Tag Archives: Inspirational

Lakeside Retreat by Marci Seither includes Giveaway-on Tour with Celebrate Lit

About the Book

Book: Lakside Retreat

Author: Marci Seither

Genre: Devotional gift book

Release date: July 5, 2022

Close your eyes for a moment. Inhale. Can you smell the pine trees? Now listen. Can you hear the loon’s call echo off the water and the geese honking as they fly overhead? Now imagine tasting the smoke-tainted marshmallows straight out of the campfire. Think about feeling the warm summer sun on your skin and the cool breeze against your face.

Lakeside Retreat is an invitation to surround yourself with the majesty of God’s creation and wrap yourself in the warm blanket of Scripture’s wonderful, eternal truths.

Let this collection of vacation-themed devotions, recipes, and DIY projects transport you to a quiet place of rest, renewal, and connection with God.

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

Marci Seither’s writing career began after her humor article about a cookie baking fiasco she experienced with her kids was published in a small-town newspaper. Since then she has authored two books and hundreds of articles for local papers as well as written for Guideposts, Light & Life, and Focus On The Family.

Besides writing, she enjoys teaching workshops, speaking, food photography, canning, and anything that involves using real butter.

Her biggest joy, besides being married to John and raising six kiddos, is being grandma to six of the cutest kids in the western hemisphere. She recently moved from CA to TN.

More from Marci

I don’t know about you, but there is something about being at a cabin, on a lake, or in the woods. The pine scented air is crisp; the water is refreshing, and lingering over a hot cup of coffee as the sun comes up over the tree tops causes one to just sit in AWE at God’s fingerprints in creation.

Growing up, some of my favorite memories were made camping with cousins and hanging onto an inner tube that was tied to the back of a ski boat, now, just listening the loon’s call echoing off the rippling water at sunset is something I savor, well, that and a perfectly toasted marshmallow for my  s’more.

This book was so fun for me to write. I spent two weeks at the cabin with one of my best friends, Ginger Vennerstrom and her two granddaughters. Our husbands were able to join us for the second week and that was when we went on our crazy kayak adventure. We baked yummy treats, took nature walks through the woods, sat around the campfire, and did a lot of swimming.

One of the highlights was to take the pontoon boat down to the point and see the eagle’s nest with the half grown eaglets squawking from the edge, hoping one of their parents would bring a freshly caught fish.

I loved learning about the area that had once been a logging camp and hear stories about the cabin that is lovingly named Swan Stuga and the people who made it special.

Besides the 40 devotions, there are journal prompts and 12 tutorials for things you can do with your family such as make a pinecone bird feeder, follow a recipe for the perfect berry cobbler, and how to experience the night sky in a way you might have never considered.

Most of the photos, including the picture on the cover, are ones that I took at the cabin so readers will not just read about the lake; they will feel like they have actually been at the restful shores of Lake Nebagamon.

The cabin is calling…

Blog Stops

Texas Book-aholic, September 6

Locks, Hooks and Books, September 7

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 8

Inklings and notions, September 9

Book Butterfly in Dreamland, September 9

She Lives To Read, September 10

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, September 11

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, September 12

Lily’s Book Reviews, September 12

deb’s Book Review, September 13

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, September 14

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, September 15

Mary Hake, September 15

Blossoms and Blessings, September 16

Cats in the Cradle Blog, September 17

The Adventures of a Travers Wife, September 18

Livin’ Lit, September 19

To Everything There Is A Season, September 19

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Marci is giving away the grand prize package of a canvas tote bag filled with Lakeside goodies that include a blanket, mug, signed copy of Lakeside Retreat, and a solar lantern for your next outdoor adventure!!

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/21374/lakeside-retreat-celebration-tour-giveaway

Release Day for Robin Lee Hatcher’s New Book-Who I Am With You!!!

Congratulations to Robin Lee Hatcher!!!!

About the Book (Publisher’s Summary)

For these two broken hearts, the first step toward love will be a huge leap of faith.

