Dan Chrystal – chat on the couch

The Lost Art of Relationship FB banner

Today’s guest on my island couch is Dan Chrystal author of The Lost Art of Relationship. It is such a pleasure to have you here Dan. I am looking forward to learning more about you while on my desert island.

Dan – Thank you for having me, Margaret.

Please give a warm welcome to Dan Chrystal everyone.

As you bask in the sun…

Who would you like to be marooned on the island with and why?

DAN CHRYSTAL- This one is easy. My wife! I chose to be married to her and be in relationship until “death do us part” and I am grateful for every moment I get with her! Plus, she is one of the most resourceful people I know – so survival would be a little easier. Since we already know each other and have committed to one another, we wouldn’t need to start from scratch in relationship. We have already progressed through what I call the eight levels of relationship and made it to the highest level – Someone you can call family.

Margaret – I love the way you talk about relationship, especially as it is challenged so much by today’s world. And how lovely that you would choose your wife. I can really feel your connection.

In relation to your most recent published book..

What is your favourite sentence?

DAN  CHRYSTAL “You could argue that failure is not punishment and… success is not reward. They’re just failure and success. You can choose how you respond.”

~ Sarah Lewis, The Rise: Creativity, The Gift of Failure, and the Search for Mastery.

Margaret – That is so true Dan, our response to many situations is our choice. The way we choose our response will determine our outlook. That can be applied to so many things, in all we have a choice. Success and failure do not have to be an end result but the beginning of choice. I hope I have interpreted that correctly?

You love writing..

But do you have another passion?

DAN CHRYSTAL – By far, my greatest passion is speaking and teaching. It is invigorating to share with people and see that “light” turn on inside their minds. I used to wonder if speaking and teaching was just a way to feel good from the accolades. However, several Sundays in a row I decided to walk off the platform and out the door to see how I felt and each time I was just as invigorated as before. One of my favorite reality TV shows is America’s Got Talent. When someone shares their talent with the world for the first time in this setting and are appreciated by the crowd – that moment when they realize their dream has come true is what I live for. Teaching others and helping them to realize their dreams is a moment I love to be a part of.

Margaret – Yes, it is definitely a joy to see the dreams become a reality despite the struggles many have to realize it.  Even if it is for a moment, the applause, the recognition of talent can change someone’s life. That relationship between the dreamer and the dream coming true, a God-given moment, the spark, I have witnessed that too. It is awesome. To give someone that power to be.

Here on my island..

You are given one wish, but there is a clause which means you can only ask to be an animal. What creature would you like to be?

DAN CHRYSTAL– Oooooooh, I like this question. I would choose to be an eagle. An eagle perches high so they can see all around them. They can soar on the wind without much effort, can scan prey from the heights and are what is known as APEX predator – meaning they are at the top of the food chain. Also, eagles mate for life – so I’d like my wife to turn into one as well!

Margaret – I love eagles too, and especially the reference from Isaiah that talks about eagles. “But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31. Great choice Dan.

My final question and it has to do with food!

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

DAN CHRYSTAL – I would most certainly miss fried chicken, baked chicken, bbq’d chicken, and pretty much any type of chicken. There is just something amazing about chicken – it is so versatile, goes with any side dish and don’t even get me started on rotisserie!

Margaret – So I take it you like chicken!!

On that note, I would like to thank Dan Chrystal for taking the time to share with us his thoughts while being on my couch.

Dan’s book is on sale here and if you would like to enter his GIVEAWAY then please find the entry details at the bottom of my blog.

This interview 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 talks to Dan Chrystal author of The Lost Art of Relationship

Title: The Lost Art of Relationship

Author: Dan Chrystal

Genre: Christian non-fiction, Christian living

Release date: October 15, 2018

Relationship is a journey of discovery—a lost art. In this generation, it has become challenging to deepen and grow personal relationships with each other. Our technology-flooded environment has left many with limited relational experience and a fear of face-to-face connection and meeting new people.

The church has done a decent job of helping people understand the need and importance of a relationship with God, but what about with each other? At the heart of every man, woman, and child is the need for connection—for relationships with people who love them for who they are.

In The Lost Art of Relationship, Dan Chrystal tackles the heart of relationship based on the time-honored instruction to “love your neighbor as you love yourself.” But what does that mean? How do we live out this odd instruction? Who is my neighbor, anyway? What makes relationships healthy, and what makes them fail? Through Dan’s personal stories and difficult life lessons, readers will come away encouraged, inspired, and motivated to love the people in their life more fully. If you desire deep and meaningful connections, now is the time to discover the lost art of relationship.

