Thursday, January 31, 2019

"Surround Me" by Marguerite Gray

Battles rage in Elizabeth Elliot’s heart as the threat of war invades her hometown.

Charles Town, South Carolina, 1773—The dark curtain of the rumors of revolution threatens to descend as Louis Lestarjette makes a permanent break from his homeland and pursues his relations with Elizabeth. Somehow, he must find a way to manage all aspects of his life amid the political and financial difficulties this turbulent time throws at him. Never has his heart been at the center of his life decisions, challenging what he really wants, if he cannot have it all.

Elizabeth Elliott must find unwavering courage, choosing to allow God’s love to surround her with strength. A marriage during a time of confusion seems impossible as a Patriot from a Loyalist family who loves a Frenchman. She wonders how a faithful daughter can marry without her father’s permission. After a summer apart from Louis, she begins to fear that the uncertain times might delay their life together.


Marguerite Martin Gray is the author of Hold Me Close, Surround Me, and Bring Me Near-- Revolutionary Faith Books One, Two and Three. She enjoys studying history and writing fiction. An avid traveler and reader, she teaches high school Spanish and has degrees in French, Spanish, and Journalism from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas, and a MA in English from Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene, Texas. Marguerite is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Abilene Writers Guild, Daughters of the American Revolution, South Carolina Historical Society, and Preservation Society of Charleston. She currently lives in North Louisiana with her husband.


A Frenchman, a Patriot, and an ocean—on the brink of forming a nation. Surround Me by Marguerite Gray.

“That is another factor against me. Is there any way he’ll ever accept a Partisan and a Frenchman?” Surround Me by Marguerite Gray 

1773 Charles Town “You do realize this can’t be a secret forever. You must tell your parents.” Surround Me by Marguerite Gray

Social Media:

My Review: 

"Surround Me" By Marguerite Martin Gray is the second book in the "Revolutionary Faith Book Series" and is a fiction and love story that is based mostly on history, pre-American Revolution and The Sons Of Liberty. It has also been re-edited and has a new cover, which I like better than the old one. 

It picks up when Louis comes back to Charles Town after departing at the end of "Hold Me Close", book one in the series.
The story was interwoven with Biblical truth all through the novel and reminds the reader that God does "Surround" us at all times.

This story tells the continuing story of Louis and Elizabeth and how they trust their love and their personal future and the future of Charles Town to God.

I like the fact that despite many obstacles surrounding their engagement, love won out. I also enjoyed the romance between Samuel and Sarah, friends of Louis and Sarah's.

I think anyone would enjoy this book without reading the first one "Hold Me Close" but I strongly recommend reading them in order to get the complete story.

There is a third book coming!

I was given a complimentary copy Of "Surround Me" by Celebrate Lit and the author. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

"A Love to Behold" by Sharlene MacLaren BookTour and GiveAway

About the Book

Title: A Love to Behold  
Author: Sharlene MacLaren  
Genre: Christian romance, historical  
Release date: January 8, 2019  
Publisher: Whitaker House

 Two years after the Civil War, Lydia Albright, 27, is an established teacher in Boston when she senses God’s call to leave the comfort and security of her job and go south. She accepts a position to teach in a school for former slaves in Charleston, South Carolina. A church there that’s affiliated with the American Missionary Association offers support, along with room and board at the parsonage. The Ku Klux men are hell-bent on seeing that the new school fails. Lydia’s life is threatened, and the parsonage, church, and school are vandalized. But they haven’t contended with a strong, determined woman like Lydia before. It also helps that she has a couple potential suitors on her side. A Love to Behold is a tale of people who grow strong in the face of adversity and a church that learns love, compassion, and acceptance, even in the face of cruelty and hatred.

 Click here to purchase your copy!

My Review:
I really enjoyed  "A Love to Behold" by Sharlene MacLaren. It is the third book in the series but it can be read as a standalone.

This is a story that takes place after the war and the Ku Klux Klan is trying to stop a teacher from teaching  children of former slaves.   This is a story about forgiveness and trusting in Jesus.  It is also a love story, which makes it a triple joy.

I really felt Reese's pain as he struggled with not feeling loved by his parents.  I simply cried for Luetta's as she fought to overcome her illness and her fear of people.