Jessica Mason isn’t looking for love when she meets Ridley Chesterfield. Instead, she is still reeling from the tragic, unexpected loss of her husband and daughter—and awaiting the arrival of her unborn child. Harboring the secret of her husband’s betrayal, her pain is deeper than anyone knows.

Ridley Chesterfield is hiding out in Hope Springs, Idaho, avoiding a political scandal and the barrage of false media headlines that have tarnished his good name. The last thing Ridley wants is a relationship—but when fate leads Ridley to form a friendship with his reclusive and pregnant neighbor, he wonders if this small-town hideout might be more of a long-term destination. 

When Jessica begins to read her great-grandfather’s Bible, she finds a connection with a man she never knew. Somehow the verses he marked and the words he wrote in the margins open her heart to healing. And as Ridley and Jessica help each other forgive the people who have broken their hearts, they must decide if the past will define them or if they will choose to love again.

Who I Am With You weaves together a modern-day romance with Jessica’s great-grandfather’s story from the 1930s, reminding us that some truths can cross generations and that faith has the power to transform families forever.

#RobinLeeHatcher #WhoIAmWithYou

This is the Day by Tim Tebow (with A. J. Gregory)

My Review

I have been interested in and have followed Tim Tebow’s career since he first became known. I was saddened, as a football fan, when he left football. The vitriol he often calmly and professionally endured saddened me.

Tebow also has a resplendent program for the intellectually disabled, A Night to Shine. I have two family members who work with physically and intellectually disabled adults. Seeing how the men and women reacted to Tebow’s event brought tears to my eyes, but they were happy tears.

When an opportunity became available for me to review This Is The Day by Tim Tebow, I jumped at the chance. I am so glad I did.

Through experiences in sports and personal life, Tebow tells of his belief that “This is the Day.” He says, “Imagine when hearing the sound of the morning alarm, instead of groaning or slapping the snooze button, you awaken-mind, heart, and soul-to possibility…Imagine being fueled by a whisper: ’This is the day.’”

Tebow opens up about many of his life experiences growing up and as an adult. He relates stories of seemingly insignificant events, yet they have great significance, not only in his life but in the lives of those he (and others around him) have touched. He talks to readers as if we are sitting with him enjoying a cup of tea or coffee. Granted, he has the money to do some things we, the average readers, cannot. However, that shouldn’t stop us from doing, being and experiencing all we can within God’s plans for us.

“This is the day to say yes to your dreams.”

I received this book from WaterBrook. However, I was under no obligation to post a review.

Publisher’s Summary

The New York Times best-selling sports star and media icon motivates readers to stop postponing dreams and start making them happen now because–this is the day.

Beyond Tim Tebow’s exploits as a Heisman-winning football player, he is widely known and respected for his exemplary character and personal excellence, which have made him a role model for millions. When Tim interacts with the public, he often encounters people who feel “stuck”–unable to take action on matters ranging from daily life to pursuing lifelong dreams. In response, Tim often identifies a crippling fear or lack of courage, to which he advises: “now is the time to take some risks, to quiet the voices of defeat, to step forward and make a mark, because this is the day.” In this inspiring, motivational book, readers will receive the advice and encouragement to daily move from “pause” to “play” in finding deeper meaning and success. Tim illustrates the book’s themes with stories from his personal life that will delight all readers, including an update on his dream pursuit of a baseball career.

Perennials by Julie Cantrell

My Review

I came to sympathize with Eva (nicknamed Lovey), the protagonist of Perennials. She feels betrayed by her older sister Bitsy. No matter which direction Lovey turns, Bitsy is doing everything in her power to hurt and destroy her. I could empathize with Lovey. I could imagine Lovey, at age 45, becoming tired of running. I could believe her seeing her father’s request to come for his and her mother’s 50th anniversary as a way to “come home again.”

