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Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Celebrate Lit Blog Tour: Refuge of Grace by Tracy L. Smoak





Book: Refuge of Grace: Finding Your Safe Place

Author: Tracy L. Smoak

Genre: Non-Fiction

Release Date: September, 2023

”This book is a life-saving manual meant for any soul who has bottomed out and can only look up for help.”
– George Firehammer

Need a stronger connection with God? A safe place?

Anyone hoping for straight talk to bring Jesus close will find refreshment in Refuge of Grace. Learn from a fresh look at 22 little-told Bible passages via Tracy L. Smoak’s engaging storytelling and vivid imagery.

These scriptures offer true comfort in your everyday struggles. From hearing Gomer’s perspective about shame to imagining Jesus arriving in a Rolls Royce for the family reunion, you will know God’s working on your behalf-right now.

 

Click here to get your copy!


Devotionals are a big part of my daily life. I do a devotional every day and I am always looking for new devotional books. Refuge of Grace: Finding Your Safe Place by Tracy L. Smoak is one that I recently went through.

We all go through Struggles in Life and need God's comfort and wisdom. The book has 22 Chapters and each Chapter focuses on many of Life Struggles and how to get through them. The chapters each contain a Scripture, a section for Reflection and a Prayer for the day. 

I really like the Layout and how easy it is to follow. The Devotional is filled with Encouragement and uplifting sections. The Author use many Bible Characters to help us focus on their story of challenges and how they overcame things. I was very encouraged while reading this devotional  I think this is great for individuals, but it could also be used in a Small Group setting. I would recommend this Devotional. GREAT Devotional! 




A native Floridian, Tracy L. Smoak grew up riding horses and climbing citrus trees. Her passion is to encourage others in their faith journey. Smoak writes for Guideposts. Ambassador International released her debut novel, Who Brought the Dog to Church?. Bold Vision published her Bible study about encouragement titled Refuge of Grace: Finding Your Safe Place.

She loves photography and authored two hardcover devotionals with her original nature art (Living Water to Refresh Your Soul – tranquil lake scenes; and Arranged with Love- floral landscapes).

Smoak holds a master’s in Education and a bachelor’s in Communication. At her church home, she leads small-group Bible studies. She is an active member of Word Weavers International.

More from Tracy

When life knocks you down, where do you go for hope?

We all want to be brave, but sometimes circumstances overwhelm us. Health declines, bank accounts empty, and friends disappear. No matter the disappointments, one absolute certainty we can count on is God. He will stand with us through every adversity.

Ideas for Refuge of Grace: Finding Your Safe Place began at 3 a.m. on a January workday in 2021. I tossed and turned in bed, wondering how I could continue teaching in a public school under all the pandemic constraints. We wore masks, developed lesson plans for both in-class instruction and online modules, and juggled a revolving door of student quarantines with absences.

Fear surrounded us on all sides.

Others also struggled. My older son managed an emergency department in a large city and had to find ways to supply unprecedented needs. My younger son worked in the financial industry and watched markets reel. Neighbors lost jobs and income.

How could we model resilience and move forward?

I turned to the Bible for inspiration and studied stories about how believers overcame hardship. Six months and 22 chapters later—all the while teaching full time—this collection renewed hope and kept me going.

My prayer is that reading these Bible promises of God’s faithfulness also will empower you.


Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, February 9

Artistic Nobody, February 10 (Author Interview)

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 11

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, February 12

Fiction Book Lover, February 13 (Author Interview)

Girls in White Dresses, February 14

Its Mama Safe, February 15

Beauty in the Binding, February 16 (Author Interview)

By The Book, February 17 (Author Interview)

Mary Hake, February 17

Cover Lover Book Review, February 18

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, February 19 (Author Interview)

Texas Book-aholic, February 20

Simple Harvest Reads, February 21 (Author Interview)

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, February 21

Locks, Hooks and Books, February 22



To celebrate her tour, Tracy is giving away the grand prize package of a paperback copy each of Who Brought the Dog to Church? and Refuge of Grace: Finding Your Safe Place!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/29c57/refuge-of-grace-celebration-tour-giveaway







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JustRead Tours Blog Tour: The Rhythm of Fractured Grace by Amanda Wen

The Rhythm of Fractured Grace JustRead Takeover Blitz

Welcome to the Takeover + Review Blitz for The Rhythm of Fractured Grace by Amanda Wen hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!



