Friendship, marriage and love – life on the trail

Have you been blessed with a long friendship? My longest one has lasted since I was eleven and no I am not going to tell you how old I am now! Figure it out if you can. She is seventeen years older than me and into her seventies.  I had the privilege of being her bridesmaid, and she talked me into wearing a dress. Horror of horrors as I only ever wore skirts to school and just under pain of death. Dresses/shirts got in the way of climbing trees, playing football and generally rummaging around.

I reckon I would have been suited to life on the trail with the pilgrims in Caryl McAdoo’s book Gone to Texas.  Knowing how to make and light a fire, change a wheel on my bicycle, make things out of junk. Skills I enjoyed along with improvising. But I never improvised with friendship.

In Gone to Texas seventeen souls “joined by blood and friendship” travel together to the promised land, will their friendship survive? Continue reading below for my review.

Margaret Kazmierczak reviews Gone to Texas by Caryl McAdoo - Friendship

My Penny’s Worth

“Wagons roll” a blast from my childhood past that blared out from the television. So different from the history of England with our Kings, Queens and Knights in shining armour. I love the simplicity of the American Wild West. Caryl McAdoo’s book Gone to Texas reminded me of that past era. The pilgrimages made by ordinary people to find the promise land.

The Characters make the book

Throw a few families together add a widower and slave, mix it up with secrets and sins, and you have a journey of revelations, forgiveness and redemption. As the wagons roll friendship, marriage and love vie for centre stage.  I felt each character’s vulnerability at times as well as their great strength.

Yes I chuckled at one point

There is a scene: “The ladies gasped in unison, including Alicia. Uncle Laud spoke up, ‘Shot him dead? Mercy!’ ‘Over politics?’ I had to smile.

#amreading Gone to Texas @CarylMcAdoo #book on tour with @Celebrate_Lit read #bookreview & enter #free #giveaway Click To Tweet
The skill of the writer

Caryl McAdoo had me walking alongside the wagons listening into the conversations, holding hands with anticipation. Travelling with these souls as they journeyed onwards to the land of hope. Within the pages, you will find secrets and sins, forgiveness and redemption. These pilgrims walk the path of pain and sorrow while trying to hold onto their friendships.

Yes, there are disasters, it is the 1840’s and travelling by wagon takes months to get to a destination. There are no fast trains to catch back then. Just as I am getting comfortable by the fire with my friends, Ms McAdoo takes the mat from right under my feet.

“The thunder rolled over her heart, and the lightning flashed in her mind, and the rain wet her cheeks every time she found herself alone.”

The life of a pilgrim is tough. And it gets tougher.

“He slumped down to the base of the tree. Her lantern snuffed out, just like his life would be without her. There’d be no light. Tears filled his eyes.”

What are you doing to me?

“He looked skyward. ‘Please, Father, give me the desires of my heart.’”

Does God? My emotions are rung, I want to know what Caryl McAdoo has in store for them all.  But like you dear reader you will have to wait, you to read the book and me for the next in the series.

Does their friendship survive? He he, I can’t tell you 🙂

I am sore from the hardwood of the wagon seat, but I hope you will get on board and read this book.

Thank you, Caryl, for writing this book. I’d like to give it 4****

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

If you liked my book review please comment and don’t forget to enter the giveaway.

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.

Click here to purchase your copy!

About the Book

Margaret Kazmierczak reviews Gone to Texas by Caryl McAdoo - Friendship

Book Title: Gone to Texas

Author: Caryl McAdoo

Genre: Historical Romance

Release date: September 6, 2018

Can beauty truly come from ashes?

Deception drives seventeen souls to hard choices. Either stay on the land they thought they’d bought or heed the lure of free land in the faraway wilderness of a new Republic. Rife with peril and hardship, three families knit together by blood and friendship head out with a widowed man, daughter, and his slave, gambling everything they own on the prospect of land ownership and working it together. Does friendship pave a way to marriage? Can puppy-love survive through a harrowing journey to blossom into a forever lover? With duress at every turn, can the clan stay together all the way to Texas and accomplish their goals?

