The Songs that Could Have Been by Amanda Wen

About the Book

Two couples in love. Two sets of impossible circumstances. One powerful God of grace.

After a tailspin in her late teens, Lauren Anderson’s life is finally back on track. Her battle with bulimia is under control, her career is taking off, and she’s surrounded by a loving family. Then a chance meeting with Carter Douglas, her first love and the man who broke her heart, leads to old feelings returning with new strength. And suddenly her well-balanced world is thrown off kilter.

Now a TV meteorologist, Carter is determined to make amends with Lauren. After all, she still owns his heart. But the reasons they broke up aren’t lost–and those old demons are forcing him toward the same decision he faced in the past. He isn’t sure he’s courageous enough to make a different choice this time around.

When Lauren’s elderly grandmother, Rosie, begins having nightmares about a man named Ephraim–a name her family has never heard before–a fascinating and forbidden past love comes to light. As Lauren and Carter work to uncover the untold stories of Rosie’s past in 1950s Wichita, they embark on a journey of forgiveness and second chances that will change their lives–and Rosie’s–forever. Along the way they’ll learn that God wastes nothing, his timing is perfect, and nothing is beyond his grace and redemption.

The Songs That Could Have Been is full of the same deftly handled, resonant writing that readers and critics alike enjoyed in Amanda Wen’s first book in the series. Fans of Lisa Wingate and Rachel Hauck will add Amanda Wen to their must-read shelves.


Click here to read an excerpt.

What Others are Saying:

“A reading experience both heartfelt and heart-tugging, a timeless exploration of young and enduring love and the grace found in second chances. Amanda Wen is a rare and remarkable storyteller, and this is a novel I will not soon forget.” –Amanda Barratt, Christy Award-winning author of The White Rose Resists
 
“A stunning journey of loss, love, and yearning. . . . Past and present are deftly woven together in this dual-timeline narrative that will leave readers flying through the pages.” – Amanda Cox, author of the 2021 Christy Award Book of the Year, The Edge of Belonging

About the Author

Amanda Wen is an award-winning writer of inspirational romance and split-time women’s fiction. She has placed first in multiple contests, including the 2017 Indiana Golden Opportunity Contest, the 2017 Phoenix Rattler Contest, and the 2016 ACFW First Impressions Contest, among others. She was also a 2018 ACFW Genesis Contest finalist. Her debut novel, Roots of Wood and Stone, will release from Kregel Publications on January 26, 2021.

In addition to her writing, Amanda is an accomplished professional cellist and pianist, frequently performing with symphony orchestras, string quartets, and her church’s worship team, and accompanying high school and middle school choirs. A lifelong denizen of the flatlands, Amanda currently lives in Kansas with her patient, loving, and hilarious husband, their three adorable Wenlets, and a snuggly Siamese cat.

To find Amanda Wen’s blog and short stories, visit www.amandawen.com. Readers can also follower her on Facebook (@AuthorAmandaWen), Twitter (@AuthorAmandaWen), and Instagram (@authoramandawen).

My Review for The Songs That Could Have Been:

This was the first book I’ve read by Amanda Wen and it will not be the last. I loved it! I truly love dual-decade books and this one was amazing. I loved Lauren and Carson and their story was intriguing, but add in Grandma Rosie, Ephraim (who none of her family knows about), Lauren’s brother Garrett and Sophie. I loved this book and the characters so much I want to read the first book in the series now. The author writes in such a way that I am experiencing the thrill, pain, heartache, emotional rollercoasters that the characters themselves are experiencing. The scene between Rosie and Ephraim’s mother – I could feel both from Rosie’s point of view and Ephraim’s mother’s point of view. That is an exceptional author who can help the reader experience both conflicting characters at once. Wonderful story, great storylines and sub storylines and definitely a book that stays with the reader long after reading “the end.”

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Audra Jennings and was under no obligation to post a review. All opinions are strictly my own.

Thanks for connecting today.

Have you ever thought about what it would be like to focus on seeing

JESUS in the EVERYDAY?”

Would you like to be a part of a membership where everyday you are pointed back to God and seeing Him in your everyday life?

If that sounds like something you’re interested in, I invite you to come check it out!

GIVEAWAY:

https://www.audrajennings.com/2022/06/win-copy-of-songs-that-could-have-been.html

Blog Tour for WHEN THE MEADOW BLOOMS by Ann H. Gabhart

About the Book

Book: When the Meadow Blooms

Author: Ann H. Gabhart

Description:

If any place on God’s earth was designed to help one heal, it is Meadowland. Surely here, at her brother-in-law’s Kentucky farm, Rose and her daughters can recover from the events of the recent past–the loss of her husband during the 1918 influenza epidemic, her struggle with tuberculosis that required a stay at a sanatorium, and her girls’ experience in an orphanage during her illness. At Meadowland, hope blooms as their past troubles become rich soil in which their faith can grow.

Dirk Meadows may have opened his home to his late brother’s widow and her girls, but he keeps his heart tightly closed. The roots of his pain run deep, and the evidence of it is written across his face. Badly scarred by a fire and abandoned by the woman he loved, Dirk fiercely guards his heart from being hurt again. But it may be that his visitors will bring light back into his world and unlock the secret to true healing.

Bestselling author Ann H. Gabhart explores the tender places within the human heart in this character-driven story of trusting God to turn our burdens into something beautiful.

