Tag Archives: christian living

Author Interview And Book Spotlight — Widowhood

14 Sep

About The Book

Book:  widowhood

Author: Mary Bruce

Genre:  Personal Growth

Release Date: May 12, 2020

A woman may have many names and many titles, but “widow” is not necessarily one she plans for. And when the unexpected happens, she is thrust into the role of being the captain of her ship, the decision-maker, and the one solely responsible for the direction of her and her family’s future. The emotions a widow experiences as she faces her life from this new position of aloneness are as varied and unique as each widow is. But what all widows share is a calling to be a leader in the midst of the chaos of the death of their husbands.

In Widowhood: A Calling to Leadership, Mary Bruce encourages widows to embrace their new role with hope and to unashamedly rely on the resources God provides to sustain them through his Spirit and through his body, the church. She illuminates for church leaders how to direct and mentor widows in their church families and how to provide these women with opportunities to express their new God-given calling of leadership.

This book will give you a fresh perspective on widowhood. It will help widows to see the energy they possess as fuel for godly leadership, and it will help church leaders to see their widows as esteemed gifts instead of burdens.


Click here to get your copy!


About The Author

Mary Bruce is a registered nurse, a former homeschooling mother, and a widow since the weekend before 9/11. Born and raised in Waterbury, Connecticut, she still resides there and works as an associate pastor. In the early 1990s, she initiated a grassroots movement to pray in Connecticut on the National Day of Prayer. Since then she has served as a state coordinator for the National Day of Prayer Task Force and is currently its National Area Leader for the nine northeast states.


More from Mary

Have you ever wanted to wake up one morning with a new start, a brand new start?

I can say that, during the 2001/2002 school year, for 360 of 365 days that is exactly what I learned to do, wake up with a new start. Mine was the school of hard knocks.   After 9/11, there were many of us who found ourselves on a daily automatic wake-up call before sunrise. No alarm clock was involved. Perhaps it was the stress of a new start for so many.  It’s not like we went to bed super early so we could wake up early.  Sleeping just wasn’t the same.


For me, by the time daylight started , I was already sitting on the steps of our back porch, waiting to greet the day, watching the eastern skies over the 5 acre mowed field behind our house.  Each morning I would grab a cup of coffee, my journal, a pen and my Bible, wrap myself in winter coat and blankets and sit there waiting: waiting on the sunrise, acknowledging the earth’s stillness, waiting for some revelation from God or insight into my own life situation. It was not a worrisome time, that came later in the day.  It was just a sitting and waiting time. Even my reading would have to wait until the dawn’s early light grew sufficient to see the print.  There was nothing to interrupt, to distract from that alone time of solitude and meditation.

Then, like a shot in the dark, the 7am bell would ring out from high school across the street, a roar of automobile sounds would drift over the house, and the magic quiet spell would be broken.


In those early moments, I saw things I had been too busy to notice before.  In spring, I watched fog roll over the field, literally roll on the grass from east to west, from the field to the road.  In summer, I noticed nearly a whole year of early mornings without pouring rain. Pouring rain was my only hindrance to sitting outside.  In autumn, I saw a female doe pulling apples off the low branches and her 3 young charges dancing on hind legs trying to reach the apples. In winter, I realized that I could sit out in freezing weather, when I did not even like to walk from the house to the car in the cold. I learned to take the outward opening storm door off before the snow fell, so that I could just open the inside door and step out.  I said, “Good morning”  to the Maker of the universe as my first spoken words of the day.


I don’t think I was alone.  2001 was a hard year for many widows.  I was fortunate to spend each start of the day with the Maker, appreciating his faithfulness, which is new every morning –  a new start.  “Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning.”  NLT Lam. 3:23


Q&A with Mary Bruce

BTB — Many authors say that they have always been a writer. When did you come to realize this? 

Mary — I realized this upon the publication of this first book.  I’ve been writing for years, in personal journals, in letters, in policies and procedure books, in educational materials for Bible studies, but until this publication, I could not claim the name “author”.

BTB — Was there a special someone, such as a teacher, parent, or other relative, who encouraged you to pursue writing?

Mary — When I was age 22, a nursing supervisor asked me to write out my 1 year, 5 year, 10 year, 20 year and 50 year goals.  This started me thinking about collecting stories, descriptions, incidents which became journal entries.  Another inspiration was a soldier during the revolutionary war who wrote home to his wife that without Jesus, they would not be alive.  He wrote that personal letter to his wife over 100 years ago, and it was included in a historical publication passed on to new people coming into the town.   

