Win 2 Tickets to THE Worship Concert Event of the Summer! Featuring Chris Tomlin/Kari Jobe/Bethel Music (ends June 17, 2021)

#sponsor #partner

2020-2021. A worldwide pandemic. Jobs lost or transformed to wfh; schools reconstructed into at-home/online learning; stores closed, and a terrible virus and illness, hospitalization for some, and loss for others.

One of the hardest things many have faced is the isolation; not being able to meet in community, with friends or family, or worship together. We may not have always felt His presence, but I know that God has truly been there. And finally, things are opening up. And a unique worship event is happening this summer, for a moment that attendees can sing, praise, lift their hands, and stand up as we reach out for hope, joy, and restoration.

Featuring Chris Tomlin, Kari Job, Bethel Music, and other fantastic musicians, this incredible live and in-person concert event will be held in cities across America. The concert tour begins August 13, 2021, and runs through September 3, 2021. And they’re providing TWO CONCERT TICKETS for one FINCHNWREN reader to win!

My experiences with these worship leaders & their music

If you’re a fan of worship music, you’re probably very familiar with Chris Tomlin (“How Great is Our God,” “Good Good Father,” and many more), with Kari Jobe (“The Blessing,” “Forever”), or members of the worship team from California’s Bethel Church, like Bethel Music’s Brian & Jenn Johnson (“Raise a Hallelujah,” “Reckless Love”). Our family has loved all of these (and you can find their music on YouTube and give it a listen, if you’re not familiar), and we’ve had wonderful worship moments with each one. But, I’d like to share with you a special moment that ties into a favorite Chris Tomlin song, “Who You Are To Me.”

We have all had our ups and downs over the past 15 months. I have, myself, experienced joys and encouragement alongside pain, illness, and disheartening moments. But I can say that I have seen God’s faithfulness, His presence, and His character as well…which is no small thing!

A few weeks ago, I was reading a book that contained familiar verses (Psalm 77:19-20) in a translation that was so different from those I’d read before that I was wonder-struck:

 "Your road led through the sea,

your pathway through the mighty waters—

a pathway no one knew was there!

You led your people along that road like a flock of sheep,

with Moses and Aaron as their shepherds."

Yes, truly, I was awestruck. We’re familiar with the story of the Exodus, with the moment when the pursued Hebrew people were faced with obstacles before them and a powerful army behind. We know that God does an enormous miracle as He parts the Red Sea and His people walk through on dry ground.

Yet the New Living Translation of these verses opened my eyes to frame that image in a way I’d never comprehended it: “Your road led through the sea, your pathway through the mighty waters–a pathway no one knew was there!

How amazingly comforting. And timely. And what a word that I could apply to my own life.

In a worldwide pandemic that none of us ever expected, God can make a pathway for us, where we had no idea where we’d be stepping. But God knew the way; and He’s leading us on it.

I so love Chris Tomlin’s (and his cowriters’) words in “Who You Are To Me.” They underline for me again God’s goodness and faithfulness as He carries us in and by paths unknown.

But I’ve seen You part the waters

When no one else could pull me from the deep

That’s who You are to me

Some people think You just live in cathedrals made of stone

But I know You live inside my heart, I know that it’s Your home

“Who you are to me,” Chris tomlin & friends

Just wow.

So, where will the concerts be held?

Check out the list above! They’ll be held, in the dates listed in the image above, in:

Cedar Rapids, IA (8/13); Detroit, MI (8/14); Milwaukee, WI (8/15); Rogers, AR (8/19); Oklahoma City, OK (8/20); Austin, TX (9/21); Beaumont, TX (8/22); Charlotte, NC (8/27); Simpsonville, SC (8/28); Albertville, AL (8/29); Tuscaloosa, AL (9/01); Orange Beach, AL (9/2); and Jacksonville, Fl (9/3).

How this contest will work

This is not just a giveaway with a randomly-selected winner. In fact, you can influence your chances of winning by sharing! You’ll have opportunities to share via Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, by sharing your own unique link with your friends/family/followers, and by following my blog as well!

You’ll earn points by doing all these things. The more you share, the better your chances of winning.

And, the top winner who enters via the link below through the FINCHNWREN blog will win: 2 tickets to the Chris Tomlin/Kari Jobe/Bethel Music Live in Concert, in the city of your choice. (Transportation to the concert city and the concert itself are the responsibility of the winner, including any associated costs or liability. This giveaway prize is the two tickets to the concert.)

This is truly an amazing opportunity and you could be the winner!

So finally: how to enter!!

To enter to win two tickets to Chris Tomlin/Kari Jobe/Bethel Music Live in Concert worship event, simply click on the pink “Enter here!” link below. That will take you to an Audience Republic giveaway entry page where you’ll be able to enter in a variety of ways. Remember, the more you share, the more points you’ll accrue, and the better your chance of winning the concert tickets via the FINCHNWREN blog. Giveaway closes 6/17/21 and winner will be notified on 6/18/21. Blessings!

Enter here!

And, you can purchase tickets as well….

If you’d like to purchase tickets for this incredible event, that’s also possible, starting on June 11, 2021! Just click on the purchase link below to select city/venue and tickets.

