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One a Hundred Valleys Celebrate Lit Book Tour and Giveaway

Welcome to my stop on the Celebrate Lit tour for One Hundred Valleys.  Be sure to sign up for the Amazon gift card and vintage bowl at the end.  Thank you for stopping.  Enjoy my review and the book.

My Thoughts

One Hundred Valleys by author Bonnie Leon is Christian Historical Romance set in the Wilderness of Oregon.  The first thing I noticed about this book was the beautiful cover.  The blues and greens are serene and the face on the woman is winsome and compelling.  I wanted to read her story.

This is the story of Emmalin Hammond from Philadelphia.  Her world has been completely turned upside down by the death of her mother.  The devastating news that she is not an heiress caused her fiancé to break their engagement.  She learns her father is really not dead but living far away in Oregon Territory.

This is also the tale of Jacob Landon, a sincere mountain man.  Jacob was raised by Native Americans and is more than able to survive in the wilderness. He has agreed to take her to meet her father.

Author Leon has a nice writing style.  Her words are meaningful and smoothly flow together.  At times the pace was a bit slow, but for the most part the story moved right along.  I enjoyed the characters.  They were diverse and believable.  It was easy to befriend the main characters and become irritated with the scoundrels.

This is a well researched story.  At times I felt as if I was on the trail with them.  Jacob was so kind and considerate.  Poor Emmalin had such a time.  She grew a lot from the beginning of the book.

I would recommend this to readers that enjoy historical fiction.  There are some good life lessons in it.  The romance is sweet.  I received a copy from a Celebrate Lit but these are my honest words.

About the Book

Book:  One Hundred Valleys

Author: Bonnie Leon

Genre:  Historical Romance

Release Date: March 15, 2020

After the death of her mother, Emmalin Hammond discovers she is not the heiress she’d always assumed she’d be. The revelation exposes her fiancé true intentions when he withdraws his marriage proposal, leaving Emmalin heartbroken and humiliated. When she discovers the father she believed to be dead is still alive and living in the Oregon Territory she decides it is time to meet the man who has been hidden from her all of her life.

Accompanied by her Uncle Jonathon she sets out for the Oregon Territory in search of answers and hoping for a renewed relationship with her father. When tragedy strikes, she confronts the terrifying challenge of completing her quest alone. Faced with few options, she entrusts her life to a mountain man named Jacob Landon who agrees to transport her to a small settlement in Southern Oregon called Deer Creek, a place also known as the Land of One Hundred Valleys.

Emmalin is not prepared for the hardships of life in the Oregon wilderness. Each day presents a new challenge. Newfound friends, including the reserved Jacob Landon, come alongside to help her adapt and she gradually finds her way. Yet, she feels out of place. Should she brave the arduous journey back to Philadelphia and the life she once knew or remain and hope for something better in the Oregon wilderness?

 

Click here to get your copy!

 

About the Author

Bonnie Leon is the author of twenty-two novels, including the recently released Return to the Misty Shore, the popular Alaskan Skies and bestselling The Journey of Eleven Moons. Bonnie’s books are being read internationally and she hears from readers in Australia, Europe, Poland, and even Africa. She enjoys speaking for women’s groups and mentoring up and coming authors.

Bonnie and her husband, Greg, live in Southern Oregon. They have three grown children and seven grandchildren.

 

More from Bonnie

 

Why this story?

 

In the spring of 1980 my husband and I, our two-year-old son, and our infant daughter left city life in Washington state and moved to Southern Oregon. We gave up our community of friends and family along with my husband’s reliable and well-paying job. Our friends thought we were crazy, but we were determined that Oregon was where we belonged. We were scared but not deterred.

 

I think the change in my own life as a young woman had a lot to do with why I wrote this story of Emmalin Hammond. To be sure, Emmalin’s level of difficulty and danger is distinctly different than mine, but there are similarities. We both experienced adventures, joy, and, yes, even danger.