The Rhythm of Fractured Grace Title: The Rhythm of Fractured Grace 
Series: Sedgwick County Chronicles #3 
Author: Amanda Wen 
Publisher: Kregel Publications 
Release Date: February 20, 2024 
Genre: Christian Split Time Romantic Women's Fiction

Is Siobhan too far gone to respond to the song of a God who's calling her back to him?

When a new customer brings a badly damaged violin into Siobhan Walsh's shop, it is exactly the sort of challenge she craves. The man who brought it in is not. He's too close to the painful past that left her heart and her faith in shambles. 

Matt Buchanan has had a rough start as the new worship pastor. A car accident on his way into town left him with a nearly totaled truck, and an heirloom violin in pieces. When he takes it to a repair shop, he's fascinated with the restoration process--and with the edgy, closed-off woman doing the work. As their friendship deepens and turns into more, they both discover secrets that force them to face past wounds. And the history of the violin reveals more about their current problems than they could have ever expected. 

On the nineteenth-century frontier, a gruesome tomahawk attack wiped out most of Deborah Caldwell's family. Her greatest solace after the tragedy is the music from her father's prized violin. Given her horrendous scars, she'd resigned herself to a spinster's life. But Levi Martinson's gentle love starts to chip away at her hardened heart, until devastating details about the attack are revealed, putting their love--and Deborah's shaky faith--to the ultimate test. 

Full of forgiveness and the message that no one is too damaged for God's healing touch, the final book in the split-time Sedgwick County Chronicles will thrill fans of Rachel Hauck, Lisa Wingate, and Kristy Cambron. 


Dual Timeline books are fast becoming a favorite with me. The Rhythm of Fractured Grace by Amanda Wen is Book 3 in the Sedgwick County Chronicles series. I have been enjoying this series from Book 1 and I have been awaiting the release of Book 3. 

Siobhan is an apprentice at a Music Store in town. She really loves her job and when Matt Buchanan brings in an Heirloom Violin for repair, she is really excited. Siobhan really enjoys figuring out the tough repairs. Matt Buchanan is new in town and the New Worship Pastor of the church in town. Siobhan was once a part of that Church, but the Church broke her heart and challenged her faith and her faith is still not right with God. Matt is intrigued by the way Siobhan goes about fixing the Violin and he is also intrigued by Siobhan herself. The 2 begin a friendship and they soon realize that they both have hurts and secrets from their past. The story goes back to the mid 1800's and focuses on Deborah Caldwell. She lost her mom and a couple of siblings in an attack with a Tomahawk. She lives with her Dad and sister and she finds comfort in the music from her Dad's prized Violin. Deborah has always believed she would never marry due to the scars from the attack, then Levi Martinson comes along. Levi is a widower and they have been set up for an arranged marriage. Levi seems to be breaking down the walls that Deborah has until news of the attack come up and can put their relationship through challenges. Will Matt be able to help Siobhan come back to her faith? Will there be a relationship between the pair? Will Deborah open up her heart to Levi? Will their relationship withstand the challenges?

The storyline really captured my attention from the first chapter. Siobhan and Matt's story deals with some current events within the Church. The author does a wonderful job at addressing the issues with sensitivity and grace. I LOVE how the 2 met and that their friendship helped each other grow and start recovering from negative pasts. Deborah and Levi's story also dealt with sensitive topic, but with grace. I really LOVE that the Violin connects the Past with the Future and they story behind that is so strong. The book is one about Forgiveness, Faith and LOVE. I highly recommend this book for those who enjoy the Dual Timeline and Historical Fiction. WONDERFUL BOOK!






PURCHASE LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon | Christianbook | Barnes & Noble | Bookshop | BookBub

More Books in Series

Roots of Wood and Stone The Songs That Could Have Been




Amanda Wen

Amanda Wen is a Selah Award–winning, Parable best-selling author of inspirational romance and split-time women’s fiction, including Roots of Wood and Stone and The Songs That Could Have Been, and a professional musician. Wen currently lives in Wichita, Kansas, with her husband and three children.

Connect with Amanda by visiting amandawen.com to follow her on social media or subscribe to email newsletter updates.




(1) winner will receive a signed copy of the book, a mug, chai mix, and a kitsugi heart necklace!