About the Author

Margaret Kazmierczak talks to Dan Chrystal author of The Lost Art of RelationshipDan Chrystal has over twenty-three years of ministry and relationship experience. He serves as a pastor for Bayside Church Granite Bay, under the dynamic leadership of founding pastor, Ray Johnston. Dan is a vibrant speaker and a dedicated life, career, and couple’s coach. He holds an MBA in executive leadership from Kaplan University (now Purdue Global University) and is currently studying law at Concord Law School. His extensive ministry background has taken him all over the country, from the east coast to the west, where he has served in varying capacities, including Lead Pastor, Administrative Pastor, Associate Pastor, Worship Leader, and Youth Pastor. An avid student of relationship, Dan is passionate about helping others to love their neighbors as themselves.

“Choose a good reputation over great riches.” (Proverbs 22:1)

Guest post from Dan Chrystal

The wilderness

For two years, I experienced what many would call a “wilderness experience.” I truly felt forgotten. Having spent twenty years in various aspects of church work, meeting and coaching hundreds of people, I still felt like I didn’t truly understand why I was put on this earth. I have moved nine times in my adult life. Everywhere I’ve lived, I had to start over—at work, home, schools for kids, and especially in relationship with others.

The last move was different. This time I was no longer looking to connect simply for the sake of connecting. There was a purpose for connection that was brewing inside me. That purpose became the driving force of my life and remains that way today. In fact, it consumes my thought life, relationships, ministry, and every aspect of what I do, think, and say.

Connecting

Connecting with others has been a part of my life wherever I have gone. This came from watching my mom over many years meet, talk to, and befriend hundreds of people. At her funeral, I had just about that many tell me “thank you” for allowing my mom to be a part of their lives—how she encouraged them and truly got to know them for who they are.

During my two-year “wilderness” period, there was a realization that over all the moves, restarts, connections, coffee appointments, coaching, lunches, and dinners with people, I was learning the essence of what I believe we are called, or actually commanded, to do by Jesus. Such a simple sentence, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” However, it is one of the most difficult things to live out every day. Let’s face it; relationships are messy. They can be downright frustrating at times, but they are a necessary part of life, and the second most important thing to God.

Continually learning the art

I am by no means an “expert” in relationship and I am and always will be a student of it. Consequently, I have watched relationships thrive, survive, and some fall away. There are so many divisions that come between us, and during those two years of struggling with my purpose, it became clear—God has designed, purposed, and prepared me to help others discover what it means to love your neighbor as yourself. I am not perfect at this. As a matter of fact, I struggle—sometimes daily. That is what sparked the writing of this book. I have found there is an art to relationship. For most, it is a lost art, one that can be rediscovered. I would love it if you would join me in discovering The Lost Art of Relationship.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, January 19

Carpe Diem, January 19

Robin is Bookish, January 20

The Becca Files, January 20

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, January 21

All-of-a-kind Mom, January 22

Creating Romance, January 22

Real World Bible Study, January 23

One Emergent Life, January 24

Mary Hake, January 24

Captive Dreams Window, January 25

Bigreadersite, January 25

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, January 26

margaret kazmierczak, January 26

Bibliophile Reviews, January 27

Texas Book-aholic, January 28

Just the Write Escape, January 29

A Baker’s Perspective, January 30

Janices book reviews, January 31

Book World ReviewsFebruary 1

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 1

Giveaway

Finished

Healing – two great women chat on the couch

Does your relationship between mum and daughter need healing? Then you might like to read, “It’s momplicated.” But first let’s meet the authors on my desert island couch.

I love Authors Interview Margaret Kazmierczak talks with Debbie Alsdorf & Joan Edwards Kay

This is an I love Authors Interview 34
Meet Debbie Alsdorf

I love Authors Interview Margaret Kazmierczak talks with Debbie Alsdorf & Joan Edwards Kay

Did I say two great women on the couch? Well, Debbie had to nip off for a coffee and I think she lost her way on the island trying to find the drinks trolley. Sadly her transcript that she left behind on her notepad is not translatable 🙁

I really need to learn notepad scribble. Sorry, Debbie.

& Joan Edwards Kay

I love Authors Interview Margaret Kazmierczak talks with Debbie Alsdorf & Joan Edwards Kay

Today I have two people on the couch (well sort of). What an honour. Thank you, (Debbie) and Joan, I don’t want Debbie to feel left out, for taking time out to chat with me and my readers.

Joan – Thank you, Margaret, for this opportunity to share with you all.

As Debbie is taking in the beauty of the island lets begin Joan.

Who would you like to be marooned on the island with and why?

