Thursday, January 25, 2018

Mending Broken Branches: When God Reclaims Your Dysfunctional Family Tree By Elizabeth Oates

I received this book from Kregel Publications for no charge in exchange for my honest review of this book. The opinions expressed here are my own.


Book Description: 

How to invite God to step in and break the cycle of dysfunction

Elizabeth Oates is no stranger to a dysfunctional family. She may look like the quintessential soccer mom now, but her childhood was full of uncertainty, abandonment, and many very dark days. Without a positive role model, an emotionally stable family member, or a consistent community, she had to forge her way ahead just to survive day to day. It wasn't until she was preparing for a family of her own that she began to learn the lessons that would lead to a more hopeful future for herself, her husband, and her children.

Now she shares those lessons with other women struggling to create healthy families despite their own unhealthy family foundations. Through introspective and probing questions, Mending Broken Branches guides the reader to accept her past, understand her present, and find a vision for her future. The interactive design includes space to work through the journaling prompts provided, as well as extra-wide margins for notes of reflection while reading.

With the gentle voice of a trusted mentor, Elizabeth encourages and equips women to cultivate strong, flourishing, God-honoring lives, and to break the cycle of dysfunction.



My Thoughts:

Mending Broken Branches:When God Reclaims Your Dysfunctional Family Tree is the first book by Elizabeth Oates I have had the pleasure of reading. This book really spoke to me from the cover to cover. I loved the cover art and found it fitting for what was found inside. From the first page until the last, this book spoke to me, helping me see that no matter what I matter to Him. The scripture was spot on and I found myself drawn to Psalm 139. The Psalm puts who we are and how much He has done even before we are born. Elizabeth Oates offers complete transparency into her life, her struggles, and her acceptance of God and His love for her. I found myself relating to Elizabeth Oates on many struggles, especially believing my worth. I definitely found myself being honest with myself and God. This is a book I plan to reread more than once. Mending Broken Branches is a book that will stay with me for a long time. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is struggling with who they are and reconciling the past, seeing the present, and hoping for the future.  I cannot wait to read more from Elizabeth Oates.  I give this book 5+ Stars. 
 
 

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

12 Days at Bleakly Manor: Book 1 of Once Upon A Dickens Christmas By Michelle Griep


Bleakly Manor COVER

I received this book from Michelle Griep and Celebrate Lit Blogger Program for no charge in exchange for my honest review of this book. The opinions expressed here are my own.

Book Description:  

England, 1851: When Clara Chapman receives an intriguing invitation to spend Christmas at an English manor home, she is hesitant yet feels compelled to attend—for if she remains the duration of the twelve-day celebration, she is promised a sum of five hundred pounds.
But is she walking into danger? It appears so, especially when she comes face to face with one of the other guests—her former fiancé, Benjamin Lane.
Imprisoned unjustly, Ben wants revenge on whoever stole his honor. When he’s given the chance to gain his freedom, he jumps at it—and is faced with the anger of the woman he stood up at the altar. Brought together under mysterious circumstances, Clara and Ben discover that what they’ve been striving for isn’t what ultimately matters.
What matters most is what Christmas is all about . . . love.

Book Description: 

12 Days at Bleakly Manor is the first book in Michelle Griep's latest series, Once Upon A Dickens Christmas, and it was great! Michelle Griep is a new to me author and I am so glad I got the chance to read and review this book. I am not a huge fan of Christmas books but this one intrigued me. This is a Christian Historical Mystery Book, a retelling of Dickens A Christmas Carol.  Michelle Griep writes with authority about England in 1851,the hierarchy of this time, English Manor homes, prison system of that time, and love. I loved the cover art of the book and the story inside. I enjoyed Michelle Griep's writing, I felt like I was there in 1851, at Bleakly Manor, in England, and part of this book. I love books where I am transported into the story. The characters are an interesting group of people, with all different personalities and ways of life.  I personally found myself drawn to Clara and Ben. Their story goes full circle from love, to hate,to forgiveness, and back to love. The struggle they endured are real struggles we face in real life. Such a great cast of characters. I could not put this book down, it grabbed me from the first page and kept me guessing until the end. The suspense and mystery had me holding my breath in places, laughing in others, and crying is a few other places. Michelle Griep wove mystery/suspense, love, and faith into this wonderful book. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Victorian Era writers, especially Charles Dickens, Mystery, and intrigue. This book will not disappoint. I cannot wait to read more from Michelle Griep, I have found a new to me author to add to my list of authors. I give this book 5 STARS.



