Tag Archives: christian living

Book Spotlight — Tasting Grace

21 Aug

I love books — the more the merrier! Unfortunately, I have come to the conclusion that I cannot actually read all the books. Books often show up at my house that, to no fault of their own, I simply cannot read, at least not yet. That’s where spotlights come in. Tasting Grace by Melissa d’Arabian looks at the role food plays in bringing people together. Take a look at the blurb and author info to decide if this book is for you.

The winner of The Next Food Network Star season five and New York Times best-selling author of Ten Dollar Dinners shares how God used food to invite her into His love.

It wasn’t until Melissa d’Arabian evaluated her relationship with food in light of her relationship with God that she began to appreciate food as not only a gift from him but also as a deeper invitation into his love. As she prayed, studied Scripture, and reflected on the stories from her own life, Melissa saw how God had used food to draw her into community, to redeem her moments of greatest tragedy, and ultimately to connect her more to him.

In Tasting Grace, Melissa shares sixteen invitations that will transform your perception of food and the role it plays in your own life, from equality to connection to hospitality to stewardship and more. She explains how through her experiences, she learned to trust the ingredients — in recipes and in life — and join God in the act of creation.

Whether you are a mom struggling to throw together a healthy meal for your family each night or a single woman longing for fellowship around your table, you will draw encouragement and inspiration from Melissa’s reminder that all food, first and foremost, is a gift from God. When you return to him as the source, you will find the freedom to enjoy his beautiful and delicious creation.

To purchase, click HERE.

Melissa d’Arabian was a corporate finance executive before becoming the host of Food Network’s Ten Dollar Dinners and Cooking Channel’s Drop 5 Lbs with Good Housekeeping. She also developed the FoodNetwork.com seriesThe Picky Eaters Project, serves as lead judge on Guy’s Grocery Games, and is the author of the New York Times bestselling cookbook Ten Dollar Dinners. Melissa has an MBA from Georgetown University, and lives with her husband and their four daughters in San Diego.

Book Spotlight — My First Rodeo

7 Aug

Book surprises show up in my mailbox periodically, and I am always thrilled! I am also bummed because my reading schedule is packed and I cannot get to the new additions in a timely fashion. That’s where book spotlights come in. My First Rodeo by Stoney Stamper is one of those books — it looks great and needs to be brought to your attention. Please take some time to read the blurb and the author bio. This may be the perfect book for a special dad in your life. I’m giving it to my youngest son who will soon become a first time dad.

My First Rodeo is a heartwarming collection of stories that reveal the ups, downs, and delights of being a family man, from a guy who never dreamed of being one.

Happily unmarried with no desire for a change in status, Stoney Stamper met a beautiful lady with two daughters, and to his surprise fell head over boots in love. At the encouragement of family and friends, he decided to chronicle his new life and created the popular blog — The Daddy Diaries. My First Rodeo will inspire those just starting out with families to hang in there, they can do it. And for those well beyond the child raising years, it will be a poignant reminder of the enduring goodness of family.

To purchase this book, click HERE.

Stoney Stamper is the owner of TDD Media, LLC and the author of the popular parenting blog – The Daddy Diaries. He attended Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College, followed by Oklahoma State University. His wife, April, is a successful photographer and an accomplished chicken farmer. They have three daughters: Abby, Emma, and Gracee. After living for a time in East Texas, the Stampers have recently moved to Perkins, Oklahoma, to be close to their families. Stoney was born and raised on a large Quarter Horse ranch in Locust Grove, OK, and he and his girls continue his family tradition, remaining heavily involved in agriculture and raising and showing a variety of animals.

 

Reading Road Trip — Alaska!

12 Jun

This week I am truly on a road trip — I am cruising the inside passage of Alaska! I spent a few months before the trip doing research. Yes, that’s right, I read books set in Alaska. 😉  I admit I did frequent some travel and cruise blogs too. The books I read, along with old favorites, heightened my excitement and anticipation for the sights I would soon experience. I recommend all of these books whether you have a trip planned soon or just need a virtual vacation. My husband and our travel buddies read fiction as well. Some of the books they read are featured on the list 50 Great Novels Set in Alaska. So if my list below isn’t enough (it’s a big list for a big state), there are many more to choose from.

Reading Road Trip — Alaska

Dawn’s Prelude by Tracie Peterson

Newly widowed Lydia Sellers discovers that through an unforeseen fluke, she is the sole recipient of her husband’s fortune. But instead of granting her security, it only causes strife as her adult stepchildren battle to regain the inheritance for themselves. Lydia, longing to put the memories of her painful marriage behind her, determines to travel to Alaska to join her aunt.