About the Author

Margaret Kazmierczak reviews Gone to Texas by Caryl McAdoo - FriendshipTop priority is God’s glory, and that’s exactly what Caryl McAdoo prays her stories will bring. To entertain and draw readers into a closer walk with Him is next. A quick check of stars and reviews attest to the success of this award-winning, best-selling author—all by the Father’s faithfulness. Besides writing, she loves singing praises, including the new songs He gives her! Visit her YouTube channel. Ron, her high school sweetheart husband won her heart fifty-two years ago, and they share four children and seventeen grandsugars. Ron and Caryl live on thirty-four acres ‘The Peaceable’ in the woods south of Clarksville, seat of Red River County in far Northeast Texas and wait expectantly for God to open the next door.

Northeast Texas and wait expectantly for God to open the next door.

Guest Post from Caryl

As much as I hated leaving the Buckmeyers, Baylors, and Nightingales and the Red River Valley, I loved starting this fresh Family Saga series with all new characters! GONE TO TEXAS is Book One of the Cross Timber Romances and features three families—the O’Neals, Van Zandts, and Worleys—joined by blood and friendship through Liberty O’Neal. Laud Worley is her little brother and Mallory Van Zandt, her best friend since school days.

Together, they’d traveled south to settle in Tennessee and were about to harvest their first cotton crop that fall in 1840 when they discovered the deed to their land—the land they’d spent all their pooled savings on—was forged and no-good.

New horizons

The legal owner graciously allows them to stay through harvest, taking his portion of their labor and cottonseed. At the gin, Seve Van Zandt hears rumors of Texas, a new Rebublic out west, offering free land to pioneers willing to tame its wildlands. This first story—book one—is all about their journey to the new country filled with hope and dreams.

A hired widower who with his daughter and slave helped harvest the clan’s cotton asked to join them on their journey, and so, on that faithful September morn, seventeen souls set out after they hung a hand painted sign on one of the cabins they left behind. “Gone to Texas”!

A book amongst books

Another very special thing about this novel, one hundred twelve thousand words—about three hundred fifty pages, is that it is also book one in a brand new collection! The Thanksgiving Books and Blessings Collection that includes stories from eight other authors besides me: Lena Nelson Dooly, Heather Blanton, Kristin Holt, Kit Morgan, Suzette Williams, Pauline Creeden, George McVey, and Lynette Sowell!

All nine books will have Thanksgiving Dinner with family around the table, giving thanks to God for all his blessings. I’ve noticed many series launched in December, but Thanksgiving is my favorite. I love giving thanks to the Lord!

And as always, I pray my story gives God glory, and that its readers will be drawn closer to Him through it. He blesses and highly favors me daily. I cannot thank or praise Him enough!

Thank you, too, for reading my stories, reviewing my stories, and participating in the most AWESOME CELEBRATE LIT‘s Blog Tour!!

Blog Stops

A Baker’s Perspective, September 11

Captive Dreams Window, September 12

proud to be an autism mom, September 12

Inklings and notionsSeptember 13

Luv’N Lambert Life, September 13

cherylbbookblog, September 14

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, September 14

Locks, Hooks and Books, September 15

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 15

Janices book reviewsSeptember 16

Abba’s prayer warrior princess, September 17

Carpe Diem, September 17

Creating Romance, September 18

Madeline Clark, September 18

Margaret Kazmierczak, September 19

The Mimosa Blossom, September 20

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, September 20

Back Porch Reads, September 21

Bibliophile Reviews, September 22

Texas Book-aholic, September 23

Godly Book Reviews, September 24

BigreadersiteSeptember 24

Giveaway

Finshed

How many victims can a book have?

Have we become de-sensitive to victims?

There’s no end to the victims in this world; you just have to turn the news on to be accosted by scenes of violence to back up that fact. All too often it is the vulnerable that suffer. Images of bulging bellies from malnutrition to cities destroyed by bombs due to war. Our senses bombarded with desperation can lead to paralysed and hard hearts, that is a crying shame. We’re in danger of becoming desensitised to the victims who stare out at us from behind the lens.

What has this to do with Storms in Serenity written by Fay Lamb? Read my review below to find out.

Storms in Serenity FB Banner copy

My Penny’s worth

How can one man create a domino effect from his actions causing a wave of victims to rise out of his mistake? Just how many victims can a book have?

