Life Unstuck – Finding Peace with Your Past, Purpose in Your Present, Passion for Your Futurep

by Pat Layton

Link is in the pic.

Oh my goodness. Pat is so much fun! You know you are in for a fun read once you’ve read the very first story in this book. I won’t spill the beans! It’s too funny. You’ll have to order it for yourself!

This is a great book. She has a fun way of making her points using stories and analogies. She also has some fun checklist stuff for people like me that love to “find out their personality” and such.

The point of the book is in the title. Learning to find peace, purpose and passion. It’s beautifully written and I thoroughly enjoyed it! Please pick up a copy for yourself and one for your friend! In fact, go through it together. I think you’ll really enjoy it and learn a lot about yourself and why you are “stuck” where you are.

Thank you, Revell, for this fun book! As always, this is my honest opinion. Here’s to many more!!

Hurry!! This giveaway ends TONIGHT!!! Signed Book!

Suzanne has offered a signed copy of a book. She has so graciously agreed to sign a copy and send it to one lucky winner!!! Click on the link below and you can enter multiple times!

You will also find another link later in this post for another giveaway by Suzanne Woods Fisher!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*US Residents Only

Face-Off with Author LAURA FRANTZ!!!!!!!!!!!!

keep-calm-and-no-i-can-t-calm-downToday, I’m very excited because I am going to be facing off with LAURA FRANTZ! WHA WHA????

I love her because she is such an amazing, Godly woman! I love her books because she has such an impressive knowledge of American history (and can write like nobody’s biz!!). There is, in fact, one of her books that is free RIGHT NOW!!! Love’s Reckoning (The Ballantyne Legacy Book #1)is the beginning of a great series. It is free as an ebook only.

Laura has a book coming out in September. Unfortunately, we are going to have to wait that long!!! But, you can click on the pic and pre-order it! You will definitely want to pick it up!!

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The rules are simple. I ask Laura a question and she responds. I then give my answer and we see whose answer is better. Best answer wins a point. I get to pick who has the better answer.

It’s my blog.

Here we go!!

1. How many historical sites have you been to?

Laura – Too many to count. My first memory is going to Sturbridge Village in Massachusetts which is a living history village filled with reenactors. Amazing place! I was about 12 and then came home and wrote a novella about a girl who ice-skated her way through that village in my story. Since I grew up near Daniel Boone’s fort in Kentucky, my love of history goes deep. My most recent historical trip was to Cumberland Gap at the juncture of Virginia, Tennessee, and Kentucky which figures largely in my next frontier novel.

Charity – Kentucky is my absolute favorite state. It is just so beautiful!! My goodness.

Ok, let’s see. I live in the Historical Triangle (Williamsburg, Yorktown and Jamestown), so those are obvious places that I have been to many times (Which is awesome because I homeschool my boys). I’ve been to Monticello, Valley Forge, Mount Vernon, Gettysburg…many on the east coast. But not up near Massachusetts. I would love to go up there to see the Boston history. I’ve also been to Israel (But, that’s not American History…)

— I’ve gotta say…I think I might have that point…Even if I don’t have the knowledge!

Charity 1 / Laura 0

2. What country would you most like to visit?

Laura – Crazy as it sounds I’d love to visit India and visit Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity and wear a sari. They’re so beautiful, airy, and feminine! I’ve heard going to India is life changing, a real wake-up call for us soft Americans.

Charity – Oh my goodness. That would be life changing, I’m sure! I would really love to see England. I love English history so much. All the history of the royal families through the centuries.

— Mother Theresa? ok, There’s no way I am getting that one!

Charity 1 / Laura 1

3. Do you juice?

Laura – I should juice! Actually, the only juicing I do is with my granny’s old metal juicer that hangs over the edge of a cup. Orange juice.

Charity – ha! Nice. I love to juice green drinks. Usually cabbage, celery, green apples, spinach and cucumber. YUM. Nothing else.