Purchase link

Enjoy–and I’m rooting for you! –Wren

Disclosure: Many thanks to Premiere Productions for providing this product/product information for review. Opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

“Rebuilding Joy” ~ A JustRead Blog & Review Tour and Giveaway (ends 6/24/21)

#sponsor #partner

Rebuilding Joy JustRead Blog + Review Tour

Welcome to the Blog + Review Tour for Rebuilding Joy by Regina Rudd Merrick, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

ABOUT THE BOOK

Rebuilding Joy Title: Rebuilding Joy Series: RenoVations #2 Author: Regina Rudd Merrick Publisher: Bellville Street Books Release Date: June 2, 2021 Genre: Contemporary Romance A waitress, a contractor, and an FBI agent walk into a café … Single mom Darcy Emerson Sloan has enough to do raising twins and running a restaurant. She’s doing fine on her own and doesn’t need the complications of a man in her life. But when her café turns into a crime scene, putting her and her children are in danger, she begins to take interest in the handsome young FBI agent that comes on the scene. Contractor Del Reno is as even-keeled as they come, but even he has his limits. And Darcy Sloan has pushed him too far. Every time he tries to help, it backfires. But now that Darcy and her kids are in trouble, he has no choice but to come to her aid and to protect her. She’s just going to have to deal with it. Secret tunnels, organized crime, adorable children, and a wedding. Just another day in Clementville. PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository | IndieBound

ALSO AVAILABLE


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Regina Rudd Merrick

Regina Rudd Merrick is a multi-published writer, church musician, wife, mother, former librarian, lover of all things beachy and chocolate, and grateful follower of Jesus Christ. Married to her husband of 35-plus years, she is the mother of two grown daughters, and the keeper of a 100-year-old house where she lives in the small town of Marion, KY. Connect with Regina on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or on her website at https://www.reginaruddmerrick.com

CONNECT WITH REGINA: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

TOUR GIVEAWAY

(3) winner will receive their choice of ebook or signed print copy of Rebuilding Joy!

Rebuilding Joy 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 June 7, 2021 and lasts through 11:59 PM EST on June 14, 2021. 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 HERE https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js


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

JustRead Publicity Tours

*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

About Rebuilding Joy

Author Regina Rudd Merrick has created a charming Kentucky small town, filled with neighbors who have grown up together and support each other. Widow and mom of littles Darcy works alongside her mom, Roxy, running the Clementville Cafe, which provides delicious meals for the area residents. There’s an abundance of interesting characters that people the town and eat at the cafe; the local sheriff, Roxy’s new husband, Darcy’s friends Lisa and Nick (who are also engaged), and Del.

Del, who’s a faithful Christian and has his eye on Darcy. Del, who’s a contractor and handy person when you need remodeling or fixing done. And Del, who’s an awesome guy, but who Darcy is avoiding like the plague. He’s totally not a stalker. But God, and Del’s friends, including his best friend Nick, keep telling him to be patient.

That’s before a large muddy footprint is found in the basement of the cafe. And before a secret door and tunnels winding under the building are revealed. The cafe, which also includes an apartment on the top floor, where Darcy and her children live, is suddenly a pretty dangerous place to be.

FBI agents and law enforcement personnel swarm Darcy’s home, life, and business. (Not to mention the basement.) She and the kids have to move out. And behind the scenes, there is a LOT going on…that may or may not involve organized crime. And anyone associated with the cafe might be at risk. What are the secrets that endanger Darcy, Del, and Clementville…and can Darcy put her trust in the God that she thinks has got it in for her?

My thoughts about the book

Regina Rudd Merrick has followed the advice that I’ve heard given to writers for a long time: to write about what you know. She and her husband relocated to a small Kentucky town and raised their family there. She’s also learned a lot about the history of the area, and the Ohio River region where it’s located. All those elements, along with characters who may or may not be based on people she knows, are brought together to create a charming Southern area where people love God and each other; but are thrown into a treacherous situation. History and hidden crimes come to light that menace Darcy, Del, Nick, and their families. I found the characters appealing and the mysteries fascinating, and I loved the mentions of delicious Southern food!

I also enjoyed experiencing Darcy’s and Del’s faith journeys. One person, secure in his relationship with God and enjoying their prayer conversations and His leading; and the other, harmed and damaged by life’s experiences and unwilling to trust the God she felt was behind all her suffering. Scriptures are woven into the story naturally and very applicably. I’ll carry one verse with me especially, as it spoke to me in a beautiful way. (I can’t tell you what it is, though, because…spoilers!)

I’d recommend Rebuilding Joy to anyone who’d enjoy a clean, contemporary romance with a little crime story on the side. Fun and encouraging read!

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.

Win awesome lip goodies in the Berry Good Giveaway Hop (ends 6/15/21)

Hello there!

I’m joining in another fun giveaway hop where you can win some fun lip goodies! MamatheFox is hosting the Berry Good Giveaway Hop, which runs from June 1 through June 15, 2021. Thirty bloggers will be participating with their own giveaways, which you’ll be able to access through the giveaway hop link below.

To visit the Berry Good Giveaway Hop page, just click on the blue InLinkz link below (the one with the frog on it). That will take you to the main giveaway page where you’ll be able to visit the links of all the participating bloggers, who have amazing giveaways for you to enter!

And now, for the FINCHNWREN blog giveaway!

The FINCHNWREN blog is giving away a lip goodies prize pack! One winner will receive:

  • Buxom Full-On Lip Polish mini in Sandy
  • Sephora miroir mini in Confectionary
  • Tarte gloss mini in Pinky
  • Bobbi Brown Art Stick Mini in English Rose

How to enter:

Simply 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. Giveaway closes on June 15, 2021. One winner will be selected to win. Best wishes!

Enter here!

Enjoy! –Wren

Disclosure:

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

“Dusk’s Darkest Shores” – A Read with Audra Book Tour & Giveaway (ends 6/15/21)

#sponsor #partner

Are you someone who loves Regency fiction (think of lush green countrysides, empire dresses, Darcy and Elizabeth)? I am particularly fond of that era, especially as it’s displayed in films or books. So, you can imagine how thrilled I was to be able to meet author Carolyn Miller’s newest heroine, Mary Bloomfield, in the first book of her upcoming trilogy, “Regency Wallflowers.” I received Miller’s Dusk’s Darkest Shores from Read with Audra. It is the best of Regency fiction, full of faith, wonderfully drawn characters, and beautiful scenery in England’s Lake District. Even better, you’ll have the opportunity to enter a fantastic giveaway full of goodies to celebrate Dusk’s Darkest Shores!

About Dusk’s Darkest Shores

Mary Bloomfield has resigned herself to not being the most beautiful ingenue at the ball. In fact, as she enters her late twenties, she realizes that, despite her deepest longings, marriage may not be in her future at all. But, while she may not enjoy being a wallflower at the balls and dances in her town, she loves and trusts God and serves faithfully alongside her father, Doctor Bloomfield, as a trained assistant. She both assists her father and prays fervently whenever they’re called to the sickbed, or even to childbirths. Her mother and younger sister Joanna, who’s quite in demand at parties, round out their family, along with Mary’s brother Robert, who is away at war.

Robert’s childhood best friend was Adam Edgerton, and when they were boys, they tramped up and down the cliffs, trails, and hills of the countryside, often with little Mary tagging along behind them. Adam has been abroad fighting in Britain’s campaigns against Napoleon, but he is at last returning home; home to his family farm, his parents, and his young fiancee Emily. Unfortunately, illness upon injury has stolen Adam’s formerly strong and vibrant health and he comes back to the Lake District disabled; and uncertain if he’ll ever return to strength and health.

Dr. Bloomfield and Mary are summoned to the Edgerton home, where Adam is almost incoherent with pain from the very long and difficult journey. The doctor administers medication, yet he’s quite concerned that Adam won’t be able to regain his health and former abilities. He encourages Adam to attempt to do the tasks and little jobs that he can accomplish. This is an incredible blow to the former soldier, who decides that he must break his engagement to Emily. How shocked he is when she arrives to break it first! And now, added to his physical challenges, Adam must deal with anger, disillusionment, and discouragement. How will he ever make something of his life now?

Mary is encouraged to assist Adam, to help him regain his strength, to walk, to take some outdoor exercise. She isn’t prepared for Adam’s crankiness or sometimes, his sharp tongue. But he does begin to heal. And on both sides, care and respect for the other (and perhaps more than that) begin to develop.

What kind of life can an injured war hero have in England, in the early 1800s? There were no physical therapists; there were doctors, but of course they lacked the knowledge we rely upon today. There were also no counselors trained to work with former soldiers experiencing PTSD…or specialists who can teach them how to live with new or shocking injuries. However, in Carolyn Miller’s beautiful novel, Dusk’s Darkest Shores, we find a capable and faith-filled young woman, Mary, who is singularly equipped to assist Adam as he works toward health and his new life. Could it be possible that a future of love and commitment might be possible for the so-called wallflower, and the damaged former officer?

I wholeheartedly recommend that you read Dusk’s Darkest Shores and find out! You will love the Regency romance and manners, the characters, and their journeys to grow in faith, love, and trust.

Enter to win a fabulous gift pack in the Dusk’s Darkest Shores Blog Tour Giveaway

And, you can enter to win a delightful gift package from Carolyn Miller!

One winner will receive all these goodies!

– a copy of Dusk’s Darkest Shores
– a canvas bag to carry your latest reads
– a fun pair of Jane Austen socks
– Novel Teas’ English Breakfast tea
– “Drink tea, read books, and be happy” tea spoon
– “Let your faith be bigger than your fear” mug
– Black currant preserves from England
– Wax Lyrical candle from England

To enter, simply click on the link below to access the Rafflecopter entry form. There will be lots of ways to enter. Best wishes!

a Rafflecopter giveaway https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

About the author

Carolyn Miller is an inspirational romance author who lives in the beautiful Southern Highlands of New South Wales, Australia, with her husband and four children.

A longtime lover of romance, especially that of Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer’s Regency era, Carolyn holds a BA in English literature and loves drawing readers into fictional worlds that show the truth of God’s grace in our lives. She enjoys music, films, gardens, art, travel, and food.

Miller’s novels have won a number of RWA and ACFW contests. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Australasian Christian Writers. 

Learn more about Carolyn at www.carolynmillerauthor.com, or find her on Facebook (Carolyn Miller Author)Instagram (@CarolynMillerAuthor), and Twitter (@CarolynMAuthor)

Enjoy! –Wren

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from Read with Audra. All opinions expressed here are my own.

Gary LeVox & his first solo album: “One on One” (a review & giveaway, ends 6/5/21)

#sponsor #partner

I have a wonderful new album to share with you today! You are probably familiar with the band Rascal Flatts, for whom Gary LeVox was the lead singer. Well, he has just released his first solo album and it’s wonderful. Momentum Influencers was kind enough to provide an early release digital ep for me and I’ve been listening to it for the last 40 minutes on loop. Keep reading for more, and for a merch giveaway!

About Gary LeVox

I’m sure you’re familiar with the band Rascal Flatts. They had an exceptionally successful career stretch as a band (20 years), and Gary was the lead singer and cofounder. They could probably be categorized as country/rock with adult contemporary style. The first time I heard them was years ago when my family and I took our then-kindergartener to see the Disney Pixar film Cars. Rascal Flatts sang one of the key songs in the movie, “Life is a Highway.” (I definitely recommend checking out the YouTube Rascal Flatts official “Cars” video of the song; it’s celebratory and fun and you’ll get to see Gary LeVox heading up the band.) After 20 years together, the band had their farewell tour planned for 2020…but we all know what happened in 2020! That tour was put on hold for a bit. But then, Gary had some time to work on a personal project. The result was the lovely and inspiring “One on One.”

Gary says this about music as a vehicle for faith: “I feel like God graced us with a platform where we can not only touch people’s lives through music, but by being men of God offstage too,” explained LeVox. “At those times when we are with fans that are going through something like cancer, it is so wonderful to not only sing for them but to hold their hand and pray with them. I want them to know that they have a friend in me. I’m not just some guy on the stage. I feel like Christ has put me in this position because He knew I could handle the obligation, which often means taking the time to lift someone up in prayer.”

It’s wonderful to get this peek behind the scenes at Gary LeVox‘s faith. Of course one of the Rascal Flatts’ enormous hits was the beautiful “Bless the Broken Road,” so perhaps that isn’t so surprising!

About One on One

One on One is a five-song music ep featuring Gary’s distinctive, rich lead vocals; including some beautiful duets with other talented groups and individuals like contemporary Christian band MercyMe, Grammy winner Jonathan McReynolds, and country-rap star BRELAND. Gary’s daughter Brittany LeVox, who has an astonishingly beautiful voice, joins him for a rich treatise on walking out faith in spite of suffering. Here’s a little more about each of the five songs:

  • “A Little Love” (featuring MercyMe). I particularly love the bridge in that song; reminders of what we can do because we have God’s incredible 1 Corinthians 13 love in and behind us.
  • “Never Forget,” where the phenomenal Jonathan McReynolds’ and Gary LeVox’s voices soar as they proclaim that they’ll never forget what Jesus has done for them. What a great reminder to keep the faith. Some of the most moving lyrics are these:
    • “‘Cause my soul still remembers what my eyes can’t see; And my heart still rejoices in that memory…Jesus I’ll never forget what you’ve for me.”
  • “While I Wait,” the song Gary sings with his daughter Brittany. This one is undoubtedly my favorite, a song I want to make part of my prayers and my days! You’ll know why when you hear it, but here is the rich prayer it contains:

“Until you heal me
Until there’s no more pain
Until these tears dry and my heart unbreaks
Until the rain stops
Until you make a way
Oh Lord I still praise you
While I wait.”

  • “All I See,” featuring BRELAND, which asks the Lord to help us focus our eyes so that He is what we see
  • Last, the wonderful “The Distance,” which so describes the last year and a half for the world and infuses it with what we need: “Go the distance, accept the challenge; For every battle that’s beforе you Hope’s not lost, it’s found on a cross.”

One On One is my passion project and I have wanted to do this body of work for as long as I can remember,” explains LeVox. “I feel so honored to get to collaborate with such greatness throughout this project. BRELAND is a dream to work and sing with, as is the iconic MercyMe. Jonathon McReynolds, one of the greatest singers of our time and my dear friend, wrote a perfect song for us. And for my daughter Brittany and I to get to sing a song that Tauren Wells help craft just completed the collection. I couldn’t be prouder of this project, and the songs that we recorded. This is gonna be an amazing new season and I just hope everybody enjoys it as much as we did making it.”

In some ways it seems so very clear that these songs were composed or sung during a time when everyone on the planet has struggled, in so many areas of life. Yet their beauty isn’t only in the incredible vocals, or the notes, or words sung; it’s in the timeless truths we need to hear not only when life is hard but when it’s good.

Enter the giveaway to win some One on One merch!

