Empowered: How God Shaped 11 Women’s Lives (And Can Shape Yours Too)
By Catherine Parks
Empowered shares the lives of eleven remarkable women whose lives were shaped by God in different circumstances. The women featured are: Corrie and Betsie ten Boom, Sophie Scholl, Pandita Ramabai, Charlotte Forten Grimke, Esther Ahn Kim, Elisabeth Elliot, Phillis Wheatley, Joni Eareckson Tada, Fanny Crosby, and Annie Armstrong.
In each chapter we learn about the women’s beginnings, the hardships they faced with trials such as war and suffering, and how they turned to God and were inspired to do great things with His strength. There are questions at the end of each chapter for introspection as well.
Some of the women I was familiar with like Joni Eareckson Tada and Corrie and Betsie ten Boom, but others were new to me and I learned a lot from such as Sophie Scholl, Pandita Ramabai, and Esther Ahn Kim.
The book is geared towards girls 13-18 and this would make a perfect eighth grade graduation gift. It’s inspiring and the questions that went along with each chapter really brought the lessons and messages into our daily lives. I would highly recommend this book for summer reading.
I received this book from BH Publishing and Lifeway in return for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
The Clean Indie Reads I Love Audiobooks young adult giveaway is here and it will run from May 24th-31st. You can enter to win codes for 10 different YA audiobooks! Good luck!
Welcome to the 1-Week Virtual Book Tour for Blackflies and Blueberries (Mysterious Tales from Fairy Falls, #2) by Sharon Ledwith!
About Blackflies and Blueberries:
The only witness left to testify against an unsolved crime in Fairy Falls isn’t a person…
City born and bred, Hart Stewart possesses the gift of psychometry—the psychic ability to discover facts about an event or person by touching inanimate objects associated with them. Since his mother’s death, seventeen-year-old Hart has endured homelessness, and has learned ways to keep his illiteracy under wraps. He eventually learns of a great-aunt living in Fairy Falls, and decides to leave the only life he’s ever known for an uncertain future.
Diana MacGregor lives in Fairy Falls. Her mother was a victim of a senseless murder. Only Diana’s unanswered questions and her grief keeps her going, until Hart finds her mother’s lost ring and becomes a witness to her murder.
Through Hart’s psychic power, Diana gains hope for justice. Their investigation leads them into the corrupt world threatening Fairy Falls. To secure the town’s future, Hart and Diana must join forces to uncover the shocking truth, or they risk losing the true essence of Fairy Falls forever.
Blackflies and Blueberries Cover:
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal
Publish Date: May 17, 2019
Publisher: Mirror World Publishing https://www.mirrorworldpublishing.com/
Follow the Tour:
About the Author:
Escape to the past and have a blast
Sharon Ledwith is the author of the middle-grade/young adult time travel adventure series, THE LAST TIMEKEEPERS, and the teen psychic mystery series, MYSTERIOUS TALES FROM FAIRY FALLS. When not writing, researching, or revising, she enjoys reading, exercising, anything arcane, and an occasional dram of scotch. Sharon lives a serene, yet busy life in a southern tourist region of Ontario, Canada, with her hubby, one spoiled yellow Labrador and a moody calico cat.
Learn more about Sharon Ledwith at the following online places:
Sharon’s Website: www.sharonledwith.com
Sharon’s Blog: http://sharonledwith.blogspot.com/
Sharon’s Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/#!/seledwith
Sharon’s Author Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Sharon-Ledwith-210150205690477/
Twitter: @sharonledwith https://twitter.com/sharonledwith
Goodreads Author Page: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5821744.Sharon_Ledwith
Goodreads Book Page: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/45259122-blackflies-and-blueberries
Amazon Author U.S. Page: http://www.amazon.com/Sharon-Ledwith/e/B0084DUHJO
Amazon Author U.K. Page: http://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B0084DUHJO
Café Press Shop: http://www.cafepress.ca/sharonledwith
Readers’ Favorite: https://readersfavorite.com/author-area/358311
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Mirror World Publishing:
Barnes & Noble:
Enter the Giveaway:
I am so excited to share with you that Best Friends…Forever? and Landry in Like are now available in paperback! I got so many questions about when they would be in print and they are finally here. It’s so great that these came out just as Landry in Like was given the Literary Classics Top Honors Youth Book Award for upper middle grade books. You can pick up your copies here and complete your Landry’s True Colors Series collection.
