“The Girl with Fire in Her Veins” ~ fab new fantasy from Dawn Ford (+ GA!)

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Hi there, my friends!

Dawn Ford has another wonderful book for you in her Firebird Series. This one is Book Two, and it’s called The Girl with Fire in her Veins, and you don’t want to miss it. Keep reading for more plus your chance to win.

The Girl with Fire in Her Veins JustRead Blog Tour

Welcome to the Blog Tour for The Girl with Fire in Her Veins by Dawn Ford, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

About the Book

The Girl With Fire in Her Veins

Title: The Girl with Fire in Her Veins Series: Firebird #2 Author: Dawn Ford Publisher: Expanse Books Release Date: April 25, 2023 Genre: YA Fantasy

Former servant girl Tambrynn struggles with her new firebird abilities, especially the internal fire she cannot control. So, she, along with her Watcher Lucas, and her grandfather Bennett journey to a hidden mountain keep to find the answers she seeks before she sets the kingdom aflame. But there’s a new dragon who’s targeting Tambrynn, a mergirl who wishes to manipulate her, and the froggen king, Siltworth, who hasn’t forgotten that Tambrynn destroyed his watery reign. When her father, the evil mage Thoron, attacks someone she loves, Tambrynn’s group is separated and she has to face another powerful foe alone. Is she strong enough to withstand the deluge? Or will she drown in the fire and the flood?

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

More Books in this Series

The Girl with Stars in Her Eyes

About the Author

Dawn Ford

Dawn Ford writes fantastical YA stories with a fairy tale flair. The Girl With Stars in Her Eyes, formerly Kingdom Come, won the 2016 ACFW Genesis Award for the Speculative genre. Dawn also has a middle-grade twisted fairytale Woodencloak, which is the first of four books in her Band of Unlikely Heroes series. Dawn lives in Iowa with her husband.

Connect with Dawn by visiting dawnfordauthor.com to follow her on social media and sign up for newsletter updates.

Tour Giveaway

(5) winners will receive a signed paperback copy of The Girl with Fire in Her Veins plus a set of either star or flame themed Color Street nail strips chosen at random!

(2) winners will receive a signed copy of The Girl with Stars in Her Eyes along with The Girl with Fire in Her Veins nail strips

The Girl With Fire in Her Veins JustRead Tours giveaway

Full tour schedule linked below. The giveaway begins at midnight May 29, 2023 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on June 5, 2023. 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 JustRead Publicity Tours Giveaway Policies.

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

JustRead Publicity Tours

My thoughts about The Girl with Fire in Her Veins

Between the beginning and the end of a high fantasy novel series, there are the betwixt-and-between adventures. Like The Two Towers. Or The Silver Chair. The first wild adventure is over, but the final chapter of the story hasn’t been told. But the beloved heroes must fight; grow; become. To travel and to meet new individuals, whose characters aren’t always immediately visible. The heroes’ story definitely isn’t over yet. To reach the final stories of the series, there are first paths they must take, strength they must build, and weapons they must ply.

If you have read Dawn Ford’s The Girl with Stars in Her Eyes (click on the link for my review), you’ve met Tambrynn, the titular protagonist, along with her Watcher, Lucas. You’ve seen beasts and Tambrynn’s terrifying father, Thoron. And you’ve been introduced to the Kinsman, who watches over, redeems, and hears the prayers of his beloved ones.

In The Girl with Fire in Her Veins, Tambrynn’s quest continues. Now, her journey’s companions include her grandfather, Bennett; a fire dragon/woman, Audhild; Lucas, of course; and villains both terrifying and powerful. (Oh. And her father, Thoron, who’s still bent on his wicked plans.)

Tambrynn has discovered that she’s a firebird; yet she hasn’t yet been able to manage her firebirding abilities. And her (and the realm’s) enemies will fight her in order to wrest control over them from the Kinsman. Tambrynn doesn’t know what part she is to play in the fight between good and evil. Yet she, and her companions, must stand together, save each other, and hear the Kinsman’s voice, to keep from being captured, or captivated, by the wiles of their enemy.

Don’t miss Tambrynn’s story in the latest of Dawn Ford’s Firebird Series! You’ll cheer her on, and you’ll be engrossed as each of the companions brings their own gifts and wisdom to the fight. (Then, like me, you’ll be all too ready to read book #3, when it comes out–soon, I hope!)

Enjoy! And don’t forget to enter the giveaway! –Wren

Disclosure: I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.

Beautiful, redemptive novel: “A Path to Acceptance”

Sponsor #partner

I was privileged, some time ago, to read A Path to Forgiveness by Lisa James (what a deeply moving, incredible story). This is her second book in The Prodigal Woman Series, this time featuring Penelope, a young woman who’d been sold to a tavern owner (read: brothel). We meet Penelope about ten years after her introduction into this life.

A Path To Acceptance JustRead Blog Tour

Welcome to the Blog Tour for A Path To Acceptance by Lisa M. James, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

About the Book

A Path to Acceptance

Title: A Path to Acceptance Series: The Prodigal Woman Series Author: Lisa M. James Publisher: Independently Published Release Date: May 19, 2023 Genre: Christian Romance / Fantasy

Wanton. Tainted. Immoral. These were all words that could describe Penelope. After being forced into a world of harlotry to cover her parents’ debts, Penny learned how to survive without feeling. When a mysterious man approaches Penny with an offer to free her from her situation, Penny soon discovers that leaving her tavern could not rid her of the reputation she gained as a harlot. Would anyone be able to see beyond her tainted past?