Joan – I would like to be marooned with my husband, Steve because I would need a lot of hugs.  When it comes down to it, he is my person.  He is strong, smart and handy and could probably figure out how to build a hut out of coconut fronds.

I’d like to see this hut, it would look awesome made out of coconut fronds. For those of you that have not seen coconut palm fronds weaving check this out. Sounds like Steve would be invaluable, hugs and all. 🙂

Joan, you will need something to read…

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

Joan – If I’m stuck on an island with only one book, I’ll take either My Utmost for His Highest or Streams in the Desert.  Either one would give me something fresh and inspiring to read every day.

I have not heard of My Utmost for His Highest but having just googled it I think I will get myself a copy. So thanks for that recommendation, Joan.

Let’s see what’s next..oh yes,

You are given one wish, but there is a clause which means you can only ask to be an animal. What creature would you like to be?

Joan – Definitely a dolphin.  Does that count as an animal?  (They are mammals, after all.)  I love dolphins. They are smart, playful and stay closely connected to each other.

Other people have chosen a dolphin so I don’t see why not. They are wonderful creatures so I think you have made a good choice there.

There must be a food question, are yes here we go..

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

Joan – Chocolate ice cream.  When I get to heaven and don’t have to worry about health or calories, I will eat lots and lots and lots of Hagen Daz Chocolate Ice Cream.  They will have that in heaven, right?

Oh, I’m sure God has an infinite selection of ice creams to wow you. There are no doubt flavours that you have never heard of before but all overwhelmingly delicious as it is heaven (thought cloud opens….. ice cream).

This is the final question, such a shame as I am enjoying our chat..

I know you like writing but do you have another passion?

Joan – My main passion is my work as a therapist.  It is such an honor to be an agent of God’s healing work as he brings inner healing and restores relationships.

That must be so rewarding being Jesus’ agent and bringing His healing to those that need it. God bless you both for being open to God’s calling.

It is a pleasure to introduce you both to my readers and I am sure your book will touch many lives.

Let’s show our appreciation for (Debbie) and Joan. I hope Debbie is alright, can someone send a search party, please?

Don’t forget their Giveaway and to comment on my post. Many thanks.

Click here to purchase your copy.

Trouble between mum's & daughters? It's Momplicated @DebbieAlsdorf and @JoanEdwardsKay #book on tour with @Celebrate_Lit read my #interview & enter #free #giveaway. Click To Tweet

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

About the Book

978-1-4964-2657-4

Book Title: It’s Momplicated

Author: Debbie Alsdorf * Joan Edwards Kay

Genre: Non-fiction

Release date: September 4, 2018

Let’s face it: when it comes to mothers and their daughters, things can get a little . . . complicated. Momplicated, you might say.

Whether your relationship with your mom has been wonderful or stressful, redeemed or broken, close or nonexistent, it’s one of your life’s most important and defining connections. Its effects have probably followed you into adulthood.

If you have conflicting feelings toward mom—or if you wish you could get past some of the baggage that holds you back—this is your book. Combining spiritual disciplines and the best of current therapeutic practice, It’s Momplicated will help you discover the following:

Four key tools
  • How your early connection with your mother may have impacted your sense of self and your other important relationships—and what you can do to break the cycle
  • Why you and your mother have the relationship you have—the underlying reasons that may be contributing to strain and unease
  • Tools and exercises to help you cope with some of the most common effects of a broken relationship, including anxiety, depression, lack of confidence, and trust issues
  • How to be the daughter and mother God wants you to be even if your mom wasn’t who you needed her to be.

It’s never too late to love, never too late to heal, and never too late to trust God to turn the pain in your story into a redemption song. As you read It’s Momplicated, you’ll realize that while God doesn’t promise to fix all your circumstances, He does promise to uphold you and lead you to a healing place of knowing you are truly precious and loved, no matter how your past has affected you

About the Authors

Debbie Alsdorf

pic_LG_Alsdorf_DebbieFor the past twenty-five years, through her speaking and writing, Debbie Alsdorf’s mission has been to help women live a better story by leading them to the heart of God’s love and the truth of his Word. Debbie is a biblical lay counselor, a Christian life coach, and the founder of Design4Living Ministries. She and her husband, Ray, have raised a blended family of four adult children. Today Debbie’s favorite role is being a grandma to ten little ones.

Joan Kay Edwards

pic_LG_Kay_JoanyJoan Edwards Kay is a licensed marriage and family therapist in the East Bay of San Francisco and has been an adjunct professor at Western Seminary. She received her bachelor’s degree from Vassar College and her master’s degree from Western Seminary. She is happily married with two adult daughters, four stepdaughters, and five grandchildren.

