Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Savoring Single - Spotlght Book Tour



Why savoring single? Because you were meant to enjoy it!

Finding purpose, knowing love, and experiencing adventure aren’t reserved solely for the married girls! You can enjoy a full and vibrant life even while being single. It’s also a perfect time to partner with what God wants to develop in you through this once-in-a-lifetime part of your journey! Girl, being single is okay. There is a purpose for it, and it won’t last forever. So savor it!

                                                                      Amazon  / Goodreads




Shelley has journeyed through being single longer than she expected and has since found joy, hope and purpose from a once begrudged season. In her debut title, she challenges the status quo of what it means to be single as a modern-day Christian female, with a passion to infuse hope and restore joy to every single-girl heart.

If you are tired of reading books for singles because they usually fixate on just being single, dating or preparing for marriage, this book will be a breath of fresh air. In a refreshing way, Shelley offers a practical approach to becoming God’s best version of you for the rest of your life, whether single or married, preparing you for all your seasons to come.

You can connect with her at: savoringsingleblog.wordpress.com




HOW TO BE CONTENT

There is a super popular verse I’d like to reference. We’ve all seen it, can quote it, and chances are you’ve got something in your house that it’s written on.

“For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.”

It’s from Philippians 4 and verse 13, but do you know what verse 12 says? It’s probably less likely, as it doesn’t rank very high in most quoted scriptures, but I believe it offers us a greater depth to understanding that we can do everything through Christ, because he gives us the strength to do so.

So what is that “everything” Paul is referring to? For that, let’s read the less-popular but still super-important preceding verse to Philippians 4:13. Verse 12 says,

“I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little.”

Back up to the end of verse eleven and Paul opens this statement with this: “for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have.

So this “everything” that Paul refers to shows us that we can be content no matter our situation, status or circumstance. We know Paul’s life was a challenging one as a slave to Christ and wholly devoted to preaching the gospel no matter the cost. And his cost was high. Not only was he single, he was beaten, whipped, stoned, left for dead and imprisoned. He was blasphemed, falsely accused, wrongly imprisoned and remained content.

That is powerful. How about you? Are you content no matter your situation?

I think that’s why Paul could so boldly say that “I can do everything through Christ” because he was living from a place of strength no matter what he faced.

We often feel defeated when we don’t get what we want. We feel left out when we have less than we need. We tend to get prideful when our bellies (or wallets) are full, but stingy and grumpy when we’re hungry. We always want plenty and anything less causes us to wonder if God is really good and question his love for us.

This is such a defeated way to live when what you really believe is “I can do all things when I have exactly what I want and need.” For Paul, this was Christ and Christ alone.

1.       Being content stems from a life that is confident in knowing that Jesus Christ is all sufficient and he is the only thing we could ever need.

So how did Paul get to this place where he was so strong, so confident, so content – no matter what?

Can we read the scriptures backwards? I guess we already have, so let’s keep going. Same chapter, Philippians chapter 4, but verse 8. This one is from the Amplified translation.

whatever is true, whatever is honorable and worthy of respect, whatever is right and confirmed by God’s word, whatever is pure and wholesome, whatever is lovely and brings peace, whatever is admirable and of good repute; if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think continually on these things [center your mind on them, and implant them in your heart].

I believe that Paul was able to be so content because when the circumstances seemed contrary, he chose to focus on Christ and think continually on the truth he had implanted in his heart.

We so often are discontent because when we look at our singleness, our bank account, or our bodies – we do the exact opposite. We listen to the lies of the enemy, accepting a lesser version of the truth, which costs us our peace and our strength.

Eve did this very thing. When the enemy brought a “half-truth” she didn’t meditate on what was true about God, His character and His holiness. She meditated on what she now thought she didn’t have enough of, what God had held back on, and eventually partnered with sin to get what she didn’t need and lost everything that mattered.

2.       So being content comes from an agreement we make within ourselves to not let our minds think on anything but what Philippians 4:8 tells us to.

Wondering how to get to a place where your mind stays on the good stuff? Let’s back it up one more time, to Philippians 4:6.

“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”

When stuff comes up, immediately take it to prayer. I would have offset many a pity-party had I done this very thing. Our society honors the worriers and somehow it makes us feel better that we feel bad about it. But no. We are to pray about those concerns that hit our minds.

Then thank him for all He has done. And in this lies our third key.

3.       Rejoice and be full of the joy of the Lord by a heart of gratitude and thanksgiving.

It’s super hard to be depressed and thankful at the same time. So, which would you rather be?

Here’s his promise if we’ll just turn to him, pray about it and thank Him no matter what: “His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”


Solomon said, “Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.” (Proverbs 4:23)

When you choose to surrender your life to Christ, He comes alongside you to help you guard your heart, so that the course of your life will be determined by His peace!

Now, that’s the way to live content, by living from the very peace of God!

