Archives For Giveaways

Happy Friday! It’s time to party!

Today I’m part of a Cover Release Party for author Pepper Basham’s second historical romance, The Thorn Keeper, set to release in February 2016.

I read and reviewed Pepper’s debut novel, The Thorn Bearer, and really enjoyed it. You can read my review here.

Here’s my bottom line: “The Thorn Bearer has all the good stuff that makes it fun to while away a day or so in another world—with the added benefit of Spiritual Truth! Exactly what those grand adventures I read as a teen were missing.”

And here are a few of my favorite quotes from the book . . .

thornbearer Pepper D BashamThorn Bearer Pepper D Basham

Maybe now you can see why I’m looking forward to the second book’s release! The blurb below shares some details about how the series continues . . .

“With her past in shambles, how can she fashion a future of hope?

Catherine Dougall’s past of manipulation has left her future in threads. With a new faith, she longs to take the remnants of her life and make something beautiful, but shame, societies’ judgments, and the natural consequences of an unplanned pregnancy test her newfound hope. Dr. David Ross doesn’t help either.

His kindness, sacrifice, and tenderness tempt her to impossible dreams.

A fallen woman doesn’t merit a fairytale.

David Ross has made every effort to keep his life above reproach. His passion for the sick pumps fresh purpose through his choices, but without financial support to maintain his war hospital, all is lost. When his notorious aunt offers an easy solution, David is tempted to give in to her demands. But his growing affection for the reformed flirt, Catherine Dougall, breaks down the carefully constructed wall around his heart and offers him an unexpected choice.

When the worst of war tears them apart, can love renew the memory of what was lost? Or will tragedy steal away their hope forever?

From the beautiful Derbyshire countryside to the trenches of World War I, Catherine and David must learn to trust in a God who designs a masterpiece out of brokenness and fashions hope in the most unlikely places.”

Sounds like a fun story! So now without further ado, let me introduce The Thorn Keeper – available February 28, 2016 from Vinspire Publishing!

Pepper D. Basham The Thorn Keeper

Pretty cover, right? Here’s your chance to get your hands on a copy!

GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment for your chance to win a digital advanced review copy of The Thorn Keeper, which Pepper will send to the winners near the end of November!!

***Follow this link to purchase The Thorn Bearer for $3.03!

Thanks for stopping by today. Blessings, friends!

Pepper BashamMeet the author: As a little girl, Pepper D. Basham fell in love with storytelling while listening to her granny share oral history. A native of the Blue Ridge Mountains, mom of five, speech-language pathologist, and lover of chocolate, Pepper enjoys sprinkling her native Appalachian culture into her fiction wherever she can. She currently resides in Asheville, NC, where she works with kids who have special needs, searches for unique hats, and plots new ways to annoy her wonderful friends at her group writing blog, The Writer’s Alley.

You can connect with her

At her website

On her Facebook page

On Twitter

**Photo Backstory: I create my graphics from iPhone pics or free images from sites like Unsplash & Death to Stock Photo plus the effects at PicMonkey. Feel free to Pin, Tweet, download & share. Pass them on!
**Find me on Facebook at this link & follow!
**Let’s be Twitter pals!
If you’re on Twitter, I’ll follow you—if I’m not already. Just let me know in the comments. You can find me here.
**Let’s connect on Instagram!
I so enjoy scrolling my Instagram feed & admiring everyone’s pics. Let me know if you’re on Instagram or find me at this link.
Continue Reading…

To Be Known

Renee Ann Smith —  November 6, 2014 — 9 Comments

Ultimate Christian Living Bundle(Click to Tweet)

“To be known through & through—including the failures of her past—and still be loved, that’s the Promised Land of a woman’s heart.”
~Tessa Afshar, Pearl in the Sand~

Pearl-in-the-Sand-198x300Pearl in the Sand was the first book I read by Tessa Afshar. (She’s since gone on to publish three others.) I love how this novel sparks my imagination & brings the story of Rahab vividly to life. You can read my full review of Tessa’s novel at this link.