Abandoned by his father as a child, Ryland refuses to depend on anyone but himself. Surviving as a mercenary for wealthy landowners, he accepts an assignment to free a harlot from a life of slavery. Frustrated when he is forced to take her under his care, Ryland discovers there is more to this harlot than her beauty. Can her unshakeable faith bring him back to a Redeemer he has long since rejected? Discover the story of a tainted woman in A Path to Acceptance.

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

More Books in this Series

A Path to Forgiveness

About the Author

Lisa James

Lisa M. James is a Romantic Fantasy and Christian Fantasy author. Her novels have made the Amazon Best Sellers list for numerous categories, including: Fairy Tale Fantasy, Sword and Sorcery Fantasy, Christian Fantasy, and Religious Romance. She is committed to creating fantastical worlds with clean romances and diverse female leads. When not writing, Lisa can most often be found watching Disney movies or enjoying homemade chai. Connect with Lisa by visiting lisamjames.com to follow her on social media and sign up for newsletter updates.

Tour Giveaway

(1) winner will receive a paperback copy of A Path to Acceptance & a Vera Bradley Crossbody bag (plum pansies print)!

A Path to Acceptance JustRead Giveaway

Full tour schedule linked below. The giveaway begins at midnight May 22, 2023 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on May 29, 2023. 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 JustRead Publicity Tours Giveaway Policies.

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

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My thoughts

Penelope has lived in forced slavery as a sex worker for ten years. She was told how to survive it by the head harlot at her tavern. And later, interestingly enough, Penelope met the Redeemer; and she has lived in hope of his redemption even as her life stole so much from her. She lived the life of a prostitute on the outside, while inside she had the faith of a believer.

But not truly, any hope of rescue.

Until rescue comes indeed. After a handsome and mysterious man watches Penelope, and the comings and goings of the tavern for over a week, he leaves; only to return to take her away, at the request of Audora, a blind vintner who had been served by Penelope while having to stop at the tavern as her cart was repaired. Penelope finally agrees to leave with Ryland. But can she leave behind the inner damage that 10 years of forced sex work had done to her, as she gains freedom and the opportunity to work for Audora? Unfortunately, troubles follow her; but they’re those she’s never had to face in the context of freedom. Plus, war is coming for her new homeland; and it’s war with the Redeemers’ enemies, the sorcerers. Penelope has the Redeemer and she has the gift of faith. But will those be enough?

I absolutely fell in love with Penelope, and was captivated by her story, and by Ryland’s, the metalworker/weapons maker who sidelines as a mercenary. (Just the right person to rescue Penelope!) Lisa James is exceptionally good at creating characters she helps us to understand both inside and out (and we really come to comprehend the damage that Penny’s former life has left on her mind, soul, and even spirit). There’s not only our co-protagonists, Penelope and Ryland. There’s also Audora, the vintner; Tedley, her head steward; Benesh, Audora’s nephew; Luke and Noah, young brothers; and the warriors, priests, and other residents of her new village. She has to adjust to this new life (which still feels uncertain), and to be healed of the desperate pain of her past. It’s going to take a lot of events and interactions to take her down the new path that’s set before her. There’s even love waiting; but can she convince herself that, even with the Redeemer, she’s worthy of it?

This is absolutely a book you don’t want to miss. God’s redeeming and healing love–rescue of a woman from the sex trade (which Lisa James does describe obliquely, not flagrantly)–and the opportunity to see His hand at work in not only her life but in the events of her new land. It’s heartbreaking, marvelous, and so encouraging.

Be blessed–Wren

Disclosure: I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.

Enter to win these Mom Goodies in the Moms Rock Giveaway Hop! (Ends 5/31/23)

Hey there darlings!

I’m joining MamatheFox and lots of other neat bloggers for another celebration of moms this month! We’re all giving away prizes in the Moms Rock Giveaway hop–and you could win!

How to visit the Moms Rock Giveaway Hop page

You’ll want to visit the Moms Rock Giveaway Hop page for sure! That’s where all the participating bloggers have linked up their giveaways. At this page, you’ll be able to see all the giveaway blog names. By clicking on their highlighted links, you’ll be able to visit and see their giveaways, and enter to win!

Just click on the blue InLinkz button below (the one with the frog on it). That will take you to the main giveaway hop page. Check out all the giveaways and enter them–you just might end up winning one!

Enter to win the FINCHNWREN Mom Goodies giveaway

The FINCHNWREN blog is giving away these Mom Goodies in the Moms Rock Giveaway Hop! One entrant will win these goodies:

  • A darling white beaded bracelet from Francesca’s that says “MAMA” in periwinkle beads, with mint green bead accents
  • Prayers & Promises for Women book of encouraging words and Scriptures
  • Expressions from Hallmark blank note cards, with huge fucshia peonies pictured in a farmhouse pitcher
  • A 3-CD set of meaningful words from women, in O’s Little Guide to Starting Over, from the editors of O, The Oprah Magazine

To enter to win this prize pack, just click on the “Enter here!” link below. That will take you to a Giveaway Tools entry form, where you’ll be able to enter in a variety of ways. US entrants only. Must be 18 and older to win. Giveaway closes on 5/31/23. Best wishes!

Enter here!

Enjoy! –Wren


MamatheFox and all participating blogs are not held responsible for sponsors who fail to fulfill their prize obligations.

Enter to win this fabulous “Love Your Mama” prize giveaway! (ends 5/31/23)

Hello darlings!