You may feel God is calling you to a life of singleness. You may feel that He’s asked you to a season of being hidden in Him. No matter your situation, status or circumstance – for however long it may last – you can live content in the peace and strength of Christ!


Join me in prayer?


“Abba Father,

Thank you that your thoughts towards me are always good. Thank you that even though I don’t see how all of this is going to play out, you do. So today, I choose to trust you. Thank you that you are capable of carrying me through this season. Thank you that you can build in me and strengthen me for what’s ahead. But I also want to thank you for what you’re revealing that needs to be corrected, too. Thank you that you are faithful to keep your promises and that no circumstance will ever change who you are or how much you love me.”

Your daughter






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Friday, February 23, 2018

First Line Fridays


I read and reviewed All Summer Long by Melody Carlson a couple of years ago--it was a really good story--so I was excited to find the other book in the series.  Well actually, there are three books in the series, but I ordered this one first.  :)  I know we are not in the summer months yet, but I thought this would be the perfect book to accompany the spring weather that some of the country is enjoying. 

I hope it is warm where you are, but that is only because I prefer sunny days to cold ones.  :)  Yet I will say, the weather has been so strange this past year.  It can be thirty degrees one day and then eighty degrees the next!  Anyways, enough of the weather...lol, I can't wait to read this next story by Carlson, and I recommend checking out All Summer Long when you have a spare moment to read a new book.  :) 

Grab the book nearest to you and leave a comment with the first line!

Today I am going to post a line from: 

  Under a Summer Sky 
by Melody Carlson 



And the fist line is...

"Nicole Anderson had no idea why her mother had slipped into the back of her art classroom this afternoon, but because this seventh period class was half over, Nicole pretended not to notice."  

Happy reading and happy Friday!  

Let me know your first line in the comments & then head over to Hoarding Books  to see who else is participating! 







Friday, February 16, 2018

First Line Fridays


I didn't even think to feature a Valentine's story last week, so I wanted to highlight one today--especially since I have been watching Downton Abbey reruns recently.  I hope that all of you have watched this series, but if not, I highly recommend it!  :)  Each character deals with love, joy, pain, loss, disappointment, and even redemption, which of course makes for a wonderful story.  I love period dramas, and currently, I have been watching Victoria.  What are some of your favorite literary dramas? 


Grab the book nearest to you and leave a comment with the first line!

Today I am going to post a line from: 

  The Cupcake Dilemma: A Rock Creek Novella
by Jennifer Rodewald 



And the first line is...

"Let me begin by stating this clearly.  I was voluntold."  

Happy reading and happy Friday!  

Let me know your first line in the comments & then head over to Hoarding Books  to see who else is participating! 







Saturday, February 10, 2018

My Heart Belongs in Niagara Falls - My Review


I was excited to receive My Heart Belongs in Niagara Falls, New York by Amanda Barratt.  It was such a good story!  I know there are several titles in this collection, so I cannot wait to pick up the other stories in this series of books.  This particular story sets place in New York, but the main character, Adele Linley, originates from England.  She makes the voyage from her home in Great Britain to New York—in the hopes of finding a suitable husband to save her family.  Of course, the main characteristic of a proper husband is that he will be rich, and that is the only thing on Adele’s mind.  Misfortune has touched her family deeply, so she must be the one to figure out a way to save them.  Yet how much will she have to give before she can no longer sacrifice her life? 

Drew Dawson knows the meaning of the work destitute quite intimately.  He and his sister both grew up poor.  In fact, they both grew up in an orphanage.  All of his life, he has worked hard, so as to give his sister all the comforts that life can give.  However, he feels that he is miserably failing at it.  His sister needs medical attention, and Drew will go to the ends of the earth to help her—quite literally.  How long will Drew put his life in danger?  Will he even consider what it would mean to his sister if he were no longer around to protect her? 

A chance encounter between strangers is what is needed to answer the problems of so many.  Adele continues to worry about her mother and brother while Drew grows in concern regarding the condition of his sister.  Will they be able to come together and help each other out?  Will other individuals come between them to hinder instead of help?  What does Adele’s family think of her circumstances?  Each ending seems dark and unanswered, yet slowly Adele will come to understand the faith that Drew has, and in that discovery, her life choices and path she should be on will suddenly become clear to her. 

If you enjoy reading about love and faith, with a dash of unknown fate thrown in, you will love this book.  And if you love learning about two worlds that come together, which ultimately ends in an ordained purpose for both sides, you will enjoy the pages of this story.  I highly recommend checking out this book.  Happy reading! 


"I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review."




Outwardly, Adele Linley’s trip to visit her American cousins is nothing more than a summer vacation. In reality, she’s the daughter of an English aristocrat with barely a penny to her name seeking a rich American husband. 

Having grown up in an overcrowded orphanage, Drew Dawson is determined to make a name for himself. He’ll take any honest job to provide for his sister—even crossing Niagara Falls by tightrope.

