Finding love in the mess of life

Finding love in the mess of life can be a breakthrough moment. It can change your life literally. I knew a man who had had tragedy in his life that had broken him. He had lost his young wife to cancer, and he hadn’t been able to stop the cruel disease taking her away from him. From that moment, he could see no future and only his occupation as a doctor kept him going. He snapped at his co-workers and refused to let anyone help him. No one wanted to work with him. Until finally after many years he allowed love into his life again. Love transformed this man and the real beauty of who he was shone out of him once again.

Love can change everything. Finding Amor by Allison K. Garcia tells the story of how an exceptional boy called Emanuel brought love into the lives of two people. Read my review below to see what I thought of this book.

Margaret Kazmierczak reviews Finding Amor

My Penny’s worth

Finding Love

There are two very different characters in Finding Love which help move the story along through the pages. And it is the effect that Emanuel has on them both that kept me reading. I was not aware that this book is the first in the series as I received an e-book of it. Therefore I wondered why the author was taking time to develop the characters through mundane domestic scenes that didn’t seem necessary to the storyline.  Until I reached the end with the cliff hanger. Then I got it. Those ordinary everyday scenes had drawn me in to care for the characters because the book had a sequel. As I read the last words I thought, hang on, you can’t leave the ending like this, what happens. So no doubt I shall be looking for the next one to be published.

What I loved

I loved the opposites. Lauren from a middle-class background learning about the plight of Emanual. Mixing with other people whom she would never usually have anything to do with. Eyes opened to the other side of life. Her Christian love being challenged and taken out of its comfort zone.

God doesn’t call the equipped; He equips the called.

I also loved Emanuel, his young heart searching for more than just human love, especially as family had hurt it. I could feel his pain at being separated from his adored Mamita.

A heart split in two between thousands of miles. Was there anything that could heal that kind of brokenness?

The different loves

There is a beautiful paragraph about the love of each member of Emanuel’s family. This turbulent tribe who have a place in the young boy’s heart as spoken by Ana his mother.

Her family. It was far from perfect, but great love flowed beneath the surface. Carlos’ love spurted like a geyser: nothing, then everything, and back to nothing again. Emanuel’s love was timid, like a shy brook in a narrow path, fighting through leaves and rocks. Her own love was constant, but it flowed in many directions and often lost its path. Mamita’s love gushed strongest of all, like the river outside of their house in Santa Rita after a big rain. It rushed over everything, flooding the world. It formed new rivers with its unstoppable force.

There is heartbreak too

As I said above the book is about opposites, and that is true with finding love. There is a conflict with love. Ana may have got the love of her life back, but it has consequences. And her dilemma is tangible through the pages. Allison Garcia does a beautiful job of portraying emotions and situations.

Could I put the book down without wondering about others in such a situation?

No, Allison K. Garcia makes it clear that we need to love and step out of our comfort zone in the form of Lauren. Let’s face it Jesus was an immigrant along with his parents; they had to flee to another place for fear of their lives.

Would I recommend Finding Amor?

Yes, I would, and I think in today’s world it is essential to gain an understanding of the issues that such a book is raising. We all need to find love. Thank you, Allison, for writing your story.

I would like to give it 5*

Don’t forget the GIVEAWAY at the end of this post.

*I was given this book for free. No compensation was received, and all opinions are my own.*

This book review was brought to you by Margaret Kazmierczak author of “How to Make Victoria Sponge” And a contributor to Heart”wings” devotional.

Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Book

Margaret Kazmierczak reviews Finding Amor by Allison K GarciaTitle: Finding Amor

Author: Allison K. Garcia

Genre: Latino Christian Fiction

Release date: September 8, 2018

In a world filled with hate, how can you know what love is?

Escaping a violent and abusive environment, eight-year-old Emanuel Martinez attempts to cross through three countries to be with his mother, Ana, whom he hasn’t seen since he was a baby. When la migra catches him at the border and he’s thrown into an immigration center, his dreams for being a real family start to disappear.

Vowing never to be like her own mother who abandoned her and never looked back, Ana has worked for six years to get her son to the United States, Now Ana has to rely on her distant mother and her alcoholic boyfriend, Carlos, to finally get her son to her side so they can build a life together.

 When Lauren Barrett agrees to help with the afterschool program, she soon realizes she’s bitten off more than she can chew. Growing up in an unsupportive home has made her insecure and vulnerable, plus suffering through years of infertility hasn’t helped matters. Yet she longs to do something meaningful with her life and wonders when that opportunity will come along. When a special young boy named Emanuel enters her life, he turns her worldview on its head.

As their lives intersect, will they help each other understand what family and love and home really mean?

About the Author

Margaret Kazmierczak reviews Finding Amor by Allison GarciaAllison K. Garcia is a Licensed Professional Counselor, but she has wanted to be a writer ever since she could hold a pencil. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Shenandoah Valley Writers, Virginia Writers Club, and is Municipal Liaison for Shenandoah Valley NaNoWriMo.

Allison’s short story, “At Heart,” was published in the Winter 2013 edition of From the Depths literary magazine, along with her flash fiction. Her work, “You Shall Receive,” was published in GrayHaven Comics’s 2014 All Women’s anthology. Winning an honorary mention in the ACFW Virginia 2015 short story contest, “Just Another Navidad” was published in A bit of Christmas. Allison’s book, Vivir el Dream, published May 2017, has won several prestigious awards: 2016 ACFW Genesis Contest Finalist, 2018 Eric J. Hoffer Montaigne Medal Finalist, Honorary Mention in the 2018 Eric. J. Hoffer Awards E-book category, and 2018 IAN Book of the Year Awards Finalist in the Christian/Relgious Fiction category. Her highly-anticipated novel, Finding Amor, was released in September 2018.

