Thursday, October 1, 2020

Wish Upon a Star by Tabitha Bouldin

 


About the Book

Book:  Wish Upon A Star

Author: Tabitha Bouldin

Genre:  Holiday Fiction

Release Date: December 1, 2018

Bryce Masters had everything he needed…or so he thought. His six-year-old daughter, Anna, would disagree. They were going home, moving back to Jingle Junction where Bryce would take over the local bookstore just in time for Christmas. Losing his wife, Molly, during the birth of their daughter six years ago was tragic, but Bryce has no idea just how much it weighs on young Anna’s heart until she confesses her deepest wish. What Anna wants for Christmas is a mother, but Bryce’s heart is not ready to love again. Only God can give Bryce the desire to make Anna’s wish come true. Only He can heal the hurt and open Bryce’s heart to the power of love. But Bryce will have to be willing to listen. And when the perfect woman reveals a secret that could devastate them all, will Bryce be able to look beyond what was and accept what might be?

My Thoughts:

This was an adorable little book.  Bryce lost the love of his life and his only problem is, he wants to give his daughter everything she wants...except she wants a new mother for Christmas.  I just love that this book shows us that even if we don't believe we are read, God has things in his power.

While the book was short, it was satisfying and enjoyable.  I loved the characters, especially Anna.  It was just a sweet read that I needed!  Overall, I just really liked it and will likely reread it just to have fun and enjoy.

It was a 4/5.

Thank you to the author/publisher for the review copy of this book via Celebrate Lit.  I received this book in exchange for an honest review and the opinions stated above are 100% mine.

Click here to get your copy!

 

About the Author



Tabitha Bouldin has a Bachelor’s in creative writing from Southern New Hampshire University, where she graduated with honors. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and has been published with Chicken Soup for the Soul. When she’s not homeschooling her kids, you’ll find her curled up with a book. Tabitha’s genre of choice is Contemporary Christian Romance which she describes as: Adventure with heart.

 

More from Tabitha

Wish Upon a Star owes its existence to Hallmark’s Christmas movies. I could, and often do, watch their Christmas movies all through the year. Doesn’t matter how cheesy the storyline, I love them all. While I wanted to bring that sense of fun and feel-good romance, I needed a little oomph. So, I took some inspiration from “The Christmas Shoes” by NewSong. For the record, I love Hallmark and NewSong equally, so putting the two together was a natural fit.

The intention wasn’t to make a sad Christmas story, but there’s some pain Bryce has to manage while learning to love again. The best things come from overcoming that thing you never thought you could do. When you press on, with God’s guidance and with His approval, anything is possible. Bryce needs this reminder that even in the darkest nights, God is there.

Wish is part of the funky town I created and dubbed Jingle Junction, a place where it’s all Christmas all the time. Jingle Junction has only a few rules. First off, you can have any business you want, as long as the business name is an alliteration. Second, community is the name of the game. When someone’s in need, everyone pitches in to help.

For this story, I wanted to highlight homecoming. To do that, I needed Bryce to have a reason to come back to Jingle Junction. That’s where the song came in. If you don’t know the song, it’s about a little boy who wants only one thing for Christmas, and that’s a pair of shoes for his dying mother. I listen to “The Christmas Shoes” at least a dozen times a year. It’s heartbreaking but wonderful. It has that bit of hope I needed for Wish. For my story, Bryce’s daughter, Anna, lost her mother when she was born. The only thing she wants is the one thing she’s never had: a mother. It’s also the one thing Bryce cannot give.

The plan had always been to return to Jingle Junction. Bryce wants to raise Anna in the hometown where he was born, and he’s finally gotten the opportunity to make good on the plans he and his wife made when they first learned of her pregnancy. It took him six years to make good on his promise, and he’s not sure he’s made the right decision.