I wished I was as brave as Lydia was when she was attacked by the Ku Klux Klan.

I loved the ending which was excepted and not excepted, which means there is a surprise outcome that really surprised me with a certain character which shall remain nameless unless you read the book.

I really recommend this book, as well as well as the other two in the series, to be reminded of what the war was really like and how it affected the characters.

I was given a complimentary copy by the author and Celebrate Lit. These opinion are my own.

About the Author

Born and raised in west Michigan, Sharlene MacLaren attended Spring Arbor University. Upon graduating in 1971 with an education degree, she taught second grade for two years, then accepted an invitation to travel internationally with a singing ensemble for one year. In 1975, she came home, returned to her teaching job, and married her childhood sweetheart. Together, they raised two lovely daughters, both of whom are now happily married and enjoying families of their own. Retired in 2003 after thirty-one years of teaching, “Shar” loves to read, sing, travel, and spend time with her family—in particular, her adorable grandchildren! A Christian for over fifty years, and a lover of the English language, Shar always enjoyed dabbling in writing. She remembers well the short stories she wrote in high school, and watching them circulate from girl to girl during government and civics classes. “Psst,” someone would whisper from two rows over, always when the teacher’s back was turned, “pass me the next page.” In the early 2000s, Shar felt God’s call upon her heart to take her writing pleasures a step further, and in 2006, she signed a contract for her first faith-based novel, Through Every Storm, thereby launching her writing career. With eighteen published novels now gracing store shelves and being sold online, she daily gives God all the glory. She dedicated her last novel, Their Daring Hearts, to Jesus. Shar has done numerous countrywide book signings and made several television appearances and radio interviews. She loves speaking for community organizations, libraries, church groups, and women’s conferences. In her church, she is active in women’s ministries, regularly facilitating Bible studies and other events. She and her husband, Cecil, live in Spring Lake, Michigan, with their beautiful white collie, Peyton, and their ragdoll cat, Blue. Shar loves hearing from her readers. If you wish to contact her as a potential speaker for a church function or would simply like to chat with her, please feel free to send her an e-mail at She will do her best to answer in a timely manner. You may also find her on Facebook.

Guest Post from Sharlene

My dear readers, It has indeed been my great privilege and pleasure to write this series set in Civil War times. What a thought-provoking, amazing, and heart-wrenching era in American history. If you read all three books in the “Forever Freedom” series—Summer on Sunset Ridge, Their Daring Hearts, and A Love to Behold—you will have gotten some history lessons regarding the Religious Society of Friends, also known as Quakers; Abolition; the Underground Railroad, which the Quakers were instrumental in launching; life as a Union soldier in the Civil War; the Freedmen’s Bureau; and Reconstruction, that period following the war when the south had fallen into great dis-repair. Also prevalent in this third book is a bit of history regarding the origin of the Ku Klux Klan, a hate group that formed during the Reconstruction period. Although I did not appreciate history as a young girl, as an older adult, I’m quite fascinated by it. History itself is a great teacher. Learning about it can be everything from exhilarating to depressing, challenging and yet exciting. It is my prayer that as you read my books, you’ll not only find them entertaining, but also inspiring and uplifting. I aim to encourage, not discourage. Much of history—if we dwell on it—can be disheartening, but focusing our hearts and minds on Christ gives us courage and confidence. Let us learn from history, but let us look to the future with hope in our hearts. With love and a prayer for God’s best blessings, Shar

Blog Stops

Maureen’s Musings, January 22
Genesis 5020, January 23
Splashes of JoyJanuary 25
Mary Hake, January 26
Godly Book Reviews, January 27
Daysong ReflectionsJanuary 27
Robin is Bookish, January 28
The Becca Files, January 30
Texas Book-aholic, January 31
Bibliophile Reviews, February 3
Carpe Diem, February 4
Bigreadersite, February 4


To celebrate her tour, Sharlene is giving away a grand prize of a $20 Starbucks gift card!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

"Reclaiming Sanity: Hope and Healing for Trauma, Stress, and Overwhelming Life Events" by Dr. Laurel Shaler

With a girlfriend’s companionship and a professional counselor’s expertise, Dr. Laurel Shaler walks you through personal stories and biblical insights that shed light on daily and traumatic stress. In Reclaiming Sanity, she shows
    How to find freedom from the past
    Five myths about anger and how to overcome them 

    The antidote for nagging worry and sleepless nights 
    Ways to rebuild trust in others
    How Christ gives true strength

    Offering effective action steps toward reclaiming sanity, Dr. Shaler guides you through the healing process, whether you are dealing with a one-time traumatic event or years of hidden pain.