Latina at heart, Allison has been featured in local newspapers for her connections in the Latino community in Harrisonburg, Virginia. A member of cultural competency committees for work and a participant in several pro-immigrant rallies and other events in her region, she also sings on the worship team and enjoys get-togethers with the hermanos in her church. With the help of her husband, Julio, and their son, Miguel, she has been able to nurture her love for the Latino people.

Blog Stops

Real World Bible Study, February 2

Through the Fire Blogs, February 3

Mary Hake, February 3

100 Pages per Hour, February 4

Carla Loves To Read, February 5

Inklings and notions, February 5

A Diva’s Heart, February 6

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 6

Stephanie’s Life of Determination, February 7

Bigreadersite, February 7

Multifarious, February 8

Margaret Kazmierczak, February 9

Bibliophile Reviews, February 10

Carpe Diem, February 11

Creating Romance, February 12

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, February 12

A Baker’s Perspective, February 13

Texas Book-aholic, February 14

Janices book reviews, February 15

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Allison is giving away a grand prize of gift basket that includes a copy of The Ultimate Authorship Planner, 4 Christian novels, chocolate, and other surprise items!!

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/db10/finding-amor-celebration-tour-giveaway

Unlock how to steal time. An Hour Unspent is exciting.

How do you steal an hour in today’s busy world? I am always complaining that I don’t have enough time as it is. Well, dear reader, the answer is in An Hour Unspent by Roseanna M White. Oh, you thought I had come up with an actual answer to this worldwide problem. All I can offer you as a solution is, switch off that mobile, breathe, pause, and allow yourself an hour break from the madness and be still. You deserve it.

Margaret Kazmierczak reviews An Hour Unspent by Roseanna M White

My Penny’s Worth

Did this book steal my imagination?

With sentences like “A smile appeared out of the web of wrinkles she called a face, revealing gums with only half their teeth” I’d say so. Again, Rosanna M White produces a book filled with beautiful descriptions.

There are pearls of wisdom

Barclay, finally we get to read his story. In this third book, the greatest thief in England comes to life. Stealing my heart. The head of the family, who is warm, flawed, and honest – yes a paradox, runs through the pages. His necessity to steal to put food on the table for his family may not have been what his father meant when giving this advice:

“There is no shame in working with your hands. In crafting or fixing. We use our minds; we use our words – if God did not want us to use our hands, too, He would not have given us such capable ones.”

However, Barclay uses all these gifts to help those living under the breadline. His heart is pure gold.

A great double act

Evelina, a polio victim, comes crashing into Barclay’s world. A young woman who wants to make a difference to those less fortunate. Hurt and betrayed, browbeaten and different. Evelina is determined, strong but vulnerable. A thorn in the side for Barclay at times. And her character works to drive the story forward. But will Barclay be able to steal and tame her?

The supporting characters are brilliant

Ms. White’s characters bring another level to the story. They are horrid snobs with typical attitudes of the day. I loved Barclay’s thoughts of Evelina’s mother.

“Perhaps the Admiralty could just unleash her on the unsuspecting Germans. The war would be over in hours.”

The winner’s cup, in my opinion, goes to Aunt Beatrice with her snide comments and brilliant timing. Oh how you just want to shake her, but instead you are left with an open mouth thinking, did she really say that?

He’d come to realize, how the Lord worked. At least for him. He didn’t remove the bad – He just lent him the strength to face it.” An Hour Unspent Click To Tweet
I had a few niggles

There wasn’t a lot I didn’t like, yes I am afraid there is a but – Sorry. But there were some minor mistakes with terminology that many authors make about railway terms. My hubby is always correcting people over this so it must have rubbed off onto me!

Another sorry, yes I know, I felt the book stretched reality a bit towards the end. Don’t get me wrong it all tied in well, though I am not sure the final chapters were plausible in 1915. Without a spoiler is it hard to be specific so dear reader, you will have to read the book and come back to me to have this conversation.

But don’t let these niggles put you off, I’ll just go and take something for them!

“When it came down to it, all you ever had forever was what you carried inside. Memories. Faith. Love.”

Would I recommend An Hour Unspent.

Yes. Getting to know Barclay and the family better is well worth it and a fitting finale to the series. He will tell you how to steal an hour.

If you haven’t read the previous books, then I suggest you do. See my reviews for A Name Unknown and A Song Unheard.

Passion meant suffering - An Hour Unspent @RoseannaMWhite #book on tour with @Celebrate_Lit read #bookreview & enter #free #giveaway #amreading Click To Tweet

I would like to give An Hour Spent 4****

I received a complimentary copy of this book via CelebrateLit. A favourable review was not required, and the opinions are my own.

Click here to purchase your copy!

This book review was brought to you by Margaret Kazmierczak author of “How to Make Victoria Sponge” And a contributor to Heart”wings” devotional.

About the Book

Margaret Kazmierczak reviews An Hour Unspent by Roseanna M WhiteBarclay Pearce

Once London’s top thief, Barclay Pearce has turned his back on his life of crime and now uses his skills for a nation at war. But not until he rescues a clockmaker’s daughter from a mugging does he begin to wonder what his future might hold.

Evelina Manning

Evelina Manning has constantly fought for independence but she certainly never meant for it to inspire her fiancé to end the engagement and enlist in the army. When the intriguing man who saved her returns to the Manning residence to study clockwork repair with her father, she can’t help being interested. But she soon learns that nothing with Barclay Pearce is as simple as it seems.

The clockmaker

As 1915 England plunges ever deeper into war, the work of an ingenious clockmaker may give England an unbeatable military edge—and Germany realizes it as well. Evelina’s father soon finds his whole family in danger—and it may just take a reformed thief to steal the time they need to escape it.

