Sunday, January 23, 2022

Elise Whitmore by Amy Lynn Walsh

 

About the Book

Book: Elsie Whitmore

Author: Amy Lynn Walsh

Genre: Contemporary Sweet and Clean

Release date: March 16, 2021

Elsie Whitmore, a teacher from the small town of Oak Hills, Pennsylvania, is shocked when one of her YouTube videos goes viral, drawing the attention of the famous actor Graham Thurston. When Thurston seeks to cast her in a film that he is directing, Elsie is conflicted: Should she give up teaching, a career she finds deeply fulfilling, for her childhood dream of becoming an actress? Join Elsie Whitmore as she travels down the bumpy road of being cast in a film production and falling in love with a movie star while being homesick for her family, friends, and students back home in Oak Hills. Will Elsie return to teaching and her close-knit community, or will she pursue her love for Graham Thurston and acting for Proscenium Studios in the Brooklyn Navy Yard?

 My Thoughts:

This was a truly great book.  I was wondering about it at first because I was afraid it was going to move slowly and leisurely, not the case.  I fell in love with Elise.  She is an absolutely wonderful character that I adore.  

Her relationship with Graham was wonderful.  I enjoyed the twists and turns of the story, especially how she achieved what others didn't believe she could.  She stayed true to her roots and I liked that while she changed, her values didn't.  Just a really great, clean romance.

5/5

Thank you to the author/publisher for the review copy of this book via Celebrate Lit.  I received this book in exchange for an honest review and the opinions stated above are 100% mine.

Click here to get your copy!

 

About the Author

Amy Walsh is a 5th-grade teacher who loves teaching children about what she loves to do
herself: reading and writing. She enjoys outdoor activities, especially hiking and camping with her Scouts BSA Troop. Amy also appreciates opportunities to share her faith through singing, teaching and writing for her church family. Amy and her husband, Patrick, have three children: Bree, Spencer, Liz, and a son-in-law, Kyle. Amy and her family love to spend time together celebrating special occasions, listening to great music, swimming and kayaking, and having occasional ping pong tournaments.

 

More from Amy

The Creation of Elsie

Elsie Whitmore came into being on Election Day 2020.  I needed a little escape from the reality of being an urban public school teacher in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic and all the political turmoil in the United States.  I decided it was time to take on a big writing project.

Wanting to create a “happy escape” for both myself and readers, I put the best of two worlds that I love into the settings of the novel: farm life in northeastern Pennsylvania and drama in New York City.  I created a character who had already overcome childhood anxiety, and in the process of conquering her painful shyness, she had grown strong, wise, and firmly grounded in what she considers important.  Elsie had also long ago given up her dream of becoming an actress in order to pursue the more “realistic” career of teaching, which she finds quite fulfilling.  But sometimes life has some unexpected twists and turns….

Mrs. Whitmore’s Upsidedown Apple Sticky Toffee Cupcakes Recipe

Graham is so determined that Elsie will give him and his film production a chance that he pulls out all the stops with a lovely dinner after her day of screen tests at Proscenium Studios in the Brooklyn Navy Yard.  He even goes so far as to google the most delicious dessert in the world so that his housekeeper can create the perfect end to the meal:  English Sticky Toffee Pudding.    

    Eventually Elsie’s mother puts her own Pennsylvanian spin on this delicious dessert in an Oak Hills sequel.  She substitutes apples for dates, adds some molasses and ginger, and makes them into smaller portions perfect for a church concession stand at the county fair.  

    Here is her recipe:

  1. Dice apples and place them in the bottom of a greased muffin pan. (You may prefer to slice the apples for a fancier look, but that will increase baking time.)
  2. Heat ¼ cup of salted butter, ¾ cup of brown sugar, ½ tsp of ground cinnamon, and 1 tsp of vanilla extract.  (Mrs. Whitmore just throws everything into a frying pan, quickly stirs once everything has melted, and then turns off the stove as soon as the mixture begins to bubble.)
  3. Cover the apples with the hot mixture.  (Mrs. Whitmore uses a gravy ladle to scoop the  toffee sauce into the muffin pan.)
  4. Melt 1 stick of salted butter in a mixing bowl.
  5. Add 1 and ½ cup of flour, 1 tsp baking powder, ¼ tsp baking soda, ¾ cup of light brown sugar, 1 ½ tsp vanilla extract, 2 eggs, 3 tbsp of molasses, ¼ tsp ground cinnamon, ½ tsp ground ginger.
  6. Mix the ingredients with a spoon like you would mix pancake batter — no need to beat.  The consistency will be more like biscuit or cookie dough than cake batter.
  7. Put a scoop of the dough on top of apples and toffee in the muffin pans.
  8. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 – 25 minutes.  (The top of the cake should look dry.)  If you are using regular cupcake pans, you can make 12 and they should be done in 15.  If you are using larger muffin pans, you can make 8 and they need to bake for about 20 minutes.  If you are baking multiple items in the oven, it will take closer to 25 minutes.

Sometimes the toffee comes up the sides of the cake, so it is best to put a larger tray on the rack underneath or line the bottom of the oven with foil.  (Elsie forgot to do this the first time she followed her mother’s recipe.  Graham, being a bit over-protective, made her evacuate due to the smoke coming from the oven.)

  1. Immediately after taking out of the oven, turn the muffin pan upside down on a tray, waxed paper, or cookie sheet.  Tap the top of the pan and then lift up.  Mrs. Whitmore uses a small spatula to collect any apple and toffee still in the pan and puts it on the cakes.
  2. Serve while still warm, with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

Sometimes, Mrs. Whitmore makes a smaller batch and then puts the rest of the dough in a bread pan to bake.  She warms this up the following night and serves with warm lemon pudding and whipped cream — which is very much a northeastern Pennsylvania county fair treat.

Blog Stops

Locks, Hooks and Books, January 22

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, January 23

Texas Book-aholic, January 24

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, January 25

Jodie Wolfe – Stories Where Hope and Quirky Meet, January 26 (Author Interview)

deb’s Book Review, January 26

Inklings and notions, January 27

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 28

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, January 29

For Him and My Family, January 30

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, January 31 (Spotlight)

Pause for Tales, January 31

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, February 1

Wishful Endings, February 2 (Author Interview)

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, February 3

Stories By Gina , February 4 (Author Interview)

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Amy is giving away the grand prize package of $50 Amazon gift card along with the eBooks of three novels, A Cursed Enchantment, A Misplaced Beauty, and Elsie Whitmore: A Star from Oak Hills!!

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/186bb/elsie-whitmore-celebration-tour-giveaway

Saturday, January 22, 2022

God the Father, Jesus the Big Brother, Holy Spirit the Best Friend by Sunshine Rodgers

 

About the Book

Book: God the Father, Jesus the Big Brother, Holy Spirit the Best Friend

Author: Sunshine Rodgers

Genre: Christian Nonfiction

Release date: February 25, 2015

Ever confused about the Trinity? Are there three Gods or One? And how is the Trinity important to my life? Take a deep look inside this book for the answers. There is so much more to your life when you allow God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit to be inseparable parts of your existence. With your Heavenly Father, Big Brother and Best Friend by your side, you can reach the impossible and do the unthinkable. Learn about Heaven’s family and the Divine resources offered to you to succeed in life. Learn from the real testimonies from people who have been touched by this glorious revelation. Take one step closer to the three greatest loves of your life and have an experience of your own with this great Fellowship.

 My Thoughts:

I really enjoyed this book.  The author does a great job explaining how God is one but three.  That is always a difficult concept but Sunshine Rodgers does a great job with it.  I loved the scriptures she put with them and the apple on the front cover seemed very fitting for the overall book.

I believe this book really could be used by most any denomination as there was no clear leaning that I saw.  This isn't a 'can't put it down page turner' but more of a help when you are studying and trying to understand book.  Church libraries would be a great place for this along with anyone who is wanting to read more about the trinity.  

4/5

Thank you to the author/publisher for the review copy of this book via Celebrate Lit.  I received this book in exchange for an honest review and the opinions stated above are 100% mine.

Click here to get your copy!

 

About the Author

Sunshine Rodgers is an International Best-Selling Author on Amazon and she has attended
31 book signings and 4 Book Tours. Her books have landed on 21 different Amazon Best Seller lists in the United States, United Kingdom and Canada including #1 in the U.K. for Bible Study and #2 in the U.S. for Bible Commentaries. She has been promoted in various newspapers, newsletters and magazines and she has been a guest on podcasts and radio. Check out all 10 of Sunshine’s books and feel the love and passion for life on her pages! Sunshine is married to her best friend, Travis and they live in sunny Florida. SunshineRodgers.com

 

Excerpt from the Book

I pray Colossians 1:911 over you as the reader. I pray that you will not cease to make your requests known to God, and that you may be filled with the deep anclear knowledge of God’s will operating in spiritual wisdom. I pray that you will have comprehensive insight into the ways and purposes of God, and that you will be able to understand and discern spiritual things during the day and during your life (vs. 9). I pray that you will live and conduct yourself in a way that pleases the Lord, and that you will desire to make Him smile in everything that you do. I pray that you will bear much fruit walking with God and continue to do good works as well as growing and increasing in your knowledge (vs. 10). I pray that you will be invigorated and strengthened with His power to bring out His glory in your life. I pray that when life gets too tough, you will always choose to get closer to God, and exercise endurance and patience with joy. Know that throughout it all, you are surrounded by your Father, your Big Brother and your Best Friend every step of
the way.”  excerpt from page 202203 (Book: God the Father, Jesus the Big Brother, Holy Spirit the Best Friend)