I was looking forward to reading Perennials, by Julie Cantrell. I had not read any of her books but had heard many good things about her work as an inspiration fiction writer. I think of the inspirational fiction genre as a publishing arm of the Christian community. You can imagine my surprise when I found the protagonist follows the teachings of her Buddhist mentor. I was even more surprised at allusions to Mary, Christ’s mother, speaking to and guiding other characters in the book.

I love to learn from the novels I read. Julie Cantrell vividly weaves an abundance of flowers and trees into the story’s setting, along with information about the cities portrayed in the book. Perennials teaches us about the color and greenery God has planted in His world.

Perennials is an interesting story. It speaks to our heartfelt need for home and family, even under circumstances that are desperately difficult. The book resonated in my life; it inspires.

I received this book from Fiction Guild. However, I was under no obligation to post a review.

Publisher’s Summary

When two estranged sisters reunite for their parents’ 50th anniversary, a family tragedy brings unexpected lessons of hope and healing amid the flowers of their mother’s perennial garden.

Eva Sutherland—known to all as Lovey—grew up safe and secure in Oxford, Mississippi, surrounded by a rich literary history and her mother’s stunning flower gardens. But a shed fire, and the injuries it caused, changed everything. Her older sister, Bitsy, blamed Lovey for the irreparable damage. Bitsy became the homecoming queen and the perfect Southern belle who could do no wrong. All the while, Lovey served as the family scapegoat, always bearing the brunt when Bitsy threw blame her way.

At eighteen, suffocating in her sister’s shadow, Lovey turned down a marriage proposal and fled to Arizona. Free from Bitsy’s vicious lies, she became a successful advertising executive and a weekend yoga instructor, carving a satisfying life for herself. But at forty-five, Lovey is feeling more alone than ever and questioning the choices that led her here.

When her father calls insisting she come home three weeks early for her parents’ 50th anniversary, Lovey is at her wits’ end. She’s about to close the biggest contract of her career, and there’s a lot on the line. But despite the risks, her father’s words, “Family First,” draw her back to the red-dirt roads of Mississippi.

Lovey is drawn in to a secret project—a memory garden her father has planned as an anniversary surprise. As she helps create this sacred space, Lovey begins to rediscover her roots, learning how to live perennially in spite of life’s many trials and tragedies.

Years ago, Lovey chose to leave her family and the South far behind. But now that she’s returned, she’s realizing things at home were not always what they seemed.

When Christ Appears: An Inspirational Experience Through Revelation by David Jeremiah

My Review

David Jeremiah’s book, When Christ Appears, is set up as a devotional study of the book of Revelations. Dr. Jeremiah divides Revelations into short, easy to digest and understand chapters. In each chapter, he begins with several verses from Revelations and explains them in a way that is simple and straight-forward. He then ends the chapter with prayer.

The book is an interesting and somewhat fascinating study of the last book of the Bible.

I must admit, I usually skip over most passages in Revelations when I read the New Testament. One reason, and Dr. Jeremiah seems to agree (at least in some areas), is parts of it seem so foreboding. However, reading When Christ Appears, gave me a new perspective. Although, I will probably still skip a lot of it in future readings.

One small detail about the book that was a little frustrating is its constant enjoinders to read and references to The Jeremiah Study Bible, which I don’t own.  It was not noted as being a necessary accompaniment when I received the book.

I received this book from NetGalley. However, I was under no obligation to post a review.

Publishers Summary

HAVE YOU EVER WONDERED HOW THE BOOK OF REVELATION APPLIES TO YOUR LIFE?

When Christ Appears brings clarity to one of the most misunderstood books of the Bible. The book of Revelation promises a special blessing for those who take the time to peer into the future with the apostle John. Readers learn that Christ triumphs. Satan loses. Sorrow, sickness, and death disappear. And God Himself wipes away the tears from every eye. When the heartache of this present world weighs heavily on us, we have only to look up and look ahead at the radiant end of one story and the joyous beginning of a new story that will never end.