I love May! It’s even more beautiful than April and March. End of school’s spring semester, flowers finally beginning to bloom, and summer’s around the corner. Plus Mother’s Day–so we *have* to celebrate! I have a very special book, plus other wonderful goodies, to give away to one reader this month! I Love You, Mom! is cowritten by Blythe Daniel and her own mom, Helen McIntosh, and it is truly one of my personal “mom” book favorites. So someone is going to win a copy of this book, generously provided by The BlogAbout Blogger Network. The winner will also receive a lot of my other personal faves in the FINCHNWREN “Love Your Mama” Giveaway!

About the prize package for the “Love Your Mama” Giveaway

This prize package is centered around the precious book, I Love You, Mom! You can read more in my linked review of the book, here. Written as if from a beloved child, this book’s chapters express all the things our children might wish to say–in chapters moms can pick up to read either on a devotional basis or when they need it for encouragement. It is wonderful!

Here’s what one entrant will win in the “Love You, Mom” Giveaway:

  • I Love You, Mom: Cherished Word Gifts from My Heart to Yours, by Blythe Daniel and Helen McIntosh, hardcover book copy
  • Bath & Body Works Peach Prosecco Macaron Gentle Gel Hand Soap
  • Tarte’s Sugar Rush “But First, Hydrate” Skincare Set containing Don’t Hate, Hydrate Oil-Free Moisturizer and Cake Butter Body Butter minis
  • a Louisa May Alcott quote bookmark from Carrot Top Paper Shop with this lovely quote: “Keep good company, read good books, love good things, and cultivate soul and body and faithfully as you can.”
  • a hardback, mint green journal with “You Shine” outlined in silvery ink
  • a darling dish towel duo: one, in white, with “MOM” outlined in berries, flowers, and foliage; and one mint green one with white flowers, and white tassels

Here’s how to enter to win!

Just click on the highlighted link below that says, “Enter here!” That will take you to a Giveaway Tools entry form, where you’ll be able to enter to win in a variety of ways. Giveaway closes on 5/31/23. US entrants only. One entrant will be selected to win all the items in the bullet-point list above. Best wishes!

Enter here!

Enjoy! –Wren

Disclosure: I received I Love You, Mom from The BlogAbout Blogger Network. All opinions shared here are my own.

“Sun Moon” ~ a lovely new film from Pure Flix (& GA, ends 5/13/23)

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Friends, I have the sweetest new film to tell you about from Pure Flix (plus a giveaway you can enter to win!). If you’re interested in other cultures or in living cross-culturally in other nations, you will love this. Brand-new from AFFIRM ORIGINALS, Sun Moon will capture your heart as Kelsey’s planned future takes direction from “Runaway Bride,” except she’s not the one running! She’ll never have dreamed where she’ll end up.

About Sun Moon

Kelsey, in her exquisite wedding dress, with the church decorated and prepared for her wedding…doesn’t get married when her fiance decides he prefers her best friend to her. That’s when we meet our heroine; curled up in her tub with her hair and makeup done and her dress crumpled around her.

What’s a girl to do when she feels humiliated, lost, and hopeless? Could perhaps a leap of faith change everything for her?

Because later, Kelsey hears a missionary couple speak at her church. They are telling their stories and encouraging parishioners to “take a leap of faith” and come to Taiwan to teach students. Kelsey, who’s still upset and bewildered at being left at the altar, decides that this will be her leap of faith: she’s going to move to Taiwan to teach.

Leap of faith: An acceptance of or willingness to do something based largely or entirely on one’s faith that it is correct or will work, despite having little or no evidence or assurance thereof.


But here’s what the leap of faith doesn’t inform Kelsey of: how to speak or even read the language in Taiwan. How to get around in her new city. How to understand her students and to meet their needs–as well as to actually teach them English. There’s no one who’s assigned to help Kelsey with these rather major challenges and goals. She feels absolutely alone.

But of course, we know that she’s not alone. God is there, working in her, working in her situation; developing love and compassion in her; and showing her that she’s meant for so much more than she ever imagined.

My thoughts

Like Kelsey, I had the incredible privilege (quite some time ago) of moving overseas to a different culture, with a VERY different language, for a couple of amazing and wonderful years. Unlike Kelsey, I wasn’t on my own. But I was faced with the need to learn a foreign language along with the requirement of learning to live with a team, all with the goal of sharing God’s Word and His deep love with individuals. (There was also this very normal yet still difficult thing called culture shock, which revolved around the main question of, How? How do I shop for food, how do I filter water, how do I not blow the fuses by using both a heater and a hair dryer at the same time?) One adjusts, and learns–and builds relationships that make all the difference of living cross-culturally

Even if I hadn’t shared a similar experience to Kelsey’s, I’d have loved watching her learn the ways of her new culture, and of trying to work with her new students. She travels the road that takes her from seeing a collective sea of faces that she’s trying to teach English to…to learning the lives and challenges behind those faces, which is one of the factors that changes her time in Taiwan.

The other is her friendship with Horace, a fellow teacher at the school. Unlike Kelsey, he’s won the hearts of his students while keeping the order and respect that’s necessary in their classroom. Also unlike Kelsey, he understands the culture AND speaks the language! So she approaches him with her questions. And eventually, she learns his heart as well.

So, watching Sun Moon felt at times, very familiar. And exciting! I love hearing stories of how God calls us from the familiar and places us in the unknown. (He can do this, of course, without our leaving our own culture.) But watching Kelsey navigate her way through a completely unfamiliar landscape to her eyes, ears, emotions, and heart–and seeing God move in incredible ways in the unfamiliarity was joyful and heartwarming. And the relationship-building? It will just gladden your heart.