About the Author

Margaret Kazmierczak reviews An Hour Unspent by Roseanna M WhiteRoseanna M. White is a bestselling, Christy Award nominated author who has long claimed that words are the air she breathes. When not writing fiction, she’s homeschooling her two kids, editing, designing book covers, and pretending her house will clean itself. Roseanna is the author of a slew of historical novels that span several continents and thousands of years. Spies and war and mayhem always seem to find their way into her books…to offset her real life, which is blessedly ordinary. You can learn more about her and her stories at www.RoseannaMWhite.com.

Guest Post from Roseanna

Last year, as I finished up the writing of An Hour Unspent, my great-grandmother passed away at the age of 103. As I sat at her funeral service and listened to the heartfelt memorial raised up to her by her kids and grandkids, I realized anew that this woman had been a matriarch in the truest sense of the word. She’d taught my family for generations how to love the Lord and each other, how to serve the Lord and each other, and how to trust the Lord and each other. Grandma Seward was, in so many ways, the one who instilled in me my idea of what family really is.

That idea—that it’s those knit together by love more than blood, and that faith is the strongest foundation—is what I built my unusual family of thieves upon in the Shadows Over England series. And strange as it is to liken my twenty-something reformed-thief hero to my 103-year-old-grandmother, Barclay Pearce is very much to his family what Maxine Seward was to mine.

The founder. The caregiver. The leader.

I knew as I began the series that I would write about Barclay in book three, and as I got to know him better throughout the series, I grew so excited to share his story! This is a man who led his family first into and then out of a life a crime, always for the right reasons—so he could provide for the children under his care. All he ever wanted to do was give them what he himself had lost. To show them love. To prove to them that they were worth any sacrifice.

It was truly a blessing for me to get to write the story in which Barclay found someone to come alongside him, to appreciate and learn to understand him. To finally share what started him down this path. I loved the idea that only a reformed thief could steal the time another family needed to overcome their own trials.

Fun research

There are many historical items in the book that were such fun to explore—watchmaking of the era, the suffrage movement in England, technological advancements of the war—but at the heart, this isn’t a story about any of those.

It’s a story about how far people should go for love. I hope you enjoy Barclay’s story as much as I did!

Blog Stops

October

The Avid ReaderOctober 30

The Power of WordsOctober 30

Back Porch ReadsOctober 30

Kat’s Corner BooksOctober 30

Janice’s Book ReviewsOctober 30

Where Faith and Books MeetOctober 31

Reading Is My SuperPowerOctober 31

Faithfully BookishOctober 31

Genesis 5020October 31

November

Fiction AficionadoNovember 1

Among the ReadsNovember 1

The Lit AddictNovember 1

Just the Write EscapeNovember 1

MultifariousNovember 2

Godly Book ReviewsNovember 2

Real World Bible StudyNovember 2

Madeline ClarkNovember 2

Reflections From My BookshelveNovember 3

Christian BookaholicNovember 3

Inspirationally Ever AfterNovember 3

Bookworm MamaNovember 3

BigreadersiteNovember 3

Blogging With Carol , November 4

D’S QUILTS & BOOKSNovember 4

Life with the TribeNovember 4

The Becca FilesNovember 4

Kathleen DenlyNovember 5

Cordially BarbaraNovember 5

Abba’s Prayer Warrior PrincessNovember 5

Simple Harvest ReadsNovember 5 (Guest Post from Mindy Houng)

God’s Little BookwormNovember 6

All-of-a-kind MomNovember 6

Faery Tales Are RealNovember 6

Christian Chick’s ThoughtsNovember 6

Carpe DiemNovember 6

Margaret KazmierczakNovember 7

Locks, Hooks and BooksNovember 7

Christian Author, J.E.GraceNovember 7

Blossoms and Blessings , November 7

Maureen’s Musings , November 8

Connie’s History Classroom , November 8

Book by BookNovember 8

Just CommonlyNovember 8

cherylbbookblogNovember 9

The Christian Fiction GirlNovember 9

Have A Wonderful Day , November 9

With a Joyful NoiseNovember 9

KarenSueHadley , November 10

Tell Tale Book ReviewsNovember 10

Babbling Becky L’s Book ImpressionsNovember 10

Baker kellaNovember 10

Bibliophile ReviewsNovember 10

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly KissesNovember 11

Inklings and Notions , November 11

Two Points of InterestNovember 11

Inspiration ClotheslineNovember 11

A Baker’s PerspectiveNovember 11

Henry HappensNovember 12

Proud to Be an Autism MomNovember 12

Texas Book-aholicNovember 12

Debbie’s Dusty DeliberationsNovember 12

Giveaway

4a66be29-89a1-42ab-9ed1-31b9f7c9bc97

To celebrate her tour, Roseanna is giving away a grand prize of a signed book, a London mug, and a 48-pack Twinings tea sampler!!

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/d570/an-hour-unspent-celebration-tour-giveaway

Treasure hunt, hidden secrets, and broken lives

Treasure hunt

During my childhood, an elderly friend of the family used to do a treasure hunt once a year in her back garden. I would walk around the many paths that led through the flower borders surrounded by trees and shrubbery. The treasure lay hidden high or low, on top, behind or below items. Squeals of delight rose from excited children as they found an object. I loved those afternoons especially as we received prizes and afternoon tea with delicious cakes afterwards.

I have retained my love of hunting for things and enjoy researching family history. Those tiny hints that ended up leading me along the right path to a new distant relative. Often there were sad tales that accompanied these findings. For this reason, Hidden Among the Stars by Melanie Dobson appealed to me, as it hinted at a treasure hunt, hidden secrets and broken lives. Just my cup of tea!

Margaret Kazmierczak reviews Hidden among the stars by Melanie Dobson

My Penny’s Worth

Hidden Among the Stars by Melanie Dobson is a dual time story about the present that reaches back to 1938 Austria.