Wish Upon a Star is one of those books where I wanted to challenge myself by writing only from the male point of view. Although I always write alternating point of view in my romances, Wish has always been Bryce’s story. A story of coming home.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, September 23

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 24

deb’s Book Review, September 24

Texas Book-aholic, September 25

Inklings and notions, September 26

21st Century Keeper at Home, September 26

For Him and My Family, September 27

CarpeDiem, September 27

Locks, Hooks and Books, September 28

Older & Smarter?, September 29

lakesidelivingsite, September 29

Artistic Nobody, September 30 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Batya’s Bits, September 30

Ashley’s Bookshelf, October 1

Emily Yager, October 1

She Lives To Read, October 2

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, October 3

Pause for Tales, October 3

Sara Jane Jacobs, October 4

Connect in Fiction, October 4

Spoken from the Heart, October 5

Just Your Average reviews, October 5

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, October 6

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, October 6

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Tabitha is giving away the grand prize package 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.

https://promosimple.com/ps/10114/wish-upon-a-star-celebration-tour-giveaway

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Jack by Chautona Havig

 



About the Book



Book:  Jack

Author: Chautona Havig

Genre:  Historical Western Romance

Release Date: January 26, 2016

Women are trouble—lying, cheating, untrustworthy bundles of trouble.

Jack Clausen doesn’t need anyone but his horse and a boss who won’t interfere in his personal life—or lack of one.

Sure, he’s a lonely cowboy, but better lonely than brokenhearted.

If only he hadn’t met a girl who made him hope that honest and true women do exist. Maybe he wouldn’t be riding off into a snowstorm with a fresh determination to avoid women—indefinitely.

When Hazel Meissner sees a cowboy risk life, limb, and horse to save a child, she knows he’s someone special. When he finally gives her his heart, she considers herself the most blessed woman alive.

However, when he rides off without a word, she wonders if her heart will survive the loss.

One broken man. One trusting woman. One orchestrated misunderstanding that tears them apart. What’ll it take to bring Jack home again?

It’s Shakespeare’s Much Ado about Nothing mashed up with the old ballad, “Cowboy Jack.”  Don’t miss a cast of characters inspired by the Bard himself—especially Dirk and Deborah (Benedick & Beatrice).

Jack: a lot of hullaballoo on the prairie.


My Thoughts:

I really liked this book.  Chautona Havig is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors.  She always writes a solid story that I can relate to in some way or the other.  Jack has a past and some big issues.  I couldn't wait to see what all had happened to him.

The prologue is a must read, I'm just saying.  The romance was there and realistic.  Love isn't perfect (human love that is), but has a lot of forgiveness and hard times.  Hazel was a strong, sweet lady.  I do think Deborah was my favorite character though!  

It was a 4/5 for me.

Thank you to the author/publisher for the review copy of this book via Celebrate Lit.  I received this book in exchange for an honest review and the opinions stated above are 100% mine.

 

Click here to get your copy!

 

About the Author

 


Chautona Havig lives in an oxymoron, escapes into imaginary worlds that look startlingly similar to ours and writes the stories that emerge. An irrepressible optimist, Chautona sees everything through a kaleidoscope of It’s a Wonderful Life sprinkled with fairy tales. Find her at chautona.com and say howdy—if you can remember how to spell her name.

 

 

More from Chautona

The Inspiration I Hate to Love

The plaintive notes of a ballad filled the living room. People sat on couches and chairs or stood in the doorway, listening. Three steps up the staircase, out of view of most of the room, a little girl sat, chin in her hands, listening.

If you looked close, you’d see freckles dotting her nose and crooked teeth that never were too large for her mouth like most children’s were. Just a bit closer, and you’d see wide, hazel eyes riveted to the man with the guitar seated on the hearth. To his right, a cup of coffee and sometimes a shot of whiskey.

With a voice like Jim Reeves (the non-twangy Reeves, mind you), the songs told stories, like all ballads do—a little blind girl praying for her father’s future happiness, a girl of thirteen who barely escaped a massacre in 19th century Wyoming. “Hazel eyes,” the man called her. California Joe—he was a real man, although not as good of one as the song made out.

Sometimes the man sang happier songs, but most of them were slow, western ballads that could keep Nicolas Sparks writing for decades.

And the little girl loved them all—especially California Joe and one about a cowboy who left his sweetheart alone on the prairie after a quarrel. One called “Cowboy Jack.”

As you’ve probably surmised, I was the little girl, and that man who sang and stirred the hearts of our family at nearly every gathering was my father.

How I miss those days.

