Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Book Spotlight & Giveaway: One Transforming Love

About the Book: 

Title: One Transforming Love 

Author: Erin Elise Kiu 

Publisher: Aviva Publishing 

Release Date: July 13, 2021 

Genre: Christian Fiction

Moving on from her past seemed impossible. Until she met the One who promised to give her a future.

When Aubrey moves across the country to San Diego to escape her past, she is hopeful that she can finally discover God’s purpose for her life and meet her future husband. She doesn’t know too much about God, but she is confident her new faith and a new city will help her leave her drunken mistakes and dating history behind.

As she settles into her new beach life, Aubrey meets Jake while watching dolphins play in the ocean. They instantly hit it off and it feels like fate, but soon, Aubrey begins to question Jake’s true intentions and lifestyle.

Is this the guy God has chosen for her? If this is the life God has intended for her, then why does she still feel so lost and alone, and why does she keep making the same mistakes?

Aubrey quickly realizes her past has followed her to her new city, and that going to church every once in a while isn’t good enough. After a few nights she’d like to forget, God shows her that she has a choice to make.

Aubrey can choose God and to do life his way, or she can choose to continue trying to find love and acceptance from the world.

Will she ever be able to move on from her past? Will she have the courage to surrender it all to God?


Purchase Links:

Fun & Holy (Hardcover)

https://www.funandholy.com/onetransforminglove

Amazon (eBook)

https://www.amazon.com/One-Transforming-Love-Erin-Elise-ebook/dp/B098FLGTMR/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=one+transforming+love&qid=1626288953&sr=8-1

Goodreads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/58473061-one-transforming-love?from_search=true&from_srp=true&qid=BBPgsZTdgi&rank=1


Excerpt:

“Do you want to go down to the altar for prayer?” The guy nodded to the front of the auditorium.

 Hundreds of people were making their way down to the altar, lining up for prayer. Some at the front were ripping up pieces of paper—the contracts they had made with the Devil. A few people were crying, raising their arms in the air, as people prayed for them.

Aubrey felt like she couldn’t move. She felt like for the first time she was awakened to the truth all around her. To this whole world with God, a world of good and evil that she didn’t know existed.

She thought she was doing a good job, learning about God and reading her Bible, but there was so much she didn’t know. No matter how much good she did, it wasn’t going to cut it if she didn’t fully surrender everything to God. If she didn’t rip up those contracts with the Devil.

She had already surrendered drinking to God, but it was clear she had to surrender everything to God. She had to surrender sex to God.

But there was no way she was going up to the altar in front of everyone. She needed to get out of there. She needed to process this alone.

“No, I’m fine, thank you. Have a great day.” She grabbed her purse and quickly moved past the guy before he could say anything else.

The tears kept falling as she made her way to her car. She didn’t know how to process this. She didn’t know how to surrender everything to God, including sex.

It was clear God had spoken to her today. She couldn’t pretend sex wasn’t a big deal to God. She couldn’t ignore what she had just heard—that she had been letting the Devil control her life for so long and she hadn’t even known.

She had already tried to stop sleeping with Jake, but it hadn’t worked. How was she supposed to stop? She closed her eyes and prayed silently as she made it to her car.

How am I supposed to stop, God? How do I just give up sex? How do I stop the Devil from controlling this area of my life?


About the Author:

Erin Elise Kiu is passionate about helping women have a transforming relationship with Jesus. After experiencing her own transformation with God and seeing how God wrote her love story, Erin’s mission is to help other women live the fun and holy lives they were created to live while attracting their future husbands along the way.

Erin is an author and blogger at Fun & Holy, a blog and community for women to grow together as they become the women God created them to be. She has also led Bible studies and women’s groups at her church to help women discover their identity and purpose in Christ.

When she’s not writing, you can find Erin on the beach or biking along the coast with her husband in San Diego.

Join the Fun & Holy Community at www.funandholy.com to get free access to women’s Bible studies, spiritual growth tips, and prayer guides to pray for your future husband.

Are you ready to become the woman God created you to be and attract the future husband God has for you?


Connect with Erin:

Website

https://www.funandholy.com/

Instagram

https://www.instagram.com/erinelisekiu/

Fun & Holy Facebook Group

https://www.facebook.com/groups/funandholycommunity


Giveaway:



Author Erin Elise Kiu and I are hosting a giveaway on Instagram, starting on Friday, 7/30/21. Hop over to my Instagram page and follow me to prepare for the fun giveaway. The winner will receive a physical copy of the book as well as a $25 Amazon gift card!