And it’s not just living in Taiwan that brings challenges to Kelsey. Life back at home in the U.S. isn’t static; there are things going on there that touch her as well, with her sister and her mother. There is suffering happening in those she’s begun to love overseas; but it’s happening back in the U.S. too. There’s a decision that she’s going to have to make soon. How will she know the right way to go?

Don’t miss Sun Moon. It is precious, inspiring, and really unlike any other movie I’ve seen in quite awhile. You can find it on Pure Flix. And if you don’t have a Pure Flix membership? You can enter to win one below!

Enter to win a 3-month sub to Pure Flix

Sun Moon is available now only on Pure Flix, and you don’t want to miss it, I promise! So if you don’t have a Pure Flix membership, enter to win a 3-month Pure Flix subscription here! Just click on the link below that says, “Enter here!” That will take you to a Giveaway Tools entry form, where you can enter to win in a variety of ways. US entrants only; limited to those who have NOT won a Pure Flix subscription in the last 6 months. Giveaway closes on May 13, 2023. Best wishes!

Enter here!

And watch this fun video with the writer/director of Sun Moon!

The wonderful Jean Thomason from Momentum Influencer Network got to interview Sydney Tooley, the writer and the director of Sun Moon!

And last, but DEFINITELY not least, don’t miss the trailer for Sun Moon!

Enjoy! –Wren


Many thanks to Pure Flix for providing a sample of the product for this review. Opinions are 100% my own.

Enter to win this darling coloring book, markers, and Love candle in the Come What May Giveaway Hop (ends 5/15/23)

Hi darlings!

Welcome to May (one of my favorite months)–and to the Come What May Giveaway Hop, hosted by Mama the Fox! I’m joining her and lots of wonderful bloggers with their own neat giveaways to celebrate this beautiful month. Keep reading for more on how to enter and win!

How to enter giveaways in the Come What May Giveaway Hop

To check out all the giveaways in the Come What May Giveaway Hop, you’ll want to click on the blue InLinkz button below (the one with the frog on it). That will take you to the giveaway hop’s main linkup page, where you’ll be able to see all the participating bloggers. You’ll be able to click on their links, which will take you to their blogs. You can enter the individual giveaways then!

And now, for the FINCHNWREN blog’s giveaway!

The FINCHNWREN blog is giving away this trio of self-care goodies in the Come What May Giveaway Hop! One entrant will receive these three items:

  • Inkspirations Create While You Wait Coloring on the Go coloring book. This 5.5″ x 7.75″ coloring book has lots of pages of pretty designs, flowers, and mandalas, along with meaningful quotes, that you can take with you to color while you wait. So fun. I love the quotes–from a group as diverse as Pliny the Elder to Oliver Wendell Holmes, to Victor Hugo and more!
  • a Sargent Art pack of 6 Metallic Markers. They’re fine point, non-toxic, and for ages 3 and up.
  • a pretty Francesca’s LOVE candle in a metallic holder with a lid. Lovely scent!

To enter to win the FINCHNWREN giveaway, just click on the “Enter here!” link below. That will take you to a Giveaway Tools entry form, where you’ll be able to enter to win in a variety of ways. US only, must be 18 and older to win. Giveaway closes on May 15, 2023. Best wishes! And have a wonderful May!

Enter here!

Enjoy! –Wren

MamatheFox and all participating blogs are not held responsible for sponsors who fail to fulfill their prize obligations.

“Waiting in Hope” ~ a devo for those who’ve suffered infertility (plus GA, ends 5/6/23)

#sponsor #partner

Friends, I have the kindest, most loving devotional to tell you about today. If you, or someone you know, has been impacted by the heartrending journey of infertility, this is the book for you: Waiting in Hope: 31 Reflections for Walking with God Through Infertility. FrontGate Media provided a copy of this book for me, and you can also enter to win a copy. Keep reading for more on the book, my own thoughts, and the chance to enter to win!

About Waiting in Hope, from the publisher

“Waiting in Hope gives women an uplifting, accessible resource to comfort, guide, and strengthen them through the journey of infertility. Featuring 31 reflections that address specific aspects of waiting and hoping, each chapter weaves personal narrative, Scripture, and prayers to encourage women longing for a child.?

Weary moms have their pick of hundreds of Christian devotionals and books offering encouragement for the trials of motherhood. Women who suffer miscarriage can also choose from a handful of resources, thanks to an industry trend making space for books on grief. But what about the one in eight women who face the heartache of infertility? Where can they turn for comfort and guidance while grieving their dreams and grappling with unfulfilled longing?

Waiting in Hope fills the gap for a biblically grounded, gospel-driven resource that specifically addresses the unique struggles of infertility. Offering 31 reflections filled with biblical wisdom, testimonies, and personal narrative, Waiting in Hope helps women work through their complex emotions, grow in their faith, restore strained relationships, and move forward in their journeys with perseverance and confidence in the Lord.?

  • Much needed Christian resource for the nearly 10 percent of women who face infertility, childlessness, and extended waiting for a child
  • Compassionate, biblically rich devotional that doesn’t give false hope or platitudes
  • Provides an infertility-specific, journal-like companion to use continuously throughout your journey

As seasoned infertility ministry leaders, Jenn Hesse and Kelley Ramsey have committed to help women turn to Jesus as their hope in sorrow. This book is the resource they wish they’d had ten years ago in the middle of their infertility grief. Women need to hear the good news that Jesus is with them in their wait, and that they can live a life of purpose regardless of how their wait ends.”