What did I like

I liked the 1938 story which focussed on the hidden treasure of the Jewish people.  Also, how the relationships between the main characters developed under Nazi rule. I could smell the fear from the pages. There are lots of little gems in the writing that take you straight into their world. You can hear the music of the orchestra and see the fearful faces as two cultures try to dance together. However, for one man, there is only his love’s desire in the room.

She slowly picked up the hem of her dress, and he took her hand. “Let’s show them how to waltz.”It seemed to him as if the gates to heaven opened up, joy raining down as the angels themselves sang in his mind.

Bravery and love are at the core of this story, and it speeds ahead through the chapters.

Whoa, slam on the brakes!

The present-day story is sweet and slows the pace of the book right down. At the end of reading the 1938 chapters, I had to slam the brakes on. This I found a tad frustrating as I wanted to continue with the story. However, I knew if I just skipped the present-day contributions I would miss out on the connections between the two. In my opinion, the transition to the first person also made that shift a little harder.

Fear, Annika thought, was a curious thing. Motivating some to hurt and others to heal. #WW2 #courage #love Click To Tweet
Present day

Callie is an interesting character who thinks deeply.  She cares but puts herself last on the ladder, captive to her past.  I love this portion of her thoughts.

Capture every thought, that’s what it says in the second book of Corinthians. Lock the fugitive ones away in captivity. A new picture begins sketching itself in my head. Thoughts – hundreds of them – going rogue. Bent on destruction. I want to imprison them, but I can’t seem to cram them back into their cell.

So you have conflict in the present day storyline as well as the 1938 one.

This is a treasure hunt of hidden secrets and broken lives. Can the treasure found in a book that is linked with the past finally bring peace to troubled minds and hearts? That is a question dear reader you will have to answer for yourself by reading Hidden Among the Stars.

Thank you, Melanie Dobson, for writing this book.

I would like to give it 4****

*I received this book for free. No compensation was received, and all opinions are my own.*

#amreading Hidden Among the Stars @MelBDobson #book on tour with @Celebrate_Lit read #bookreview & enter #free #giveaway Click To Tweet

This book review was brought to you today by Margaret Kazmierczak author of “How to Make Victoria Sponge” And a contributor to Heart”wings” devotional.

Giveaway – To celebrate her tour, Melanie is giving away a grand prize package that includes a $25 Amazon gift card, Catching the Wind paperback, and Hidden Among the Stars paperback!! To enter see details below. And please don’t forget to comment on my blog – thank you.

Click here to purchase your copy!

About the Book

Margaret Kazmierczak reviews Hidden Among the Stars by Melanie Dobson read about hidden treasure.

Book Title: Hidden Among The Stars

Author: Melanie Dobson

Genre: Historical Fiction (However, this is a time-slip novel, so there is also a contemporary component to the story)

Release date: September 4, 2018

From the award-winning author of Catching the Wind, which Publishers Weekly called “unforgettable” and a “must-read,” comes another gripping time-slip novel about hidden treasure, a castle, and ordinary people who resisted evil in their own extraordinary way.

Synopsis

The year is 1938, and as Hitler’s troops sweep into Vienna, Austrian Max Dornbach promises to help his Jewish friends hide their most valuable possessions from the Nazis, smuggling them to his family’s summer estate near the picturesque village of Hallstatt. He enlists the help of Annika Knopf, his childhood friend and the caretaker’s daughter, who is eager to help the man she’s loved her entire life. But when Max also brings Luzia Weiss, a young Jewish woman, to hide at the castle, it complicates Annika’s feelings and puts their entire plan—even their very lives—in jeopardy. Especially when the Nazis come to scour the estate and find both Luzia and the treasure gone.

Eighty years later, Callie Randall is mostly content with her quiet life, running a bookstore with her sister and reaching out into the world through her blog. Then she finds a cryptic list in an old edition of Bambithat connects her to Annika’s story . . . and maybe to the long-buried story of a dear friend. As she digs into the past, Callie must risk venturing outside the safe world she’s built for a chance at answers, adventure, and maybe even new love.

About the Author

Margaret Kazmierczak reviews Hidden Among the Stars by Melanie DobsonMelanie Dobson is the award-winning author of nearly twenty historical romance, suspense, and time-slip novels including Catching the Wind and Chateau of Secrets . Three of her novels have won Carol Awards; Love Finds You in Liberty, Indiana won Best Novel of Indiana in 2010; and The Black Cloister won the Foreword Magazine Religious Fiction Book of the Year.

Who is Melanie Dobson

Melanie is the former corporate publicity manager at Focus on the Family and owner of the publicity firm Dobson Media Group. When she isn’t writing, Melanie enjoys teaching both writing and public relations classes at George Fox University.

Melanie and her husband, Jon, have two daughters. After moving numerous times with work, the Dobson family has settled near Portland, Oregon, and they love to hike and camp in the mountains of the Pacific Northwest and along the Pacific Coast. Melanie also enjoys exploring ghost towns and abandoned homes, helping care for kids in her community, and reading stories with her girls.

Visit Melanie online at www.melaniedobson.com.