For years, I wanted to give Jack a happier ending. See, the song goes like this. A lonely cowboy (with a heart so brave and true) meets and falls in love with a maiden (with eyes of heaven’s own blue). Alas, as with all good romances, the couple quarrel and Jack rides away. He finds a new band of cowboys and would have been just fine, but someone asks him to sing a song to “drive all cares away.” Alas, the song he devises is one about a “lonely maiden who waited for her Jack.”

Of course, he rides off to ask forgiveness. It’s all his fault. He arrives too late. She died of a broken heart on the “lonely prairie where skies are always blue.”

After I began writing, the idea came to me to turn those songs Dad sang—old ones that had been passed on and down through many different versions—into novels. I’d write all the subtext the songs left out.

I’d give them happy endings.

Of course, that’s easier said than done. One by one, I figured out how to do it, but Jack… well, I didn’t want to change the stories. I just wanted to leave on hope instead of despair

Shakespeare to the rescue!

I was watching Kenneth Branagh’s Much Ado about Nothing adaptation, and the answer came to me so clearly. It had the solution I needed. So, I smooshed the song and the play together. Inside, you’ll find the characters Shakespeare created (including Dirk and Deborah and their biting repartee—they steal the show!) in the setting and with the elements of the ballad, too.

Dad’s older now. His hands are gnarled with age, swollen with arthritis. His mind is slipping away. Today, you’ll find his guitar at my house. My son now owns it, but he doesn’t know the songs I heard played on the old Goya. Still, when I take it out of the case, tune it up, and pluck the strings, everything shifts. Suddenly, I’m nine years old again, sitting on my uncle’s stairs, just out of sight, watching. Listening. Heart breaking.

See, I’ll never hear my father play again, and I can’t play either. So, the songs will have to live on with stories of Mary, Jethro, Maggie… and of course, Jack.

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 21

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, September 21

Connie’s History Classroom, September 22

deb’s Book Review, September 22

For the Love of Literature, September 23

Bigreadersite, September 23

Texas Book-aholic, September 24

lakesidelivingsite, September 24

Inklings and notions, September 25

Sara Jane Jacobs, September 25

For Him and My Family, September 26

Reviewingbooksplusmore, September 26

Locks, Hooks and Books, September 27

Hookmeinabook, September 27

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, September 28

Artistic Nobody, September 29 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

21st Century Keeper at Home, September 29

Ashley’s Bookshelf, September 30

Lots of Helpers, September 30

She Lives To Read, October 1

Mary Hake, October 1

Daysong Reflections, October 2

Godly Book Reviews, October 2

Simple Harvest Reads, October 3 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Captive Dreams Window, October 3

Spoken from the Heart, October 4

Pause for Tales, October 4

Giveaway

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

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

https://promosimple.com/ps/10101/jack-celebration-tour-giveaway

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

The Secret Life of Lady Evangeline by Jan Davis Warren

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About the Book

Book:  The Secret Life of Lady Evangeline

Author: Jan Davis Warren

Genre:  Christian Historical Romance

Release Date: September 22, 2020

Everyone believes Lady Evangeline is dead, so why not let them? Her survival depends on it.

After escaping from assassins and healing from her injuries, Evangeline Stanton finds refuge in a crumbling abbey. Her physical scars are nothing to the wounds left by the death of her daughter and abandonment of her husband. She spends most days disguised as Sister Margaret Mary, but when necessary, she dons the disguise of the recently deceased bandit, the Fox, to steal from the rich and help the starving children and widows who come for aid.

Lord Henry Stanton still grieves the death of his beloved wife, Evangeline. Raising their young daughter is now the most important role in his life, even though the child serves as a daily reminder of the love he and his wife once shared. He may never shed the weight of his guilt for not protecting Evangeline from the band of outlaws who killed her, as well as the lies sown by his sister-in-law, which he allowed to separate him from his wife just before her death.

When Henry’s ailing father-in-law sends an urgent request for help to manage his lands, he has no choice but to take his daughter with him to Castle Brighton. But the nun who comes to care for the sick man catches Henry’s notice from the first moment he catches sight of her. When the life of their precious daughter is threatened, can they overcome the lies and secrets of the past and join forces to save their daughter before it is too late?