 

Oregon has been my home for forty years now, and I am glad my husband and I made the decision to move here. We’ve had a good life in this wild and beautiful country. Sometimes I wonder about the women who made that choice during the nineteenth century. Emmalin set out on her harrowing journey to Oregon in the spring of 1855. Many who began that journey did not make it across the plains and desserts of America.

When I put down roots in Douglas County, Oregon I was thrilled to be here, but the changes weren’t all easy. The old farmhouse we lived in had more broken windows than intact ones. It was mouse infested. The plumbing needed major repair. And yet I loved it. The countryside was lush and green, and the rolling hillsides were dotted with farm animals, wildlife, and broad-limbed oak trees. There were wild blackberries sprawling along the farm’s fences and fresh fruit in our orchard. It looked much the same as the Oregon Emmalin discovered in my story, One Hundred Valleys.

I loved hard work and spent a lot of time splitting logs for our only heat source—a wood burning stove—felling trees on our new property, and working alongside my husband in our vegetable garden.

I had run-ins with things like poison oak and skunks, but that did not dampen my enthusiasm as a new Oregonian. I loved picking wild blackberries, fishing the high mountain lakes, hiking mountain trails, and fishing the North Umpqua river. I cherished those days as a farm wife and mother. Those were the best years of my life. I have never regretted our move to the beautiful land of one hundred valleys in Southern Oregon.

 

I am thankful for the early explorers who challenged the wilderness in the Oregon Territory more than a century ago. It is their courage and determination that made it possible for me and my family to live and thrive in this beautiful place.

Blog Stops

A Baker’s Perspective, April 15

Through the Lens of Scripture, April 15

Texas Book-aholic, April 16

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, April 16

Reading Is My SuperPower, April 16

For Him and My Family, April 17

Read Review Rejoice, April 17

Inklings and notions, April 18

Bigreadersite, April 18

Emily Yager, April 18

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, April 19

Lis Loves Reading, April 19

Stories By Gina, April 19

Betti Mace, April 20

Pause for Tales, April 20

My Devotional Thoughts, April 20

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 21

Splashes of Joy, April 21

deb’s Book Review, April 21

Simple Harvest Reads, April 22 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

To Everything There Is A Season, April 22

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, April 23

Worthy2Read, April 23

Daysong Reflections, April 23

Older & Smarter?, April 24

Through the Fire Blogs, April 24

Blossoms and Blessings, April 25

janicesbookreviews, April 25

For the Love of Literature, April 26

Vicky Sluiter, April 26

Mary Hake, April 26

Locks, Hooks and Books, April 27

Genesis 5020, April 27

Artistic Nobody, April 28 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

With a Joyful Noise, April 28

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Bonnie is giving away the grand prize package of a $15 Amazon Gift Card and Vintage Oregon myrtle wood porringer bowl!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/f8e0/one-hundred-valleys-celebration-tour-giveaway

Change of Heart by Molly Jebber

My Thoughts

Author Molly Jabber has written a sweet Christian fiction with the newest installment in her The Keepsake Pocket Quilt Series.  I was able to read it in one afternoon and enjoyed it.

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This is the story of Amish girl Becca Yost.  She was humiliated after her fiancé stood her up at the altar.  Not wanting to stay in her home town, she goes to visit her sister, Ruth.  Ruth moved away when she got married and became Mennonite.

It is also the story of Englisch Dr. Matt Carrington.  He is a kind, caring, gentle man.  When he and Becca keep meeting sparks fly.  Becca is a sweet and caring person, too.  They encounter some issues making a relationship difficult and possibly impossible.  There are some twists and turns placed throughout to surprise readers.

The characters in the book are not as deep as in most of the author’s other works.  For some reason I felt a little disconnected to them.  The dialog seemed stiff and uneven at times.  Overall story was very good.

I would recommend this book to Amish lovers.  It is a nice, sweet book.  A copy was provided by Celebrate Lit but these are my own, honest words.