About the Author

Ann H. Gabhart caught the writing bug at the age of ten and has been writing ever since. An award winning author, she’s published many books for both adults and young adults. Her books cover several genres from historical to small town family stories to cozy mysteries (mysteries published with author name A.H. Gabhart). Her ideas are sparked by events in Kentucky history and by experiences in her own family. Her first Shaker novel, The Outsider, was a finalist for the ECPA Christian Fiction Book of the Year. Love Comes Home won the Selah Book of the Year award, and These Healing Hills was the Faith, Hope & Love Readers’ Choice Women’s Fiction Book of the Year.

Ann lives on a Kentucky farm not far from where she was born. She and her husband have three children and nine grandchildren. Ann enjoys hiking on her farm with her grandkids and her dogs, Frankie and Marley. See more about her books at http://www.annhgabhart.com or join the conversation on her Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/anngabhart.

My Review of When the Meadow Blooms:

This author’s writing drew me in from the very first pages and kept me there through to the last. Even though I knew the girls would be able to leave the orphanage and heal at Meadowland, I was scared for their lives with the way she wrote about the orphanage and their treatment there. I loved the cook and her relationship with Calla, and I loved Sienna’s name. Beautiful. I loved how Dirk and Rose’s relationship naturally unfolded and how kind and strong and courageous Dirk was. I had no idea the twist coming about Annaleise but loved it! This was an amazing book and I wanted to be a part of it, not just reading it.

I received a complimentary copy of this book but was under no obligation to review it. All opinions are mine.

Thanks for connecting today.

Have you ever thought about what it would be like to focus on seeing

JESUS in the EVERYDAY?”

Would you like to be a part of a membership where everyday you are pointed back to God and seeing Him in your everyday life?

If that sounds like something you’re interested in, I invite you to come check it out!

Celebrate Lit AUTHOR INTERVIEW for The Fragrance of Violets by Susan K. Beatty

About the Book

Book: The Fragrance of Violets

Author: Susan K. Beatty

Genre: Christian Women’s Fiction

Release date: May 17, 2022

Life crushes us with its weight sometimes.

Fiona’s father abandoned her when she was twelve. So when she learns that he’s the groom’s father in the wedding she’s been assigned to manage, all the old hurts resurface. Maybe if he’d just explain himself and ask forgiveness, she’d get over the pain he left her with—pain she obviously hadn’t left behind after all.

When Nason discovered he wasn’t Fiona’s biological father, and when her mother tried to sabotage his marriage, he felt like he had no other option but to leave and never look back. Running into her again—awkward to say the least. And he can’t understand why she feels betrayed—why she expects him to seek forgiveness.

As if life weren’t complicated enough, Fiona meets Trevor, which sparks a possible romance. New faith, an overdose, and revelations combine with Trevor’s discipleship and shows her how forgiveness really works.

What will it take for Nason to swallow his pride and see how his actions hurt an innocent child?

The Fragrance of Violets—as Mark Twain once said, “Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.”

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

Susan-K-Beatty-600x600Who says you can’t begin a new career after middle age? Certainly not Susan K. Beatty. She is passionate about writing about finding courage through faith and grit, particularly through the trials of breast cancer and other life trials. Her daughter is a metastatic breast cancer “thriver” and has been an inspiration for her writing. Susan’s first novel, Faces of Courage, debuted May 2021, as part of the Faces of Courage series, including several novelettes. She is also the author of An Introduction to Home Education (AKA California Homeschool Manual). Susan is a professional writer/journalist and is active in the writer community. She is proof you can begin a fiction writing career at any age.

More from Susan

The Fragrance of Violets’ story has yearned to be told for many years nowbefore I created my tagline, Courage: The Intersection of faith and grit. But it fits perfectly. A similar situation existed a long time ago in the life of an acquaintance. I thought all parties handled it badly, and I longed to make it right. Of course, being an outsider, the only way I could make it right was by creating a novel.

Fiona and Nason, the main characters, are total figments of my imagination, and the details of the story are substantially different. But the core, abandonment, the need to ask for and grant forgiveness, and the courage to meet them, is real and universal.

I desired to show that even when we think we’ve done nothing wrong, we need to seek the Lord and ask Him to reveal where we need to own up to our mistakes and seek forgiveness. Also, I wanted to show that although it is difficult to forgive when we’ve been horribly wronged (and how horrible to have the person you thought of as your father abandon you and with no apparent explanation or remorse), it’s possible with courage. The courage that comes from faith and action.

My prayer is that Fiona and Nason (despite his past) will inspire readers to find their own courage through whatever situations in which they find themselves.

Author Interview for The Fragrance of Violets:

What role does God play in your writing career?

            I don’t want this to sound trite, but He is why I write. Since I became a Christian in my twenties, I sought His leading on when and what to write. I come from a journalism and technical writing background. He plopped me into the beginnings of the homeschool movement in the 1980s and had me concentrating on teaching my children and writing to help others in homeschooling. After thirty-five years in that ministry, I finally felt as if He was calling me to write fiction—a lifelong dream and a whole new ballgame from the type of non-fiction writing I’d been doing. It was through circumstances that could only have been the Lord that six years ago, I met other writers and, eventually, my publisher. While I certainly don’t claim my writing is from the hand of God, I do rely on the Holy Spirit to inform what I write and always pray it’s a glory to the Lord.

What one thing do you love most about writing? Why? 