BTB — Were there any obstacles you faced in your journey to publication?

Mary — I was working full time as an associate pastor to a moderately large church, serving a national ministry as a regional coordinator for nine states, and working as a nurse for our local daycare.  These other commitments demanded much time and energy.

BTB — What types of research did you pursue?

Mary — For this book, I researched other books about widows and grief.

BTB — What does a typical writing day look like? Are you structured or informal inyour writing schedule? 

Mary — I have had to be structured due to my heavy responsibilities.  I have currently moved from the northeast to the mid-south and no longer carry those same responsibilities.  My schedule now is to study, research and write mornings, and some afternoons.

BTB — Can you tell us a little about what inspired your book? 

Mary — I was inspired by the complaints of church leaders about the lack of leadership material within the church and my recognition of the leadership qualities all widows have.

BTB — What do you want your readers to take away with them after finishingWidowhood: A Calling to Leadership?

Mary — For widows: a sense of camaraderie knowing they are not alone in the feelings they think or experience, for church leaders: a deeper understanding of ways to help widows develop their leadership skills.

BTB — Readers always want to know what is next for an author. Do you have any works in progress you can share about?

Mary — Yes, I have two children’s books in the works: one on loss and one about my new cat, which my 9 year old grand-daughter is helping with.  

BTB — Anything else you would like to share with my readers?

Mary — I have just relocated from New England to the mid-south. I enjoy prayer-walking, praying with others for our nation, and piano worship with a team.


Blog Stops

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, September 5

Beauty in the Binding, September 6 (Author Interview)

Inklings and notions, September 7

Through the Fire Blogs, September 8 (Author Interview)

deb’s Book Review, September 8

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 9

For the Love of Literature, September 10 (Author Interview)

Texas Book-aholic, September 11

For Him and My Family, September 12

Simple Harvest Reads, September 13 (Author Interview)

By The Book, September 14 (Author Interview)

Mary Hake, September 14

Artistic Nobody, September 15 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Sara Jane Jacobs, September 16

Locks, Hooks and Books, September 17

Ashley’s Bookshelf, September 18



To celebrate her tour, Mary is giving away the grand prize package of a $20 Amazon gift card and a signed 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.


Book Spotlight And Author Interview — Good And Faithful Servant

10 Sep

good and faithful servant-banner

About The Book:

Book:  Good And Faithful Servant

Author: Wes Daughenbaugh

Genre:  Non-fiction, leadership

Release Date: July, 2020

Good & Faithful ServentThe greatest need in the body of Christ today is for spiritual leadership training, and the first law of spiritual leadership is that you are not the leader—the Holy Spirit is! If you follow him, you will lead many to righteousness.

Veteran pastor Wes Daughenbaugh, a Christian leader for nearly fifty years and author of five books, presents a wealth of spiritual wisdom designed to help Christian leaders develop skills for true godly leadership.

Key topics:

The differences between secularized leadership and spiritual leadership.

How to avoid using people to obtain a secularized vision and instead have God’s vision for the individuals you are leading.

How to have influence with God (power in prayer).

The importance of spiritual warnings.

Seven ways to live in Christlike character virtues.

Over sixty professional drawings to help you “see” spiritual truths.

If you long for intimacy with God and want your life to glorify Jesus, you’ll find Good and Faithful Servant to be a comprehensive, timely resource to help you be a Spirit-led servant of Jesus Christ and his church.


Click here to get your copy!


About The Author

Wes D. PhotoMulti-published author Wes Daughenbaugh understands pastors and church leadership. He has served forty-six years in ministry as associate pastor, lead pastor, and traveling teacher-evangelist, preaching in fifty US states and several foreign countries. With the gift of teaching, Wes turns complex truths into easy-to-remember illustrations for leaders and readers. Ordained with the Oregon Ministry Network of the Assemblies of God, Wes lives with his wife, Bonnie, in western Oregon. They have two daughters, three grandsons, and one granddaughter. Learn more at www.EncouragementExpert.com.


