Thursday, July 11, 2024

To Speak His Nameby Tara Johnson

 

About the Book

Book: To Speak His Name

Author: Tara Johnson

Genre: Historical Romance

Release date: March 4, 2024

Avalina is a woman trapped in silence. Stolen from her home in Ireland and sold as a slave to a Barbados plantation owner, the trauma of her past has left her mute, wrapped in a prison of loneliness and isolation amid an island of beauty. Though she longs to be free from the cruelty of her overseer, her heart yearns for a greater freedom…something just beyond her grasp.

Josiah Holland has been born into a South Carolina slave-holding family but all it takes is one trip to the island of Barbados to open his eyes to the ugly cruelty that abounds beyond the confines of his plantation. With the aid of fiery abolitionist Benjamin McGee, Josiah forges a new future, fighting the very ideals he was once a part of.

When Avalina and Josiah’s lives entwine, will their spark engulf them in destruction, or ignite a revolution?

 

Click here to get your copy!

"To Speak His Name " by Tara Johnson is a good book. It kept me turning the pages right from the start. It is a feel good book at the start but I loved the ending. It has a salve owner attacking a slave. This book clearly shows that people aren't always who they pretend to be. This is a book that clearly shows that a person doesn't have to be a slave or in a prison to not be free, if they are trapped in evil or unforgiveness. Sometimes, you have to go against what other want for you and want you to do.
I received a complimentary copy from the author and Celebrate Lit and these opinions are my own. 

About the Author

Tara Johnson is an author and speaker, and loves to write stories that help people break free from the lies they believe about themselves.

Tara’s debut novel Engraved on the Heart (Tyndale) earned a starred review from Publishers Weekly, and was a finalist in the Carol and Christy awards. Tara has been published by Tyndale House, Annie’s, and Guideposts. In addition to being published in a variety of digital and print magazines, she is a certified body language expert and has been on radio, television and podcasts. She is a history nerd, especially the Civil War, and adores making people laugh. She, her husband, and children live in Arkansas.

 

More from Tara

Barbados Sweet Bread Recipe

 

INGREDIENTS

  • 34cup brown sugar
  • 13cup shortening (or coconut oil)
  • 13cup butter
  • 2cups flour
  • 1pinch salt
  • 14cups grated coconut
  • 14cup raisins, chopped
  • 14cup dried cherries, chopped
  • 1tablespoon grated nutmeg
  • 1tablespoon almond extract
  • 13cups evaporated milk
  • 3tablespoons water
  • 1tablespoon butter (for pan)
  • 2tablespoons turbinado sugar

 

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat the oven to 350*F and lightly grease a bread pan. The original recipe calls for 2 bread pans, but the bread doesn’t rise at all so it bakes nicely in one pan.
  2. In a mixer cream together the brown sugar, shortening and butter.
  3. Add flour, salt, grated coconut, raisins, cherries, nutmeg and mix well.
  4. Stir in almond extract, evaporated milk, and water, until a firm dough is formed. (You may need to add additional water.).
  5. Split the dough evenly between the two pans, and use a knife to cut a diagonal criss-cross pattern on the top of each loaf. Sprinkle 1 tbsp turbinado sugar over the top of each loaf.
  6. Bake for about 1 hour, until a skewer inserted into the center of the loaves comes out clean (Or a digital thermometer reads 190*F.) Cool completely in the pans before removing.

 

The Story Behind To Speak His Name

By Tara Johnson

Who doesn’t love a toe-curling romance? I confess, when I began writing my upcoming story To Speak His Name, romance was the farthest thing from my mind.

This novel was prompted by two unique nuggets. First, I have always been fascinated with how those who have never heard of Jesus come to a saving knowledge of Him. How does the Holy Spirit reveal such marvelous truths to a soul who knows nothing of the spiritual world?

I began meditating on Psalm 19: 1-3: “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard.” At the same time, I picked up a small nonfiction book about the Irish slave trade, and what I learned was astonishing.

The Irish slave trade began when King James II sold 30,000 Irish prisoners as slaves to the New World. From 1641 to 1652, over 500,000 Irish were killed by the English and another 300,000 were sold as slaves. Ireland’s population fell from about 1,500,000 to 600,000 in one single decade. Families were ripped apart and 52,000 Irish (mostly women and children) were sold to Barbados and neighboring islands.