On a sightseeing trip to the Falls, Adele meets several eligible suitors. Incredibly wealthy and pompous, Franklin Conway takes an immediate fancy to her. But Adele would truly like to marry for love.  When she encounters the mysterious Drew in the garden, Adele is confused by her feelings for someone who is everything she is NOT looking for. Will they both stay the course they have chosen for themselves?





Amanda Barratt is a historical romance author with two novellas releasing in 2015 with Barbour Publishing. She fell in love with writing in grade school when she wrote her first story - a spinoff of Jane Eyre. Since then, she's penned novels set in Regency and Victorian England, and the Gilded Age.

A member of American Christian Fiction Writers, she lives in the woods of Michigan with her fabulous family, who kindly put up with the invisible people she calls characters.

You can connect with her at: www.amandabarratt.net







Friday, February 9, 2018

First Line Fridays


My favorite author is Jane Austen, and typically I do not read the modern stories that are connected to her works.  You just cannot improve classic literature!  :)  However, I keep seeing Jane of Austin by Hillary Manton Lodge, so I finally decided to pick up a copy.  I do love the the line on the front cover: A Novel of Sweet Tea and Sensibility.  And I am excited to start reading this novel, but for now, I will just include the first line instead of my review. 

Do you enjoy reading modern works that continue where a classic author left off in their story?  Or do you prefer to stick with the classic tale? Let me know in the comments below along with any book suggestions you might have.

Grab the book nearest to you and leave a comment with the first line!

Today I am going to post a line from: 

  Jane of Austin 
by Hillary Manton Lodge 



And the fist line is...

"You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me."  
                                    ~C.S. Lewis~  

December 2016
San Francisco, CA 

"'So you see,' Jonathan explained, 'what you've been paying as a lease for your little tea shop--it's well beneath market value.'"  

Happy reading and happy Friday!

Let me know your first line in the comments & then head over to Hoarding Books  to see who else is participating! 







Thursday, February 8, 2018

The Once and Future Queen - Spotlight Book Tour



The Once and Future Queen: Guinevere in Arthurian Legend
by Nicole Evelina


Publication Date: November 21, 2017
Lawson Gartner Publishing
eBook & Paperback; 281 Pages
Genre: History & Criticism/Fairy Tales, Folk Tales, Legends & Mythology

Guinevere’s journey from literary sinner to feminist icon took over one thousand years…and it’s not over yet.

Literature tells us painfully little about Guinevere, mostly focusing on her sin and betrayal of Arthur and Camelot. As a result, she is often seen as a one-dimensional character. But there is more to her story. By examining popular works of more than 20 authors over the last one thousand years, The Once and Future Queen shows how Guinevere reflects attitudes toward women during the time in which her story was written, changing to suit the expectations of her audience. Beginning in Celtic times and continuing through the present day, this book synthesizes academic criticism and popular opinion into a highly readable, approachable work that fills a gap in Arthurian material available to the general public.

Nicole Evelina has spent more than 15 years studying Arthurian legend. She is also a feminist known for her fictional portrayals of strong historical and legendary women, including Guinevere. Now, she combines these two passions to examine the effect of changing times and attitudes on the character of Guinevere in a must-read book for Arthurian enthusiasts of every knowledge level.

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Chapters |IndieBound | Kobo







Nicole Evelina is a multi-award-winning historical fiction, romantic comedy and non-fiction writer, whose four novels have collectively won over 20 awards, including two Book of the Year designations (Daughter of Destiny by Chanticleer Reviews and Camelot’s Queen by Author’s Circle). Her most recent book, THE ONCE AND FUTURE QUEEN, traces the evolution of the character of Guinevere in Arthurian legend from her Celtic roots to the present day, showing how the character changed along with the period’s views of women. Nicole is currently working on MISTRESS OF LEGEND (2018), the final book in her Guinevere’s Tale trilogy.

As an armchair historian, Nicole researches her books extensively, consulting with biographers, historical societies and traveling to locations when possible. For example, she traveled to England twice to research the Guinevere’s Tale trilogy, where she consulted with internationally acclaimed author and historian Geoffrey Ashe, as well as Arthurian/Glastonbury expert Jaime George, the man who helped Marion Zimmer Bradley research The Mists of Avalon.

Nicole is a member of and book reviewer for The Historical Novel Society, as well as a member of the Historical Fiction Writers of America, International Arthurian Society – North American Branch, Romantic Novelists Association, Novelists, Inc., the St. Louis Writer’s Guild, Alliance of Independent Authors, the Independent Book Publishers Association and the Midwest Publisher’s Association.

For more information, please visit Nicole Evelina’s website. You can also find her on FacebookTwitterPinterestInstagram, and Goodreads. Sign up for Nicole’s newsletter to receive news and updates.



During the Blog Tour we will be giving away two paperback copies of The Once and Future Queen! To enter, please enter via the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules
– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on February 28th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to US residents only.
– Only one entry per household.

– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.


The Once and Future Queen