Barnes & Noble: https://bit.ly/2jxUuUZ
Book Depository: bit.ly/30ajWEC
Indie Bound: https://www.indiebound.org/search/book?keys=Krysten+Lindsay%27
Books A Million: https://bit.ly/30h4UwZ
Watch the book trailers here:
Best Friends...Forever?: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RFp2fPFbvTQ
Landry in Like: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2CsGREKFQco&t=6s
Happy to have author N.J. Simmonds back on the blog to talk about her book, The Path Keeper.
Tell us about your book
The Path Keeper is the first book of the Indigo Chronicles – an urban fantasy romance trilogy set in London. It centers around the forbidden love between Zac and Ella, a love that has played out over two-thousand years and many lifetimes. The story goes back and forth in time, showing how past decisions and mistakes can shape our destiny - culminating into one shocking discovery that will have them both fighting for their lives. Basically, can love ever be stronger than fate?
Beware that the book carries a trigger warning and, although spiritual and romantic, it can get very dark, sweary and adult in places. The book appeals to those who enjoyed reading The Time Traveller’s Wife, Outlander and even Game of Thrones…so plenty of adventure and love, but with a bit of grit.
What inspired you to write this book?
A mix of things. I’m originally from London, so it felt natural for me to set the book there (in fact, all the books I’ve written so far have been set in Lodnon). I also spent a year solo-traveling around Australia in my early twenties, and learning reiki and other holistic practices, so that definitely coloured a lot of the spiritual aspects of the book.
I wanted to write a love story, but I also wanted to explore that inexplicable (and sometimes unhealthy) intensity you can feel when you are drawn to someone you only just met. Having experienced a number of past life regressions myself, I decided to make Zac and Ella a couple who had loved one another many many times before, yet she never remembers. It grew from there, and before I knew it I was also writing about WW2 London and set scenes in Spain (where I was living at the time), including revelations about Ella’s family’s secrets too.
Who are some of your favorite authors?
I tend to have favourite books, not authors, as I don’t always like everything one person writes.
Saying that though, I read a lot of older YA fantasy and books set in London, and I adore the writing of Laini Taylor, Leigh Bardugo, Patrice Lawrence and V.E.Schwabs. Patrice writes ‘London teens’ impeccably and we need more books like hers in the world. As for the other three, their fantasy worlds and characters are absolutely flawless. Laini writes like poetry – I want to do magic like her, when I grow up.
Which book by another author do you with you had written?
Other than Harry Potter and its Unique World Domination? I’m not sure. None, to be honest. Every book ever written has the spirit of that author running through it, so I couldn’t possibly have been able to write anything other than the books I’ve written myself.
But I would love to see my fictional worlds live beyond the page and be embraced by fandoms that fully immerse themselves in that universe. Perhaps not to the extent of theme parks and Primark t-shirts, no one could ever predict just how far J K Rowling’s idea would go, but to see your book made into a film and then have people dress up as your Cosplay characters, write fan fiction and create artwork of your characters…that’s immense. As a writer, especially of fantasy, you have to be obsessed with the worlds you create – so there’s no bigger compliment than others being just as fanatical about it.
So what book do I wish I had written? Any of the books that inspire all of that. That’s the whole point of writing - not to be revered for your words, but to create a world others want to be part of.
Are there any particular songs that inspired your writing as you worked on this book?
I have had songs inspire entire book ideas, but not with The Path Keeper.
There are two songs from the 90s (my era) that remind me of the book though. Killing Me Softly by the Fugees reminds me of the scene when Zac plays the guitar for Felicity and she realizes who he is, causing all sorts of issues between her and her daughter, Ella.
And No Ordinary Love by Sade sums up the entire theme of the series – although Ella isn’t a mermaid, like Sade is in the video!
Who is your favorite character in your book and why?
This is a tough question as they are all my babies. It’s like being asked who my favourite child is!
Of course Ella and Zac are special to me, but I feel like shaking them half the time and they ended up changing in ways I never anticipated. I also loved creating Dolly and Evie, I cried so much when I wrote their scenes, they were like real people to me.
But my very favourite character is Luci, although you won’t meet her until May 2020 when the second book, Son of Secrets, comes out. She’s a fascinating mix of misunderstood evil, maternal obsession, violent revenge, fiery wantoness and a huge, vulnerable heart.
So if The Path Keeper is a heady mix of passion, esoteric question and dark truths – then Son of Secrets is an even bigger, witchy, feminist punch to the guts.