My Thoughts:

There is a lot going on in this book, but not too much to overwhelm, just enough to enjoy.  Evangeline is a strong female character which is not normal for the books placed in this time period so I liked that.  There were things I wasn't happy with through the story, but it was realistically written so it just made the story more real.

I liked that there was never a shortage of things happening.  There are a lot of secrets, lies and suspense.  The chemistry between Evangeline and Henry was great.  The confusion and secrets there are, just wow.  I really just enjoyed the whole book.

It was a 5/5 for me.

Thank you to the author/publisher for the review copy of this book via Celebrate Lit.  I received this book in exchange for an honest review and the opinions stated above are 100% mine.

 

Click here to get your copy!

 

About the Author

[Insert Author Picture Here]

Jan Davis Warren is a mother, grandmother, and a young-at-heart great-grandmother. Her wonderful husband passed away the same year she won the ACFW Genesis Award for Romantic Suspense. That win and many others are encouraging reminders that God wants her to continue writing even in the tough times. Learn more at www.janwarrenbooks.com.

 

More from Jan

Hello Dear Reader,

That you are reading this means you come from some hearty and courageous ancestors. Over thousands of years, they survived good times and bad, plagues, famines, wars, and all manner of tribulations. No matter how many different places around the globe your ancestors ventured, or where they lived and died, you are living proof they existed.

 

This thought never crossed my mind while writing and winning awards with contemporary romantic suspense, westerns, and even sci-fi. It wasn’t until Lady Evangeline stirred me with her story that I was lured into writing about the Middle Ages. I was even more surprised when I won RWA Faith Hope & Love chapter’s, Touched by Love historical category and the overall award with The Secret Life of Lady Evangeline. Thus began my next exciting adventure, for I had never written a medieval.

While doing research for the time period, I was humbled by the revelation that I’m alive because of ancestors further back than my genealogy has thus far revealed. They survived not only the medieval era, but many other difficult, even horrific times over the centuries before my birth. You and I are truly blessed by our ancestors’ perseverance. We are alive at such a time as this for a reason. Help us Lord to be the light so others might find You and through You life eternal.

Blessings!

Jan Davis Warren

Blog Stops

[Insert Blog Stops Here]

Giveaway

[Insert Giveaway Picture Here]

To celebrate her tour, Jan is giving away the grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card!!

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

https://promosimple.com/ps/10116/the-secret-life-of-lady-evangeline-celebration-tour-giveaway

Monday, September 28, 2020

The Peacemaker by Elisabeth Bennet

 


About the Book

 

Book: The Peacemaker

Author: Elisabeth Bennet

Genre: Christian Living

Release Date: September 8, 2020

 

The Enneagram is an ancient personality typology using nine points within a circle to represent nine distinct personality types. This sixty-day devotional is for the Peacemaker, number 9 of the Enneagram personality types. This devotional will help Peacemakers, and those who love them, to better understand how God created them and how best to use their unique gifts to serve Him and love others. It features a full explanation of what the Enneagram is and how it benefits people, followed by a full description of what it means to be a 9, including their deadly sin, sloth, and their greatest strength, their gut feelings. Also covered are motivations, fears, childhood wounds, the lost message they long to hear, their deadly sin, and defense mechanisms, as well as common subtypes, wings, and where they are in the head/heart/gut triad. The sixty days are split into six 10-day topics that include uniqueness, weakness, strength, pain points, and how Peacemakers react in times of stress and growth.


My Thoughts:

I had never heard of Ennegram before, but I did enjoy this book.  The different personalities and what it all means is something I had never thought about before.  I do realize that I have a tendency to give in and do whatever others are wanting.  'Go along to get along' was always my style.

I will finish this devotional book at least one more time to get a better overall perspective.  Not everyone is a Type 9, but everyone knows a Type 9 and could benefit from this book.  I really did enjoy it.

It was a 4/5 for me.  

Thank you to the author/publisher for the review copy of this book.  I received this book in exchange for an honest review and the opinions stated above are 100% mine.

 

Click here to get your copy!