Guest Post from Debbie and Joan

Mom. Mother. Mommy.

What do those words evoke in you? Wonderful memories of home cooked meals? A longing for nurture that was never fully met? A sense of not being enough? Gratitude? Sadness and loss? Anger and resentment?

Most women have a complex reaction when asked to think about their mothers–a mix of positive and negative, gratitude and hurt, happy and sad memories. Our relationships with our mothers are unique, rich, and complicated.

Introductions

Allow us to introduce ourselves. We are Debbie Alsdorf and Joan Edwards Kay, friends who have written a book together that explores the issue of moms and their profound effect on daughters. It’s Momplicated: Hope and Healing for Imperfect Daughters of Imperfect Mothers releases this September 4th, 2018. Since every woman is a daughter, this book is for every women.

Every daughter receives less-than-perfect programming from her mother. The messages may be about our value, or how to relate to others, or even about how we think about bodies. However, God is our perfect parent who wants to rewrite that imperfect programming with his truth. Many of us don’t realize the wrong messages that are deep in our souls.

A word from Debbie

I grew up with a mother who was cold, distant and unavailable. I have one sister who was in her teens when I was born and married by the time I started school, leaving me to be raised as an only child. As I grew up I wondered what was wrong with me, “Why didn’t mom want to spend time with me? Why didn’t she hug me and hold me close like other moms did? Why was nothing I did to earn her approval good enough?”

I was deeply imprinted with wounds of rejection and carried them through most of my adult life, even though I pasted on a smile, kept trying to do better, and could be the life of any gathering. On the inside, I was sad for as long as I can remember. Through working on this book, I have experienced a phenomenal inner healing, the exposing of lies long held secretly in my heart, and the ability to see the way the enemy of my soul has tried to use the “not enough” belief against me. I am beyond excited for other women to have the courage to own their own story, inviting Jesus to meet them in any points of pain and any relationships that need healing.

A word from Joan

I  had a stay-at-home mom who cooked dinner every night, took us to the library and the beach, did art projects with us, and made me feel safe and happy. However, when I was nine years old, my father and then my brother both died of cancer within a year and my relationship with my mother changed. Understandably, she struggled to just hold herself together, but in my young mind, I felt abandoned by her. I didn’t have the capacity to deal with all the loss and she didn’t have the strength to help me.

This left me emotionally lost and alone. I longed for my mother to comfort me and show me how to overcome my pain. In retrospect, I wish she had shown me faith in a God who could bring hope and meaning to the devastation that had hit our family. But she was not a believer and did her best to stuff away the feelings and soldier on. I was deeply imprinted with the belief, I’m alone and can only depend on myself. As I worked on this project, the root of many of my struggles became clear to me and God has been comforting those young, lonely parts of me with his presence and his love.

What’s your story?

What is your story with your mother? What false beliefs have this important relationship imprinted on your heart, and how does God’s truth rewrite them? It is our hope that every woman, as God’s daughter, will learn the beauty of who she is and receive her own healing so she can leave a legacy of faith, hope and beauty to the generation of women that follow.

One thing we know for sure: there are no perfect moms, just women partnering with a perfect God.

Blog Stops

A Baker’s Perspective, September 8

Texas Book-aholic, September 8

Carpe Diem, September 9

Lighthouse Academy, September 10

Luv’N Lambert Life, September 10

Life Faith & Health, September 11

Real World Bible Study, September 12

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, September 13

Multifarious, September 14

Reading is my Superpower, September 14 (Interview)

Ashley’s Bookshelf, September 15

proud to be an autism mom, September 16

Bigreadersite, September 16

Bibliophile Reviews, September 17

All-of-a-kind Mom, September 18

For the Love of Books, September 19

Janices book reviews, September 19

Reader’s Cozy Corner, September 20

margaret kazmierczak, September 20 (Interview)

Living Life Free In Christ, September 21

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 21

Giveaway

Finished

Relationships -The 6 Hearts of Intimacy – spotlight

Relationships – The 6 Hearts of Intimacy is a “Love Languages” for sex in marriage. Rather than focusing on techniques, it unlocks the secret to true sexual fulfillment by revealing the unique way each spouse gives and receives love.

6 hearts of intimacy copy

Today I am going to do a spotlight on Bob and Cheryl’s book. First, though I would like to share a message that I found on youtube.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W_N2gOItbV4

It also worthwhile visiting their facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/For-Better-For-Worse-For-Keeps-Ministries-113338981797 where you can find out more about their ministry.