About the Book

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A modern new century brings a young Amish woman an unexpected new life—and a chance to discover love’s true way home…

Ohio, 1899. Soft-spoken midwife Becca Yost lived by her Amish faith’s strict rules—until her fiancé jilted her before their entire community. She’s never been away from home, but the bustling Englischer town of Massillon, Ohio, is a welcome unexpected refuge. Especially when she goes to work for Dr. Matt Carrington, who shares her passion for healing those in need. His outgoing spirit and gentle strength show Becca a surprising new world of choices—and irresistible love. But there is one formidable obstacle: Matt’s wealthy mother is determined her son will marry a society woman.

With her newfound resolve challenged, Becca decides that she and Matt must not be destined for each other after all. She accepts that she will have to forge a life alone—until a wrenching crisis and life-changing revelations teach her that true faith lies in all things, especially impossible second chances.

 

About the Author

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Molly Jebber is an award-winning author of Amish Historical Romance. Molly’s books have been featured in Publisher’s Weekly, USA Today’s HEA, featured in video on Naples News and Romantic Times. She’s a touring speaker for Women’s Christian Connection, and she offers presentations on writing, marketing, agent or no agent, publishing, and the Amish lifestyles and traditions. She’s been a guest lecturer for conferences, author events, and at Ohio State University for an event in 2020.

CHANGE OF HEART, GRACE’S FORGIVENESS, & TWO SUITORS FOR ANNA – these books are her Keepsake Pocket Quilt Series. LIZA’S SECOND CHANCE, ELLIE’S REDEMPTION, & HANNAH’S COURAGE are her Amish Charm Bakery Series books. Check her website www.mollyjebber.com for more of her books and where she’ll be next!

She loves God, her family, and friends. She says yes to swimming, the beach, golf, and time with her family and friends, and no to coconut, onions, and skydiving!

Author Links

Facebook:  facebook.com/mollymorrisjebber

Twitter:   twitter.com/mollymjebber

Pinterest: pinterest.com/mollymjebber

Bookbub:   https://www.bookbub.com/authors/molly-jebber

Amish Country Murder Celebrate Lit Tour and Giveaway

My Thoughts

Author Mary Alford has penned a contemporary Amish suspense mystery with her Amish Country Murder book.  It is the first one I have read by this author, and I found it extremely interesting.  It is one of those Amish tales that everyone will enjoy because it is  more modern day suspense.

This riveting story is about Catherine Fisher and her struggle to outrun the Dead of Night Killer.  FBI agent, Sutter Brenneman has been assigned to the case.  The serial killer is playing a deadly cat and mouse game with them, staying one step ahead all of the time.

Author Alford has done a beautiful job with this story.  It is well planned and well written.  She has included twists and turns that make it exciting and unpredictable.  The characters are believable.  All of the emotions that poor Catherine is feeling comes through the pages.

I enjoyed the life lessons of forgiveness and second chances.  The inspirational messages of faith were beautiful.  Anyone will enjoy this book.  It is a page turning mystery, suspense with a bit of sweet romance.

I definitely recommend this book.  It is a good diversion from today’s issues.  I wouldn’t let the Amish part keep you from reading it if you aren’t an Amish fan.  It is much more of a contemporary suspense.  I rated it a 4 out of 5 stars.  A copy was provided by Celebrate Lit, but these are my honest words.

About the Book

Book:  Amish Country Murder

Author: Mary Alford

Genre:  Amish Suspense

Release Date: March 1, 2020

An Amish woman targeted by a serial killer

Is the only living witness…

As the sole woman to escape the Dead of Night Killer, Catherine Fisher’s the key to catching him—if he doesn’t kill her first. Now it’s up to FBI agent Sutter Brenneman to protect her. But with her memory missing and all clues indicating the serial killer took her for very personal reasons, it’ll take everything Sutter has to keep her safe.

 

 

Click here for your copy!

 

 

About the Author

USA Today Bestselling Author, Mary Alford, loves giving her readers the unexpected. Her titles have appeared on the USA Today Bestselling List, Publisher’s Weekly bestselling list, and have finaled in the Daphne Du Maurier award of excellence in mystery, The Beverly, The Maggie, and The Selah Awards.