 

 

 

About the Author

Elisabeth Bennett first discovered the Enneagram in the summer of 2017 and immediately realized how life-changing this tool could be. She set out to absorb all she could about this ancient personality typology, including a twelve-week Enneagram Certification course taught by Beth McCord, who has studied the Enneagram for more than twenty-five years. Elisabeth started her own Enneagram Instagram account (@Enneagram.Life) in 2018, which has grown to more than 55,000 followers. Since becoming a certified Enneagram coach, Elisabeth has conducted more than one hundred one-on-one coaching sessions, focused on helping her clients find their type and apply the Enneagram to their lives for personal and spiritual growth. She has also conducted staff/team building sessions for businesses and high school students. She has lived in beautiful Washington State her entire life and now has the joy of raising her own children there with her husband, Peter.

 

 

 

Endorsement for The Peacemaker

“Elisabeth has written a delightful devotional full of important information for those who want to grow in their own self-awareness and relationship with Christ. I highly recommend reading this book so you can experience transformation on a much deeper level that will bring about the change you desire in life.” —Beth McCord, YourEnneagramCoach.com, author of 10 Enneagram books

“I have been craving a devotional that would not only strengthen my relationship with Christ, but also authentically ‘get me’ as an Enneagram four. This simply knocks that out of the water. I find that, as a four, it’s hard to conform and give in to a generic devotional, and this is anything but that. Beautifully constructed for my four heart.” –Audrey Bailey, artist, mental heatlh advocate, creator of Brush and Barley digital brand (@BrushandBarley)

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, September 16

Mary Hake, September 16

Sara Jane Jacobs, September 17

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, September 18

A Reader’s Brain, September 19

Texas Book-aholic, September 20

deb’s Book Review, September 20

Inklings and notions, September 21

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, September 22

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 23

Sodbusterliving, September 24

For Him and My Family, September 25

Artistic Nobody, September 26 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Locks, Hooks and Books, September 27

Ashley’s Bookshelf, September 28

CarpeDiem, September 28

Spoken from the Heart, September 29

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Elisabeth is giving away the grand prize package of a $20 Starbucks 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.

https://promosimple.com/ps/100e5/the-peacemaker-celebration-tour-giveaway

About Face, Rest, and Intents & Purposes by Tonia Colleen Martin



About the Book

Book: About Face, Rest, and Intents & Purposes

Author: Tonia Colleen Martin

Genre: Illustrated Poetry

Release Date: 2019 and 2020

The terrible accident happened too long ago to remember the specifics. Having lost what she doesn’t remember owning, it takes the miracle of crossing paths with Hush, Shush and Silence, to reveal the truth. The shock of realizing she struggled to maintain an identity never meant to be hers, floors her. From a position of surrender, the surface of her tears mirrors who she has always been but hasn’t seen and does not know. Unimaginable possibilities, surprising choices and thrilling freedom ensues.

At the core of all anxiety is mistaken identity. About Face invites readers to consider who they might be apart from other people’s expectations and who they might become.

 

Click here to get your copy of About Face!

 

 

A perennial gift book for the stressed and beleaguered. Falling into the growing category of children’s books for adults, Rest: An Invitation to Freedom, lures readers out of frenzied productivity into a state of peaceful contemplation. Written for exhausted high achievers, this story is suitable for office lobbies, coffee and bedside tables.

“The heart of Christianity is a myth which is also a fact. At its best, the fairy story or fantasy is far from being a flight from reality; it is, rather, a flight to reality.”- JRR Tolkein

“The trumpet of imagination, like the trumpet of the Resurrection, calls the dead out of their

graves.” – GK Chesterton

“Some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again.” — C.S. Lewis

 

Click here to get your copy of Rest: An Invitation to Freedom!

 


This story took longer to live than to transcribe. For daydreamers, truth-seekers, joy-feeders, and those longing to let your heart instruct your mind, this little book is for you. Falling into my own stylized category of children’s book for adults, Intents and Purposes, chronicles the path of a life abandoned by disconnection and loneliness as it moves to the threshold of hope and contentment.

Both text and illustrations are mine. Although countless versions reside in my constantly reconfiguring memory, this compilation seems to be its truest version.

 

My Thoughts:

This wasn't what I was expecting when I received these books.  They're very abstract.  I like that they have good messages about self image, but I just didn't relate to them.  It took me a bit to read because of the images, a lot of it simply didn't make sense to me the first time I read through.  