12 days at bleakly manor copy 



About the Book

Bleakly Manor COVER


Name of book: 12 Days at Bleakly Manor
Author: Michelle Griep
Genre: Historical Christmas

Release Date: September 1, 2017

England, 1851: When Clara Chapman receives an intriguing invitation to spend Christmas at an English manor home, she is hesitant yet feels compelled to attend—for if she remains the duration of the twelve-day celebration, she is promised a sum of five hundred pounds.
But is she walking into danger? It appears so, especially when she comes face to face with one of the other guests—her former fiancé, Benjamin Lane.
Imprisoned unjustly, Ben wants revenge on whoever stole his honor. When he’s given the chance to gain his freedom, he jumps at it—and is faced with the anger of the woman he stood up at the altar. Brought together under mysterious circumstances, Clara and Ben discover that what they’ve been striving for isn’t what ultimately matters.
What matters most is what Christmas is all about . . . love.

Click Here To Purchase 



About the Author

unnamedMichelle Griep’s been writing since she first discovered blank wall space and Crayolas. She is the author of both Regency and Colonial historical romances but also leaped the writerly fence into the realm of contemporary with the zany romantic mystery Out of the Frying Pan. Keep up with her escapades at www.michellegriep.com , or stalk her on Facebook Instagram Twitter and/or Pinterest


Guest Post from Michelle Griep

Go Green With Victorian Christmas Décor
Guest post by Michelle Griep
Walk in any store and you’ll be bombarded with displays of Christmas lights, gaudy ornaments, and inflatable life-size lawn characters. Commercialization at its worst. 150 years ago, that wasn’t the case. Yearning to decorate in a simpler fashion this year? Here are some ways you can bring a bit of the nineteenth century to your home this Christmas…

TREE DECORATIONS
Queen Elizabeth’s husband, the German Prince Albert, introduced the concept of a Christmas tree to Windsor castle. And you know, if it’s good enough for royalty its good enough for the common folk, right? So, the tradition spread. Generally trees were brought inside on Christmas Eve and taken down on January 6th. Trees were decorated with homemade ornaments from paper or fruits and nuts, strings of popcorn or cranberries, or hanging cookies such as gingerbread men from the branches. And remember, an authentic Victorian Christmas tree would’ve been small, like small enough to stand on a table.

GREENERY
Holly. Evergreens. Mistletoe. Most Victorians couldn’t afford store-bought decorations even were there a commercialized industry at the time (which there wasn’t). So the next best thing was to bring in some free/natural ornamentations. Greenery would’ve been perked up with berries, ribbons, dough ornaments or flowers. Pinecones were also scattered throughout the house.

WREATHS
“Writhen” is the root word where we get the word wreath from. It’s an old English word meaning “to writhe” or “to twist.” While the art of hanging wreaths goes back to Roman times, Victorians continued the tradition.

CANDLES
Candles were primarily placed in one of two spots during a Victorian Christmas. A single candle in a window was lit to show that the house was willing to provide food and shelter to travelers. Candles were also used on each and every branch of a Christmas tree, which meant a huge danger of fire. Usually a servant would stand nearby with a bucket of water just in case the thing started to burn.

DRESDENS
Dresdens are ornaments hung from the tree, from a window, or really hanging pretty much anywhere. These were handmade by cutting out shapes (usually animals or trains) and painted with metallic paint so that they looked like metal.
And that’s about it. No obnoxious Santas or reindeer inflated on the front lawn. No psycho Christmas lights strobing enough to give every passerby a seizure. Just plain and simple decor that made the home feel cozy.
And speaking of cozy, how about grabbing a blanket and a cup of hot tea and settling in for a holiday read that’s sure to put you in the Christmas spirit? My latest release is 12 Days at Bleakly Manor, a Victorian blend of Dickens and Agatha Christie.

Blog Stops

By The Book, December 14
Bukwurmzzz, December 14
Faery Tales Are Real, December 14
A Reader’s Brain, December 15
Have A Wonderful Day, December 15
Texas Book-aholic, December 16
Carpe Diem, December 16
Cafinated Reads, December 16
Just the Write Escape, December 17
A Greater Yes, December 17
Remembrancy, December 17
Allofakindmom, December 18
Simple Harvest Reads, December 18
amandainpa, December 19
Kat’s Corner Books, December 19
Mommynificent, December 19
Bookworm Mama, December 20
Vicky Sluiter, December 20
D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, December 21
Reading Is My SuperPower, December 22 (Interview)
My Writer’s Life, December 23
Janices book reviews, December 23
For The Love of Books, December 23
Red Headed Book Lady, December 25
Bibliophile Reviews, December 26
Blogging With Carol,December 26
Mary Hake, December 26



Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Michelle is giving away a grand prize of a $25 Barnes & Noble Gift card and a signed copy of 12 Days of Bleakly Manor!!
Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!
https://promosimple.com/ps/c5b8