            I love creating new worlds. Not in the SciFi sense, but in the ordinary sense of my characters’ worlds. Where they live, their history, who they are, and how they navigate their stories. It’s very satisfying, like making new friends (although there are characters I’ve created that I don’t like much). I also love it when a character takes the story into a new realm I hadn’t planned on. It’s an exciting adventure.

Are you a “punster” or a “plotster” or a little of both? What does that mean to you and how do you use that when writing a book? 

            This is a tough one. I like to think I’m a “plotster,” but really I’m a “panster.” I start out daydreaming about characters and what they are going to go through. Then I sit down and create a meager plot line. This takes me ages, and I soon tire of the detail, itching to begin writing. So, I write and flesh out the plot as I go. Sometimes the plot takes a fresh turn I hadn’t thought of. I enjoy being a little of both. It gives me some structure, but the freedom to change with my characters.

What inspires your stories?

            Life! My first novel and two companion novelettes were inspired by my daughter’s breast cancer journey. The strength she derived from the Lord through horrific circumstances and her faith journey made me want to share stories like hers. Moving from breast cancer, I’ve tapped into the real lives and struggles of people I know to write on topics like forgiveness and abandonment. I hope to give readers stories that reveal aspects of life they may not have experienced while encouraging and challenging them in following the Lord.

What are some new projects you’re working on?

            I’m about to turn in a Christmas novella that will be part of a multi-author series. My major work in progress is Relinquished, a novel about a birth mother who discovers her relinquished child is kidnapped and inserts herself into the search. In her heart, she struggles with the need to reclaim her child. But, even if it were possible, is it the best for all concerned? Were the child’s adoptive family culpable? Sometimes we struggle with the natural consequences of our actions and accepting God’s will for our lives. Simmering on the burner are three novellas for a multi-author series that takes place in a fictional set of islands in the South Pacific.

Relinquished sounds amazing! I can’t wait to read it! Thanks for sitting down and talking to us today.

Thanks for connecting today.

Have you ever thought about what it would be like to focus on seeing

JESUS in the EVERYDAY?”

Would you like to be a part of a membership where everyday you are pointed back to God and seeing Him in your everyday life?

If that sounds like something you’re interested in, I invite you to come check it out!

Don’t forget to check out the other blog spots listed below for your convenience.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, June 21

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, June 22 (Author Interview)

Texas Book-aholic, June 23

Inklings and notions, June 24

A Baker’s Perspective, June 25 (Author Interview)

For Him and My Family, June 25

deb’s Book Review, June 26

Spoken from the Heart, June 27 (Author Interview)

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, June 28

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

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, June 30

Through the Fire Blogs, July 1 (Author Interview)

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, July 2

Locks, Hooks and Books, July 3

Splashes of Joy, July 4 (Author Interview)

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, July 4

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Susan is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and copy of the book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

 

GIVEAWAY: The Preacher on the Run: A Novel of the Regulator Uprising by Jayna Baas

About the Book

Title: Preacher on the Run (A Novel of the Regulator Uprising)

Series: For Liberty & Conscience #1

Genre: Christian historical fiction

Length (physical copy): 326 pages

Publication date: April 12, 2020

STANDING FOR TRUTH COULD COST HIM HIS FREEDOM. FIGHTING FOR FREEDOM COULD COST HIM HIS LIFE.

It’s 1771, and Robert Boothe has spent the last four years leading the tyrant-hating Regulators against North Carolina’s corrupt British government. All he wants is a safe place for his little Baptist church to live and worship God. But the established church wants him to shut up. The governor wants him dead. Then Colonel Charles Drake comes to town with one ambition: winning the governor’s favor, no matter what it takes. And Robert Boothe just might be his last chance.

About the Author

Jayna Baas, pronounced as in “baa, baa, black sheep,” is the author of Preacher on the Run and a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and the Christian Proofreaders and Editors Network. She lives in northern Michigan with a great family of real people and the family of pretend people who live in her head. (Yes, she does know her characters are not real. No, she does not want you to tell them she said so.) Although she enjoys multiple genres, her favorite story is this: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). Learn more and sign up for an exclusive short story at http://www.booksbyjayna.com. 

Giveaway

Time: 12:00 AM EST June 27–12:00 AM EST July 4 (winner announced on July 4)

Prize: One winner will receive a signed copy of Preacher on the Run and one 12-ounce bag of American Patriot Coffee Co. Independence Medium Roast. All entrants will receive a promo code for use on http://www.booksbyjayna.com. Open to US residents 18 and up or with parental consent. No purchase necessary.

Rafflecopter link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/25c877fd5/?

Ways to Connect with Jayna:

Author website: https://www.booksbyjayna.com/

Book trailer: https://www.youtu.be/mGbr9x2sCyU

Goodreads author page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/20530182.Jayna_Baas

BookBub author page: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/jayna-baas

Amazon author page: https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B0872HCZ2V

Newsletter signup: https://http://www.subscribepage.com/booksbyjayna

 

JESUS in the EVERYDAY Membership (AND YOUTUBE!) What’s That????

I’m So Glad You’re Here!

I took a leap this summer and created a JESUS in the EVERYDAY membership. These daily bursts of inspiration are designed to keep your focus on seeing Jesus in the Everyday moments of our lives instead of dwelling on life’s problems.

I created this YouTube channel to complement the membership, and explain a little more about it. If you’d like to check it out, head over here. I’d love if you’d subscribe (and share with anyone you think could use some encouragement) as I’ll be uploading new videos every week.

