Christian Inspirational · Non-Fiction

Wait

Synopsis

What are you waiting for?

Everyone has endured the endless traffic light, the queue that goes nowhere, the elevator music piped through the phone line. But what of those periods in your life when everything seems on hold? When you can’t do the next thing in your professional or personal life because you can’t get to it?

Waiting—be it for health, a life partner, a child, a job—can be an agony. The persistently unrealized goal feels like an endless road. And hope’s constant deferment can be exhausting. A firm answer against the thing you’re hoping for—”no”—might be easier than this constant lack of closure. It might be easier to give it up.

But what if waiting means to be something else? Waiting doesn’t have to mean idleness. Our prolonged state of need might teach us to look beyond the desired goal to something infinitely better. We find lessons on this throughout the Bible and, if we are paying attention, in our own lives.

Rather than fostering frustration, periods of waiting might have great truths to tell us. It might show us that hope is worthwhile. Waiting might even be a gift in and of itself.

Review

This is a book that I have not actually read yet; however, I am super excited about this book and what it has to offer. I honestly feel like I am always waiting on everything. Life, school, a long term relationship, happiness, etc., etc. The list goes on and on. And if I had to venture a guess, I would bet that I am not the only one that feels like their always waiting. As I read excerpts from this book, this one really hit home…

The first lesson of waiting is that we are on the outside. Like the boy on the sideline; like the not-engaged friend who pins wedding gowns on Pinterest; like me squinting for lines that fail to emerge on the pregnancy test; none of us–whether or not we are actively waiting– is where we want to be. This might not seem true, of course. This actually might seem patently untrue. You might be happily ensconced in a loving family, a marriage, a tight-knit circle of friends. You might belong to a country club or a sorority, a church, a civic group.

But, like that of all who wait, the human condition is actually a condition of being on the outside, an unhappy state that writers and poets have noticed since time out of mind. It’s true of all of us, but we manage to obscure it from ourselves with all manner of distraction: accumulated wealth and possessions, meaningful or frivolous activity, even what is truly good and beautiful.

The problem is that you can’t contend with something if you simultaneously ignore it. And the fact of our exile–the fundamental state of all human existence–is not going away.

Waiting can teach us this.

Wait by Rebecca Brewster Stevenson

I am excited to read this one, and it is defiantly on my TBR list in the near future!!!

Author Bio

Rebecca Brewster Stevenson is a native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She has a master’s degree from Duke University and has lived in Durham, North Carolina for over 20 years with her husband and three children.

Before dedicating herself to writing full time, Rebecca worked with Trinity School of Durham and Chapel Hill to develop the curriculum for their humanities department; she also worked as an English teacher at public and private middle and high schools in Durham and Pittsburgh.

Rebecca’s debut novel Healing Maddie Brees was published in 2016 to literary acclaim. Her beautifully crafted personal essays on her blog “Small Hours” have earned her a strong audience of readers who enjoy her explorations of themes relating to family, marriage, faith, writing, language, literature, and film.

To connect with Rebecca, visit her at rebeccabrewsterstevenson.com or follow her on Instagram @rebeccabrewsterstevenson.

Giveaway

Rebecca Brewster Stevenson will be awarding a $15 Amazon or B/N Gift Card to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Enter to win HERE!!!

Book Review · FIction

The Second Chance Supper Club

This month I was able to be a part of another book tour with Suzy Approved Book Tours. As mentioned before this is something that I had always wanted to be a part of since I started my bookstagram journey in January. I had not read any books my Nicole Meier and the synopsis f the story sounded great, so I quickly jumped on this tour!!!

Synopsis

Meet Julia Frank – a broadcast journalist who is fighting to keep her name and face relevant in the fast moving media world.

Meet Ginny Frank – chef and owner of a clandestine supper club, run out of her home, and hidden in the Arizona desert.

Julia and Ginny have a relationship that every sister dreams of having. Best Friends. A bond that could never be broken. Then tragedy strikes and the sisters are pulled apart by anger and resentment.

For three long years the sisters do not talk to each other. Each goes their own way, until one day Julia shows up on Ginny’s doorstep after she makes a career ending blunder at work. A blunder that destroys Julia’s reputation and puts her job on the line.

When Ginny opens the door, during one of her supper club dinners, and sees Julia on the doorstep, the first thing that runs through her mind is “No More Drama.” She has enough with her only employee, her daughter Olive. While her heart is hard and full of anger, Ginny decides family is family and pulls Julia in to help her make it through the two supper parties she has scheduled that night.