More from Wes



During my many years in the ministry I’ve tried to feed my leadership gift with books on leadership but I never bonded with them. They were so dry. Then never talked about being rich in God, how to get supernatural faith, have a dynamic prayer life or live in the power of the Spirit. I finally decided I just must not be a leader but only a “teacher.”  During those years I “led” thousands to Christ and led thousands more into forgiveness and lessons in Christ-like maturity.       Two years ago I began to pray earnestly that God would restore spiritual POWER to the American Church. Then to my surprise, God strongly impressed me to write a book on SPIRITUAL LEADERSHIP and gave me the title and subtitle.  The book gushed out of me in eight days of writing and I’ve spent the last year and a half perfecting the copy and getting the sixty plus drawings finished.  This book has the leadership lessons the Holy Spirit personally taught me.  They are not DRY.  You’ll find God’s presence in this book.  It will teach you how to be a great follower of the real LEADER of the church, the Holy Spirit.


ONE MORE THING:  These lessons are for every Christian.  We don’t need titles and positions to be spiritual leaders.  Just desire to “lead many to righteousness” by being a great follower of the Holy Spirit.  God will use YOU to bring “massive glory” to His name.


Q&A with Wes Daughenbaugh


BTB — Many authors say that they have always been a writer. When did you come to realize this.

Wes — I started writing serial stories when I was in grade school and students would sometimes stay inside during recess to hear my next episode.  But when I was twenty-three I said to God, “I love you so much I wish I could put myself in that copy machine and make thousands of me to serve you all over the world.”  God spoke instantly and firmly, “DO IT!”  Every tract, booklet, audio CD, DVD, and book is a “copy of me.” I’ve been writing these things for forty-seven years.

BTB — What types of research did you pursue?

Wes — I’ve read many leadership books and “success” books.  My content for my book on spiritual leadership, however, came from the thousands of hours of listening to the Bible, reading it, or studying it with the aid of a computer.  My content also comes from hearing directly from God on a number of occasions and from living my entire adult life under the leadership of the Holy Spirit.  

BTB — Can you tell us a little about what inspired your book.

Wes — During the 18 years I pastored a church I’d often listen to leadership teachings, read leadership books, and sometimes go to leadership seminars.  But try as I may, I just couldn’t get excited about any of it.  It bored me.  I finally decided that I must not be a “leader” but only a teacher and evangelist.

During my 47 years in the ministry I’ve led thousands to Christ, led thousands of people into forgiveness, taught thousands to be effective in prayer, and led thousands into intimate experiences with the Holy Spirit.  But I didn’t consider myself  a “leader.”

A little more than two years ago I began to grieve over the powerless state of the American church.  I told God I would like to become a living prayer for a restoration of spiritual power in His churches.  

During a special series of meetings in Vermont I preached THE WAY BACK TO SPIRITUAL POWER.  We experienced a strong move of the Holy Spirit and a prophetic lady told me God was giving me a “trumpet.”

A few days after that I got up one morning and God clearly commissioned me to write an impassioned book on SPIRITUAL LEADERSHIP.  I realized that the reason I hadn’t bonded with other leadership training was because most of it was secularized, unplugged from the Holy Spirit, the true Leader of the Church.

The book gushed out of me in eight days. Then I spent a year and a half carefully going over every word as well as thinking up the illustrations and getting my artist to adjust them to perfection.

BTB — What do you want your readers to take away with them after finishing Good And Faithful Servant?

Wes — What I want readers to take away with them after finishing GOOD AND FAITHFUL SERVANT—A Trumpet Call To Return To Spiritual Leadership. I want all my readers to put into practice these lessons because they are for every believer. We are all called to FOLLOW THE LEADER and bear spiritual fruit.  I want the readers to desire to be used of God, to bring Him “massive glory” and become spiritual “door openers for God.”  I’m praying that my book will be part of a great world-wide move of God that raises up powerful and godly spiritual leaders for an international revival that precedes the return of Jesus Christ.

BTB — Readers always want to know what is next for an author. Do you have any works in progress you can share about?

Wes — I want to write a book called FREE INDEED — A Checklist For Spiritual Liberty. This book will have about 30 great individual lessons about how to live and walk in the Kingdom of God.  It will major on revealing Christ and minor on exposing the devil.  It will help you major on worship and minor on spiritual warfare.

BTB — Anything else you would like to share with my readers?