Very short books, so it doesn't take long to get through them.  I think there are good messages in each, but it isn't something that I would keep.  I do love that it is positive about how God sees us and how we should view different aspects of life.  

3/5 for me.

Thank you to the author/publisher for the review copy of this book.  I received this book in exchange for an honest review and the opinions stated above are 100% mine.


Click here to get your copy of Intents and Purposes!

 

About the Author

I earned my MFA in Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts, received the Hallberg Award for Art; Best of Show, Blue Line Gallery, Membership Medley; published in The Arts in Religious and Theological Studies; Ruminate Magazine; Metonym; Sierra College Journal.

 

More from Tonia

They are ready! Finally! These three illustrated books are condensed chronicles of various phases of my spiritual development. Over the years, I’ve learned that the deepest matters of the heart seem to be resistant to the confines of words. Images aid in the capture of emotions, but even still, the heart is shy. It runs from impatience and requires a concentration of listening and a suspension of judgment.

Each one of these books hovers over distinct territories and touch down in depths most avoid. I struggle to put my experiences into a kind and beautiful package, hoping to lure readers into places of feeling many might avoid. Not realizing they would be officially released during this unnerving pandemic, I am now so grateful for the message of hope that invites readers into possibilities and faith in our merciful Father of Lights who brought all things into being and is, even now, administering Peace to those who simply ask and expect. For those who suffer in the unknown, as I have and often do, I invite to include the reading of these missives of encouragement and their distribution of the message of Hope hidden in their pages.  They were written to uplift you on the days when you can find no words for your longing, no relief for your uncertainty and a deep desire for encouragement.  I am eager to get them out in the world.

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 19

Texas Book-aholic, September 20

Beauty in the Binding, September 21 (Author Interview)

deb’s Book Review, September 21

For Him and My Family, September 22

For the Love of Literature, September 23 (Author Interview)

Inklings and notions, September 24

Locks, Hooks and Books, September 25

Tell Tale Book Reviews, September 26 (Author Interview)

Artistic Nobody, September 27 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Ashley’s Bookshelf, September 28

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, September 29

Sara Jane Jacobs, September 30

Through the Fire Blogs, October 1 (Author Interview)

Mary HakeOctober 1

Emily Yager, October 2

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Tonia is giving away the grand prize of a $25 Amazon gift card!!

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

https://promosimple.com/ps/100e9/about-face-rest-and-intents-purposes-celebration-tour-giveaway

Sunday, September 27, 2020

Perfect by Nancy E. Wood

 


About the Book

 


Book: Perfect

Author: Nancy E. Wood

Genre: Contemporary YA Fiction

Release Date: September 1, 2020

Isn’t that something everyone wants to be?

Gina has done everything she could to please her parents, gain her friends’ approval, and get that one guy’s attention, but it never seems to be enough. There’s no pleasing everybody.

She’s struggling just to get through the year when a mysterious guy abruptly decides to become part of her life and disrupts everything she’s ever believed in.

Could he actually be right? Is perfection really unattainable? Or by listening to him will everything she’s worked for fall apart?

 

My Thoughts:

This book is meant for YA and fits perfectly for that, but it has a message that resonated with me as well.  Making everyone happy and focusing on others happiness can be draining and more harmful than good.  The author did a good job of making the story and the characters realistic and relatable.

Perfection is an impossibility and would be impossible to maintain.  Joel was good for Gina.  I think everyone needs someone like him in their life and less backstabbing 'friends'.  There can always be forgiveness and healing, but things really would never be the same.  Overall it was a good book that I plan to share with my teenage niece and my daughter when she gets a bit older.

Its a 4/5 for me.

Thank you to the author/publisher for the review coy of this book.  I received this book in exchange for an honest review and the opinions stated above are 100% mine.  


Click here to get your copy!

 

About the Author

Nancy E Wood was born into a missionary family and lived in Hungary until she turned twenty. Her whole childhood, she loved reading and stories, writing some of her own, but never believing she actually had the talent to be an author. Speaking multiple languages, she never thought she would be good enough in any to become a wordsmith.

