“Bipartisan Love” Celebrate Lit Tour & Giveaway

 My Thoughts:

This is an older Contemporary or newer historic Christian romance written by author and storyteller extraordinaire, Caryl MacAdoo.  The reason I say older is it is set right after the assassination of Bobby Kennedy.  While that might not seem historic to me, it actually is.

Bipartisan Love is another delicious serving of God glorifying fiction from author MacAdoo.  It is a different type of story and I loved every bit of it.  The author’s down home honest style of writing draws me right in from the first page and keeps me until the story is finished.  This was filled with emotions, life lessons, faith, humor, and of course romance.

The author has researched her material well.  The characters were delightful and very realistic.  Each seemed like someone we would know.  Conversations were saturated with colloquialisms, making them even more authentic.  With the author’s vivid descriptions I felt like I was in the middle of the story myself.

This is the story of Cynthia and Cody, high school sweethearts.  It is a tale of forgiveness, trusting God and His timing, starting over again, betrayal, love, and second chances.  It is about faith, family, and friends.

I highly recommend this delightfully written novel.  It gets a rating of 5 out of 5 stars from me.  A copy was provided by Celebrate Lit but I was not required to write a review.  These are my own honest words.

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About the Book:

Book: Bipartisan Love

Author: Caryl MacAdoo

Genre: Historical Christian Romance

Release date: June 20, 2019


Don’t lean to your own understanding. Acknowledge God in all your ways, and He will direct your path.

Does time truly heal a broken heart?

Cody thought it had until she walked into the diner like she owned the world and back into his life as if she owned him.

Can betrayal ever be completely forgiven?

Cindy thought it could until she saw him with the bleached blonde. Her Cody!

Separated eighteen years, Cody Wayne Buckmeyer and Cindy think they can put the past behind them and work toward a common goal, a congressional seat . . . but is that possible?


About the Author:

Caryl McAdooPraying her story gives God glory, award-winning, best-selling author Caryl McAdoo loves revisiting beloved characters in her novels. And her readers are glad she does! She’s blessed that her titles earned over fifty-percent 5-Star ratings and eighty-five to ninety percent 4 & 5-Stars! With forty-four novels (thirty-four in the last four-and-a-half years), it’s obvious she loves writing, but singing the new songs the Lord gives her also rates high. (Listen to a few at YouTube.)

Married to Ron, her high school sweetheart, she counts their four children and eighteen grandsugars life’s best blessings. The McAdoos live in the woods south of Clarksville, seat of Red River County in far Northeast Texas, waiting expectantly for God to open the next door.

 

More from Caryl:

I totally enjoy revisiting characters from previous stories! That’s one reason I love writing ‘Family Sagas” like the Texas Romances that has ten full length novels and Cross Timbers Romances with two books and counting! The third launches this coming September.

In BIPARTISAN LOVE, we get to spend time again with the Buckmeyers—Travis and Emma Lee from Texas Romance Book Ten CHIEF OF SINNERS. My heart could barely leave these dear people after book ten, so I’ve written a few “Companion Books” (five and counting 😊) that go with the Texas Romance series—either going back to meet ancestors or forward for their descendants or just more stories with the characters you already love.

Readers first met Cody Buckmeyer and his kissing cousin (by marriage) best friend Cynthia Kramer as pre-teens in SON OF PROMISE. In that story, Emma Lee, so longing to be a mom, gets her heart’s desire in Cody, her husband’s son she’s never known about. The two youngsters became fast friends, but Cindy went overseas when LBJ gave her father an ambassadorship.

It’s been eighteen years, and Cody’s engaged to another. After her letters stopped, he gave up all hope. A liberal Democrat, Cynthia comes home after working in Hubert Humphries’ losing bid for the presidency, and wants Cody, a conservative Republican, to run for a Congressional seat with her as his campaign manager!

How’s this supposed to work?

Blog Stops:

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, June 24

Godly Book Reviews, June 25

Simple Harvest Reads, June 26 (Spotlight)

For Him and My Family, June 27

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, June 28

Connect in Fiction, June 29

Power of Words, June 30 (Spotlight)

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, July 1

Just the Write Escape, July 2

Texas Book-aholic, July 3

Artistic Nobody, July 4 (Spotlight)

janicesbookreviews, July 5

A Reader’s Brain, July 6

Inklings and notions, July 7

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Caryl is giving away

Grand Prize – $50 Gift Amazon Card

1st Prize – Signed, Paperback copy of CHOICE of all my books

2nd Prize – Signed copy of Bipartisan Love

3rd Prize – eBook copy of Bipartisan Love

and

4th Prize – eBook copy of CHOICE of all my books!!

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/e4f6/bipartisan-love-celebration-tour-giveaway

The Brides of the Big Valley Book Review

The Brides of The Big Valley is a compilation of three Christian contemporary Amish romance stories penned by the three Brunstetter ladies.   Matriarch Wanda is joined by daughter-in-law Jean and granddaughter Richelle to produce a delightful fiction book that is unique and engaging.  I have never read any Amish stories such as these.

The Amish lifestyle fascinates me and by reading these three books I was able to learn even more about it.  Opening this paperback is an Introduction section that describes The Big Valley and Amish there.  The three different buggy colors intrigued me.  Their language and cooking do, too.   The Brunstetter ladies have done their research well and really know the Amish culture.  It is evidenced in their well written books.

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Each story has believable characters that are true to life.  They struggle with life issues such as strife, forgiveness, coveting, and not wanting to accept help from others.  Through their tale solutions are given on how to deal with these unfortunate and stressful topics.  God is frontmost in each of the three books.

All three novellas are set in an area in Pennsylvania known as Big Valley.  There are many Amish here but they aren’t all alike in their beliefs and rules.  The three separate districts here range from Conservative to Liberal.  Each one has their own color of buggy to distinguish themselves.

Wanda has written the first book, Deanna’s Determination.  In this story Deanna is a widow with a young son who has Down’s Syndrome.  It is a heart wrenching story that has stayed with me long after I finished reading it.  I was a bit bothered by switching between Dad and Daed throughout the book, but it could be a Big Valley practice.  I loved the little boy,  Abner.  There are so many life lessons to be learned in this poignant tale.

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Jean took on Book Two, Rose Mary’s Resolve.  The common thread between these two books is Elmer.  He works for her father.  In this tale, Mary Rose is deliberating on her faith and finding a man to help her in her walk.  She has been considering jumping the fence over into the Englischer World.  It is a wonderful story and filled with faith, decisions, consequences, and inspiration.  Jean has a very nice style of writing and knows her Amish, also.

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Richelle wraps up the book with Leila’s Longing.  Leila has been helping her mother and has done so without complaining.  Secretly she yearns for a house and family of her own.  Her friends are all married or getting married.  She is goes to a singing where young people gather and mingle.  Her dilemma is can a strict yellow topper be interested in beginning a relationship and family with someone from a different group?

I would highly recommend this to anyone.  If you aren’t certain if you like Amish books, this is a sampling from three excellent authors.  Each of the stories is equally entertaining and inspiring. After the novella each author has included a recipe from her story.  There are no Discussion Questions at the end, but these would be great book club choices for many reasons.  There is heartache, disabilities, and making choices involved in these captivating tales.

After reading these three novella, I am ready for a real trip to Amish Country.  This gave me a taste for the real thing!  I gladly rate this book 5 out of 5 stars.  Each individual story would get a 5, also.  A copy was provided by the publisher but these were my own, honest thoughts.

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About the Book:

In an area of Pennsylvania called The Big Valley, a uniquely blended Amish community thrives in which three distinct groups of Amish identify themselves by the colors of their buggy’s top—white, black, or yellow. Join New York Times Bestselling Author Wanda E. Brunstetter, her daughter-in-law, and granddaughter in experiencing the stories of three young women who search for faith and love within this special place. Deanna is a widow who sees her second chance of love slipping away. Rose Mary is at a point in life where she must choose the path of her faith and the right man to walk with her on it. Leila is burdened with family responsibilities and wonders when she will ever start a family of her own.

About the Authors:

Wanda Brunstetter

New York Times bestselling and award-winning author, Wanda E. Brunstetter is one of the founders of the Amish fiction genre. She has written close to 90 books translated in four languages. With over 10 million copies sold, Wanda’s stories consistently earn spots on the nations most prestigious bestseller lists and have received numerous awards.

Wanda’s ancestors were part of the Anabaptist faith, and her novels are based on personal research intended to accurately portray the Amish way of life. Her books are well-read and trusted by many Amish, who credit her for giving readers a deeper understanding of the people and their customs.

When Wanda visits her Amish friends, she finds herself drawn to their peaceful lifestyle, sincerity, and close family ties. Wanda enjoys photography, ventriloquism, gardening, bird-watching, beachcombing, and spending time with her family. She and her husband, Richard, have been blessed with two grown children, six grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.

Jean Brunstetter

Jean Brunstetter became fascinated with the Amish when she first went to Pennsylvania to visit her father-in-law’s family. Since that time, Jean has become friends with several Amish families and enjoys writing about their way of life. She also likes to put some of the simple practices followed by the Amish into her daily routine. Jean lives in Washington State with her husband, Richard Jr. and their three children, but takes every opportunity to visit Amish communities in several states. In addition to writing, Jean enjoys boating, gardening, and spending time on the beach.

Richelle Brunstetter

Richelle Brunstetter lives in the Pacific Northwest and developed a desire to write when she took creative writing in high school. After enrolling in college classes, her overall experience enticed her to become a writer, and she wants to implement what she’s learned into her stories. Just starting her writing career, her first published story appears in The Beloved Christmas Quilt beside her grandmother, Wanda E. Brunstetter, and her mother, Jean. Richelle enjoys traveling to different places, her favorite being Kauai, Hawaii.

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The Refuge by Ann Gabhart, Book Review and Recipe

The Refuge by storyteller extraordinaire, author Ann Garbart, is a delicious serving of Christian historical romance.  Set in the Shaker Village at Harmony Hill, Kentucky in 1850’s, this 391 page paperback is wonderful!  I found it to be a page turning delight.

If you are not familiar with the Shaker religion, this book will give you a quick lesson.  I love fiction books that teach me new things.  However, this time I was well acquainted with the strange sect that believed in celibacy and did not believe in marriage.  I still shook my head in disbelief and was frustrated with them even though I knew what to expect.

Author Gabhart has a magical way with telling a tale.  Actually, it is a God given talent.  Her words are woven together and I am spellbound.  Within the first few paragraphs I am walking inside the book and captivated.  She teaches me things that I don’t know and always has a healthy dose of faith and inspiration included in the story.  These are two of my favorite things, actually must haves, in historical Christian fiction.

This book has been well researched.  The author knows a lot about the Shakers, and it is evident she has visited their historic village.  Characters are very well defined and easy to imagine.  I loved feisty Leatrice, daughter of widower Flynn.  Darcie caught my heart and my emotions.  At times I felt trapped like she did with the Shakers.  The variety of personalities in the Shaker sisters was delightful and true to life, I’m certain.

This is a book about romance, faith, trusting God, and friendship.  There are some twists and turns to keep readers on their toes.  Book Clubs will need to come up with their own discussion questions as it does not include any.

I highly recommend this well written novel.  Learning about the Shakers is worth reading it, but there is so much more to glean.  I rated it 5 out of 5 stars.

I received a copy from the publisher, but was under no obligation to write a review.  These are my own, honest thoughts.

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About the Book:

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When Darcie and Walter Goodwin hear of a new cholera epidemic sweeping the area, they join the Shakers whose villages seem immune to the disease. It’s meant to be a temporary stay, but Walter is killed in a riverboat accident. With no family and no money, Darcie has little choice but to stay with the Shakers. To complicate matters, she is expecting a baby conceived before she and her husband came to the Shaker village. Marital relationships are considered sinful in this celibate community, putting Darcie in a unique–and lonely–position. Can the arrival of widower Flynn Keller and his headstrong daughter offer Darcie the hope of happiness . . . and family?

Ann H. Gabhart returns to the enigmatic world of the Shakers in this emotional exploration of the power of love and the bond of family.

About the Author:

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Ann H. Gabhart is the bestselling author of several Shaker novels–The Outsider, The Believer, The Seeker, The Blessed, and The Gifted–as well as other historical novels, including Angel Sister, These Healing Hills, and River to Redemption. She and her husband live on a farm a mile from where she was born in rural Kentucky. Ann enjoys discovering the everyday wonders of nature while hiking in her farm’s fields and woods with her grandchildren and her dog, Frankie. Learn more at http://www.annhgabhart.com.

Recipe Time by Nyla Kay:

My paternal grandparents lived near Shaker Town so I have many memories of going there to eat with them.  Among the recipes I accumulated is this one for Shaker Lemon Pie.  It is so tasty and very different.  The key is to slice your lemons extremely thin.

Shaker Lemon Pie

  • 2 lemons (about 9 oz. each), sliced paper thin (rind and all)
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 double pie crust

Directions

Combine lemon slices and sugar in a shallow bowl; let stand until lemon slices are juicy, 4 hours or overnight. Remove any seeds that float to the surface.

Preheat oven to 450°F. Stir eggs into lemon mixture thoroughly.

Line a 9-inch pie plate with 1 pie crust. Pour lemon mixture into shell. Cover with top crust, and crimp edges. Cut decorative steam vents in top crust.

Bake at 450°F for 15 minutes. Without removing pie from oven, reduce temperature to 350°F. Bake until a knife inserted in center comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Cover pie crust edges with aluminum foil, if becoming too brown.

 

 

The Famine of the Human Dream Celebrate Lit Tour & Giveaway

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Thank you for visiting my stop on The Famine of the Human Dream Celebrate Book tour and Giveaway.  Be sure to enter to win the $50 Amazon gift card.  You could buy a lot of books with that!  Now, let’s talk about this book…

My Thoughts:

Author Benjamin Mester has produced a book of Christian poems and  essays in his “The Famine of the Human Dream.”  This book is filled with inspiring short works by the author and Christian authors that were both known and unknown to me.

The first portion of this book contains essays written by Mester.  They are well written and leave readers pondering things.  He writes about the world, nature, disappointment, romance, beauty, and being human.  His essays are thought provoking and need to be read slowly so that the words sink in.  They are personal and he writes with transparency.

The middle section holds Mester’s poetry and the final section holds selections from other authors.  The wide variety of topics here should allow something for everyone.  One of my favorites was “Into My Own” by Robert Frost.  The author’s short poem “Isle of Peace” touched me.  It was beautiful.

Teasdale, Moore, Frost, Yeats, and CS Lewis all have works in this compilation along with some others.  This is a book to keep close and pick up when you need a little encouragement.  It definitely is not one to read and forget.  It needs revisiting like a trusted friend.

Scripture and biblical references are heavy in this unique book. I was not able to sit down and read it at one time.  I needed to savor it and soak in its words.  Some pieces stirred me while others did nothing, but that is the beauty of poetry and essays.  My one criticism is that while the cover goes with the title, I did not like it at all.  I wish the author would consider replacing it.

I highly recommend this to all people that enjoy essays and poetry.  It lifted my soul and warmed my heart.  I would recommend for a pick me up gift or recovery gift for someone ill.  It is beautiful (except for the cover).

I rated this 5 out of 5 stars.  A copy was provided by Celebrate Lit but I was under no obligation to provide a review.  These are my own thoughts.

 

About the Book

Book: This Famine of the Human Dream

Author: Benjamin Mester

Genre: Christian Inspiration; Essays and Poems

Release date: May, 2015

faminine of the human dream coverAn uplifting and thought provoking look at life from a poet’s perspective. The Famine of the Human Dream will challenge you to live with greater passion, to throw off those trifling ambitions that ever grope for our attention, and learn fight for things worth fighting for. The great theologian, CS Lewis, once said:

“It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.”

The ultimate goal of life isn’t a search for happiness. The ultimate goal of life is learning how to fight for things worth fighting for. All of life is a battle. But the battle that defines each one of us isn’t primarily between right and wrong, as you would think. Rather, it’s something much more surprising. Find out what in the inspiring pages of The Famine of the Human Dream.

Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Author

Ben MesterBenjamin Mester is an author and poet, with a passion for seeing people break away from small and shallow living and to step into the full measure of what the Lord has prepared for them. The destiny prepared for each one of us is to live a life of love and deep gladness. Benjamin Mester was born and raised in sunny San Diego, but can often be found wandering the woods of northern Minnesota, pen and paper in hand. His lifetime goal is to one day build a house in the woods, expanding it over time into a retreat center for authors, artists and others bursting with creativity. God is the most creative being in the entire universe, and as children made in His image, Mester hopes to inspire His people to explore the wonderful gift of creativity placed in each one of us.

More from Benjamin

The Famine of the Human dream was written as a response to something…a quote from a great theologian, CS Lewis.
It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.
When I read that, my heart began to burn. For though, as a younger man, I had often felt a passionate stirring to live my life to the full, though I didn’t quite know how and always felt myself slipping back into the mundane of mere survival. And so, I voraciously began to explore the many facets of life. I studied art, poetry, philosophy, beauty, and theology, prompted by Solomon’s declaration in the Proverbs, Whatever else you get, get understanding! I desperately wanted understanding of a very particular sort. I wanted to understand how to live my life to the full…this precious, brief slice of life we so often take for granted. I wanted true wisdom.
Contained within the pages of the Famine of the Human Dream are a poet’s reflections on life and the struggle to suck the marrow out of life, as Thoreau put it. This book is also an attempt to give the reader a passion for the study of poetry, which has dwindled much in modern society. The second portion of the book is a collection of my own poetry and poetry from other lovers of life that has touched me deeply. My biggest hope is that the reader will come away from this book with a renewed passion for life and an eager desire to dive deeper into poetry, beauty, and the heart of the Father.

Giveaway

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To celebrate his tour, Ben is giving away 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/e515/the-famine-of-the-human-dream-celebration-tour-giveaway

 

 

Pam Hillman’s The Crossing at Cypress Creek, Natchez Trace Series

My thoughts

Pam Hillman is a natural at storytelling.  She has a way of weaving a tale that captures my interest within the first few pages and keeps it until the end of the book.  This series is a tribute to her extraordinary talent.  Each book was better than the last.

I felt like I had been whisked away to the eighteenth century.  She had done her research and it was evident.  The scenery, attire, colloquiums, and characters all added to a complete authentic experience when reading this captivating tale.

“The Crossing at Cyprus Creek is Book 3, but it could be read as a stand alone.  Be warned it is so engaging that you will want to read the first two after finishing it.  Why not read them in order if you haven’t?

I found the characters to be well rounded and very realistic.  So much so my heart and emotions often went out to some of the characters, while others just made me want to yell at them.  They have good character traits, flaws, and some downright meanness in them.

This is the story of Caleb O’Shea, who returns home from being at sea for months.  He finds things quite different than when he left.  It is also the tale of Alanah Adams. As an herbalist she is a healer and knows how to identify various medicinal plants and herbs, where to find them, and how to use the.  She is a fascinating lady and I enjoyed her immensely.

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Pam Hillman has written a Christian sweet historical romance with adventure and intrigue.  Danger lurks, emotions are high, and God is to be sought and obeyed in this gritty Southern novel.   Themes of faith, forgiveness, trusting God’s plan for one’s life, chivalry, love, and home are all woven deftly throughout this magnificent book.  With some twists and turns added to exquisite writing, the story had a nice steady pace with no sluggish parts.  It is a complete and total page turner.

I highly recommend this book and series.  It is definitely worth it.  I learned things, it was God glorifying, and I had a hard time putting it down.  There are discussion questions at the end so get a group together to read the series.  There is so much to dissect and disIt gets a 5 out of 5 stars from me.

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About the Books

The Crossing at Cyprus Creek, Book 3

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Sailing and soldiering around the world has taken Caleb O’Shea far from his native Ireland, so he never imagined that a promise to see a fellow crewman safely home would practically land him on his brother’s doorstep. After spending years away from his family, Caleb isn’t certain what kind of reception he will receive when he steps foot in Natchez, Mississippi. The one thing he knows for sure is that he won’t stay long.

Since her sister was kidnapped by river pirates six months ago, Alanah Adams has taken special care to avoid drawing attention to herself. Those living in the rough-and-tumble settlement of Cypress Creek might even think she’s addled. But when she stumbles into Caleb and his friends in Natchez, she appears to be the picture-perfect lady.

Caleb only catches glimpses of the mysterious and beautiful Alanah before she disappears. But a chance encounter with her at his brother’s logging camp near Cypress Creek leaves him uncomfortable at the thought of the young woman traversing the dangerous area alone. At a crossroads in his life, Caleb must decide whether he wants to give up the worldly adventures he’s been seeking for one closer to home.

The Promise of Breeze Hill, Book 1

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Natchez, MS; 1791
Anxious for his brothers to join him on the rugged frontier along the Mississippi River, Connor O’Shea has no choice but to indenture himself as a carpenter in exchange for their passage from Ireland. But when he’s sold to Isabella Bartholomew of Breeze Hill Plantation, Connor fears he’ll repeat past mistakes and vows not to be tempted by the lovely lady.

The responsibilities of running Breeze Hill have fallen on Isabella’s shoulders after her brother was found dead in the swamps along the Natchez Trace and a suspicious fire devastated their crops, almost destroyed their home, and left her father seriously injured. Even with Connor’s help, Isabella fears she’ll lose her family’s plantation. Despite her growing feelings for the handsome Irish carpenter, she seriously considers accepting her wealthy and influential neighbor’s proposal of marriage.

Soon, though, Connor realizes someone is out to eliminate the Bartholomew family. Can he set aside his own feelings to keep Isabella safe?

The Road to Magnolia Glen, Book 2

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1792, Natchez Trace, MS
Bitter since his eldest brother abandoned their family in Ireland, Quinn O’Shea travels to Natchez, Mississippi, ready to shuck the weight of his duty and set off on an adventure of his own. It’s time Connor, as head of the family, took responsibility for their younger siblings. While aboard ship, a run-in with three Irish sisters lands Quinn in the role of reluctant savior. Though it may delay his plans, he cannot abandon the Young sisters, especially the tenacious yet kind Kiera.

Upon arriving in the colonies, Kiera Young prepares to meet her intended and begin her new life. But she soon discovers the marriage her brother-in-law arranged was never meant to be, and a far more sinister deal was negotiated for her and her sisters.

Quinn offers to escort his charges safely to Breeze Hill Plantation and his brother’s care, fully intending to seek his freedom elsewhere. But the longer he remains, the greater his feelings toward Kiera grow and the more he comes to realize true freedom might be found in sacrifice.

About the Author

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CBA Bestselling author PAM HILLMAN was born and raised on a dairy farm in Mississippi and spent her teenage years perched on the seat of a tractor raking hay. In those days, her daddy couldn’t afford two cab tractors with air conditioning and a radio, so Pam drove an Allis Chalmers 110. Even when her daddy asked her if she wanted to bale hay, she told him she didn’t mind raking. Raking hay doesn’t take much thought so Pam spent her time working on her tan and making up stories in her head.

 

The God Dare: Will You Choose to Believe the Impossible? by Kate Battistelli

My Thoughts

I hadn’t heard of author Kate Battistelli before this book but her name sounded familiar. Do you think so, too?   Ahhhh, you are smarter than I am.  Yes, she is related to singer Francesca Battistelli, her mother in fact.  While we all know her daughter can singer what we did not know is that Mama can write!

This is a transparent, open look into the author’s life and her relationship with God.  It is written eloquently and gracefully flows from the pages of her book into readers’ hearts.  The stories are so personal and interesting that I felt like I was chatting with a new friend.

In her book, the author discusses how God has plans for each one of us.  He also offers assistance to equip us to accomplish our task.  Like the saying goes, God doesn’t call the qualified but qualifies the called.

She is open and honest with her journey.  There are many personal and family stories of listening to God and following Him.  Biblical stories are used, also.  All of these to help readers realize that we were all born for a purpose at this time.  Our first duty is to find our purpose and the second is to do it.  With God’s leading and helping us, anything is possible.

This is a thought provoking book that will have your wheels turning.  Author Kate challenges readers to search and find our purpose.  Then take the big step and begin working on it.  This will take a lot of prayer, listening for God, trusting Him, and courage.

I love the line “God sees us according to our destiny, not our history.”  God is presented lovingly, approachable, and caring by the author, which is how I perceive Him.  The God Dare is such an encouraging, uplifting book.  I loved it.

I highly recommend it to everyone.  Seasoned Christians will benefit from the refreshing tone and delightful stories that turn hearts and minds to God and what His plans are for each of us.  New Christians or Seekers will benefit, too.  The true, honest writing and sweet words will help draw them in and answer some questions.  They will be inspired and encouraged.

This would be a nice book for a church library.  Yes, a study group would really enjoy it, too.  I will be keeping this in my library but encouraging many people to buy and read it. It gets a 5 out of 5 star rating from me.  A copy was provided by the publisher but I was under no obligation to write a review.  These are my own, honest words.

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About the Book

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The God Dare. Where will you hear it? . . .

Deep down inside, you know you’re on this planet for a reason. God has a plan in mind just for you. In fact, He chose you for His plan before the foundation of the world. He designed you very specifically for this time and this place, and He’s perfectly equipped you to accomplish His purpose in the earth.

Through engaging and memorable true stories—both biblical and modern—author Kate Battistelli challenges and encourages you to discover how God has specifically designed you for this time in history, your place in the world, your role in His cosmic plan. Once and for all, let go of your fear, worry, pride and strife. . .

All God ever needs is a willing vessel. Will you say yes?

About the Author

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Kate Battistelli is an author, speaker, mentor. A wife, former Broadway actress, and mom to one of Christian music’s most celebrated recording artists, GRAMMY and Dove Award winning, Christian contemporary singer-songwriter Francesca Battistelli. Kate currently writes about food and faith at her popular website https://katebattistelli.com/ She thoroughly enjoys being Mimi to her four grandchildren, Eli, Audrey Jane, Isaac James and Wyatt Samuel!

What Others are Saying

The God Dare will challenge your heart and soul. But more than that, it will encourage you to walk closer with Jesus. And all of us need that!”
–Karen Kingsbury, #1 New York Times bestselling author

“Kate will inspire you to discover the path He’s chosen for you at this time in history and just where you fit in to His cosmic plan. Take The God Dare. It will change your life and change the world at the same time!”
–Dr. Josh Axe DNM, DC, CNS and author of the bestselling Keto Diet and Eat Dirt

“This book is for anyone who wants God’s best and is willing to believe that He can turn your pain into passion, your tragedy into triumph, and take you from mess to messenger. Let Kate’s words of wisdom help you embark on your own God Dare!”
–Jordan Rubin, New York Times bestselling author of The Maker’s Diet Founder, Garden of Life, Beyond Organic and Ancient Nutrition

“Frustrated with a complacent walk with Christ? Kate tells us that age, gender, anxiety, past failures, etc. are no excuse for staying where we are. The God Dare provides examples of how trustworthy He is—in surprising and supernatural ways! Become a world changer…I dare you…no, God dares you!”
–Pastor Steve Berger, Grace Chapel

The Inn at Hidden Run by Olivia Newport Celebration Lit Book Tour and Giveaway

Greetings!  You made it to my stop on the Inn at Hidden Run by Olivia Newport Celebrate Lit Book Tour.  Today I will share my thoughts on the book, information on it and the author, have some words from her, a schedule of the other stops, and information on the giveaway.  So keep reading and don’t forget to enter.

My Thoughts

The Inn at Hidden Run by author Olivia Newport is a dual time period (contemporary and historical) Christian mystery romance.  Author Newport is a grand storyteller.  She weaves past and present together flawlessly into one poignant tale.

This is the contemporary tale of genealogist Jillian and her attorney father, Nolan, from Colorado who together trace family histories for people.    It is also the tale of a family of doctors and the yellow fever outbreak in Memphis, Tennessee in late 1870’s.  The family turned up in research when Jillian began helping Meri, a new girl in town.

This is a very interesting plot.  The author did a wonderful job with research and providing an authentic story.  I am a historical fiction lover over contemporary, so needless to say, I enjoyed reading that portion just a tad bit more.

Author Newport’s tale pulled at my heartstrings.  Parts of it brought tears to my eyes.  I was invested in both of the intertwined storied.  Her style of writing is easy and unrushed.  She allows you to soak in all of the details and transport yourself to a different locale or era, and sometimes both.  The characters were well rounded.  They had good points and flaws.  Some of them felt like new friends and I wants to have coffee with them.

The historical section read very authentic.  The characters were likable and genuinely cared for people.  I learned a lot about Memphis and the Yellow Fever.   Like I said earlier, this is a well researched, organized, planned, and written novel.

The inspirational and faith element is laced throughout this lovely book.  Life lessons of forgiveness, grace, finding God’s Will for your life, family, love, caring for ill, and hope are just a few things I found inside the pages.

I definitely would recommend this book.  Get a book group together so that you will be able to toss some questions around.  Genealogy lovers will enjoy the book as will mystery buffs.  Contemporary and Historical fiction will each have a section to like and one to test.  It gets a 4 out of 5 stars from me.

A copy was provided by Celebrate Lit but I was under no obligation to write a review.  These are my own honest thoughts.

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About the Book

Inn at Hidden Run_COVERA Father-Daughter Genealogy Team Link Present to Past on Family Trees Meri flunks out of medical school—and runs from her parents. Genealogist Jillian Parisi-Duffy’s digging traces the family long tradition of doctors to an ancestor saved during a yellow fever outbreak in Memphis in 1878. As Meri’s family closes in, Jillian gets the final puzzle pieces in place just in time for them all to learn the truth. The Inn at Hidden Run is the first book in the Tree of Life series. Readers will come back to backdrop of a lovely mountain town of Canyon Mines again and again to explore and celebrate unforgettable family stories that inspire them to connect with their own family histories and unique faith journeys.

Click here to purchase your copy!

About the Author

OliviaNewportOlivia Newport’s novels twist through time to find where faith and passions meet. Her husband and twentysomething children provide welcome distraction from the people stomping through her head on their way into her books. She chases joy in stunning Colorado at the foot of the Rockies, where daylilies grow as tall as she is.

More from Olivia

Of Family Lines and Family Lore

I suppose it all started in a cemetery.

Once, while a group of relatives were visiting a cemetery, one of my cousins and I wandered off and looked at all sorts of graves, speculating about the names we read and the lives they represented. We were duly scolded both for separating from our families, which caused some consternation, and for being disrespectful—though I think the second accusation was a false one!

Just because we were young children didn’t mean we were disrespecting the dead. Quite the opposite. We were respecting lives long forgotten with our curiosity about who they were and what legacies they left.

These days a lot of people are interested in genealogy. Entire TV series spin around the theme, and DNA kits show up in Christmas stockings. Lost branches of family trees find the main trunk—sometimes with big surprises.

My new Tree of Life series is set in the backdrop of a lovely Colorado mountain town I hope you’ll want to visit often, where a father-daughter genealogy team link present to past on family trees and characters learn about who they are, where they come from, and their unique faith journeys as they discover their own Tree of Life.

It all starts with The Inn at Hidden Run. When Meri arrives in Canyon Mines because she wants to run away from her family, true answers come from understanding the past that generations have forgotten—the accounts from another time and place no longer handed down but that still form the backbone of the family’s story.

What’s the backbone of your family’s history? How is it shaping your own future?

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, May 18

The Avid Reader, May 18

The Power of Words, May 18

Daysong Reflections, May 19

Texas Book-aholic, May 19

Through the Fire Blogs, May 20

Lighthouse Academy, May 20

A Baker’s Perspective, May 21

To Everything A Season, May 21

Reflections From My Bookshelves, May 22

Pause for Tales, May 22

Hallie Reads, May 22

Bigreadersite, May 23

By The Book, May 23

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, May 23

All-of-a-kind Mom, May 24

Connect in Fiction, May 24

Maureen’s Musings, May 25

Seasons of Opportunities, May 25

Inklings and notions, May 25

Tell Tale Book Reviews, May 26

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 26

Godly Book Reviews, May 27

janicesbookreviews, May 27

Retrospective Spines, May 28

Mary Hake, May 28

Quiet Quilter, May 29

A Reader’s Brain, May 29

Remembrancy, May 30

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, May 30

Just the Write Escape, May 31

Moments, May 31

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Olivia is giving away a grand prize of a $25 Amazon gift card and a copy of The Inn at Hidden Run!!

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/e1c1/the-inn-at-hidden-run-celebration-tour-giveaway

The Printed Letter Bookshop by Katherine Reay Celebrate Lit Book Tour and Giveaway

Today’s blog is a stop on the book tour for The Printed Letter Bookshop.  I have lots of information for you including how to enter the giveaway.  Be sure to enter.  You can’t win unless you do.

My Thoughts

As a former Christian Bookstore owner I was delighted when I heard about this book.  I actually got a bit giddy when I received it in the mail.  This contemporary Christian romance is centered around books, a bookstore, and three women friends.  How could it be anything other than fabulous?

Katherine Reay is a new to me author.  I enjoyed her style of writing.  The point of view changes for each of the three main characters, but it was done flawlessly.  I actually enjoyed it.  The story flowed at an even, natural pace.  It didn’t lag or feel rushed.  Conversations sounded genuine.  There were some twists and turns to make it interesting.

The characters were easy to become engaged with and were identifiable.  They were well rounded with quirks and all.  The author vividly describes them and they become new friends.  At times I felt their sadness, pain, and joy.

I was immediately invested since it was about a bookshop.  However, the book opens with a funeral and takes a bit before it gets to a happy place.  I was getting impatient and wanted to hurry through the story to get to the bookshop!

Madeline inherits her Aunt Maddie’s bookshop where she helped as a girl.  Then something happened between her father and aunt making them estranged.   We meet Janet and Claire.  They are her friends or ladies working for her and are unique in their own ways.

It is a very realistic tale.  Author Reay has done her research well.  This book is well planned, well organized, and written exceptionally well.  It was light on the spirit content for me, but it had great life lessons for hope, forgiveness, friendship, mercy, grace, and love.  All in all it was an encouraging book.

I definitely recommend this book to all women.  It has an entertaining story.  Any reader should enjoy a book about books and a bookstore.  It is a cozy, quick read that made me giggle a time or two.  The romance is sweet.  I rated it a 4 out of 5 stars.  A copy was provided from Celebrate Lit, but I was under no obligation to  write a review.

About the Book

Book: The Printed Letter Bookshop

Author: Katherine Reay

Genre: Women’s fiction, romance

Release Date: May 14, 2019

The Printed Letter Bookshop CoverAmid literature and lattes, three women come together and find that sharing one’s journey with best friends makes life richer.

When attorney Madeline Carter inherits her aunt’s bookstore in a small town north of Chicago, she plans to sell it and add the proceeds to her nonexistent “investment portfolio.” But plans change when Madeline discovers the store isn’t making money and she gets passed over for promotion at her firm. She quits in protest, takes the train north, and decides to work at the store to prep it for sale. Madeline soon finds herself at odds with employees Jessica and Courtney; when she also finds herself attracted to an affianced man, it only confuses the entire situation.

After blowing up her marriage two years earlier, Jessica has found solace working at the bookstore and a kindred spirit within its owner, Maddie Cullen. But when Maddie dies and her niece, Madeline, barges in like a bulldozer, Jessica pushes at the new owner in every way-until she trips over common ground. Soon the women are delving into online dating and fashion makeovers, and Jessica feels the pull to rediscover her art, a love she thought long behind her.

After a night of bad decisions leaves the store in peril, Courtney arrives and tries to save the day. While she, too, found sanctuary in the little bookstore, she knows it’s under-insured, in the red, and will never survive. When she discovers her teenage daughter has played a part in vandalizing the store, Courtney taps into strength she didn’t know existed-or had long forgotten. The quietest of the three, she steps up and finds a way to save her family, the store, and the precious friendships that have grown within it.

The Printed Letter Bookshop is the story of friends who find each other-and themselves-in a place none of them ever expected.


About the Author

Reay KatherineKatherine Reay is the national bestselling and award-winning author of Dear Mr. Knightley, Lizzy and Jane, The Brontë Plot, A Portrait of Emily Price, The Austen Escape, and The Printed Letter Bookshop. All Katherine’s novels are contemporary stories with a bit of classical flair. Katherine holds a BA and MS from Northwestern University, graduating Phi Beta Kappa, and isa wife, mother, former marketer, and avid chocolate consumer. After living all across the country and a few stops in Europe, Katherine now happily resides outside Chicago, IL. You can meet her at www.katherinereay.com; Facebook: KatherineReayBooks; Twitter: @katherine_reay; or Instagram: @katherinereay.

 

More from Katherine

Don’t you love bookshops?

Every time I walk into a bookstore, it feels like a rainbow cracked open and rained a kaleidoscope of light, life and possibilities before me. I find worlds within the world and a call to adventure.

Each bookshop tells a different story. It tells of its loyal beloved customer base. It reflects the personality of its owner and staff. It carries the aura of the stories it offers to us.

And it was the perfect place to dig into lives, hearts and book loves of Janet, Claire and Madeline. These three women, at different stages in life, meet at the Printed Letter Bookshop, with all the romance and wonder it holds, and learn to work through their challenges together. They become the friends that each didn’t know she was missing.

There is also a fourth woman I loved spending time with in the Printed Letter Bookshop — its original owner, Maddie Carter. Maddie doesn’t step onto the stage even once, but her presence, her love and her guiding hand are apparent from page one as Janet, Claire, and Madeline grow in friendship and in faith.

The Printed Letter Bookshop is a love letter to books, a testament to the beauty of new beginnings and a sweet reminder of the power of friendship. I hope you savor your time with these three women — And, book lovers rejoice, there is a list of all the books they allude to in the back of the book!

Blog Stops

The Avid Reader, May 14

Godly Book Reviews, May 14

The Power of Words, May 14

Reflections From My Bookshelves, May 15

Carla Loves To Read, May 15

Pause for Tales, May 15

Maureen’s Musings, May 16

Bigreadersite, May 16

By The Book, May 16

Inspirationally Ever After, May 17

Reading Themes, May 17

For The Love of Books, May 17

Lis Loves Reading, May 18

Emily Yager, May 18

Living Life Free in Christ, May 18

For HIm and My Family, May 19

Retrospective Spines, May 19

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, May 19

Girls Living For God’s Glory, May 20

As He Leads is Joy, May 20

To Everything A Season, May 20

All-Of-a-kind Mom, May 21

Through the Fire Blogs, May 21

Creating Romance, May 21

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, May 22

Christian Chick’s Thoughts, May 22

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 22

Reader’s Cozy Corner, May 23

Wishful Endings, May 23

Texas Book-aholic, May 23

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, May 24

Just the Write Escape, May 24

The Christian Fiction Girl, May 25

Lighthouse Academy, May 25

janicesbookreviews, May 25

Inspired by Fiction, May 26

Simple Harvest Reads, May 26 (Guest post from Mindy Houng)

Inklings and notion, May 26

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, May 27

amandainpa, May 27

A Reader’s Brain, May 27

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Katherine is giving away a paperback copy of The Printed Letter Bookshop to one lucky winner!

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/e4f1/the-printed-letter-bookshop-celebration-tour-giveaway

Core 52: A Fifteen-Minute Daily Guide to Build Your Bible IQ in a Year by Mark E. Moore

Core 52: A Fifteen-Minute Daily Guide to Build Your Bible IQ in a Year by author Mark E. Moore is a useful tool for anyone wanting to delve deeper into studying the Bible.  It has a remarkable 15 minute daily lesson on popular, key or core scripture.   Everything is covered from Creation to Heaven.

In this easy to follow guide the daily lesson includes an essay about a theme found in the Bible, verses to memorize, scripture to read, an “overachiever challenge,” along with a book suggestion that goes with the theme for the week. Some of the topics were prayer, grace, creation, prophesy, the Holy Spirit, heaven, among many others.  I found the lessons kept my interest, gave me a fresh or newer perspective on some things, and enhanced my Bible study time. It increased my hunger for deeper study of the Word.

If you have ever wanted a book to assist with Bible reading and home study, this is it.  I loved the concept, lessons, and everything about it.  The author has done an exemplary job in his research, notes, planning, organizing, and writing this God glorifying book.  Whether you are a seasoned Bible reader or new fledgling just beginning, you will glean much from this spirit filled book.

Some of the lessons were easier for me than others and the time flew by.  Others I needed to slow down and let the information sink in.  I had to ponder about what I had read.  Don’t rush through the studies with a 15 minute timer.  If you need more time, then slow down and let the words slowly flow from the pages.

This will be a staple in my home library and a gift giving idea for many years.  It will be a perfect Bible Study for the Small Group I keep wanting to have even though it is for individuals.  My dog was the recipient of many comments on this book as was my cat.  It has the type of lesson you want to share.

I highly, most highly, recommend this fabulous study tool to everyone.  It is in one word – amazing.  The rating I give this is a high 5 stars out of 5.  A copy was provided by the publisher but I was under no obligation to provide a review.

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About the Book

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In just fifteen minutes a day, you can master the 52 most important verses in the Bible in a year. 
While there are lots of one-year Bible reading plans, few help you understand the words that you’re reading. What if we could introduce you to a Bible reading plan that would dramatically increase your mastery of the Bible in one year? Mark Moore coaches you through 52 of the Bible’s most important verses. These are the “core” of the Bible. Each verse clears the path to master and manage dozens of other verses that run along the same principle path. At the end of this journey, you will move from curiosity about the Bible to competence in the Bible. It is the quickest onramp to understanding the whole of God’s Word for your life.

About the Author

MARK E. MOORE is a teaching pastor at Christ’s Church of the Valley in Phoenix, AZ, one of the fastest growing and most dynamic churches in America. Here he leverages two decades in a college classroom teaching New Testament. His goal is to make Scriptures accessible and relevant to people trying to make sense of Christianity. His two worlds of academic Bible study and practical Christian living come together in this powerful new tool called Core 52.

What is Being Said about the Book

Core 52 will allow you to bridge the gap between your biblical training and your professional impact. If you want to speak confidently on biblical topics while helping to lead others on their faith journey, this resource is for you!”
—Kirk Cousins, pro quarterback

“When it comes to knowing and teaching the fundamental insights of Christ, Mark Moore is a maven. In Core 52, you will gain the tools you need for living the life God has called you to. His innovative ideas and colorful illustrations will grab your attention and motivate your will to know Christ and make him known. Start today with chapter 1, be diligent through chapter 52, and you will be satisfied.”
—Kyle Idleman, senior pastor of Southeast Christian Church and author of Not a Fan and Don’t Give Up 

“As a women’s Bible study leader, my heart is to help women know God’s Word better so they can learn to connect their everyday frantic lives with their faith in Jesus. Core 52 is a godsend and a perfect tool to help them do just that. Anything I can offer that will help women get the most out of their time in God’s Word is a precious gift indeed. That is what Core 52 does for me as a teacher and the women I lead. What a gift this is from a notable teacher who I have come to trust as an invaluable resource.”
—Lisa Laizure, Bible study teacher at WomensBibleStudy.com

“Through his earlier books, Mark has taught me more about the Bible than any other author. His clear teaching and sly wit always make me read more pages than I plan. Core 52 is his best yet. Move it to the top of your daily reading list.”
—Phil Smith, coauthor of Created to Flourish and creator of Eyewitness Bible Series videos

“With a pastor’s heart, a scholar’s mind, and a sage’s pen, Mark Moore has given us a gift in Core 52 to help us understand God’s words, be changed by them, and live them out!”
—Caleb Kaltenbach, author of Messy Grace and God of Tomorrow

“Faith is for Weak People, Responding to the Top 20 Objections to the Gospel” by Ray Comfort

My Thoughts

This is a 224 page paperback Apologetic book by Ray Comfort that everyone should have in their Christian arsenal.  Church libraries need this, also.  In his book, author Ray Comfort takes the twenty most asked questions or objections to scripture and provides simple, accurate, easy to understand answers.

The writing is straightforward and so easy to understand.  It’s in plain language so anyone will be able to comprehend it.  The frank answers are biblically based and make sense.  This is just the information any Christian needs to answer tough questions.  Seekers would benefit from this book, also.

There are twenty chapters in this book, one for each question.  The author answers them in a comfortable style that is like having a cup of coffee and chatting with a friend.  The answers are so logical.  Author Comfort has done his research and provided a remarkable book to aid in any discussion with non-believers in a non-combatant way.

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The author has interviewed various people and incorporated their answers in this eye opening book.  The answers to all of the questions are eloquently stated.  This book does not want to offend but educate.  Questions range from “If God is supposed to be in control of the world why does it seem so out of control?” and “If God is so loving why won’t Christians let gay people be themselves?” to “ The Bible was written by men. Men make mistakes?” and “ what’s so bad about other religions?”

This phenomenal book begins with a table of contents and then a short introduction. These are followed by its twenty chapters. Each chapter answers one of the questions and at the end has follow-up or study questions or further delving into its topic.  After the twenty chapters are Conclusion, Notes, and information on the author.

I highly recommend recommend this book.  It will be a staple on my bookshelf for future reference.  Everyone should read this amazing book.  Answers to hard questions are tackled and successfully answered in a magnificent way.  It is biblically based and organized in such a way that the information flows from the pages into the readers’ minds and hearts.  Anyone would benefit from reading this book.

I give this book a 5 out of 5 stars.  A copy was provided by the publisher but I was under no obligation to write a review.

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About the Book

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Every day that we interact with the world, we are in a battle. At stake is the eternal destiny of the souls of our friends, family members, and coworkers. It is a battle we wage not only in prayer but also in words. When we are faced with objections to the faith we profess, are we ready to respond?

Apologist and evangelist Ray Comfort has spent his entire career answering objections to the faith, and he wants you to be equipped to do the same. In this practical book, he shows you how to answer 20 objections to Christianity, including questions such as

– What physical proof is there that God even exists?
– Why does a “loving” God threaten eternal torture for not believing in him?
– If there’s an all-powerful God, why is the world so out of control?

Don’t go into battle unarmed. Let Ray Comfort train you to be ready with an answer, not so you can be right, but so you can help bring people from darkness into light.

About the Author

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Ray Comfort is the Founder and CEO of Living Waters and the bestselling author of more than 80 books, including God Has a Wonderful Plan for Your Life, How to Know God Exists, and The Evidence Bible. He cohosts the award-winning television program “Way of the Master,” airing in almost 200 countries, and is the Executive Producer of “180,” “Evolution vs. God,” “Audacity,” and other films. He is married to Sue and has three grown children, and hasn’t left the house without gospel tracts for decades.