Book Reviews and Blog Tours

You think you've got guilt? You haven't seen anything yet till you read Turning Guilt Trips into Joy Rides by authors Brosius, Boyer, and Messinger. These three ladies have put together a must-read manual that dismantles guilt at its core and turns it around into lessons of love, patience, kindness ... well, you get the picture. You can enjoy "tripping" all in one easy read, or sit and slowly savor each section for maximum impact. Either way, it's a win-win. Life is a one-shot deal, and it's too short to waste being burdened by guilt. This book helps tackle the issue with grace and humor. Two thumbs up to three wise and wonderful women for putting together this book! 

Review by Judy Fedele, Blogger, 
"This book was received as a free copy from Litfuse Publicity in exchange for a review. The words and opinions expressed are my own."

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Turning Guilt Trips into Joy Rides 

by Shirley Brosius, Janine Boyer and Kim Messinger                                    

Blog Tour and Giveaway!

Welcome to the blog tour for Turning Guilt Trips into Joy Rides
Guilt trips...we've all got them and we've all been along for the ride. What I love about this book is the personal stories, the confessions of taking a wrong turn into guilt, but then finding the way out and back into joy. It's encouraging and uplifting. The stories are short, to the point and highly relatable. Shirley, Janine, and Kim make a great team of co-authors bringing a wide range of situations we can connect to. 

More About the Book 

Women today are busy, stressed, and guilt-ridden, yet they long to develop their spiritual sides. Turning Guilt Trips into Joy Rides offers inspirational thoughts based on scripture--brief enough to be read during a television commercial, yet insightful enough to open your eyes to the grace of God on days you change diapers and/or lead corporate meetings. Each reading suggests a "Guilt Trip to Avoid" and ends with a way to "Take the Joy Ride." The book includes six months of daily readings so that you may establish a habit of connecting with God. Readings are listed under the letters G-R-A-C-E, representing God, Relationships, Acceptance, Challenges and Emotions.
The coauthors hope these meaningful readings will help you deal with guilt--both real and imagined. By applying the insights shared in Turning Guilt Trips into Joy Rides, you may develop a calmer, less guilt-ridden life-style and become better equipped to function as wives, mothers and friends. Younger women often develop patterns of thinking and experience feelings of guilt that carry over into their mature years, so women of all ages will find this book helpful.

More About the Authors

Kim Messinger, Janine Boyer and Shirley Brosius had a common bond of Christian service when Christ drew them together for their first small group meeting in January, 1998.
Since then they have drawn closer through life’s joys and struggles and found God to be sufficient for their every need. They call themselves “Friends of the Heart” because their passion is to help women open their hearts and find joy in Christ. 
Kim and Janine supported Shirley in writing Sisterhood of Faith: 365 Life-Changing Stories About Women Who Made a Difference, which was released by Howard Publishing, a division of Simon & Schuster, in 2006.  More recently the three women worked together to write another devotional book, Turning Guilt Trips into Joy Rides. They have spoken at women’s retreats and events in five states. All three women live in Millersburg, Pennsylvania. Visit their website for more info.

More About the Guilt Trip / Joy Tip Giveaway

Guilt! She pokes you as you write about your quaint, eccentric aunt. She grabs you as you wander from e-mail to Facebook to laundry instead of focusing on your work. She kicks you as you complain about your husband to a friend.
Have you noticed? Women seem riddled with guilt. And it’s hard to know if guilt is legitimate or simply a product of our imaginations. After all, should we really feel guilty about things over which we have no control?
We are not perfect. We have no control over some things, so it's no use feeling guilty. We can't do it all.
To celebrate the release of Turning Guilt Trips into Joy Rides, Shirley, Janine and Kim are giving away some great prizes during the blog tour. Share your own "guilt trip" or "joy tip" and be entered to win a free life coaching consultation and a $50 gift certificate.
JUST CLICK THIS LINK and share what trips you up, holds you back or any tips you may have for overcoming guilt and keeping your joy. Fill out the quick form at the link and you'll be entered to win a free life coaching consultation from one of us AND a gift certificate to to use to purchase whatever strikes your fancy!
Contest runs 4/23 - 5/12. Winner announced here on 5/14.
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Chasing Mona Lisa
by Tricia Goyer and Mike Yorkey

Paris, France. The city of love is the not-so serene center of this story set during WW2 in occupied France. With romance blooming in the midst of death and destruction, serendipitous safe-cracking, barbarism and betrayal, and the grand theft of the most famous painting in the world - this and more makes for an edgy, action packed novel. 

Tricia Goyer and Mike Yorkey’s styles weave together seamlessly in this tale populated by pairs: Gabi Mueller and Eric Hofstadler from the Swiss OSS, museum curator Colette Perriard and French resistance hero Bernard Rousseau, German thieves, Schaffner and Kaufman, and Nazi Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring and his lackey, Colonel Heller. All these and a host of extras make up a cast of characters in a tension-filled arena whose action travels from the heart of war-torn Paris to crumbling Germany and through mountainous Switzerland.

