Sunday, December 29, 2013

Winter Reads Book Blast: Giveaway for a $100 Amazon Gift Card or PayPal Cash

Winter Reads Cover

Sit back, relax in your favorite reading chair and enjoy 15 Winter Reads from 15 bestselling YA authors. There is something to delight every reader in this box set -- paranormal romance, futuristic sci-fi, historical, time travel, and contemporary. Many of the Indelibles have given you access to both the first and second books in their series -- you’ll be reading well into the New Year!

LIMITED TIME BOX SET - from 15 bestselling YA authors
ON SALE 12/29 - 1/11 for just $1.99


Amazon * Barnes & Noble


15 Winter Reads includes:



Iron ButterflyThe Iron Butterfly by Chanda Hahn

Escaping an experimental prison, Thalia tries to hide her past and her gifts, from her friends. But her past isn’t always easy to escape, especially when it hunts you down.


TrembleTremble (Celestra Series) by Addison Moore

Sixteen year-old, Skyla Messenger is a dead girl walking. When her newly remarried mother moves the family to Paragon Island, to a house that is rumored to be haunted, Skyla finds refuge in Logan Oliver, a boy who shares her unique ability to read minds.


ExiledExiled by RaShelle Workman

Venus wakes to find herself no longer on her home planet of Kelari, but on Earth with a week to get back or she'll die.


Dragonfly CoverDragonfly by Leigh Talbert Moore

Gossip Girl meets VC Andrews in this contemporary family saga. Love, lies, and betrayal become the new normal when Anna enters the world of Jack and Lucy Kyser.


open mindsOpen Minds and Closed Hearts by Susan Kaye Quinn

When everyone reads minds, a secret is a dangerous thing to keep.


untraceableUntraceable by S.R. Johannes

When Grace's forest ranger dad disappears on patrol, she fights town authorities, tribal officials, & nature to prove he’s alive. Torn between a new hot boy and cute ex, she heads into the wilderness to find her dad. Soon, she is caught in a web of conspiracy, deception, and murder.


date an alienHow to Date an Alien and How to Break Up With an Alien by Magan Vernon

Alex Bianchi takes an internship at an alien operations center to pad her college applications but doesn't plan on falling in love with one of its residents. But as Alex’s senior year progresses, everything changes and she can’t figure out if it is interstellar or if it is just time to break up with an alien.


flutterFlutter of Luv by L.M. Preston

Dawn, the neighborhood tomboy, is happy to be her best friend’s shadow. Acceptance comes from playing football after school with the guys on the block while hiding safely behind her glasses, braces, and boyish ways. But Tony moves in, becomes the star Running Back on her school’s football team, and changes her world and her view of herself forever.


watchedWatched by Cindy M. Hogan

It takes more than a school trip to change Christy's life. It takes murder.


clockwiseClockwise and ClockwiseR by Elle Strauss

A follow up to Clockwise, Casey and Nate travel back in time and race against the clock to rescue Casey's rebellious brother Tim from frontline battle in America's civil war.

 Website * Blog * Twitter * Facebook * Wattpad * Goodreads

5.5"X8.5" Post Card TemplateGlimpse (Zellie Wells #1) and Glimmer (Zellie Wells #2) by Stacey Wallace Benefiel

While working together to figure out what their shared vision means, Zellie discovers that Benjamin is a worthy friend and mentor. If only he could keep his hands off of her - if only she wanted him to...


spy like meA Spy Like Me by Laura Pauling

After dodging bullets on a first date, Savvy must decide how far she'll go to protect the ones she loves.


Grasping At Eternity by Karen Amanda Hooper

An eternal soul mate, a supernatural family who has known her for centuries, and lifetimes of erased memories: this is Maryah Woodsen’s life. She just doesn’t know it yet.


lacrimosaLacrimosa by Christine Fonseca

In the world of angels and demons, one thing is clear - some sacrifices should never be made. Even for love.


spruce knollThe Secret of Spruce Knoll by Heather McCorkle

The town of Spruce Knoll hides many secrets -- and many dangers, among them are that the untimely death of Eren’s parents was no accident and that she is far more than she realizes.





Giveaway Details
Prize: $100 Amazon Gift Card or PayPal Cash
Ends 1/11/14


Saturday, December 28, 2013

Book Review: "The Flight of Gemma Hardy," by Margot Livesey


About this book:
When her widower father drowns at sea, Gemma Hardy is taken from her native Iceland to Scotland to live with her kind uncle and his family. But the death of her doting guardian leaves Gemma under the care of her resentful aunt, and it soon becomes clear that she is nothing more than an unwelcome guest at Yew House. When she receives a scholarship to a private school, ten-year-old Gemma believes she’s found the perfect solution and eagerly sets out again to a new home. However, at Claypoole she finds herself treated as an unpaid servant.

To Gemma’s delight, the school goes bankrupt, and she takes a job ass an au pair on the Orkney Islands. The remote Blackbird Hall belongs to Mr. Sinclair, a London businessman; his eight-year-old niece is Gemma’s charge. Even before their first meeting, Gemma is, like everyone on the island, intrigued by Mr. Sinclair. Rich (by Gemma’s standards), single, flying in from London when he pleases, Hugh Sinclair fills the house with life. An unlikely couple, the two are drawn to each other, but Gemma’s biggest trial is about to begin: a journey of passion and betrayal, redemption and discovery, that will lead her to a life of which she’s never dreamed.

Set in Scotland and Iceland in the 1950s and ʼ60s, The Flight of Gemma Hardy -- a captivating homage to Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre -- is a sweeping saga that resurrects the timeless themes of the original but is destined to become a classic all its own.

My thoughts:
As a fan of Jane Eyre, I was really anxious to read this more modern retelling, and I greatly enjoyed it. The Flight of Gemma Hardy is well-written and absorbing, and I found myself rooting for Gemma to overcome her sad circumstances and find joy in life. Yes, the story was a little depressing at times -- Gemma never seems to get a break, going from one difficult situation to another. But we know that Gemma is resilient and will eventually find her way. This is a coming-of-age story, in which we get to watch Gemma mature in wisdom and experience. Her struggles make her a stronger person, willing to fight for her place in the world, for her right to be “beloved and regarded,” as she’d always dreamed of.



Disclosure: I purchased this book myself. This post contains my Amazon affiliate link.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

12 Pearls of Christmas: A Teenage Pregnancy, by Robin Jones Gunn (GIVEAWAY)

12pearlsofxmas
Welcome to the 12 Pearls of Christmas blog series!

Merry Christmas from Pearl Girls™! We hope you enjoy these Christmas “Pearls of Wisdom” from the authors who were so kind to donate their time and talents! If you miss a few posts, you’ll be able go back through and read them on this blog throughout the next few days.