So, the Gary LeVox merch! You can enter to win an 8″ x 10″ signed poster from Gary and One on One! To enter, simply 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. Giveaway closes June 5, 2021. One winner will be selected to win. Best wishes!

Enter here!

Where you can find One on One — so YOU can listen!

Gary LeVox has made One on One available on many streaming services; Apple Music, Spotify, Amazon Music, YouTube, Pandora, iTunes, Soundcloud, and deezer. (Hint: if you go to YouTube, you can also see the lyrics in many of the music videos!) One on One can be streamed and purchased from these services. And bonus: $1 of every purchase goes to fight human trafficking through the Tim Tebow Foundation!

Just click on Gary LeVox – One on One – EP, and you’ll be able to select your streaming service and listen. I know you’ll enjoy it and be encouraged and lifted up!

In the trying times we’ve all been enduring for the past few years, we can all use some uplifting music to point our eyes toward the God who loves us. One on One, Gary LeVox and his fellow musicians will do that for you!

Enjoy! –Wren

Disclosure: Many thanks to Capitol Christian Music Group for providing this product/product information for review.  Opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation.  I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

“The Joy of Being Mom” Review & Giveaway (ends 5/31/21)

#sponsor #partner

Recently, The BlogAbout Blogger Network sent me the perfect read for May (you know, Mother’s Day)! I received two copies of Judy Brisky’s The Joy of Being Mom. One copy is for me to give away to a FINCHNWREN reader! This was a wonderful and faith-building read. Let me tell you more!

About The Joy of Being Mom

Author Judy Brisky has written a book that’s appropriate for moms in any stage of parenting, from infant (well, really, even during pregnancy) all the way through our kids’ adult lives. The Joy of Being Mom contains 11 chapters on life, parenting, motherhood, marriage, and the Christian faith; and also about how God is right there for us in our mothering, every step of the way. Each chapter includes wisdom, instruction, ideas, and even stories of Judy’s own life experiences and how she walked through them. At the end of each chapter is a short but rich study guide (including a brief chapter review, applicable Bible verses, questions, “Heart Connectors,” and a prayer), as well as a coloring page for Bible journaling lovers!

Judy is a mother of 5 (three children in heaven, and two adult sons), mother-in-love to two daughters-in-love, and grandmother to Poppy (who’s also in heaven). She and her husband Mike spent years on the professional golf tour circuit; Judy homeschooled their two boys and Mike golfed as they raised their family. Those boys are now adults. Judy and Mike have been married for over 30 years and are now involved in ministry at Gateway Church. So, Judy is especially able to speak on many seasons of a mom’s life!

In The Joy of Being Mom, Judy’s Christian faith, joy in the journey of the mom life, and desire to share wisdom with other mothers shines on every page. Readers will get to hear about the way Mike and Judy came to faith and met God; how the Bible impacted their parenting and enduring the losses of three children; and how to live in the moment and enjoy their family relationships. There’s so much that moms at any point of their lives (even once the children are grown and have left the house) will benefit enormously. Judy’s voice is also delightful; she speaks to readers as if they are women she has come alongside to love and cherish. All of that makes The Joy of Being Mom a bright and refreshing read.

What I learned–and loved–about this book

One of my favorite things about books that come out of Gateway Publishing is this: while the authors teach and instruct on Scripture, life experience, and ministry, the books are always uplifting, encouraging, and never heavy or judgmental. I may definitely feel, while I’m reading, that God has instructions or corrections for me; but I never feel like I’m being shamed or condemned, or that the authors are putting burdens on me that are too heavy for me to carry. What a relief! And Judy Brisky’s book has all those same qualities. It was lovely to read.

I loved her reminders that our words have an enormous impact on our children. Are we speaking life over them? Or are we criticizing their flaws without offering them ways to improve? Her words on timing and lovingkindness in our speaking and teaching are on point and really able to instruct moms.

She shares a story from the life of Jesus that beautifully illustrates the heart we can have as we raise our kids. Although Jesus was the Son of God, He laid aside His position in order to lovingly serve the disciples, even to the point of washing their dirty feet. Amazing.

Judy also knows that a mother’s days are both full and sometimes…long. She found herself that putting her faith and reliance on God each day helped her to walk through those days with grace and love, instead of quick tempers or irritation. In addition, she shares tons of practical suggestions that enable moms to handle the responsibilities of life, like chore charts, teaching kids to communicate with grace, and staying involved in the Bible as individuals and as a family.

I’d love to tell you everything that I loved about this book and its wisdom. But I’m also a person who hates to give spoilers! So instead, I’m going to share some of my favorite quotes. Here they are:

  • “…He knows exactly what kind of mother your children need…God equips every mother with the specific tools she needs to help her children grow into loving, mature adults.”
  • “One of the most important things we can teach our children is that mistakes do not lessen God’s love for us or our love for each other. Love is not something we have to earn, nor is it something we have to worry about losing.”
  • “Listen to your children and thank them for sharing with you. Let them know that what they have to say matters and is important to you.”
  • “When you think there’s nowhere to go and the dim light at the end of the tunnel has faded away, He will be your Light. He will show you “a pathway no one knew was there.” Whether this pathway is one of healing, restoration, or guidance, it will bring you to the heart of God. It will guide you to the place of knowing that your heavenly Father loves you, takes care of you, and is always faithful to you, even when you don’t understand.”
  • “Don’t be discouraged if there is an area of weakness in your life. We are all in the process of learning, growing, and healing. Go to the Father and ask Him to help you.”

More than anything else, I love that while Judy Brisky has tons of wonderful ideas and perspectives to share with moms, a major theme in her book is that God LOVES us all so much, and that He is ALWAYS ready to help us, to share His lovingkindness with us, and to help us with our parenting and families. We are never alone; we have the God of all comfort on our side!

How you can enter to win your own copy of The Joy of Being Mom

The FINCHNWREN blog has one copy of he Joy of Being Mom to give away to one reader! Beginning at 9:00 a.m. EST on May 16, 2021, readers can enter to win this. Simply 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. Giveaway closes 5/31/21, and one winner will be selected to win. Best wishes!

Enter here!

Enjoy! –Wren

Disclaimer: From time to time, FINCHNWREN may receive a free product or service. We are not required to write a positive or glowing review, nor are we additionally compensated for these reviews. We share our own opinions, and our family’s opinion, of these products. We’re disclosing this in accordance with FTC regulations.

Terri Blackstock’s fabulous newest: “Aftermath” – A JustRead Blog Tour & Giveaway (ends 5/18/21)

Aftermath JustRead Blog Tour Welcome to the Blog Tour for Aftermath by Terri Blackstock, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

ABOUT THE BOOK

AftermathTitle: Aftermath Author: Terri Blackstock Publisher: Thomas Nelson Release Date: May 11, 2021 Genre: Christian Romantic Suspense/Thriller

This gripping new thriller from New York Times bestselling author Terri Blackstock will leave you on the edge of your seat. A devastating explosion. Three best friends are at the venue just to hear their favorite band . . . but only one of them makes it out alive. A trunk full of planted evidence. When police stop Dustin with a warrant to search his trunk, he knows it’s just a mistake. He’s former military and owns a security firm. But he’s horrified when they find explosives, and he can’t fathom how they got there. An attorney who will risk it all for a friend. Criminal attorney Jamie Powell was Dustin’s best friend growing up. They haven’t spoken since he left for basic training, but she’s the first one he thinks of when he’s arrested. Jamie knows she’s putting her career on the line by defending an accused terrorist, but she’d never abandon him. Someone is framing Dustin to take the fall for shocking acts of violence . . . but why?

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | IndieBound | Christianbook | Bookbub


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Terri Blackstock

Terri Blackstock has sold over seven million books worldwide and is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author. She has had over twenty-five years of success as a novelist. She’s the author of If I Run, If I’m Found, and If I Live, as well as such series as Cape Refuge, Newpointe 911, Moonlighters, and the Restoration series. Visit her website at www.terriblackstock.com.

CONNECT WITH TERRI: Website | Facebook

TOUR GIVEAWAY

(3) winners will receive a print copy of Aftermath by Terri Blackstock!

Aftermath JustRead Giveaway

Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway began at midnight May 11, 2021 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on May 18, 2021. 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 HERE https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js


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

JustRead Publicity Tours

*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

My review of Aftermath

Aftermath: (noun) Something that results or follows from an event, especially one of a disastrous or unfortunate nature; consequence. (from Dictionary.com)

In the aftermath of disaster, emergency personnel descend on the scene. They work rapidly to locate victims, remove survivors from dangerous situations, prevent further tragedies from occurring.

But what if the disaster is a crime scene? Then all those efforts still have to happen, but in addition, suspects must be located and secured so that no further harm is done. What happens, though, when the wrong guy is arrested?

In Atlanta, three people are going about their lives, unaware that those lives are about to be turned upside down. College student Taylor is at a concert/political appearance with her two best friends. Jamie, an attorney, plans to pick up her young daughter from her mother’s home, after a case is closed and her client is acquitted. Former U.S. military and current security consultant Dustin is driving alone, but is suddenly pulled over by a group of armed police and ATF agents. They demand to search his trunk. And what the officers find there shocks Dustin and impels them into action. Once he is booked, he contacts the only person he knows who might be able to help him: Jamie.

What follows is a fascinating tale that touches myriad aspects of the human experience: a suffering and perhaps dying spouse; guilt determined by the media rather than in a court of law; the joys of family and children; struggles with mental illness; revenge; and beneath all of those, the character of each individual that determines the actions taken and choices made. Will another innocent person be made to suffer in the aftermath of others’ decisions?

I was thrilled to discover that one of my favorite authors of inspirational suspense thrillers, Terri Blackstock, was releasing her next book. Aftermath is excellent! I loved reading this book about a good man arrested for a horrendous crime he didn’t commit, the childhood friend turned lawyer who fights to get him set free, and Taylor, a random young woman who got, so to speak, caught in the crossfire. Never predictable, and including challenges faced by real people today, this novel grabbed me from the first chapter. (In fact, I read it all in one day; it would have been in one sitting except I had to eat lunch!) I love Blackstock’s thrillers, and the faith that her characters either encounter or lean on to get through their difficulties. If you’re looking for an exciting novel that you won’t be able to put down, Aftermath is the book for you!

