbare hearts, and hold on to Jesus. He does beautiful work in our broken places if we let Him.

Q: How did the idea for the book come about?

I started writing Threadbare Prayer in my journal, during my Bible study. They were, from the beginning, very personal. I shared a couple on my blog and social media, and my friends and readers all said, “This is your next book!” I was actually surprised, but I’ve learned to listen to my followers throughout the years! So, I started to be a little more intentional about writing and sharing them and began to think about what a book about threadbare prayer could be.

I knew each prayer would have a verse, a short devotional, and the threadbare prayer. I also knew that a threadbare woman doesn’t have a lot of time or capacity for a deep dive into prayer. It needed to be meaningful and rich but simple. In the end, the idea for it to be a gift style book of 100 prayers emerged and I couldn’t be happier! It is the perfect book to leave on your coffee table or desk at work and give to a friend. I’m so happy with how it has turned out.

Q: In the book, you share stories of some of your own threadbare moments. Can you share some of the times when you have found yourself grasping for words to pray?

Throughout the book, there are glimpses of some of my most threadbare moments. They include a period of three years where my dad passed away, my almost 9-year-old daughter was diagnosed with a severe and relentless chronic illness, and my husband suffered a sudden cardiac arrest. I found myself alone, fearful, weeping, and wondering what God was doing.

During each of these times, I would describe my prayers as desperate and simple. I didn’t have fine or fancy words. I couldn’t remember long passages of Scripture. I just had small breath prayers that I repeated over and over. “Lord, you are my shepherd, and I lack nothing” (Psalm 23:1) was one that I prayed when Mike was in ICU and later in rehab. I knew, Jesus was enough. He wasn’t threadbare, He was holding on to me.

Q: Is it always a major life event or stressor that causes threadbare periods or can these times also come from busyness and general weariness?

I think right now we are seeing that being threadbare can actually be a lot of little things that we are faced with in everyday life. Pandemic? Suddenly being HOME for 6 months, virtual learning, having to figure out how to see our parents who live in another state during quarantine?

I actually found the word “threadbare” in a book I was reading. As I read it, the word “stuck” in my heart, and I looked down and noticed my jeans had become threadbare and worn at the knee. Little by little with daily wear and tear, the hole got bigger. Isn’t that a picture of how little things can wear on us and we find ourselves hanging by a thread just trying to get the laundry finished or the groceries put away?

Q: What would you say to someone who is in the middle of a desert right now who can’t seem to see the better days ahead?

I would say that Jesus is powerfully drawn to your threadbare heart. His invitation in Matthew 11:28 is to “come to him and he will give you rest.” He is a comforter. He is a friend who sticks closer than a brother (Proverbs 18:24). He is not far off. When you are hanging on by a thread, pray. Be honest. Pour out your heart. Take one Scripture and tell your heart the truth about who He is. Praise him. And let him do a beautiful thing in that broken place.

He will. I’ve seen him do that in my own life

Threadbare Prayer: Prayers for Hearts that Feel Hidden, Hurt, or HopelessBy Stacey Thacker

Available October 6, 2020 from Abingdon Press
Hardback ISBN: 9781791008017 / $19.99
eBook ISBN: 9781791008024 / $19.99

About the author


https://facebook.us18.list-manage.com/track/click?u=312d9c42859d078a024ef39aa&id=f62ad86fac&e=7e3523fd46

Stacey Thacker is an author, blogger, speaker, and believer who loves God’s Word and connecting with women. Her passion is to encourage women in their walks with God and equip them to study the Bible. She created the blog community Mothers of Daughters and now blogs on her site, StaceyThacker.com.

Thacker is the author of seven books including Hope for the Weary Mom: Let God Meet You in the Mess and has written a series of Bible studies, The Girlfriends’ Guide to the Bible. Her latest book is Threadbare Prayer: Prayers for Hearts that Feel Hidden, Hurt, or Hopeless.

She worked with Campus Crusade for Christ for five years before becoming a full-time mom to four daughters. Her family lives on the Orlando, FL area.