I truly love both the layout and content of Waiting in Hope. The authors have divided the book into four sections which speak to the emotional, spiritual, and relational journeys that women and couples endure as they walk through the different moments of infertility, as well as a section which speaks about IVF, adoption, not having children, pregnancy; what life looks like as couples move forward in the various ways they can. (There are also some excellent appendices, including one from Kelley’s husband Justin, who speaks wonderfully to husbands.) There are 31 devotionals which touch on these different subjects, illustrating the very real heartbreak that this journey (unsought by anybody) can force on its sufferers.

The writing of each devotional is intimate and real. There’s no sugarcoating here, but there’s enormous tenderness from people who have BEEN THERE. Know that this book has been written for you by women who understand; who’ve been where you are and have felt what you’re feeling. Yet they have written Waiting in Hope to come alongside you with true empathy and compassion, yet also with the truth that God is there for you, offering His love and understanding, and yes, His hope to you.

My thoughts about Waiting in Hope

I believe that Waiting in Hope is the kindest, most gentle and loving, Biblically-informed book on infertility I’ve ever come across. My own journey with infertility is long past, but I personally experienced many of the pains the authors share about. These included horrible endometriosis (for YEARS), numerous laparoscopies, cysts, and the monthly sorrow and disappointment after the periods showed up again. Not to mention the Mother’s Day roses handed out at church, but not to me (the woman who desperately longed for a child), or the women’s luncheon where the conversation centered around babies, children, their problems and joys. (Yes. I ugly-cried at my car.) I didn’t begrudge these moms their precious children; I just felt that my lack of them–and the pain I felt–was heavily spotlighted in those moments.

Waiting in Hope is a book which will deeply minister to women who are struggling with infertility. Coauthors Kelley Ramsey and Jenn Hesse have experienced this pain on a deep level; then, working together, they share their stories, talk with readers about the actual experience of infertility, and connect them with God’s deep love for them, in addition to including the Bible’s words about suffering and infertility.

Be prepared for tears as you read. (My kiddo is in college–but I still cried at times!) Waiting in Hope is such an incredible combination of understanding the suffering women can experience while conception still isn’t happening (for months or for years, or maybe, ever); plus the actual help that these gals need but perhaps don’t know where to look for it, or how to find it. Kelley and Jenn have such an obvious love for women in this situation. They beautifully speak on women’s experiences (physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually), adding their own encouragement plus action plans at the ends of each chapter. These moments of “Reflect,” “Pray,” and “Act “offer readers the chance to move through their own suffering into the hope offered by God, alongside active steps they can take, to help and to heal. I particularly loved these sections, because I well remember how much of life can be spent in *waiting* during seasons of infertility. How healing to actually have actions to take.

Also, since this is a 31-day devotional, these consistent words and ideas of assistance and wisdom can flow over the reader on the daily as she moves, moment by moment, through this book. Reading, writing, praying, and steps of thoughtful action can help readers feel as though they are really healing and growing…instead of just *waiting* for pregnancy.

Something that I particularly adored about Waiting in Hope is the authors’ thoughtful use of Scripture in each chapter. I love how they have collected Bible verses about suffering and crying out to God; but just as importantly, about healing, help, prayer, and the huge love God has for each of us. I’m recording these myself in a separate journal to revisit and meditate over. Beautiful, meaningful, and encouraging, during not only seasons of infertility, but in ANY season.

Where you can buy Waiting in Hope

Purchase Waiting in Hope here. And while you’re at that website, check out the available freebies that you can sign up for or access, whether it’s Faith over Fear printable cards; a “First listen” audioclip of chapter one of Waiting in Hope (along with an interview with Kelley and Jenn); and Instagram goodies (@kelramsey and @jennmhesse). You can also check out the Waiting in Hope online community for more help and support.

Enter to win your own copy of Waiting in Hope

Blessed Freebies is giving away a copy of Waiting in Hope! To enter, just click on the giveaway link below and follow the directions. Giveaway ends on or after 5/6/23. Best wishes!

Giveaway link to enter to win Waiting in Hope

This is a book which will offer you so much love, wise counsel, and healing hope. Don’t miss it!

Be blessed! –Wren

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from FrontGate Media. All opinions and thoughts shared here are my own honest ones.

Lisa Phillips’ brand new #2 in the Last Chance Fire and Rescue Series: “Expired Hope”

#sponsor #partner

I know that y’all know how much I love Lisa Phillips’ suspense thrillers–and I of course also loved the first book in her Last Chance Fire and Rescue Series (Expired Return). Now book 2 in that series is available, cowritten by Lisa and Megan Besing, and I have the privilege of sharing a book excerpt from Expired Hope. I know they’ll whet your appetite (if you’re a suspense lover), plus you can enter to win a giveaway! Keep reading for more!

Expired Hope JustRead Takeover + Review Blitz

Welcome to the Takeover + Review Blitz for Expired Hope by Megan Besing & Lisa Phillips, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

About the Book

Expired Hope Title: Expired Hope Series: Last Chance Fire and Rescue #2 Authors: Megan Besing & Lisa Phillips Publisher: Sunrise Publishing Release Date: April 25, 2023 Genre: Christian Romantic Suspense

She battled every fire she ever faced.