Sabal Palms and the Southern Squall by Terry Overton CELEBRATE LIT BLOG TOUR

About the Book

Book: Sabal Palms and the Southern Squall

Author: Terry Overton

Genre: Christian Contemporary Women’s Fiction

Release date: April 5, 2022

Elaine Smith lived in the small coastal town of Sabal Palms long enough to know when to worry about a squall and when to simply close the windows and wait for it to pass. This one would be significant. It would be significant in terms of damage, but that was to be expected. What no one expected was the profound effect it would have on the lives of people from the Texas coast to New York City. Positive qualities of humanity are often displayed during times of natural disaster.
But a supernatural power had attached to this storm and subsequently worked within the hearts of the most needy, the most lonely, and the most sinister. The lives of four delightful women, a homeless teen, a rebellious son, a grieving lover who is at the bottom, a son who lost his faith, and a hired murderer, are all intertwined in the aftereffects of a Category 3 hurricane thanks to a few passages written by one determined woman.

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

Terry Overton obtained her Ph.D. in Psychology and her Ed.D. in special education. She taught in public schools and was a school psychologist and a professor before retiring in 2016. Her university experiences included teaching at Longwood University in Virginia, the University of Texas-Brownsville, The University of Texas-Pan American, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, and Stephen F. Austin State University. She held positions as Dean and Department Chair during her tenure in higher education. Her areas of research included behavior disorders, learning disorders, autism, and research in higher education. She currently resides in Laguna Vista, Texas. She enjoys Biblical history and general Bible studies, writing, blogging, and visiting with friends and family. Her books have been recognized and received awards from Firebird Book Awards, American Writing Awards, and have earned five stars from Readers Views and Readers Favorites. Her books have been recognized Finalist for the International and National Book Awards.

More from Terry

This book will take the reader to the southern coast of Texas. In fact, this book happens at the very bottom tip of Texas. The reader will feel the warm sea breezes, view the coastal sunsets and sunrises, and experience the friendships of four close women friends. Here is a sample:

The women gathered at the swimming pool and shed their cover-ups. Next, each lady

took out her favorite sunscreen lotions and creams and sprayed and squirted so much on, they all

looked almost as pasty as a bottle of glue. No one talked at all during this process of slathering

on thick coats of varying SPFs. It was a polite, unspoken agreement that no forbidden words

were ever mentioned when the ladies were in swimwear. Words like cellulite, wrinkles, fat, fatty

tissue, weight, weight loss, weight gain, age spots, and—the worst words ever—skin cancer were

completely and totally off limits.

In times of crises, these four women always bind together and help each other. They have been friends for over twenty years. Here is an excerpt of one of their conversations during a pool party:

What strangers might not understand is the banter back and forth was exactly the only way they could get along. They enjoyed it. They thrived on it.

“Oh, fiddle-faddle, Bonnie, last week you told me you thought the salon was opening up

this week,” Mary jabbed. “It didn’t.”

“I didn’t say that. I said I heard it might be opening next month.”

“You said next week as sure as I am floating on this raft.”

“Had your hearing checked lately?”

“Right after you get yours checked.”

And they both laughed. It was always entertaining.

“Well, horsefeathers! I need to get this hair trimmed again. It is all cattywampus on the

sides.”

“What? You’ve got a cat in there?” Bonnie laughed.

“Feels like it,” Mary retorted.

My Review of Sabal Palms and the Southern Squall:

This was the first book I’ve read from this author. What a great story. I love how the story had multiple characters in multiple settings and how the author had them all interconnect until they were all connected at the end. The four ladies, the main characters were hilarious and I grew to love their individual personalities so much throughout the book. They kept me turning the pages. I loved how I saw God working throughout the book in all the characters – main and secondary. And I loved little Bella, maybe moreso because that was the name of the sweet puppy we adopted.

I received a complimentary copy of this book but was under no obligation to review it. All opinions are mine.

Thanks for stopping and connecting here at Spoken from the Heart: If you want to subscribe to my email to receive the latest updated information or to just be encouraged, sign up here: www.cheriswalwell.com

As my way of saying thanks, you will receive a free eBook – Spoken from the Heart: Choosing Grace

Just sign up at: www.cheriswalwell.com

Don’t forget to check out the other blog spots listed below for your convenience.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, May 30

Where Crisis & Christ Collide, May 30

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 31

Texas Book-aholic, June 1

Inklings and notions, June 2

deb’s Book Review, June 3

For Him and My Family, June 4

Locks, Hooks and Books, June 5

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, June 6

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, June 7

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, June 8

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, June 9

Mary Hake, June 9

Blogging With Carol, June 10

Pause for Tales, June 11

Spoken from the Heart, June 12

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Terry is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Amazon gift card & copy of the book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

The Sweet Life by Suzanne Woods Fisher CELEBRATE LIT BLOG TOUR

About the Book

Book: The Sweet Life

Author: Suzanne Woods Fisher

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Release date: May 3, 2022

Jilted by her fiancé, Dawn Dixon escapes to beautiful Cape Cod on a groomless honeymoon–with her mother. But she didn’t expect her mom to risk everything, on a whim, to move there permanently or buy a rundown ice cream shop in need of repair. In order to make their new life work, they’ll also need her ex’s help.

