Sunday, October 13, 2013

Sisters In Bloom Book Blast

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You loved Danica and Kaylie in SISTERS IN LOVE, find out what happens next with

Kaylie Snow has always been the fun, flirty, pretty sister. Now, her burgeoning baby bump, hormone infused emotions, and faltering singing career are sending her into an unexpected identity crisis. Watching her older sister Danica glide through a major career change and a new relationship with the grace of a ballerina, Kaylie’s insecurities rise to the forefront—and her relationship, with fiancé Chaz Crew, is caught in the crossfire.
Chaz Crew has everything he’s ever wanted: a lovely fiancé, a baby on the way, and soon, the film festival he owns will host its biggest event ever. When he’s called away to woo the festival’s largest sponsor—and the lover he’s never admitted to having—secrets from his past turn his new life upside down.
With her baby shower around the corner, and her fiancé’s big event looming, the pressure is on for Kaylie to pull herself together—and for Chaz to right his wrongs. In a few short weeks, the couple who had it all figured out will learn things about life and love that may change their minds—and their hearts.
SISTERS IN BLOOM is a testament to the bond of sisters, the strength of women, and the pains and delights that accompany motherhood. A book for every mother, sister, and daughter, SISTERS IN BLOOM will resonate with readers who love to explore family dramas
Book Links:

Melissa Foster

Melissa Foster is the award-winning author of four International bestselling novels. Her books have been recommended by USA Today’s book blog, Hagerstown Magazine, The Patriot, and several other print venues. She is the founder of the Women’s Nest, a social and support community for women, the World Literary Café. When she’s not writing, Melissa helps authors navigate the publishing industry through her author training programs on  Fostering Success. Melissa is also a community builder for the Alliance for Independent Authors. She has been published in Calgary’s Child Magazine, the Huffington Post, and Women Business Owners magazine.
Melissa hosts an annual Aspiring Authors contest for children and has painted and donated several murals to The Hospital for Sick Children in Washington, DC. Melissa lives in Maryland with her family.
Visit Melissa on The Women’s NestFostering Success, or World Lit Cafe. Join Melissa and the YaYa Writer Girls at their annual in-person event. Melissa enjoys discussing her books with book clubs and reader groups, and welcomes an invitation to your event.

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Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Undivided Mom Devotional

Undivided Mom: Finding Christ in the Chaos of Motherhood by Kayse Pratt
Visit the launch page!!
Amazon Description:
If you’ve got motherhood all figured out, this book isn’t for you. Carry on.

If you’re one of the rest of us, struggling through the miracle, you’re in the right place, friend.

Undivided Mom is a devotional for moms who feel distracted, pulled in a million different directions, and really just desperately need Jesus to keep them from losing their ever-loving minds. It’s about mothering with a vision, with a purpose, for His glory, and through His strength.

This is a book for anyone who is longing to find a glimpse of Christ in the chaos of everyday motherhood.

It’s for you. For me. For all of us.
 I was a part of the launch team for this ebook! Purchase the ebook on Amazon for $4.99. (10/913)

My Thoughts:
Let me first state: This book is WAAAY too short!! Kayse Pratt does a fantastic job in this devotional. She easily covers all bases; Biblical devotions mixed with life devotions 50/50. This 14 day devo uses it's odd days to study verses from the Gospel of Luke and it's even days to help moms glimpse God in the everyday chaos. The odd days also include some "Think it Over" points to help you carry God's Word throughout the day, this is a MUST for a great devotional. I just fell in love with Pratt's writing and wished for more!

