Sunday, January 23, 2022

Holding onto Hope

Anyone who is living with chronic pain or illness knows that there are moments, days, weeks that you feel absolutely defeated. It is easy to question why this has happened to you, why life has to be like this and just desperately hopeless. However, as a Christian, this is not a battle that is fought and lived alone. Knowing that Jesus is with you is one thing, remembering this and holding onto that promise is another and can be more difficult.  
Leslie L. McKeesport book, "Hope Amid the Pain: hanging on to positive expectations when battling chronic pain and illness," is a 60-day devotional journal that is an excellent resource and help. Each day features a verse from the Bible and then a reading to go along with it. Also there are several lines for the reader to journal her own thoughts and reflections. 
I love that the readings are short and specific in focus for each day as it doesn't feel overwhelming or time consuming.  However, it is a verse and reading that will leave you thinking about it for the day (or longer) and away to start out each day with a positive mindset. Also, it is a quick read before bed to help calm any anxiety one may feel as well. 

*I received a complimentary copy from the author. All opinions shared are my own." 

Friday, September 24, 2021

A trio of Christmas novellas!

 I am a fan of all things Christmas and all things written by Karen Witemeyer, so this book was a must-read for me and such a great collection of stories!  This book is a collection of three novellas, the first being a Scrooge type story that is endearing and the main character's strong personality and spunkiness will have you laughing out loud at times.  The Archer family is one of my favorite fictional families and I loved spending Christmas with them in the second story.  The third story I had read last year and I just had to reread it and loved Ruth's story one again this year!  This is a sweet collection of historical Christian fiction set at Christmas time and although fall is just beginning, it is not too early to get in the Christmasy spirit and this book is just the thing to do that!

*Thanks to the author for a copy of this book; all opinions expressed are my own.*

"The Inn at Walker Beach"


"The Inn at Walker Beach" is one of the best books I have read this year for sure!  This is the first book in The Barefoot Sisterhood series by Lindsay Harrel; however the characters and the setting were introduced in the Walker Beach series that was published last year.  I have been waiting for Jenna's story to continue since meeting her in the first book I read set in Walker Beach and I was not disappointed at all!  This book is full of heart and amazing characters whom you cannot help but fall in love with and you will wish that you lived in the Walker Beach community.  When Jenna received the invite to join this sisterhood, she had no idea what or who was involved.  However, each lady has been invited for a reason and this group is exactly what they all need as well as the purpose of the inn.  Elise is one of my favorite people in this book and in this town and I loved getting to know her better in this book. I am looking forward to the second book and seeing where this series goes and the storylines advancing for this group of ladies.  

"Hangin' by a Moment" - a must-read addition to the Deep Haven Collection!


JPEG Image"Hangin' by a Moment" is the latest novel set in Deep Haven and it is written by Andrea Christenson and Susan May Warren.  I have absolutely loved this entire series and I love how each story keeps this town and community alive!  Boone's buddy has just been released from jail and Boone has convinced him that Deep Haven is the place to come heal and start living life once more.  After all, Deep Haven helped him.  However, he is not quite prepared to jump right into the community and be as involved as some would like him to be as they are trying to get their Crisis Response Team fully staffed and prepared.  Colleen grew up in Deep Haven and have been trying to live her own life away from her mistakes in high school; however she is forced into taking a longer break than anticipated back home and finds herself stepping in and helping out.  Colleen and Jack both are not planning to really make this town a permanent place for them; however neither can help the pull that they have to help out and the feelings of belonging that begin to take hold.  However, it is not that easy to forget the past or to forgive ourselves.  Will Deep Haven's community and their love work their charm once more to help these two who are hurting and adrift?  I highly recommend this book and this entire series; however I would definitely be sure to start at the beginning and read in order as you do not want to miss out on anyone's back story or the small town charm!

*Thank you to the author for a complimentary copy of this book; all opinions expressed are my own.*

Thursday, September 23, 2021

"Roar Like a Lion" review tour!