Wes — GOOD AND FAITHFUL SERVANT will become a full curriculum with a DVD set of me teaching through it, along with a Teacher’s Guide (E-book) and a fillable Student Workbook (also an E-book).  My delight would be for many of you to not only read it but to TEACH IT so that you use it to train and raise up true spiritual leaders.

I believe the need for spiritual leaders is the GREATEST NEED in the world, and there are surely many needs.  To say that anything is the GREATEST NEED is quite a statement.  Nevertheless, it is true.  There is no greater need than the need for hundreds of thousands of true spiritual leaders to be raised up.


Blog Stops

Locks, Hooks and Books, September 8

Texas Book-aholic, September 9

By The Book, September 10 (Author Interview)

Mary Hake, September 10

Inklings and notions, September 11

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, September 12

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, September 13 (Author Interview)

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 14

For the Love of Literature, September 15 (Author Interview)

deb’s Book Review, September 15

For Him and My Family, September 16

Artistic Nobody, September 17 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Tell Tale Book Reviews, September 18 (Author Interview)

Ashley’s Bookshelf, September 19

Through the Fire Blogs, September 20 (Author Interview)

Sara Jane Jacobs, September 21


To celebrate his tour, Wes is giving away the grand prize of a signed 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.


Book Spotlight — Ready to Rise

8 Feb

I am a Christian fiction blogger — I love a good story. But sometimes non-fiction titles make their way to my house too. Ready to Rise by Jo Saxton is one of those. This book looks like something my readers may be interested in, so I am spotlighting it today.  Enjoy the blurb and the author info below. (I have not read Ready to Rise, so this is not a recommendation.)


In this particular cultural moment, where the momentum of #MeToo meets raised voices over injustice in wage equality and minority representation, popular speaker and podcaster Jo Saxton wants to move women beyond disempowerment. Instead, she draws women together to grow their grit and to establish new partnerships that will have a powerful chain effect.

Ready to Rise tackles the real-life issues women face — workplace harassment, sexism, low self-esteem, financial woes, power battles, and old wounds — while providing meaningful wisdom from Jo’s own journey to leadership. Added to this personal reflection are stories of empowered women from the Bible. Jo then calls on readers to invest in the next generation of women and build new communities where diverse female leadership can flourish.

Ready to Rise pulls together Jo’s best practices in both listening to the hearts of women and empowering them to change the landscape.

Jo Saxton is an author, speaker, podcast host, and leadership coach. She has dedicated her career to growing leadership teams around the world and empowering women to find their purpose in their personal lives and in leadership.

Born in London to parents who immigrated from Nigeria, Jo credits her family’s unrelenting work ethic to the bold, tenacious approach she takes to sharing her wisdom on identity, influence, and living an authentic life. She is characterized by her effervescent honesty and warm approachability, leaving audiences with practical next steps in areas that are usually a bit ambiguous.

Her book, More than Enchanting: Breaking Through Barriers to Influence Your World discusses the role of women in church and society. Her latest book, The Dream of You: Let Go of Broken Identities and Live the Life You Were Made For, helps readers tackle their past, their identity, and learn how to create a legacy they want. She has also spearheaded an initiative aimed to help women grow their leadership skills.

Jo lives in Minneapolis with her husband, Chris, and their two daughters.


Book Spotlight/Author Interview — There Is Hope

25 Jan

About The Book

Book: There Is Hope

Author: Carla Huelsmann

Genre: Journal, devotional, memoir

Release Date: August, 2018

52 life lessons for those struggling with major illness will inspire hope and encourage those suffering to take back control of their lives.

Carla Huelsmann dealt with the daily impact of seizures since age two. Her life-long battle with epilepsy impacted all parts of her life, family, career, self-confidence, and independence until corrective brain surgery ended the seizures. Free from the debilitating seizures and their accompanying residues of doubt and fear, Carla Huelsmann lives independently and shares her story to help others along their own journeys.

Part journal, part devotional, and part memoir, this is a book of hope, faith, and inspiration. The book addresses the fears, challenges, and questions about the future those going through a major illness, debilitating injury, or life crisis may have. Designed as a traveling companion for those facing challenging circumstances, each one-page entry is accompanied by blank space for the reader to journal his or her own thoughts and prayers.

My goal is to give hope, help, healing, and resources. I want to walk alongside others and assure them they are not alone; there is hope. — Carla Huelsmann

Click here to get your copy!