My imagination quickly took flight. I pictured a young Irish girl named Avalina, stolen away from her home, shipwrecked and found wandering on a sandy beach in Barbados.

Oh, one other thing…Avalina is mute.

She is taken in by a cruel man and forced to work as a slave on his plantation, surrounded by strange people in a strange world who are steeped in polytheism and superstition. The years pass and, with her voice locked away in silence, she wonders if there isn’t something more to life than mere existence.

Enter Josiah Holland.

I never conceived having the son of a slave trader as my hero, but once I wrote the first scene with Josiah, I knew he would be the one to set Avalina’s heart on a path toward freedom. Just as the famed hymnist and former slave trader John Newton found redemption in the arms of Jesus, so Josiah turns away from the world he knows to embrace a broken woman and an uncertain future.

Is Josiah perfect? No. He struggles to please his demanding family. He grapples with his motives and his stained past, yet he is beautifully vulnerable.

When I finished penning the final scene, it hit me: Josiah is a picture of Christ. He redeems Avalina and carries her from the Land of Darkness into a kingdom of Light. He shows her kindness and compassion when all others treat her with disdain. What a lovely picture of grace.

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, July 11

Texas Book-aholic, July 12

Inspired by Fiction, July 13

Stories By Gina, July 14 (Author Interview)

The Book Club Network, July 14

Locks, Hooks and Books, July 15

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, July 16

Artistic Nobody, July 17 (Author Interview)

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, July 18

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, July 19

Simple Harvest Reads, July 20 (Guest Review from Mindy)

For Him and My Family, July 21

Through the Fire Blogs, July 22 (Author Interview)

An Author’s Take, July 22

The Lofty Pages, July 23

Holly’s Book Corner , July 24

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Tara is giving away the grand prize of 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/2ca41/to-speak-his-name-celebration-tour-giveaway

Wednesday, July 10, 2024

Trail of Promises by Susan F Craft

 

About the Book

Book: Trail of Promises

Author: Susan F. Craft

Genre: Christian Historical Romance

Release date: June 25, 2024

A marriage of convenience will protect her reputation on the long trail ahead, but he’s barely more than a stranger…

Tessa Harris is a woman without options. When she’s stranded nearly two hundred miles from her destination, her only companions are a former British Cavalry officer and his two young brothers. Society dictates they cannot travel without a chaperone, but can she trust this handsome stranger to protect her if they choose to marry? And if so, should she show her feelings or guard her heart? She’s learned the hard way how painful it is to love a man who doesn’t reciprocate.

Stephen Griffith has enough responsibility caring for his young brothers, and now he shoulders the massive responsibility of keeping his new wife safe as they cross the wilderness toward a new life. And though he tries to keep her at arm’s length, reminding himself their marriage may only be a temporary arrangement, he cannot seem to shake the feelings growing for her.

When they fall into the hands of outlaws, Tessa and Stephen must overcome their hardest obstacle yet. Only God can bring them safely to the end of the trail where enduring love awaits.

 

Click here to get your copy!

"Trail of Promises" by Susan F Craft is a book that isn't always a feel good read but it is a good book. There are a few scenes that tugs at the heart strings. It includes outlaws and such but it is based on history. I really liked the ending. I recommend this book if you like books about marriage of convenience. When a certain character is killed, I was sadden, ( no I don't think this is a spoiled alert because it isn't the two main characters nor the two brothers). 

I received a complimentary copy from the the author and Celebrate Lit and these opinions are my own. 


About the Author

Susan F.Craft

 retired after a 45-year career in writing, editing, and communicating in business settings.

She authored the historical romantic suspense trilogy Women of the American Revolution—The Chamomile, Laurel, and Cassia. The Chamomile and Cassia received national Illumination Silver Awards. The Chamomile was named by the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance as an Okra Pick and was nominated for a Christy Award.

She collaborated with the International Long Riders’ Guild Academic Foundation to compile An Equestrian Writer’s Guide (www.lrgaf.org), including almost everything you’d ever want to know about horses.

An admitted history nerd, she enjoys painting, singing, listening to music, and sitting on her porch watching geese eat her daylilies. She most recently took up the ukulele.

