3 Great Books I’ve Read Lately #amreading

I don’t have much time to read these days, but I’m trying to carve out little snippets of time in my day to do it, because reading is one of my favorite pastimes (aside from writing). To tell you just how far behind I am on my TBR pile, the first book listed below had a requested review date of February. Yep!

Here are the three books that I’ve just finished up reading and what I thought about them:

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A Sweet Misfortune (Virtues and Vices of the Old West Book #2) by Maggie Brendan

Book Blurb:

Rachel Matthews isn’t one to rely on others to take care of her. Homeless and alone, she still wants to make her own way and her own money to buy back the family ranch–even if she’s forced into the life of a dance hall girl. Horrified by her circumstances, Rachel’s brother, who is away mining for gold, sends a friend to rescue her.

Cattle baron John McIntyre is focused on acquiring as much land as possible in Montana and has little time to deal with a dance hall gal. Rachel isn’t sure she can take one more day in John’s home–especially once she discovers that he’s the one who holds ransom the key to her family’s future.

Sparks fly between this spunky, independent heroine and the ruggedly handsome hero as they navigate the snarled terrain of pride, greed, faith, and love in Maggie Brendan’s delightful series set in the Old West.

I’m a big fan of Maggie Brendan’s books. No Place for a Lady is still one of my favorites. In classic Brendan style, she grabs you at the beginning of A Sweet Misfortune and never lets go. Any modern independent woman would relate to Rachel in this book, who wants to make it on her own. She wants to buy back her family ranch and no matter what comes, she sticks to that goal. Her life takes more twists and turns than you’d imagine, but her character and the character of the hero grow tremendously during the process. The setting is lovely and the supporting characters are all so real. This is a must read!

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I Want It All: Exchanging Your Average Life for Deeper Faith, Greater Power, and More Impact by Gwen Smith

Book Blurb:

God created you for exceptional impact. Exceptional power. And exceptional blessings.

Gwen Smith knows how easy it is to dismiss God’s plans with the thoughts, I can’t make a big difference for God because I’m just an ordinary woman with an ordinary life. Yet God created us to join Him in doing amazing work in the world. He created us to live with abundant joy, courage, and influence. But not the joy, courage, and influence of the world. He offers His grace for each failure, His love that shatters hate, His peace that soothes the turmoil, His comfort, guidance, wisdom, rest, power, and significance. Every blessing He has for us is ours for the taking.

I Want It All will ignite a fire in your heart to experience more faith, more power, and more impact. More of Jesus. All of Jesus. Everything that God has for you.

This book was an amazing read! Gwen is raw and open and cares about leading women to the feet of Jesus. She holds nothing back in this book. She encourages readers to go to the throne before going to the phone, to remember that no matter what, we always have access to the Father. Probably one of the biggest take-aways for me in this book is the reminder that in order to “have it all” we must first “want it all” and that means putting aside the things of this world. Instead of filling our lives with fifty shades of compromise, we are to be holy and pure vessels for God. This book challenged me to not only say I want all God has for me, but to actually live like I want it and to ask Him for it.  

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21 Days of Joy: Stories that Celebrate Mom (A Fiction Lover’s Devotional) compiled by Kathy Ide

Book blurb:

Oh, the joys—and struggles—of motherhood!

21 Days of Joy honors mothers of all varieties. Biological moms. Adoptive moms. Stepmothers. Grandmothers. Godmothers. “Second moms.” Even men who “mother” children when circumstances put them in that position.

Whether you are a mother, have one, or know one, these heartwarming fictional stories will touch your soul and help you see that you are not alone. The work you’re doing will have an impact for eternity. And those rewards will make the trials all worthwhile.

God knows every sacrifice you make for the children He has brought into your life. So take a few moments out of your busy schedule to read this book, and get a glimpse of your daily routine from a divine perspective.

This book is full of sweet, touching stories about all the women who “mother” us, not just our birth mothers. It’s a celebration of what mothers do for us all. Having lost my mom in 1993, I know just how important it is to let them know how much we love them every day. These stories make you realize how valuable the job of mothering is.  

Theses three books would be a great addition to your end-of-summer TBR list!

*Disclaimer*
I received these books free from the publishers in exchange for my honest review. I am not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are 100% my own.

 

Featuring the 2016 Clash of The Titles Laurel Award Winner #COTT #amreading

 

2016

LAUREL AWARD WINNER!

This year, At First Sight took home Clash of the Titles’s sixth annual Laurel Award. Over the course of six weeks, the novel’s first chapters were read and judged by avid readers of Christian fiction who determined At First Sight to be the worthiest to receive the 2016 Laurel Award.

Clash of the Titles extends a heartfelt congratulations to author Delia Latham for her exemplary writing. We wish God’s richest blessings on her future work.


About At First Sight :

Reagan Massey has gone through a great deal of trouble to make her cousin irresistible to the visiting single minister but things get a little sticky when Reagan falls in love with Cord Phillips herself…
Cord doesn’t believe in marital bliss after seeing the mockery his parents made of their vows. He’s promised himself he’ll live as the Apostle Paul lived, dedicating himself solely to God. When his heart turns traitor, Cord has to completely rethink his position on love.
Things around Riverbend House of Worship take on some humorous, heart-touching, soul-stirring twists and turns, with Reagan and Cord so busy getting in God’s way that they can’t see the path He has laid out for them to travel…together.

At First Sight is part of the Pure Amore bundle of 12 novels that celebrate purity. Use the code Laurel2016 to receive the bundle at 50% OFF. (expires 31 July 2016)

PURCHASE YOUR BUNDLE TODAY

LISTEN TO A RADIO INTERVIEW WITH THE AUTHOR!

If you cannot see the audio controls, listen/download the audio file here

Delia in her own words:

 

A born-and-bred California gal, I grew up in a little community called
Weedpatch. Nope, that’s not a typo. It’s a few miles southeast of
Bakersfield, and in the…well, I won’t say how many years since I left
there…Weedpatch has even found its way onto a map or two.Writing has been my passion since third grade, when I won an essay
writing contest and took home the coveted prize: a beautiful bed doll
with an overstuffed pink, quilted satin skirt. Remember them? Huge,
padded skirts, some (like mine) with flat cardboard bottoms to
accommodate display. The doll’s feet were hidden away somewhere in all
that finery, never again to see the light of day.  These fancy ladies
were most often used as centerpieces for beds, and that’s where mine
went – smack in the middle of my unimposing bed in my unmatched,
Salvation Army-furnished bedroom. It was the most elegant item I had
ever owned, and I was one proud little lassie.  (Ahem … surely
someone  else remembers those dollies?)Winning that contest made a profound impact on my young psyche – enough
so that I never stopped writing. From those first little songs and poems
and (very bad) short stories, I graduated to Staff Writer for a large
daily newspaper; freelanced for an upper-scale regional magazine; and
finally began writing fiction…which was my goal all along.

Connect with Delia online:

http://www.delialatham.net/
http://www.facebook.com/delialatham 
http://www.twitter.com/delialatham

Pre-conference Mix and Mingle Hosted by @LaurieTomlinson #ACFW

Who’s going to ACFW in Nashville next month? I’m going and can’t wait. Below you’ll find some things about me to help you get to know me before we meet at the conference.  This is part of Laurie Tomlinson’s Pre-Conference Mixer! 

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Name: Sherri Wilson Johnson

Location: Atlanta, GA

What you write/tagline/trademark: Historical Romance and Contemporary Romantic Suspense / Where Faith and Fiction Collide

Place in the book world: Five novels published, currently seeking representation and homes for future books.

On a scale of hugger to 10-foot-pole, please rate your personal space: 95% hugger, 5% pole, but it’s only about a 2-foot-pole.  🙂

Something VERY serious: How do you take your Starbucks? Caramel Frap or Mach with soy milk–really, I don’t care as long as there’s caramel involved.

The unique talking points that will get you going for hours: what God is doing in someone’s/my life, anything to do with the writing world, why real-life guys won’t ask girls out like they do in romance novels, dogs, the ocean, flavors of ice cream, roller coasters, homeschooling and being an empty nester.

Loved ones at home you’ll be missing: My husband, my Chihuahua, my kids (except I’m an empty nester, so they’re not at home anyway.)

Conference goals we can pray for? That I’ll make the most of my time there, meet lots of peeps, make the connections only God wants me to make.

Anything we can celebrate with you? Just being at the conference is the biggest blessing for me right now and how God worked it out for me to come is a huge cause to celebrate.

One or two ways we can help you build your platform? You can like my author page on Facebook and sign up for my email list!

To meet more people going to ACFW, follow this link!

Here’s how to play:

– Copy/paste the questions and fill out your own answers in a post on your own website and paste the URL to that specific post (not your homepage) using the handy link-up tool on Laurie’s page. Just click on the button below that says “Add your link”. If you don’t have a website, feel free to answer the questions in the comments below! (And share it in my comments below!)

– Make sure to link back to this post after you fill out your answers so any of your readers who are conference attendees can participate, too! The more, the merrier.

– Click through the links below to get to know other conference attendees before Nashville!