As a writer, Mary is an avid reader. She loves to cook, can’t face the day without coffee, and her three granddaughters are the apple of her eye. She and her husband live in the heart of Texas in the middle of 70 acres with two cats and one dog.

Mary is very active online and would love to connect with readers on Facebook and Twitter or any social platforms listed at www.maryalford.net.

 

 

More from Mary

 

Thank you for coming with me on this journey to the mountains of Montana, where the Amish Community of West Kootenai is nestled in the wide-open spaces of Big Sky Country, and a simple Amish way of life can be anything but. Especially when a serial killer is lurking nearby, waiting to take his next victim, and the clock is ticking.

Amish Country Murder is my second book set in the Amish Community of West Kootenai, Montana. My first book, Amish Country Kidnapping is available now at most book retailers.

As a reader, one of my favorite genres is Amish Suspense. There’s just something about a story that pits the simple and innocent Amish lifestyle with the dark and sometimes deadly world of a suspense. Good versus evil, so to speak.

When Catherine Fisher escapes the clutches of a serial killer, she can’t remember as single thing about her past before the monster took her.

FBI agent Sutter Brenneman has been working the Dead of Night Serial Killer case for a while. Catherine is his first living victim. Protecting Catherine and finding the killer before he strikes again is critical. Hiding out in Amish Country, Sutter is surrounded my memories of his own Amish past, rekindling old longings for the life lost to him. Is it possible to have it back? In the middle of a killer stalking their every move, Catherine and Sutter share many tender moments as their feelings for each other grow into love.

One of the things I love most about the Amish is their amazingly simple recipes that remind me of my childhood and the meals my mother used to prepare.

During one meal shared with an Amish couple, Catherine and Sutter enjoy sweet potato croquettes with meat loaf. Sweet potato croquettes are a simple side dish that is delicious and easy to prepare. I thought I’d share this recipe with you here.

AMISH SWEET POTATO CROQUETTES

  • 1 pt. of mashed sweet potatoes
  • 1 tblsp. butter
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tblsp. sugar
  • 1 egg white
  • breadcrumbs
  • marshmallows (optional)

Mash sweet potatoes very fine.  Add salt, sugar and melted butter to mashed sweet potatoes. Shape sweet potatoes into croquette rolls or patties.  Cool them in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Remove from refrigerator and roll in breadcrumbs.  Dip them in the slightly beaten egg white, and then into the crumbs again. Bake in a shallow, greased baking dish for 20 minutes, at a temperature of 400 degrees F.  For an even sweeter version of this dish, you can place a marshmallow in the center of each (make sure it is covered completely by the potato mixture).

I so hope you enjoy this recipe and Amish Country Murder. And stay tuned for my next Amish Suspense set in West Kootenai, coming in November of this year.

 

Blog Stops

Batya’s Bits, April 14

Genesis 5020, April 14

The Avid Reader, April 15

Maureen’s Musings, April 15

Betti Mace, April 16

janicesbookreviews, April 16

She Lives To Read, April 17

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 17

Texas Book-aholic, April 18

deb’s Book Review, April 18

Inklings and notions, April 19

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, April 19

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, April 20

For Him and My Family, April 21

Older & Smarter?, April 21

My Devotional Thoughts, April 22

For the Love of Literature, April 22

Artistic Nobody, April 23 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Pause for Tales, April 23

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, April 24

Hallie Reads, April 24

Because I said so and other as adventures in parenting, April 25

Emily Yager, April 25

SPLASHES of Joy, April 26

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, April 26

Blossoms and Blessings, April 27

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Mary is giving away the grand prize package of a Lavender Spa 10-piece Gift Basket with Tote, and a print copy of Amish Country Murder!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/f8df/amish-country-murder-celebration-tour-giveaway

Ranger to the Rescue Celebrate Lit Tour and Giveaway

My Thoughts

Ranger to the Rescue by author Renae Brumbaugh Green is Book #2 in her The Texas Rangers Series.  Bringing back beloved characters from Book #1, this historical western is certain to please readers.  The sweet romance paired with danger and mystery make this a captivating tale.

