‘My Daughter’s Legacy’ Book Review and Giveaway

Meet two women in different eras but both with unfailing conviction in Mindy Starns Clark and Leslie Gould’s new book, My Daughter’s Legacy. Therese Jennings cannot abide the thought of owning slaves. But when trouble befalls her family, can she reconcile her obligations with her beliefs? Nicole Talbot’s life is back on track after years of substance abuse. But when facts she uncovers cast doubt on her family’s legacy, she must risk all that she’s gained-her fresh start, her family’s trust, and her growing relationship with a new man-to unlock the secrets of the past.

Y’all this book was awesome. I am giving it a 4.5/5. You know how I love a good historical fiction, and this one is set in one of my favorite eras.

What I enjoyed about this book was the mystery that connected these two relatives from different times. It was fun to pick out pieces of the story as the author went back and forth between the two women. She did a great job giving you just enough to want to keep reading, but not too much that it was completely predictable.

I also liked that it was about women and the inner struggles we face to prove ourselves and let go of inner demons. I am all for stories about strong women.

The only pitfalls to me where that I felt that there was one of the women’s story that was stronger than the other. I wanted to read more about her life and found myself upset when the other woman took up too many pages. But I guess that is a sign that I really resonated with that character or enjoyed her story more.

The other minor thing was that I felt that the ending was flat. It was such a page turner for me, that the ending didn’t really fit for me.

But other than those two things, I really loved it. This is also a book in a series, but it can definitely stand alone. The other books just follow other women in the same family so you get different perspectives. I have added them to my reading list because I loved this one so much!

Celebrate the release of this book by entering to win the $75 Visa Cash Card Giveaway (details below) and by attending their author chat party on August 1!

One grand prize winner will receive:

  • One copy of My Daughter’s Legacy
  • One $75 Visa Cash Card

Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on August 1. The winner will be announced at the My Daughter’s Legacy Facebook party. RSVP for a chance to connect with Mindy, Leslie, and other readers, as well as for a chance to win other prizes!

RSVP today and spread the word-tell your friends about the giveaway via social media and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 1st!

The Great Chattanooga Bicycle Race $75 Amazon Giveaway with Mike Mizrahi

Take a ride through 1895 Chattanooga as it’s turned upside down when a young woman has the audacity to ride a bicycle-in bloomers-in Mike H. Mizrahi’s new book, The Great Chattanooga Bicycle Race! Anna Gaines, 19, struggles to conquer her insecurities after a horrible fall years ago from her beloved horse, Longstreet. On a visit to Brooklyn, she’s drawn to the new pastime of bicycling. But back at home, cycling is a scandalous sport for a proper lady. Anna has her eye on Peter Sawyer, president of the Cycling Club. As community outrage grows, an unexpected turn of events pits Anna against Peter in a race between the sexes.

This book receives a 2/5 from me. I liked the idea of the book, especially now with all that is going on with women’s rights. I thought it would be interesting to read about a woman’s right to do something so trivial in today’s time like riding a bike.

I liked bits and pieces of the book. Honestly, it was a bit chaotic for me. There were a lot of side stories going on that made it seem very disjointed. While they may have added a little bit, in my opinion there was not a very good flow from one story to the next. At times it was hard to follow along with which story line was the focus at the time. Because there were so many story lines to keep up with, I don’t feel that there was very much depth to the characters even though I think that is what the author was going for.

What I did find interesting were Anna’s inner thoughts. She wrestled with the unwanted responsibilities that come with being a leader. There was one chapter where she talked about how she had become a role model to younger girls and how she was scared about the weight of that role. I think any leader has these moments where we have to think about how each thing we do has meaning to those around us. And that sometimes doing the right thing for the greater good will come with some harsh comments from naysayers. Change can be hard.

It was also interesting to think that there was a time that women had to fight to ride a bike or to wear pants in public. We have come a long way, but it also made me think, what is it of our time that our kids will look back and say how ridiculous it is that we had to fight for that equality. This book mentioned several times about equal pay and hiring standards, and it makes me sad that we are still fighting that fight today. I hope that things will be better for my daughter so she doesn’t have to endure things like this.

There is a giveaway to celebrate the release of Mike’s new book. You can enter to win this $75 Amazon gift card giveaway!

One grand prize winner will receive:

  • A copy of The Great Chattanooga Bicycle Race
  • A $75 Amazon gift card

Enter today by clicking the banner below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on June 14. The winner will be announced June 15 on Mike’s blog.

Book Review and Give Away: A Fragile Hope

When your life’s work revolves around repairing other people’s marriages, what happens when your own marriage begins to fall apart? Find out what happens to Josiah Chamberlain in Cynthia Ruchti’s new book, A Fragile Hope. Feeling betrayed, confused, and ill-equipped for a crisis this crippling, he reexamines everything he knows about the fragility of hope and the strength of his faith and love. Love seems to have failed him. Will what’s left of his faith fail him, too? Or will it be the one thing that holds him together and sears through the impenetrable wall that separates them?

Celebrate the release of A Fragile Hope by entering to win Cynthia’s Sign of Hope Giveaway!

One grand prize winner will receive:

Enter today by clicking the icon below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on May 3. The winner will be announced May 4 on the Litfuse blog.

I received this book for my honest review.
Honestly, it was a 3/5 for me. It was good, but not amazing.
Here is my one con:
  • It took me about 10 chapters to get invested. It should never take me that long to get into a book. This is the only reason why I didn’t love the book. It just was extremely repetitive. We get it he was lost in despair and uncertainty. I think having that rough start gave me a weird overcast for the rest of the book.
Here are my praises:
  • While the first part seemed to drag on, ultimately there was an element of wanting to see improvement for the characters that kept me coming back.
  • This book was relateable. I liked how it showed the inner-thoughts of doubt and betrayal. I think we have all been there when our faith has been shook to the core. This story approached very real humanness and how we can overcome to forgive. I also love the fact that his job is to fix marriages and offer sage advice as a counselor, but he failed to notice how much his own marriage needed help. I think this goes to show that it is hard to hold a mirror up to our own issues and deal with them. She did a great job discussing this aspect of faith and healing.
  • The author was very intentional about the details of the book. For example, the quotes at the beginning of every chapter come from one of the characters print shop. It was nice little touches here and there that I though added a little fun to the book.
  • Ultimately, the message is really powerful. Everything in our life will not be perfect no matter how orderly we try to make it. Things will get messy and possibly shake us to our core. God will never leave you, we just have to be willing to lean in on him.

So it may have taken me awhile to get into the book, but it kept me engaged. The end result was worth it! I love reading stories that talk about real emotions and problems that are all around us, but also with the foundation of our relationship with God.

Good read indeed.

Book Review-40 Days to a Joyful Motherhood

I am always searching for a good devotional, so when this book came along paired with adult coloring pages it really seemed to be up my alley.

This book was tailor made for moms. From what I could see it was a love letter/words of encouragement from one mom to another. The scriptures and devotionals picked were like your own cheering section at the end of the day that we are all doing ok.

I love to color, and I have a really hard time calming down and just being. I, however, find most “adult” coloring books to be too complex and stress me out even more. These coloring pages were fairly simple, and they allowed me to let go and relax at the end of the day. I will say though that I usually do my devotional right before bed, and I did find it hard to do the coloring there. It takes me about 30-45 minutes to color a page, and I found myself dozing off before I could get done if I did them in bed. (This has nothing to do with the author, I am just an exhausted mom.) So I do the coloring while I am watching my TV shows after George goes to bed, and then I read the devotional portion right before bed and write my joys and concerns for the day in the margins.

I have really struggled with making time for scripture and knowing how to pray, so devotional or guide books like this help me in my walk with the Lord.

Each page (or day) had a scripture, a brief explanation of application, and a simple prayer. I like this approach because it helps things come alive for me. As I said then I will add my thoughts for the day in the open spaces.

This is a great devotional for moms who need to focus on self-care but find it hard to do so. It’s things like this that can keep us grounded and be the best for our families. The idea of combining a stress relieving activity with a devotional was genius in my opinion!

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You can buy your own copy here.

Have you tried adult coloring books? What is your way to focus on self-care?

Melissa Spoelstra’s ‘Total Family Makeover’ Family Fun Night Giveaway

Begin to build your family discipleship and become the key disciple-makers in your children’s lives with Melissa Spoelstra’s new book, Total Family Makeover.

George is two. In the short time we have been in year two, we have seen George explore his emotions and who he is as an individual. With that has come tantrums and unfortunately George being a bully. There have been days where I wonder if he will ever learn to listen.

This book could not have come at a better time to give me hope and encourage me as a mom of a spirited young man.

There were a couple statements that really resonated with me.

  • My son’s behavior is not a report card on me as a parent. She went more in depth about where this will lead you, and I sat in tears realizing this is what I had become. I was comparing myself to other mom’s because my kid was hitting. I was doubting how to control this little being, and I was extremely embarrassed.
  • Along with that, God is the perfect parent, and we disappoint him regularly. I do at least a couple times a day. So how can I expect myself to be perfect and raise a perfect child? That is just setting myself up for failure to have that expectation on myself.
  • It is a different mindset of shifting how our kids respond to things to how we are actually teaching them. In other words, I need to focus on my spiritual direction in order to be able to train George.

This book has a great format too. It makes it really easy to pick up and read for the practical ideas and not feel weighed down by text.

Spoelstra weaves in scripture with practical activities for you to explore for modeling and training. I really like this aspect because I can be really dense sometimes, and at the end of the day when I am reading before bed, sometimes I just need someone to tell me the bottom line.

With George’s increase in communication and sense of awareness, Tom and I have talked at great lengths at what we want to model and hopefully instill in George as a Christian family. We want him to learn about Jesus and have compassion for the world, and these are definitely things we can start now even though his sentences consist of two words or just “No” or “mine.”

While I believe this book was intended for moms, Tom and I are really using it to give us a better foundation as parents and set the tone as a team. It has opened our eyes to different things we should be considering and habits that we should be creating now. It also reaffirmed some of the things we were already doing. To be honest though, it is hard to think about being responsible for your own spiritual development as an adult, but then to tack on the daunting task of helping a child build their own concept of God, it can be a lot. This was great to see that our worries are common and reaffirmed that we are on the right track. At the end of each chapter there are discussion questions that we can talk about and that has been great for our marriage as well. While we have been together for 10 years, we learned a lot by going through this book together.

And the examples she gives where invaluable for me at least. I love to hear what other parents do so that was my favorite part of the book.

There is a lot of scripture throughout which I think would lead this book to be a great Sunday School class option or for any new parent class that a church may do. If anything it would be a great gift for a baby shower.

This book is great. I didn’t feel like I was getting lectured to; it was more like getting coffee with a mentor. It is filled with ideas and things that just make sense. It focuses on the basics of establishing values, and to me that is so much more important than how to teach my kid how to dress himself. (Although that is a basic that eventually I would like for him to fully master.)

Disciples are made, not born. Whether your children are babes in arms or teenagers getting ready to leave the nest, making disciples at home starts with you! Give your family a makeover with this practical approach to helping your children learn what it means to be a follower of Jesus.

Plan an evening of fun, pizza, devotionals, and games with your family! Melissa is giving away a Family Fun Night Prize Pack.

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One grand prize winner will receive:

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Enter today by clicking the icon below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on October 7. The winner will be announced October 10 on Melissa’s blog.

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