Relationships matter

There are various books out there about intimacy in marriage, but Bob and Cheryl go deeper into the love languages behind true intimacy based on biblical foundations. Here are a few reviews to help you. And if you go to the blog posts each day from 15th till 28th September (you can find the links below under Blog Stops) there will be more helpful reviews from the contributors of this blog tour.

Here are three..

First blogger on the tour wrote – Definitely a book to check out if you are interested in revitalizing your marriage.  Biblically-based with discussion questions it would be good for a husband and wife to study together.

Second blogger – The authors do a great job of writing stories that you can relate to in each chapter.  I would have liked there to be even more biblical references, specific verses to be exact, provided to the reader.

Third blogger – Aptly timed, honest, and truly Biblical, The 6 Hearts of Intimacy really hit home in every way. What my husband & I really liked about it was the wholly Biblical approach to intimacy in marriage that didn’t just revolve around sex, but truly around intimacy as a whole.

From the web..
Jon Gauger, Moody Radio host and author, If I Could Do It All Over Again”

“The more I read the manuscript, the more I wanted to read. Authentic. Biblical. Loaded with really great stories, quotes, and illustrations, too! Sex without intimacy–no married couple deliberately chooses that path. But it’s exactly where many end up. Those couples and every other couple need to read this book.”

Leanne Woods, Community and Church Engagement Director, Safe Families for Children

“Bob and Cheryl truly care about the quality of relationships. The 6 Hearts of Intimacy is a great tool not only for married couples but also “Marriage 101” for dating and singles. I highly recommend The 6 Hearts of Intimacy because it will help people build and nurture lasting, meaningful, godly relationships.”

Gary D. Chapman, Ph.D., author of The Five Love Languages

“For many couples, sexual intimacy is fraught with frustration. Drawing heavily from Scriptural insights, Bob and Cheryl explain that “it’s all about the heart.” For those who want deeper sexual intimacy, the six “heart attitudes” point the way to mutual sexual fulfillment.”

I hope this has been helpful.

Click here to purchase your copy!

Don’t forget the Giveaway at the end of this post and please feel free to comment.  Many thanks.

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

About the Book

6HeartsOfIntimacy_HighRezBook Title: The 6 Hearts of Intimacy

Author: Bob & Cheryl Moeller

Genre: Christian Non-fiction

Release date: September 11, 2018

Understand the way your spouse gives and receives love for greater passion in your marriage.

The 6 Hearts of Intimacy is a “Love Languages” for sex in marriage. Rather than focusing on techniques, it unlocks the secret to true sexual fulfillment by revealing the unique way each spouse gives and receives love. Various books describe the distinct ways in which people express and accept love, but this idea has never before been specifically applied to intimacy in marriage.

Marriage experts Bob and Cheryl Moeller present six biblically based and proven ways to enhance your relationship with your spouse as they describe the Romantic Heart, the Giving Heart, the Guardian Heart, the Companion Heart, the Worshiping Heart, and the Ecstatic Heart. They also expose the “counterfeit hearts” that are present in many people’s marriages, leaving their sexual relationship self-focused and empty.

Many couples spend a lifetime attempting to express their love yet fail to achieve true intimacy. Sensitively written with practical advice and humor, The 6 Hearts of Intimacy shows husbands and wives how to successfully resolve conflicts in their relationship and how to care daily for their spouse’s unique heart of sexual love.

About the Author

Moellers2Bob and Cheryl Moeller are the cofounders of For Better, For Worse, For Keeps Ministries, which is dedicated to healing hearts and restoring marriages, especially in under-served communities.

Each is the author or coauthor of a number of books. Bob is also the author of numerous articles. The president of For Better, For Worse, For Keeps, Bob is a conference speaker, seminar presenter, and international guest preacher and teacher. He also hosts the television program, Marriage: For Better, For Worse, which airs on the Total Living Network and was awarded Best Television Teaching Show by the National Religious Broadcasters.

Cheryl serves as the ministry’s Director of Marketing, Social Media Coordinator, and Director of Prayer Ministry and is a speaker and literary agent. Bob and Cheryl have been married for almost 40 years and have six children and four grandchildren.

Guest Post from Bob and Cheryl

You have God’s permission to enjoy sex within your marriage. He invented sex; He thought it up to begin with. You can learn to enjoy it and, husbands, you can develop a thrilling, happy marriage with ‘the wife of your youth.’

If your marriage has been a civil-war battlefield or a dreary wasteland, instead of a lovers’ trysting place, all that can change. You see, God has a perfect plan for marriage, which we may choose to step into at any time, and the mistakes of the past can be dealt with and left behind.