Follow her on:
I started writing Dating the It Guy as a romance between a high school girl and the popular senior son of a senator, but I also wanted to include a storyline of having the main character deal with her grandpa’s recent dementia diagnosis. My grandfather moved in with us when I was Emme’s age because he could no longer live on his own. I decided to write about it years later just to get it out. In fact the first time I read a section of it to my mother, she left the room because it was too much to deal with. It’s tough to look back at memories like that sometimes.
So I finished the book, but set it aside for a while. Then two years ago, there was a pitch contest online and I decided to see if there would be any interest in this story. My publisher said she’d be interested in seeing it. At that time I had only published middle grade novels with her and wasn’t sure she’d want a young adult novel from me—after all there are a lot of publishers who aren’t fond of genre hopping. I remember when I sent it to my publisher I mentioned I hoped that this book would help someone else. My publisher wrote, “have I told you I love your writing?”
During the final editing process, I had my mom read the manuscript and told her, “I’m not sure you’ll like this one because it’s very personal, so be warned.” I’ll never forget her calling me and saying it was her favorite book I had written and she felt I handled those scenes with the grandpa with such sensitivity and love. She loved the sense of love and family in it and how I handled it with dignity and that meant so much.
I basically have a peace about what I wrote, but it was very hard putting this book out there. You’re taking a very personal experience and opening it up to criticism from strangers who haven’t walked in your shoes. What made it worthwhile was that the feedback on it has been wonderful as people love the humor and the family bonds. I think having the humor in it helps as that gets you through difficult times and it shows that you can continue to laugh even while going through a storm.
My main goal was wanting to show that dealing with dementia can deepen a relationship and you can love someone deeper when taking care of them. It was hard being one of my grandpa’s caregivers starting as a sophomore in high school until I was well into college, but I loved spending time with him.
Along the way, I realized that if I went through that as a teen, then there were other teens who had taken on a caregiver role (along with their parents) to a family member. I wanted to give those teens a book that understood what they were going through. Sometimes knowing you’re not alone in a tough situation can help so much and I hope I did that for my readers.
Purchase Dating the It Guy
About the Author
Who knew all those embarrassing, cringe-y moments in middle school and high school could turn into a career? And who would have thought that daydreaming in math class would pay off down the road?
Krysten Lindsay Hager writes about friendship, self-esteem, fitting in, frenemies, crushes, fame, first loves, and values. She is the author of True Colors, Best Friends…Forever?, Next Door to a Star, Landry in Like, Competing with the Star (The Star Series: Book 2), Dating the It Guy, and Can Dreams Come True?
Her debut novel, True Colors, won the Readers Favorite award for best preteen book and the Dayton Book Expo Bestseller Award for childen/teens. Competing with the Star is a Readers’ Favorite Book Award Finalist. Krysten’s work has been featured in USA Today, The Flint Journal, the Grand Haven Tribune, the Beavercreek Current, the Bellbrook Times, Springfield News-Sun, Grand Blanc View, Dayton Daily News and on Living Dayton.
Follow Krysten Lindsay Hager
Disciple Her is about how to make disciples out of women. The book details a process on how to do this and focuses on being accountable and making time to be in the Word. Gallaty shares how to plan and prepare to start a group that works towards this. She discusses journaling and being accountable, but she also brings up issues that might come up along the way. Gallaty shares her own personal experience with a group member who was involved with a married man and how to gently handle that situation.
The book is full of information and tips on creating a group complete with resources like a reading list, Bible reading plan, sample sheets, and examples to work with. There is a lot of info here if you plan to start your own group.
However, I do wish the back of the book/blurb and/or cover had said this book was intended for creating a group. I wanted to read the book for tips I can use in my everyday life and this was not the book I thought I was getting. Still, there is info here that can be used for that, it’s just not the book I was expecting.
*I received this book from BH Publishing and Lifeway in return for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Sick of Me: from Transparency to Transformation by Whitney Capps
Sick of Me deals with the shift from focusing on the self to putting on focus on God. Whitney Capps shares the differences between the self-help culture and actual change that makes us into better people. Capps brings up the current trend of focusing on vulnerability and transparency and takes it a step beyond what we’ve currently been seeing. She talks about transformation as the goal. Taking the focus off of happiness and onto holiness.
One thing I really appreciated about this book was she brought up the kickback people get on social media when they share things. She talks about her own Facebook post and how to take the “me” out of it and focus on what’s important. She shares how we can easily feel less than another person—using examples as the put together woman or the one who already filled out her Bible study workbook or has her Bible outlined whereas someone else is wearing yesterday’s workout clothes and forgot their Bible. We’re so quick to focus on the wrong things and Capps says we should look to appreciating what each of us can do and focusing on Jesus.