We’re giving away a pearl necklace in celebration of the holidays, as well as some items from the contributors! Enter now below. The winner will be announced on January 2, 2014, at the Pearl Girls blog.

If you are unfamiliar with Pearl Girls™, please visit www.pearlgirls.info and see what we’re all about. In short, we exist to support the work of charities that help women and children in the US and around the globe. Consider purchasing a copy of Mother of Pearl, Pearl Girls: Encountering Grit, Experiencing Grace, or one of the Pearl Girls products (all GREAT gifts!) to help support Pearl Girls.

***

A Teenage Pregnancy
by Robin Jones Gunn


It was early, early morning, that delicate time of day just before sunrise when it seems as if all of creation is still asleep.

In the cold, gray light she gazed at the infant in her arms. He was less than an hour old and so, so small. Instinct prompted her to draw her newborn close that he might feel the rhythm of her heart. He curled his tiny hand around her finger and she smiled. His eyes closed, and with feathered breath he gave way to the blessed sleep that follows such a long journey.

In weary awe she studied his face, his ears, his nose. He was here. He had come at last.

A single tear fell from her eye and rolled across his cheek. She kissed the tear away but could not kiss away the memories that came with the tears; memories of the day she found out she was pregnant. How exhilarated she felt and yet how terrified. She was young, and there was much she didn’t understand.

Trying to justify her condition to her parents proved more difficult than she’d hoped. But the most excruciating memory was the moment she stood guileless before the man she hoped to one day marry. She had no words to make him understand the awful truth -- the child she carried was not his.

Leaving seemed to be her only option. A gracious aunt took her in and welcomed her with open arms. From the moment she arrived she was showered with motherly words of hope and sisterly touches of love. Week by week, month by month, the child inside her grew.

Was it a miracle when she returned home, her belly round, her face flushed, and found him there?

What prompted this man to take her back and make her his bride? Did he now believe what she had tried to explain all along, that none of this was her own doing?

When the time was right they left their small town together, as husband and wife, with her due date rapidly approaching. The labor began -- tightening her abdomen with a force she had never before imagined. Perspiration streamed from her forehead. The contractions multiplied with a frenzied urgency until the need to push overwhelmed her young body, and the baby was born.

Nothing of the past mattered anymore. He was here. Naked, perfect, quivering in her arms. With a thrill of hope, she believed that her life, her world, would never be the same.

Now as the first silver streaks of dawn pierced through the cracks in the stable, she tenderly wrapped her sleeping babe in swaddling clothes and laid him in the manger.

12pearls-gunn
***
Robin Promo Photo Close Up 2013Robin Jones Gunn, bestselling author of the much-loved Christy Miller Series and the award-winning Sisterchicks® series, has had more than 4.5 million copies of her books sold worldwide. Her frequent speaking engagements have taken her around the globe. Robin and her husband live in Hawaii and have a grown son and daughter. You can learn more at Robin's website.

CONTEST CLOSED. Winners listed at http://litfusegroup.com/blog/9545.

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Tuesday, December 24, 2013

12 Pearls of Christmas: Do You Hear What I Hear? by Cynthia Ruchti

12pearlsofxmas
Welcome to the 12 Pearls of Christmas blog series!

Merry Christmas from Pearl Girls™! We hope you enjoy these Christmas “Pearls of Wisdom” from the authors who were so kind to donate their time and talents! If you miss a few posts, you’ll be able to go back through and read them on this blog throughout the next few days.

We’re giving away a pearl necklace in celebration of the holidays, as well as some items from the contributors! Enter now below! The winner will be announced on January 2, 2014, at the Pearl Girls blog.

If you are unfamiliar with Pearl Girls™, please visit www.pearlgirls.info and see what we’re all about. In short, we exist to support the work of charities that help women and children in the US and around the globe. Consider purchasing a copy of Mother of Pearl, Pearl Girls: Encountering Grit, Experiencing Grace, or one of the Pearl Girls products (all GREAT gifts!) to help support Pearl Girls.

***

Do You Hear What I Hear?
by Cynthia Ruchti


To shepherds? Really, God? You crafted a birth announcement that was delivered first to shepherds? The story’s become so familiar to us, so easy for us to visualize because of all the Christmas pageants we’ve witnessed over the years -- all the fourth-grade boys in plaid robes with a homemade shepherd staff, carrying a cloth lamb from the toy department that plays “Jesus Loves Me” if you pull the ring where an umbilical cord should be.

Theologians speculate the reason for shepherds as the audience for the holy pronouncement could be as intricate as a genetic retracing of the Baby’s heritage back through history to King David, who started his career as a shepherd.

Or it could have been simpler than that. Maybe shepherds were the only ones listening that night.

“Nearby shepherds were living in the fields, guarding their sheep at night,” Luke 2:8, CEB. The biblical story tells us that the shepherds weren’t sleeping but were on guard, watching, when the news about Jesus came to them.

Distractions were few. Hills, sheep, other shepherds, a low fire, and a wide expanse of sky overhead -- a dark sky that held the same stars night after night, until this one.

I wonder if any of the shepherds brought their families to the fields. I wonder if in the tent was a hardworking woman nearing the end of an exhausting day. She’d barely gotten the evening meal cleaned up when she had to start thinking about what her family and the other shepherds would need for breakfast. Soak the grains. Check the progress on the sheep’s milk cheese. And try to get those kids to settle down.

“Stop annoying your brother. Caleb! Last warning. Josh, get your fingers out of your sister’s ears. Turn down that video game. You can’t listen to the radio and watch TV at the same time. Turn one of them off. Better yet, both of them! Who’s singing? What’s that sound? Do you hear what I hear?”

What noise do I need to turn off in my life in order to hear the first notes of the angel’s song?

Another noisy Christmas party. Another trip to the department store for stocking stuffers. Another round of Christmas CDs. Another Christmas special on TV. Another Facebook post to share -- the true meaning of Christmas. A text about the practice time for the Christmas program at church. Another phone call about travel plans. Brain waves clanking into each other, making a cacophony of noise.

Shutting down one layer at a time. Unplugging. Keeping even "Silent Night" low so I can silence my night and hear the downbeat of “Glory to God in the highest.”

12pearls-ruchti

***

Cynthia Ruchti is an author and speaker who tells stories of Hope-that-glows-in-the-dark through her novels and novellas, devotions, nonfiction, and through speaking events for women and writers. Of seven books on the shelves currently, her latest releases are the novel When the Morning Glory Blooms (Abingdon Press Fiction), the nonfiction Ragged Hope: Surviving the Fallout of Other People’s Choices (Abingdon Press Christian Living), and several dozen of the devotions in Mornings With Jesus 2014 (Guideposts). Spring of 2014 will see the release of another novel—All My Belongings, also from Abingdon Press Fiction. You can connect with her at www.cynthiaruchti.com or on Facebook.