Indeed, the Ecstatic Heart finds its fulfillment in the intoxicating experience of joyful physical intimacy with your spouse that God Himself ordained, created, and blessed. The Ecstatic Heart celebrates married physical intimacy as a gift from God.

Blog Stops

lighthouse Academy, September 15

A Baker’s Perspective, September 15

A Reader’s Brain, September 16

Bigreadersite, September 16

Living life free in Christ, September 17

Reading is my Super Power, September 17 (Interview)

Life Faith & Health, September 18

Power of Words, September 18 (Spotlight)

All-of-a-kind Mom, September 19

margaret kazmierczak, September 19 (Interview)

A Rup Life, September 20

Mary Hake, September 20

proud to be an autism mom, September 21

Artistic Nobody, September 22 (Spotlight)

Texas Book-aholic, September 23

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 24

Creating Romance, September 25

Janices book reviews, September 26

Carpe Diem, September 27

Reader’s Cozy Corner, September 28

Pause for Tales, September 28

Giveaway

Finished

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

Finished

How to break toxic soul ties with Gods help

A toxic relationship

What could I tell my friend when her toxic boyfriend proposed to her after only knowing her for two months? I tried to reason with Sally, suggesting that it was too soon to talk about marriage, but I failed miserably. Sally longed to be in love, to love and be loved. Now heading for her forties, she believed she would never meet anyone. Then Terry arrived on the scene. I could see right through him, sadly Sally didn’t.

Broken

Margaret Kazmierczak reviews Breaking Toxic Soul Ties by Tom BrownBroken from childhood experiences my friend couldn’t believe the lavish exploits Terry would go to win her over. Sally besotted by the attention fell hook line and sinker into the arms of an abusive marriage.

Terry’s story of an abusive childhood given at his court hearing a year later confirmed my original hunch that he was indeed a toxic soul. Sally did not survive the marriage and Terry went to prison.

Perhaps if Sally had read Tom Brown’s book Breaking Toxic Soul Ties, maybe she would be here today.

Breaking toxic banner Template copy

My Penny’s worth

Sally’s marriage failed because of the toxic soul ties. Two individuals both broken bringing unhealthy experiences into their relationship. Sally, a victim from her past and Terry, a victim, turned predator – a recipe for disaster, not marriage.

Toxic relationships are destructive

Margaret Kazmierczak reviews Breaking Toxic Soul Ties by Tom BrownTom Brown does not mince words. Toxic soul ties are destructive because it gives the devil a door into your life. If you wonder why people treat you like dirt or say mean things to you, then you need to read this book.There are solutions, but you need to be open to the truth that Tom Brown writes, primarily as they are based in the Word.

Breaking Toxic Soul Ties deals with relationships, rejection, forgiveness, mercy and grace. Tom Brown reminds the reader that “Jesus needed friends, and so He had soul ties with twelve apostles. He was very close to them. Yet even Jesus had a bad soul tie with Judas.” It was a friend who betrayed Jesus; if it could happen to the Son of God, then we have a mighty ally.

Standing on the truth

Throughout Breaking Toxic Soul Ties there are many truths to remember to challenge the bad soul ties. If I quoted them all, this review would be pages long, so I have pulled one from the pages referring to Judas. “Jesus did not let His hurt emotions change God’s plan for Him and us.” He put behind the hurt and moved on. This message comes over loud and clear throughout the book.

Putting relationships in their place

Knowing a person’s place in your life is another theme that is important and reminds us that we need to be wise in our relationships so that they are a blessing and a godly soul tie.

Did I like Breaking Toxic Soul Ties?

I wanted to read this book as I knew it would be uncomfortable reading at times but being challenged is important to our growth in God. Therefore I am glad that I read Tom Brown’s book and have many bookmarks to go back to ruminate on.

Who might benefit from this book?

If you are looking for inner healing and health, then I would recommend this book, however, be warned taking that step requires a willingness on your part to break the toxic soul ties in your life.

Thank you, Tom Brown, for writing this book and reaching out to the broken.

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.*

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

Click here to purchase your copy!

About the Book

Breaking toxic

Title: Breaking Toxic Soul Ties: Healing from Unhealthy and Controlling Relationships

Author: Tom Brown

Genre: Non-fiction, relationships

Release Date: January 9, 2018

Soul Ties

Going through this world in relationship with other people inevitably creates connections in our inner being called soul ties. When these relationships are loving, supportive, and nurturing, positive soul ties are created. But if the relationships become abusive or manipulative, or cause rejection, they can create a toxic brokenness within the soul that we carry with us, even long after the relationship ends. If these toxic inner soul ties are not broken, we will experience failure, fractured relationships, and even health problems throughout life.