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

With over 1.5 million copies sold, Suzanne Woods Fisher is a bestselling author of over 30 books, ranging from novels to children’s books to non-fiction. She is a Christy Award finalist, a winner of Carol and Selah awards, and a two-time finalist for ECPA Book of the Year. She writes stories that take you to places you’ve never visited—one with characters that seem like old friends. But most of all, her books give you something to think about long after you’ve finished reading it. Suzanne lives with her very big family in northern California.

More from Suzanne

The Sweet Life is a story about a mom and a daughter who, both in need of a little respite from life’s bumps and bruises, start an ice cream shop on Cape Cod…thinking it will be easy. After all, who doesn’t love ice cream?

Well, sure. That’s true. Everybody loves ice cream. But ice cream can be tricky. This I can say with authority. My husband is a serious hobby ice cream maker. He even attended Penn State’s Ice Cream School. While Steve was working on his vanilla recipe, he experimented fifty-nine times before he was finally satisfied. 59 times! Other flavors, like chocolate, can mask mistakes. Not vanilla. Too pure.

Here’s a few other things you probably didn’t know about ice cream:

The very first mention of a frozen dessert dates back to Persia in 550 BC, though it might have been sorbet-like. It’s said that Emperor Nero had ice brought down from the Apennine Mountains to produce a sorbet of honey and wine. And then there are those who insist that ice cream came out of China, and were introduced to Italy with the help of Marco Polo. Regardless of its origins, a love of ice cream has been around for a very, very long time.

Quaker colonists introduced ice cream to early America, having brought their recipes with them from England. Some argue that the French brought ice cream to America. Regardless, during the colonial era, ice cream was sold in shops in New York.

George Washington loved ice cream. So much so that he even brought ice cream making equipment to Mount Vernon! There are many accounts of “ice creem” (as it was then called) served during his administration.

First Lady Dolley Madison, wife of U.S. President James Madison, served ice cream at her husband’s Inaugural Ball in 1813. Common colonial flavors were soft fruits, like peaches or strawberries, added to a vanilla custard. Dolley had a curious favorite flavor: oyster. (Ugh.)

In September of 1846, a Philadelphia house wife named Nancy Johnson filed patent #3254 for a simple hand cranked ice cream churn. Prior to this point, ice cream belonged to the wealthy. Her hand cranked ice cream churn made it affordable for everyone. Nancy Johnson’s design is still used today.

During the St. Louis World’s Fair in 1904, an ice cream vendor ran out of cardboard dishes. The vendor next door offered to make cones by rolling up his waffles. Voila! The birth of the ice cream cone.

The majority of American ice cream companies have been in business for more than 50 years. Many of them are still owned by single families.

For the last 128 years, Penn State University has held Ice Cream School for professionals and serious hobbyists during January (for obvious reasons). All the greats have attended: Baskin & Robbins, Ben & Jerry, Dreyer’s, Nestle’s, Blue Bell Creamery, Dairy Queen, and…my husband.

The most popular flavor in the world? Vanilla. Of course.

My Review of The Sweet Life:

I really enjoy Suzanne Woods Fisher’s style of writing – whether it’s contemporary fiction or Amish. The way she writes her characters is so engaging. I feel as though I’m part of the community and love that sense of belonging. What a great storyline and great characters for this book. Mother-daughter relationships: the author wrote this one so well. I think we all can relate to being so opposite in personality. The dynamics between Kevin, Dawn and Marnie are so relatable as well. Definitely a favorite book and when you include ice cream throughout the pages, well, you really can’t go wrong. A great summer read for sure!

I received a complimentary copy of this book but was under no obligation to review it. All opinions are mine.

Thanks for stopping and connecting here at Spoken from the Heart: If you want to subscribe to my email to receive the latest updated information or to just be encouraged, sign up here: www.cheriswalwell.com

As my way of saying thanks, you will receive a free eBook – Spoken from the Heart: Choosing Grace

Just sign up at: www.cheriswalwell.com

Don’t forget to check out the other blog spots listed below for your convenience.

Blog Stops

Back Porch Reads, May 26

Inside the Wong Mind, May 26

The Avid Reader, May 27

lakesidelivingsite, May 27

Vicky Sluiter, May 27

Remembrancy, May 28

Southern Gal Loves to Read, May 28

Splashes of Joy, May 28

Texas Book-aholic, May 29

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, May 29

Miriam Jacob, May 29

Daysong Reflections, May 30

Inklings and notions, May 30

For Him and My Family, May 31

The Book Club Network, May 31

Blogging With Carol, May 31

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, June 1

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, June 1

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, June 2

deb’s Book Review, June 2

Artistic Nobody, June 2 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Locks, Hooks and Books, June 3

Jeanette’s Thoughts, June 3

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, June 3

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, June 4

Blossoms and Blessings, June 4

Mary Hake, June 4

Christina’s Corner, June 5

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, June 5

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, June 6

Book Looks by Lisa, June 6

Simple Harvest Reads, June 6 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

Pause for Tales, June 7

Spoken from the Heart, June 7

She Lives To Read, June 8

Bigreadersite, June 8

Labor Not in Vain, June 8

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Suzanne 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.

Celebrate Lit Blog Tour for The Traveling Prayer Shawl by Jennifer Lynn Cary

About the Book

Book: The Traveling Prayer Shawl

Author: Jennifer Lynn Cary

Genre: Christian Women’s Fiction/Split-time

Release date: March 17, 2021

Her dream account just landed in her lap…

…So did the future of her family

And she’s got two months to save them both.

Cami Madison’s grandmother died, leaving her with a task she must complete or all the inheritance goes to charity. Plus her boss handed her the ad campaign that will win her the coveted vice presidency opening.

Both have the same time table.

When she realizes the projects are intertwined, things really start to unravel.

Kate Hanson raised her granddaughter after the child became an orphan in a car accident. But not all scars are on the outside.

Can Kate’s last request help Cami to heal?

Will Cami be able to step up to the job?

You will love this split-time women’s romance because when family is on the line, everyone knows the only way to survive is wrapped in prayer.

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

Choice 4 (1)Historical Christian Romance author, Jennifer Lynn Cary, likes to say you can take the girl out of Indiana, but you can’t take the Hoosier out of the girl. Now transplanted to the Arizona desert, this direct descendant of Davy Crockett and her husband of forty years enjoy time with family where she shares tales of her small-town heritage and family legacies with their grandchildren. She is the author of The Crockett Chronicles series, The Relentless series, and The Weather Girls trilogy as well as the stand-alone novella Tales of the Hob Nob Annex Café and her split-time novel The Traveling Prayer Shawl.

More from Jennifer Lynn

The Traveling Prayer Shawl is actually a tribute to the wonderful women I’ve had the pleasure of making shawls with for the last ten plus years. We have a group that has remained faithful though some have had to leave, and new faces have joined. I thought this would be a book where there would be several points of view, sort of like how it is when we meet one Saturday per month. I even asked the girls when this idea began to churn if they could give me some character ideas.

Then one morning this scene came to me and wouldn’t leave. I wrote it out and sent it to my critique group. They thought I might be on to something.

Follow that with one of my prayer shawl girls asking if I was still interested in a character idea. Of course I said yes, and she handed me a fully fleshed out supporting character—Dericka.

I hadn’t planned on anything romantic but apparently my characters had other ideas. This story couldn’t get itself written fast enough.

The cherry on top was when another of my prayer shawl girls shared about a pattern her grandmother had designed that was published back in the 1960’s. With her permission, I include that pattern at the end of the book—an actual prayer shawl to crochet.

You will also see a prayer that is included with the shawl in the book. That is the same prayer that is given with each shawl from our Needles of Hope group. It was written by my dear friend, Pastor Lori Brown and used with her permission.

Crocheting is a relaxing craft for me and one I came to only a few years ago. My sweet grandmother tried to teach me to crochet, then gently suggested I stick with knitting. Ha! But my husband’s cousin came to visit and accepted the challenge, finally helping me to see what had been so elusive. Now I prefer it to knitting.

Though The Traveling Prayer Shawl is a stand-alone and not like my other books, I am currently working on another stand-alone split-time and have included the first chapter at the end of the book. Hope you will enjoy it and that you will try out my friend CeCe’s grandmother’s prayer shawl pattern.

Abundant blessings!

My Review of The Traveling Prayer Shawl:

This is the first book I’ve read by Jennifer Lynn Cary but it won’t be my last. I had read a book about prayer shawls last year and it was then I decided I wanted one. I’m going to ask for one for my birthday or Christmas because that is how much I have fallen in love with them from reading about them. I’m not sure who I loved more in this book – Cami, Kate, or Morgan. And the men in the story? Bruce and Jeff? I loved that none of the characters were perfect, they were all flawed and yet they and the storylines drew me in. The adding of the sweet seven-year-old twins was a wonderful addition that brought some much-needed humor at times, and I loved the growth the characters showed throughout. Again, this book not only was entertaining, but further cemented the significance of a prayer shawl and how much I really want one in my life.

I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit but was not under any obligation to write a review. All opinions are strictly mine.

Thanks for stopping and connecting here at Spoken from the Heart: If you want to subscribe to my email to receive the latest updated information or to just be encouraged, sign up here: www.cheriswalwell.com

As my way of saying thanks, you will receive a free eBook – Spoken from the Heart: Choosing Grace

Just sign up at: www.cheriswalwell.com

Don’t forget to check out the other blog spots listed below for your convenience.

Blog Stops

An Author’s Take, May 24

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, May 25

lakesidelivingsite, May 25

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 26

Texas Book-aholic, May 27

Boondock Ramblings, May 27

Inklings and notions, May 28

For Him and My Family, May 29

Miriam Jacob, May 29

deb’s Book Review, May 30

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, May 31

Locks, Hooks and Books, May 31

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, June 1

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, June 2

Mary Hake, June 2

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, June 3

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, June 4 (Author Interview)

Vicarious Living , June 4

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, June 5

Blogging With Carol, June 6

Spoken from the Heart, June 6

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Jennifer is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Amazon card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

Celebrate Lit SPOTLIGHT for Miracles in the Middle by Debbie Milam

About the Book

Book: Miracles in the Middle

Author: Debbie Milam

Genre: Christian Living, Inspirational

Release date: December 8, 2021

image0 (1)Do you need a miracle? You are not alone.

Some seasons of life can be so difficult. You may be in the middle of uncertainty, loss, grief, or anxiety.

You and your loved ones may be in the middle of chronic illness, financial issues, relationship struggles.

Whatever you’re struggling with, God knows.

And in the middle of your circumstances, God is there and He’s still creating miracles.

Miracles in the middle of fear.
Miracles in the middle of grief.
Miracles in the middle of unwellness.
Miracles in the middle of relationship struggles.
Miracles in the middle of suffering.

Most people talk about seeing God’s miracles when they have a breakthrough, receive healing, are freed from an addiction, or are victorious on the mountaintop. But what about the miracles that happen in the valley, in the middle of your storm, to in your difficult situation?