Roar Like a Lion JustRead Bookstagram + Review Tour 

"Roar Like a Lion" is a brand-new children's devotional book that is available now!  This book has 90 readings that are geared to help build up your faith so that hard things can be done.  I love the variety of topics and straight forward approach and easy to understand language that is used.  For example, one of the readings is about "turning off the dark."  The world is so dark, people are mean, yet we can help turn off the dark and turn on the light by sharing God's love with the world.  Each reading begins with a verse and also has a "did you know?" or a "get ready to roar!" section.  For this particular reading it is a  "did you know" talking about the moon.  The "get ready to roar" are little challenges or missions to do to help carry out and reinforce what was shared in the reading.  I also love the illustrations and just the use of color throughout this book.  It is very eye-catching, and an easy and appealing format for kids!

*I received this book from the publisher; all opinions shared are my own.*

Monday, September 6, 2021

"The Cryptographer's Dilemma" blog tour!


The Cryptographer

About the Book


Book:  The Cryptographer’s Dilemma

Author: Johnnie Alexander

Genre: Historical Christian Fiction

Release date: August, 2021

A Code Developer Uncovers a Japanese Spy Ring

Full of intrigue, adventure, and romance, this new series celebrates the unsung heroes—the heroines of WWII.

FBI cryptographer Eloise Marshall is grieving the death of her brother, who died during the attack on Pearl Harbor, when she is assigned to investigate a seemingly innocent letter about dolls. Agent Phillip Clayton is ready to enlist and head oversees when asked to work one more FBI job. A case of coded defense coordinates related to dolls should be easy, but not so when the Japanese Consulate gets involved, hearts get entangled, and Phillip goes missing. Can Eloise risk loving and losing again?

 My Review:

I was so looking forward to reading this book since I have read other books by Johnnie Alexander and loved them and I enjoy books set in the World War II era; I was not disappointed in the least!  Eloise is devastated after losing her brother and instead of having time to let her heart heal, she is busy at work as they are in the midst of war.  Eloise is brilliant, and has a strong analytical mind, and this where she feels led to be right now.  The letter that she is investigating does not seem to really be anything; however tensions rise, and when there is other involvement further complicating things, things are not as innocent as they first appeared.  Philip was all set to be shipped overseas, but he gets assigned to this one more case; not only is the situation intriguing but the cryptographer is as well.  As Eloise and Philip work together, not only are their minds involved, but their hearts as well.  I love the mixture of suspense and romance along with the historical details thus creating a sweet and powerful story.  


Click here to get your copy!


About the Author


Johnnie Alexander creates characters you want to meet and imagines stories you won’t forget in a variety of genres. An award-winning, best-selling novelist, she serves on the executive boards of Serious Writer, Inc. and the Mid-South Christian Writers Conference, co-hosts Writers Chat, and interviews other inspirational authors for Novelists Unwind. Johnnie lives in Oklahoma with Griff, her happy-go-lucky collie, and Rugby, her raccoon-treeing papillon. Connect with her at and other social media sites via


More from Johnnie

American Traitor in WWII


Not all secret messages involve substitution codes where random letters and numbers replace the original letters and numbers. Velvalee Dickinson, a doll collector who owned a doll shop on Madison Avenue in New York City, used jargon code to pass along information to the Japanese about the U.S. ships that had been damaged at Pearl Harbor.


Here’s an excerpt from one of the letters (as originally written):


The only new dolls I have are THREE LOVELY IRISH dolls. One of these three dolls is an old Fisherman with a Net over his back—another is an old woman with wood on her back and the third is a little boy….I can only think of our sick boy these days. You wrote me that you had sent a letter to Mr. Shaw, well I want to see MR. SHAW he distroyed Your letter, you know he has been Ill. His car was damaged but is being repaired now. I saw a few of his family about. They all say Mr. Shaw will be back to work soon.


Velvalee, who the FBI nicknamed The Doll Woman, wrote this letter on her Underwood typewriter. She used the return address and forged the signature of one of her regular customers, Mary Wallace of Springfield, Ohio. Then Velvalee mailed the letter to an address in Buenos Aires, Argentina.


Unknown to Velvalee, the Japanese had abandoned the Buenos Aires address as a drop point. The letter was marked “return to sender.” When Mrs. Wallace received it, she turned it in to the Post Office Director in Springfield who passed it along to the FBI.


Cryptographers determined that the letter was written in jargon code. To the casual reader, the letter is about dolls. But the intended recipient would have understood it’s about much more than that.