Blog Stops

Reading Is My SuperPower, September 6

Fiction Aficionado, September 6

Back Porch ReadsSeptember 6

Among the Reads, September 6

The Power of Words, September 7

Multifarious, September 7

lady ansel book vibes, September 7

The Becca Files, September 7

God’s Little Bookworm, September 8

Christian Chick’s Thoughts, September 8

Painting with Words, September 8

Lis Loves Reading, September 8

cherylbbookblog, September 9

Living LIfe Free in Christ, September 9

Madeline Clark, September 9

Mary Hake, September 9

Reflections From My Bookshelves, September 10

Genesis 5020, September 10

Faithfully Bookish, September 10

Simple Harvest Reads, September 10 (Guest post from Mindy Houng)

Margaret Kazmierczak, September 11

All-of-a-kind Mom, September 11

Daysong ReflectionsSeptember 11

Caffeinated Christian Raves – N – Reviews, September 11

Seasons of Opportunities, September 12

Remembrancy, September 12

Inklings and notionsSeptember 12

amandainpaSeptember 12

Maureen’s Musing, September 13

Locks, Hooks and Books, September 13

Just Commonly, September 13

Book by Book, September 13

Connect in Fiction, September 14

Pause for Tales, September 14

Have A Wonderful DaySeptember 14

Splashes of JoySeptember 14

The Christian Fiction Girl, September 15

Tell Tale Book Reviews, September 15

To Everything A Season, September 15

A Baker’s Perspective, September 15

proud to be an autism mom, September 16

Bibliophile Reviews, September 16

BigreadersiteSeptember 16

Aryn The Libraryan, September 16

By The Book, September 17

Christian author, J.E. Grace, September 17

Janices book reviews, September 17

Texas Book-aholic, September 18

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 18

Carpe Diem, September 18

Godly Book Reviews, September 19

For The Love of Books, September 19

Live. Love. Read., September 19

Reader’s Cozy Corner, September 19

Giveaway

e5f4939d-cd96-45de-b748-8fb15bc1a0af

To celebrate her tour, Melanie is giving away a grand prize package that includes a $25 Amazon gift card, Catching the Wind paperback, and Hidden Among the Stars paperback!!

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/d2ad/hidden-among-the-stars-celebration-tour-giveaway

Dance with Jesus it will change your life

dance with jesus FB banner copy

Dance my friends as today I have Susan B Mead on the couch with me. However, we are not on the desert island this time as Susan has some imaginative writing to share with you. So today’s interview will be a look into her world of hope.

This is an I love Authors Interview 32

Hello and welcome Susan. Thank you for joining me on my couch today. I have five questions for you and I can’t wait to hear your answers.

Susan – Thank you, Margaret, for inviting me.

Well, if you are sitting comfortably let’s begin.

A dog starts talking to you, what conversation would you have with him/her? Why?

Susan – In the poem, The Hound of Heaven, Francis Thompson calls the Holy Spirit of God the Hound of Heaven, for He pursues us fervently! It makes me wonder if this dog talking to me like Balaam’s donkey talked to him to correct his path and lead me in the way of the Lord?

What would I say to the dog? Do you know we hear that all dogs go to Heaven? I pray you do too. Do you of Jesus? Oh, how He loves you, for He created you for His pleasure… My son, Kyle, is there and will play with you as you two run through fields and streams. Can you imagine the beauty of your forever home?

Do dogs go to heaven?

Honestly, I do not know whether dogs go to Heaven or not, yet it is a comforting thought. We know Jesus returns on a white horse, so what if there are dogs in Heaven too?

“Ask the animals, and they will teach you…In God’s hand is the life of every creature, and the breath of all mankind.” (Job 12:7,10)

“A righteous man cares for the needs of his animal.” (Proverbs 12:10)

Not many people think of measuring righteousness by this standard.

I would like to think there are animals in heaven just as it is described in Isaiah 11:6 “The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together, and a little child shall lead them.” This I feel is a beautiful vision of life in heaven.

A tree 1,000 years old is weeping, what do you think it is weeping about?

SusanRomans 8:19-27 (NIV) tells us the whole earth is groaning, crying, like a woman in labor, in eager expectation of liberation from its bondage of decay!

Romans 8:19-25

For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.

We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.

Romans 8:26-27

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.

This is so true, Susan, nature yearns for the coming of God just as we do. It goes through the seasons, birth, life, death and resurrection each year waiting for the final amen.

Your calendar has an extra month, what is it for?

SusanAnd the sun stood still…

So the sun stood still, And the moon stopped, till the people had revenge upon their enemies. Is this not written in the Book of Jasher? So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and did not hasten to go down for about a whole day. Joshua 10:13

WOW! We have a whole month! What enemy do we fight, Lord? Those lost from the Lord. Go preach the good news of Jesus Christ…

Still later, as the Eleven were eating supper, he (Jesus) appeared and took them to task most severely for their stubborn unbelief, refusing to believe those who had seen him raised up. Then he said, “Go into the world. Go everywhere and announce the Message of God’s good news to one and all. Whoever believes and is baptized is saved; whoever refuses to believe is damned. Mark 16:14-16 (MSG)

This is certainly our task – to bring those souls to the Lord who do not know Him. I love this answer, Susan, an extra month to do God’s bidding.

A flower is depressed how do you help it unfold its petals?

Speak love…I love you. You are beautiful. Let your beauty unfurl, slowly show and shine your unique beauty that only you can reveal, for you have a purpose here. Lift your head and let your heart open for you are safe here and loved, oh so loved.

You have moments to unlock a door and escape from a terrifying chicken, what key five words do you think will open the door?

Susan – The door will be opened.

Ask, Seek, Knock spells ASK! So ask God…

Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. Matthew 7:7-8 (NIV)

Yes, that is so true Susan, so often we forget to ask. Perhaps if we remember what ASK means we might be quicker in finding out the solutions. We might be a little less anxious and keep the terrifying chickens at bay!

An alien demands that you read a book to him/her that epitomizes earth, what would you chose and why?

Susan – The Bible it begins with the creation and foretells the end of the earth. What better description is there, good, bad, ugly and HOPE of Heaven when the earth “rolls up” at the end of this age.

That’s a great answer, Susan and a fitting end to my questions. Thank you so much for sharing your hope with us. Your book Dance with Jesus is full of encouragement to deepen faith and move on with life. I hope you have a great tour with Celebrate Lit and manage to reach out to many readers who need your book.

Friends show your appreciation for Susan B Mead. What an incredible lady.