As Julia stays with Ginny and helps her with her supper club, old wounds are opened and the sisters are forced to confront betrayals, pain, anger, and resentment from the past. Will the stress of keeping the underground supper club a secret and providing unique meals to those that visit the supper club be too much? Or will working together allow them to find common ground and clear up the past?

​Review

I absolutely L-O-V-E-D this book!! This was a book that I got lost in every time I picked it up. Nicole Meier’s writing is wonderfully descriptive. Nicole Meier does a fantastic job describing each of the characters and the situations they are in. You feel like to you right there, living life with them. You feel the emotions that each of the characters go through.

The story line in this book was both realistic and cute. This book was light-hearted, but still kept you guessing about the decisions that each character was going to make for their life. I could not wait to turn the page to see what happened next!!!

Unit this book, I had not read any books by Nicole Meier, but now she is a must read author! I can’t wait for future books of hers to come out!!!

Rating

Action/Adventure · Book Review · Fantasy · FIction · Paranormal · Urban Fantasy · Young Adult

Witches Protection Program

I recently reconnected with Goddess Fish Promotions to be a reviewer of up and coming books. When I first read the symopsis of this book, I said to myself, “I just have to read this book.” I was excited to read this this author, Michael Okon, and see what his writing style was like as I have not ready any of this author’s other works.

Synopsis

Meet Wes Rockville – a law enforcement agent that has disgraced his family name. His father, Harris, has fired him from his job in a federal undercover branch that has been created to perform jobs that local law enforcement couldn’t handle. Harris gives his son one more chance to prove himself in a secret government organization that is 232 years old: The Witches Protection Program.

There is just one problem. Wes does not believe in witches. He is skeptical that they are real and living under the noses of him and everyone around him. Wes’ first assignment is to protect Morgan Pendragon. Her aunt, Bernadette, is the head of Pendragon Cosmetics, a billion dollar cosmetics company. Wes’ job is to figure the company’s diabolical plan to take over the world. Will Wes be able to accept that witches are real? Will Wes and long time veteran witch protector and Wes’ new partner, Alastair, be able to stop the company’s plan before it is too late?

Review

When I first read the synopsis of this book, it intrigued me right off the bat. Growing up I loved watching shows like “Charmed.” (And if you must know, I still enjoy watching it, but the original series, not the new one on the CW 🙂 ) You always here about the bad witches or the “Wicked Witch” in movies like “Wizard of Oz.” I was fascinated by the prospect that there could be good witches that protect the world for the greater good.

As I started to read the book I was not sure if it was going to live up to the expectations that I had given the book after reading the synopsis. The book started out a little slow for me and I was not sure where it was going to go, however after reading 30+ pages, the book really picked up and it was full of the action and adventure that I expected. The book was full of great writing and descriptions that made it easy to imagine exactly what was happening. The descriptions Michael Okon provided in this book made the book an excellent and exciting read. Once started, I could not put this book down. I hope that there will be more books written by Michael Okon that will continue to story of Wes, Alastair, and the Witness Protection Program!!!

Rating

Raffle

Michael Okon will be awarding a $50 Amazon Gift Card, then 5 signed copies of the book (US ONLY) to randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during the tour!!! Click the link below to be entered into the raffle for a chance to win!! Good Luck!!

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/28e4345f3145

Excerpt from Witches Protection Program

The narrator filled in more information. “It wasn’t until this land became my land that the government decided to create an organization to protect women at risk. The Davina Doctrine went against everything that the Willas stood for. Even though they ran the risk of persecution, the Davinas chose to work with law enforcement to expose the evil deeds of the rival sisterhood. President George Washington established secret legislation under Title VI of the Control Act of 1792. The law was enacted to protect the good witches that exposed the evil deeds of their sisterhood.”

The screen went dark. There was only a chair in the center of a dimly lit stage. A single spotlight focused on the top of the blond actress’s head. Wes was right; it was the actress he’d suspected. She had a hit sitcom and two Emmys, and there was some recent Oscar talk about her last movie.

“Yes. There are witches. Living among us. They are women who believe in using their power to protect love and life. And then there are some who use their powers for all the wrong reasons.”

The camera came to rest on her beautiful face. She winked saucily as she placed a triangular witch’s hat on her head. “Welcome to the Witches Protection Program.”

Alastair smiled broadly. “I love that part.”

“That was Jennifer Anis—”

Non-Fiction · Self-Help

Stop Self Sabotage: Six Steps to Unlock Your True Motivation, Harness Your Willpower, and Get Out of Your Own Way

Ever since I started my bookstgram journey in January, I wanted to get involved with book tours and review books that are coming out. I recently was accepted by Suzy into her book review group called Suzy Approved Book Tours. I was so exited to review my first book for Suzy’s Book Tour!