Personally, this devo was a challenge for myself. Here is one of the more popular quotes from the book:
This is really the heart of the book. We live in a fast-paced, ever changing world and moms are busy. Facebook, email, and for booklovers: BOOKS!! clamor for our attention. And our children are losing. I don't think it comes as a shock that the family unit is breaking down into nothing in these modern times. Kids aren't mini adults, they need so much attention and love and busy moms with divided attention cannot provide that.
And trust me, I am pointing no fingers...accept at myself! I am not even what most women would consider 'busy', but Facebook, email, books, and Twitter still call to me. I don't understand kids so it is SO much easier to let Baby Girl play around on the floor while I watch from the couch...with my phone/book in hand. Ouch. Hurts to admit out loud, but that is why I loved Undivided Mom so much! It gave me that daily reminder to become an Undivided mom and focus more God and my children first. They are what will really matter in the end. I don't want to look back on my life and wonder where it went. I want to live and love well.
Check out these great offers as well. On her launch page, Kayse Pratt is offering a great giveaway that you simply must check out. Also, right now Kayse is offering a coupon code for 20% off. Use code: UMLaunch20. The code is good for either of her ebooks (she also offers a fantastic home management tool). Buy both and you still get to use the 20% code. It is a great deal! This is only available until October 13, 2013 so move fast!!
So, grab a cup of coffee and delve into these wonderful, uplifting words. See you there!

Friday, October 4, 2013

Encouragement for Today

Encouragement for Today: Devotions for Everyday Living
Encouragement for Today by Renee Swope, Lysa TerKeurst, and Samantha Evilsizer
Visit the Proverbs 31 webpage HERE
BookSneeze Summary:
Written by the P31 team whose daily devotion reaches over 1 million women every day, this book will help a woman know she is not alone in her every day struggles.
For twenty years the women at Proverbs 31 Ministries has equipped and encouraged nearly a million women to live in the power of God’s truths that apply to every step of life. Here, the Proverbs 31 team offers 100 devotions of wit, wisdom, and encouragement to help women pull away from the things that pull them down and find lasting encouragement for today.
Written by women from every walk of life, readers will find inspiration to live authentically and fully grounded in the Word of God. The P31 Team shares from the realities of everyday life including highs and lows, humorous stories, and tender moments as they draw readers toward the truths God offers.
Hopeful. Down-to-earth. Relevant. Trustworthy. Each day includes Scripture, a devotion, a Reflect, Respond, and Remember, and a Power Verse. Ultimately, women will find comfort in the realization that they are not alone in their day-to-day doubts, disappointments, questions, fears, hopes, dreams, and struggles, and that they will be able to rise above and become all God created them to be.
I received this book from the publisher via BookSneeze in exchange for an honest review. Buy the ebook for Kindle for $4.27!! (10/2/13)

My Thoughts:
With writers like this, one expects a lot. The cover sets quite the mood as well--relaxing, organized, peace, beauty. I am just not sure this devotional truly stands out. Don't get me wrong! It is a good devotional!

There are 100 devotionals, so essentially a 100 day commitment. Each devo starts with the day's Bible verse and then the devotional which are at most 2 pages long, but the majority are just a page long. That is easy to digest in five minutes for a busy mom. I liked the extra bits at the end most: a closing prayer, Remember (the day's takeaway), Reflect (a question to ponder), Respond (your 'activity'), and Power verses (for digging deeper). All are short and sweet and work to bring you deeper into the devotional. This is perhaps the best part of the book for me. Too many devotionals list a verse and a story and BAM. Done. Close book, move on with day. Spending time with God shouldn't be just another checklist item. Adding these 'R's to the devotional encourages us to move throughout our day with the Word on our mind.

Another thing that I truly enjoyed about the book is that although a devotional, it feels like a book that you can just pick up at anytime and read when you feel led. It does not list the devotions by date/day. You can read one a week, one a day, one an hour, the personalization is endless. 

What I didn't like about the devotional, was that I was looking for it to go deeper. The devotionals themselves seem light, quick, blog like. I suppose I shouldn't hold that against them. The authors are from Proverbs 31 and each also have individual blogs as well. Thus they write much more personally, relationally. Perhaps I am just more used to devotionals that stick to Bible stories and expanding on the day's verse. Encouragement for Today authors will tell stories about their families and friends and relate it to the verse and God leaving me feeling as if I just read a great blog post. 