This interview was brought to you by Margaret Kazmierczak author of “How to Make Victoria Sponge” And a contributor to Heart”wings” devotional.

Dance with Jesus @SusanBMead #book on tour with Celebrate_Lit read #interview & enter #free #giveaway $50 amazon gift card Click To Tweet

Giveaway – To celebrate her tour, Susan is giving away a grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card!! See details below.

And please don’t forget to comment on my blog, it is truly appreciated – thank you.

Click here to purchase Dance with Jesus!

If you like what you read please comment below and don’t forget to enter Susan’s giveaway.

About the Book

Dance With Jesus Book CoverBook Title: Dance with Jesus

Author: Susan B. Mead

Genre: Non-fiction: Christian life, Bereavement, Grief

Release date: March 31, 2015

Grief hits each one of us and can come from so many different directions…

HAVE YOU LOST SOMEONE DEAR TO YOU? A brother, sister, parent, grandparent, family member, friend or a child? A relationship? A body part to cancer or an accident? Do you want to experience the joy of moving from broken to blessed? From GRIEF TO GRACE? Do you want God to take your hand and teach you to dance…with Jesus? Yes?

Then devour the words of Dance With Jesus: From Grief to Grace! Expect to laugh through the tears and experience a deepening of your faith.

Are you looking for a free mini-course to deepen your faith? Text DanceWithJesus (all one word) to 444-999, then reply with your email to receive 6 days of Biblical encouragement.

10% of the profit from Dance With Jesus: From Grief to Grace will benefit Water for LIFE to help dig water wells in remote locations around the world. People Matter!

About the Author

susan b meadA master storyteller and award-winning, bestselling author, Susan B. Mead leaves audiences motivated to live a life free of regrets even though she has done the hardest thing any parent can do – bury her youngest son, Kyle. With over 22 years in corporate America, 2 million airline miles under her belt, 1 eLit Book Award Gold Medal and 2 Christian Literary Awards on the shelfan MBA and a Certificate of Ordination hanging on the wall, as well as a Doctor of Theology candidacy in process, Susan shares her expert teachings on business, grief, spiritual warfare and relationships.

Susan has been described as a solid, comforting voice in a messy world. Whether speaking to business professionals, women’s conferences, industry leaders or writer’s workshops, Susan’s insightful wisdom inspires audiences, empowering them to make healthy mental u-turns to help them find calm in the chaos.

Blog Stops

Just the Write Escape, August 28

Josephine’s Thoughts, August 29

Carpe Diem, August 30

Multifarious, August 31

Simple Harvest Reads, September 1 (Spotlight)

proud to be an autism mom, September 2

Reading Is My SuperPower, September 2

Texas Book-aholic, September 3

Artistic Nobody, September 4 (Spotlight)

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 5

Janices book reviews, September 6

Jeanette’s Thoughts, September 7

Margaret Kazmierczak, September 8 (Interview)

A Baker’s Perspective, September 9

Bigreadersite, September 10

Giveaway

 

e5f4939d-cd96-45de-b748-8fb15bc1a0afTo celebrate her tour, Susan is giving away a grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card!!

Click the link below to enter.

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/0bc39d2b2/?

Isn’t it great when you hate the bad guy?

Margaret Kazmierczak reviews Minding the Light by Suzanne Woods Fisher

Bad characters, bad writing, poor plot – not a bit of it. Minding the Light had me riveted. Read my book review below.

Click here to purchase your copy!

My penny’s worth

I have been eagerly waiting for the 2nd book in the Nantucket Legacy Series, after reading Phoebe’s Light. Would Minding the Light proved to be just as good? Well, my friends, I ate up the pages!

Why?

The bad character

Oh, my word, I disliked Lillian Swain Coffin, she is everything I loathe in a Christian. My heckles began to rise at the mention of her name. I mourned for Jane and Daphne having a mother like Lillian. Yes, I wept. Suzanne Woods Fisher did a commendable job with her bad guy (well woman in this case!). How I wanted to shake her. Now calm down Margaret, she is only a character in a book. I know, I know, but you see how she affected me. And it is great to hate a bad character in a book, it shows powerful writing.

Great Mary

Yes, Great Mary is back with her wisdom, and there is one particular quote from the book that will stay with me. It is referring to the story of Elisha from the Bible. A native Indian is talking to Great Mary, “God has a great and good future for you. Can you not see? God surrounds with his protection, with his presence. (Mary is) Like Elisha. Eyes closed. (If Great Mary opened her eyes…)

“What might shift in my heart if God were to unveil my eyes and show me that despite my fears and uncertainties, I’m surrounded by his powerful protection and presence. This Wampanoag had given me a great blessing. He reminded me not to fear the future, but to embrace it. To welcome whatever will come with open arms. For we are not alone on this journey.”

This is what I needed to hear. I am thankful that God has used Minding the Light to reveal to me what I need to do, just like Mary, I need to open my eyes and embrace the future.

So if it isn’t a bad book what is so great about it?

Let’s just say that within its pages there are secrets, loss, love, guilt, awakenings, transformations, hypocrisy, risk, reconciliation and regrets. Is that enough? Oh and the question of slavery, both religious and actual.

And the writing is just beautiful.

“A frown darkened Patience’s brown eyes, and she gave a nod. Such an economy of words out of this woman, and yet they clattered into the room like stones down a dry well.”

All of the characters are strong and powerful. Do I need to say more?

There are times to ponder.

“Tis all about the keystone, Mary. Think on that.”

And situations that melt your heart. I cried too, oh have I said that already!

Would I recommend Minding the Light.

Just go out and get a copy, is that recommendation enough? But read Phoebe’s Light first.

I have to give this book 5*****

*I received this book for free. No compensation was received, and all opinions are my own.*

Remember there is a GIVEAWAY at the bottom of the page, please enter for a chance to win.