About The Author

Carla Huelsmann earned a bachelor’s degree in education from Eastern Illinois University, subsequently taught grades five through eight, and now works for the US Department of Veterans Affairs in St. Louis, MO. The alumnus of a fiction-writing course at Southern Illinois University, and the CLASS Seminar with Marita and Florence Littauer, she is also the author of articles on her experiences, and is available to speak.

More from Carla

I want to inspire and equip others struggling with epilepsy or other major illnesses to take back control of their lives. Eighteen years after corrective surgery, I live a seizure-free life that I feel in control of. And, I want to share my story and lessons learned with others facing serious challenges. My goal is to give hope, help and healing and resources of helpful information in one book. I want to walk alongside them and assure them that they are not alone and there is hope!

I’ve dealt with seizures, epilepsy and their daily impact since the age of two. It has impacted my family, career, self-confidence, independence and much more. Through it all, family, friends and faith have provided bedrock sources of strength. In addition, timely interventions by doctors, new contacts, new techniques and self-discipline came at opportune times through perseverance.

Now free from the tunnel of doubt, fear and debilitating seizures, I’ve gathered up my collection of personal journals and thoughts in order to help others along their journey. “There Is Hope: Bloom Where You are Planted” is a devotional for someone going through major illness, major injury, or life crisis.

Author Q&A

When did you first realize you were a writer?

I realized I was a writer when I had brain surgery for seizures at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN on November 7, 2000.    After I had the surgery and during the recovery process of six years, I saw the desire to write and journal and learned so much from reading scriptures and seeing the power of the word of the Lord Jesus Christ take over in my healing process.  Waking up in the middle of night to write when I used to sleep, and hearing from so many people that I should write a book or movie about all my setbacks in life confirmed that.   

Who encouraged you in your writing?

Dr. Gregory Cascino at the Mayo Clinic was my encouragement to write at my one year check in November 2001. The confirmation came when I was married and my husband told the Doctor at the Mayo Clinic that I wanted to write a book, and he told him you should let her because she is not supposed to be able to do that typically after the type of surgery she had . . . .

What obstacles did you face in your journey to publication?

I faced many obstacles in my writing – searching for where to go to learn about publishing, how to market the book, and how to find a publisher..  I realized it is up to the writer to do that. Market, market, market! Proving yourself as new writer is not easy.

Are you structured or informal in your writing schedule?

I was a structured writer during my times as a school teacher. I wrote in the morning and after work from 7 pm – 10:30 pm every day for 9 months. I had a routine that If I didn’t have to work full time I could have a book written in 3 months. I want that back — I am single parent now and work full time. It is hard to get on the computer after work when I am on it all day.

What types of research did you pursue as you were writing this book?

I researched brain disorders and organizations specializing in those areas. I contacted doctors and patients and searched websites/organizaitons like the VA.

What inspired you to write this book?

I was inspired to write my book when I had the surgery and the following counseling I received to learn how to rethink. After living my whole life with seizures, the medical setbacks I have had, and the struggle to learn, I wanted the stigma to be removed and be the person to put myself out in public to speak and write and help others overcome.

What would you like your readers to take away after finishing There Is Hope?

I want readers to take away from my book that there is a lifeline of hope, help, and healing, and that you are not alone. The Lord is my strength. I hope medical clinics, hospitals, and families will use it to save marriages and relationships, and that the VA will use it to help in small groups.

Readers always want to know what is up next for an author. Can you share about any works in progress?

I am in process of writing a novel. Title TBD.

Please tell us about yourself.

I have one daughter, and three brothers. I am Mary Kay consultant and work full time for the Department of Veterans Affairs. I like to walk, hike, exercise, and bike. I love camping, fishing, boating, and beach time. I enjoy traveling and meeting people. I also like baseball and sports. My family has a masonry company, and I love to design housing — I like to build things.


Blog Stops

Texas Book-aholic, January 13

janicesbookreviews, January 14

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 15

Older & Smarter?, January 16

Inklings and notions, January 17

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, January 18

For the Love of Literature, January 19

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, January 20

Through the Fire Blogs, January 21 (Author Interview)

Mary Hake, January 21

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, January 22

CarpeDiem, January 23

Splashes of Joy, January 24

By The Book, January 25 (Author Interview)

Stephanie’s Life of Determination, January 25

God is Love, January 26


To celebrate her tour Carla is giving away the grand prize of an autographed copy of the book!!