Here are a few more of my favorite quotes from the book . . .

“We long for things that harm us & run from the things that grow & heal us. We think good is bad and bad is good. God acts rightly, but to us, it seems confusing. Or sometimes plain wrong.”

“It’s time to leave fear behind or you’ll be robbed of your destiny. You don’t need confidence in yourselves or in your own power. Be strong in the Lord. When disaster seems close, don’t be discouraged. God will never leave you.”


Thanks for stopping by today. Blessings, friends!

***Photo Backstory: I made this graphic with an image from my account at RGB Stock Photos. Of course, PicMonkey is my editing tool of choice. Feel free to Pin, Tweet, download & share.

***Let’s be Twitter pals! If you’re on Twitter, I’ll follow you—if I’m not already. Let me know in the comments how to find you in the Tweet-world

Continue Reading…

When I was offered the opportunity to become an affiliate for the Ultimate Christian Living Bundle, I jumped at the chance!


Three reasons . . .

1. Books
2. Books
3. And More Books!

What’s a Bundle? 75 ebooks plus ecourses, audio files and bonus gifts—a bundle of resources (nearly $1,000 worth!)—in one place for one great price of just $34.95 (PDF version) or $39.95 (eReader version), FOR 5 DAYS ONLY.

What I like best about it . . . Quality books by classic authors.
These 22 books alone by authors I know & love would make the bundle worth it  . . .

  1. Absolute Surrender by Andrew Murray
  2. All of Grace by Charles Spurgeon
  3. Answers to Prayer by George Mueller
  4. Fellowship of the Burning Heart by A. W. Tozer
  5. Names of God by Nathan Stone
  6. Power, Passion & Prayer by Charles G. Finney
  7. Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God by Jonathan Edwards
  8. The Classic Collection on Prayer by E. M. Bounds
  9. The Holy Spirit & Power by John Wesley
  10. The Incomparable Christ by J. Oswald Sanders
  11. The Overcoming Life by D. L. Moody
  12. Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan
  13. Extraordinary Grace by Gary Chapman & Chris Fabry
  14. One Kingdom Under God by Dr. Tony Evans
  15. One Minute After You Die by Erwin W. Lutzer
  16. Mornings with Tozer by A. W. Tozer
  17. The Quiet Place by Nancy Leigh DeMoss
  18. Pearls in the Sand by Tessa Afshar
  19. The Turning by Davis Bunn
  20. Financial Parenting by Larry Burkett
  21. How to Know God Exists by Ray Comfort
  22. The Way of the Master by Ray Comfort

A few stand outs . . .

one-minute-3-229x300One Minute After You Die by Irwin Lutzer is one of the 5 books that made me understand, love, long for Heaven. It’s a keeper & here it is in the middle of the Bundle! You can read my review at this link.

Pearl in the Sand is award-winning author Tessa Afshar’s first novel.I love how this book beautifully portrays the story of Rahab. You can read my review here.

Answers to Prayer by George Mueller is the testimony of a godly man who entrusted himself & all he loved to God’s care. Each time I read his account of how he approached daily life, I’m inspired to bathe my days in prayer & cast worry aside.

Right now my Bible study is working through a book by Nancy Leigh DeMoss & I can’t wait to read her devotional book—which is part of this Bundle.

Plus, Tozer & Spurgeon & Moody . . . not to mention the new authors & teachers whose books are included.

Here’s a great quote from Gary Chapman’s book  . . .

Bundle 4

(Click to Tweet)

“Love doesn’t erase the past, but it makes the future different.” ~Gary Chapman~

The Christian Living Bundle is basically a whole library of books that will build my faith & help me grow in Christ. What’s not to like?

If you’re interested, what should you do next?  

Continue Reading…

Fool for Books
I’m so glad you came by to join in the Fool for Books Giveaway Hop! This hop is hosted by Kathy at I Am A Reader, Not A Writer. She gathers some fun blogs, offering great prizes, into this hop every year—just so we can show you readers how happy we are that you come by.