More from Susan

Tessa Harris and her father, Thomas, are portrait artists, limners, who travel from town to town seeking commissions.

Limners were among the first to record glimpses of life in colonial America. By the early 1700s, wealthy colonists hired limners to paint portraits of their families. These limners, mostly self-taught, generally unknown by name, turned out naive portraits in the Elizabethan style, the Dutch baroque style, or the English baroque court style, depending upon the European background of both artist and patron.

Rather than a true portrait, the paintings were most often idealistic and did not give a true representation of the personality of the sitter and were often two dimensional. Artists focused on the material wealth of the subject, giving much attention to their clothing and accessories. Some artists painted only the faces of their subjects, explaining that they need not bother with tedious sittings and that they would paint the bodies and clothing later. They would show their subjects English and French prints from which to choose whatever costumes and backgrounds they preferred.

Like most artisans of their time who found it difficult to support themselves with paintings only, limners also worked in pewter, silver, glass, or textiles or took jobs doing ornamental paintings of clocks, furniture, signs, and carriages. Many painted miniatures—tiny watercolor portraits—on pieces of ivory, often oval-shaped and commonly worn as jewelry. Limners also painted on paper and canvas and earned, on average, $15 per portrait.

Limners Samuel McIntire and Duncan Phyfe became celebrated painters of furniture. Famous colonial portrait artists included Joseph Blackburn, Peter Pelham, John Smibert, John Singleton Copley, John Trumbull and Charles Wilson Peale. An American artist, Benjamin West, became painter to the king and president of the Royal Academy in London. American artists flocked to his studio to learn under his tutelage, including Gilbert Stuart, who painted a famous portrait of George Washington.

In 1754 in British colonial New York, an artist took out the following ad in the Gazette and the Weekly PostLawrence Kilburn, Limner, just arrived from London with Capt. Miller, hereby acquaints all Gentlemen and Ladies inclined to favour him in having their pictures drawn, that he don’t doubt of pleasing them in taking a true Likeness, and finishing the Drapery in a proper Manner, as also in the Choice of Attitudes, suitable to each Person’s Age and Sex, and giving agreeable Satisfaction, as he has heretofore done to Gentlemen and Ladies in London. He may at present be apply’d to at his Lodgings, at Mr. Bogart’s near the New Printing-Office in Beaver-Street. 

I pray that my Great Wagon Road series honors the Lord and the gifts He has given me and that you will love my characters as much as I do. Soli Deo Gloria.

Blog Stops

Simple Harvest Reads, July 9 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Pens Pages & Pulses, July 9

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, July 10

Texas Book-aholic, July 11

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, July 12

For Him and My Family, July 12

Lighthouse Academy Blog, July 13 (Guest Review from Marilyn)

Karen Baney Reviews, July 13

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, July 14

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, July 15

Life on Chickadee Lane, July 16

Holly’s Book Corner, July 16

Locks, Hooks and Books, July 17

lakesidelivingsite, July 18

Cover Lover Book Review, July 19

Blossoms and Blessings, July 20

Pause for Tales, July 20

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, July 21

Books You Can Feel Good About, July 22

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Susan is giving away the grand prize of 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/2ca3e/trail-of-promises-celebration-tour-giveaway


Saturday, July 6, 2024

12 Ways To Age Gracefully:How to look and Feel Younger by Susan u.Neal

 

About the Book

Book: 12 Ways to Age Gracefully: How to Look and Feel Younger

Author: Susan U. Neal

Genre: Nonfiction, Christian Living, Healthy Living

Release date: May 28, 2024

Embrace the Youthful Spirit at Any Age

As you face the mirror each day, do you meet an older version of yourself? It’s a familiar journey, one where we acknowledge that we’re not as young as we once were, yet not quite ready to embrace being old. But what if there was a way to traverse this path with grace and vitality?

The good news is you can slow time down. By making the right choices, you can look and feel younger. You don’t have to spend a fortune on products either; simply learn the tools needed to move gracefully and joyfully through your senior years.

By making simple lifestyle changes, you’ll look and feel better. Discover how to choose vitality over disease; joy over depression; youthfulness over listlessness. 12 Ways to Age Gracefully, will empower you to:

  • boost your energy levels,
  • improve senior brain health,
  • learn how to feel better about yourself,
  • develop better stress management, and
  • fulfill your God-appointed purpose with renewed vigor.