Saturday, July 24, 2021

Book Review: Halstead House by Aspen Hadley

About the Book:

Grace Natalie Burke was named after her mother's two favorite actresses, but the only thing they have in common is the ability to put on a good show. Growing up under an iron thumb, she's never gone off script, yet as she stares at the candles on her twenty-fifth birthday, she determines to reach for more.

Terrified but hopeful, Grace buys a one-way airline ticket to Lavender Island in order to visit Halstead House, the once upon a time home of the only person Grace had ever been safe with, her honorary grandmother Mary.

When Grace arrives on the island she's immediately caught up in the warmth-filled life she'd always imagined.

What she hadn't imagined, however, was John Lucas Halstead or the feelings he would stir in her – especially when he’ll do anything to keep her at arms length.

Just as Grace is finding her feet, her mother arrives on the island uninvited, forcing Grace to decide where she’ll stand once and for all. Is it finally time to rip up the script? Or will she accept her role and return?

Only Grace can decide.


My Thoughts:

Halstead House by Aspen Hadley makes a lovely summer read. The descriptions of Lavender Island and Halstead House gave me all the beach vibes. With a cast of unique characters to support Grace, the story explored Grace’s journey to discover who she truly is as she opens her mind to new experiences and healthier ways of thinking. I cheered as she made her own decisions and did the hard work of setting boundaries with her mother.

Halstead House started off a bit slow as Grace makes her vacation escape from her extremely structured life. It took a bit longer than I would have preferred for the friendship between Lucas and Grace to commence. Not too much later, all the romance came into play. Grace and Lucas have chemistry and lots of kissing scenes, but the romance stays clean.

Halstead House by Aspen Hadley will likely appeal to readers who enjoy clean, contemporary romances with depth and some touches of humor. This is the first novel I’ve read by Aspen Hadley and I’m glad I have her other books waiting on my shelf. Four stars!



Disclosure of Material Connection: I was provided a copy of this book by the author or publisher. All opinions in this review are my own.


Friday, July 23, 2021

Book Spotlight: Change Begins Here by Randy Siegel

About the Book:

Like many of us, Randy Siegel felt paralyzed. He wanted to make a positive difference, but the world’s multiple ecological, economic, health, racial, spiritual, and social concerns felt too overwhelming.

In his latest book Change Begins Here: Adopt the Mind of Christ and Build a Better World, Siegel turns to a number of faith traditions to conclude that as spiritual people we must awaken to the realization that change begins here—right now—with us. By adopting the mind of Christ, or Unity Consciousness, we can become the change we want to see in the world.

In his down-to-earth style, Randy Siegel shares how heaven is attainable when we adopt the mind of Christ. Not just for saints, sages, and shamans, Christ or unity consciousness is something all of us can employ regardless of our faith. Siegel explains how with three practical spiritual strategies supported by insights, practices, and exercises.

The three strategies are:

  • One: Lean into The Longing: We are creatures who long, and the source of all longing is union, reunion, and communion with the Divine. When we lean into longing, nothing becomes more important than strengthening our relationship with God.
  • Two: Awaken to Our Presence: By being present to the moment, finding God in silence and stillness, and seeing divinity in all people, places, things, and situations, we strengthen our relationship with God and increase our capacity to receive and give love.
  •  Choose Love: We follow what Jesus called the greatest commandments—to love God with all our heart, soul, and mind and to love our neighbors as ourselves.

Change Begins Here: Adopt the Mind of Christ and Build a Better World is available on Amazon.

Readers are invited to join the community Facebook page: Change Begins Here: Change Your Consciousness, Change The World.


Excerpt:

"If there is anything that will heal our wounded planet with its immense problems of social injustice, ecological devastation, extreme economic disparities, war, conflict, and terrorism, it’s a deeper knowledge, understanding, and acceptance that we all share the same planet, that all humanity is but a single people, and that people and the environment are interconnected aspects of one organic system."


About the Author:

Randy Siegel has written five books, including the Amazon best seller In Search of The One: How to Attract the Relationship You’ve Longed For. For more than thirty years, Siegel has been inspiring thousands of men and women worldwide to “stand in their power and become the full expression of all they are” through art, workshops, and writing. 

For more information on Randy Siegel’s work, visit LinkToRandy.com.

Book Review: Then Came You by Rachel D. Russell and Susan May Warren

About the Book:

He’s in Deep Haven to relax.