Lydia’s arrival in Sitka, however, brings two things she didn’t expect. One is the acquaintance of Kjell Bjorklund, the handsome owner of the sawmill. Second is the discovery that she is pregnant with her dead husband’s child. What will this mean for her budding relationship with Kjell? And what lengths will her stepchildren go to reclaim their father’s fortune? Lydia soon finds her life — and that of her child’s — on the line.

In The Shadow of Denali by Tracie Peterson and Kimberley Woodhouse

Cassidy Ivanoff and her father, John, work at the new and prestigious Curry Hotel outside Mt. McKinley. While John will be expedition and wilderness exploration guide for the wealthy tourists, Cassidy has signed on as a cook’s assistant. Both are busy as the hotel prepares to welcome the president of the United States on his way to drive in the golden spike to officially complete the railroad.

Allan Brennan travels to the Curry Hotel to be an apprentice of a seasoned Alaska mountain guide. Ever since his father’s death climbing Mt. McKinley, he’s worked to earn enough money to make the trek to the Alaska territory himself. His father’s partner blames their guide for the death of his father, but Allan wants to find the truth for himself. He finds an unlikely ally in Cassidy, and as the two begin to look into the mystery, they suddenly find that things are much less clear, and much more dangerous, than either could ever imagine.

Alaska Twilight by Colleen Coble

For some people, Alaska is a breathtaking wilderness adventure, full of light and beauty. For Haley, it is a dangerous world of dark dreams and tortured memories. On the surface, she’s here to document wildlife activist Kipp Nowak’s bear encounters. But her real reason is to unearth the truth about a past murder. The suspense mounts when another body turns up, and Haley beginst to wonder if the tragedies she experienced in the past are connected to the dangers and mysterious incidents of the present.

From behind her camera, Haley observes it all, including Tank Lassiter, the wildlife biologist who has been forced to lead Kipp and his team into the Alaskan backcountry. As she watches him with his work, she feels a growing attraction. It will take great courage and faith to confront the truth she once ran away from. Before it’s over, Haley may be viewing herself from an entirely new angle.

Alaska Twilight is the story of a young woman’s emergence from the shadows of past sorrow into the light of forgiveness and grace.

Alaskan Courage Series by Dani Pettrey

A sabotaged plane. Two dead deep-water divers.

Yancey, Alaska was a quiet town…until the truth of what was hidden in the depths off the coast began to appear.

Bailey Craig vowed never to set foot in Yancey again. She has a past, and a reputation–and Yancey’s a small town. She’s returned to bury a loved one killed in the plane crash and is determined not to stay even an hour more than necessary. But then dark evidence emerges and Bailey’s own expertise becomes invaluable for the case.

Cole McKenna can handle the deep-sea dives and helping the police recover evidence. He can even handle the fact that a murderer has settled in his town and doesn’t appear to be moving on. But dealing with the reality of Bailey’s reappearance is a tougher challenge. She broke his heart, but she is not the same girl who left Yancey. He let her down, but he’s not the same guy she left behind. Can they move beyond the hurts of their pasts and find a future together?

Formula of Deception by Carrie Stuart Parks

After the murder of her twin sister, Murphy Anderson changed her name and appearance and moved to Kodiak, Alaska, to avoid the press and publicity. But when local authorities discover she’s an artist and request her help in drawing a dying man’s memories, she unintentionally ends up in the limelight again — and back in the killer’s crosshairs.

The deathbed confessions of an Alaskan hunter have Murphy drawing the five bodies he discovered on remote Ruuwaq Island ten years ago. But what investigators find has them mystified. Evidence suggests that the bodies were deliberately destroyed, and what they uncover in an abandoned Quonset hut from World War II only brings more questions.

As one by one the investigators who were at the hut die, Murphy knows there is something much darker at stake. What happened on this island during the war? And who is willing to kill to keep its secrets buried?

The Mountains Bow Down by Sibella Fiorello

A cruise to Alaska sounds like the perfect vacation–it’s a geologist’s dream and will give Raleigh space to sort out her feelings about her recent engagement. But before the ship even reaches its first port, a case manages to find her. The producer of a movie that’s being filmed onboard goes missing and is then discovered hanging from the railing. Suicide seems to be the cause, but Raleigh quickly realizes the pieces don’t add up.