When a disaster happens, the world often knows about it instantly due to 24 hours of news shown through the media. Secrets, however, don’t get this type of coverage. It is usually many years later that the effects of the sin emerge. The victims that stare out at us today from our screens are the result of man’s campaign to rule the earth. To be god’s of their world, with no compassion for the victims that are left in their wake.

Secrets

David New knows he needs to speak up about his past because he is sensitive to the hurt that his secret has caused. He is a victim just as much as his family if he allows the past to rule his present and future.

I found that it was hard to put this book down as so many lives were affected because of David New. Each character became important to me as they fought with their victim status. Could they rise above the sin, would they? The book made me think, what would I do in the circumstances, how would I react, could I forgive? There is just so much to ponder on with the different relationships.

Were there too many victims?

Personally, I think this book dealt with the issues compassionately and showed how many people get hurt when a person deviates from God’s path and commands. The storms were thick and left a devastating trail behind with the characters having to pick up their lives and reassess how they could survive. In this case, there were not too many victims as the story moved from one relationship to another. It showed how much we need God in our lives as we are all vulnerable.

I can say without a doubt this book is one of hope. It might not make headline material, but it does provide the reader with an opportunity to assess their degree of compassion and mercy. Something that this world needs to combat the desensitisation we may have towards others.

Thank you, Fay Lamb, for writing this book.

I would like to give this book 4 stars.

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

Fay Lamb has a great free giveaway, see the end of this post for details.

Let me know in the comments if this book review was useful. Many thanks – Margaret 🙂

About the Book

0 Front Draft 2Book Title: Storms in Serenity

Author: Fay Lamb

Release Date: February 2018

Genre: Romance, Mystery

 

 

How can one man save the town he loves when he’s the reason for the destruction?

Serenity Key, Florida, has seen its share of hurricanes, but this time, one foul weather system is about to collide with another storm, and this one has nothing to do with atmospheric pressure.

David New has guarded his secrets for years, but when two brothers, John and Andy Ryan, arrive in town and he gets news that the daughter he’s never told anyone about has disappeared, possibly the victim of a heinous crime, and the lives of many of the town residents begin to unravel in the gale force consequences of Jake’s past, he has nowhere else to turn.

God is the only one Who can calm the storms, but can David and the good folks of Serenity Key survive until He does?

A tempest has been brewing for thirty years, with only one island town in its path.

Click here to purchase your copy!

About the Author

FLamb 16Fay Lamb writes emotionally charged stories with a Romans 8:28 attitude, reminding readers that God is always in the details. Fay donates 100% of her royalties to Christian charities.

Storms in Serenity is the first book in Fay’s Serenity Key series. Fay’s other series include Amazing Grace and her novels, Stalking WillowBetter than RevengeEverybody’s Brokenand Frozen Notes. The Ties that Bind Series includes Charisse, Libby, and Hope. Delilah is coming soon.

Fay’s is also the author of The Art of Characterization: How to Use the Elements of Storytelling to Connect Readers to an Unforgettable Cast.

Guest Post from Fay Lamb

ONCE UPON A STORM

I’m one of those people who love storms. I revel in the lightning that streaks across the sky, the rumble of thunder as it rolls over the air, and I dance to the eerie sound of the wind coming through a crack in the window. Storms don’t frighten me. I’m an East Coast Floridian. I’ve lived through many a tempest.

However, so that you won’t think me completely insane, I have also fled a few hurricanes. In our house, a Cat III storm is something to debate as we watch to see how low the millibars fall at the storm’s center. A Cat IV means gather the important documents, place them into plastic bags and tuck them into plastic tubs, batten down the hatches, and depending upon its projected proximity, hunker down or flee. A Cat V is a no-brainer. Run!

If only the storms in our lives had categories so that we know when to stand and face the winds of life or to debate the direction, or to decide when to flee. Sometimes, the storms of life come at us without warning, with no stirring up of the waters by our own hands. Other times, the storms can be abated by the stance we take, the decisions we make, and by failing to move out of harm’s way, perhaps in an opposite direction.

That’s what my first novel in The Serenity Key series is about: one man stirred up a storm many years prior. The destructive force of that storm amassed because he didn’t take a stand, he failed to make crucial decisions, and he choose to run from a situation that God would not allow him to outrun. Storms in Serenity is a modern-day retelling of the Biblical truths of the aftermath of David’s sin with Bathsheba and the destruction the storms of life that blew apart not only David’s family but also those he called friends.

Mostly, though, Storms in Serenity, is a novel that proves that when it comes to sin, truly, no man is an island.

Blog Stops

Bibliophile Reviews, March 13

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, March 13

A Greater Yes, March 14

Bigreadersite, March 14

proud to be an autism mom, March 15

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, March 15

Multifarious, March 16

Christian Author, J.E.Grace, March 17

History, Mystery & Faith, March 18

A Baker’s Perspective, March 19

Simple Harvest Reads, March 20

MargaretKazmierczak, March 21

Texas Book-aholic, March 22

Carpe Diem, March 23

Pursuing Stacie, March 24

Janices book reviews, March 24

Jeanette’s Thoughts, March 25

Red Headed Book Lady, March 25

Daysong Reflections, March 26

Among the Reads, March 26

Giveaway

 

502668e9-98f3-4c44-8865-f56ad827f304To celebrate her tour, Fay is giving away a grand prize of an Echo Spot!!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/ca75

Adultery and how to wreck love and life

I am uncomfortable with this subject of adultery and how to wreck love and life – why?

Because I have first-hand experience of the effects of adultery.

My childhood suffered its claws as I grew up in a one-parent family, occasionally seeing my father. The pain of separation came every time I had to say goodbye – never knowing why his visits were infrequent. Always believing that I caused the divorce. Such heartbreak ripping at my innermost being. Why did adults do such harm and get to walk away? I waited for the right time to ask why, who, how? But I only got my mother’s side – I needed to hear both stories. To this day I still don’t have the answers, however, I do know now it was not my fault!

To read my review of Chautona’s book Christmas Embers read on….

celebrate-lit-christmas-embers

My penny’s worth

In Chautona Havig’s book Christmas Embers adultery and how it wrecks love and life are painfully described. At times I had to put it down because of the raw emotions that leapt off the page.

What I liked

The main characters, Sean and Emily, bleed everywhere, for their friends who deal with adultery,  for Davia, Joey’s  mummy who is dying and the mess that leaves behind. Page after page I live their pain.

So what’s there to like about that you say? I liked that this difficult subject has been opened up in this story and seen in its ugly, sordid and real image-  that it destroys love and life.

Christmas Embers book review by Margaret Kazmierczak

What I didn’t like

The book has stayed with me, and writing this review has not been easy – but that’s a good thing, isn’t it? Yes and no. Yes because it shows how powerful Chautona Havig’s writing is and no because it reminded me of the utter decay that adultery inflicts on the family, friends, church and society. It does not involve only those two adults engaged in the deceit.

Christmas Embers book review by Margaret Kazmierczak

But there is hope

I would strongly recommend that Christmas Embers ought to be a must-read for those preparing for marriage. But also for those who are struggling with this reality.

Christmas Embers book review by Margaret Kazmierczak

Thank you Chautona Havig for writing this story and for having the courage to “put it out there”.

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

Chautona has a great free giveaway, see the end of this post for details.

About the Book

Name of book: Christmas EmbersChristmas Embers Cover-sm

Author: Chautona Havig

Genre: Contemporary Christmas

Release Date: November 25, 2016

It’s a truth universally unacknowledged that sin will hunt you down and advertise its presence the moment you try to hide it.

Emily Byrne sits in her daughter’s classroom listening to the deepest wishes of twenty kindergarteners as she sketches them. But when little Joey Cordell breaks down, weeping and insisting the only thing he wants to find is his father, she isn’t sure where her Christmas project will take her.

Davia Cordell came to Rockland for one purpose–find her son’s father before she dies. An ex-prostitute, she’s well aware that the news will cause waves, but what’s a mother to do?

As these women join forces to search for Joey’s father–a Rockland area pastor, no less– Emily learns compassion for a woman who just wants the best for her son and can’t quite imagine that Jesus wants anything to do with her.

Each day, Davia weakens until Emily isn’t confident she’ll find the boy’s father in time–if at all. Doubts form. Should she look? Is it right to risk destroying a family like this–an entire church? The weight of that responsibility crushes her as Davia wastes away before her eyes.

A mother’s love. A boy’s confidence. A family’s faith. A preacher’s failure. Is redemption even possible anymore?

Christmas Embers: a story of love, failure, and redemption.