That’s where God does extraordinary work. That’s where God’s greatness amazes us when we need it the most.

In my newest book, Miracles in the Middle: I invite you to witness the astonishing miracles that happen in both seasons of blessings and in the depth of suffering. These true stories of God’s presence, power and love will reignite hope and help you develop a deeper intimacy with the Lord.

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

Debbie Milam is an award-winning occupational therapist, author and past syndicated columnist for United Press International’s Religion and Spirituality Division.

She is the author of Miracles in the Middle, Overtaken by Grace, And God Said and Lord Show Me You Are Here.

Debbie’s ground-breaking work has been featured in First for Women, the Miami Herald, Elle, and Ladies Home Journal, and on the Hallmark Channel, PBS, and WebMD.

Through her 501(c)3 Grace Love Well Foundation, her mission is to inspire people to the beauty, love, power, and presence of God. As an organization we have donated thousands of books to churches, missions work, prisons, pastoral counselors and prayer teams.

For more resources to deepen your intimacy with God and find peace in His presence, visit us online at gracelovewell.org or YouTube/Debbie Milam

More from Debbie

January of 2020, I began a journey of catastrophic health issues as I faced four life-threatening infections, including COVID, which led to being placed on Hospice care. While facing my mortality, I cried out to God and experienced one miracle after another.

Although my body was growing weaker and weaker, my faith, relationship with God, and desire to bring hope to others grew stronger and stronger. While battling severe health issues, I was able to publish this book by God’s grace and a great publishing team.

So many Christians are battling hopelessness, anxiety, and overwhelm. I understand all these feelings and I invite readers to witness the astonishing miracles that happen in both seasons of blessings and the depth of suffering. My true stories of God’s presence, power, and love will reignite hope and help readers develop a deeper intimacy with the Lord.

Author Interview:

What role does God play in your writing career? 

God is the most exquisite part of my writing. Since my kids were babies (29 years ago), I have awakened early – an hour before they did.  I begin each morning in worship, prayer, and meditation.  During this time, I pour out my praise and empty my worries onto the page.  

These morning pages have given birth to a deep intimacy with the Lord.  I then spend a few minutes being still in God’s presence just filling with His love and letting the wisdom of the Holy Spirit wash over me.  In these moments, I am amazed by the revelations, creativity, and wisdom that bubble up. 

All of my writing flows from this space – the space where God dwells, leads, and loves. 

What has been your favorite book that you’ve written? Why?  

I would have to say this new book, Miracles in the Middle is my favorite.  I was facing my mortality from four life-threatening infections including Covid.  I was dependent on the Lord and others for almost everything including my next breath.  I knew there were stories and wisdom I wanted to share with my loved ones and readers about miracles, God’s love, the good that arises out of painful seasons, the comfort of God’s presence and word, and how – by divine design, we were made to be resilient. 

While I could barely pick up a cup, on hospice care and oxygen-dependent, God gave me supernatural creativity and strength to voice record each of these stories.  I was then surrounded by a beautiful team who transcribed my recordings, did the editing, layout, and design. Together, we birthed this book out into the world.

It was so healing because my suffering had a purpose.  This is my most transparent book allowing me to show people that they are not alone in their suffering, and even when it is devastating, overwhelming, and messy, God is right there. 

What is so amazing though is that after almost 18 months of catastrophic health challenges, we finally have an accurate diagnosis, a treatment plan that is working, and I am healing. Glory to God. No doubt, this will lead to the sequel of Miracles in the Middle

What do you enjoy most about writing? 

Writing helps me make sense of my life and gives meaning to the challenging circumstances I face.  A new level of joy arises when others read my books and can see their lives and God’s power in a different way.

Writing feels like a Holy Communion, an act of worship to share with others what God has shown me.  There is so much wisdom to share about God’s love and our resilience – both in the depths of the valley of suffering and in the joy of the mountaintop. 

What projects are you working on currently?

Several years ago, I released an online video Bible study called “God’s Way to Stress Less.”  The purpose of this course is to help people have a deeper intimacy with God, to experience His love, and to learn His ways of peace.  I am taking the lesson plans from that course and putting them out in book form.  

In the season that we’re in right now where there’s so much uncertainty, fear, divisiveness, and grief, I am compelled to share wisdom and ways to help others experience God’s love and peace.  

What’s one way God speaks to you personally in your daily life? 

There are so many, but if I had to pick one, it is discerning the still, gentle whisper of the Holy Spirit from the thoughts in my head.  

What I have seen, and I talk about this a lot in my books, is that as humans, we have a thinking mind, but we also have the mind of Christ.  Learning to discern, attend, attune and trust the wisdom from the Lord has carried me through the most difficult seasons of grief, loss, and illness.  

What’s so exquisite is that the gentle God whispers of wisdom are always there.  Whether in seasons of joy or sorrow.  

There’s nothing special about me. God speaks to each and every one of us in ways we understand. It brings me such joy to help others learn how to experience God’s presence that whispers love-drenched wisdom. 

Thanks for stopping and connecting here at Spoken from the Heart: If you want to subscribe to my email to receive the latest updated information or to just be encouraged, sign up here: www.cheriswalwell.com

As my way of saying thanks, you will receive a free eBook – Spoken from the Heart: Choosing Grace

Just sign up at: www.cheriswalwell.com

Don’t forget to check out the other blog spots listed below for your convenience.