Featuring: Mail Order Surprise by Lucy Thompson #amreading #COTT

PURCHASE

About the book:

Colorado, 1881. Lydia Walsh is on the run. The quiet rancher she marries and expected to find safety and protection with turns out to have three siblings, next to nothing to live on, and is a crack shot who may or may not be one of the states best cattle rustlers.
Beau Harding wants to keep his family together and do the right thing by them. His mail order bride comes with her own set of baggage: two more mouths to feed and empty hearts begging him to fill. The job he took for some quick money gets him thrown in jail for rustling, and then to clear his name he takes on another job–and learns that his wife may have been the one plotting his family’s downfall all along.

What COTT voters had to say:

~Waiting to get a chance to read it Lucy
~Lucy Thompson, Great title, great cover!
~Mrs. Lucy Thompson, we wish you the best. 
~Lucy Thompson is not only a wonderful author but I’ve been blessed to being able to get to know her through Facebook. God bless you Lucy. Hope you win.’
~Lucy Thompson, loved the book.
~Beautiful cover picture and a great book Lucy Thompson!
~YAY Lucy Thompson. Keep up the good work!
~Lucy Thompson, I can’t wait to read your novel Mail Order Surprise. It is the next book I will read. All the best for your future releases.

About the author:

Lucy Thompson is a stay-at-home mum to five precocious children by day and a snoop by night, stalking interesting characters through historical settings, and writing about their exploits.

She enjoys meeting new people from all over the world and learning about the craft of writing. When she can be separated from her laptop, she is a professional time waster on facebook.

Starting My Next Novel and Preparing for #ACFW Conference

conf ID-100169698The ACFW Conference is approaching rather quickly.

August 24th will be here before I know it, and I’ll be packing my bags and heading off to the airport to fly to Nashville.

This trip signifies many firsts for me. My first flight by myself. My first conference by myself. And my first ever ACFW Conference. I really never thought I’d be able to attend the ACFW. But God has a way of orchestrating things like I never could, and He’s made sure I will be there. More details on HOW this happened in another post.

To add to the greatness, listen to this: A few months ago, I was supposed to go on a cruise with a client. The cruise got canceled and I had an unused plane ticket that was non-transferrable and non-refundable sitting on my desk. I’d been contemplating taking a short trip with my daughter to somewhere where I could do research for my next novel, but hadn’t found the perfect place yet.

It became very clear to me after finding out I was going to the conference that God intended for me to use the plane ticket to fly to Nashville. Yes, I could drive there, but the gas and the hotel parking come out to so much more than my already-purchased plane ticket. Plus, I can sit back and let someone else get me there while I focus on calming my nerves and perfecting my pitches for editors.

I’m finishing up some projects for a few clients and then basically sequestering myself until I have just the right proposal.

I haven’t written since the middle of 2015 (I’ve edited and self-published all my titles, but haven’t written anything new), so I’m a bit nervous about getting started again. I’ve done a few proposals, but nothing that’s been accepted, and so they haven’t developed into novels yet. This is probably the longest I’ve gone without writing since being published. Sometimes life just happens and takes you away from your favorite pastime. But that’s okay. I’m back now.

The story is going to be a Contemporary Romantic Suspense involving a woman who is running for her life and the detective who needs her to solve his case. I’m almost through with the plotting and will be writing by the end of the weekend!

So cheer me on and say a prayer for me as I begin this journey of what we call STORY.

Photo credit: Girl drawing

Clash Champ — Her One and Only by @beckywadewriter #amreading #COTT


Congratulations to Becky Wade 
and her novel
Her One and Only
for taking home this month’s Clash crown!
PURCHASE
 
About the book:
After ten years in the NFL, super star Gray Fowler is accustomed to obsessive fans. But when Gray starts receiving death threats from a stalker, his team hires an executive protection agency to guard him until the culprit is caught. Dealing with bodyguards 24/7 is a headache, especially when one of them is a young, beautiful woman. How can a female half his size possibly protect him better than he can protect himself?
Dru Porter is a former Marine, an expert markswoman, and a black belt–none of which saved her from disaster on her last assignment. In order to rebuild her tarnished reputation, she’s determined to find Gray’s stalker and, since relationships between agents and clients are forbidden, avoid a romantic attachment between herself and the rugged football player with the mysterious past.
Yet every secret that leads Dru closer to the stalker also draws her closer to Gray. As the danger escalates, they’ll survive only if they can learn to trust their lives — and their hearts — to one another.
Becky also has a FREE book sale going on RIGHT NOW!
Undeniably Yours
 
 
 What Becky’s voters had to say:

~I have read and loved Becky Wade’s books for awhile now! She is talented and brilliant. I love having the option to read romantic fiction that is Christian based and clean for the soul. It’s wonderful! Thank you!!
~I wouldn’t even need a beach to want to read your book, Becky Wade!
~LOVE Becky Wade!! Loved the conclusion to the Porter Family Series!! Perfect book poolside or other Summer destination or really any place any time!! 🙂
~Even though I have only read one of the books on this list (I look forward to checking some more of these out) i want to thank all the authors for doing what they do. I believe God uses you to help others. I love reading because it can just help me escape sometimes and than start fresh and go forward. Also encouraging our relationship with God through seeing your characters growing in faith. Thank you for writing even when it toughs because it makes a difference and matters to people like me!!!
~I just received a whole set of Becky Wade’s books and can’t wait to read them
~Becky Wade, I love your books. Keep up the great work
~I have loved all of Becky Wade’s books! I am never disappointed with any of her books – I look forward to each next one. They are always on my to purchase list as soon as they come out – one of my new favorite authors! 🙂

 

Summer Read: Come Vote for your Fave! #amreading #COTT


Welcome to summer!
 
Scroll through these FIVE new reads and vote below
for which you’d pick up first to take to the poolside.
It’ll be a tough choice! But somebody’s gotta do it. May as well be you!

Finders Keepers by Sarah MonzonSummer Arnet will go anywhere to capture the perfect shot that will get her marine photography noticed by the prestigious nature magazine, Our World—even diving in waters haunted by great white sharks. When a treasure hunter with a ladies’-man reputation approaches her about a sunken ship at one of her dive locations, it may be the chance she’s been looking for to launch her career…if his charming smile doesn’t derail her first.

~~~~~~

Resilience by L.R. BurkardIn this spell-binding sequel to the post-apocalyptic thriller PULSE, L.R.Burkard takes readers into a landscape where teens shoulder rifles instead of school books, and where survival might mean becoming your own worst enemy.

~~~~~~
 

A Matter of Courage by Wendy HolleyAbused by her famous husband, Irene Brennan is forced to flee to a small town in Montana, leaving everything behind. Trent is used to protecting wild animals from careless hunters, but can he protect Irene from her crazy husband?

~~~~~~

Astray (Ariboslia Book 1) by J. F. RogersTroubled-teen, Fallon finds hope and family through an unwanted prophecy. In her travels, she learns about the One True God and how desperately she needs Him. Perhaps, with His help, she’ll find the way to fulfill her destiny.

~~~~~~

Her One and Only by Becky WadeWhen NFL super star Gray Fowler is threatened by a stalker, his team hires a professional bodyguard to ensure his safety. But when Gray’s “protection” turns out to be a woman half his size, he’s indignant. Will Dru Porter–a former Marine and expert markswoman–prove herself worthy of the job? And meanwhile, who’s going to guard Gray’s heart?

~~~~~~

VOTE HERE!

If you have trouble viewing the entire survey, click here to load a dedicated page to the survey.

http://cott.space/msurvey/embed.php?id=10943

Featured Novel: Bitterroot Bride by @AngBreidenbach


A beautifully spun story about the power of second chances. ~ Amazon Reviewer
I loved The Bitterroot Bride! The part where she compares church 
to riding a trot made me laugh out loud.  ~A. Chatman
About the book:
No one knows the real Emmalee Warren, just what they want from the infamous prostitute. Men are coming out of the woodwork to stake a claim on the miner’s widow. They wanted her body before. Now they want her money. Hiring a lawyer, Richard Lewis, to save her from financial ruin might let her start over where no one knows Miss Ellie. Becoming an unknown is the only way to freedom…or is it? Can she leave her past and build a new future?
Purchase
Chat with Angela:
Ques: We heard there was something special that happened to you while writing your fourth book in the historical romance series, Montana Beginnings. What was special about the Bitterroot Bride heroine for you?
Angela: Writing Miss Emmie learning to read became an amazing experience. Though I’d learned to read at four, I didn’t understand how to connect and read people until well into my adulthood. So while Miss Emmie became proficient in reading, I became proficient in relationships. She’d eat up every book she could get her hands on and studied with intensity. I did the same thing, but about relational topics.
Ques: When did you realize the parallel character arc had so much in common with your real life?
Angela: About halfway through the first draft an epiphany happened. I stopped, took a day or so to really think about my personal experience, then began an intentional focus on writing the emotional parallel.
Ques: What do you hope Bitterroot Bride does for readers?
Angela: I hope this story is both entertaining and encouraging. I’d like readers to absorb the idea that like Miss Emmie and me, if you have the desire to learn something then you can. Age doesn’t matter.
Ques: Can you tell us the titles and a little about the Montana Beginnings series?
Angela: All four titles are set in Helena, MT from 1889 – 1895. It’s right when we became a state, but mining couldn’t support us forever. The Debutante Queen introduces us to Calista who steals an orphan off the street to protect her from a cruel master. Eleven Pipers Piping brings forward the newsies, newspaper boys and orphan train leftovers, into Mirielle’s classroom. Then in Taking the Plunge, Delphina takes us back to the iconic Broadwater Natatorium as a swim instructress. Then Emmalee enters the scene as we find out how Montana chose her state flower. Each of these lovely Victorian ladies finds her true love while carving out a meaningful life in Montana’s frontier.
~~~~~~~
About Angela:
Angela Breidenbach is a bestselling author and host of Grace Under Pressure Radio on iTunes. Angela is the Christian Author Network’s president. And yes, she’s half of the comedy duo, Muse and Writer, on social media.
Connect Here:
Twitter/Instagram/Pinterest: @AngBreidenbach