When the Seattle field office sends Jack Stephansonto assist her in the investigation, her personal uncertainty skyrockets. Why is it that she forgets to even call her fiancé back in Virginia. And Jack seems to know her as well as she knows herself. She’ll have to wait to sort out those feelings, though, because she and Jack only have five days before the cruise ends to solve this case.

Summer of The Burning Sky Series by Susan May Warren

Former bad-boy Tucker Newman has learned his lesson—as the temporary team leader of the Jude County Smokejumpers, he’s all about following the rules to keep his team safe. Especially when he has to partner with a group of local low-security prisoners to knock down the raging fire. But the prisoners are not who they seem, and when they stage a break, kidnapping one of his teammates, he’ll have to break every rule he knows to get her back.

US Marshal Stevie Mills knows that to get the job done, she must work alone. She simply can’t risk another person getting hurt because of her. When she discovers that a wanted fugitive accused of rape and murder has not only been set free to fight the fire — but is now on the lam with a hostage– the last thing she needs is a zealous smokejumper getting in the way of her pursuit.

Whether they like it or not, Tucker and Stevie must join forces if they hope to save lives, and in the meantime, they just might discover a new definition for the word teamwork, in book 1 of the Summer of the Burning Sky.

Of Moose And Men: Lost And Found in Alaska by Torry Martin and Doug Peterson

Torry Martin — a comedian, actor, and hippie — fled from California to the wilderness of Alaska, searching for answers to life’s big questions. He found what he was looking for…and a lot more!

A moose got its head stuck in Torry’s window. A reindeer was trapped in his kitchen. A bear almost prevented him from reaching his airplane. He once woke up frozen to his cabin floor.

Like the Israelites of old, Torry experienced plenty of miracles and mishaps in the wilderness. And like them, he came face-to-face with God and was changed forever.

Each of these true stories of Torry’s hilarious blunders and misfortunes contains a nugget of truth, but one theme prevails: If God can reclaim and repurpose Torry Martin’s life, He can do the same for you and those you love.

 

Book Review — Of Moose And Men: Lost And Found In Alaska

10 Jun

Torry Martin — a comedian, actor, and hippie — fled from California to the wilderness of Alaska, searching for answers to life’s big questions. He found what he was looking for…and a lot more!

A moose got its head stuck in Torry’s window. A reindeer was trapped in his kitchen. A bear almost prevented him from reaching his airplane. He once woke up frozen to his cabin floor.

Like the Israelites of old, Torry experienced plenty of miracles and mishaps in the wilderness. And like them, he came face-to-face with God and was changed forever.

Each of these true stories of Torry’s hilarious blunders and misfortunes contains a nugget of truth, but one theme prevails: If God can reclaim and repurpose Torry Martin’s life, He can do the same for you and those you love.

My Impressions:

I don’t usually review non-fiction; I love a story. But when I stumbled upon a blog post about Of Moose and Men: Lost And Found in Alaska by Torry Martin and Doug Peterson, I knew I had to include it in my reading research for my trip to Alaska. This book featuring stories of Martin’s time in Alaska is laugh-out-loud funny, but contains deep spiritual truths as well. The subtitle definitely describes some of Martin’s misadventures, but also describes the deepening relationship with God he experienced along the way. I read a story a day as part of my quiet time. Each chapter brightened my day while providing food for thought. So if you want something a little light and a whole lot different, check out Of Moose And Men.

Recommended.

Audience: adults.

To purchase click HERE.

(I purchased this book from Amazon. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

First Line Friday — Of Moose And Men

17 May

I am going to Alaska in just 3 short weeks! I am so excited! As part of research for the trip, I have been reading books set in Alaska. I stumbled on a non-fiction account of one man’s encounters with God in the Alaskan wilderness — Of Moose And Men: Lost And Found in Alaska by Torry Martin and Doug Peterson. This book is hilarious and suitable for devotional reading at the same time. Torry recounts his adventures and misadventures while living in Alaska. I love his anecdotes and how he applies him with live with God. I am reading a chapter a day and will finish up a few days before I fly out to my own adventure.

Leave a comment with the first sentence(s) of the book nearest to hand, then head over to Hoarding Books for more fabulous first lines!

Torry Martin — a comedian, actor, and hippie — fled from California to the wilderness of Alaska, searching for answers to life’s big questions. He found what he was looking for…and a lot more!

A moose got its head stuck in Torry’s window. A reindeer was trapped in his kitchen. A bear almost prevented him from reaching his airplane. He once woke up frozen to his cabin floor.