What path will you choose? Discover the secrets to not just feeling better but also looking fantastic as you do so!

 

Click here to get your copy!

"12 Ways to Age Gracefully: How to Look and Feel Younger" by  Susan u.Neal is an easy to understand book about taking care of our bodies, Spiritually and Emotionally and Physically.  This book shouldn't be read in 2 time periods like I did ( last night and this morning) for this review. The author offers practical advice, but at times while reading this book I was thinking if you did everything she suggested you had to have lots of money.She really pushed seeing your dr and having lots of medical tests.  I really like that she uses memorizing Biblical Passages and Journaling and Prayer as part of aging gracefully. The author shares a lot of her own health journey in this book. I like that at the end of each chapters she gives a summary of each item that was talked about in that chapter and questions that each reader should personally ask and apply to themselves. 

I received a complimentary copy from the author and Celebrate Lit and these opinions are my own. 



About the Author

Susan Neal, an RN with an MBA and MHS, combines her passion for health and her faith to guide others toward wellness. As an acclaimed author and health coach, her works including the transformative 7 Steps to Get Off Sugar and Carbohydratesaim to uplift the health of the Christian community for God’s service. To help fulfill that mission, she wrote, Eat God’s Food: A Kid’s Guide to Healthy Eating.

 

 

 

 

More from Susan

Welcome to the Journey of Graceful Aging with 12 Ways to Age Gracefully

 

As we embark on this exciting blog tour for my newest book, 12 Ways to Age Gracefully: How to Look and Feel Younger, I’m thrilled to share the passion and purpose behind this project. This journey is about more than just sharing information; it’s about embracing each year with joy and vitality. This isn’t just a book tour; it’s a movement towards embracing a more vibrant, healthful approach to our advancing years.

 

Inspiration Behind the Book

The inspiration for 12 Ways to Age Gracefully stems from my personal journey of losing my health. After facing significant health challenges a decade ago, I’ve been on a quest to inspire others to improve their health and optimal weight. This book is my way of sharing those solutions, offering guidance on how to maintain vitality, strength, and joy as we age.

 

When a person integrates the holistic practices in this book, they not only combat the physical signs of aging but also enhance their overall well-being. This book is a culmination of years of research and personal trials that has been put into practical, actionable strategies that anyone can adopt to enrich their lives.

 

What Makes This Book Unique?

What sets 12 Ways to Age Gracefully apart is its holistic approach, blending scientific insights with practical wisdom along with spiritual considerations. Each chapter is crafted to help you implement changes that have profound effects not just on your physical health, but on your mental and spiritual well-being too.

 

This book isn’t just a guide; it’s an invitation to reevaluate lifestyles and make decisions that can profoundly impact health and happiness. To add a practical component to the book, each chapter concludes with a list of Personal and Practical Applications for the reader to evaluate and incorporate into their daily routines.

 

A Fun, Interactive Element

To make this journey interactive and truly beneficial, 12 Ways to Age Gracefully introduces a “21-Day Age Gracefully Challenge.” This challenge encourages readers to apply one tip from the book each day, helping to form habits that lead to long-lasting health improvements. It’s a great way for readers to engage actively with the content and see real changes.

 

Join Us on This Tour

Throughout this blog tour, hosted on Celebrate Lit, we’ll share more behind-the-scenes details, stories from readers who are already experiencing the benefits of the strategies in the book, and additional tips and surprises along the way.

 

I invite you to join in, leave comments, and share your experiences. And you can find out more about healthy living at my website. Aging gracefully is more than just a concept—it’s a practical, joyful path that we can choose every day. Let’s walk this path together, learning and growing as we go!

 

Blessings,

Susan Neal

This blog post is your gateway into a world where aging is not feared but embraced with energy and enthusiasm. Follow along on the tour for inspiration, community stories, and practical advice that can transform the way you view aging. Let’s age not just gracefully, but joyfully and purposefully! I admit that there were a few times while reading this book, I was thinking to do all the things she recommends you have to have a lot of money but she does give practical advice most of the time. This is a book that a reader should not just set down and read it in two time periods like I did, ( last night and this morning) for this review. It is a book that should be read slowly and put into practice as much as a reader is able to. I really like that she includes memorizing Scripture references and journaling as part of the aging gracefully. She does included a lot of her own personal past medical issues. I like that at the end of each chapter she does a summary of each item talked about in that chapter and that there are questions for the reader to ponder on and answer  personally for themselves.