A way to freedom

In Breaking Toxic Soul Ties, Tom Brown describes his own story of rejection and the process of inner healing he experienced. He helps you to identify and diagnose toxic relationships as he breaks down the difference between positive and negative soul ties. He also shows why toxic soul ties develop and how they can only be broken by a process of inner healing through confession, forgiveness, and prayer. The truth is, unless your self-image is firmly rooted in the truth of your identity in Christ, you will always be susceptible to bad soul ties. Tom Brown describes the way for you to move forward in life and leave pain and brokenness behind for good!

About the Author

Tom Brown is best known for his deliverance ministry. Millions have seen him on ABC’s 20/20, as well as on MSNBC and the History Channel. He is a noted conference speaker, prolific author, and committed pastor. His award-winning Internet site, www.tbm.org, reaches more than a million people a year. His books published by Whitaker House are Devil, Demons, and Spiritual WarfareBreaking Curses, Experiencing HealingPrayers That Get Results; and Spiritual Gifts for Spiritual Warfare. Tom is the founder and pastor of Word of Life Church in El Paso, Texas.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, February 27

Reading is my Super Power, February 27 (Interview)

AllofakindmomFebruary 28

proud to be an autism mom, February 28

Bibliophile Reviews, March 1

Texas Book-aholic, March 2

Carpe Diem, March 3

A Baker’s Perspective, March 4

A Reader’s BrainMarch 5

Simple Harvest Reads, March 6 (Guest post from Mindy)

Pursuing Stacie, March 7

Janices book reviews, March 8

Jeanette’s Thoughts, March 9

Margaret Kazmierczak, March 10

A Greater Yes, March 11

Debbie’s Dusty DeliberationsMarch 12

Bigreadersite, March 12

Giveaway

9ebb6008-0ebf-448a-a19c-749f425c6268In honor of the tour, Whitaker House is giving away:

Grand Prize

Grand Prize Package: Breaking Toxic Soul Ties by Tom Brown, KJVER Study Bible, and “A Friend Loves at All Times” scented candle from Abba Jerusalem.

1st Prize

1st Place: Breaking Toxic Soul Ties by Tom Brown, God That Saves worship music CD from IronBellMusic.com, and Whitaker House/Anchor Coloring Book and Colored Pencils.

2nd Prize

2nd Place: Breaking Toxic Soul Ties by Tom Brown, and Whitaker House/Anchor Coloring Book and Colored Pencils!!!

Click the link to enter! https://promosimple.com/ps/c6cd

 

I love Authors Interview 12 this is Michelynn Christy and Brandi Gabriel

I love Authors Interview 12

Welcome to I love Authors Interview 12. Today we are talking to Michelynn Christy & Brandi Gabriel authors of If He Only Knew – Let’s all give Michelynn Christy & Brandi Gabriel a warm greeting. We are doing a double act today!

Your book If he only knew is on tour with Celebrate Lit from 17th Feb to 2nd March.

Michelynn & Brandi – Yes it is and we are really excited about it.

Hi ladies, it’s a pleasure to have you sitting on my couch today. I think we are going to have some fun today!

Now I want you to imagine that we are on a desert island. This means we are going back to basics.

Michelynn – Desert island? Sounds magnificent, but I think I’m going to let Brandi handle this interview!

Well, you just sit back and enjoy the scenery Michelynn and chip in if you want to.

 

I think Michelynn has gone for a paddle!

So, Brandi, my first question is about books..

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

Brandi – Well, since I am on this desert island, I reckon the book I would crave the most is a survival manual. That would definitely be high on my priority list.

I wonder if there is a chapter on finding missing authors? Only joking, I think that would be a handy book to have in the circumstances.

Brandi – I think Michelynn is waving?

Oh don’t worry about her I’m sure she’s fine, although is that a fin I can see circling her?

 

My next question is about animals!

You are given one wish, but there is a clause which means you can only ask to be an animal. What creature would you like to be?

Brandi – A dolphin, maybe? Then I could just swim my way away from the island. But then I’d have to stay in the sea, huh? I couldn’t really return home. Well… I still think I’d choose a dolphin. At least I’d have plenty to eat in the ocean. If I was a horse, on the other hand, I don’t know if I’d do so hot alone on a desert island.

Just keep away from the sharks Brandi!

 

Brandi – I think I can hear Michelynn shouting something. What’s that, yell a bit louder.

Michelynn – (from a distance) – Choose the dolphin. It’s your best bet. 😉

So while Michelynn is playing with the shark..

You are allowed to invite another person to stay with you on the desert island, which of your characters would you choose and why?