I enjoy the style of writing that author Green has.  It is very descriptive and takes me from my loveseat to the dusty old west in the 1800s.  The characters are believable.  Each one is like a new friend.  Their personalities are unique and priceless.  I enjoyed the conversations they had.  They sounded authentic and not forced.

Amelia is a fearless news reporter with a broken heart from a losing a loved one to the dangers of being a lawman.  Evan is an attorney newly named town Ranger.  He has asked Amelia to have permission to begin courting her.

Lives are in danger and turned upside down when Evan’s sister and Amelia are kidnapped.  The emotions are high and I was captivated by this story.  It was a true page turner as I read on and on to see if the girls would be rescued.

The author included many life lessons in her inspiring novel.  Relying on God and his love for us is the first one.   Trusting in Him is a second one.  This is a story of redemption, forgiveness, and grace.  The inspiration is wonderful.

I highly recommend this beautiful story.  Even though it is Book #2, readers that haven’t read Book #1 will have no trouble  following it.  It gets a 5 out of 5 stars from me.  A copy was provided by Celebrate Lit, but these are my own thoughts.

About the Book

Book:  Ranger to the Rescue

Author: Renae Brumbaugh Green

 Genre:  Christian Historical Romance

Release Date: April 14, 2020

Amelia Cooper has sworn off lawmen for good.

Now any man who wants to claim the hand of the intrepid reporter had better have a safe job. Like attorney Evan Covington. Amelia is thrilled when the handsome lawyer comes courting. But when the town enlists him as a Texas Ranger, Amelia isn’t sure she can handle losing another man to the perils of keeping the peace.

Evan never expected his temporary appointment to sink his relationship with Amelia. Or to instantly plunge them headlong into danger. But when Amelia and his sister are both kidnapped, the newly minted lawman must rescue them—if he’s to have any chance at love.

Click here for your copy!

About the Author

Renae Brumbaugh Green is a city-girl-turned-country-diva. She’s married to a handsome country boy named Rick, and she’s mom to four nearly-perfect, nearly-grown children, two rowdy dogs, and some ducks. They live in rural Texas where Renae wears overalls, western boots, and bubblegum pink nail polish. She’s a bestselling author of over 30 books, an award-winning humor columnist, and an online English teacher. In her free time, she can be found leaping tall buildings and rescuing kittens from trees. Or, she’d like to do those things, if she had free time.

More from Renae

Every once in a while, when writing a character, I become vaguely aware that in many respects, I am that character. In those moments, I also become aware that God is the author, and he’s teaching me something through this particular character’s journey. After all, it’s a lot easier to learn through someone else’s mistakes than to recognize our own mistakes – especially if that someone else is a fictional character.

Amelia’s journey is one of fear and anxiety, which is something I’ve dealt with a lot. Like Amelia, I appear composed and confident on the surface. Like Amelia, I’m often a mess on the inside, scared to death of what will come, scared to death of how it will all turn out.

While writing this story, while dealing with Amelia’s anxiety, I (all-knowing author that I am) wrote that fear is the opposite of hope. Fear is the belief that something bad will happen, while hope is the belief that something good will happen. The Bible tells us that ours is a God of hope (Romans 15:13). When we truly trust Him, we can let go of fear, knowing He has good things in store for us.

At one point in the book, Amelia has this revelation:

“And suddenly, it was as if a haze lifted and she saw herself clearly for the first time. She’d let herself be ruled by fear, and in so doing had confined herself and clipped her own wings.”

Those words, disguised on the page as Amelia’s thoughts, were actually my thoughts. I hope you enjoy Amelia’s journey. And as you read, I hope you’ll remember these words from Isaiah 41:10: “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

God bless, and happy reading!