Synopsis

How many times have you made a New Year’s resolution in January, only to give up on yourself just a short time later? In Dr. Judy Ho‘s book, Stop Self Sabotage, she helps you take a look at all the different ways that you sabotage yourself. Though different assessments,tools, and therapeutic strategies, Dr. Ho helps you understand and modify your thoughts and behaviors by helping you understand the triggers that you have and gain insight into your values. In addition Dr. Ho will help you make a plan to stop the cycle of sabotage to gain a more positive future.

Review

This is one of the first self-help books that I have read and I have to admit that I was looking forward to it. Like most people, I am one that sets numerous resolutions all through the year and then one thing or another happens. And then it is 3 months later and I still have not done anything about that resolution. I was exited to read Dr. Ho’s book and see how I can improve myself.

My first thought when I got this book is that was going to be one of those books that lightly talks about the author’s life and what she has been through that caused her to write the book. I was a little disappointed when I started reading the book , and it was more like a text book than a simple read. This was not a book that I could sit and read in just one session. It is a book that you need to take your time with and focus on one chapter at a time. There is a lot of great information provided in the book, it just takes time to read through all the information and process it. While I had a bit of a tough time reading through the book initially, because of the fact that it is written like a text book, it is definitely a book that I will read again, even more slowly than the first time, so I can really apply the skills this book teaches to my life. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to make big changes in their life and keep all those goals and resolutions that they have set for themselves!

Rating

Adult Fiction · Book Review · FIction · Historical Fiction

Summer of ’69

I don’t know about you, but I love a good Elin Hilderbrand book!!! When I hear she had a new book coming out AND it was getting great reviews, I naturally had to have it!!! In addition, I am part of book club, The Bee Hive Book Club, where each member is part of a 12 member team. Each member picks a book for their team and then journals their thoughts in a notebook while reading the book. At the end of the month, the member mails the book and the journal they have to the next member of the group. When 12 months is up, I will get my book back and the journal back with thoughts from 12 different people!!!! Naturally I chose Summer of ’69 for this exchange!!! There is so much packed into this book, and I can wait to see the journal responses from others around the United States! I am so excited!!!

Synopsis

This book, based in 1969, is about the Levin family and what the Summer of 1969 has in store for them. Each summer, the Levin family travels to Nantucket to spend the summer at their grandmother’s, Exalta aka Nonny to the grandchildren, home “All’s Fair.” This summer, however, is nothing like the previous summers that the Levin family has experienced.

Blair, the oldest of the children, is stuck in Boston. Blair is pregnant with twins and her husband, Angus, who is an astrophysicist and is helping NASA with the moon launch, is not home much of the time due to the upcoming mission. Plus, Blair is sure that her husband is having an affair with a woman named Trixie.

Kirby, a student at Simmons College, wants nothing more than her independence. She is all about the civil rights movement and has participated in several protests, some of which have gotten her arrested. This summer however, she wants her freedom and talks her mother and father into letting her take a summer job on Martha’s Vineyard.

Tiger has recently been called up to serve has a soldier had as been deployed to war in Vietnam. Tiger is the light of his mother, Kate’s, eyes and she is devitated when her only son is deployed.

Jessie, the youngest of the family at age 13, is suddenly an “only child” and is forced to go to Nantucket with her mother, Kate, and grandmother, Exalta. She want desperatly to stay home with her father, David, who will come to Nantucket on weekends, but Kate and Nonny will not hear of it.

This story takes a look at each of the siblings lives as well as Kate’s and Nonny’s. Each life is filled with secrets that are spilling over at the brim. Each person wants to keep their secrets to themselves, but at the same time so desperately wants to not be alone in the vast world. Are they willing to spill their secrets to become more cohesive as a family or will they ride out the summer, separate and alone?

This is this first historical novel written by Elin Hilderbrand.

Review

I am generally not one to read historical fiction…it usually is just not my cup of tea. However, as I said I absolutely love Elin Hilderbrand as an author and once again she did not disappoint. This book captivated me from page one. I have to admit that I don’t know a lot about 1969, other than the basics that we are taught in school. However, this book captured me and took me to a place where I could see the events unfolding – it was like I was there, experiencing it with the characters. I felt myself longing with the family that Tiger would come home from the war. I felt myself remembering what is was like to be a 13 year old girl. I reflected on how all we want when we are little is to grow up and be independent in the world. I thought of the secrets that we all have and how we go through an internal struggle as to whether to let those secrets out or to keep them hidden deep down. This book was fantastic in so many ways, from the description of the times and of the characters to the raw emotions that were written about in the book and felt by the reader. I can’t say enough good things about this book. Everyone should have it on their TBR (To Be Read) List!!! I have never been disappointed by an Elin Hilderbrand book, and this one showed me again what an amazing author and storyteller Elin is!!!