In this example, only one of five letters given to the FBI between February and August of 1942,

cryptographers decoded the message as follows:


  • Old Fisherman with a Net over his back ~ refers to an aircraft carrier which has anti-torpedo nettings on its sides.
  • Old woman with wood on her back ~ refers to an older battleship, one made of wood.
  • A little boy plus our sick boy ~ a damaged ship.


Cryptographers believed that the words Mr. Shaw and Your were purposely capitalized and that the word distroyed was purposely misspelled to draw attention to them. Mr. Shaw referred to the USS Shaw, a destroyer (distroy + your = destroyer).


The remainder of the letter says Mr. Shaw is ill but “will be back to work soon.”


The ship was in dry dock at Pearl Harbor when the Japanese attacked. As the heroine in The Cryptographer’s Dilemma explains, “About two weeks before this letter was written, it [the USS Shaw] was undergoing repairs in San Francisco.”


In the novel, Eloise Marshall is a naval cryptographer who teams up with FBI agent Phillip Clayton, to find the person responsible for forging the signatures on the letters. Their search takes them from Washington, DC to the Springfield, Ohio, to the west coast and back again. On their journey, Eloise will confront an unexpected specter from her past and Phillip will risk his life to save hers.

Blog Stops

Life of Literature, August 25

Where Faith and Books Meet, August 25

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, August 25

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, August 26

Reflections From my Bookshelves, August 26

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, August 27

Bizwings Blog, August 27

Daysong Reflections, August 27

Texas Book-aholic, August 28

A Baker’s Perspective, August 28

Inklings and notions, August 29

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, August 29

For Him and My Family, August 30

Simple Harvest Reads, August 30 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Older & Smarter?, August 31

Mypreciousbitsandmusings, August 31

Aryn the Libraryan 📚, September 1

Rebecca Tews, September 1

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, September 2

deb’s Book Review, September 2

Locks, Hooks and Books, September 3

Blossoms and Blessings, September 3

Mary Hake, September 3

Connie’s History Classroom, September 4

A Good Book and Cup of Tea, September 4

Sodbusterliving, September 4

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, September 5

Labor Not in Vain, September 5

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, September 6

Moments, September 6

Splashes of Joy, September 6

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, September 7

Pause for Tales, September 7


To celebrate her tour, Johnnie is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and a copy of the book!!

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

Thursday, August 26, 2021

"Set Free to Live Free" - the latest must-read for women!

Set Free to Live Free JustRead Takeover Tour

Welcome to the Takeover Tour for Set Free to Live Free by Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!


Set Free to Live Free
Title: Set Free to Live Free
Author: Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith
Publisher: Revell
Release Date: August 17, 2021
Genre: Spiritual Growth / Women's Interest 

Breaking Through the 7 Lies Women Tell Themselves 

Imagine life with unlimited possibility, where fear, misconceptions, and insecurities don't have the power to rob you of your potential or your dreams. Many women have trouble seeing this vision because they are bound by lies that keep them from living free. 

In Set Free to Live Free, Saundra Dalton-Smith shows you how to break free from seven mental ties that hold you back and steal your joy, like striving for perfection, comparing yourself to others, and having an all-or-nothing attitude. Through compelling stories and inspirational writing, she encourages you to embrace spontaneity, be transparent, nurture your body, and cultivate a balanced life. 

"Finally a book that brings to light the lies that women have been fed since childhood--and how to break their emotional grip on our lives forever. Saundra Dalton-Smith shows us just how precious we are to God and how we can live empowered and drama-free lives."--Carol M. Mackey, author of the bestselling Sistergirl Devotions 

"Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith has captured the role of the Spirit in the healing process with clarity and love."--Jane I. Honikman, MS, founder of Postpartum Support International 

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & NobleBook Depository | IndieBound | Christianbook | BookBub


Saundra Dalton Smith

Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith is a board-certified internal medicine physician, work-life integration researcher, popular speaker, and author of the bestselling book Sacred Rest. She transparently shares how her past pain has been redeemed through the practical application of God's word.

CONNECT WITH SAUNDRA: WebsiteFacebook | Twitter | Instagram


(1) winner will receive print copies of Set Free to Live Free and Stronger Every Day plus a $25 Amazon gift card!

Set Free to Live Free JustRead Takeover Tour 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 August 23, 2021 and lasts through 11:59 PM EST on August 30, 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.


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

JustRead Publicity Tours 

*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.