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


Book Spotlight and Author Q&A + A Giveaway! — Considering Others

23 Nov

About The Book

Book: Considering Others

Author: Jungu Olobia

Genre: RELIGION / Christian Living / Personal Growth

Release Date: March 4, 2019

Front cover Considering Others

Good manners and etiquette begin in the home, or wherever a child is taught or mentored. From an early age, children learn how to behave, and as they grow, how to interact in their relationships at school, church, and in their communities. Though etiquette varies between cultures, practicing good manners is a kindness that extends across cultures, because the way we treat one another matters. 

We want to raise and train our children in safe, healthy environments, but the daily encounters of a fallen world make it challenging. Much has been written on good etiquette, but this practical, captivating book points readers to Jesus Christ as the Lord and the Holy Spirit as the Teacher of good manners, clearly illustrating that the Bible is the Life Manual for good behavior that comes from God’s heart. 

From biblical examples to personal examples, reflection verses and practical steps, and prayers and Scriptures to pray over children, Considering Others: Good Manners to Glorify God will help parents, teachers, and mentors shape and develop godly character and good manners in children so they may lead healthy, successful adult lives in their sphere of influence around the world. And there’s plenty of takeaways for adults too! 


Click here to get your copy!


About The Author


Jungu Olobia is a wife and mother, with two degrees in business and informational technology. A Sunday school teacher for over sixteen years, she teaches children ages three to twelve. She enjoys volunteering in her children’s school and in her community. She and her pediatrician husband live with their two sons in Keller, Texas.  


More from Jungu

As parents and guardians, we want to raise and train our children in safe, healthy environments, but the daily encounters of a fallen world make it very challenging. Much has been written on good etiquette, but how many books point to Jesus Christ as the Lord and the Holy Spirit as the Teacher of good manners? After almost two decades serving and teaching as a Sunday school teacher, about a decade working in an IT position at a College, and with much encouragement from my beloved pastors and family, I wrote Considering Others: Good Manners to Glorify God.  Thank you so much for joining me today! It has been such a privilege and honor to be with you. We all love and care for our children very much, so thank you for allowing me to talk about my book, Considering Others: Good Manners to Glorify God. Writing my first book has been a walk of faith that has been both painful and joyous as I found out a lot more about my family history and how much I needed to pray!  Thank God, however, for His love and gift of His son, our Lord Jesus.

 Here is a question for us: What legacy do we want to leave our children?  Proverbs 13:22 tells us that good people leave an inheritance to their descendants. That scripture speaks to more than a financial or natural inheritance. It also speaks to passing on virtues that build character.

Q&A With Jungu

By The Book — Many authors say that they have always been a writer. When did you come to realize this? 

JunguI came to realize I should write a couple of years ago when after working on an etiquette class for my church’s children’s ministry, my pastors began encouraging me to pursue writing. 

BTB — Was there a special someone, such as a teacher, parent, or other relative, who encouraged you to pursue writing?

JunguYes, looking back I recall some of my college professors encouraged me to pursue writing; however, it was my pastors that really encouraged and challenged me to pursue writing.

BTB — What types of research did you pursue? 


Various Bible versions to get a better or deeper understanding of a story, a character or topic.
Online Christian resources such as the biblegateway.com
The Bible Concordance.
Other authors’ books and works such us by Derek Prince, my personal favorite.
Medical studies and journals by the American College of Pediatrics. I also leaned on my husband’s pediatric experience and knowledge.
Family and national history.
Other studies and journals on education, family, by respected study-groups, colleges, etc.

BTB — What does a typical writing day look like? Are you structured or informal in your writing schedule? 

JunguAs a busy wife and mother, I’d say I’m more of an informal writer. I write best when it’s quiet or when the family is fast asleep, which means I write mainly late at night or in the early hours of the morning.

BTB — Readers always want to know what is next for an author. Do you have any works in progress you can share about? 

Jungu– I love children, so my next project may be writing some children’s storybooks! 