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 19

Inklings and notions, May 20

For Him and My Family, May 21

Texas Book-aholic, May 22

Locks, Hooks and Books, May 23

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, May 24

deb’s Book Review, May 25

Splashes of Joy, May 26 (Author Interview)

Miriam Jacob, May 26

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, May 27

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, May 28

Christina’s Corner, May 29

Blossoms and Blessings, May 30 (Author Interview)

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, May 31

Spoken from the Heart, June 1 (Author Interview)

Mary Hake, June 1

 

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Debbie 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.

BRIDE OF THE ROCKIES by Angela Breidenbach CELEBRATE LIT BLOG TOUR

About the Book

Book: Bride of the Rockies

Author: Angela Breidenbach

Genre: Historical Romance

Release date: January 1, 2022

For botanist, Bettina Gilbert, mining is an offense against God’s green earth. With the shortage of women in Montana, Luke travels to Chicago to manage the Montana mining exhibition hoping to also find a wife. Only that pretty botanist keeps disrupting his mining presentations … and his chances of meeting the right woman! A city girl who despises his way of life would be the worst choice for a miner’s wife, wouldn’t she?

Uplifting, wholesome romance set in the Gilded Age during Chicago’s World Fair. Written by bestselling author and professional genealogist, Angela Breidenbach. Accurate to history while entertaining, inspiring, with a lovely ambiance of hope.

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

Angela Breidenbach is a professional genealogist, media personality, conference speaker, bestselling author of eighteen books, and screenwriter. Angela lives in Montana with her hubby and Muse, a trained fe-lion, who shakes hands, rolls over, and jumps through a hoop. Surprisingly, Angela can also. Catch her show and podcast, Genealogy Publishing Coach!

More from Angela

Rabbit trails. The paths that draw a writer away from her planned research. That’s what happened when I started researching Queen of the Rockies. I hopped down a rabbit trail that took me into an entirely different story. Here I was writing about the beginning of Montana as a state, the real people, and the unusual stories of the Gilded Age. Then a thread of the Chicago World’s Fair kept popping up like little bunnies in the middle of the field that darted here and there.

Well, those little rabbit trails captured my fascination. I couldn’t stop chasing them. I wanted to know more about why people who were busy carving out a new state would want to travel halfway across the country and live in Chicago for five months. Why would they care? What were their goals? Who were these unusual people? So, I did the smart thing. I started a new document to think about writing a later story.

The more I researched the first book in this series, Queen of the Rockies, the more I found tidbits of names that reappeared in newspapers. Then I followed a few of those names just to see what had become of them. I found a lot more than I expected. From the social pages in newspapers to club minute books to journals the stories of some really interesting women came to light. Their goals were much more than for one family or one town. These people found a cause bigger than themselves. They found a bond in forging a state that held respectability in the world’s eyes. These people were tired, and offended, of the constant slur — the Wild West. And they were going to change that erroneous misconception!

The rest of civilization didn’t understand how modern, elegant, and valuable Montana was in the 1890s. But the people of Montana were about to prove their infant state was the shining star on the American flag. She was no infant. This beautiful state, whose capitol was fully electric already, could hold her own among the elegant countries slated to be at that fair in 1893.

Come turn the pages of Bride of the Rockies and find out what these people, and especially the women, did to put Montana in the world headlines. See why they stunned with never before seen discoveries displayed in their pavilion during the Columbian Exposition. Can you imagine being given 10% of the budget while the men had 90%, in essence set up as the underdog, and blowing the world away with what you do with it?  Walking away with the win? Not just one win…seven!

Bride of the Rockies took me on a fabulous rabbit trail of research. I hope this story will be fun for you, too!

My Review of Bride of the Rockies:

Bride of the Rockies is Book 5 in this series. I love the series and how each of the characters (main men and women) are so different with such diverse personalities and characteristics. It makes reading the series so much fun. The author sure knows how to keep the action moving and the fact she has so many different subjects/topics to write on for this series is wonderful. It’s a great historical lesson about Montana in its early years and combining that with Chicago’s history in this book made it even more special. History is best read through fiction, in my opinion, and this series has it all. I definitely recommend these books to all the women in your life who enjoy a great storyline, strong characters, and biblical truths sprinkled throughout.

I received a complimentary copy of this book but was under no obligation to review it. All opinions are mine.

Thanks for stopping and connecting here at Spoken from the Heart: If you want to subscribe to my email to receive the latest updated information or to just be encouraged, sign up here: www.cheriswalwell.com

As my way of saying thanks, you will receive a free eBook – Spoken from the Heart: Choosing Grace

Just sign up at: www.cheriswalwell.com

Don’t forget to check out the other blog spots listed below for your convenience.

Blog Stops

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, May 17

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, May 17

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 18

An Author’s Take, May 19

Blogging With Carol, May 19

Betti Mace, May 20

Texas Book-aholic, May 21

Mary Hake, May 21

Inklings and notions, May 22

For Him and My Family, May 23

Pause for Tales, May 23

deb’s Book Review, May 24

Locks, Hooks and Books, May 25

Blossoms and Blessings, May 25

Tell Tale Book Reviews, May 26

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, May 27

Spoken from the Heart, May 27

Bizwings Blog, May 28

Connie’s History Classroom, May 29

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, May 30

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Angela is giving away the grand prize of a pair of beautiful opal earrings set in fair trade sterling silver!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.