Book Spolight: Pockets of Joy

About the Book:

Name of book: Pockets of Joy

Author: Roxane Battle

Genre: Non-fiction, inspirational

Roxane Battle was on television for much of her adult life. As a news reporter and anchor, she traveled the world and met notable people from Jay Leno to Mariah Carey to Prince. But shortly after landing her dream job in her hometown of Minneapolis, Roxane’s marriage fell apart. Every day was a battle to keep it together on camera while piecing her life back together at home as the single mom of eleven-month-old Jarod. At one point, broke and alone, dinner was a single chicken McNugget. With wit, dignity, and gripping detail, Roxane shares her story of intentionally looking for joy during this challenging chapter of her life. Her faith was the guiding force as she searched for moments of gratitude and found a lifetime of grace. She also includes secrets to spiritual, professional, and personal wholeness for today’s woman, with chapters on authenticity, service, generosity, gratitude, self-care, yielding, forgiveness, and more.

click to purchase your copy

About the Author:

Author Roxane Battle is veteran TV news journalist well known in the Minneapolis region for her work as an anchor, reporter, and former co-host of the KARE 11-NBC Today show. She currently produces award-winning videos for corporate and non-profit clients through her company, Roxane Battle, M. A., LLC. Named an “Architect of Change,” Roxane is a contributor to mariashriver.com and has been featured in Working Mother, Ebony magazines, the Minneapolis Star Tribune and St. Paul Pioneer Press. An entertaining and inspiring speaker, she is regularly called upon to address civic, business, and philanthropic groups. She’s recently been a keynote speaker at events hosted by the Girl Scouts, TeamWomen Minnesota, and the Amherst H. Wilder Foundation.

For more on Roxane Battle: www.roxanebattle.com

pocketsofjoy.com

www.facebook.com/roxanebattle

Twitter @roxanebattle

Guest post from Roxane Battle

What this book is about is the season in my life when I was on my own and overwhelmed with trying to put my life back together while I learned how to raise a child and navigate a demanding television career. A working, divorced single mom. That was me. For years.

There were many days when I smiled in front of the camera and cried alone at night. During those years, my time in the wilderness, I learned a lot about myself.

I am now at a point when I am able, willing, and desire to share the very personal and intimate stories of how I found peace in the midst of my struggles. I discovered what I call pockets. Pockets of joy. The kind of joy that causes your eyes to mist and wash over the hurt. The kind of joy that catches you by surprise and for a moment makes you forget, if ever so briefly, that you ever felt pain. The kind of joy that, in some ways, cannot even be described.

It is my hope and prayer my story will enable others to grasp a piece of the kind of joy I’m talking about and allow it to stir the kind of hope within that can renew and transform.

Blog Stops

Reading Is My SuperPower, October 26

Carpe Diem, October 26

autism mom, October 27

Avid Reader Book Reviews, October 28

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, October 29

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, October 30

Reflections From My Bookshelves, October 31

Moments Dipped in Ink, November 1

The Fizzy Pop Collection, November 2

A Greater Yes, November 3

A Reader’s Brain, November 4

Splashes of Joy, November 5

Mary Hake, November 6

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 7

His Grace is Sufficient, November 8


Giveaway

In honor of her tour, Roxanne is giving away

Grand Prize Package: Pockets of Joy, hardcover edition, in Pockets of Joy tote bag with Abba Jerusalem Frankincense pillar candle, and commemorative Whitaker House/Anchor Distributors coloring book.

1st Place Package: Pockets of Joy, hardcover edition, “You Are An Amazing Woman” (Abbey Press) mug, and commemorative Whitaker House/Anchor Distributors coloring book.

2nd Place Package: Pockets of Joy, hardcover edition, and commemorative Whitaker House/Anchor Distributors coloring book!