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, November 14

Mary Hake, November 15

Vicky Sluiter, November 16 (Author Interview)

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 17

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, November 18

Creating Relationship, November 19

Artistic Nobody, November 20 (Author Interview)

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 21

Texas Book-aholic, November 22

By The Book, November 23 (Author Interview)

janicesbookreviews, November 24

A Reader’s Brain, November 25

All 4 and About Books, November 26 (Author Interview)

Inklings and notions, November 27



To celebrate her tour, Jungu is giving away a copy of Considering Others to two winners!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

Book Spotlight — Tasting Grace

21 Aug

I love books — the more the merrier! Unfortunately, I have come to the conclusion that I cannot actually read all the books. Books often show up at my house that, to no fault of their own, I simply cannot read, at least not yet. That’s where spotlights come in. Tasting Grace by Melissa d’Arabian looks at the role food plays in bringing people together. Take a look at the blurb and author info to decide if this book is for you.

The winner of The Next Food Network Star season five and New York Times best-selling author of Ten Dollar Dinners shares how God used food to invite her into His love.

It wasn’t until Melissa d’Arabian evaluated her relationship with food in light of her relationship with God that she began to appreciate food as not only a gift from him but also as a deeper invitation into his love. As she prayed, studied Scripture, and reflected on the stories from her own life, Melissa saw how God had used food to draw her into community, to redeem her moments of greatest tragedy, and ultimately to connect her more to him.

In Tasting Grace, Melissa shares sixteen invitations that will transform your perception of food and the role it plays in your own life, from equality to connection to hospitality to stewardship and more. She explains how through her experiences, she learned to trust the ingredients — in recipes and in life — and join God in the act of creation.

Whether you are a mom struggling to throw together a healthy meal for your family each night or a single woman longing for fellowship around your table, you will draw encouragement and inspiration from Melissa’s reminder that all food, first and foremost, is a gift from God. When you return to him as the source, you will find the freedom to enjoy his beautiful and delicious creation.

To purchase, click HERE.

Melissa d’Arabian was a corporate finance executive before becoming the host of Food Network’s Ten Dollar Dinners and Cooking Channel’s Drop 5 Lbs with Good Housekeeping. She also developed the FoodNetwork.com seriesThe Picky Eaters Project, serves as lead judge on Guy’s Grocery Games, and is the author of the New York Times bestselling cookbook Ten Dollar Dinners. Melissa has an MBA from Georgetown University, and lives with her husband and their four daughters in San Diego.

Book Spotlight — My First Rodeo

7 Aug

Book surprises show up in my mailbox periodically, and I am always thrilled! I am also bummed because my reading schedule is packed and I cannot get to the new additions in a timely fashion. That’s where book spotlights come in. My First Rodeo by Stoney Stamper is one of those books — it looks great and needs to be brought to your attention. Please take some time to read the blurb and the author bio. This may be the perfect book for a special dad in your life. I’m giving it to my youngest son who will soon become a first time dad.

My First Rodeo is a heartwarming collection of stories that reveal the ups, downs, and delights of being a family man, from a guy who never dreamed of being one.

Happily unmarried with no desire for a change in status, Stoney Stamper met a beautiful lady with two daughters, and to his surprise fell head over boots in love. At the encouragement of family and friends, he decided to chronicle his new life and created the popular blog — The Daddy Diaries. My First Rodeo will inspire those just starting out with families to hang in there, they can do it. And for those well beyond the child raising years, it will be a poignant reminder of the enduring goodness of family.

To purchase this book, click HERE.

Stoney Stamper is the owner of TDD Media, LLC and the author of the popular parenting blog – The Daddy Diaries. He attended Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College, followed by Oklahoma State University. His wife, April, is a successful photographer and an accomplished chicken farmer. They have three daughters: Abby, Emma, and Gracee. After living for a time in East Texas, the Stampers have recently moved to Perkins, Oklahoma, to be close to their families. Stoney was born and raised on a large Quarter Horse ranch in Locust Grove, OK, and he and his girls continue his family tradition, remaining heavily involved in agriculture and raising and showing a variety of animals.


Reading Road Trip — Alaska!

12 Jun

This week I am truly on a road trip — I am cruising the inside passage of Alaska! I spent a few months before the trip doing research. Yes, that’s right, I read books set in Alaska. 😉  I admit I did frequent some travel and cruise blogs too. The books I read, along with old favorites, heightened my excitement and anticipation for the sights I would soon experience. I recommend all of these books whether you have a trip planned soon or just need a virtual vacation. My husband and our travel buddies read fiction as well. Some of the books they read are featured on the list 50 Great Novels Set in Alaska. So if my list below isn’t enough (it’s a big list for a big state), there are many more to choose from.