— I get a point!! woo hoo!!

Charity 2 / Laura 1

4. What is your favorite store/shop?

Laura – Barnes&Noble with a Starbucks attached! The smell of books and coffee is addictive!

Charity – I think I am with you on that one…but I think Amazon might top it!! Sitting on the couch, with my keurig nearby (; That’s the life. Reading, shopping and drinking coffee at home, on my couch, in my yoga pants!

— Ok, laziness never wins anything

Charity 2 / Laura 2

5. Would you prefer to work with babies, toddlers, children, teenagers, or adults?

Laura – I love any age but give me babies, please. I miss babies – the smell and feel of them, their near, sheer perfection. Since they’re straight from heaven they seem to have a quality about them that is irresistible.51s+GTaJf4L._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_ I try to sneak babies in my books whenever I can, starting with Courting Morrow Little.

Charity – OMGosh. Ok, you just mentioned the name of … probably my all time favorite book!!! Not only is the cover SO BEAUTIFUL, but the story is too. This book is what got me into reading. I NEVER was a reader until I read this book. Growing up, off and on, I would read for school and such, but as an adult, it was magazines, period. Until this book.

Ok, that was off subject. ANYWAY, I absolutely love working with teenagers. The more rebellious, the better. I get them. I love them. They know both. We get on quite well. Ask me to sign up for nursery or help with the little kids at church, I will run away crying.

— Courting Morrow Little. She wins.

Charity 2 / Laura 3

6. Are you crafty? Sew, crochet, knit, etc…

Laura – I like to say Roxanna Rowan taught me how to knit. When I was writing The Colonel’s Lady I took a knitting class and learned the basic stitches. I’m in awe of anyone who can make anything that way. I LOVE to cross-stitch but don’t have the time anymore…

Charity – Believe me. I am very glad you don’t have the time to craft. I would like to see more books!!!! (: I never knew I was a crafter until I broke my toe (completely through…like, hanging off the side of my foot) this year. ugh. Now I love to sew, crochet, you name it. (NOT SCRAPBOOK THOUGH!!!)

— I think I got that one!

Charity 3 / Laura 3

7. What is your favorite color?

Laura – PINK. Think cotton candy and girly things. I could live in pink and nothing else!

Charity – Oh wow! I like pink too, but I like…almost every color and could not pick one! My head may explode. I love colors….

— Obviously…

Charity 3 / Laura 4

8. Funniest memory from childhood?

Laura – Climbing trees in my mom’s wedding dress! She gave me her lovely gown, veil, and gloves when I was about five years old. Of course it was way too long but somehow I managed to tear around the Kentucky woods/outdoors in that very lacy dress! I wore it out. I can still remember the ‘old’ smell of it and all that scratchy lace!

Charity – Oh my word! What in the world??!! I can’t believe she gave you her wedding dress to play in. That is awesome!! But now, you have reminded me of my wedding dress fiasco… Oh dear. We couldn’t afford a very expensive wedding and there was a girl at our church that was a clothes designer, apparently..? She had a portfolio and wanted to make it for us for free (except the cost of materials). I was so excited! I was going to get the dress of my dreams. Well, she kept taking longer and longer to make it, I didn’t even get a chance to try it on until the day BEFORE MY WEDDING!!! When I did, boy was it HORRIBLE. It was the most awful dress EVER!! And, she told me she had tried it on for her husband and he “really, really liked it”….???!!!!! ugh. So, I was in a total panic. It was the day before my wedding and the ONLY place I could find a white dress in time was at a PROM DRESS SHOP!!!! OMGosh. So ugly. I was crying because I was wearing a prom dress. ha ha ha ha. And it was really ugly. Just a little less ugly than the one that she made me. ugh.