Click the link to enter! https://promosimple.com/ps/c16e

Amish Cooking Class-The Seekers by Wanda Brunstetter.

the-amish-cooking-class

About the Book

Join a class of unlikely Ohioans who take cooking lessons at Lyle and Heidi Troyer’s Amish farm. A woman engaged to marry, an expectant mother estranged from her family, a widowed mom seeking to simplify, a Vietnam vet who camps on the Troyer’s farm, and an Amish widower make up the mismatched lot of students. But Heidi’s cooking lessons soon turn to life lessons as they each share the challenges they are facing. Is this what God had in mind when Heidi got the idea for cooking classes?

My Review

Heidi Troyer, an Amish woman, needs something to occupy her time. Taking a page from her Aunt Emma’s life, she decides to give cooking lessons similar to her Aunt Emma Miller’s quilting classes (Many of you may remember Emma from The Healing Quilt). Little did she know that she and her students would learn many life lessons along the way.

The Seekers has a motley crew of cooking learners that include a Vietnam vet with PTSD, a young woman who was kicked out of her home when her parents found out she was pregnant, a widower still grieving his wife’s death, an amateur photographer who becomes engaged and a widow with two small children yearning for a simpler life. Each person, including Heidi, is searching for answers.

Wanda Brunstetter does an impressive job of developing each of the characters and relating the story from each one’s viewpoint.  As you read and watch each one change, you are cheering or jeering for the individuals, depending on what the circumstances are, and come to care about each one.

Heidi’s recipe cards (recipes are at the end of the story) include an apt and applicable Bible verse, and it’s neat to see how each person reacts to the different verses.

Even if cooking isn’t your forte, I believe you will still enjoy reading Amish Cooking Class-The Seekers by Wanda Brunstetter.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.

The Miracle of Mercy Land

the-miracle-of-mercy-land

About the Book

What if you had the power to amend choices you made in the past? Would you do it even if it changed everything?

Mercy Land has made some unexpected choices for a young woman in the 1930s. The sheltered daughter of a traveling preacher, she chooses to leave her rural community to move to nearby Bay City on the warm, gulf-waters of southern Alabama. There she finds a job at the local paper and spends seven years making herself indispensable to old Doc Philips, the publisher and editor. Then she gets a frantic call at dawn—it’s the biggest news story of her life, and she can’t print a word of it.

Doc has come into possession of a curious book that maps the lives of everyone in Bay City—decisions they’ve made in the past, and how those choices affect the future. Mercy and Doc are consumed by the mystery locked between the pages—Doc because he hopes to right a very old wrong, and Mercy because she wants to fulfill the book’s strange purpose. But when a mystery from Mercy’s past arrives by train, she begins to understand that she will have to make choices that will deeply affect everyone she loves—forever.

My Review

From the very first sentence in The Miracle of Mercy Land, the author River Jordan takes you by the hand and pulls you into a fantastical journey full of darkness, sunshine and life.

I was surprised when I received the book, to find Mercy Land is the lead character’s name and not a place; however, that only adds to the power of her story. (I received an Advanced Reader Copy with little description included.)

This book will affect each person that reads it differently for the same reasons the character’s lives are affected differently; we all have our own weaknesses, demons, desires and individual stories.

This book is full of mysticism and fantasy, not my usual reading fare. Nevertheless, the last two books I’ve reviewed have been of this genre and in spite of this, I’ve enjoyed both books. Perhaps the Lord is telling me to enjoy more whimsy in my life?

Mercy is a young woman who left her home in Bittersweet Creek, Alabama for Bay City, Alabama in order live her life as she wanted and not as conventional wisdom dictated.

Along the way, she becomes the indispensable right-hand woman for Doc Philips, the editor and publisher of the local paper.

One early morning Mercy receives a strange call at her boarding house from Doc Philips. Thus begins a journey into a world of suspended belief and fantasy.

Doc possesses the biggest news story of her life, but she can’t print a word of what she knows and comes to know as a result of Doc’s mysterious call.

The Miracle of Mercy Land will leave you asking yourself a lot of questions about your own life and choices made.

I received a free copy of this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for a  blogger book review.

I am not required to write a positive review. 

**This is a corrected, updated version of an earlier review.**