Like the Israelites of old, Torry experienced plenty of miracles and mishaps in the wilderness. And like them, he came face-to-face with God and was changed forever.

Each of these true stories of Torry’s hilarious blunders and misfortunes contains a nugget of truth, but one theme prevails: If God can reclaim and repurpose Torry Martin’s life, He can do the same for you and those you love.

The Brave Art of Motherhood Blog Blitz!

30 Apr

The Brave Art of Motherhood blog blitz final

Mother’s Day is fast approaching, and we’re joining up with JustRead Publicity Tours to tell you about a great gift for Mom this year! Keep reading for more info on a special ebook price to make your gift giving even easier AND a book club kit giveaway!

ABOUT THE BOOK

the brave art of motherhoodTitle: The Brave Art of Motherhood: Fight Fear, Gain Confidence, & Find Yourself Again
Author: Rachel Marie Martin
Publisher: WaterBrook
Release Date: October 9, 2018
Genre: Christian Living/Women’s Interest

Full-time FindingJoy.net blogger, speaker, marketer, podcaster, and single mom of seven, Rachel Marie Martin presents a wake-up call to those of us who have found ourselves stuck in the ‘I’m just a mom’ phase of life.

Yes, this book is about motherhood . . . but really, this book is about finding yourself again and following your passion WHILE being a mom. Inspired by her incredible story, Rachel’s words always come straight from the gut; they are visceral, real and soul searching. She challenges you to find the courage to break cycles, to take off masks and not let fear take control. This book is a balance of tough, “no excuses” ways of approaching life, while allowing breathing room and grace for yourself, for as we all know, life and mothering are not perfect.

After inspiring and conversing with thousands of women, Rachel has surmised there is always a reason to hope, to move forward and a reason to dare doing what you thought was impossible. (Yes, including what you are skeptical of accomplishing right now). She encourages you to say yes to your dreams and stop waiting for “someday” or “one day” or “when something happens”.

Prepare to change the way you think about yourself and your life. This will be a book you read over and over armed with a highlighter in one hand and a journal for introspection in another.

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Christian Book | Book Depository

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

rachel-marie-martin

RACHEL MARIE MARTIN, having pulled herself up from poverty to being named one of Inc. magazine’s top 40 entrepreneurs, has been writing Finding Joy full time for several years and writing online for over a decade. Rachel is a single mom of 7, whose experiences range from homeschooling her two oldest daughters from kindergarten through graduation, now being a public school mom of 5. She’s the daughter of church planters, a long time housewife and now a professional business woman.

She has always had a passion for a daring, adventure-filled life and is often requested to speak and motivate others with her vivacious energy and deep belief that life is a gift. Rachel is also a partner in Blogging Concentrated, the world’s largest training and development company for bloggers, vloggers, and podcasters. She travels worldwide teaching marketing, voice, messaging, social media strategy and more.

CONNECT WITH RACHEL: blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest


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TOUR GIVEAWAY

(1) winner will win a Book Club Kit (valued at $99)

  • 9 autographed copies of The Brave Art of Motherhood
  • audiobook of The Brave Art of Motherhood for those who would rather listen in the car
  • The Brave Art of Motherhood Book Club Conversation Guide
  • ebook of Rachel’s first book, Dear Mom Letters

Enter via the Rafflecopter giveaway below. Giveaway will begin at midnight April 29, 2019 and last through 11:59 pm May 6, 2019. US only. Winners will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

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Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

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Fun at The Dahlonega Literary Festival!

6 Mar

This past weekend I finally attended the annual Dahlonega Literary Festival set in the quaint and historic north Georgia town of Dahlonega. This event has been on my must-do list for a number of years, but the timing was never good. But this year I was spending the weekend at our cabin just 30 miles (as the crow flies!) away. It was a clear and warmish day for a drive through the beautiful north Georgia mountains, and when I arrived I was in for a big, big treat!

The Dahlonega Literary Festival is a once a year event that spotlights authors, both featured and regional, and hosts a number of writing and publishing workshops and panel discussions. I sat in on discussions of setting in literary fiction and portraying injustice in fiction. Most of the events were free. The few that required a ticket were very reasonable and covered the costs of the events and supported the new Lumpkin County Library. If you are ever in the neighborhood, I encourage you to attend. Or if you live too far away, check out literary festivals closer to home. I promise you will be in book lover’s heaven!

I also got to meet authors! I had scoped out the list of authors ahead of time and planned out which authors to sign books. Lindsey Brackett, Deborah Malone, and Daniel Palfrey, three Georgia writers with inspirational books, were very gracious in signing and speaking with me. What fun meeting them in person! Check out their books!

Lindsey Brackett, author of Still Waters

Award-winning writer, Lindsey P. Brackett just writes life — blogs, columns, articles, and stories — in the midst of motherhood. A blogger since 2010, she has published articles and short stories in a variety of print and online publications. She writes a popular bimonthly column for several local newspapers in which she meditates on small town southern life.

Her love of family ties and southern places prompted her first novel, Still Waters, a Lowcountry story about the power of family and forgiveness. Thanks to her four kids, in her home you’ll find wet towels, lost library books, and strong coffee.

Connect with her at http://www.lindseypbrackett.com, where she just writes life, on Facebook as Lindsey P. Brackett, on Twitter @lindsbrac, or Instagram @lindseypbrackett.

Cora Anne Halloway has a history degree and a plan: avoid her own past — despite being wait-listed for graduate school. Then her beloved grandmother requests—and her dispassionate mother insists — that she spend the summer at Still Waters, the family cottage on Edisto Beach, South Carolina.

Despite its picturesque setting, Still Waters haunts Cora Anne with loss. At Still Waters her grandfather died, her parents’ marriage disintegrated, and as a child, she caused a tragic drowning. But lingering among the oak canopies and gentle tides, this place also tempts her with forgiveness — especially since Nan hired Tennessee Watson to oversee cottage repairs. A local contractor, but dedicated to the island’s preservation from development, Tennessee offers her friendship and more, if she can move beyond her guilt.

When a family reunion reveals Nan’s failing health, Cora Anne discovers how far Tennessee will go to protect her — and Edisto — from more desolation. Will Cora Anne choose between a life driven by guilt, or one washed clean by the tides of grace?

Deborah Malone, author of cozy mysteries set in Georgia and Blooming in Broken Places

Deborah Malone is an established author, freelance writer and photographer.

Her love of her home state Georgia flows into her cozy mystery novels which are all set there.

Published by Lamp Post, her first novel Death in Dahlonega, finaled in ACFW’s Category Five writing contest and she was nominated for Georgia Author of the Year Award in Novel category in 2012 and 2013.

Working as a freelance writer and photographer since 2001 for the historical magazine Georgia Backroads, Deborah has had many articles and photographs published during her time for them.

Her writing is featured in “Tales of the Rails” edited by Olin Jackson.

Her photographic artwork has been displayed in the Wright Art Gallery at Floyd Medical Center where artwork contributes to the healing and therapy of patients. Her photography has also won several awards.

Deborah teaches a number of writing, marketing and speaking workshops for authors. Deborah is available for readings, signing, book clubs and author lunches.

Deborah Malone is no stranger to the trials of life that can rob a woman of her self-esteem and give her the false belief she is unworthy to be used by God. Deborah will take the reader along on her real-life journey from her early years when she became her mother’s caregiver, to the rocky years of caring for her severely disabled daughter, to the disappointment and trials of surviving an abusive marriage that left her broken and feeling worthless. But Deborah’s journey doesn’t stop there – through healing and coming to understand God’s unlimited love, Deborah discovered how He can use her despite her limitations and healed her from self-doubt. Discover your worth in God’s plan as Deborah delves into how women from the bible were all used by God, even while they were in Broken Places.

Dan Pelfrey, author of the Davis Morgan mysteries

Danny along with his wife, Wanda, is currently writing the Davis Morgan mystery series set in Adairsville, Georgia. He has also been active in the areas of inspiration and Georgia history. Danny is a member of the Georgia Writers Association and American Christian Fiction Writers. He once referred to himself as a preacher who did a little writing. Presently, he is a writer who does a little preaching.

 

The movie making business engulfing Georgia has finally made its way to the little foothill village of Adairsville. Bookseller and police chaplain, Davis Morgan, along with a young female clerk discover the body of a member of the movie company at the foot of a large oak tree. Davis, despite his promise to his wife, cannot resist an urge to investigate the mystery. He and his pal young policeman, Charley Nelson, quietly dig into the case even though it is officially under the jurisdiction of the county sheriff. There is no shortage of suspects: the mysterious red headed man, the sister of the victim, the fiancée, the angry girl friend’s mother, and others. During the investigation an already troubled Charley is framed for a drug crime, and Davis receives word that an old enemy is on his way to Georgia after escaping from prison to make good a threat against him. Late one afternoon, it all comes to an astonishing conclusion beneath the same sprawling oak where it started.