But, that wasn’t my childhood. When I was growing up, we had a houseful. My parents were extremely hospitable and would help everyone that needed it. So, we had MANY people living in our house. My Grandma and Aunt moved in. Then my Uncle (her brother). Then, he had a friend at work that was homeless, so he moved in. Then, the homeless guy’s sister, that lived in Michigan found out he had a home, so she and her two guy friends drove to our house and she moved in. We had a neighbor down the street that lived with us a lot of the time, etc…. (One time they went on a date and came back with a homeless family!!!!). So, all that to say, our house was a zoo. Not just with people. Everyone had pets…of all sorts. Well, my little brother had a fish that he was particularly fond of named Orange Jerry. Orange Jerry kept dying, but because he was a goldfish, he was easily replaceable and my sweet little brother didn’t know. Unfortunately, he found poor Orange Jerry dead once, so we had a funeral for him. My aunt stood behind the shower curtain and played her trumpet (the funeral march), while my sister oversaw the ceremony. We had a eulogy and then flushed him away down the toilet.

There you have it.

Charity 4 / Laura 4

9. Worst movie of all time (as in, just terribly made!!)

Laura – That terrible Hollywood drama called North&South about the Civil War starring Patrick Swayze, etc. People sometimes confuse it with my favorite movie ever, the BBC’s North&South by Elizabeth Gaskell starring Richard Armitage. No comparison whatsoever!

Charity – Right!! ha ha ha! Ok, at least you didn’t say Sharknado! I’m not really sure. Nothing comes to mind as…OH, WAIT! I think that AI was the worst movie of all time ever made.

— Nothing is worse than having a horrible movie with the same name as a wonderful and classic movie!!

Charity 4 / Laura 5

10. How do you believe you are bringing God the most glory in your life?

Laura – Wonderful question. I hope I am bringing Him glory through the gift of words. My writing was something I wanted to keep hidden and did for years. Then he opened the way to publication, a door I walked through almost unwillingly. Now, to use the gift He gave me, in even a small way, is something I hope brings Him glory.

Charity – And you do. I love how diverse of a God we have. Everyone has their own way to point towards Him. My goal is to show my kids that every opportunity is to bring Him glory. If I get cancer, how does that point to God and give Him glory? If our car breaks down, what am I supposed to be doing to show Him? If I get upset, I can’t bring Him glory. Puts the pressure on!!!!!

— God wins!

11. Go to outfit?

Laura – Black yoga pants – and I don’t do yoga! They work with so many different tops and shoes and they’re so comfy and slimming. But I DO wish we could dress like yesteryear in those lovely dresses and hats and gloves!

Charity – I couldn’t have said it better! Yoga pants with the dreams that we could have worn the beautiful and very comfortable clothes of yesteryear!

–tie!

Final:

Charity 4 / Laura 5 bro-i-got-a-cool-story-its-how-you-lost-the-game

I have done MANY of these and have only won ONE GAME!!

Thank you, SO MUCH, Laura! I really do appreciate you taking the time to face-off with me. Pepper Basham is going to be very jealous!!! (; 10592655_10152666096008369_6197128303025767780_n

<—–See.


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Now for the GOOD NEWS!!

Laura has agreed to sign and give away ANY BOOK OF YOUR CHOICE that she has written!! Shall I repeat that? ANY BOOK YOU CHOOSE!!!!!!!!! (to a US resident). Why don’t you take a minute to go and check out her books either HERE or on Amazon so you can know which one you’ll want to pick when you WIN!!!

So, click on this rafflecopter link and you can try to win with MULTIPLE ENTRIES!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Didn’t I tell you she was great?!


Some of these books are free or on sale!!! Links are in the pics.

Jesus, Jihad and Peace

by Michael Youssef

I will tell you right now. Yes, I do believe I shall. This book opened my eyes and helped me to see. We sit here in America wondering “what in the world would possess these people to be so brutal, to be so intense, to be so focused, so hateful, so….fill in the blanks”??

