Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Mini Review and Blog Tour: The Plans We Made

The Plans We Made by Kathryn Cushman & Lauren Beccue

Release Date: August 14, 2020
Publisher: Independently published
Genre: Christian Fiction
Pages: 340
Format: Paperback
Buy It: Amazon
When past secrets hold the only key to hope for the future…

Caroline Chapman is reeling from a broken engagement. Determined to start again, she moves cross-country for her dream job of planning events in the historical mansions of Newport, Rhode Island. Just as her life is getting back on track, she gets an email that shakes her very foundations.

Linda Riley’s life looks picture perfect - a wonderful husband, two great kids, involved in church and the community. Then comes the diagnosis that shatters the facade. In order to save her son’s life, she must reveal secrets that can rip everything apart.

Connected by more than painful circumstances, these two women discover a sacred bond. In this beautiful story of love, loss, and the fight for life, Caroline and Linda experience the reality that life doesn’t always go according to The Plans We Made.

This book was beautifully written! The teaser alone had me hooked - I knew I needed this book! The two main protagonists are women I can relate to and the reader feels themselves rooting for them both throughout the book. It's a longer novel, but every page is worth it! Their stories and connection are heartfelt and a great read in the struggling times right now. I definitely recommend giving this book a chance!

I received this book free for review, but the opinions contained in this review are my own.

Sunday, May 31, 2020

Review: Parenting First Aid & Study Guide

Parenting First Aid: Hope for the Discouraged & Parenting First Aid: Hope for the Discouraged, Study Guide by Marty Machowski

Release Date: September 24, 2018 & April 20, 2020
Publisher: New Growth Press
Genre: Christian
Pages: 240 & 128
Format: eBook
Buy It: Amazon & Amazon
In this uplifting and faith-strengthening devotional book for Christian parents, best-selling children's author Marty Machowski encourages parents in the midst of parenting trials to look to the Lord for help. Full of Biblical Scripture, testimonies of faithful parents, and insightful meditations, Parenting First Aid equips Christian parents to run to God and trust his ability to do what they can t.

Parenting isn't getting any easier, especially with the introduction of insta-porn on electronic devices, the ease of access to drugs, and the ever-increasing blurring of sexuality. This parenting resource is for weary, Christian parents overwhelmed with parenting, their children's choices, and the culture that wars against their souls.

For parents with small struggles or weighty parenting trials such as children involved with drugs, sexual sin, and teenage rebellion Parenting First Aid is full of personal, real testimonies of God's faithfulness to parents experiencing hardship.

The easy-to-use format provides parents with encouraging and faith-strengthening words to trust God in his work in the midst of family difficulty. While God does not promise happiness and ease in parenting, all parents can find comfort in God and peace beyond understanding through the Scriptures and meditations found in Parenting First Aid.

As a companion small group resource to Parenting First Aid by Marty Machowski, this study guide reminds Christian parents they aren't alone in their struggles, providing an opportunity to talk about their challenges and pray for and encourage other parents.

Each of the ten chapters of Parenting First Aid Study Guide contain book excerpts, biblical Scriptures for encouragement, and questions to help stimulate discussion and application exercises. Machowski reminds men and women to rest in God's sovereign ability to reach and rescue their children. Unlike many other Christian parenting books, this resource helps moms and dads find comfort and hope in Jesus Christ rather than relying on techniques or to-do lists that fail to deliver what they seem to promise.

So many moms and dads hide their child-rearing struggles, but by sharing together and praying for one another in a small group setting, Christian parents can find encouragement, support, and community as they learn to trust God together in the midst of hardship.

Raising kids isn't getting any easier, especially with the introduction of insta-porn on electronic devices, the ease of access to drugs, and the ever-increasing blurring of sexuality. This study guide is for weary mothers, fathers, and guardians who are overwhelmed with their children's choices and the culture that wars against their souls.

For moms and dads with small struggles or weighty parenting trials such as children involved with drugs, sexual sin, and teenage rebellion this small group guide offers a place to begin conversations with other parents; seek community, biblical Scripture, and prayer; and remember they aren't alone.