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, January 15

For the Love of Literature, January 16 (Author Interview)

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 16

Texas Book-aholic, January 17

Inklings and notions, January 18

For Him and My Family, January 19

deb’s Book Review, January 20

Locks, Hooks and Books, January 21

Through the Fire Blogs, January 22 (Author Interview)

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, January 22

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, January 23

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, January 24 (Spotlight)

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, January 25

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, January 26

Cats in the Cradle Blog , January 27

Mary Hake, January 28

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Sunshine is giving away the grand prize of a $40 Visa 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/17c5a/god-the-father-jesus-the-big-brother-holy-spirit-the-best-friend-celebration-tour-giveaway

Friday, January 21, 2022

Crown of the Warrior King by Henry O. Arnold

 

About the Book

Book: Crown of the Warrior King

Author: Henry O. Arnold

Genre: Biblical Fiction

Release date: December 1, 2021

The desire of Israel…

the first to wear the crown is the warrior king

For decades the nation of Israel had no rest from her enemies. The people cried out, “Give us a king to lead us, to go out before us, to fight our battles.” And Yahweh hears the cries of the chosen. He plucks a king out of the tribe of Benjamin, the smallest of the tribes—Saul, son of a herdsman. The prophet Samuel anoints him as Israel’s first warrior king.

Under the banner of the wolf, the symbol of his tribe, Saul rises to prominence, winning the hearts and minds of the people of Israel with his success on the battlefield and benevolent leadership.

But when the nation of Israel cries out, “For the love of Israel. For the glory of Yahweh. For the honor of the king,” the praises of the people turn the humble heart of the warrior king into one filled with pride—a pride that has fatal consequences.

In this tale of triumph and tribulation, deepest love and burning rivalries, the new epoch is given a voice…and it is a Song of Prophets and Kings.

 My Thoughts:

I'm always a bit hesitant when I read Biblical fiction because some authors change what truly happened to fit in whatever story they are writing, not so in this case.  The author did a great job with keeping to the true story while making up a story for how some things went down.  The vivid descriptions were great, I felt like it was there.

I haven't said yet, but this is the story of Saul and oh what a story it is.  It was a new way of looking at some scriptures that I had not thought of and I like having a this could have happened this way or maybe this is why he did that.  A really good book.

4/5

Thank you to the author/publisher for the review copy of this book via Celebrate Lit.  I received this book in exchange for an honest review and the opinions stated above are 100% mine.

Click here to get your copy!

 

About the Author

Chip - 1Henry O. Arnold has co-authored a work of fiction, Hometown Favorite, with Bill Barton, and nonfiction, KABUL24, with Ben Pearson. He also co-wrote and produced with Steve Taylor (director) and Ben Pearson the film The Second Chance starring Michael W. Smith, the screenplay for the authorized film documentary on evangelist Billy Graham, God’s Ambassador, and the documentary film KABUL24, based on the book which is the story of western and Afghani hostages held captive by the Taliban for 105 days. He lives on a farm in Tennessee with his lovely wife Kay. They have two beautiful daughters married to two handsome men with three above-average grandchildren. For more information please visit: www.henryoarnold.com

 

More from Henry

After the golden age of theatre in the Greek and Roman times, the theatre went dark, very dark as in Dark Ages, and for centuries it was thus. But it was the church that brought the theatre back to life by staging passion plays on biblical subjects. Since most people could not read at the time, it was a great way to tell the folks some Bible stories. The world has certainly improved its literacy skills since then. The delight I have in reading and writing stories from the Bible or on biblical themes has been with me for a long time.

When I formulated the concept of retelling the stories of the first three kings of Israel and matching them with the leading prophets of that age, the title of the series, The Song of Prophets and Kings, was a perfect match for the biblical/historical fiction genre. The first volume in this series, A Voice Within the Flame, was released last year and features the life of the prophet Samuel up to and including the anointing and coronation of Saul as the first king of Israel. Now it is time for the second volume, Crown of the Warrior King. This second novel picks up where the last one left off.

Whether the reader or listener is familiar with the biblical stories or not, I have written these novels in such a way that makes these ancient stories come to life in the modern world. When the reader/listener dives into stories that are 3,000 years old, it will be surprising how we all can see ourselves in these characters.

These are biblical stories that I grew up with and have read and studied all my life. It is a joy to get to share them with you in this series, The Song of Prophets and Kings.