—Renae Brumbaugh Green

Blog Stops

Genesis 5020, April 16

Inklings and notions, April 16

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, April 17

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 18

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, April 18

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, April 19

Texas Book-aholic, April 20

deb’s Book Review, April 20

Betti Mace, April 21

Books, Life, and Christ, April 21

For Him and My Family, April 22

Reading Is My SuperPower, April 23

Becka Jiménez’s FB, April 23

Jodie Wolfe – Stories Where Hope and Quirky Meet, April 24

janicesbookreviews, April 24

Blossoms and Blessings, April 25

Vicky Sluiter, April 25

Bigreadersite, April 26

Hallie Reads, April 26

Pause for Tales, April 27

Splashes of Joy, April 27

For the Love of Literature, April 28

Daysong Reflections, April 29

Artistic Nobody, April 29 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Renae is giving away the grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/f8e1/ranger-to-the-rescue-celebration-tour-giveaway

Vestige of Legacy Celebrate Lit Tour and Giveaway

My Thoughts

Author Sara Blackard has written a Christian historical romance novel with a time- travel twist in Vestige of Legacy.  It is Book Two in her Vestige in Time Series.  I was skeptical about reading a Christian time-travel fiction book.  Doesn’t that sound like an oxymoron?  Believe me, this author did it in such a way that it is God glorifying and believable.

Even though this is the second book in the series, it most definitely could be read as a stand alone.  Book one was a fabulous introduction to characters with a totally different storyline, so I encourage you to read it.  I loved both books.

Blackard has a style of writing that brings stories to life.  In a matter of words I was interested and soon invested in the lives of the characters.  They are realistic and relatable.  I enjoyed the way they conversed and interacted.  The differences in time periods read true.  This book had a beautiful inspirational message of faith and God.  It was front and center.  There were many life lessons that ring true today.  The author left many points to ponder in this thoughtful story.

Samantha is the present day character that finds herself in 1879 in the rugged Colorado Rockies.  She is wounded, confused, and frightened.  Orlando, healer and man of faith from 1879, finds her and their story begins.  This tale is filled with twists, danger, mystery, and sweet romance.  The wildness of the setting at times took my breath away.  The descriptions were so vivid that I felt like I was there.

I highly recommend this book.  It is a nice trip to a time and place far away.  I rated it 5 out of 5 stars.  A copy was provided by Celebrate Lit but these are my own true words.

About the Book

Book:  Vestige of Legacy

Author: Sara Blackard

Genre: Historical, Time-Travel, Romance

Release Date: March 10, 2020

Vistage of Legacy coverA women bent on survival…
…a man intent on saving…
…thrown together by a tumble through time.After running away from her foster home and surviving several years living on the streets, Samara has finally found her path in life—performing music with the hope of putting down roots. But when she is violently attacked and somehow ends up one hundred and forty years in the past, it appears her dreams for the future have once again been ripped from her.While trekking through the Coloradan Rockies in 1879, Orlando finds a wounded woman. He questions why God would put this small, weak woman in his path. As he races to save her from the harsh wilderness bent on destroying them, he hopes his failures of the past don’t catch up to them.Continue the breath-taking Vestige in Time series!

 

Click here for your copy!

 

About the Author

Vistage of LegacySara Blackard enjoys writing romantic stories full of adventure and weaved with God’s message of love. She makes her home in the sub-arctic of Tok, Alaska with her husband and five children. In between writing and publishing, she can usually be found either homeschooling her children, enjoying the Alaskan wilderness, or helping build their house.

More from Sara

A trip to the Alamo brings introspection and a bit of sweat.

Texas heat could melt a woman…

…I know. I experienced it this last September when I ventured south for the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) conference in San Antonio.

I noticed several t-shirts in the gift shops that said “If you can’t take the heat, leave Texas!” I looked at those shirts and told them, “Not until the conference is over, you bully.” They don’t like it very much when you talk back to them.

I visited the Alamo while I was there. I could glimpse it of out the window of our hotel room (Thank you, Jesus for answered prayers!) Inside the walled grounds was a small museum one of the actors told me to check out. There wasn’t much in the museum. Old rifles. A few uniforms. Some personal items. I found Davie Crockett’s brush, and next to it sat this tin box that Crockett carried with him. It surprised me, because this box isn’t small. Crockett was a man in a foreign land, looking for a better future. What would cause a man to carry such an awkward box by horse across miles on his journey?