Parenting First Aid, and its companion study guide, are aimed at coming alongside parents in the struggles of parenting children, whether easy or troubled. While based in a Christian mindset and with various Bible references spread throughout the pages, it is just as useful a guide for a non-Christian home to assist with a wayward child.

Each chapter brings practical ways to love our children right where they are and adds a story of a real family and the struggles they went through themselves. Nothing in these books comes from a position of seeming high and mighty; the author shares his own parenting struggles as well.

Whether you are struggling with raising your children in a Godly way, or if you just feel you could use a parenting refresher, both this book and the study guide are great resources to use and build your foundation upon.

I received both books free for review from Audra's Book Reviews. The thoughts contained herein are my own.

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Hour 24: Closing Survey and Final Totals

Hi readers! I decided to dip out early again but I got some good sleep and that is what matters haha. Time for the wrap-up survey!

Closing Survey

How would you assess your reading overall? I did pretty well this year! I used audiobooks part of the time so real life didn't get too much in the way for me at all.

Did you have a strategy, and if so, did you stick to it? Not really haha. I just wanted to finish a couple books I was in the middle of, and I did!

What was your favorite snack? Muddy Buddies for sure.

Wanna volunteer for our next event? Stay tuned for the recap post! I am alllllllways up for volunteering! Come join me!

I ended up finished 2 books. I finished Your New Money Mindset: Create a Healthy Relationship with Money by Brad Hewitt in paperback and A Lifelong Love by Gary Thomas on audiobook. I did start another book and its companion study guide; that review will be up by the end of May for the blog tour! Thanks for following along this year, friends!

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Hour 16: Mid-Event Survey and wrapping up...

Hi friends! I had really hoped to make it to the end this year but I'm getting a headache already, and I have an early appointment tomorrow that is only 3 hours after the end of the readathon. Sleep will be needed haha.

I thought it would be fun to do a semi-wrap up post with the mid-event survey! I will come back and do the closing survey as well, but it may not be until a few hours after the event ends.

Mid-Event Survey:
1. What are you reading right now? Currently, I am reading Parenting First Aid. It's one of my favorites so far!

2. How many books have you read so far? I have finished 2 and am working on the 3rd.

3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon? Honestly, Parenting First Aid is good so far! I am looking forward to digging more into it.

4. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those? Since I have a toddler, yes, there are lots of interruptions haha. I have to just let them happen and get back into reading spurts when I can.

5. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far? It's almost easier this year, since I can read in between projects, but I don't feel like I mentally prepared myself so it's been hard to keep going.

How are you doing so far?

Hour 12: Halfway point

Welcome back! I took a nap during a small break but also finished my audiobook so progress is still happening! I will be moving into my Kindle books now to get a bit of a fresh change. Anyone else using Kindles more than physical books this year?

How is everyone else doing at the halfway point?

Hour 9: Took a blogging break

Welcome back! We had some errands to run, so we took a drive while I continued listening to my audiobook. Plus the toddler needed lunch at some point so we figured a little break was best haha. I'm still not through my audiobook,  but I'm getting close to the end! Hope to have is done in the next couple of hours.

Hour 6: I've been awake HOW long?!

We have hit the quarter-way mark! Yes, that's a thing. I am about half-way through my audiobook at this point. I think I may be nearing the need for my first nap, but I'm trying to hold off until right before the toddler's naptime so I can get some good reading done while he is asleep.

You may not see these updates every hour for a while, as I don't expect to have much of an update for the next couple hours. Follow along on Twitter for highlights!

Hour 5: Real life slows me down

Happy hour 5! I am still working through my audiobook. My toddler is now awake so I'm sure my reading will slow, and I know my update posts will, haha. Does anyone else get a little sad when daily life gets in the way of reading?

Hour 4: Steady pace

Happy hour 4! Since I have been up since 5am, I'm starting to hit a snag in my energy. However, my husband recently woke up so I think a yummy breakfast is incoming! I'm still working away at the audiobook, and thankfully the toddler is still sleeping. How is everyone else doing?