CONTEST CLOSED. Winners listed at http://litfusegroup.com/blog/9545.

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Monday, December 23, 2013

12 Pearls of Christmas, Wrapping Paper and Fancy Bows Not Required, by Jodi Murphy (GIVEAWAY)

12pearlsofxmas
Welcome to the 12 Pearls of Christmas blog series!

Merry Christmas from Pearl Girls™! We hope you enjoy these Christmas “Pearls of Wisdom” from the authors who were so kind to donate their time and talents! If you miss a few posts, you’ll be able to go back through and read them on this blog throughout the next few days.

We’re giving away a pearl necklace in celebration of the holidays, as well as some items from the contributors! Enter now below! The winner will be announced on January 2, 2014, at the Pearl Girls blog.

If you are unfamiliar with Pearl Girls™, please visit www.pearlgirls.info and see what we’re all about. In short, we exist to support the work of charities that help women and children in the US and around the globe. Consider purchasing a copy of Mother of Pearl, Pearl Girls: Encountering Grit, Experiencing Grace, or one of the Pearl Girls products (all GREAT gifts!) to help support Pearl Girls.

***

Wrapping Paper and Fancy Bows Not Required
by Jodi Murphy


For more than a decade I worked in the luxury design field, and every year around Christmas time there were holiday show houses and charity events where the designers would hold nothing back to create the most beautiful displays for the Christmas season -- trees with baubles and sparkles, swags of fresh greenery festooned with handmade bows, every room dressed to the nines, dining and breakfast tables set for imaginary entertaining, and hundreds of perfectly wrapped packages that would make Santa’s elves go green with envy.

The sights, sounds and smells were magical! And though I enjoyed the "eye candy" and appreciated all of the creativity, I often left these events on a "sugar high" of the season’s pufferies and feeling disconnected to the spiritual significance of Christmas.

As we begin to count down the days toward December 25th, I will do my share of simplified decorating as a way to mark such an important day, and I will be celebrating Christ’s birth with a sense of gratitude and appreciation for the gifts God has given to me...

My Parents

I was blessed with parents who loved and respected me. I was always important, seen and heard. They gave me the confidence and strength to go out into the world because I knew they were standing right behind me in case I stumbled. They modeled generosity, loyalty and commitment.

My Sister

Tenacious, strong-willed, and determined balanced by a friendly, supportive, “I’m there for you” spirit -- that’s my amazing younger sister. She’ll step out on the front line to stand up and defend you or throw on some work clothes and volunteer to help with whatever dirty work needs to be done. No questions asked ... you need her, she’s there.

My Husband

My husband is so comfortable in his own skin. He doesn’t compare himself to others or secretly long for what they have. He doesn’t get embroiled in others’ gossip or petty arguments. His loving influence has made me happier and more at peace. Every day I wake up to the joyful realization that I am his friend, wife, and life partner.

My Son

My firstborn. My son with Aspergers Syndrome. Raising him is the most extraordinary journey. He has made me more accepting, patient, and understanding. He has helped me find my passion to support and advocate for him and those just like him. He doesn’t filter or concern himself with being anything but who he is. I admire his strength to put himself out into a world he doesn’t fully understand.

My Daughter

She was born with grace and an "old" soul. From a very young age, she had an understanding and compassion for others well beyond her years. And when she was excluded for not following the crowd, she never compromised her values in order to fit in. She personifies all that is good and right in our world.

So I’m taking a pause from the hustle and bustle of the designers’ holiday season. This Christmas, and every Christmas henceforth, you’ll find me singing praises of “Gloria!” to God for the walking, breathing beautiful gifts of my family.

12pearls-murphy

***
jodi_murphy-Headshot 1Jodi Murphy has been a freelance marketing specialist for the last 25+ years working for clients in a variety of industries, a journalist in the design/luxury lifestyle industry, and co-founder of Nesting Newbies, one of the first independent lifestyle digital magazines. But her most important role and her life’s passion is being a mom! She founded Geek Club Books to share her son’s life on the spectrum in a positive and entertaining way. Her focus is on building a community of spectrum and neurotypicals who are engaged with and inspired by the Geek Club Books’ message of self-acceptance -- “I’m unique. I’m a geek.” Jodi writes original content on the blog, and, with the help of her talented kids and top-notch creative team, she produces audio stories, e-books, and interactive storybook APPs.

CONTEST CLOSED. Winners listed at http://litfusegroup.com/blog/9545.

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Sunday, December 22, 2013

12 Pearls of Christmas: My Gift to the King, by Sheryl Giesbrecht (GIVEAWAY)

12pearlsofxmas
Welcome to the 12 Pearls of Christmas blog series!

Merry Christmas from Pearl Girls™! We hope you enjoy these Christmas “Pearls of Wisdom” from the authors who were so kind to donate their time and talents! If you miss a few posts, you’ll be able to go back through and read them on this blog throughout the next few days.

We’re giving away a pearl necklace in celebration of the holidays, as well as some items from the contributors! Enter now below! The winner will be announced on January 2, 2014, at the Pearl Girls blog.

If you are unfamiliar with Pearl Girls™, please visit www.pearlgirls.info and see what we’re all about. In short, we exist to support the work of charities that help women and children in the US and around the globe. Consider purchasing a copy of Mother of Pearl, Pearl Girls: Encountering Grit, Experiencing Grace, or one of the Pearl Girls products (all GREAT gifts!) to help support Pearl Girls.

***

My Gift to the King
by Sheryl Giesbrecht


It was a week before Christmas; a woman in the rush of her last-minute shopping bought a box of fifty identical greeting cards. Without bothering to read what the card said, she quickly signed and addressed all but one of them. A few days after they had been mailed she came across the one card that hadn’t been sent. She was horrified to read, “This card is just to say, a little gift is on the way!”

Gift-giving is just one of our many Christmas traditions. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only son, Jesus, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.” Truly Jesus is the best gift we would ever want to receive.

One year a friend gave me a Christmas devotional book that turned my holiday traditions upside down. Anne Graham Lotz shared her custom of asking King Jesus what gift he would like for his birthday. God wants us to give freely out of our love for him as an act of worship. This process of intentionally and sacrificially giving a "love gift to my King" is something I have added to my personal Christmas traditions. I wonder, have you ever thought about giving Jesus a gift? Maybe this year you might ask Him what He would like you to give Him.