Visit Stacey Thacker online at staceythacker.com (https://facebook.us18.list-manage.com/track/click?u=312d9c42859d078a024ef39aa&id=46ec430a65&e=7e3523fd46) . She can also be found on Facebook (@OfficialStaceyThacker) (https://facebook.us18.list-manage.com/track/click?u=312d9c42859d078a024ef39aa&id=743422281a&e=7e3523fd46) , Twitter (@staceythacker) (https://facebook.us18.list-manage.com/track/click?u=312d9c42859d078a024ef39aa&id=2d0b56848d&e=7e3523fd46) , and Instagram (@staceythacker) (https://facebook.us18.list-manage.com/track/click?u=312d9c42859d078a024ef39aa&id=c12b045cdc&e=7e3523fd46

Promo Spotlight On Tour with Celebrate Lit-A Very Austen Romance by Robin Helm, Laura Hile, Wendi Sotis, Barbara Cornthwaite, Chautona Havig, Mandy H. Cook

About the Book

Title: A Very Austen Romance

Authors: Robin Helm, Laura Hile, Wendi Sotis, Barbara Cornthwaite, Chautona Havig, Mandy H. Cook

Genre: Historical Romance

Release Date: June, 2020

A Very Austen Romance features a delightful medley of novellas, each set in Jane Austen’s Regency world. Your friends from Pride and Prejudice, Emma, and Sense and Sensibility, enjoy new adventures in this lovely collection of stories by Robin Helm, Laura Hile, Wendi Sotis, Barbara Cornthwaite, Mandy Cook, and Chautona Havig.

Be treated to prequels, spin-offs, and sequels of Austen’s novels, along with original and supporting characters in starring roles. If historical romance is your preference, you’ll love these well-crafted stories written by beloved authors in the genre.

Click here to get your copy!

About the Authors

Robin Helm

Robin Helm’s books reflect her love of music, as well as her fascination with the paranormal and science fiction.

Previously published works include The Guardian Trilogy: Guardian, SoulFire, and Legacy; the Yours by Design series: Accidentally Yours, Sincerely Yours, and Forever Yours; Understanding Elizabeth; More to Love; and Lawfully Innocent. Ms. Helm also contributed stories to A Very Austen Christmas and A Very Austen Valentine.

She plans to publish Maestro in 2020.

Her life in (usually) sunny, small-town South Carolina is busy, but affords time for writing, reading, teaching piano, and playing games on her phone. (Would you believe she’s an elder in a war game?)

 Laura Hile

Readers are loving Laura Hile’s joyous Regency novels. Her signature style—with intertwined plots, cliffhangers, laugh-out-loud humor, and romance—keeps them coming back for more.

The comedy Laura comes by as a teacher. There’s never a dull moment with teen students!

Laura lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and a collection of antique clocks.

Her fiction is for everyone, even teens.

Wendi Sotis

Wendi Sotis lives on Long Island, NY, with her husband and triplets. While searching for Pride and Prejudice from Darcy’s point of view, she became thoroughly enamored with Jane Austen Fan Fiction or JAFF. In early 2010, she dreamed of an idea for a story and hasn’t stopped writing since: Promises, Dreams and Expectations; All Hallows Eve; The Keys for Love; Safekeeping (with just a dash of Austen); The Gypsy Blessing; Foundation of Love (The Gypsy Blessing 2); and A Lesson Hard Learned.

The Marriage Pact, and some of Wendi’s works-in-progress, have branched away from JAFF to Regency Romance (the Loving an Aldridge Series) and Contemporary Romantic Mysteries (the Implicated series). Wendi will also continue bringing Darcy and Elizabeth together again and again in an unusual manner.

Barbara Cornthwaite

Barbara Cornthwaite lives in the middle of Ireland with her husband and children. She taught college English before “retiring” to do something she loves far more; her days are now filled with homeschooling her six children, trying to keep the house tidy (a losing battle), and trying to stay warm in the damp Irish climate (also a losing battle). She is surrounded by medieval castles, picturesque flocks of sheep, and ancient stone monuments. These things are unappreciated by her children, who are more impressed by traffic jams, skyscrapers, and hot weather.

Mandy Cook

Mandy Cook was an RN for over ten years, half of which she served in the Navy, living in far-flung places, enjoying experiencing the world while following her calling. Just before she and her handsome Marine were both deployed to different places, they married. They now have three children, ages five and younger.

She previously published The Gifted, using her nursing experience to lend accuracy to her story about an ER nurse who is handed a gift that changes her life forever. Adversity, and a long history of secrets, constantly battle against her natural instinct for truth and justice, but will the truth be worth the dare?

Mandy also contributed a story to A Very Austen Valentine: Austen Anthologies, Book 1.

Chautona Havig

Chautona Havig lives in an oxymoron, escapes into imaginary worlds that look startlingly similar to ours and writes the stories that emerge. An irrepressible optimist, Chautona sees everything through a kaleidoscope of It’s a Wonderful Life sprinkled with fairy tales. Find her on the web and say howdy—if you can remember how to spell her name.