Detective Daniel “Boone” Buckam is more than burned out. After fourteen stellar years on the job, one bad judgment call—and, fine, a whole lot of cynicism—has forced him into a mandatory vacation. If he can get his head on straight, there’s a job as Police Chief waiting for him back in his Minneapolis suburb.

But then he meets Vivien.

Actress Vivien Calhoun isn’t really a drama queen. Sure, she gets swept up in the emotions of life—but please, she’s an actress. Or, um, was until a stalker made her flee the bright lights of Broadway. Now, she’s passionate about directing her local theater production. But when she accidentally ropes an uptight police detective on vacation into her cast, she can’t help but wonder if he might be the leading man she’s always longed for.

Of course, she’s in trouble.

Boone can’t help but like Vivien. He might even have a type—vivacious and bubbly, with a penchant for attracting danger. He can smell trouble even if she can’t, and is pretty sure her stalker has hunted her all the way to Deep Haven. He’ll have to stay by her side—even if it means being in her silly play—to keep her safe. But Vivien is more than he expected as she helps him discover a part of him he’s locked away…the part that said he could never love again.

So much for relaxing.

It’s summertime in Deep Haven, and the fun is heating up in this laugh-out-loud, charming story.


My Thoughts:

I enjoyed reading Then Came You by Rachel D. Russell and Susan May Warren. The authors combined a sparky romance, a stalker threat, and occasional moments of intense action to create a story that held my attention throughout. While I struggled a bit to connect with Vivien, Boone’s loyalty and protectiveness made him a great male lead. They each had obstacles to overcome and life-altering choices to make. A satisfying ending capped off the book and left me smiling.

Then Came You by Rachel D. Russell and Susan May Warren stands as the fourth novel in the Deep Haven Collection. Although the story has a large cast of characters, some of which I recognized from previous novels, Then Came You works well as a stand-alone read. I think it would be fun to go back and binge read all the novels featuring Deep Haven as the setting never fails to charm me. I look forward to reading the next installment in this series. Four stars.

 


Disclosure of Material Connection: I was provided a copy of this book by the author or publisher. All opinions in this review are my own.


Thursday, July 22, 2021

Book Spotlight: A Soul as Cold as Frost by Jennifer Kropf


About A Soul as Cold as Frost:

"Merry Christmas to all! And to all a good fright... "

The Quarrel of Sword and Bone was a death sentence for anyone who stepped into the arena with the deranged Queen, whose soul had crisped to frost in an age long since past.

Sixteen-year-old Helen Bell understood tragedy better than most kids growing up. She knew what it was like to wear clothes from donation bins and be mocked by the beautiful girls in school. She thought those brutal experiences made her ready for anything, but she wasn't ready for this.

After an eccentric girl opens Helen's eyes to let her see the realm of Winter—a world with intersects tucked carefully into the cracks of our own, where monarchs have risen and fallen, it's forbidden to mention the name of The Dead King, and the currency is gold rings—Helen discovers things are far from ordinary in Winter. After trying to deny the existence of a disrupting train horn ringing in her ears for days, Helen receives a mysterious summons from a group who call themselves “The Crimson Court” to enter into The Quarrel of Sword and Bone—a traditional duel performed before one thousand witnesses that leaves only one survivor—and she’s forced to finally pay attention to the handsome boy who's been following her around with a warning on his tongue.

When the arrival of wicked villains propels Helen into the heart of Winter where there’s no going back, she finds herself being pursued by something else too—a whispered prayer battling on her behalf, and an ancient Truth that breathes living words of wisdom—the very wisdom forgotten by the Rime Folk when their disunity drove them to draw lines in the snow in an age of the past.

The Winter Souls Series blends action and warm Christmas traditions, bringing the old forgotten tales of the season to life with new and grittier versions of famous characters out of old holiday legends, folklore, and myths, such as St. Nicholas, the Snow Queen, the Scrooge, and the Nutcracker. A Soul as Cold as Frost is Jennifer Kropf's debut novel, ideal for fans of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis, and The Nutcracker and the Four Realms by Meredith Rusu and Ashleigh Powell.



Book Trailer for A Soul as Cold as Frost (Book #1)





Book Trailer for A Heart As Red As Paint (Book #2) 

Now available for preorder!




About the Author

Jennifer Kropf went to college for marketing and figured out pretty quick that getting a job in marketing was not going to satisfy her book-hunger in the slightest, so as soon as she started having kids, she began to write her debut novel and form the tale that eventually turned into the Winter Souls Series.
She is married with three kids, lives amidst lush Ontario farmland, and attends a fabulous church in the Wilmot Township that is intent on showing the love of God to the Wilmot community.
Her favourite authors are C.S. Lewis for the life he lived and his passion for God and writing, and J.M. Barrie for introducing her to Peter Pan and Neverland, and Stephanie Garber for giving her the Caraval experience, and also Marissa Meyer, Adrienne Young, and Marie Lu for writing books she could not put down.

Connect with Jennifer:

Instagram: @authorjenniferkropf
Facebook:  Jennifer Kropf Books
Twitter:      @KropfJen

Book Review & Giveaway: Mysteries of the Messiah by Rabbi Jason Sobel

About the Book:

Are you settling for half the story? Highlighting connections that have been hidden from non-Jewish eyes, Rabbi Jason Sobel will connect the dots between the Old and New Testament, helping you see the Bible with clarity as God intended.

Most people—even people of faith—do not understand how the Bible fits together. Too many Christians accept half an inheritance, content to embrace merely the New Testament, while Jewish people may often experience the same by embracing only the Old Testament. But God has an intricate plan and purpose for both the Old and the New.

In Mysteries of the Messiah, Rabbi Jason Sobel reveals the many connections in Scripture hidden in plain sight. Known for his emphatic declaration “but there’s more!” he guides us in seeing the passion and purpose of the Messiah. Mysteries of the Messiah:

  • Uncovers connections between the Old and New Testaments
  • Connects the dots for readers with details about Jesus, the Torah, and biblical characters
  • Written with the unique perspective of a rabbi with an evangelical theological degree

No matter how many times you have read the Bible, Mysteries of the Messiah will bring fresh perspective and insight. God’s Word, written by many people over thousands of years, is not a random selection of people and stories. Rabbi Jason Sobel connects the dots and helps us see with clarity what God intended.


Excerpt:

Unharness Old and New Testament connections and experience the Bible in Hi-Def.

As a young Jewish boy growing up on the streets of New Jersey, I encountered many things that influenced me. My parents and their faith were my heritage, but my friends and their ways were different. It was a little challenging to reconcile everything. But while I became fluent in the culture, even learning how to “rap with my homies,” I remained faithful to our Jewish tradition. Not just because I had to but because I wanted to. Yet I often felt there was something more.

At the age of sixteen I found myself one day in a state of meditation. This was something I did regularly as I attempted to figure out things in the midst of a world that was constantly pulling me away from spiritual things. It was an ordinary day but a truly extraordinary experience in that I had a personal encounter with Yeshua. This was the first time I’d ever felt as though the Lord was speaking directly to me. It was so unbelievable and yet so real, and I will never forget His words. He said, “Many are called, but few are chosen.”

In my innermost being I knew exactly what he was saying, but I needed to ask, “Lord, am I chosen?”

He sweetly smiled and replied, “Yes.”

I was overcome by the peace and presence of God— energized and in awe of the experience. I felt as if I were in a state of euphoria. This filling, which was much like an indwelling, kept me in a state of deep contentment. I ran down the steps and into my front yard. Not caring who was watching, I jumped up and down, screaming at the top of my lungs, “I am called to serve Him! I am called to serve Him!”

At this same moment my mom pulled into the driveway and saw her good little Jewish son running around in circles like a crazy man for all the neighbors to gawk at. Surely she thought I was mashugana (a Yiddish term describing a person who is nonsensical or silly). I didn’t care; I was so elated by the fact that God, the God who created the universe, wanted to use me.

Although she did not understand what was happening to me, my mother did not want to rain on my parade. There was only one problem. I wondered, What does it look like for a nice Jewish boy to begin serving Yeshua? I had no clue.

My best friend was John. I met him as part of a wannabe Filipino gang. We became close, practicing martial arts together and discussing spiritual things. By this time, John had become a believer in Yeshua and talked about it with me as often as possible. One day he called and asked, “You went to Hebrew school as a child, right? Do you think you could tell the difference between the Old and New Testaments if I read you some passages?”

I said, “Sure.”

He read me a passage about this guy dying on a cross and asked if it was from the Old or New Testament.

I said, “Obviously it’s from the New Testament because it’s talking about Jesus.”

He read another passage: “He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities. . . . He was led like a lamb to the slaughter.” Then he asked, “Is this from the Old or New Testament?”

I said, “It must be from the New Testament because it sounds like it’s talking about Jesus.”

John paused, then said, “It’s from the Old Testament, from Isaiah 53 (vv. 5, 7 niv). Isaiah was a Jewish prophet who lived seven hundred years before the Messiah was born.”