Sound amazing?

Well, the publisher has provided a sample chapter for you to read! Just click on this LINK if you’d like to check it out! Once you’re on the Aftermath page, scroll down a bit and you’ll see a spot where you can click on the book cover to read a chapter. I’m certain you’ll find it compelling!

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.

Win a Crayola Craft Pack in the Life’s a Beach Giveaway Hop (CLOSED)

**Congrats to Bryan V., the giveaway winner!**

Hi everyone!

It’s time for another fun craft giveaway! I’m joining with lots of fun bloggers in the “Life’s a Beach Giveaway Hop,” hosted by Blogger Talk Media. I’m giving away something fun for your kids to use to create, now that the school year is finally winding down!

The FINCHNWREN blog is giving away a Crayola Craft Pack! One winner will receive all these goodies:

  • Crayola Paint Your Own Artist Creation (includes a canvas imprinted with a hedgehog, paintbrush, and 4-pack of washable paints)
  • Two Creative Kids Super Blast Art sets (each includes 2 spray pens and two stencils; remember to use smocks and cover your painting surfaces, as paint may stain)
  • Crayola Marker & Paint Pad (8″ x 10″ size, 25 pages suitable for markers and paint)
  • Three 1-ounce packs of Crayola Model Magic (my favorite soft, squishy modeling material) in red, yellow, and blue
  • Two-pack of mini lined journals with colorful covers (Mom may want these!)

How to enter to win:

Simply 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. Giveaway closes on May 18, 2021. One winner will be selected to win. Best wishes!

Enter here!

And now, how to enter the Life’s a Beach Giveaway Hop!

You’ll definitely want to visit the linkup page for the Life’s a Beach Giveaway Hop, where you’ll find tons of cool blogs giving away neat prizes. Over 50 bloggers will be giving away a cool variety of prizes. To get there, just click on the blue InLinkz button below (the one with the frog on it). That will take you to the linkup page, where you’ll be able to enter to win!

Enjoy! –Wren

“Finding Uncle Newton and his Nemesis” – A JustRead Blog & Giveaway (CLOSED)

Finding Uncle Newton JustRead Blog Tour Welcome to the Blog Tour for Finding Uncle Newton and his Nemesis by Douglas P. Cornelius, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

ABOUT THE BOOK

Finding Uncle NewtonTitle: Finding Uncle Newton and his Nemesis Author: Douglas P. Cornelius Publisher: Gatekeeper Press Release Date: March 15, 2021 Genre: Middle Grade/Teen Historical Fiction (age 13-17)

She is outgoing, but orphaned. He is introverted, but a world-renowned scientist. Would moving in with Uncle Isaac Newton work? When his head was always in a book or the Bible? Teen-aged Catherine Barton tries desperately to connect, so seeks a match for her energy in the London coffeehouses. That women were not welcome there in the late 1690’s would not stop her, and she does find promising boyfriend John. Meanwhile, Uncle Isaac, as new Warden of the Mint, has his own challenges—nabbing counterfeiters, including the notorious, William Chaloner. He enlists Catherine to spy at the coffeehouse, and she welcomes the bond—all until boyfriend John gets implicated in a counterfeiting scheme. Then a case of smallpox, a pandemic scourge that had killed millions just decades earlier, sends her off to dreaded isolation in the countryside. And Uncle Isaac’s battle to nab the devious Chaloner turns into a challenging chess match. Will famous scientist Newton be embarrassed by a scofflaw from the street? Will Catherine ever find her true connection? Based on actual historical events and people. Author is a prior recipient of Moonbeam and Illumination Awards for books for faith-driven teens.

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | IndieBound


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Douglas Cornelius

Illumination and Moonbeam award-winning author Douglas P. Cornelius hails from the Twin Cities, MN. He began writing after careers at Target, Ameriprise, and 3M. A Cornell University graduate, his hope is to reveal the lives of impactful Christian figures through story, rather than biography. Doug has been married for 45 years and has two children, three grandchildren, cat Selah, and new puppy Scout.

CONNECT WITH DOUGLAS: Website | Twitter

TOUR GIVEAWAY

(1) winner will receive a print copy of Finding Uncle Newton and his Nemesis, winner’s choice of another book by the author, and a $25 Amazon gift card!

Finding Uncle Newton JustRead Giveaway

Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway began at midnight May 4, 2021 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on May 11, 2021. 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 HERE https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js


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

JustRead Publicity Tours

*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

My review

Finding Uncle Newton and his Nemesis provides middle-grade and teen readers with a glimpse into the life of scientist Sir Isaac Newton. Set in England in the late 1600s and peopled with actual historical figures, this book tells the story of what might have happened when his orphaned niece, Catherine Barton, came to live with him after “aging” out of the orphanage she lived in (at age 16!). Imagine a vibrant, extroverted teen moving into her uncle’s home; her uncle who had a brilliant scientific mind, a vigorous Christian faith, and…a temper.