Blog Stops

Giveaway

To celebrate their tour, the A Very Austen authors are giving away the grand prize of a $25 Amazon gift card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/f5be/a-very-austen-romance-celebration-tour-giveaway

Promo Blast for God Hears Her – on Tour with Celebrate Lit February 1st-14th

God Hears Her FB Banner

About the Book

Book: God Hears Her

Author: Our Daily Bread

Genre: Non-fiction / Christian / Devotional

Release Date: September 2017

Tour Dates: February 1 – 14

When you’re having one of those days, you just want to know that someone is on your side. You have more than just someone . . . you have your Heavenly Father! He is with God Hears Heryou. He is for you. He hears your heart’s cry. And He will reassure you of this through the beautifully designed, hardcover devotional collection, God Hears Her. The personal stories, Scripture passages, and inspirational quotes pulled from Our Daily Bread devotionals will lift you up and remind you that God is bigger than the trials you face.

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

Our Daily Bread Publishing – Our Daily Bread Publishing is a division of Our Daily Bread Ministries. Founded in 1938, the ministry has grown from a small group of dedicated radio listeners to millions of people around the world who use our Bible-based resources, including the beloved Our Daily Bread devotional. Our Daily Bread Ministries is a non-denominational, non-profit organization with staff and volunteers in over 37 offices working together to distribute more than 60 million resources in 150 countries. Regardless of whether it’s a radio or television broadcast, DVD, podcast, book, mobile app, or website, we provide materials to help people grow in their relationship with God.

More from Our Daily Bread

‘Feels Like Home’ Winter Recipes

As the weather turns colder, it becomes the time to pull out those tried and true winter-time recipes. You know, the ones that make us (or even keep us) warm on the inside. This is the time for the food that just feels like home.

Kirsten Holmberg and Elisa Morgan from the God Hears Her blog have shared some of their families personal recipes. These are the ones that are good for everyone. Feel free to try them yourself, bookmark them for later, or share them with a friend.

Kirsten Holmberg

In the winter, I’m partial to any slow-cooker soup or stew because I love coming home to it in the evening. My favorite is a Vegetarian Chili with some Italian influences:

2 bell peppers, diced

2 stalks of celery, sliced

2 lb zucchini halved and sliced

1 lb fresh mushrooms, halved

1 large onion, diced

3 cans diced tomatoes (fire-roasted or herbed for the most flavor)

1 can tomato sauce

1 small can black olives, sliced (or fresh in any amount desired)

1 can cannellini beans

2.5 teaspoon Italian seasoning

2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon fresh garlic, minced

½ cup water

Toss it all in a slow cooker for a few hours on high, or all day on low. Or, put it on the stove instead and simmer until the veggies are cooked through and the flavors blended (about 45 minutes). Parmesan cheese on top for an extra zing.

Elisa Morgan

A Cranberry Nut Bread recipe handed down by my mom, Paige Lee

2 cup flour

½ tsp salt

1 ¼ tsp baking powder

½ scant tsp baking soda

1 cup sugar

Sift above ingredients together twice. To the juice and grated rind of 1 large orange, add 2 tbs of melted shortening and enough boiling water to make ¾ cup. Mix with dry ingredients and add…

1 beaten egg

1 cup chopped pecans

1 cup halved fresh cranberries

Bake in greased loaf pan for 75 minutes at 350 degrees.

If you double the recipe, bake a little less time and use 3 loaf pans. It also makes good muffins and can be frozen.

Blog Stops

The Avid Reader, February 1

deb’s Book Review, February 1

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, February 2

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 2

Texas Book-aholic, February 3

Mary Hake, February 3

God is Love, February 4

Emily Yager, February 4

Genesis 5020, February 5

A Diva’s Heart, February 5

Girls in White Dresses, February 5

Lighthouse Academy, February 6

amandainpa, February 6

For Him and My Family, February 7

For The Love of Books, February 7

Inklings and notions, February 8

Andrea Christenson, February 8

Blossoms and Blessings, February 9

CarpeDiem, February 9

Older & Smarter?, February 10

She Lives to Read, February 10

For the Love of Literature, February 11

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, February 11

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, February 12

Godly Book Reviews, February 12

Artistic Nobody, February 13

Back Porch Reads, February 13

Little Homeschool on the Prairie, February 14

Kat’s Corner Books, February 14

Giveaway

To celebrate their tour, Our Daily Bread is giving away the grand prize package of a God Hears Her hardcover, God Hears Her leather-like, God Hears Her journal, God Hears Her CD, God Hears Her pen, and God Hears Her Scripture & Encouragement cards!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/f540/god-hears-her-celebration-tour-giveaway

Penguin and Moose by Hannah C. Hall

This is one of the CUTEST stories, with a Fantastic message for children. If you have a child, know a child or work with children-check it out. I’ll have a review Monday. In the meantime, enjoy this cute “teaser”  film!!