In this war-time setting, you’re as likely to see lovers sipping coffee at sidewalk cafes as resistance members throwing Molotov cocktails in the streets. And the action scenes are satisfyingly singular: a train stopped by a headstrong bicyclist, hostages bound to tanks, and even car vs. plane in a wild crash test race. Goyer and Yorkey bring mystery and mayhem to the art world - not your typical staid museum experience, but instead a hectic hunt to recover the most famous painting in the world, the priceless Mona Lisa. 

So between the liberation of Paris, the race to recover and return La Joconde to the Louvre, the pitched battle between Fascism and Communism for the heart of the French … all in all, Chasing Mona Lisa is a novel that keeps the reader intrigued and interested all the way to the finish line, and wanting more.

~ Review by Judy Fedele ~

About the book:
It is August 1944 and Paris is on the cusp of liberation. As the soldiers of the Third Reich flee the Allied advance, they ravage the country, stealing countless pieces of art. Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring will stop at nothing to claim the most valuable one of all, the Mona Lisa, as a post-war bargaining chip to get him to South America. Can Swiss OSS agents Gabi Mueller and Eric Hofstadler rescue DaVinci's masterpiece before it falls into German hands?

With nonstop action, Chasing Mona Lisa is sure to get readers' adrenaline pumping as they join the chase to save the most famous painting in the world. From war-ravaged Paris to a posh country chateau, the race is on--and the runners are playing for keeps.

About the authors:

Tricia Goyer is the coauthor of The Swiss Courier as well as the author of many other books, including Night Song and Dawn of a Thousand Nights, both past winners of the ACFW's Book of the Year Award for Long Historical Romance. Goyer lives with her family in Arkansas.

Mike Yorkey is the author or coauthor of dozens of books, including The Swiss Courier and the bestselling Every Man's Battle series. Married to a Swiss native, Yorkey lived in Switzerland for 18 months. He and his family currently reside in California.

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The Keeper
by Suzanne Woods Fisher

Ah, the Amish. What do most folks know about them, except they eschew electricity and bake superlative sweets? Apparently, there's a lot more to this humble group than that. I've learned much just reading The Keeper by Suzanne Woods Fisher, the first novel in the new Stoney Ridge series about the Amish.

The Keeper centers around a single Amish family in a close-knit community. It relates the struggles and hardships they encounter, the love they harvest along with their abundant crops, and the lives they touch with their simple faith and good works. The Lapp family is filled with vibrant characters: Amos, the father who suffers from heart problems and has lost the will to get well; eldest daughter Julia, lovesick and frustrated over a stalled engagement, yet focused on keeping their family and farm afloat; gentle Menno, friend to animals; sweet Sadie, always anxious to please; and M.K. - the wild child, just as likely to do the milking and shell the peas at Windmill Farm as she would milk folks in a shell game to help raise money for her father's needed surgery. Others join the mix, a new housekeeper, "Stern" Fern, who comes in to assist the overwhelmed family, friends and neighbors of the Lapps, and the Bee Man, Roman Troyer.

Much of the story focuses on Julia Lapp and her perceived nemesis, Roman Troyer. Both have strong opinions on how their lives should flow, and each resents any interference which threatens their personal objectives. Yet they end up greatly influencing each other, as the community pulls together to support Amos Lapp's ailing health and failing farm.

You wouldn't think the term `action packed' would apply to a community still using original `horse' power. But not only is The Keeper filled with action, it's also rife with conflict and rich in romance. Perhaps because the Amish focus on the truly important things, that the "perks" of modern life aren't missed at all. And though they live on a far simpler scale, their lives are abundantly blessed with a deeper sense of satisfaction. So, definitely pick up a copy of this book, and save some space on your bookshelf for more to come by Suzanne Woods Fisher. Because not only is this series a winner ... it's definitely a "keeper."

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by Malcom and Ouimette

If eyes are the window to the soul, then hands are most certainly a mirror to the life a person has lived. "Real" with stories by Shelley Malcolm and photographs by Terilee Dawn Ouimette, detail snapshots of different people’s lives along with snapshots of the hands that led those lives. This truly unique book touches on these tales only briefly, but leave a lasting touch on the heart of the reader with the timeless, compelling, and … may I say it? … real … stories in its pages. Which is a draw in itself.

This is definitely the kind of book I would keep displayed in my home so visitors could see it. And one I would return to time and time again for myself. I highly recommend "Real" by Malcolm and Ouimette … one copy for your own library (or coffee table!) and a few extra for gifting. A great big thumbs up from this reviewer, for this hands-on approach to storytelling!

Proceeds from Real go to various charities. Please visit this link for more info:

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Want more of Judy's favorites? Enjoy past reviews: 

Generation NeXt Parenting: A Savvy Parent's Guide to Getting it Right  by Tricia Goyer
My review:

SAHM I Am (Life, Faith & Getting It Right #8) (Steeple Hill Cafe)  by Meredith Efken
My review:

The Secret Life of Becky Miller (Becky Miller, Book 1)  by Sharon Hinck
My review:

Secrets of Success for Women: Time  by Karen H. Whiting
My review:

The Restorer (The Sword of Lyric Series #1) by Sharon Hinck
My review:

Dawn of a Thousand Nights: A Story of Honor (The Liberator Series, Book 2) by Tricia Goyer
My review: