Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Blueberry Cupcake Mystery Blog Tour and Giveaway!

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Purchase your copy here.


About the Book:
In the small town of Abbott Creek, mystery is as much a part of daily life as The Sweet Shop’s sugar cookies.
Blueberry Cupcake MysteryKatie Chupp spends her days at The Sweet Shop, taking care of customers and baking delicious treats . . . not exactly a profession where one expects to be thrown into the midst of mysteries and mayhem.
But when the bakery is broken into, someone has to find the thief . . . besides finding another place to do the baking and get the orders to the customers.
Is this a random theft, or is the thief trying to ruin the town’s Independence Day celebration?

My Thoughts:
The Blueberry Cupcake Mystery was super cute and I enjoyed the first installment in the Amish Sweet Ship Mysteries. I love the story it tells of forgiveness. I thought it was a good, clean read that could be read in one sitting. I am excited for the Christmas Cookie Mystery to come out and cannot wait to get my hands on that book. 
This story will grab you, especially as the reader we all wish we had a little of Katie in us. Katie handles difficult situations with pose and with such a Christian attitude, which I think is something I can take away from this book. Even in fiction books, I think there is always a great takeaway and I enjoyed the way the writer wrote Katie as a character. I don't want to give a lot of information away because it could ruin the story, but I highly recommend you read this book.
If you have never read any of Naomi Miller's books, give this one a read. It is worth your time. I expect that she will continue to write great books in the future. I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review, which I have given. I give this book 5/5 stars. 
Guest post from Naomi Miller:
Hello! I’m Naomi Miller — and I’m honored to be featured on Celebrate Lit!
I want to share with you how the title and cover for my debut book, Blueberry Cupcake Mystery, was chosen. This is a story I haven’t shared with anyone else — yet. The story behind the blueberry cupcake…
I was actually writing an Amish suspense novel last winter, when God placed it on my heart to write a shorter story — a cozy mystery, with no suspense, no danger, but plenty of faith, family, compassion and community.
While thinking of the best way to begin the story, my daughter made a batch of blueberry cupcakes, which happen to be one of my favorite treats. Of course, the idea to use a favorite treat was too good to resist. Then, during the early days of writing, I began experimenting with the idea of baking cupcakes — but adding blueberries before baking. Two favorite treats in one!
And there you have it . . . once we had a picture of a blueberry cupcake, the designer quickly sent back a cover I fell in love with (although there were a few more tweaks before the final cover was approved).
I actually began writing many years ago — 1990 to be exact. But I had just become a single mom and I didn’t have time to pursue it. I wrote notes, letters, articles, short stories, and I occasionally thought about a career as a novelist, but not once did I consider that dream to ever become a reality.
Several years ago, after my children were grown, my daughter challenged me to write a novel. I began a sweet, Amish fiction story about a young girl—but about halfway into the story, someone was almost murdered! Needless to say, I was surprised, but kept going. Once done, I went back to the beginning to do a major re-write on what was now an Amish suspense novel.
And that’s . . . the rest of the story.
I’m also excited to be doing two special giveaways — 1) a gift bag full of treats and 2) an advanced reader digital copy of Christmas Cookie Mystery (but you’ll have to wait for it)!
In the meantime, here’s the recipe for those delicious blueberry cupcakes
Blueberry Cupcakes
Ingredients1 white or yellow cake mix
2 cups fresh blueberries
3 eggs
1/3 cup oil
1 1/3 cup water

Prepare cake mix according to the directions. Add blueberries and fold into batter. Bake following instructions on cake mix box.
Icing1 cup confectioner’s sugar
2 tbsp. milk
additional milk as needed

DirectionsPrepare icing, mixing small amounts of confectioner’s sugar with milk to desired consistency. Spread onto cooled cupcakes.
Giveaway
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To celebrate her tour, Naomi is giving away a gift bag full of treats and an advanced copy of her new book Christmas Cookie Mystery! Click here to enter:https://promosimple.com/ps/a20c

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Uninvited by Lysa Terkeurst

 Have you ever felt the gnawing sense that you didn't belong somewhere? Like somehow you weren't invited or apart of something? Have you ever felt left out, but knew their was a purpose in mind for you? If you're anything life me and Lysa, every woman has felt this way. Thank goodness, someone had the courage to say it out loud what we've all been thinking and feeling for so long! In her latest book Uninvited, Lysa has the courage to take readers into a place where I think a lot of authors aren't willing to go for fear of taking a risk of showing how to be vulnerable. She shares her heart without being preaching and is down right authentic. She is painful honest about her own life experiences, which is great to read as a reader. She doesn't make it up and while it can be hard to read, it also lets the reader know, she has some garbage too. 

I would have loved to come face to face with her regarding a few topics because I am not sure that we stand on the same page, and I'm not sure that we don't, but I would love to hash out some stuff with her because writing and talking have very different perspectives. Overall, her perspectives on loneliness, rejection and forgiveness are something that as a culture, especially with women, we don't talk about. 

I highlighted all over this book and it is one I highly recommend taking in pieces as it has good wisdom with solid biblical foundation. Starting September 6 there is going to be an online Bible study and you should be apart of it! I encourage you to get on Proverbs 31 to check on the Uninvited Bible Study. 

Thank you to the author and publisher for providing me a complimentary copy for review purposes. I was not compensated for a positive review. I give this book 5/5 stars. 







Sunday, August 21, 2016

Service Tails by Ace Collins


Service Tails

{MORE ABOUT SERVICE TAILS}

Heart-tugging true stories of the courage, faith, and loyalty of remarkable service dogs.
Not all heroic dogs wildly toss themselves into lifesaving situations. Some save lives simply by their incredible commitment to duty and service. Some lead the way to independence for people whose disabilities were supposed to limit their lives.
In Service Tails: More Stories of Man’s Best Hero, prolific author Ace Collins introduces us to leaders whose entire lives are wrapped in the banner of service. Their stories are remarkable snapshots of the value of vision and teamwork, as well as devotion to duty and unconditional love and acceptance–stretching the way we see both canine and human potential. Their training was intense, their loyalty unquestioned and each step of the way they constantly adapt to better serve those they lead. These unforgettable dogs are more than heroes; they are models from which we can learn how to love and serve unconditionally.

My Thoughts:
In the book of "Service Tales", author Ace Collin tells some of the best hero stories of dogs around. These stories will melt your heart if you love animals, especially dogs. They are unforgettable tales of how dogs truly are loyal, love and are devoted to the individual they serve. My favorite story was the one of Becky who started an organization and used dogs to guide the blind. Their are countless stories of how these remarkable service dogs allow individuals with disabilities to maintain their independence. This book can be read as a devotional as the chapters are not super long. I give this book 5/5 stars. Thank you to the publishers for providing me a complimentary copy for review.  
Fall in love with these remarkable service dogs and their stories of courage, faith, and loyalty in Ace Collins’ new book, Service Tails. Their training was intense, their loyalty unquestioned and each step of the way they constantly adapt to better serve those they lead. These unforgettable dogs are more than heroes; they are models from which we can learn how to love and serve unconditionally.
Celebrate the release of Service Tails with Ace by entering to win the Take-Your-Dog-to-the-Park Pack!
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Enter today by clicking the icon below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on August 30. The winner will be announced August 31 on the Litfuse blog.

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Ace Collins

{MORE ABOUT ACE COLLINS}

Ace Collins defines himself as a storyteller. He has authored more than sixty books that have sold more than 2.5 million copies. His catalog includes novels, biographies, children’s works as well as books on history, culture and faith. He has also been the featured speaker at the National Archives Distinguished Lecture Series, hosted a network television special and does college basketball play-by-play. Ace lives in Arkansas.
Find out more about Ace at http://acecollins.com.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Present Over Perfect by Shauna Niequist


Book Description

LIVE A LIFE OF MEANING AND CONNECTION
Instead of pushing for perfection
A few years ago, I found myself exhausted and isolated, my soul and body sick. I was tired of being tired, burned out on busy. And, it seemed almost everyone I talked with was in the same boat: longing for connection, meaning, depth, but settling for busy.
I am a wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend, neighbor, writer, and I know all too well that settling feeling. But over the course of the last few years, I’ve learned a way to live, marked by grace, love, rest, and play. And it’s changing everything.
Present Over Perfect is an invitation to this journey that changed my life. I’ll walk this path with you, a path away from frantic pushing and proving, and toward your essential self, the one you were created to be before you began proving and earning for your worth.
Written in Shauna’s warm and vulnerable style, this collection of essays focuses on the most important transformation in her life, and maybe yours too: leaving behind busyness and frantic living and rediscovering the person you were made to be. Present Over Perfect is a hand reaching out, pulling you free from the constant pressure to perform faster, push harder, and produce more, all while maintaining an exhausting image of perfection.
Shauna offers an honest account of what led her to begin this journey, and a compelling vision for an entirely new way to live: soaked in grace, rest, silence, simplicity, prayer, and connection with the people that matter most to us.
In these pages, you’ll be invited to consider the landscape of your own life, and what it might look like to leave behind the pressure to be perfect and begin the life-changing practice of simply being present, in the middle of the mess and the ordinariness of life.

My Thoughts:
I can't say enough good things about this book! This book is one of those books that is so relatable and real to life that you can't help but cry, nod and just say "yes" to everything that Shauna says. I can relate to so many of the seasons she has been going through and I feel like this book speaks deep to my soul. It is an invitation to leave a world of crazy demands to something more simple. Its taking the world of yoga pants and putting pajamas on at bed at night. It's learning the art of rest and being in the moment. She takes us into learning how to be present. I love this book and will read it again! I highly recommend this book to anyone. I give this book 5/5 stars.  Thank you to the publishers for providing me a complimentary copy for review.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Finding Father Christmas/ Engaging Father Christmas by Robin Jones Gunn

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In FINDING FATHER CHRISTMAS, Miranda Carson's search for her father leads her unexpectedly to London with only a few feeble clues as to who he might be. Immediately welcomed into a family that doesn't recognize her, and whom she's quickly coming to love, she faces a terrible decision. Should she reveal her true identity and destroy their idyllic image of her father? Or should she carry the truth home with her to San Francisco and remain alone in this world? Whatever choice she makes during this London Christmas will forever change the future for both herself and the family she can't bear to leave. 

In ENGAGING FATHER CHRISTMAS Miranda Carson can't wait to return to England for Christmas and to be with her boyfriend, Ian. She has spent a lifetime yearning for a place to call home, and she's sure Carlton Heath will be it, especially when a hinted-at engagement ring slips into the conversation. But Miranda's high hopes for a jolly Christmas with the small circle of people she has come to love are toppled when Ian's father is hospitalized and the matriarch of the Whitcombe family withholds her blessing from Miranda. Questions run rampant in Miranda's mind about whether she really belongs in this cheery corner of the world. Then, when her true identity threatens all her relationships in unanticipated ways, Miranda is certain all is lost. And yet . . . maybe Father Christmas has special gifts in store for her after all.

My Thoughts:

Robin Jones Gunn is my favorite author and has been since I was a teenager. I was super thrilled at the opportunity to review Finding Father Christmas and Engaging Father Christmas. This book has Novels in one book, which is awesome at the price of $14.99. You can't beat that. Second, who doesn't love two Christmas stories in England? Grab a blanket, your favorite cup of tea and curl up for a great review.

 In Finding Father Christmas, Miranda Carson lost her father at a young age. Having never known anything about him, Miranda didn't really think much about him until she showed a photograph of her father to her boyfriend. The two discover where the photograph was taken. Miranda finds herself in London in a teashop, in a small village, where she meets a woman and that is where Miranda's life changes. Without giving spoilers about what happens next, you need to pick up the book for yourself, but I guarantee you will love it! Will she find her father or won't she? I will say you do need to read Engaging Father Christmas to see what happens next. I give a 5/5 stars for Finding Father Christmas! 

Let's pick up on Engaging Father Christmas, which is part two of this book.  Miranda returns to England where Miranda learns the gift of family isn't just by blood. You will love the characters in this story and the strength that this family brings to Miranda, especially as a family member is in the hospital. Will this test the relationship of Ian and Miranda? Will they have a falling out? Or will love triumph over all? I couldn't wait to see what would happen and this second novel I could not put down. This was a great Christmas romance that I loved for so many reasons, but I do not want to spoil the book for you.  This is such a refreshing read. It was very sweet and christmasy! I highly recommend it! I give this 5/5 stars as well.


Thank you to Faith Words for providing me a complimentary copy for review purposes only. I was not compensated for a positive review.


To purchase a copy, head here .

Additionally, Robin Jones Gunn will be releaseing Kissing Father Christmas, which I cannot wait to read. I hope it is as great as these two books are! To find out more information and to purchase this book on pre-order, head here! 


About Robin Jones Gunn:

Robin Jones GunnROBIN JONES GUNN is the much loved author of over 85 books. With nearly 5 million copies of her titles sold worldwide, her popular Christy Miller series now continues in Christy & Todd: The Married Years. Her novels and non-fiction works have received multiple awards and are a favorite with book clubs and study groups. Robin and her husband have a grown son and daughter and live in Hawaii.