Rating

Picture taking bloopers… Doggy Photo bombing the picture!! 🙂
Adult Fiction · Book Review · FIction

The Scent Keeper

Back in March I was invited to be part of a book tour by St. Martin’s Press for the book The Scent Keeper. I have only been on #bookstagram since January and about a month later I started my blog, so I was super excited that St. Martin’s Press reached out to me!!!

Synopsis

Emmeline lives on a remote island with her father. She knows nothing about the outside world except what her father teaches her through the use of scent. On the island, Emmeline lives in a cabin with her father. On one wall of the cabin there are many drawers that line one of the walls with sealed bottles. Her father won’t tell Emmeline about the scents that are held in those bottles in the drawers, nor will he tell her about the machine that creates those scents. As Emmeline grows older, she becomes more and more curious about the bottles and the scents they contain. However, before she can figure out their secret, she is suddenly off the island and in the real world. Thrust in a world she knows nothing about, Emmeline searches for who she really is and what really happened in her past.

Review

I struggled to get into this book. While it was well written, I found it hard to understand the life Emmeline lived on the island with her father. I struggled to make sense of what was going on and the scents that were being talked about. As the book moved forward and Emmeline was thrust into the “real” world and bits and pieces of her past were uncovered, I began to enjoy the story much more and also begin to understand the beginning chapters of the book. Overall, I thought that this was a good book, that for the most part held my attention. I was captured by the story of Emmeline as she struggled to figure out who she is and where she came from. I was also captured by the friends that she met along the way and the impact that each of those friends had on her life. I am glad that I was selected to read this book and look forward to reading other books by Erika Bauermeister.

Book will be Published May 19, 2019

Preorder the book on the following sites: Amazon; Barnes and Nobel; Indiebound

Rating:

Book Review · Crime Thriller · FIction · Thriller

Lowcountry Incantations

I was so excited when I found out that I had been selected for my first “book tour.” I first “met” C.J. Geisel through Instagram when she was promoting her debut novel “Lowcountry Incantations.” I read the synopsis of the book and I could not wait to read it! Then I found out that she was going a book tour through Goddess Fish Promotions, and I just new I had to sign up. I was so excited when I was chosen to be part of the tour!!! As part of this tour C.J. will be awarding a copy of “Lowcountry Incantations” to a randomly drawn winner (U.S. Only)!!! To enter click the link below!!

Lowcountry Incantations: A Rafflecopter giveaway

Synopsis

Quinn Riley has the worst luck. First she is laid off from her job and then while she is out hunting for jobs, she gets hit by a car while trying to rescue a dog from the middle of the road. Quinn thinks that she has died. She sees her lifeless body and also a girl in a blue dress. Little does Quinn know she has been in a coma for 2 months. Quinn’s sister Mallory has made plans while Quinn was a coma for her to live with Caleb, a quite attractive stranger, once she is released from the hospital.

Enter Leah Sawyer, a forensic psychologist, who Caleb knows from school. Mallory and Caleb persuade Quinn to allow Leah to help her work through the vision that she had. However before Quinn can get used to the fact that Leah will be helping her, Quinn’s visions become much more vivid. And not only are they vivid, they are also disturbing and show Quinn that girls in a blue dress and what may have happened to her. As the visions come closer and close together and become more and more real, Leah decides that they need the help of Mama Cornelia and her spiritual powers.

Quinn, Caleb, Mallory, Leah and Mama Cornelia dig deeper and deeper into investigating what happened to the girl that Quinn has been seeing in her visions, but as they do, Quinn realizes herself as well as those she love are in danger. Will Quinn and her friends be able to solve what happened to the girl in Quinn’s visions or will the danger of investigating the case become too much for them?

Review

This book was FANTASTIC. The story captured me from the first page and made me feel like I was right there with Quinn and her friends, and everything they were going through. C.J. Geisel’s writing was so descriptive that you could picture exactly what she had written. The story line was great and I could not get enough of this book. I could not put it down and would find myself reading whenever I had a free moment and late into the night. And even though it is finals time in social work school and there are many other things I should be working on, I found that this book captured me so much that I read it in three days!!! I can’t say enough good things about C.J.’s debut book. The only thing that I am sad about is that I have to wait until the next book comes out to see what happens with Quinn, Caleb, Mallory, and Leah.

Rating