Each year, as the Christmas holidays approach, I ask the King what he would like for his birthday. I remember Anne Graham Lotz’s criteria: “Something I would not do except the King requested it. And it is something I could not do except the King enabled me,” (Christmas Memories by Terri Meeusen pg. 159).

One year the King began asking me for His gift in September when a local high school contacted me to develop a truant program. I didn’t feel qualified. Lotz’ words rang in my mind: “Something I would not do except the king requested it. And it is something I could not do except the king enabled me.” “God, not me," I argued. I remembered what God brought me out of; I was a rebellious and promiscuous teenager, chain-smoker, alcoholic, drug addict, and drug dealer who cut class all but five days my junior year of high school. At age seventeen, I went to work at a Christian camp and there I was shown the love of God through the experience of working transformed believers. I was shown God’s love could cover a multitude of sins. Now He asked me to share this same love with those who are looking for love in all the wrong places. I committed to doing the King’s bidding.

What gift will you give your King this year? Maybe God is asking you to serve in your child’s classroom at school or teach a Sunday school class. Or maybe God is calling you to prayer or to spend more time with Him. Maybe Your King is asking you to give Him control over a situation.

"Something I would not do except the King requested it. And it is something I could not do except the King enabled me." Ask the King for His gift suggestion. When He impresses on your heart the gift He desires, offer it to Him as your gift of thanks for His indescribable gift, His Son, Jesus.

“Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift.” (1 Cor 9:15)

12pearls-giesbrecht
***
"Exchanging hurt for hope" is Sheryl Giesbrecht's focus. She loves to share how God rearranges loss, bitterness, and mistakes, and turns them into something remarkably beautiful. Learn more about Sheryl and her book, Get Back Up, at her website.





CONTEST CLOSED. Winners listed at http://litfusegroup.com/blog/9545.

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Saturday, December 21, 2013

Midwinter’s Eve Giveaway Hop: Enter to Win "The Christmas Quilt," by Vannetta Chapman!

Midwinter’s Eve Giveaway Hop
December 21st to 31st

Welcome to the Midwinter’s Eve Giveaway Hop! Every blog participating in this event will be offering a book-related prize worth at least $10!

I am giving away a paperback copy of The Christmas Quilt, by Vannetta Chapman.


About the book: Annie's life is deliciously full as the Christmas season approaches. She helps her husband, Samuel, attend to the community's minor medical needs. She occasionally assists Belinda, the local midwife. And most days, she finds herself taking the buggy to her brother Adam’s home. When her friend Leah (Adam’s wife) is due to deliver her first child before Christmas, Annie becomes determined to finish a crib quilt before the boppli arrives. But God’s plans are different from Annie’s, and she may not finish the quilt in time. As each piece of the quilt comes together, Annie discovers the quilt holds far greater significance than she ever imagined. CLICK HERE to read my full review of this terrific Amish fiction book.

Enter through the Rafflecopter form below. None of the entries are mandatory. Each person can earn up to six entries. This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only and ends at 11:59 PM EST on December 31, 2013.

12 Pearls of Christmas: New Beginnings, by Sharron Cosby (GIVEAWAY)

12pearlsofxmas
Welcome to the 12 Pearls of Christmas blog series!

Merry Christmas from Pearl Girls™! We hope you enjoy these Christmas “Pearls of Wisdom” from the authors who were so kind to donate their time and talents! If you miss a few posts, you’ll be able to go back through and read them on this blog throughout the next few days.

We’re giving away a pearl necklace in celebration of the holidays, as well as some items from the contributors! Enter now below. The winner will be announced on January 2, 2014, at the Pearl Girls blog.

If you are unfamiliar with Pearl Girls™, please visit www.pearlgirls.info and see what we’re all about. In short, we exist to support the work of charities that help women and children in the US and around the globe. Consider purchasing a copy of Mother of Pearl, Pearl Girls: Encountering Grit, Experiencing Grace, or one of the Pearl Girls products (all GREAT gifts!) to help support Pearl Girls.

***

New Beginnings
by Sharron Cosby

Christmas. The mere mention of the word sends thoughts and memories skittering like a box of spilled ornaments. Some roll toward sweet remembrances of times shared with family. Others bounce to the let’s-not-go-there corner of our minds.

I recall Christmas 2009. The one I wanted to cancel. My only son is an addict, and this was his worst year ever. I had convinced myself it would be his last, assuming he would be in prison or dead by the next Christmas. I told my daughters we would exchange gifts and have our usual holiday dinner, but no tree or decorations. I couldn’t dredge up the emotional energy to plaster contrived cheer around the house.

I’m usually the decorator, gift purchaser, food preparer, and mess cleaner-upper. Executing the necessary holiday tasks takes time and effort. Worrying about my son had left me drained of the required get-up-and-go. I couldn’t do it. Thank goodness for online shopping; at least there would be presents to hand out.

My pastor’s message four days before Christmas cut straight through my Scrooge-like attitude. His sermon points were: The holidays are too much trouble, count your blessings, and forgive someone.

Considering Christmas too much trouble reflects a selfish attitude, according to my pastor. What if Jesus had thought that way? My icy heart began to thaw.

The second point, count your blessings, stopped me dead in my tracks. Count blessings with a broken heart? I considered my husband’s love and my two daughters who have stood by their brother. I smiled as I pictured the faces of my four grandsons and the joy they brought our family. Yes, I had many blessings to number.

The third was the hardest: forgiveness. Forgive my son for the pain and suffering he had caused? “God, you can’t be serious,” I protested. “We’ve spent thousands of dollars on him, he’s broken our hearts, and he’s in worse shape than ever before.”

“Forgive him,” the Spirit whispered.

Tears slid down my face as I chose to forgive my son. No strings attached.

After church I headed home with a changed attitude. When my husband left for work, I retrieved the ornaments, dragged the Christmas tree from the garage, and set it up, my gift to the family. Decorating our tree with the children’s handmade ornaments is always a joint project, but that day I worked alone. I held the clothespin reindeers, popsicle stick picture frames, and monogrammed angels and remembered the good times.

With tear-filled eyes, I watched as amazement etched the faces of my daughters when they came to our home Christmas morning and saw the decorated tree. “Mom! You put up the tree after all,” they said.

The biggest surprise of the day came when our daughter’s boyfriend knelt in front of her and asked, “Will you marry me?”

The discouragement of addiction was replaced with the joy of new beginnings, which is, after all, the message of the Christ Child.