Michael Youssef manages to get the balance right. He explains in great detail the workings of Islam and how it relates to Judaism and Christianity. He shows you how there is no hope of salvation, only hope that they did enough to please Allah. There were so many things that I didn’t understand that make perfect sense now. For instance, they cannot fathom how we could allow people to say His name in vain. They are floored that we would allow that kind of disrespect to the God of the universe. The God we say we love. They see how flippant we are in our belief and it disgusts them. I get that. It disgusts me too.

I also found it interesting that they can’t stand Christians because they believe we are polytheist. The trinity of God looks like we worship three Gods and they know that is wrong to worship more than one. It’s very interesting to see how many little things upset them and how some of it is true (we don’t stand up for God when people use His name in vain! That is wrong. I am guilty of standing by silently. Shame on me!!). Other parts are not true, just not translated correctly. They don’t understand that we see Him as One. That, coupled with their fear of doing enough to please an almost impossible “god” to please, lead them to become more and more frantic and dangerous.

There are so many things that you will find in this book. It truly helped me to understand and have more compassion for the people that hate us so much. Some of the book is pointing to the end times and what the world looks like now. I was more interested in learning the culture of Islam and understanding the hearts of the people.

So, pick up a copy of Jesus, Jihad and Peace: What Bible Prophecy Says About World Events Today and take a look for yourself. This is the best book at breaking down their religion, thoughts, fears and goals that I have ever read.

Thanks, so much, Worthy Publishing (First Look), for giving me a copy of this book. As always, this is my honest review. Here’s to many more!

Dirty Faith

by David Z. Nowell

I am not one to give a long review or spend a lot of time going over the book. I usually like to give the reader a small taste and let them know what effect it had on me. However, there is so much in this book that needs to be brought out, you may just find yourself in my longest review yet! (There will also be quite a number of quotes!)

Dirty Faith

What is “dirty faith”? How do we relate to “the least of these”? God calls us to, but how? And what does that mean? The least of these. The person sitting alone on the street asking for money? The thousands of children in foster care and state homes? The homeless? The cashier at Wal-Mart? Your waiter at dinner last night?

YES!

It has become a habit of mine to listen to God as I am at a store checking out. I ask Him if this is a person I need to be praying for. If I get a “yes”, I will ask the cashier if there is anything going on in her life I could be praying for. Maybe 2% say “no”. An overwhelming amount will tell you yes and sometimes share some really big things that they are dealing with. Sometimes it’s just a simple “my family” with tears welling in their eyes.

dirty faith 3

So often, when we go on mission trips and even ask people how they are doing, we have this  “power and position, and you do not” attitude. “I have Jesus; you don’t. Unfortunately, I think it is precisely the perspective we often bring to our interaction with the poor, not just in spiritual matters, but in all things. The giver operates from a position of power and privilege. The recipient, by definition, is the inferior.”

David continues, “Relationship with others is integral to our relationship with God. Jesus’ indictment is that, if we are not capable of having a relationship with His brothers and sisters,  then we do not have a relationship with Him. Not a gray judgement here. It’s black and white. No relationship with my brothers and sisters in these circumstances, no relationship with me (Jesus). Determinate, not just indicator.” Dirty Faith

He also says, “I cannot begin to tell you how many times someone has said to me something along the lines of ‘It is such a wonderful work you are doing, but God just has not called me to that.’ Well, actually, yes, He has. Perhaps not to adopt, or even to foster, but He has called you to care for the orphan.”

I could continue to quote this book all day.