MY GIVEAWAY: I’m giving away TWO $10 Amazon Email Gift Cards. Simply enter once using the Giveaway Tool Widget below for a chance to win. This giveaway ends on April 8, 2014 at 2 am.

Two winners have been chosen & emailed! Thanks for participating!

Continue Reading…

Not only will Mesu Andrews’ biblical fiction sweep you away to another time and place, but it will also inspire you to know God better.

I bought Mesu’s debut novel, Love Amid the Ashes, because I’d never read a romantic story featuring Job. From the first pages, I could see that she has a special gift for storytelling. I loved how she helped me see Job as a hero. Yes, Old Testament Job—a noble, handsome, what-a-girl-wants hero. So it’s NO surprise that each of her novels brings something unique to the world of inspirational fiction.

(Guess what? You can download Love Amid the Ashes for free here!)

This year, I’m privileged to be on Mesu’s launch team for her latest novel, In the Shadow of Jezebel. I’ll be sharing a review of this novel next week. The Scavenger Giveaway has ended, but here’s some vital information about Mesu’s book. 

 In The Shadow of Jezebel Mesu Andrews

What’s it about?

Here’s the blurb from Amazon: Princess Jehosheba wants nothing more than to please the harsh and demanding Queen Athaliah, daughter of the notorious Queen Jezebel. Her work as a priestess in the temple of Baal seems to do the trick. But when a mysterious letter from the dead prophet Elijah predicts doom for the royal household, Jehosheba realizes that the dark arts she practices reach beyond the realm of earthly governments. To further Athaliah and Jezebel’s strategies, she is forced to marry Yahweh’s high priest and enters the unfamiliar world of Yahweh’s temple. Can her new husband show her the truth and love she craves? And can Jehosheba overcome her fear and save the family—and the nation—she loves?

With deft skill, Mesu Andrews brings Old Testament passages to life, revealing a fascinating story of the power of unconditional love.

Mesu photo***You can purchase a copy of In the Shadow of Jezebel at this link. Thanks to Mesu Andrews and Revell for providing a copy for me to review.

About the Author: Mesu Andrews is the award-winning author of Love Amid the Ashes, Love’s Sacred Song, and Love in a Broken Vessel. Winner of the 2012 ECPA Christian Book Award for New Author, she has devoted herself to passionate and intense study of Scripture, bringing the biblical world vividly alive for her readers. She lives in Washington.

You can connect with Mesu

Continue Reading…

“Do unto others as if you were the other.” Amish proverb
Today I’m privilege to share a Guest Post & GIVEAWAY from bestselling author Suzanne Woods Fisher!

From Suzanne . . . When you were young and someone asked what you wanted to be when you grew up, what did you say? I dreamed of becoming a writer, but for you maybe it was a magician or musician, a farmer or a flautist. Or maybe you weren’t sure. Maybe you still aren’t sure.

suzanne woods the callingThe heroine in my latest novel, Bethany Schrock, is at that very crossroads in her life. Her hopes and dreams for the future have shattered like a broken teacup. In The Calling, we find Bethany depressed, frustrated and trying to figure out what she was put on this Earth to do.

Enter five old Amish sisters who run a soup kitchen for the down-and-outers of Stoney Ridge. They scoop Bethany into their big-hearted efforts, convinced she’d make a fine addition to the sisterhood. Reluctant at first, Bethany warms to the work as she feels the stirrings of happiness come to life. Little by little, through serving others, Bethany finds her calling.

Those old Amish sisters know a secret: You Can Find Yourself by Losing Yourself. In the novel, as Bethany cares for others, she spends less time dwelling on her troubles. Here’s an excerpt from Bethany’s story . . .

“It was easy for Bethany to ladle up the chili soup for these down-and-outers, feeling something warm like kindness or goodness fill her chest. At least, she did feel a pleasant glow until the teens from the Group Home, filled with bravado, pushing and jabbing each other, came in knots of two and three.

Bethany followed Geena’s lead and spoke to each one as she brought out the bowls of chili soup on a tray. ‘Good afternoon’ and ‘How are you?’ and ‘Would you like chili?’ Most didn’t answer and kept their eyes down, but the angry red haired girl met her eyes, almost in a hostile challenge — Do you see me?

I’m trying, Bethany thought. But you make it so difficult.

In that moment, she realized she hadn’t thought about her problems all day long. It was happening each time she helped at the sisters’ soup kitchen. She forgot all that troubled her, for a little while, anyway.

She turned to serve the next girl, a round girl with acne and thick glasses, who smiled at her.

This felt . . . good. Really good.”

January is the time of year for new starts. If you’re struggling to find your calling, consider volunteering, in some way, for those less fortunate.

To borrow an Amish proverb, “The real secret of happiness is not what you give or what you receive. It’s what you share.”

Happiness 1

Whether you’ve already found your calling or you’re still searching for purpose and fulfillment, I’m thankful you’ve brought Bethany and me along for the ride.

Have a blessed New Year! Suzanne Woods Fisher

GIVEAWAY: Suzanne has graciously offered to give away a copy of The Calling to one of you! Enter below . . .


You can find yourself by losing yourself. (Click to Tweet)

Do unto others as if you were the other. (Click to Tweet)

suzanne woods fisher author workingAbout the Author: Suzanne Woods Fisher is a bestselling author of Amish fiction and non-fiction and a columnist for Christian Post and Cooking & Such Magazine. Her book The Waiting is a finalist for a 2011 Christy Award. Amish Peace and Amish Proverbs were both finalists for the ECPA Book of the Year (2010, 2011).

Her interest in the Amish began with her grandfather, W.D. Benedict, who was raised Plain. Suzanne has a great admiration for the Plain people and believes they provide wonderful examples to the world.  When Suzanne isn’t writing or bragging to her friends about her grandbabies, she is raising puppies for Guide Dogs for the Blind. To Suzanne’s way of thinking, you just can’t take life too seriously when a puppy is tearing through your house with someone’s underwear in its mouth.

You can connect with Suzanne on her Facebook page, on Twitter, or at her blog. Continue Reading…

The Beloved Daughter is an inspirational suspense novel by Alana Terry, which tells the story of a young girl sent to a North Korean prison camp for her father’s faith. It has won awards from the Book Club Network and the Women of Faith writing contest. It is also currently one of the nominations for Book of the Year at

The Beloved Daughter will be on sale for just $0.99 (regularly $3.99) from the Amazon Kindle store from December 26-30. As a special Christmas bonus, if you are one of the first three people to comment on this blog, you can win your own free kindle copy today! And if you’re feeling especially lucky, enter the giveaway for a $25 Amazon Gift Card! (GIVEAWAY now over.)

My Take: Beloved Daughter is a dose of reality wrapped in the suspenseful, adventure-filled story of Chung-Ca, daughter of an outspoken Christian father in the totalitarian state of North Korea. Amidst a people raised to be godless & cruel, the light of Christ shines through Chung-Ca’s father & the other characters who know Him. Though at times Chung-Ca’s light seems little more than a sputtering candle, her story helped me envision how even that amount of truth can give hope to those who encounter it. That makes this an important story for any thoughtful believer to make time for.

What I liked best: This story renewed my determination to pray for our many brothers & sisters in Christ, who are suffering in slavery & oppression around the world.

Also, Chung-Ca’s journey gave me hope for me—that though many days I falter in my faith, all I need is a mustard-seed-sized amount for God to use me. God’s grace is pretty amazing that way, isn’t it?

My Favorite Quote: “The Old Woman continued in her low, melodic voice. ‘Eventually word of my witnessing attempts, feeble as they were, reached the ears of the guards. I was put in detainment. It was then, in the midst of fear and persecution, that the words of our Master came to me in a vision. One night the Savior himself appeared in my cell and told me clearly, ‘Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul.'”