He’s risking everything for the chance to belong. Veteran and therapist Natalie Atkinson watched her Army career explode in her face. All she ever wanted was to help people carry their burdens. Seeking a new future in Last Chance County doesn’t start so well when she’s the one being rescued from a client’s burning house. To make matters worse, now she’s stuck evaluating the truck and rescue squads for the fire department. When the chief overhears why she left her last job, she’s determined to prove to him and her boss that she’s still the right therapist to assess his crew. No matter if success takes everything she’s got. Fire Chief Macon James is the right man for the job. He doesn’t need a therapist interfering with the running of his crew or putting his position in jeopardy when a counselor is what tore his family apart. He’s got to get his firefighters to be a team, and he can do it without Natalie’s help. After an explosion destroys her car, it quickly becomes clear she might need him as much as everyone thinks he needs her. If these two stubborn hearts will surrender, they could have everything they want. Or it could all go down in flames.

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

More Books in this Series

Expired Return Expired Promise Expired Vows

About the Authors

Lisa Phillips Megan Besing

Lisa Phillips is a USA Today and top ten Publishers Weekly bestselling author of over 50 books that span Harlequin’s Love Inspired Suspense line, independently published series romantic suspense, and thriller novels. She’s discovered a penchant for high-stakes stories of mayhem and disaster where you can find made-for-each-other love that always ends in happily ever after.

Lisa is a British ex-pat who grew up an hour outside of London and attended Calvary Chapel Bible College, where she met her husband. He’s from California, but nobody’s perfect. It wasn’t until her Bible College graduation that she figured out she was a writer (someone told her). As a worship leader for Calvary Chapel churches in her local area, Lisa has discovered a love for mentoring new ministry members and youth worship musicians.
Connect with Lisa by visiting authorlisaphillips.com to follow her on social media or subscribe to email newsletter updates.  

Despite adoring happily-ever-afters, Megan Besing didn’t unlock a love for reading until her mid-twenties, which quickly expanded into writing. Her stories have won many awards, but her most cherished achievements are being a wife and mother. She lives in a pocket-size Indiana town, centered around extended family. She’s always planning a road trip with a view, yet her favorite place may just be on her front porch drinking tea.

Connect with Megan by visiting meganbesing.com to follow her on social media or subscribe to email newsletter updates. Discover the world of Last Chance County at www.lastchancecounty.com.

Tour Giveaway

(1) winner will receive a paperback of Expired Hope and a $10 Gift Card to the Sunrise Shop!

Expired Hope 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 April 26, 2023 and lasts through 11:59 PM EST on May 3, 2023. 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.

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

JustRead Publicity Tours

Here is a book excerpt for you to enjoy!

He paused before opening the main office door and glanced at the counselor through the glass window. She was seated in a chair, looking down at her phone. Her blonde hair was in a loose bun on the back of her head, and a thick pile of bangs covered most of her forehead. She had on a navy silk shirt and black pants. 

Her foot bounced up and down as she scrolled on her phone. If she was nervous, that could be encouraging. Possibly cut down on the questions she might ask. Get her to sign off on their evaluation quickly.

Macon opened the door, and the woman glanced up. 

It was like he was in a smoke funnel. His knees locked beneath him as he blinked at the same blue eyes that had hung around in his dreams. They belonged to the woman he’d rescued out of the fire.

As if they’d never met, she stood and extended her hand. “Good afternoon, I’m Natalie Atkinson from the Ridgeman Center. I’ll be the counselor assessing you and your firefighters.”

His lungs ached at the memory of her collapsing and him cradling her. Natalie. The name suited her, but this was not how he’d imagined them meeting.

He wrapped his hand around hers and, for a moment, they stared at each other, until she slipped her hand away. She’d been beautiful yesterday, but with her hair up and the spark in her eye, he wished they were introducing themselves during dinner at Backdraft Bar and Grill instead of a professional meeting.

Macon cleared his throat. “I’m Chief Macon James.”

She studied him, yet said nothing about yesterday. Not that he expected a thank-you when he rescued someone, but it was strange she didn’t even bring it up. Maybe she was self-conscious about how she’d fainted.

She glanced left and right before picking up the notebook from the chair beside her. She hugged it to her chest. “Do we have a more private place for your session?” Her voice had a raspier tone than earlier.

“I’ll lead you to the conference room. We’ll address all the crew there. Rescue will go first with their individual sessions.” When he turned for the door, her hand landed on his arm. Her touch was like the strike of a match.

Because, did I mention, Lisa Phillips’ books also have some fabulous clean romance between characters in addition to her adrenaline-spike-causing scenes of danger, crisis, and peril? So you will get that for sure in this book, plus a wild ride of survival. SO readable!

Enjoy! –Wren

Disclaimer: I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.

A really good book for right now: “God Knows” by Lisa Whittle

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Y’all know that I read a lot of books, and even in this year I’ve added some remarkable and life-changing ones to my list of exceptional reads. Well, Lisa Whipple’s God Knows: when your worries and whys need more than temporary relief is going on that list. I can’t wait to tell you more about this book; to encourage you to read it; and to tell you a) where you can buy it and b) how you can enter to win your own copy. Keep reading for more!

Here’s a bit from the publisher about God Knows:

“Inspired by the seldom-studied book of Nahum, God Knows details the behind-the-scenes picture we are missing, what His great knowing entails, and how his omniscience provides daily perspective to bring the healing and peace we are all desperate to find.

In God Knows, you will:

  • experience freedom by learning the difference between privacy and secrecy,
  • develop renewed belief in your abandoned dreams and goals, still known by God,
  • realign your idea of God’s omniscience being far away to how it daily affects you,
  • release your fears for the future as you develop a different outlook on tomorrow through God’s lens, and
  • learn how to deal with injustice in light of God’s knowledge of it.

God is doing his job well: the justice, the plan, the working together for our good even when we can’t see or understand. The problem is not God. Learn to release what has been burdening you and watch His plan for your life unfold.”

As I read God Knows, I sort of felt as though author Lisa Whittle had been hanging out next to me and seeing (though kindly) the ways I had held God and my people (family, friends and so on) at arms’ length because of my own pain and suffering…and then she wrote about it in her book!

Now clearly, Lisa wasn’t shadowing me. At all. (I don’t know her at all, though I hope to meet her some day!) However, she speaks, intimately and gently, on the ways that our own pain has affected us and our relationships, even our relationship with God, who knows us (and our pasts) better than anyone else does. And yet He accepts and adores us anyway. And He offers us ways to release those pains to His gentle and loving hands–and also offers us ways to let go of them. Which can be radically life-changing.

Intrigued? Let me tell you more!

Here are the thought-provoking chapter titles:

  • God Knows You Need Relief
  • God Knows Your Dreams
  • God Knows the Vindication You Seek
  • God Knows Your Secret Struggles
  • God Knows Your Limits
  • God Knows Your Past
  • God Knows Your Future
  • God Knows What You Need to Release

I’d imagine that one (or more) of those would really tug at your heartstrings…speak to your hidden worries or fears…or touch a deep pain that you never talk about.

My thoughts

Have you ever read poet T.S. Eliot’s works? One of them, in particular, has drawn me to read it again and again during my life, since my college days: the “Four Quartets.” What he speaks about is something I feel as though I can’t quite touch or apprehend–that his meanings are just beyond my fingertips. But I’m so drawn by the beauty of the words, I continue to return to the poem.

When I began to read God Knows, I felt some of those same sentiments. Lisa is talking, in many moments of her book, about the things of life that we often brush over, sometimes to our detriment; the deep meanings or resolutions which may seem just beyond our reach. Things like: our pain; the mistrust of God that can grow in us after tragedy; the way we can be led by culture to push ourselves way beyond the limits God placed in our lives (for our protection); the deep pains or shame we might feel from past mistakes or sins; and so much more. But where God Knows takes us is not into the mysteries of things we’ll never understand or get right, but instead to show us how to walk together with God into those past weights that still drag us down–and, miracle of miracles, to understand that we can be healed. That God can set us right. That He can help us to step into the sometimes fearful places of absolutely trusting Him. He KNOWS us; after all, He made us. And He knows our desperate needs.

I really do love how God helps me to pick up on books or movies that absolutely speak to my deepest needs, or an issue that I need to give attention to. He has been doing that over the past months in me for sure, and God Knows was the perfect next step for me to take. Interestingly, although God Knows definitely has practical steps we can take in areas mentioned in the chapter titles, this book is not entirely about DOING. Much of it is taking the time to be vulnerable before, and with, the God who made us, who knows us so intimately, but who will not push past barriers or so-called protective fences we’ve erected. Yet, if we let Him into these areas of pain, He can help us; He can change our hearts and enable us to change them too.

This is a beautiful, incredibly powerful book. I noticed, as I read, that I had walls up around different pains from my own past; weirdly, somehow in my mind they felt like they protected me. And yet, God offers to help and heal.If you feel stuck in any of the areas listed in the chapter titles, or in others that seem to be connected to them, grab yourself a copy. (I’ve got purchase links plus a giveaway link below.) But before you go to those areas of this post, let me share with you some of the moments that moved me tremendously.

And several of my favorite passages

You can see on the side of the book below that I tabbed a lot of pages—I found many ideas or thoughts that I’d like to pray over and think on. Here are some of the ones that were the most meaningful:

  • “When we live in some form of actual reality of “I can’t” like the man at the pool of Bethesda [see John 5], when we have limited ourselves, when others have limited us, we need to believe God’s power is not compromised by our obstacles…He wants us to feel confident that He is fully God, able and working, in our limits too.” (p. 128)
  • “It is wise to no longer allow people to pick your emotional and spiritual destinations. When you apply this, no one can pull you back into the past unless you give them that permission. Turn down all invitations to live in regret and overapology…Be grateful for, not ashamed of, healed sickness…The best way to show someone you are not the same person you were in the past is to live your life differently and let them notice the difference.” (p. 145)
  • On the issue of control: “The answer lies in asking God to change us, even in a godless culture, to help us see Him, do right, and stay focused on living the gospel. Praying for an eternal perspective, even in the here and now. Keeping our eyes on Jesus. Prioritizing Christ, our future-holder…When God inspired these words thousands of years ago, “Do not let your heart be troubled and do not be afraid” (John 14:27), He knew about today. He knew the world wasn’t going to get easier. And yet He spoke these words for our future.” (pp. 163-164)

Where you can purchase God Knows

You can purchase God Knows at the link below (keep an eye out for bonus materials just for purchasers):

Purchase God Knows at Lisa Whittle’s website

Enter to win a copy of God Knows

Blessed Freebies is giving away a copy of this book to one reader. Giveaway ends soon, so click on the highlighted link below and follow directions to enter! (I believe that the giveaway close date has been extended due to publication delay, so do click and enter even if the date listed looks as though it’s closed.)

Blessed Freebies giveaway entry form for God Knows

Enjoy–and get a copy of this book, take some time, and just be. Read. And let God speak to your deepest heart.–Wren

Disclosure: I received this book from FrontGate Media. All opinions shared here are my own.

Carolyn Miller’s lovely newest Regency Wallflowers novel: “Dawn’s Untrodden Green” (review and GA, ends 4/17/23)

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My friends, you know how much I adore a Regency novel! Carolyn Miller’s third Regency Wallflowers book is finally released, and I’ve had the utter enjoyment of reading it. Dawn’s Untrodden Green is full of such wonderful things: a crochety war hero grandfather; a mother given to ills (though not vapors); a wonderful set of village characters; and our heroine, Theodosia Stapleton. And everything that happens when another hero of the British army comes to their village. Marvelous!

Dawn's Untrodden Green JustRead Blog Tour

Welcome to the Blog Tour for Dawn’s Untrodden Green by Carolyn Miller, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

About the Book

Dawn's Untrodden Green

Title: Dawn’s Untrodden Green Series: Regency Wallflowers #3 Author: Carolyn Miller Publisher: Kregel Publications Release Date: April 11, 2023 Genre: Christian Historical Romance

“Highly entertaining, refreshing, and witty. . . . [A] beautifully written, delightful, and faith-filled romance of two endearing hearts.”

–Grace Hitchcock, award-winning author of My Dear Miss Dupré Not much happens in Theodosia Stapleton’s tiny Northumberland village. Certainly not to her. She has resigned herself to spinsterhood, caring for her ailing mother in the home of her grandfather, known to the locals as “General Contrary.” When her dear friend dies and leaves behind a daughter, it’s simple enough to take the child into her own quiet world. That is, until her ward’s famous uncle unexpectedly arrives and throws Theo’s tidy orbit completely off-kilter. Fame was the last thing Daniel Balfour sought when he fought in the Peninsular War. But his brave exploits caught the attention of the King, and now the honors he was given hound him everywhere . . . even on his rushed trip to rescue his orphaned niece. Theo’s quick wit and warm smile reassure him that Rebecca is in good hands, and he finds himself free to swiftly return to London and his responsibilities. But those caring hands are beginning to look like they could also safely hold his heart, and he’s tempted to linger. Unfortunately, marriage is simply not in the cards; the army is spouse enough for him. Then an accident and a scandal lead both Theo and Daniel to discover that their best-laid plans may not have been what God designed for them after all.

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | ChristianBook | Book Depository | Bookshop | BookBub

More Books in this Series

Dusk's Darkest Shores Midnight's Budding Morrow

About the Author

Carolyn Miller

Carolyn Miller lives in New South Wales, Australia, with her husband and four children. A longtime lover of Regency romance, Carolyn’s novels have won a number of RWA and ACFW contests. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Australasian Christian Writers.

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

Tour Giveaway

(1) winner will receive a print copy of all three books in the Regency Wallflower series by Carolyn Miller. (books 1 & 2 will be signed, and a book plate from the author will be included for Dawn’s Untrodden Green)

Dawn's Untrodden Green JustRead Giveaway

Full tour schedule linked below. The giveaway begins at midnight April 10, 2023 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on April 17, 2023. 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 JustRead Publicity Tours Giveaway Policies.

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

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My thoughts

I’ve had the pleasure of reading and reviewing Carolyn Miller’s other two Regency Wallflowers novels (Dusk’s Darkest Shores and Midnight’s Budding Morrow) and loved them both; yet I believe I’m most enchanted by Dawn’s Untrodden Green! And if you’re someone who’s been captivated by the tales of Elizabeth and Darcy, or Elinor and Edward, or any of Jane Austen’s other heroines or couples, you’re going to adore Theodosia. (And Captain Balfour!)

Carolyn Miller has an incredible way with words and characters. I discovered this several years ago when I happened upon her wonderful The Elusive Miss Ellison (not to mention in all Miller’s Regency novels I’ve embraced since!). She definitely writes with an ear to Jane Austen’s language, and with unusual leading ladies; often, whom society hasn’t embraced entirely for one reason or another. Theodosia, or Theo, is another of those heroines. She’s all of one-and-thirty (we KNOW that in Regency times that was considered nearly elderly in terms of marriage–by females, anyway). She’s bright and witty, has gorgeous hair, a beautiful faith, and lives with her grandfather, General Stapleton, and her mother, keeping charge of the household and all that goes on in it. When her dear friend and neighbor, Clara, dies, she takes in Rebecca, Clara’s teenaged daughter. Whose now-guardian is her uncle, the hero of the Peninsular battles (think Napoleon and the Iberian Peninsula).

One wonders why, with so many talents and skills, Theo is yet unmarried. Her unkind sister would be the first to say that the problem is in Theo’s own appearance; on her face, to be exact. Yet when the captain appears, he appreciates her wit and humor, and even seems to regard the thing that she despairs of herself, of no consequence. Yet when a terrible accident places Daniel in her own home, he continues to seek her company and conversation. Is her heart being turned toward his?

I absolutely devoured Dawn’s Untrodden Green! I adored fabulous Theo, and her grandfather, and I truly loved a hero who might actually see the gold in our heroine. The faithful rector and his wife were also wonderful. The faith Theo and Daniel both have is walked out beautifully and naturally. And I found myself smiling in the last section of the book, when I heard echoes of Austen’s voice and Regency turns of phrase–as the book raced towards its conclusion.

Marvelous read with captivating characters and events!

Enjoy! –Wren

Disclosure: I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.