    Dr. Laurel Shaler is an author, counselor, professor, social worker, and speaker. She writes and speaks on the intersection of faith, culture, and emotional well-being. She is the author of "Reclaiming Sanity: Hope and Healing for Trauma, Stress, and Overwhelming Life Events" (David C. Cook, 2016) and "Relational Reset: Unlearning the Habits that Hold You Back" (Moody, 2018).

    My Review:
    I found "Reclaiming Sanity: Hope and Healing for Trauma, Stress, and Overwhelming Life Events" by Dr. Laurel Shaler a helpful book. It is a book filled with practical ideals and suggestions for overcoming life events. The author shares examples from personal experiences from her own life and her clients. I recommend this book to anyone that needs to heal from trauma, stress, and overwhelming life events and to anyone that wants to help them heal. 
    This book is really easy to follow and is not technical at all and clearly points to Jesus. 
    There are chapters on forgiveness and anger and those two chapters are worth the read alone even if you don't read the entire book, but I must warn, you are losing a great deal of healing if you don't read the whole book.
    I was given a complimentary copy by the author and Celebrate Lit. These are my own opinions.


Tuesday, January 29, 2019

"Bruised but Not Broken": The Journey from Heartache to Healing by Sheryl Beck-Nelson

What’s Next After Your World Falls Apart? Choose Back ‘In’ to Life and Purpose. A young widow is faced with the reality of rebuilding her life after the sudden death of her husband. She recounts the comfort and restoration of God, who is always near to the broken hearted. With amazing strength of faith, she chose ‘in’ to life again: abundant life. As a result, she discovers a new love, a renewed hope and a new calling, proof that God can redeem even our most painful circumstances. “There are times when unwanted change evolves into a fear of the unknown. This fear can paralyze us, ultimately keeping us from making the choices that will kick-start our healing process.” Beck-Nelson’s heart-warming, witty style will inspire hope in anyone experiencing a loss; whether it be the loss of a loved one, the loss of a dream or of faith in a good future. Bruised but Not Broken will encourage you to ‘choose in’ to a life of purpose and hope.
"As I read the pages of Sheryl’s journey, I laughed, I cried, and I pondered, but most of all I found myself longing to give the Lord my own life in a far deeper manner. As I read through the pages, I found that it’s not a book reserved only for those who’ve experienced the loss of a loved one. Rather, it’s for each of us who wants to experience a deeper and more intimate relationship with the Lord.” —Darci Coyne, Women’s Minister
My Review: 
I know this book is really about grief and healing but I think this book could be a tool for anyone needing to be reminded that they are loved by God and that they do have a purpose.

I have lots of things unlined in the book but the things that really shocked me and got me thinking was "If you need encouragement, read Joshua or struggling with insecurity, then Moses is your guy! Overwhelmed by the Lord's calling? Read about Gideon. Striving to overcome disobedience? Jonah's life has some wisdom to impart. If you are struggling with who you were before the old things passed away, read about Saul/Paul or Mary Magdalene. The lives of these champions of the faith will challenge and encourage you!
Worrying too much " try this: set aside some time to commit to something else.Give that hour or day or whatever you choose, over to the Lord. ( 1Peter 5:7) Make a conscious decision to say" Lord. I have carried this burden for a long time now and the truth is, it's too heavy for me. I need a break so I am going to give it to you for this period of time, and I am not going to think about it all ." it will be hard, you will have to put effort into focusing on something else. your best option is to put on worship music and worship Jesus.When fear of failure rears its ugly head, tell yourself this " I am merely an instrument, an imperfect human in the Master's hands. I will do my part and He will do His Part. Regardless of the outcome, as long as I am obedient to His call, I have indeed been successful, even if I do stumble while walking off the platform. "Learning to value ourselves is a sickly wicket for some of us. We have allowed words spoken about us to take root in our hearts, bringing forth bitter fruit. We can spend our entire lives focusing on what others have said or felt about us: even agreeing with them and speaking it about ourselves. But to what end? shame? Pain? A devalued sense of self? Not a single acceptable option in the bunch! the only thing that will come from this is a life lived with victim mentality. While traumatic things have happen , throughout Christ you are an overcomer because every negative experience, every harsh word we have heard or thought about ourselves, pales in comparison to God's love and adoration for us.This one sentence from the book stunned and made me really think " BESIDES, IT WOULD TAKE A REALLY PRIDEFUL PERSON TO PUT MORE VALVE ON THEIR OPINION OF THEMSELVES THAN THE OPINION OF THE LORD.REMEMBER THAT WHEN YOU'RE SPEAKING ANYTHING OVER YOURSELF THAT IS LESS THAN I AM FEARFULLY AND WONDERFULLY MADE !

I really recommend this book, I know I shared a lot from the book, but there is so much more that I didn't share.                                                                                                                                                      

I was given a complimentary copy by the CWA and the author. These opinions are my own.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

"Texas my Texas" by Caryl McAdoo Book Tour and GiveAway

About the Book

Title: Texas my Texas  
Author: Caryl McAdoo  
Genre: Christian Historical Romance  
Release date: February 11, 2019

He who puts his trust in God will possess the land and inherit the blessings. Scripture tells a husband to love his wife, but what if she loves the memory of a dead man? Lured to the Texas frontier by more free land than they could ever buy, four families struggle to carve a home and a living out of the wilderness. And though love isn’t always easy coming, like bees to sweet flowers, a neighbor and his partner swoop in hoping to steal the hearts of the clan’s two young beauties. Will their infants spoil the ointment? Wild animals, Indians on the warpath, and living hand-to-mouth never make it easy, but my oh my—Texas my Texas! What a land!

Click here to purchase your copy.

My Review;
All I can say is that Caryl McAdoo has done it again, I really enjoy reading her stories. While reading her books, readers feel like they are listening to her telling the story and not just reading it. Her books have characters that you really love or you hate. I have to admit there have been a few characters I have hated in her books, we are allowed to hate fictional characters, even though we are told to love everyone by God, but books give us the safe option of hating and not sin.

There is much to like in "Texas My Texas" by Caryl McAdoo but this quote is my favorite and is why I always say fiction is real life, " Worry doesn't do anything but make you sick. Plus, it's just a slap in God's face.  As if you can't trust Him."

This is a book about what love really is.

I was given a complimentary copy by the author and celebrate Lit. These opinions are my own.

About the Author

Caryl McAdoo prays her story brings God glory which is what she lives to do. Her award-winning, best-selling novels enjoy a lion’s share of 5-Star ratings from Christian readers around the world. With thirty-eight titles, it’s obvious she loves writing almost as much as singing the new songs the Lord gives her—listen to a few at YouTube. She and high school sweetheart Ron celebrated fifty years of marriage in June 2018; they share four children and eighteen grandsugars. The McAdoos live in the woods south of Clarksville, seat of Red River County in far Northeast Texas, waiting expectantly for God to open the next door.

Guest Post from Caryl

It’s always good to give thanks. And I’m thankful for you! I appreciate you stopping by my awesome Celebrate Lit Blog Tour! I’m thankful for each of the bloggers who signed up to participate in the tour for my January release Texas My Texas, book two in my new Cross Timbers Romance Family Saga series! And I’m so thankful the Lord is blessing Celebrate Lit as Sandy Barela blesses so many Christian authors! She is deserving of all God’s best! In Book One, Gone to Texas, I got seventeen souls to their new home in the Republic. Texas My Texas has all the same pioneers with a few new added as they establish hearth and home in the wooly, untamed Trinity River Bottoms of North Central Texas—which later in history, becomes the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. They’re settling in what now is Irving—my home for fifty-plus years. Only a few months has passed for my characters, Book One ends in November, Book Two picks up in March, 1841. In real life, it’s been just that long since Book One launched, too! It debuted in September and Book Two launching now is also four months! Isn’t that fun? Originally, I’d planned a different January title but pushed it back a couple of months to release Texas My Texas on the heels of Gone to Texas. In this new story, the two young women—Gabrielle and Isabel Harrell—elicit the attention of suiters who come calling even in the wild west territory. Thomas Baldwin (a neighbor introduced in Gone To Texas) has an eye for Gabrielle and uses many excuses to visit, including taking his friend Monroe Humble to the clan’s little settlement to meet the lovey, hardworking Isabel. But Gabrielle is pining hard for her love back home and deals with pretty severe melancholy—what they called depression back in those days. In Texas My Texas, readers will spend time with the characters they came to love in Gone To Texas. As always, I pray my story gives God glory! And that readers will enjoy the new even better than the old! BLESSINGS!

Blog Stops


To celebrate her tour, Caryl is giving away
Grand Prize – $50 Gift Amazon Card,
1st Prize – Signed, Paperback copy of CHOICE of all my books,
2nd Prize – Signed copy of Texas my Texas,
3rd Prize – eBook copy of Texas My Texas,
4th Prize – eBook copy of CHOICE of all my books,
5th Prize $5 Amazon Gift Card!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

" 5 Simple Steps to Financial Freedom" by Dan Willis Book Tour and GiveAway

About the Book

Title: 5 Simple Steps to Financial Freedom  
Author: Dan Willis  
Genre: Finances/Christian living  
Release date: January 8, 2019  
Publisher: Whitaker House

As a young and na├»ve pastor, Dan Willis maxed out twenty-three credit cards and ruined his credit to support his ministry. It wasn’t until massive debt caused the cards to stop working that he realized that God never asked him to do this. Through his candor and honesty, Dan reveals the five steps God showed him to get out of debt: stop spending, create a budget, develop a debt payoff plan, begin saving, and repair bad credit. This led him to becoming a thriving and financially-free ministry. Now, Dan is on a mission to teach this to the world. Using biblical principles, but not relying on miracles or “name-it-and-claim-it” theology, Dan provides easy-to-follow, practical steps that can be used by anyone to escape financial bondage. Finally, he encourages readers to use their financial freedom to help others and advance God’s kingdom, and to use their newfound fiscal wisdom to store up wealth. Without shaming those who struggle financially, 5 Simple Steps to Financial Freedom is the perfect combination of spiritual wisdom and practical advice for those who desperately need it.

Click here to purchase your copy!

My Review
"5 Simple Steps to Financial Freedom" by Dan Willis  is a book about getting out of debt and it is so easy to read and understand. It is written in plain language, by this I mean it is not written in  technical terms and so everyone can understand what he is saying.

This book is a perfect tool for anyone wanting to get out of debt. I am even going to say this book would make a great wedding gift to keep couples from going into debt in the first place.

I would write down the five steps but then you wouldn't have to read the book, so I am not going to, but everyone needs to read and follow the steps because being in debt is sinful. I never realized that till I read this book, yes, I have read  in the Bible we are to be lenders not borrowers but the author really makes the point clear.

I have this downloaded on my iPad and it only took about 90 minutes to read. As I said before, it is an easy read.

I was given a complimentary copy by the author and Celebrate Lit. These opinions are my own.

About the Author

As a young boy, Dan Willis’s dreams involved entering the medical field until that fateful day when, at age sixteen, he was called to “temporarily” take over the pastor position of a local church. More than thirty years later, Dan is still there, serving as the senior pastor of The Lighthouse Church of All Nations in Alsip, Illinois. He took the small ministry of sixteen people and nurtured it into a thriving multicultural body of more than 1,500 people. Dan’s previous books with Whitaker House were Freedom to Forget: Releasing the Pain from the Past, Embracing Hope for the Future and Praise Is My Weapon.

Guest Post from Dan

Not 23 Ways to Money Greatness or 67 Options to Financial Well Being. Just Five Simple Steps to Financial Freedom. Why complicate this? Wipe out debt and create wealth.

Blog Stops

To celebrate his tour, Dan is giving away a $20 Starbucks gift card!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.