David Z. Nowell is the President of Hope Unlimited for Children. This is a refuge for children that are living on the streets, prostituting themselves out so they can survive (at VERY early ages), and doing whatever it takes to make it. This is a place where they can feel loved, learn about Jesus, and feel safe. Unfortunately, many children are more fearful of the unknown, so they are more comfortable living on the streets. David’s goal is to show Jesus to them. Not just for a week or two on a short term trip. He once asked a girl what she enjoyed about her mission trip and the young lady answered with the typical answer of showing them Jesus. His response was, “You were the face of God for them, and you left. You came back to your comfortable life, and those girls are still on the streets every night selling their bodies to strangers What did you really tell them about God?” dirty faith 5

He, in no way, is against short term missions, but the point of this book is that we love to write a check and not get our hands dirty. Jesus came here as an example of how to do EVERYTHING. We are to relate to others just as He did. He became a servant. Physically, not with money and well wishes. He got his hands dirty.

I hope you will take a look at Hope Unlimited. There are a few different things he is involved in that one is bound to speak to you. Check out this resource page and see where and how God is calling you.

dirty faith 4It is always scary to step out in faith, but look at everyone in the Bible that God called faithful. It was always the weak, the “least of these” and the ones that stumbled through life. The difference is, they got back up and asked God “what’s next?”.

Please pick up a copy of this book and then another one for a friend. It’s completely reasonable at $8.99.

Dirty Faith: Bringing the Love of Christ to the Least of These

 Thank you, so much, netgalley! I appreciate the book and, as always, this is my honest review. Here’s to many more!

Want to read!!!

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I haven’t had a chance to read this, but stumbled across it on
CBD
. Here is the info they have on it:

Product Description
Jay Sekulow, one of America’s most influential attorneys, closely examines the rise of the terrorist groups ISIS and Hamas, explains their objectives and capabilities and how, if left undefeated, their existence could unleash a genocide of historic proportions.

Recently, the world has been shaken by gruesome photos and videos that have introduced us to the now infamous terrorist group known as ISIS. The world’s wealthiest and most powerful jihadists, ISIS originated within Al Qaeda with the goal of creating an Islamic state across Iraq and Syria and unrelenting jihad on Christians. Separate from ISIS, the terrorist group Hamas has waged an equally brutal war against Israel. Both groups, if left undefeated, have the potential to unleash a catastrophic genocide.

Rise of ISIS gives a better understanding of the modern face of terror, and provides an overview of the laws of war and war crimes. These laws differentiate between the guilty and innocent, and explain why the US military and the Israeli Defense Forces are often limited in their defensive measures.

The authors’ firsthand experience, including multiple appearances before the Office of the Prosecutor, International Criminal Court at The Hague, along with direct contact battling jihadists during operation Iraqi Freedom lends insight into this important geopolitical issue.

A must-have for anyone who wants to better understand the conflict that exists in the middle east, this well-researched and fully annotated volume is invaluable in revealing how this new brand of terrorism poses a very real threat to Americans and the world at large. It also serves as a guide to what we as individuals – and as a nation – can do to stop this escalating violence, prevent jihad, and protect Israel and America from this imminent threat.

Includes an exclusive track from the Jay Sekulow Band, “Where I Stand,” a moving tribute to the persecuted Christians in Iraq (download track information located on page 99).

If you would like to pick up a copy, just click HERE.

A Lady at Willowgrove Hall — by Sarah E. Ladd

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Here we find Cecily Faire. As a young, broken, and poor girl, she is sent away from everyone she knows and loves. Spending time in a boarding school has given her opportunities that she never thought possible. Her journey is one of forgiveness and closure. Will she choose to trust God and her heart, or has she been too hurt along the way?

Last year, a new author burst onto the scene. Sarah E. Ladd blew us all away with her first novel. I am sure many of you have seen the beautiful cover (which I have added to the bottom of this post). A Lady at Willowgrove Hall is her third book in the Whispers on the Moors series.

Set in Regency England, this is a beautiful book. Of course, if you know me AT ALL, you know that I could never tire of reading a Regency novel. I enjoy the stories as they move right along. Her characters always have depth and keep me turning the pages. Bravo, Sarah. Keep them coming!!

Thanks so much, BookLookBloggers for giving me this book in return for some feedback. Here’s to many more!!
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