‘From Matthew,’ I remarked, remembering how my father loved the first gospel and memorized it in its entirety.

The Old Woman looked over at me and furrowed her brow. ‘From the Bible? . . . I have not seen the Holy Book since I was younger than you, a child in my parents’ house . . . My vision of Jesus filled me with hope.'”

SAVE BIG: Get the ebook from amazon for 99 cents when you buy before Dec. 31. If you like audiobooks, you can buy the unabridged version narrated by 4-time Audie-award winner Kathy Garver from Audible, or get it from amazon for only $1.99 after you buy the ebook (save $18). Like paperbacks? Get The Beloved Daughter for less than $12 on Amazon.

Flash giveaway! How to win a free copy of The Beloved Daughter ebook:

1) Be one of the first three people to leave a blog comment below. (Comments by Alana Terry or the author of this blog don’t count.)

2) You must fill out this quick form so Alana knows where to send your prize ebook.

*All the prize copies claimed? No worries – get it from amazon for just 99 cents! Continue Reading…

“IMPOSSIBLE. IMPENETRABLE. UNCHANGEABLE. Maybe so—until God gets involved. No matter the details of your circumstance, His raw power potential and immeasurable ability refuse to cower in the face of any challenge. Nothing is impossible with God. Nothing. Not even that thing.”

This tag line aptly summarizes Priscilla Shirer’s uplifting devotional book, God Is Able. If right now you’re struggling because your problems are looming larger than the Lord’s presence in your life, you need this book!

God Is Able is a fast read. But not because it doesn’t have important things to say. It’s simply that Priscilla’s style is so down-to-earth and easy to take in, you’ll feel like you’re hearing from a good friend—one who has been where you’ve been and knows just what to say. It’s a godly, positive, pep talk that you can re-read as often as needed!

Priscilla Shirer 1abc

(Don’t you love how the book fits right in with my Christmas decorations?)

Here’s an excerpt from God Is Able. Take a moment to read it, and let Priscilla’s words give you hope today.

From Priscilla: “No matter who you are, however old or young, there’s always at least one thing. That thing in your life that you can’t seem to escape or fix or solve . . . You’ve prayed. You’ve asked. You’ve begged. You’ve fretted. You’ve calculated . . .And honestly, you’re starting to seriously wonder now if God can do this, if He can do . . . It.

I’ve got a few Its myself.

In the midst of these various challenges and struggles that come together to threaten my sense of security, stability, and balance, I’ve found my worse fears confirmed.

I am insufficient, outmatched, and incapable of fixing everything.

Sometimes I don’t know how I’m going to make it through the day.

But I’ve also learned something else—something that changed my entire life.

God is able.”

See? A great pep talk! Here’s one of the many quotes I marked . . .

Priscilla Shirer 1aAs soon as you connect your current circumstances to your God, He raises a banner of hope in your mind & heart. ~Priscilla Shirer~  (Click to Tweet)

I am insufficient, outmatched & incapable of fixing everything. But God is able. ~Priscilla Shirer~  (Click to Tweet)

Sometimes I don’t know how I’m going to make it through the day. But God is able. ~Priscilla Shirer~  (Click to Tweet)

If you don’t want to wait for the results of the giveaway, you can grab a copy of God Is Able at this link. ***Thanks to Priscilla Shirer and Icon Media Group for providing a copy for me to review.

Priscilla Shirer 3About the Author: Priscilla Shirer is a Bible teacher and conference speaker with a Master’s degree in Biblical Studies from Dallas Theological Seminary. Also a popular author, her books include the New York Times best seller The Resolution for Women, One in a Million, and Life Interrupted. Priscilla is married to Jerry with whom she founded Going Beyond Ministries. They have three sons and live in Dallas, Texas.

You can connect with Priscilla at the Going Beyond Ministries website, on her Facebook page, and on Twitter. Continue Reading…