Brandi – Invite? Wait a sec, do I have a carrier pigeon? ‘Cuz that would be awesome. If that were the case, I would definitely invite someone with a boat so they could come pick me up and bring me back to shore!

LOL… Seriously though, probably Preacher Peterson. Not only is he super sweet and a great person to be around, but I think he’d really help me stay positive.

He sounds like a good choice Brandi, he might be able to save Michelynn too!

 

Do you think someone could shoo the hammerhead off please, its time for the last question?

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

Brandi – Beautiful, broken, redeemed, priceless, and courageous. That’s how I would describe Donna.

It sounds like you’ve both written a relatable character in Donna.

 

Well, Brandi, that is all we have time for. Ah here comes Michelynn, did you enjoy your dip?

Michelynn – Yes thank you, shall we do the interview now?

And finally..

Thank you Brandi & Michelynn for joining me today, it has been fun.

B & M -Thank you so much for having us! It’s been a true pleasure. 🙂

I hope you have a successful blog tour. That’s all we have time for readers, so let’s show your appreciation to my guests. No, I don’t mean pass the collection plate around. Put your hands together everyone, Brandi & Michelynn.

Now don’t forget the GIVEAWAY at the end of this post. Comment, enter and smile 🙂

Click here to purchase your copy.

if he only knew fb banner copy

About the Book

Title: If He Only Knew

Author: Michelynn Christy, Brandi Gabriel

Genre: Historical romance

Release Date: August 19, 2017

 

It’s 1968, and love is in the air in the small coastal town of Cambridge, California.

Donna Peterson, the preacher’s daughter, has her entire life ahead of her and the future looks promising. But things aren’t as they seem in Cambridge. A tangled web of secrets threatens to destroy the lives of each person involved – Donna, her boyfriend Bobby, and Rick, Bobby’s best friend. Will the truth make them free, or will they lose their friendship forever?

About the Authors

Michelynn Christy
Author Michelynn Christy resides in the Midwest and enjoys creating romantic stories that point to Jesus. Her faith in God shines through the pages of her writing. Michelynn’s debut novelette A Christmas to Remember launched in late 2015. While this pen name and genre are somewhat new to her, she has penned over twenty titles under another pseudonym, has won awards for her works and has earned best-selling title status. With that said, all glory goes to God!
Brandi Gabriel
Brandi Gabriel is co-author of twelve Christian fiction books, including this one. Her first solo novel, The Orphan Bride, released in 2016 and she has since added a sequel in the same series. Her goal in writing is to touch readers’ hearts in some special way and to glorify Jesus Christ, her Lord and Saviour.

Guest Post from Michelynn Christy & Brandi Gabriel

Take a step back in time…

If He Only Knew is a novel set in the late 1960s. The book deals with family relationships, loyalty, friendship, love, and loss. The main topic is somewhat controversial in nature, but we won’t mention what it is lest we spoil the story for readers. A similar book was written in a different genre under another name and the story really resonated with readers. We felt compelled to share this story with others who perhaps wouldn’t pick up that particular genre, and that is how this book came about. It may be set in the sixties, but the message is as relevant today as ever. Our prayer is that God will touch readers’ hearts and draw them closer to Him.

Blog Stops

Bibliophile Reviews, February 17

Reading is my Super Power, February 17

A Greater Yes, February 18

proud to be an autism mom, February 18

Texas Book-aholic, February 19

Inklings and notions, February 19

Radiant Light, February 20

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 20

Christian Author, J.E.Grace Blog, February 21

Janices book reviews, February 21

Jeanette’s Thoughts, February 22

A Baker’s Perspective, February 23

Karen Sue Hadley, February 23

Avid Reader Book Reviews, February 24

margaret kazmierczak, February 24 (Interview)

Bigreadersite, February 25

Among the Reads, February 25

Simple Harvest Reads, February 26 (Guest post from Mindy)

Pursuing Stacie, February 27

Red Headed Book Lady, February 27

Maureen’s Musings, February 28

Carpe Diem, February 28

The Fizzy Pop Collection, March 1

Josephine’s Thoughts, March 2

Have A Wonderful Day, March 2

Giveaway

e5f4939d-cd96-45de-b748-8fb15bc1a0afTo celebrate their tour, Michelynn and Brandi are giving away the following:

Grand Prize: ONE themed book box, (this will contain small items that relate to the story
1st Place Prize: ONE $25 Amazon gift card,
2nd Place Prize: ONE signed paperback copy of If He Only Knew
3rd Place Prize: ONE signed paperback copy of If He Only Knew!!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/c601