That box got me thinking about what things I carry? I had just finished the first draft of Vestige of Legacy. Samara, the heroine, carries her mother’s Appalachian dulcimer with her. She has the memories of her mother in the case, but she’s also packed it full of fears, regrets and lies. Do I have such a thing in the items I’ve lugged around the country as we’ve moved from place to place?

Then I started thinking about what do I want to carry with me? The answer quickly came back as God. In all the things I can take with me as I travel across the miles or down the street, I pray I’m taking God with me, pray He guides my thoughts, actions, and words. And here’s the crazy thing, I know He takes me with Him, carries me through all my troubles and through the joy. He says so in Isaiah 46:4  “And I’ll keep on carrying you when you’re old. I’ll be there, bearing you when you’re old and gray. I’ve done it and will keep on doing it, carrying you on my back, saving you.”

Wow… aren’t God’s promises amazing? What are you carrying with you? Are you like Crockett, lugging around this awkward box? You can bet, whether you recognize it or not, that God is faithful to carry you.

Blog Stops

Texas Book-aholic, April 9

Artistic Nobody, April 10 (Author Interview)

deb’s Book Review, April 10

Inklings and notions, April 11

For Him and My Family, April 12

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, April 13

Older & Smarter?, April 14

Betti Mace, April 15

My Devotional Thoughts, April 16

Abba’s Prayer Warrrior Princess, April 17

For the Love of Literature, April 18

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 19

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, April 20

Locks, Hooks and Books, April 21

Pause for Tales, April 22

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Sara is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon Gift Card, a copy of Vestige of Hope,and a copy of Vestige of Legacy!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/f8c9/vestige-of-legacy-celebration-tour-giveaway

Prayers vs. Good Thoughts

Pet peeves.  We all have them.  Most of us have a long list of them.  I know I do.  Incorrect grammar drives me crazy.  Younger people being disrespectful always makes me want to correct them on the spot.  One of the biggies for me though is people saying “I am sending good (or positive) thoughts.”  What is that?  Explain it to me.

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How does one send a thought?  Do you put it in a box and send it?  No, that wouldn’t work.   I suppose in lieu of praying people believe this is the next best thing.  Perhaps for them it even is the best thing, but it is not for me.  I would much rather have and offer prayer.  In fact, scripture tells us to “Pray without ceasing.” in 1 Thessalonians 5:17.

Do you believe a person’s thoughts are powerful enough to change someone else’s life?  I don’t.  Do I believe prayer is that powerful?  Pull up a chair and let me tell you some first hand experiences.  Yes, prayer is absolutely that powerful and effective.  Why, because God is powerful.

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Several years ago I had a stroke.  The doctors said there was damage done to my eyes and I would always see bright flashing lights, like strobe lights.  Always meaning every minute of every day for the rest of my life.  To the doctors’ baffling surprise my eyesight improved almost back to normal.  I had an army of faithful prayer warriors praying for me.  God heard and answered our prayers.  No positive thoughts or vibes sent my way could have healed me.

Family members have had cancer literally disappear thanks to our healing Heavenly Father answering our prayers.  Lives have been saved, jobs secured, and babies added to our family all because we prayed and God answered.   Money miraculously became available to pay for food or important bills, all because of answered prayers.  Accidents were avoided, injuries not as severe, and diagnoses not fatal where first thought, all due to faithful praying family and friends.  God heard and answered.  Prayer makes a difference, a big difference.

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I encourage you to pray for one another instead of merely saying you are sending thoughts.  It is not difficult.  There is no special way to pray.  It is a conversation between you and your Creator.  He knows everything about you already, even what you are going to say.  Open your heart and just talk to God.  The more you pray, the more you will want to pray and the easier it will become.