This book is a very refreshing take on what we need to be focusing on.
I received this book from BH Publishing and Lifeway in return for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Happy to have C. Hope Clark back on the blog today!
Turning Classic Adult into Contemporary YA:
By C. Hope Clark
Sherlock Holmes is classic mystery. The character has been portrayed dark, humorous, handsome, and plain. Sherlock has solved the mysterious as an older man, a younger woman, and everything in between, but one of the more recent depictions comes in the form of a young adult girl around 18 years old. And her name is Charlotte Holmes.
Charlotte Holmes and Jamie Watson are the great-great-great descendants of the original Holmes and Watson, and they are every bit as wise and quirky as their ancestors.
Author Brittany Cavallaro is the author of the Charlotte Holmes series. She holds an MFA in poetry, acquired her PhD in English Literature, and is a Sherlockian fanatic. And she’s done a phenomenal job taking all things Sherlock and Holmes and morphing them into young adult. From the arrogance of Sherlock and his taste for the occasional drug, to Watson’s loyalty to Holmes, only this time through young adoring eyes.
On a rugby scholarship to Sherringford, a Connecticut prep school, Jamie Watson finds himself forced to attend school alongside the illustrious, brilliant, yet temperamental Charlotte Holmes. They aren’t BFFs. Not by a long shot. Instead of a comfortable relationship, with the occasional dust up between the partners, they tend to perform as rivals, daring and testing each other, usually with Charlotte in the lead, and Jamie picking up the pieces or reining Charlotte in when she goes crazy off course. Her forever in her condescending yet endearing behavior toward Jamie.
This YA series relives all things Sherlock through the villains, through the descendants of Moriarity, Holmes and Watson, even through the clues from the playbooks of past tales solved by the original duo so many years prior. But the contemporary setting opens doors to more creative crime solving, more contemporary methods of danger, and more convoluted, emotionally-charged exchanges between the youngers sleuths.
As a mystery loves, and a lover of Sherlock, I met Ms. Cavallero at an Iowa writers conference, where we both served on the faculty of a three-day event. The night I heard her read aloud from A Study in Charlotte, the first in the series, I fell in love with her work. This new manner of depicting such classic mystery history, so wisely brought to current times with the right splash of humor, slang, and teenage angst, snared my attention, and I’m currenting reading the third in this series, The Case for Jamie.
This bridge between old and new, adult and YA, makes this series attractive and intelligent regardless which Sherlock you prefer. It’s smart. It’s spicy. Yet it brings forward the classical bones of the Arthur Conan Doyle versions.
What a wondrous method of introducing teens to the wonders of Holmes and Watson. . . and reintroducing adults to the Sherlock world through the progeny. Don’t you wish we could take so many of our classical stories and reintroduce them through the characters’ descendants? How cool would that be? Remembering the old through the new.
BIO – C. Hope Clark’s current release is Dying on Edisto, the fifth in the Edisto Island Mysteries. . . and her ninth mystery novel. Hope is published through Bell Bridge Books out of Memphis, TN and thrives on the world of mystery. She is also founder of FundsforWriters.com, chosen by Writer’s Digest for its 101 Best Websites for Writers for 17 years, and her newsletters to writers reach 35,000 readers. www.chopeclark.com
My book Dating the It Guy is free for the first time ever and just for a limited time! You can pick it up for free from March 30th through April 2nd on Amazon.com.
You can find it here:
Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Dating-Guy-Krysten-Lindsay-Hager-ebook/dp/B06XBFRX47
Amazon Canada: https://www.amazon.ca/Dating-Guy-Krysten-Lindsay-Hager-ebook/dp/B06XBFRX47
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Dating-Guy-Krysten-Lindsay-Hager-ebook/dp/B06XBFRX47
Amazon India: https://www.amazon.in/Dating-Guy-Krysten-Lindsay-Hager-ebook/dp/B06XBFRX47
Amazon Germany: https://www.amazon.de/Dating-English-Krysten-Lindsay-Hager-ebook/dp/B06XBFRX47
Amazon Australia: https://www.amazon.com.au/Dating-Guy-Krysten-Lindsay-Hager-ebook/dp/B06XBFRX47
Author of the Landry's True Colors Series, the Star Series, Dating the It Guy, & Can Dreams Come True