Monday, May 18, 2015

CFBA Presents: The Art of Losing Yourself

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
The Art of Losing Yourself
WaterBrook Press (April 21, 2015)
Katie Ganshert


Award-winning author, Katie Ganshert, graduated from the University of Wisconsin in Madison with a degree in education, and worked as a fifth grade teacher for several years before staying home to write full-time. She was born and raised in the Midwest, where she lives with her family. When she’s not busy penning novels or spending time with her people, she enjoys drinking coffee with friends, reading great literature, and eating copious amounts of dark chocolate.


Just like in my dream, I was drowning and nobody even noticed.

Every morning, Carmen Hart pastes on her made-for-TV smile and broadcasts the weather. She’s the Florida panhandle’s favorite meteorologist, married to everyone’s favorite high school football coach. They’re the perfect-looking couple, live in a nice house, and attend church on Sundays. From the outside, she’s a woman who has it all together.  But on the inside, Carmen Hart struggles with doubt. She wonders if she made a mistake when she married her husband. She wonders if God is as powerful as she once believed. Sometimes she wonders if He exists at all. After years of secret losses and empty arms, she’s not so sure anymore.

Until Carmen’s sister—seventeen year old runaway, Gracie Fisher—steps in and changes everything. Gracie is caught squatting at a boarded-up motel that belongs to Carmen’s aunt, and their mother is off on another one of her benders, which means Carmen has no other option but to take Gracie in. Is it possible for God to use a broken teenager and an abandoned motel to bring a woman’s faith and marriage back to life? Can two half-sisters make each other whole?

If you would like to read the first chapter of The Art of Losing Yourself, go HERE.

Friday, May 08, 2015

MORE by Tammie Head

"Messy. We're all feeling it." Thus opens Tammie Head's debut book More: From Messes to Miracles.

"I wish my story were prettier."

Don't we all.

Tammie's story is certainly messy, with plenty of situations one doesn't often find in a Christian book.

"God, You know stories like mine aren't so acceptable in church."

Praise God that He provided Tammie the opportunity to tell her messy beautiful story. Because it is messy. And it is so, so beautiful.

Tammie Head's story is a remarkable one, mostly because of her willingness to share it. It's real and not pretty and if I'm honest, sometimes difficult for this mom of two teenage girls to read.

But there is hope found within this book's pages. Tammie advocates a real faith that begins in the pages of the Bible and meets people where they are: in the back room of a strip club; in a sandwich shop; in the backyard chain-smoking cigarettes; even in the pews of church.

I recommend this book for women who think their story is too messy for church people. Too messy for good Christians. Too messy for God. Because the fact is, God is still in the miracle business, and nothing is impossible with Him. No life is too messy for Jesus to work with.

This book would be good for a book club or for friends to read together. I wouldn't say it's a Bible study, per se, although Scripture permeates each page and most of the chapters conclude with good questions to discuss. But for a group looking to discuss the messy that leads to the miracle, this book would be wonderful for you.

Happy Military Spouse Appreciation Day


I'm at Wives of Faith today, celebrating military wives.

Thursday, May 07, 2015

Book Review: Heart Sisters

My copy of the book with Hiland Mountain in the background. #Alaska

I am on the launch team for Heart Sisters: Be the Friend You Want to Have by Natalie Snapp.

I will preface this review by saying that I haven't finished the book, even though I fully intended to finish it before today (graduation, moving prep, working, and other things notwithstanding). It's just not a book one can rush. This book is so rich. Rich in wisdom, rich in Biblical examples, rich in so many good, good things.

The title alone, when I first heard about the book from my longtime friend Teri Lynne (you can read what she thinks of both the book and 19-year-old me here), was enough to capture my heart. You see, I haven't always had good experiences with friends--but every time I went through those tough times, I had other friends who came along beside me to help me heal and grow stronger, to speak truth to me and let me know I was not alone.

I have many acquaintances, but a much smaller group of heart friends. I believe in seasons of friendship, and I know that right now I am truly blessed with many women close by with whom I can share my heart. I know that as I prepare yet again to move to a new location and make new friends, that this book will go with me and help me as I forge new bonds of friendship, and as I continue to nurture my current friendships from a distance.

Chapter topics include our relationship with God, forgiveness, dealing with friendship conflicts, daughters, digital friendship etiquette, and setting boundaries. There are study questions after each chapter, making this the ideal summer or fall Bible study - leaders take note! (Especially PWOC groups--this book is great! I think so far it has offered me much to consider in our mobile subculture.)

Highly, highly recommend. And yes, I will finish this book. :)

Note: Contest Details:

One lucky winner will receive a "Girl's Night Out" - includes a $100 Visa card, mani/pedi kit, fun summer polish, a clutch handbag and a camera. You can enter by going to my Facebook Author Page ( and clicking the "Girl's Night Out Giveaway" tab. Follow the directions and voila! You're entered.
The mobile friendly link is:

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thanks to Natalie and her publisher, Abingdon Press, for the paperback copy (and the NetGalley copy too!) of the book.

Review: The Dinner List

The Dinner List by Rebecca Serle My rating: 4 of 5 stars I heard about this novel last month. It sounded great, because who hasn't m...