Fantastic Giveaway Opportunity!

https://www.writeintegrity.com/

Sponsors include authors Julie B. Cosgrove, Betty Thomason Owens, Marji Laine, Kristen Hogrefe and Fay Lamb.

#Write Integrity Press, #Julie Cosgrove, #Betty Tohomason Owens, #Marji Laine, #Kristen Hogrefe, #Fay Lamb

Flashback Friday-The Difference You Make by Pat Williams

The Difference You Make by Pat Williams With Jim Denney

Publisher’s Summary

Every one of us has influence, whether we realize it or not. In everything we say and do, we are influencing those around us. What if we became more aware, more intentional, and more strategic about our own influence? Well, we might just change the world.

True influence, says Pat Williams, isn’t about getting what you want–it’s about serving others. Using personal stories from his own life and the lives of others, Williams shows readers the difference between influence and manipulation, how to influence others through both words and deeds, and ultimately how to change the world for the better, one relationship at a time.

This book will inspire readers to build a positive legacy in the lives of others and take the role of influencer to heart. Each chapter includes questions and ideas for personal reflection and practical application, and can be used to guide group discussions as well. Includes a foreword by Joe Girardi, manager of the New York Yankees.

My Review

Pat Williams has hit it out of the ballpark and slam-dunked it with his book, The Difference You Make.  What an eye-opening and provocative book.  Pat reflects over his life and the people who have influenced him, along with the ones he has influenced.

The entire book is about the impact of influence.  Pat touches on how his struggles with multi-myeloma cancer have helped open his eyes to the influences each person has, influences for good or bad, whether the person realizes their influence or not.

As a Dad, Pat had a significant impact on the lives of his nineteen children.  In addition, he has influenced as a coach for minor league baseball teams and influences as GM for a major league basketball team.

The book illustrates how we never know how we will influence people, even ourselves sometimes, like this example on page 131 richly demonstrates:

Image

Each chapter of the book ends with a series of questions for group discussion or individual reflection, enabling a deeper understanding of the chapter.

He helps us learn and inspires us step-by-step, in how to become more strategic and intentional within our spheres of influence. He also helps us to use our lives as a mission to impact as many people as is possible with a lasting and positive influence.

Pat ends his book with the sentence:

The difference you make tomorrow begins with the decisions you make today.  

The book really brought home how important and significant our lives are as people, Christians, parents, bosses, co-workers -or whatever our walk in life may happen to be. We never know how what we say or do will influence someone else.

Even though the book has a sports slant, it carries a compelling and thought-provoking message for everyone, male or female, sports nut or not.

This book was provided to me by Revell through The Book Club Network. However, I was under no obligation to post a review.

Spotlight and Cover Reveal for Tanya Eavenson’s Book The Rescue!

About the Book

Upon the death of her mother, Rosalind Standford’s life shatters. She is forced into a betrothal to a cunning banker close to her father’s age.

Cowboy Trent Easton, Rosalind’s childhood friend, returns to his roots in Boston society to find her engaged to another. Though she once rejected him, when Trent learns she’s in danger, he’ll do whatever it takes to keep her safe—even taking her to the altar in the black of night. But will his name and the remote wilds of his Texas ranch be enough to protect her? Or will freedom cost them their lives?

THE RESCUE, the first book in Tanya Eavenson’s brand new series, All Roads Lead to Texas, is set to release this September! I can’t wait to read it!!

P.S.  Isn’t the cover gorgeous?

Worrisome Wednesday (at least for me!)

Books

Recently, over the course of a few months, a spate of historical fiction books arrived in my box. I love historical and Biblical fiction. I enjoy history, and books like these bring the time period alive for me. However, because of my PTSD, I am unable to review them, which greatly saddens me. They are all written by great authors, and some are even sequels, which makes the situation doubly sad.

Authors, please know, I love your books and so enjoy reading and reviewing them. Sometimes, I just can’t. Please accept my apologies and know I pass the books on to other enthusiastic readers.

Delilah “Buzz”

Fay Lamb’s book, Delilah, deals with many daunting issues. Some almost everyone faces, some others have faced, some people are still dealing with-issues like child abuse, alcoholism, homelessness and abandonment. However, you aren’t left with despair because the story models forgiveness, kindness, charity and Christ-like love.

Today, I chose to mention homelessness. One portion of Delilah’s story highlights the plight of the homeless. Over the winter, I had an experience with someone homeless. We don’t have many homeless in our town. A combination, I believe, because of its size and lack of anywhere for these poor souls to go. Though my story, https://captivedreamswindow.wordpress.com/2018/12/04/strange-and-unusual-encounter/, doesn’t have the ending Delilah does and focuses on a slightly different aspect, the plight of homelessness is poignant and vital for us to consider.

Read Delilah; you’ll be so glad you did!!