If you liked my review let me know in the comments. Many thanks 🙂

#amreading Minding the Light @suzannewfisher #book on tour with @Celebrate_Lit read #bookreview & enter #free #giveaway Click To Tweet

About the Book

FIsher_MindingtheLight(2)

Book Title: Minding the Light

Author: Suzanne  Woods Fisher

Genre: Historical Romance

Release date: July 3, 2018

 

Six long years ago, Captain Reynolds Macy sailed away from his bride, looking forward to the day when he would return to Nantucket Island with a ship’s hold full of whale oil. But when that momentous day finally arrives, Ren soon discovers that everything has changed in his absence. Everything. “Is nothing on this island as it appears to be?” he whispers in despair.

Unlike most islanders, bold and spirited Daphne Coffin doesn’t defer to Ren as an authoritative whalemaster, but sees through his aloofness to the aching heart beneath. She encourages him to return to his Quaker roots and “mind the Light,” finding solace in God and community. As Ren becomes the man she believes him to be–honorable, wise, faithful–she finds herself falling in love with him.

But how can she, when her heart is spoken for? Tristram Macy is Ren’s business partner, cousin, and best friend–and Daphne’s fiancé. Love always comes at a cost, but when is the price too high?

Suzanne Woods Fisher welcomes readers back to the Quaker community on Nantucket Island for this riveting love story, full of unexpected moments.

About the Author

suzanne woods fisherCarol-award winner Suzanne Woods Fisher writes untold stories about inspiring people. With over one million copies of her books sold worldwide, she is the bestselling author of fiction and non-fiction, ranging from Amish Peace: Simple Wisdom for a Complicated World to the historical novel Anna’s Crossing.

Guest Post from Suzanne

Eight Curious Facts You Probably Didn’t Know about Nantucket Island

This beautiful island, thirty miles off Cape Cod, is steeped in history. Here are just a few interesting reasons to add a visit to Nantucket to your bucket list.

One

During the first half of the nineteenth century, Nantucket was considered to be the wealthiest port in the world…all because of whale oil.

Two

Petticoat Row is a 19th century nickname for a portion of Centre Street between Main Street and Broad Street. Many shops on Nantucket were run by women while the men were off to sea in whaling ships for years at a time. Quakerism, with its emphasis on equality, provided working women with community respect, value and esteem. The next time you’re visiting Nantucket, be sure to stop by the Petticoat Row Bakery for a morning glory muffin.

Three

The use of laudanum (opium) was described by a visiting French as prevalent among the women of Nantucket. Loyal Nantucketers vehemently denied his claim. However, in the 1980s, construction workers digging to Nantucket’s sewer lines found heaps of opium bottles buried in the ground.

For centuries, laudanum was considered to be not only harmless but beneficial. Its very name in Latin is landare, which means to praise. Other names for it: Mother’s Helper (to sedate children), Sea Calm (for seasickness). It was used for all kinds of ailments, from sleeplessness to menstrual cramps to treatment of chronic pain, and available without prescription up until the twentieth century, when it was found to be highly addictive.

Four

Nantucket Cent Schools were a carryover from England and the cost was exactly what the name implied. In New England they were kept by refined, thrifty women who often taught their own or their neighbors’ children until they were old enough to enter schools of a higher grade. I came across a story of a boy whose mother stuck a penny in his mouth each day so that he would remember to pay the teacher.

Five

Moby Dick, written by Herman Melville in 1851, was based on a true-life event that occurred in 1820 to the Nantucket whaleship Essex and her crew. You can find out more about this ill-fated voyage if you visit Nantucket’s awesome whaling museum.

Six

Speaking of…the whaling museum on Nantucket Island is called the Peter Foulger Whaling Museum. Peter Foulger was one of the early settlers to the island, and could be considered a Renaissance Man: inventor, surveyor, teacher, missionary to the Wampanoag Indians. And his grandson was none other than Benjamin Franklin.

Seven

Nantucketers were, for the most part, related to each other in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. The prosperous island was settled by a small group of families, with less than a dozen surnames: Coffin, Macy, Starbuck, Bunker, Hussey, Gardner, Mayhew, Swain, Barnard, Coleman, Worth, Mitchell. Those names are still common on the island.

Eight

There’s a good reason those surnames sound familiar to you—many of those early settlers had descendants who started business empires. Recognize these? Macy (retailer) and Folger (coffee).

Blog Stops

Carpe Diem, July 3

Livin Lit, July 3

midnightbookaholic, July 3

The Avid Reader, July 4

Margaret Kazmierczak, July 4

The Power of Words, July 4

A Baker’s Perspective, July 5

Blossoms and Blessings, July 5

A Reader’s Brain, July 5

Just the Write Escape, July 6

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, July 6

Bibliophile Reviews, July 7

Mary Hake, July 7

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, July 7

Texas Book-aholic, July 8

Simple Harvest Reads, July 8 (Guest post from Mindy Houng)

Janices book reviews, July 9

Captive Dreams Window, July 9

Book by Book, July 9

Back Porch Reads, July 10

Reading Is My SuperPower, July 10

Splashes of Joy, July 10

The Morning Chapter, July 11

Vicky Sluiter, July 11

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, July 11

Among the Reads, July 12

proud to be an autism mom, July 12

Two Points of Interest, July 12

Abbas Prayer Warrior Princess, July 13

Tell Tale Book Reviews, July 13

Blogging With Carol, July 13

Truth and Grace Writing and Life Coaching, July 14

Maureen’s Musings, July 14

Southern Gal Loves to Read, July 14

Godly Book Reviews, July 15

Inklings and notions, July 15

Bigreadersite, July 15

Connie’s History Classroom , July 16

Locks, Hooks and Books, July 16

Pause for Tales, July 16

Have A Wonderful Day, July 16

Giveaway

cc86deda-3163-43d9-9dd1-41c6c31fdaf7

To celebrate her tour, Suzanne is giving away a $10 Starbucks gift card to five winners!!