This doesn't, by any means, indicate the book is bad or un-useful, just different. It will work for a lot of women with little time. The readings are five minute snippets, and you could stop there, or you could continue on a little deeper, maybe just the reflection question, ...again completely personalized. Mommy blogs and Christian women blogs are exploding across the Internet these days so this style of writing is obviously quite popular. 

So...roundabout way of saying good for fans of blog-style writing and who could use devotionals that can be personalized for their lifestyle, but different than usual devotionals. Good writing, God is present, and takeaways to use throughout the day provide everything a woman needs. 4 stars from me! 

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Ten Tiny Breaths Review

Ten Tiny Breaths (Ten Tiny Breaths, #1)
Ten Tiny Breaths by K.A. Tucker
Visit the author's website HERE
Goodreads Summary:
Kacey Cleary’s whole life imploded four years ago in a drunk-driving accident. Now she’s working hard to bury the pieces left behind—all but one. Her little sister, Livie. Kacey can swallow the constant disapproval from her born-again aunt Darla over her self-destructive lifestyle; she can stop herself from going kick-boxer crazy on Uncle Raymond when he loses the girls’ college funds at a blackjack table. She just needs to keep it together until Livie is no longer a minor, and then they can get the hell out of Grand Rapids, Michigan.

But when Uncle Raymond slides into bed next to Livie one night, Kacey decides it’s time to run. Armed with two bus tickets and dreams of living near the coast, Kacey and Livie start their new lives in a Miami apartment complex, complete with a grumpy landlord, a pervert upstairs, and a neighbor with a stage name perfectly matched to her chosen “profession.” But Kacey’s not worried. She can handle all of them. What she can’t handle is Trent Emerson in apartment 1D.

Kacey doesn’t want to feel. She doesn’t. It’s safer that way. For everyone. But sexy Trent finds a way into her numb heart, reigniting her ability to love again. She starts to believe that maybe she can leave the past where it belongs and start over. Maybe she’s not beyond repair.

But Kacey isn't the only one who’s broken. Seemingly perfect Trent has an unforgivable past of his own; one that, when discovered, will shatter Kacey’s newly constructed life and send her back into suffocating darkness.
I received this book from the publisher via Netgalley. Buy it for the Kindle today for $7.99 (10/2/13). 

My Thoughts:
Well I can openly admit to being behind the times on this one. Ten Tiny Breaths was released last December but was available on Netgalley as a re-release. I had seen this book frequently throughout the blogosphere, but apparently I never really took the time to stop and check out what the book was actually about!

First, I had no idea the book was being considered 'new adult', which is still a genre I don't yet believe in. Thus far new adult books have shown themselves to be a sub-category of romance novels and definitely not deserving of a category of its own. Ugh, I digress. So, assuming it was YA I felt assured I wouldn't run into too many bad things. False. Almost immediately I ran into swear words, soon followed by strip clubs, heavy make-out sessions, and eventually sex (not explicit though). I thought about dropping this book as soon as I discovered what was going to be involved, but being a review book I wanted to push through.

And I am *mostly* glad I did. Because of the above problems being against my usual allowed reading parameters, I had to drop the book one star. I also had to drop the book another star because I saw the major twist coming from a mile away, but what comes after is what made me truly love the novel.

As anyone can guess from the Goodreads and Amazon summaries, Kacey is broken after experiencing a car crash that kills her parents, best friend, and boyfriend. Ten Tiny Breaths then is the story of Kacey working through that and starting to feel again. Things are going swimmingly until The Big Twist. Most authors would kind of wrap it up nice and neat after that, but for the last third of this book author K.A. Tucker takes us through Kacey's shock, slow road to recovery, and eventual forgiveness. This part of the book is what really made it for me. Tucker didn't try to hide the clinical side of recovery from the reader, or how tough it is to forgive. Plus, the uniqueness of the twist makes the book...well, unique!!