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 13

Texas Book-aholic, January 14

Beauty in the Binding, January 15 (Author Interview)

Locks, Hooks and Books, January 15

For Him and My Family, January 16

Inklings and notions, January 17

deb’s Book Review, January 18

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, January 19

Splashes of Joy, January 20 (Author Interview)

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, January 21

Connie’s History Classroom, January 22

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, January 23 (Author Interview)

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, January 24 (Spotlight)

Cats in the cradle blog, January 25

Tell Tale Book Reviews, January 26 (Author Interview)

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, January 26

Giveaway

To celebrate his tour, Henry is giving away the grand prize package of a signed copy of the book and a $50 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/17c58/crown-of-the-warrior-celebration-tour-giveaway

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

The Kidron Valley by Caryl McAdoo

 

About the Book

Book: The Kidron Valley

Author: Caryl McAdoo

Genre: Young Adult and Mid-Grade Readers

Release date: November 11, 2021

For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle.

As evil heightens all over the world, Jackson, his best friend Al, and his girlfriend Aria learn to live in their new world, fighting off those who would kill, steal, and destroy family and neighbors in Red River County. The story is one of survival under the guidance of Uncle Roy and his brother and God’s Words of Knowledge and angel unaware. No one discounts the Great Pyrenees Boggs’ part either. Though Jackson still holds fast to his agnostic beliefs, God keeps making it harder for him to deny His existence and the sacrifice of His Son. Will he finally believe?

 My Thoughts:

I've completely enjoyed this series.  I have loved the characters and how the stories flow.  This is the last book in the series and I'm both happy and sad about that.  I am happy I got to read the whole thing and it was wrapped up well, but sad that it is all over.

From the start there is plenty to keep you interest.  Suspense, action, adventure, and more.  I'm kind of hoping for more along this line from this author as I completely enjoyed it all.  

4/5

Thank you to the author/publisher for the review copy of this book via Celebrate Lit.  I received this book in exchange for an honest review and the opinions stated above are 100% mine.

Click here to get your copy!

 

About the Author


Award-winning author Caryl McAdoo prays her story brings God glory, and her best-selling stories—over sixty published—delight Christian readers around the world. The prolific writer also enjoys singing the new songs the Lord gives her; you may listen at YouTube. Sharing four children and nineteen grandsugars (three greats), Caryl and Ron, her high-school-sweetheart-husband of fifty-three years, live in the woods south of Clarksville, seat of Red River County in far Northeast Texas. The McAdoos wait expectantly for God to open the next door.

 

More from Caryl

Back in the day (2012), after my agent Mary Sue McAdoo Seymour had my first historical romance VOW UNBROKEN under contract with Simon and Schuster, but before its publication, she received a request for a mid-grade dystopian and asked if we—my husband and cowriter—wanted to write one.

 

We kicked it around and came up with an idea for THE KING’S HIGHWAY. Her client rejected the idea of an end times story for so young an age, but the ZonderKidz editor I pitched to at ACFW loved it! She updated me later it was going to committee.

 

Next thing I knew, doctors diagnosed her with a terrible disease, and she left the company before it was approved. Time marched on until I decided to publish it myself after we went Indie in 2015. By then it would be the Days of Dread Trilogy: THE KING’S HIGHWAY, THE SIXTH TRUMPET, and THE KIDRON VALLEY!

Those who read book one loved it! New to Indie publishing, I bit off almost more than I could chew that first year—eleven new titles! Between getting all those to market and writing sequels to my historical romance family saga, I never got around to write books two and three!

 

Fast forward to 2021. It appears the dominoes are falling; signs of the Apocalypse are coming more frequently, so we decided to get to THE SIXTH TRUMPET which debuted in June, followed with the release of THE KIDRON VALLEY in November!

 

I never planned to include all the Bible’s graphic descriptions of the Battle of Armageddon—it is mentioned, but I downplayed but it. While some soft-pedal the tribulation, I believe many of His children will live through it. I hope to bolster my young readers’ faith to be able to trust God for their protection and provision.

 

In the Days of Dread stories, I used dreams and visions to put my hero and some of his friends in that final battle without predicting any specific time—only Father knows the day and the hour! I believe, as Jackson discovers, there will be places of refuge where those who follow God ban together for mutual protection and benefit.

it’s so pleased me that many grandparents love these books as well. One read it twice, back-to-back because she loved it so much and didn’t want it to end! Though rampant evil throws the world into chaos, I believe His Chosen will walk in power and peace, spreading His Good News to the lost until the end!

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 12

Texas Book-aholic, January 13

Inklings and notions, January 14

deb’s Book Review, January 15

For Him and My Family, January 16

Locks, Hooks and Books, January 17

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, January 18 (Spotlight)

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, January 18

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, January 19

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, January 20

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, January 21

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, January 22

Adventures of a Travelers Wife, January 23 (Author Interview)

Mary Hake, January 23

Cats in the Cradle Blog, January 24

For the Love of Literature, January 25 (Author Interview)

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Caryl is 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/17c55/the-kidron-valley-celebration-tour-giveaway