Hour 3: One book down!

I have finished my first book! Now granted, it was partially started, but shush. It still counts! I'm now working through my audiobook and getting a few minor projects done before my toddler starts thinking about waking up. Let's keeo up the pace!

Hour 2: Making good progress

Welcome back! I am less than 10 pages from finishing book 1, so I consider that a win already! Once I finish that book, I will switch over to my audiobook so I can work on some other projects while still keeping up with reading. How did your first hour go?

Hour 1: Let's read!

Here we go friends! I'm starting by trying to finish a few books I am in the middle of. See you in an hour for an update!

Hour 0: Opening Survey

Goooooooood morning readers! I am up bright and early on the West coast and ready to read! Let's kick things off with the opening survey, shall we?

Opening Survey!

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today? I am reading from Salem, Oregon! We are in quarantine so this should be an easy day for me to read, haha.

2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to? I'm honestly not sure! I have quite a few I am in the middle of, so I think I'm just excited to finish a few books today!

3) Which snack are you most looking forward to? Hot Pockets are on the agenda for lunch, and those are always a treat!

4) Tell us a little something about yourself! I'm a 29-year-old mama, married to my prince charming Nick, with the crazy, rainbow baby, toddler Samuel Jacob. I work for the technical help desk at a hospital and when schools aren't closed for pandemics, Nick is a substitute teacher!

5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? If this is your first read-a-thon, what are you most looking forward to? My goal this year is to try and stay up the entire 24 hours, even if that means a nap in the middle. I usually lose out around hour 18 because that's bedtime for me haha. I also just want to make a significant dent in my currently reading and TBR stacks today!

Let's have some fun today!

Friday, April 24, 2020

24 Hour Readathon 2020

Hi friends! I am excited to announce that tomorrow, 4/24, is the next 24 Hour Readathon! I will be participating as much of the 24 hours as possible, including waking up at 5am to start first thing. Yes I know, I'm insane.

I have a rough list of books to read, but not solid enough I want to announce them here yet haha. Who else is joining us? Let me know so I can follow your progress!

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Review: Too Blessed to be Stressed for Moms

Too Blessed to be Stressed for Moms by Debora Coty

Release Date: September 1, 2018
Publisher: Shiloh Run Press
Genre: Christian Devotional
Pages: 224
Format: Paperback
Buy It: Amazon
Do you feel like you’re drowning in the everyday stress-pool? . . .
Wish you could make busy-ness a business so you’d be a millionaire? . . .
Welcome to the maternal order of slightly sagging sisters of the 'hood. The motherhood.

With her own offbeat brand of wit and near-wisdom, popular inspirational humorist Debora Coty addresses heart needs of moms drowning in the churning stress-pool of busyness. In her beloved mom-to-mom, grin-provoking style, Coty offers empathy, laughs, real-life stories, practical parenting survival tips, and fresh biblical insights to help you hear Papa God’s still, small voice through life’s chaos.

Whether you're struggling with stress related to attitude, time-management, guilt trips, patience, or something in between. . .this humor-filled volume will deliver a much-needed smile and equip you with simple-to-implement tips for attaining the peace we all crave—the peace that passes all understanding.

Anything written by Debora Coty does not disappoint. She brings real, raw writing into her books, and adds her own unique brand of humor and flavor. This book is no different. This book came at a great time in my life, and while I did finish it last year right after the birth of Sam, I re-read it often. We can always use some blessing reminders, can't we?

As moms, we are some of the most often stressed people. Because of our stress, we tend to forget the blessings we do have in our lives. Debora reminds us of those simple blessings we have, and how to hold onto those blessings even in our times of stress. This is another great one in her Too Blessed to Be Stressed book collection!

If you are looking for a humorous twist on remembering our blessings, this is one I recommend all moms pick up.

I received this book free for review through Audra Jennings' blog tours. While I was requested to post a review, the thoughts contained herein are my own.
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