Be sure to leave a comment on one of the blog stops for 9 extra entries into the giveaway. Click link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/d1c4/minding-the-light-celebration-tour-giveaway

 

I love Authors Interview 22 this is Barbara Bras

Margaret Kazmierczak interviews Barbara Bras author of She Who Knows No Fear

I love Authors Interview 22

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Welcome to I love Authors Interview 22. Today we meet Barbara Bras, author of She Who Knows No Fear, which is on tour with Celebrate Lit from 26th April – 9 May. Let’s all give Barbara a warm greeting.

Bstsell auth

Hello Barbara, it’s lovely to meet you today. Come and have a seat on my couch.

I’m so glad you are doing a blog tour with Celebrate Lit which is running from 26th April – 9th May, as it gives me an opportunity to get you onto my sofa for a chat.

Barbara – Well, I am delighted to be here Margaret.

I hope you don’t mind but my interviews revolve around a desert island theme.  So I want you to imagine that we are on a deserted island somewhere remote. This means we are going back to basics.

However, for my first question, I want to know..

What luxury would you like to have washed up on the beach?

Barbara I enjoy my own company Margaret, but I would love a working radio (with extra batteries) for music and for news of the world’s events…to stay connected to the universe in that little way.

We could let you have a wind-up radio with a solar panel Barbara, better for the environment and then you wouldn’t need batteries as the sun charges it. Perfect for a hot desert island. Just try not to get sand in it!

I know you love books..

What book would you crave to read (you already have the bible, so please pick another book)?

BarbaraJesus Always, by Sarah Young. I find the daily devotions speak to me and come with great Bible references, which on the desert island I would have plenty of time to read!

You certainly would Barbara, once you have built your shelter and fished for your supper!

 

Talking about food..

What food would you miss the most being on a desert island?

BarbaraThis is embarrassing, Hebrew National Hotdogs. I’m crazy for them.

Ok, so I will need to look these up when we are on the mainland again with an internet connection. But they sound delicious. I learn something new everyday!

We’ve talked about books, food and now I want to know something about your writing..

What favourite sentence do you like from your most recent published book?

Barbara –“She thought everyone had found a secret she didn’t possess, but now she knew it was no secret. God loved her, too.”

Oh yes, that realization when you understand God loves you. That is a beautiful quote Barbara, thank you.

 

I always love these answers..

To leave the island, you have to describe your main character in five words, can you tell me what they would be?

Barbara – Gentle spirit seeking everlasting love.

Oh so true, I remember Cassie from your first book “She who knows – the tale of the heart”, which I liked. I think readers will enjoy this sequel.

Well, there you have it, readers, I am so glad Barbara you came to meet us on my couch today. It’s been fun getting to know a little bit more about you.

Barbara Bras readers, she deserves a mighty round of applause. I hope you have a successful blog tour.

It’s GIVEAWAY time so don’t forget to read the rest of this post and then enter Barbara’s competition at the bottom of the page. 🙂

Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Book

Bstsell authTitle: She Who Knows No Fear

Author: Barbara Bras

Genre: Contemporary Women’s Fiction

Release Date: December 8, 2017

 

Cassie’s dream is about to come true. She’s marrying her best friend, the love of her life.

She will never be alone again.

But when Zack fails to return from surfing, Cassie’s safe world comes crashing down around her and she begins her struggle anew.

Haunted by her conviction that her late grandmother left her something that will help her, Cassie discovers hidden “treasures” in the house she inherited.

With the help of her stepmother, Cassie unlocks the secrets of her grandmother’s journey and along the way finds the ultimate answer for her own life.

About the Author

untitled-1In 2015, Barbara Bras left her career to pursue her dream of serving God.  She believed that her first step was to share the amazing story of God’s blessings in her life. Wrapped in God’s Grace, A Life Rediscovered does so through a trio of narratives. It begins with the story of her son’s miraculous adoption and the challenging years that followed her grandparents’ remarkable survival in Armenia, and her own quest for purpose and love.  Once written, Barbara realized her life’s new purpose. Captured by St. Paul in 2 Corinthians 1:3-4, she views her writing as a tribute to the God who comforts and strengthens us in hardships and trials, and as her mission to encourage others.  Her first novel, She Who Knows, A Tale of the Heart, seeks to inspire and encourage. The sequel, She Who Knows No Fear:  Another Tale of the Heart, released in December 2017. Solo Deo Gloria, To God Alone Be the Glory

She who knows no fear image

Blog Spots

All-of-a-kind Mom, April 26

proud to be an autism mom, April 26

Reflections From My Bookshelves, April 27

Inklings and notions, April 28

Blogging With Carol, April 28

Bibliophile Reviews, April 29

A Greater Yes, April 29

Josephine’s Thoughts, April 30

Among the Reads, April 30

Maureen’s Musings, May 1

Texas Book-aholic, May 1

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 2

Janices book reviews, May 2

Jeanette’s Thoughts, May 3

Reading is my Super Power, May 3 (Interview)

Reader’s Cozy Corner, May 4

Pause for Tales, May 4

Kaylee’s Kind Of Writes, May 5

Carpe Diem, May 5

A Baker’s Perspective, May 6

margaret kazmierczak, May 6 (Interview)

Mary Hake, May 7

Simple Harvest Reads, May 7 (Guest Post from Mindy Houng)

Two Points of Interest, May 8

Bigreadersite, May 8

For the love of books, May 9

Pursuing Stacie, May 9

Giveaway

e5f4939d-cd96-45de-b748-8fb15bc1a0afTo celebrate her tour, Barbara is giving away a grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card plus a signed copy of She Who Knows and She Who Knows No Fear!!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/ca74