12pearls-cosby
***

Sharron Cosby has been married to Dan for thirty-nine years, is Mom to three adult children and “Mimi” to five grandchildren. Her family was rocked by her son’s drug addiction for fifteen years until he laid it down on February 18, 2010. She uses her life experiences to offer hope and encouragement to families caught in the chaos of addiction. Sharron is available to speak to groups on addiction-related topics. Sharron recently published her first book, Praying for Your Addicted Loved One: 90 in 90, a ninety-day devotional for families in recovery or those wanting to be. Receive weekly encouragement at her blog, www.efamilyrecovery.com, and Twitter @sharroncosby or contact her at moc.liamg@ybsocnorrahs.


CONTEST CLOSED. Winners listed at http://litfusegroup.com/blog/9545.

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Friday, December 20, 2013

The Christmas Town Book Tour: Read an Excerpt and Enter to Win the eBook!

Susan Heim on Writing is pleased to be a stop on the tour for The Christmas Town, by Elyse Douglas, a new time travel, mystery, romance novel that was released on October 5, 2013. While traveling home for Christmas, Jackie and Megan, two young women in their 20s, encounter a huge snowstorm. After crossing a covered bridge, they suddenly find themselves stuck in the past in a small picturesque Vermont town in 1943. While struggling to return to their time, they fall in love with two handsome soldiers. As Christmas approaches, Megan and Jackie are torn between their new lovers and their desire to return to their time. At the last moment, they must make the difficult decision and, because it is Christmas, a miracle happens.

The Christmas Town is a thrilling adventurous novel interspersed with humor and romance. It's a great read any time of the year, but it's an especially cozy read during the winter months around Christmas.

The Christmas Town is available in both paperback ($8.79) and Kindle ($4.99) on Amazon.

Excerpt from The Christmas Town
by Elyse Douglas

They crept along, eye-weary, back-weary and bone-weary. They’d been driving for over an hour and they had not seen another car, road sign, house or town.

“Okay, I’m freakin’ out,” Megan said. “I mean, if we don’t see some sign of life in the next few minutes, I am going to freak out!”

“Let’s try to stay calm.”

“I wonder if this is instant karma,” Jackie said, her shoulders stooped, eyes darting about nervously.

“What do you mean?”

“I mean, how we got this car. I know you lied to that man back there. I know it. Your mother doesn’t need medication, and now we are being punished.”

“Don’t blame me,” Megan said. “If it hadn’t been for me, we wouldn’t have gotten the car in the first place.”

“And I wouldn’t be out in the middle of freakin’ nowhere!”

“Look, don’t start something you can’t finish,” Megan said.

“I just can’t believe you lied to him.”

“Stop it! Okay? Maybe I feel bad about it.”

Jackie was sweating. “I doubt it, and that was a nasty thing to do. I mean that was just wrong. He was so nice to you and you just lied to him. And, it’s Christmas.”

“I said, stop it!” Megan said.

“I thought there was something funny about the way you acted when he shook your hand,” Jackie said.

“Jackie, that’s enough. Just let it go! While we’re arguing we could be passing a house or motel. I don’t see anything but this blinding snow.”

The wind howled like a wild animal, and snow blew across the road, piling into drifts against the base of trees.

“How far have we gone so far?” Megan asked.

“I don’t know. Maybe 40 or 50 miles.”

Megan blew out an audible sigh. “I feel like I’m in a snow globe and some crazy kid just keeps shaking it.”

“Dramatic,” Jackie said.

“Scared,” Megan shot back.

Megan thought she saw a sign ahead, caked in snow and leaning precariously to the right, as if a burst of wind would blow it down.

“Jackie, stop! Look. I think there’s a sign over there. See it?”

Jackie slowed, saw the sign and stopped. “God, I hope it tells us where we are.”

Megan struggled into her coat and gloves and pulled on her hat. She shoved the door open, braced against the wind, and got out. Snow lashed at her face and she turned away, protecting her face with her hand. She trudged through nearly a foot of snow until she reached the sign, illuminated by the car beams. With her right hand, she brushed snow from the sign, little by little, until she was able to read HOLLY and then GROVE 1 MILE. A little black arrow pointed right. Megan looked right, shading her eyes, and peered into the distance. She saw something. She saw the shadow of a covered bridge, looming out in the blur of snow. That must be it. The town was across the bridge. Energized, she whirled, stomped back to the car and got in.

She was breathing rapidly. “It’s wild out there,” she said, shivering. “There’s a bridge just ahead. Holly Grove is about a mile away.”

“Sounds quaint,” Jackie said. “I hope they have a motel and an all-night restaurant.”

Jackie drove toward the bridge, the narrow road to the bridge looking dark and foreboding.

“Wait a minute, Jackie.”

Jackie paused before making the turn. “What’s the matter?” she asked.

“I don’t know. I just hate to leave the main road.”

“Megan, across that bridge is a town. We have passed absolutely nothing on this ‘so-called’ main road. Please, let’s just get across the bridge and spend the night in Holly Grove.”

Megan nodded, still reluctant.

Jackie made the turn. But at the threshold of the bridge, Megan called out again.

“Stop!”

Jackie hit the brakes again, irritated. “Megan, what?”

Megan stared at the bridge. It wasn’t a large bridge, probably no more than 90 feet across a rocky stream, but something gnawed away at her, some ineffable feeling of danger that she couldn’t put her finger on.

“Megan?” Jackie said, seeing a far-away look in Megan’s eyes. “What are we waiting for?”

“Okay, okay...It’s just that...”

“What?”

“Forget it.”

Jackie nudged the car forward and it rattled across the bridge. The two girls held their breath in the cave-like interior, darkness swallowing them, the wind screaming through the cracks all around them.

When they finally exited on the other side, they released trapped air from their lungs.

“Wow, that gave me the creeps,” Megan said.

Jackie looked about uneasily. “What a freaky night this is.”

They passed through a gray and white shroud of blowing snow. Suddenly, as if a curtain were being drawn from both sides of a stage, a gust of wind passed over the car and blew the snow away.

Jackie stopped the car. The girls looked at each other, then blinked around in astonished wonder.

“What happened?” Megan asked.

Jackie was speechless.

There was snow on the ground, but only two or three inches. There was no sound of wind, no blowing snow, just a few gentle flurries. The whispering sound of the windshield wipers was loud in the sudden silence and Jackie switched them off. They sat there, staring. Jackie rolled down the window and felt a cool, intoxicating breeze on her face. She looked up into the sky and saw a few stars and a ghostly near-full moon swimming over the top of a distant shadowy mountain.

Megan opened the door and stepped out, without hat or gloves. She turned in a circle, smelling fresh pine, hearing the splashing stream they’d just crossed. It was quiet, a deep satisfying quiet that relaxed her. She took an easy breath and smiled.