This Summer’s Proverbs 31 Ministries OBS is The Husband Project by Kathi Lipp #giveaway

HP-CoverI’m so proud of and excited for my friend Kathi Lipp because her book The Husband Project has been chosen by Proverbs 31 Ministries as their summer Online Bible Study. What’s unbelievable is the response they’ve had. 40,000 women are signed up to do this thing!

40,000 women!

I’m inviting you to join in the madness. The study starts in a few days but it’s not too late to sign up.

I’m giving away one free copy of The Husband Project, so please leave your name and a comment below about why this would be a great study for you and your marriage. I’ll pick a winner tonight at midnight Eastern!!

Here’s more about the book and the study:

Do you feel like your marriage has gone from “I do” to “What did I do?” Recapture the romance that made you and your husband fall in love in the first place. The Husband Project provides 21 days of fun activities to show love and honor to your husband. The Husband Project gives you 21 days of purposeful but simple ways to put the spark back into your marriage. Kathi will help you discover:

  • Proven ways to return fun and flirting to your marriage.
  • Inner assurance to meet your husband’s unspoken emotional needs.
  • Increased confidence when it comes to meeting your husbands sexual needs.
  • New levels of warmth and tenderness in your relationship.
  • A deeper sense of security with your husband.
  • A greater ability to boost your husband’s belief in himself.

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Featured Novel: The Babel Conspiracy by Sylvia Bambola #COTT #amreading

The Babel Conspiracy by Sylvia Bambola, was the first book I’ve read from this author. It will not be my last… it is very well written and at times, you won’t want to put it down. Looking forward to reading more of this talented author! 
~P. McGuire

 

The Babel Conspiracy 
by Sylvia Bambola

About the Book:

The Babel Conspiracy is a tale of intrigue and love. Two women engineers struggle to develop the world’s first nuclear-powered aircraft amid ever intensifying global terrorism and muddled personal lives. Trisha Callahan has an abiding faith in God, and “those roots of middy blouses and pleated skirts, prayer books and incense-filled churches went deep.” This faith is tested when she finds herself in love with a married man. Audra Shields sees herself as a modern Lady Chatterley, “liberated but not forsaking breeding, intellect, or femininity.” When she becomes involved with a dangerous stranger, she begins to question her lifestyle.
Both women try sorting out their personal problems while racing the clock to finish a project fraught with sabotage and murder. And who’s behind it all? When the Department of Homeland Security and the Mossad finally figure it out, the answer surprises everyone.
PURCHASE
What readers are saying:
“It has been quite a long time since I have read a book such as this one, one so pertinent to today’s landscape of life. The author has written an excellent novel that could have been pulled from tomorrow’s headlines – from both political and scientific advancement points of view. . . . I highly recommend this book for those who love intrigue, suspense, fiction, and a little bit of romance. The book is well paced, has plenty of action, and good character development.” Rachel Helms
“The Babel Conspiracy by Sylvia Bambola is a very thought provoking novel about the way that things could be in the U.S. in the near future. We need to humble ourselves before the Lord and pray for America in these perilous times. The characters were well developed and the story shows God’s love and redemption.” Linda Rainey

About the Sylvia Bambola:

Sylvia Bambola is the award winning author of eight novels, including Rebekah’s Treasure (2015 CSPA Book of the Year/Christian Historical Fiction) and The Salt Covenants (2015 Reader’s Favorite
Bronze Medal Winner/Christian Historical Fiction). A resident of Florida, she teaches women’s Bible studies and has two grown children.Where to find Sylvia:

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