While her Uncle Isaac had already published his masterwork Principia Mathematica when Catherine came to live with him, both his scientific and faith explorations were far from over. The monarchy had faced immense difficulties with England’s economy, and these difficulties were exacerbated by large counterfeiting operations, when bogus coins were struck and used as legal tender. To help solve this crisis, Newton was appointed Warden of the Mint and tasked with finding and arresting the counterfeiters.

In Finding Uncle Newton and his Nemesis, young readers will meet a number of actual people who lived in Newton’s time and interacted with the scientist and, perhaps, his niece, such as:

  • Edmund (sometimes spelled Edmond) Halley
  • Captain William Phips
  • Counterfeiter William Chalmoner
  • Newgate prisoner Cecilia Labree
  • Colonial poet Anne Bradstreet
  • and more

In addition, author Douglas Cornelius also includes excerpts from actual letters in this book (although their 17th-century language has been updated for today’s readers).

Sir Isaac Newton is one of my favorite scientists of all time. His exceptional scientific discoveries still affect us and inform our understanding of astronomy and science today. Many people might be surprised to learn that he investigated the Bible and the realm of faith just as intensely. Finding Uncle Newton and his Nemesis is an engaging story about Newton and his niece Catherine, who deeply desires to be loved and valued. Newton’s pursuit of England’s counterfeiters while serving as Warden of the Mint provides a wonderful, and true, spy story. I so enjoyed the way Cornelius wove the actual letters and statements of counterfeiter Chalmoner into this tale (proving yet again that people really haven’t changed much over the years). Readers will gain a wonderful insight not only into Newton’s faith, and into his ideas and discoveries as well.

Finding Uncle Newton and his Nemesis is a fantastic read for teens, and also, I’d believe, for late elementary-aged students. This book could be enjoyed either as a reader or a family read-aloud.

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.

“Begotten” – A JustRead Blog + Review Tour (CLOSED)

Begotten JustRead Blog + Review Tour

Welcome to the Blog + Review Tour for Begotten by Lisa T. Bergren, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

ABOUT THE BOOK

Begotten Title: Begotten Series: The Gifted Trilogy #1 Author: Lisa T. Bergren Publisher: BCG Press Release Date: April 26, 2021 Genre: Christian, Supernatural Suspense Begotten is an edited, new edition of a novel previously released in 2006, The Begotten. At the height of the Inquisition, a secret half a millennium old is about to be exposed—a lost letter believed to have been written by Saint Paul but never part of the Christian canon. The letter speaks of men and women—the Gifted—with profound spiritual gifts that will strike fear in the heart of a Church dedicated to maintaining power. Now the letter has surfaced and the Gifted are gathering. But so are their enemies… PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Christianbook

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Lisa T. Bergren

Lisa T. Bergren is the best-selling, award-winning author of over 60 books in a variety of genres, from children’s picture books to contemporary romance to supernatural suspense novels. She lives in Colorado Springs in a brand-new home she and her husband just finished building and intend to never leave, because she’s discovered she loathes moving. You can find out more about her at LisaTBergren.com

CONNECT WITH LISA: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

TOUR GIVEAWAY

(1) winner will receive a signed print copy of Begotten, a custom Gifted candle, and a $50 Amazon gift card!

Begotten 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 27, 2021 and lasts through 11:59 PM EST on May 4, 2021. 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 HERE https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js


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

JustRead Publicity Tours

*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

My review of Begotten

Gianni de Capezzana: knight of the Church, strong and courageous in his faith as he and his men seek to track down the Sorcerer, who is a murderer, destroyer, and ensnarer of the unwary.

Father Piero: transient priest, preacher of the Gospel of Christ, holder of a prophetic illuminated document, that foretells three who will bring life, healing, and faith to those in need.

Lady Daria d’Angelo: member of a noble Siena family famous for their weaving, who’s abiding in a convent after a broken engagement. She hopes to heal her own heart, not knowing that God has given her an unusual gift for healing others.

These three, although they don’t know it yet, are part of the Gifted, a group of Christians who’ve been brought together to share the gifts of the Spirit in a time when the Church was generally the only possessor of the Bible and the only groups and individuals authorized to speak of God and His directions. Yet a battle has begun between two sides that will engage them all, heart and soul, and draw others into a spiritual and physical fight between good and evil. Will they be able to stand against such a powerful enemy, with weapons that are spiritual, as they seek to save the lost and the broken?

Lisa Bergren’s exceptional gift for storytelling brings the struggle between the God and His children and the forces of darkness to life with appealing and varied characters. Life in Italy, in the 1300s, is captured vividly; readers can picture cathedrals, cobblestoned plazas, and walled castles as well as the challenges of existence in the Middle Ages. Just as powerfully, Bergren describes the lives of individuals called to follow God and gifted for His amazing purposes in this novel about Daria, Piero, Gianni, the Sorcerer, and others, and the forces aligned on both sides. This exciting book is the first in The Gifted series, with two more to come.

If you love a fantastic story, engaging characters, and inspirational fiction, you’ll love Begotten. Just be prepared for a wonderful, if sometimes frightening, tale of good and its fight against evil!

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.