Click here to purchase your copy!

About the Author

media-headshot

Author of the Amazon bestselling Aggie and Past Forward Series, Chautona Havig lives and writes in California’s Mojave Desert. With dozens of books to her name, Chautona spends most of her time writing, but when she takes the rare break, she can be found reading, sewing, paper crafting, or sleeping and dreaming of finishing the dozens of books swirling in her overly-active imagination at any given moment.

Guest Post from Chautona Havig

Infidelity to the Tune of Adeste Fideles

“I think my husband is having an affair.”

An explanation followed. Look, I tend to be one who assumes the best of others—to a fault even. I read the “evidence” and frankly could see it going either way. It’s hard to tell across thousands of miles. While others on the message board saw red flag after red flag—and frankly, I did, too—I also saw perfectly innocent explanations for things. It’s a curse sometimes—that ability to see both sides of an issue. I cautioned against assumptions no one would want other people to make of themselves. And I prayed she was wrong.

She wasn’t.

It wasn’t the first time I’d come face to face with infidelity.

As a child, there was an extended family member. As a newlywed, one of my wedding party—then another. Then another. The excuses, the justifications. Friends and I went to confront a sister in Christ on her affair with her husband’s best friend. We foolishly asked “what happened?” regarding her marriage. Her words: “We drifted apart.”

I wanted to scream the words that battered my brain and heart. “Then row back together!

But over the years, it just grew worse. One by one, wives and husbands tossed aside vows made to a brother or sister in Christ—vows made before the Lord—in favor of what sometimes were serial affairs. Abuse. Horror.

I’ve prayed women I love through court cases, medical visits, and disclosures from children no mother should ever have to hear. I’ve prayed for men I didn’t even like because of the pain their wives inflicted each time she left them alone with the kids. He knew. He always knew.

Adultery is real. It’s ugly. And there’s absolutely a cure for it. Jesus. 100% surrender to Jesus. But as long as we rely on those little loops on the back of our boots instead of the saving, healing, strengthening power of Jesus, we’re just as vulnerable as the next person.

And that’s why I wrote Christmas Embers. I took every heartbreaking story I’d observed over the years and put in each character for a reason. Every scene, every plot point, every twist—I put them exactly how and where they are for a reason.

They’re there as a warning.

This isn’t your lighthearted Christmas novel. Some have suggested I shouldn’t have set it at Christmastime. But you know what? Over half the disclosures I’ve ever heard of happened between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. I couldn’t get the idea of Joey’s story out of my head. And to write his story, it had to be at Christmas.

Let me say it again. While Christmas may not seem like the optimal time for a hard-hitting book like this, I had to do it. Adultery is reaching epidemic proportions in the church. There’s a solution. His name is Jesus.

Blog Stops

Carpe Diem, December 5

A Baker’s Perspective, December 5

Mary Hake, December 5

Moments Dipped in Ink, December 6

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, December 6

Daysong ReflectionsDecember 6

Fiction Aficionado, December 7

A Simply Enchanted Life, December 7

Genesis 5020, December 7

Blogging With Carol, December 8

The Power of Words, December 8

BigreadersiteDecember 8

Reading Is My SuperPower, December 9

A Greater YesDecember 9

Radiant LightDecember 9

Just Jo’Anne, December 10

For The Love of Books, December 10

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, December 10

Aryn the Libraryan, December 11

A Reader’s Brain, December 11

The Fizzy Pop Collection, December 12

Books, Books, and More Books., December 12

Quiet Quilter, December 13

Seasons of Opportunities, December 13

Christian Book Devourer, December 13

AllofakindmomDecember 14

Texas Book-aholic, December 14

Pursuing StacieDecember 14

Pause for Tales, December 15

Reader’s cozy corner, December 15

margaret kazmierczak, December 15

Red Headed Book LadyDecember 16

Purposeful Learning, December 16

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, December 16

Janices book reviews, December 17

Christian Bookaholic, December 17

Karen Sue Hadley, December 18

Remembrancy, December 18

Blossoms and Blessings, December 18

Giveaway4f79da25-078c-4d2c-a4c1-bb54e9345d58

To celebrate her tour, Chautona is giving away a grand prize of a 6 month Kindle Unlimited Subscription!!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/c512 – this promotion is now closed.