The Rhythm of Fractured Grace JustRead Giveaway

Be sure to check out each stop on the tour for more chances to win. Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway began at midnight February 21, 2024 and lasts through 11:59 PM EST on February 28, 2024. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

Enter Giveaway


Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

JustRead Publicity Tours






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Sunday, February 18, 2024

Celebrate Lit Blog Tour: Labor of Love AudioBook by Marguerite Martin Gray





Book: Labor of Love

Author: Marguerite Martin Gray

Narrated: Christa DelSorbo

Genre: Christian Historical Romance

Release Date: September 21, 2023

Something sinister lurks in Pitti Palace.

Despite having spent eight years as companion to her cousins, Ana Geovani still questions her role and place in the Medici household. This uncertainty compounds and alarms as her cousin’s marriage approaches and a marriage is arranged for Ana.

With no say in her own future, fear and despair dulls even the splendor of the gardens she holds so dear.

As the newest under-gardener at the palace, Marco Rossi should have everything he’s dreamed of—beautiful gardens to tend and master architects and gardeners to learn from. Yet a secret mission threatens his peace of mind, his position, and even the love of Ana. Although God is always with him, reminding him of a bigger plan, Marco feels the weight of the consequences he will face if he challenges a Medici member.

The desires of men and women, both royal and common, create costly dilemmas and potential disasters of hearts and souls. What will it take for Marco and Ana to prevail against everything driving them apart?

 

Click here to get your copy!


Labor of Love by Marguerite Martin Gray is a Christian Historical Fiction. It is book 1 in the Gardens in Time series. 

We are taken back to Florence, Italy in the 16th Century. Ana Geovani has been living with her cousins for 8 years and she still doesn't have a place of belonging. Her worries intensify as the day for her Cousins Wedding nears and Ana's Dad has arranged a marriage for her. She finds herself retreating to the Gardens on the grounds of the Palace, but even the Gardens are not so pretty anymore under the despair she feels about her future. Marco Rossi is the newest Gardener on the Grounds and he is enjoying learning from the other Gardeners. He and Ana grow closer as they both spend time in the Garden. Marco is worried about his future also as he has a Secret Mission that could ruin his job, his mind and his relationship with Ana. Will Marco and Ana have a relationship and a future together? Will Ana be able to get out of the arranged Marriage situation that she isn't glad about? 

The Storyline of this book really captivated from the very chapter. Arranged marriage storylines are always intriguing as many times the "bride" in the story doesn't want to marry the one selected for her. Ana had those fears as the suitor chosen for her was mean and not good for Ana. Marco is a GREAT character for the book. He has some mysterious aspects about him but it is all part of the story. The storyline had many twists and turns. Ana's faith was revealed during the story and she is very strong in her faith and knows that God will give her wisdom. The book is one of Trust, Faith, and LOVE. I HIGHLY recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Christian Historical Fiction! FANTASIC BOOK!






Marguerite Martin Gray is the author of the Revolutionary Faith series, Gardens in Time series, and Room for Love in the Suamalie Islands series. She enjoys researching and studying history. An avid traveler and reader, she teaches French and Spanish. She currently lives in North Louisiana with her husband and rescue pets. Her two adult children and two grandsons keep her up to date and young.

 

More from Marguerite

My audio book experience.

Do you enjoy audio books? They have become special companions since I now work at home. My first experience with audio books involved cassettes on long road trips which morphed into CDs. I would purchase the ones I knew I could listen to again or pass on to someone else. The library became a source to fulfill my burgeoning habit.

It took me a while to consider audible books as a “reading” endeavor. But when I really thought about it, I changed my mind. As I listen, I am challenged with new and old vocabulary words where I must deduce the meaning from the context. My concentration is zeroed in on the story unless I miss some strategic details similar to straying on a page and not knowing what is going on. I have the same euphoric reaction as the plot unfolds.

Now, I’m never without an audio book. When I was offered the opportunity to have Labor of Love presented in audio format, my heart quivered knowing what joy it could bring to readers while doing housework, caring for loved ones, or relaxing in a comfy chair. I hope you enjoy this format as much as I do.

Happy reading!


Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 7

Texas Book-aholic, February 8

By the Book, February 9

Jodie Wolfe – Stories Where Hope and Quirky Meet, February 10 (Author Interview)

Devoted To Hope, February 10

Exploring the Written Word, February 11

Locks, Hooks and Books, February 12

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, February 13

For the Love of Literature, February 14 (Author Interview)

For Him and My Family, February 15

Holly’s Book Corner, February 16

By The Book, February 17 (Author Interview)

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, February 18

Back Porch Reads, February 19

Artistic Nobody, February 20 (Author Interview)

Mary Hake, February 20



To celebrate her tour, Marguerite is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and an audiobook or eBook copy of the book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/29c50/labor-of-love-audiobook-celebration-tour-giveaway







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Friday, February 16, 2024

Momentum Influencers Blog Tour: The Action Bible: Faith in Action Edition & Giveaway




This reimagining of the mega-selling Action Bible combines 230 epic stories of biblical heroes with vibrant comic-book-style illustrations and an immersive online experience. Readers will explore seven dynamic attributes of God’s story, earn Faith in Action Badges representing those qualities, and discover even more through a discoverable QR code in each story that takes them to a safe online adventure of games, playlists, Bible studies, activities, and a complete devotional designed to increase their time with God.

• Parents, order your copy of the The Action Bible: Faith in Action Edition today!
• The Action Bible has helped millions of kids engage in God’s Word throughout the world.
• The Faith in Action Edition is an enhanced version of the bestselling Expanded Edition.
• Vivid illustrations and short impactful stories help connect Gen Zs and Gen Alphas to God’s Word.
• Stories are in chronological order to better help kids understand God’s redemptive story.
• The Faith in Action Edition is about helping kids Engage in God’s Word, Grow in God’s Word, and Live God’s Word.
• Spiritual Growth Resources include over 200 devotionals, prayers, character stories, teaching videos, timelines, maps, and Bible facts.
• Kids and parents can access digital resources by scanning QR codes throughout the Bible.
• Major themes of the Bible are highlighted throughout with icons that help kids personalize their faith and live God’s Word. Themes of the Bible are based on David C Cook’s tested Bible study curriculum for kids and include: Courage, Faith, Hope, Love, Service, Trust, and Wisdom.
• The Faith In Action Edition is the most complete interactive Bible for kids and teens.




Sergio Cariello was Born in Brazil. At the age of 5 I already knew I wanted to draw comics. At 11 I had my first comic strip published in Local newspapers-Frederico, the Detective. At Caliber Press penciled, inked and lettered the HP Lovecraft's Dagon, with writer Steven Jones.At Marvel I drew Daredevil,Conan,Thor, Captain America, Disney's Quasimodo,Spider-man, the Avengers and others.Drew Batman, Superman, New Gods, Young Heroes in Love, Superboy, Steel, Guy Gardner, Hawkman, Man called X, The Flash, Deathstroke,Wonderwoman, Green Arrow, Azrael and others for DC.Taught 7 yrs at the Joe Kubert School.Member of the National Cartoonists Society since 1995.Worked with Chuck Dixon and Beau Smith in the Wildcat mini-series.Dark Horse(Beau's and mine Badlander), Image(Spawn),Sojourn, Lady Death, Scion, Crux, and other Crossgen titles,Iron Ghost with Chuck and ATP) and many others. Currently working on the Lone Ranger(Dynamic Forces), Son of Samson with writer Gary Martin for Zondervan, the New Picture Bible for David C Cook ( Now called "The Action Bible".












The Action Bible has been around for many years. My Boys had the early version of the Action Bible when they were younger. The new and updated version is AMAZING. My boys are now Young Adults and they checked out the new version with me and they said "This version has so much more then the one we had. The graphics are superb."  The Action Bible is a Graphic Novel Bible and the Illustor, Sergio Cariello, has made it vibrant, interesting and colorful. The Addition of QR Codes and making it Interactive is a FANTASTIC aspect of this Bible. I feel the Kids are already digging into the Bible, but when they Scan a QR Code it really takes them to another level of Learning! 

I also LOVE the addition of the  7 Themes throughout the Bible which include: Service, Love, Trust, Courage, Faith, Hope, Wisdom. 

I HIGHLY Recommend this Bible for Kids and Parents to Enjoy together. I feel it would make a GREAT Gift for Easter or anytime! 










   












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The Action Bible: Faith in Action Edition







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