Because of the last third of this book, I could forget the beginning with its strip clubs and swear words. It was beautiful to watch Kacey recover and forgive truly. Although I rate this book 3.5 stars I am considering picking up the companion novel, One Tiny Lie about Kacey's little sister Olivia. I will however skim that one first to see how appropriate it might be for me to read!!

Recommend to: readers of new adult, readers looking for a touching story of hurt, healing, forgiveness, and love.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Women Living Well

I am not going to lie folks. I should have done this post earlier, but I just couldn't find the words. This book is excellent and I recommend it to everyone!! 
Women Living Well: Find Your Joy in God, Your Man, Your Kids, and Your Home
Women Living Well by Courtney Joseph
Visit the book page here: Women Living Well The Book
Goodreads Summary: 
Women desire to live well. However, living well in this modern world is a challenge.The pace of life, along with the new front porch of social media, has changed the landscape of our lives.Women have been told for far too long that being on the go and accumulating more things will make their lives full.As a result, we grasp for the wrong things in life and come up empty.

God created us to walk with him; to know him and to be loved by him.He is our living well and when we drink from the water he continually provides, it will change us.Our marriages, our parenting, and our homemaking will be transformed.

Mommy-blogger Courtney Joseph is a cheerful realist. She tackles the challenge of holding onto vintage values in a modern world, starting with the keys to protecting our walk with God. No subject is off-limits as she moves on to marriage, parenting, and household management.

Rooted in the Bible, her practical approach includes tons of tips that are perfect for busy moms, including:

Simple Solutions for Studying God s Word How to Handle Marriage, Parenting, and Homemaking in a Digital Age 10 Steps to Completing Your Husband Dealing With Disappointed Expectations in Motherhood Creating Routines that Bring Rest Pursuing the Discipline and Diligence of the Proverbs 31 Woman
There is nothing more important than fostering your faith, building your marriage, training your children, and creating a haven for your family. "Women Living Well" is a clear and personal guide to making the most of these precious responsibilities
I recieved this book as an e-ARC as a part of the author's launch team. All opinions are my own. Please visit The Book's Page to purchase!! 

My thoughts: 
When I first got approved to be apart of the launch team for this book, I will openly admit to being wildly ecstatic. I have been a reader of the Women Living Well Blog for a few years now, admiring Courtney's selfless devotion to the Lord. Being privileged to read her book before it hit the shelves was amazing. Before starting I was nervous it wouldn't live up to my expectations or what I read on her blog. I even put it off for two weeks, being too nervous to start and finishing up other commitments. Finally I downloaded it on my Kindle...and devoured it.

The books is very well organized, essentially broken up into four different sections: Your walk with God, your marriage, your children, and your home. All the sections felt further connected as each contained similar feeling chapters, most recognizable being each having a chapter pertaining to media.
Quote from Women Living Well Book by Courtney Joseph

Often times with similar books I appreciate the author telling many personal stories to help me relate and get drawn into the subject. Courtney was able to tell personal stories without telling too many personal details and still drew me into each topic. After reading I felt encouraged, motivated, and challenged.  And you know me, I need the practical. Courtney delivered on that as well. There was a great balance of personal, theoretical, and practical all wrapped up in the Word of God.

That is by far the best aspect of this book. Everything is about God. The book is not focused on Courtney and how well she does or doesn't succeed in her life walks, but is focused on God, His Word, and what He wants for our lives. Reading her words and I could tell every subject, every topic, every sentence had been prayed over by her.

There were a few times I felt that the sections within chapters felt 'too jumpy', going from one story to the next with little preamble. Mostly, I think I was being hypocritical, trying to find something about the book that I could list under 'dislike'. Actually my biggest hangup?? The format I had to read it in!! I read it in PDF form on my Kindle, so I couldn't highlight any of my fave quotes or dogear important pages. I need to buy this in paperback ASAP, and so do you! Women Living Well is one book that I am recommending to buy in paperback and NOT ebook form. You will want to re-read this one often, flip through to the chapters you need the most, underline and highlight.

Buy this book HERE: or on Amazon HERE.