Don’t get me wrong.  Positive thinking is important.  It makes a huge difference in a person’s day.  We all awake each day with the choice to be happy and see life with the glass half full or we could be grumpy and negatively say the glass is half empty.  I do believe in positive thinking, but I just don’t believe in sending positive thoughts.

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Speaking of thoughts, I hope this has given you something to ponder if you ask for or offer good or positive thoughts.  Honestly, I would rather not have someone say that to me except for the fact that I can pray for them.   If they aren’t praying, they are missing such a blessing.  We all need blessings and prayers.  We all need God.

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Covid19: What it Has Taken and Given

In the matter of days our lives were turned upside down.  Normal ceased to exist.  Our daily routines changed.  Spring Break plans were disrupted.  Schools let scholars go home for the remainder of the year.  Seniors were cheated out of their final semester of High School or College.  People were quarantined at home.  Why?  A nasty extremely contagious, life threatening virus named Covid19.
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Parks were closed.  Sporting events were cancelled.  Businesses were shut down 
and only essential workers were employed.  Companies had employees work from home.  Grocery store shelves were bare.  Toilet paper became a rare item. Yes, stores were sold out of it everywhere.  Hand sanitizer disappeared along with it.  Health officials found it necessary to reteach us how to wash our hands.

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Since groceries were out of meat, groceries were selling their raw protein along with prepared menu items.  Delivery or curbside pick up were the only options since dining in had been banned. Gatherings were limited to ten people.  Weddings were rescheduled and funerals kept private.  Church doors were closed.  Masks were worn in public for protection.  Our world had completely changed.
Covid19 has taken our normal from us.  Our secure, everyday life is now gone. Healthcare and grocery workers are exhausted.  Parents are homeschooling and frustrated.  Family and friends are missing each other.  Children are frightened and do not understand.  Adults are, too.  This is a worldwide pandemic. What is a pandemic?  Webster’s dictionary says “Pandemic definition is – occurring over a wide geographic area and affecting an exceptionally high proportion of the population.”

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Oh, but wait.  It is not all gloom and doom. Covid19 has also given to us.  Our priorities have been forced into perspective.  Family has risen to the top.  Those concerts and sporting events that we believed were essential have been replaced with family time.  Family dinners have made a huge comeback.  People are returning to the kitchen to prepare meals that will be eaten around a table with family.  The weather has turned nice and families are going outside.  We are rediscovering the treasure we have been taking for granted.
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Communities and the entire nation have joined together.  Meals are given to children
out of school and to healthcare workers. Restaurants are pitching where they can.   Protective masks are being made at home to help. Many are giving them away.  Neighbors are checking on each other.  Teenagers are doing yard work to help elderly.  Groceries are picked up for friends.  Kindness is manifesting itself through people across this nation. We are thinking of others and their needs.  America and mankind are pulling together to help win this war on Covid19.  We are standing together to assist others.  
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With so much time spent in self quarantine parents are spending quality time with their children.  Hiking, playing games, grilling or working in the kitchen, are just a few of the ways families are enjoying their time together.  They are becoming reacquainted with each other.  Families are doing more activities together and making lasting memories.  For the most part, this is a great thing.  Unfortunately there will be some children not blessed with a happy home.

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The best thing to come out of this is that people have turned their hearts and minds back to God.  Children are witnessing a revival in their homes.  Prayers are said at mealtime and bedtime now more than ever.  Bibles are being dusted off and opened.  God’s Word is being read.  We have more time now to begin our day with God’s Word and in prayer.  That excuse has been taken away.  Parents are able to set good examples for their children and teach them God’s Word.

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God’s children have hit the reset button on their lives.  We are putting things in proper order starting with Jesus, then others, and finally ourselves.  We will come through this battle victorious.  Always we need our Heavenly Father, but we need Him especially now.  This is an epic battle we are fighting with Covid19.  Fear not.  Nothing is impossible with God.  He is more powerful than anything, even this pandemic.  I hope the lessons that we learned during this time will stay with us.  I hope our world remains changed for the better.  Don’t you?
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