That got my attention.

After our conversation I agreed to go with John to the messianic synagogue led by Rabbi Jonathan Cahn, who would later write the highly acclaimed and bestselling book The Harbinger.

During the service, Rabbi Cahn talked about being “born anew,” but I didn’t think a good Jewish boy should ever do that. However, when he gave the invitation, I stood up. Rabbi Cahn led me in a prayer to receive Yeshua. My friend had prayed to lead one Jewish person to faith in Messiah Jesus, but he never thought it would be me.

After the service I was given the first New Testament I had ever seen. I took it home, not quite sure what had just happened, and hid it in my room— God forbid my parents should find it. Of course, Mom did find it and confronted me: “What is this? Don’t tell me you’re a Jew thinking about believing in Jesus!”

By then, I had read the New Testament and believed that Jesus was the One that Moses and the prophets had foretold. He was the One who spoke the words of eternal life.

My mom was concerned and called our rabbi to meet with me. I knew I needed to verify for myself that Yeshua was the Messiah of the Hebrew Bible. As I studied in preparation for my meeting with the rabbi, I made a list of all the messianic promises and prophecies in the Hebrew Scriptures that I could find. I wanted to make sure I clearly understood and could articulate what I believed about the Messiah based on the Hebrew Bible and Jewish sources.

The rabbi asked me how I had come to believe in Yeshua as the Messiah, and I read all the passages that had impacted me.

I believe that by discovering the connections between the Old Testament and New Testament, your life can be transformed like mine. I liken it to experiencing your faith in high definition. When you “see” Jesus and the Bible in HD, you enjoy greater richness, sharpness, and clarity of details that you would have otherwise missed.

Taken from “Mysteries of the Messiah: Unveiling Divine Connections from Genesis to Today” by Rabbi Jason Sobel. Copyright 2021 by Rabbi Jason Sobel. Used with permission from Thomas Nelson Publishing.


My Thoughts:

In Mysteries of the Messiah: Unveiling Divine Connections from Genesis to Today, Rabbi Jason Sobel calls for Christian and Messianic Jews to come together in unity by recognizing and embracing the Jewish heritage of Jesus. As the subtitle indicates, Rabbi Sobel starts with the Genesis creation narrative and highlights the evidence of Yeshua even in the earliest parts of the Bible.

Often Mysteries of the Messiah read like a college term paper as it was highly analytical. At times, Rabbi Sobel expounded on his point to offer a life lesson or spiritual truth, but most of the information was factual about how the promised Messiah presented in those events. The numerical value of Hebrew letters was a new and interesting concept to me that came up frequently throughout the book. While I was not always convinced by Rabbi Sobel’s points, I found his explications very informative and worth consideration. He gave the best explanation of the Torah, Talmud, and Midrash that I have ever read.  My favorite chapters were The Messiah, Our Passover (Chapter 8) and The Messiah in the Desert (Chapter 10).

I recommend Mysteries of the Messiah: Unveiling Divine Connections from Genesis to Today by Rabbi Jason Sobel to readers who desire to explore the Old Testament (and portions of the New Testament) in light of Messiah Yeshua. This book is precise and informative, appropriate for clergy and lay people alike.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I was provided a copy of this book by the author or publisher. All opinions in this review are my own.


About the Author:

Raised in a Jewish home in New Jersey, Rabbi Jason Sobel dedicated much of his life in pursuit of a spiritual connection with God. After years of seeking and studying, he encountered God and found his true destiny as a Jewish follower of Yeshua (Jesus). Suddenly, all the traditions Rabbi Jason grew up with took on new depth and meaning as God connected the ancient wisdom of the Torah with the teachings of the Messiah.

Rabbi Jason received his rabbinic ordination from the UMJC (Union of Messianic Jewish Congregations) in 2005. He has a B.A. in Jewish Studies (Moody) and an M.A. in Intercultural Studies (Southeastern Seminary). He is a sought-after speaker and has made multiple appearances on national television, including the Trinity Broadcasting Network, the Daystar Network, and the Dr. Oz Show. Rabbi Jason is the author of Breakthrough: Living a Life That OverflowsAligning with God's Appointed Times, and Mysteries of the Messiah and he is also the coauthor of New York Times bestseller The Rock, the Road, and the Rabbi with Kathie Lee Gifford.

You can learn more at www.rabbisobel.com.


Tour Giveaway:


a Rafflecopter giveaway