Her senior year of high school, she was encouraged to write short stories, one of which turned into Perfect, a novel that couldn’t stay short. After sharing it with a few people, she decided to get it published a couple years later. She went to college in Florida, where she studied English and Music. After graduating, she married and moved to California. She published her second standalone book, I’ll Take the Lie, in the summer of 2019 and is currently working on a sequel to Perfect. She also runs a blog for young women, where she writes relatable and motivational posts that point to God. She has also done some speaking in different Christian schools and youth groups, encouraging teens to pursue Christ through some of the most difficult years of their lives.

 

More from Nancy

You’re not good enough. No matter how much you do, you’ll never do enough. No matter how good you look, you’ll never be pretty enough. No matter how little you eat, you’ll never be skinny enough. No matter how kind you are, not everyone will like you. You’ll never be enough.

 

These words, or something very similar, have echoed in my head since I was a kid. I don’t know when it started, and I certainly don’t know when these words will fade away forever from my mind and heart.

 

I was born in Budapest, Hungary. My parents are missionaries, and they raised me to love God from the very beginning. I got saved really young, and church was my life. My parents reminded me many times that I was the example, and that my little sisters looked up to me, so I had to be careful about how I acted. My whole life, I was taught that I had to be good, had to please authorities, and had to do the right thing no matter what. But what was the right thing? And what if it didn’t please the authorities?

 

For much of my life, I was torn. I was told that something was not right, but to me it seemed perfectly fine. I wasn’t happy. I was confused. I was living my life according to other people’s expectations. I didn’t know what was right or wrong. I felt like a horrible person, even when I was doing “the right thing.” What was wrong with me? So many times I felt alone, even though I had many friends. Nobody could understand me.

 

Nothing about this lifestyle changed until my senior year, the year I had my first boyfriend. He was studying to be a psychologist and helped me change my thinking. Other than having constant conflicts with my parents, who weren’t too thrilled about my dating somebody, he opened up my eyes to how much people-pleasing had taken over my life. I realized I had so many masks for each person I was around, that I didn’t even know who I was underneath. Long story short, I thought a lot about who I was. I started questioning what I believed and why. I started writing “Perfect,” which has a lot of parallels to my life then.

 

God was there through it all. I didn’t know how to defeat it, but I took a step. I talked to my parents. I told them about all my bitterness, of trying to live up to standards I didn’t believe in, of all the things I did that I didn’t enjoy doing. I told them how much I wanted to please them, but how I felt like I always fell short. They were extremely surprised, and then supportive. We were able to work through years of hard feelings on my part that they hadn’t even been aware of.

 

More steps. I used to write and not share it with anyone. I was afraid of what people would say. When I finally decided to open up and show people, I was overwhelmed at the good feedback. Instead of judging me, people could relate! I wasn’t alone in my people pleasing. I take little steps all the time when I do something I’m not comfortable with; giving hard advice, telling someone something they don’t want to hear, going to other people for help, seeking mentors, opening up to people.

 

Am I completely free? No, not yet. There are times I still come under the icy grip of doubt and fear. What if people stop liking me? What would happen if I disappointed someone I love and they don’t forgive me? But I know that I am a lot farther along than I was years ago. I may never be perfect, (in fact, let’s just admit that’ll never happen), but I can keep taking steps, getting closer to God and farther from my perfectionism. And now I know that I’m not alone.

 

I may not be perfect, but I believe God can still use me.

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 18

Rebecca Tews, September 19

Adventures of a Travelers Wife, September 20 (Author Interview)

The Book Chic Blog, September 20

Texas Book-aholic, September 21

Locks, Hooks and Books, September 22

Inklings and notions, September 23

For Him and My Family, September 24

Jodie Wolfe – Stories Where Hope and Quirky Meet, September 25 (Author Interview)

deb’s Book Review, September 25

Artistic Nobody, September 26 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Ashley’s Bookshelf, September 27

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, September 28

Sara Jane Jacobs, September 29

Batya’s Bits, September 30

Spoken from the Heart, October 1

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Nancy is giving away the grand prize of a $20 Amazon gift card!!

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

https://promosimple.com/ps/100e7/perfect-celebration-tour-giveaway