I received a complimentary copy from the author and Celebrate Lit and these opinions are my own. 

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, July 3

Lots of Helpers, July 3

Inspired by Fiction, July 4

Vicky Sluiter, July 5

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, July 6

Texas Book-aholic, July 7

Locks, Hooks and Books, July 8

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, July 9

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, July 10

Beauty in the Binding, July 11 (Author Interview)

Mary Hake, July 11

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, July 12

Splashes of Joy, July 13

Artistic Nobody, July 14 (Author Interview)

An Author’s Take, July 15

Lily’s Corner, July 16

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Susan is giving away the grand prize of 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/2d112/12-ways-to-age-gracefully-celebration-tour-giveaway

Wednesday, July 3, 2024

Psalms in Rhyme for Little Hearts by Donna Wyland



 

About the Book

Book: Psalms in Rhyme for Little Hearts

Author: Donna Wyland

Genre: : Picture Book

Release date: 2023

The sky is like a large blue tent

stretched high above the sun,

that floats and falls from end to end

and warms till day is done.

~ Psalm 19:5-6

Young hearts will cherish the sweet rhyme contained in Psalms in Rhyme for Little Heartsas they are gently guided to a closer relationship with God. From beginning to end, the colorful childlike illustrations bring the psalms to life and inspire children to hide God’s Word in their hearts.

Uniquely created for children ages 4 – 8, this book of scriptural poetry will inspire children to sing praises to God and help them understand and remember God’s constant presence and powerful promises. And, for parents who want to lead their growing children to the original Bible psalms, they are included at the end.

Whether for morning devotions or nighttime prayers,

Psalms in Rhyme for Little Hearts will bless children seeking to know the Lord

and provide a foundation for intimate spiritual time

with parents, grandparents, and others.

 

Click here to get your copy!

 

I really like "Psalms in Rhyme for Little Hearts" by Donna Wyland. This would be a great book for all parents and grandchildren to have in the hime libraries.It has 12 of the Psalms written in language that children can understand. After these 12 , the original Psalms from the ESV are written out.The pictures are really beautiful. These is a short prayer after each of the 12 Psalms. After the original verses there is a descriptions of some of the words. This book would be a great shower gift for Christian parents and maybe others who aren't if you want to maybe inspire and encourage the parents to introduce them and their children to the Lord.  This is one book I will be holding on to.

I receive a complimentary copy from the author and Celebrate Lit and these opinions are my own. 


About the Author

DONNA WYLAND is an award-winning author, busy mother, grandmother and friend. She is the author of ‘Twas the Night Before Jesus, a best-selling children’s picture book and is a contributor to many inspirational essay collections. Donna lives and writes at her home in Southwest Florida and her condo overlooking the ski slopes in Steamboat, Colorado.

 

 

 

 

More from Donna

“More than 30 years ago I discovered the meaning of the Book of Psalms. Whether I was struggling or celebrating, God led me to individual psalms that encouraged and comforted me and gave me the strength to persevere. It is my heart’s desire to see children learn the power and peace of the psalms early in life so they, too, will turn to God’s Word when they need hope and comfort, or they are searching for the right words to praise Him for His blessings and favor. This book of rhyming psalms protects the biblical meaning of each psalm while putting the message in a child’s vocabulary with rhyme to help them remember.”

Blog Stops

Divine Perspective, July 1

Blossoms and Blessings, July 2 (Author Interview)

Lots of Helpers, July 2

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, July 3

Life on Chickadee Lane, July 4

Labor Not in Vain, July 5

Texas Book-aholic, July 6

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, July 7

Vicky Sluiter, July 8 (Author Interview)

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, July 9

Locks, Hooks and Books, July 10

For Him and My Family, July 11

Cover Lover Book Review, July 12

Guild Master, July 13 (Author Interview)

A Reader’s Brain, July 14 (Author Interview)

Mary Hake, July 14

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Donna is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Magnolia Market 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/2c80a/psalms-in-rhyme-for-little-hearts-celebration-tour-giveaway