“Jackie... it’s beautiful,” she said, as she held out her hand to catch a few random snowflakes.

Jackie stepped out. It was still cold, but not a punishing cold. There was a softness in the air. Megan looked at Jackie, her brows raised in query. She shrugged. Jackie shrugged. It was as though they were suddenly watching the world at a slower movie projector speed.


About the author:
Elyse Douglas is the pen name for the husband and wife writing team of Elyse Parmentier and Douglas Pennington. Elyse began writing poems and short stories at an early age, and graduated from Columbia University with a Master’s Degree in English Literature. Douglas grew up in a family of musicians, astrologers and avid readers. Some of Elyse Douglas’ novels include: The Astrologer’s Daughter, Wanting Rita, The Christmas Diary, and The Christmas Town. They currently reside in New York City.

Twitter: http://twitter.com/douglaselyse
Website: http://www.elysedouglas.com/
GoodReads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6433223.Elyse_Douglas

GIVEAWAY

One lucky winner will receive a Kindle copy of The Christmas Town, by Elyse Douglas. This giveaway is open to anyone who can download an Amazon book for Kindle and ends at 11:59 PM EST on Friday, January 3, 2014. Enter through the Rafflecopter form below.

Romance Through the Ages Cover Reveal and Giveaway for a $25 Amazon Gift Card or PayPal Cash

Romance Through the Ages
Coming February 1, 2014

Romance through the Ages brings you SEVEN NOVELS from 7 bestselling authors (including New York Times, USA Today, and Amazon bestsellers). Join us for a fabulous collection.

*7 Romance Novels, 7 Bestselling Authors, 1 Amazing Price*

99 cent Romance Boxed Set for a limited time only!

Running Barefoot by NY Times & USA Today bestselling author Amy Harmon!— Deeply romantic and poignant, Running Barefoot is the story of a small town girl and a Native American boy, the ties that bind them to their homes and families, and the love that gives them wings.

Masquerade by Janette Rallison, who has sold more than 1 million books!— It's hard for a woman to keep up the masquerade when her boss is as handsome as Slade Jacobson and the job takes her to Hawaii with him. In between handling his whirlwind four-year-old daughter and dealing with a whole cast of Hollywood personalities, Clarissa has to keep a tight hold on her heart.

The Reluctant Bachelorette by Rachael Anderson, Amazon Bestseller!—Unknowingly cast as the bachelorette for her town's charity event, Shelter’s Bachelorette, Taycee Emerson is in for the ride of her life. Especially when she discovers her old teenage crush, Luke Carney, is one of the bachelors and it's up to the viewers—not her—to decide which bachelors stay or go.

Pride and Precipitation by Heather Horrocks, Amazon Bestseller!— Breezy Jones is crazy about the weather, rain or shine, which makes her job as the local television station’s meteorologist perfect. That’s before she meets the attractive new general manager, Noah Drake, who is determined to repackage everything—including Breezy’s down-home delivery.

My Own Mr. Darcy by Karey White, Amazon Bestseller!— Lizzie falls hard for Matthew Macfadyen’s Mr. Darcy character and makes a promise to herself that she will settle for nothing less than her own Mr. Darcy. When she meets two men, Chad—a science teacher, and Matt Dawson—who looks and acts like Mr. Darcy, she’s forced to re-evaluate what it was she loved about Mr. Darcy in the first place.

She Owns the Knight by Diane Darcy, Amazon Bestseller!— Why does Gillian Corbett have to travel seven hundred years through time to find a decent guy?... Why can't Sir Kellen Marshall find a lady who is obedient, submissive... or at least not trying to kill him?

Heart of the Ocean by Heather B. Moore, Amazon Bestseller!— A dark secret ... a grieving ghost ... a handsome stranger ... What more could Eliza Robinson want? Except for maybe her life. When Eliza discovers that Jonathan Porter’s dark secrets may be the link between the dead woman who haunts her and her aunt’s murderer, Eliza realizes that Jonathan is the one man she should never trust.

Giveaway Details
Prize: $25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash
Ends 2/1/14

Bloggers who put up a spotlight post about these books on their blog can enter to win an additional $25 gift card or paypal cash. See details in the Rafflecopter.

Book Tour: "Lifelong Sobriety," by Bajeerao Patil ~ Guest Post and $25 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway!

Susan Heim on Writing is pleased to be a stop on the tour for the new book, Lifelong Sobriety: How to Stop Drinking and/or Using Drugs, by Bajeerao Patil. Read on for more information from the author about this book, and then enter to win a copy of the book and a $25 Amazon gift card!

Guest post from the author:

According to the 2010 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, drug and alcohol abuse is the third leading cause of death in the United States.

We all should have the chance to reach our full potential. Having the right mindset is important.

Many people tend to ignore their emotional health. As a drug and alcohol counselor for over 25 years, I have worked with hundreds of individuals who manage their emotions through the use of mood altering chemicals. I realized there needs to be an addiction recovery book that offers straight talk in plain sensible language. The kind of simple advice a recovering drug addict might encounter in a recovery group. No academic jargon that would confuse an individual seeking help or family member. I decided to write such a book.

In this no-nonsense, easy to read book you will learn anger management techniques, how to handle your anxiety before it starts handling you, dealing with depression, recognizing the situations that can lead you to drinking or using drugs and more.

Lifelong Sobriety is the first recovery book that emphasizes the importance of taking care of one’s emotional health. The thirty-four chapters contain the kind of simple advice a recovering drug addict might encounter in a recovery group. The book has real-life experiences of dozens of recovering addicts. Readers will not only learn from these experiences but can benefit from the success stories of many of these individuals.

Individuals who suffer from addiction need more than tough love. They need encouragement and proper guidance to make well informed decisions to sustain long term sobriety. This book helps them find the solutions they need.

Life is all about balance and choices. This book empowers individuals with addictions to make the right choices.



About Bajeerao Patil

Bajeerao Patil has been treating addictions as a drug and alcohol counselor for over 25 years. He has Master’s Degrees in Social Work and Human Resources. He is an avid teacher of addiction and recovery. He is affiliated with the Drug and Alcohol Testing Industry Association. To learn more about Bajeerao Patil and his work, visit http://www.amazon.com/dp/0989569810/ and http://www.bajeeraopatil.com/.

GIVEAWAY

One lucky winner will receive a Kindle copy of Lifelong Sobriety, plus a $25 Amazon gift card or PayPal cash! Enter through the Rafflecopter form below.

12 Pearls of Christmas: Let Every Heart Prepare Him Room, by Ginger Ciminello (GIVEAWAY)

12pearlsofxmas
Welcome to the 12 Pearls of Christmas blog series!

Merry Christmas from Pearl Girls™! We hope you enjoy these Christmas “Pearls of Wisdom” from the authors who were so kind to donate their time and talents! If you miss a few posts, you’ll be able to go back through and read them on this blog throughout the next few days.

We’re giving away a pearl necklace in celebration of the holidays, as well as some items from the contributors! Enter now below. The winner will be announced on January 2, 2014, at the Pearl Girls blog.

If you are unfamiliar with Pearl Girls™, please visit www.pearlgirls.info and see what we’re all about. In short, we exist to support the work of charities that help women and children in the US and around the globe. Consider purchasing a copy of Mother of Pearl, Pearl Girls: Encountering Grit, Experiencing Grace, or one of the Pearl Girls products (all GREAT gifts!) to help support Pearl Girls.


***

Let Every Heart Prepare Him Room
by Ginger Ciminello

I have high expectations for the Christmas season. Sure, the decorations, presents, and general merry-making contribute to those specific expectations, but that’s not what I’m alluding to. I have a huge fear that I will get to the candlelight service on December 24th and realize I haven’t prepared my heart for Emmanuel. While I shouldn’t allow fear to creep in, I do believe those worries are grounded in a pathetic track record.

I know my heart. No matter how much I say this season of Advent isn’t about parties and presents, I still seem to get swept away by things that don’t really matter. No part of me wants to live consumed by worry and anxiety. I don’t want to finish this season exhausted and dejected.

Last Christmas our church walked through the prophecy of the Messiah in Isaiah 9:6, exploring what it means for Jesus to be Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and the Prince of Peace.

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. 
And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

What I’ve come to realize is that this verse isn’t just a list of titles for me to memorize or print on an ornament. This verse contains truth about my Savior and God, truth that should radically shape my day-to-day life.

Either Jesus is more powerful than my worries, fears, and frustrations ... or He isn’t. The way I live my day proves what I believe about His power.

I talked through this concept with my husband on our way to finish up some shopping. I was frustrated: frustrated that I spend time in the Word, read my Advent devotional, pray for friends, and still end up so completely frazzled year after year.

My husband was quick to remind me that God desires my heart more than anything else and that I can’t tackle each day with the hope of perfection, only the hope of dependence upon our loving Father.

I'm focusing on 1 Corinthians 13 this Advent, one word per day. Yesterday the focus was love is PATIENT. (How perfect for spending the afternoon at a crowded mall!) I was amazed at my response to the long lines and ordinary scenarios that would have ordinarily left me completely frustrated.

Living and believing in the Mighty God just by being patient sounds like a really small thing -- but can I tell you that I made friends with the cashier at Bed, Bath & Beyond? (A cashier who ordinarily tests my patience.)

Today the word is KIND. I'm working in a coffee shop and am trying to remember to give smiles readily and open doors for others as I prepare my heart for the coming of the King.

"Lo this is our God; we have waited for him, so that he might save us. This is the Lord for whom we have waited; let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation." Isaiah 25:9

Following,
Ginger

12pearls-ginger
***
Ginger-CiminelloGinger Ciminello may sound like an Italian dessert, but she's actually a speaker, author and blogger from Phoenix, Arizona. She has spent the last decade encouraging young people to live up to their God-given potential and unique design. Her first book, Forget the Corsage, was just released. When she's not embarrassing herself by telling stories of her years in middle school, she can be found rollerblading, making grilled cheese, and hanging out with her daughter and husband. Learn more at gingerciminello.com.


CONTEST CLOSED. Winners listed at http://litfusegroup.com/blog/9545.

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Thursday, December 19, 2013

12 Pearls of Christmas: Perfectionism, by Steven Estes (GIVEAWAY)

12pearlsofxmas
Welcome to the 12 Pearls of Christmas blog series!

Merry Christmas from Pearl Girls™! We hope you enjoy these Christmas “Pearls of Wisdom” from the authors who were so kind to donate their time and talents! If you miss a few posts, you’ll be able to go back through and read them on this blog throughout the next few days.

We’re giving away a pearl necklace in celebration of the holidays, as well as some items from the contributors! Enter now below. The winner will be announced on January 2, 2014, at the Pearl Girls blog.

If you are unfamiliar with Pearl Girls™, please visit www.pearlgirls.info and see what we’re all about. In short, we exist to support the work of charities that help women and children in the US and around the globe. Consider purchasing a copy of Mother of Pearl, Pearl Girls: Encountering Grit, Experiencing Grace, or one of the Pearl Girls products (all GREAT gifts!) to help support Pearl Girls.

***

Perfectionism
by Steven Estes

(Excerpt from A Better December***) 

When my wife was little, her family was Amish. Barn raisings, buggies, high-stepping horses, shoofly pies -- the whole postcard. Later, they left that life and became mainstream farmers. The suspenders and bonnets were gone, but they remained hard-working, no-nonsense, sweep-the-porch folks. As good-natured a family as homemade jam and bread.

I grew up taking in the city. Mom and I would hop the streetcar into downtown Baltimore. Lights, crowds, noise, action -- the busier, the better. Birthdays were a big thing, Christmas, bigger yet. Whoop it up. Break some eggs, make an omelet.

My wife and I met in college. I first saw Verna from across the cafeteria. Popular as a lemonade stand in summer. Prettier than an evening meadow blinking with fireflies. I was hooked. Proposed on the beach. We walked the aisle, started life together.

Verna kept everything worthwhile from her childhood and folded the rest into a drawer. Worked circles around any woman you’d know. Line dried the wash, taught the kids, pinched the pennies. Joined me in whatever hoopla I wanted, but -- in her mother’s meat-and-potatoes tradition -- NEVER got exotic in the kitchen...

...until one December.

Wishing to please -- wanting some memories for the kids -- she found a recipe book. Brimming with color photos. Promises of the perfect Christmas. The kind, no doubt, her husband recalled from urban days of yore.

Sugar plums in her head, practical impulses stuffed away in an apron pocket, she purchased the ingredients to yuletide bliss. A concoction to bless the family forever.

The evening has arrived. The fortunate are assembled about the table. There is to be a holiday surprise:

“Festive Yule Log.”

Candles aglow, faces upturned. The platter of glory is borne to the table. Mother seated. Nod given.

Trembling forks sink into the first sampling mouthful. Eyes closed for concentration. The pregnant pause.... A searching for words. The furtive glances. The first stifled chortle. Then,

Oh, the hooting and howling.
The slappings on the table.
The witticisms.
The criticisms.

Centered on the table, the Yule Log sulks -- rolled in a fine gravel posing as crushed nuts. A taste akin to cream cheese blended with toothpaste -- perhaps Crest, no, Colgate. As if sautéed in soy sauce, glued into shape by an application of Crisco. The look of a food item suspected of disease, held in quarantine at Customs.

Verna smiles weakly. Rises. Whisks the mistake into exile. All the while carols from the record player begin straying off-key ... and Misters Currier & Ives are ushered to the backyard, blindfolded, and shot.

Solomon foresaw that many designs for Christmas Eve would go awry. Why else would he write:

Do not boast about tomorrow,
for you do not know
what a day may bring forth?
~Proverbs 27:1

Or...

You can make many plans,
but the Lord’s purpose
will prevail?
~Proverbs 19:21 NLT

God has bigger plans for you than the perfect dinner. That’s why he lets things go wrong. He’s saving your appetite for the perfect eternity. He notices you smitten with this short life,

feeling it slip through your fingers,
trying to shake a snow-globe Christmas
out of every December.

The true holiday magic is reserved for heaven. Every delight down here is a mere taste and teaser.

Knowing that, doesn’t it ease the pressure just a bit as you flip through recipes on the 24th -- biting your lip ... pondering a go at that Festive Yule Log?

(By the way, Verna recovered nicely.)

12pearls-estes
**This excerpt is reproduced from A Better December Copyright © 2013 by Steven Estes. Used by permission of New Growth Press and may not be downloaded, reproduced, and/or distributed without prior written permission of New Growth Press.
***


Steven Estes is a pastor who has known “better Decembers with my family than either Currier or Ives,” but also understands a gray Christmas. A Better December draws on Estes’ twenty-three years of counseling church members through the holiday season as well his other writings on the topic of human suffering. He teaches a preaching class at Westminster Theological Seminary (Philadelphia) where he completed his M.Div and Th.M. degrees. Estes is a conference speaker and on the board of the Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation (CCEF). Estes is the author of Called to Die (the story of slain missionary Chet Bitterman), and co- author (with friend Joni Eareckson Tada) of When God Weeps and A Step Further. He and his wife, Verna, have eight children. Learn more about Estes and his books at www.steveestes.net.

CONTEST CLOSED. Winners listed at http://litfusegroup.com/blog/9545.

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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Bond of Love Book Tour: Giveaway for a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

As a picturesque mother and wife, forty-one-year-old Avery Richards seems to have it all. Married to a successful veterinarian named Noah and mother to a spunky daughter named Kara, her life is far from awful, but she is stuck. With the recent move of their daughter, who has just flown the coop for college, this story examines the deep and often-tumultuous bond between mother and child and the lengths we are willing to go to, as mothers, to sacrifice our own happiness for the ones we love.

As we watch Avery walk through her ‘new’ way of daily life, without her ambitious and stubborn child around to mother any longer, we are given a very unique opportunity to tiptoe in the front row of their lives, from three very separate views. We will see life as it plays out through her mature and motherly eyes, through Kara’s young and sheltered heart, and then through ‘someone else’s eyes’ who has a vested interest in them both.

As Avery’s well-hidden web of lies comes crashing down in an unexpected way, her secrets that she’s safeguarded for years will threaten to rip her peaceful world apart, as well as the world of the ones she loves most. As readers, we will watch how ONE single choice can alter everything. Each character will then be forced to examine what the true meaning of love and forgiveness means to them.

Every gamut of emotion will be explored: humor, sadness, love, joy, betrayal, hate, and forgiveness. Bond of Love will leave you pondering the age-old question: How well do YOU actually know the ones you love most?

Buy on Paperback | Kindle | B&N | Kobo | Apple | Sony

Meet the Author:

This is Amy’s second published work, the first being a memoir written exclusively for her children. As a former second-grade teacher, and long-time professional photographer, she has been writing and filling journals since she was young enough to hold a pencil and form words. Although writing brings her to a place of solace and joy, her most ambitious and fulfilling job in life thus far has been being a mother. Married for nearly two decades now, she and her husband share four daughters, who fill their lives with amusement, love, and drama daily. It is her lifelong goal to preserve her family’s history through the written word, pictures, and the human touch of love.

Follow Amy on Facebook | Literary Addicts | Goodreads


Follow the Book Tour





The author is giving one lucky reader a $25 Amazon Gift Card. Fill out the Rafflecopter form below to enter and remember to pick up her book!

12 Pearls of Christmas: My Gift to Him, by Cara Putman (GIVEAWAY)

12pearlsofxmas
Welcome to the 12 Pearls of Christmas blog series!

Merry Christmas from Pearl Girls™! We hope you enjoy these Christmas “Pearls of Wisdom” from the authors who were so kind to donate their time and talents! If you miss a few posts, you’ll be able to go back through and read them on this blog throughout the next few days.

We’re giving away a pearl necklace in celebration of the holidays, as well as some items from the contributors! Enter now below. The winner will be announced on January 2, 2014, at the Pearl Girls blog.

If you are unfamiliar with Pearl Girls™, please visit www.pearlgirls.info and see what we’re all about. In short, we exist to support the work of charities that help women and children in the US and around the globe. Consider purchasing a copy of Mother of Pearl, Pearl Girls: Encountering Grit, Experiencing Grace, or one of the Pearl Girls products (all GREAT gifts!) to help support Pearl Girls.


***

My Gift to Him
by: Cara Putman


As Christmas nears, I’m staggering under a year that’s been too full. A fall that’s been too busy. A season of good, but overwhelming days.

Does anyone else feel the same?

There’s nothing bad -- life is just full. Too full.

And I feel emptied. So empty.

It would be easy to enter this season with a sense of exhaustion, feeling like I just want to get through and on to January.

Instead, I want to offer my life again. May my gift be my life. My dreams. My talents. My all. May I be available to Him to transform from the inside out. I want my life to be lived for His glory.

Yet I fail. And on the days that I am most tired and overwhelmed I seem to fail more. It is then that I take comfort in the reality that He is the King born in a manger. A King who gave up heaven in order to save me. You. All of us. He has good plans for my life. Plans that exceed my wildest dreams. Plans fit for the daughter of the Most High.

He has plans like that for you, too. Plans that may be different from your plans, but plans that are wonderful and good.

So in this season of busyness, a season when it is easy to focus on things, duties, parties, family and friends, will you join me? I’m offering myself as a gift to Him. Will you?

12pearls-putman
***


Cara Putman is the award-winning author of sixteen novels. You can learn more about her and her books at www.caraputman.com. You can read the first chapters of all her books there including her new novel, Shadowed by Grace, which releases on January 1st just in time for Christmas gift cards. You can connect with Cara on: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Goodreads


CONTEST CLOSED. Winners listed at http://litfusegroup.com/blog/9545.

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