Reading Road Trip — Alaska

Dawn’s Prelude by Tracie Peterson

Newly widowed Lydia Sellers discovers that through an unforeseen fluke, she is the sole recipient of her husband’s fortune. But instead of granting her security, it only causes strife as her adult stepchildren battle to regain the inheritance for themselves. Lydia, longing to put the memories of her painful marriage behind her, determines to travel to Alaska to join her aunt.

Lydia’s arrival in Sitka, however, brings two things she didn’t expect. One is the acquaintance of Kjell Bjorklund, the handsome owner of the sawmill. Second is the discovery that she is pregnant with her dead husband’s child. What will this mean for her budding relationship with Kjell? And what lengths will her stepchildren go to reclaim their father’s fortune? Lydia soon finds her life — and that of her child’s — on the line.

In The Shadow of Denali by Tracie Peterson and Kimberley Woodhouse

Cassidy Ivanoff and her father, John, work at the new and prestigious Curry Hotel outside Mt. McKinley. While John will be expedition and wilderness exploration guide for the wealthy tourists, Cassidy has signed on as a cook’s assistant. Both are busy as the hotel prepares to welcome the president of the United States on his way to drive in the golden spike to officially complete the railroad.

Allan Brennan travels to the Curry Hotel to be an apprentice of a seasoned Alaska mountain guide. Ever since his father’s death climbing Mt. McKinley, he’s worked to earn enough money to make the trek to the Alaska territory himself. His father’s partner blames their guide for the death of his father, but Allan wants to find the truth for himself. He finds an unlikely ally in Cassidy, and as the two begin to look into the mystery, they suddenly find that things are much less clear, and much more dangerous, than either could ever imagine.

Alaska Twilight by Colleen Coble

For some people, Alaska is a breathtaking wilderness adventure, full of light and beauty. For Haley, it is a dangerous world of dark dreams and tortured memories. On the surface, she’s here to document wildlife activist Kipp Nowak’s bear encounters. But her real reason is to unearth the truth about a past murder. The suspense mounts when another body turns up, and Haley beginst to wonder if the tragedies she experienced in the past are connected to the dangers and mysterious incidents of the present.

From behind her camera, Haley observes it all, including Tank Lassiter, the wildlife biologist who has been forced to lead Kipp and his team into the Alaskan backcountry. As she watches him with his work, she feels a growing attraction. It will take great courage and faith to confront the truth she once ran away from. Before it’s over, Haley may be viewing herself from an entirely new angle.

Alaska Twilight is the story of a young woman’s emergence from the shadows of past sorrow into the light of forgiveness and grace.

Alaskan Courage Series by Dani Pettrey

A sabotaged plane. Two dead deep-water divers.

Yancey, Alaska was a quiet town…until the truth of what was hidden in the depths off the coast began to appear.

Bailey Craig vowed never to set foot in Yancey again. She has a past, and a reputation–and Yancey’s a small town. She’s returned to bury a loved one killed in the plane crash and is determined not to stay even an hour more than necessary. But then dark evidence emerges and Bailey’s own expertise becomes invaluable for the case.

Cole McKenna can handle the deep-sea dives and helping the police recover evidence. He can even handle the fact that a murderer has settled in his town and doesn’t appear to be moving on. But dealing with the reality of Bailey’s reappearance is a tougher challenge. She broke his heart, but she is not the same girl who left Yancey. He let her down, but he’s not the same guy she left behind. Can they move beyond the hurts of their pasts and find a future together?

Formula of Deception by Carrie Stuart Parks

After the murder of her twin sister, Murphy Anderson changed her name and appearance and moved to Kodiak, Alaska, to avoid the press and publicity. But when local authorities discover she’s an artist and request her help in drawing a dying man’s memories, she unintentionally ends up in the limelight again — and back in the killer’s crosshairs.

The deathbed confessions of an Alaskan hunter have Murphy drawing the five bodies he discovered on remote Ruuwaq Island ten years ago. But what investigators find has them mystified. Evidence suggests that the bodies were deliberately destroyed, and what they uncover in an abandoned Quonset hut from World War II only brings more questions.

As one by one the investigators who were at the hut die, Murphy knows there is something much darker at stake. What happened on this island during the war? And who is willing to kill to keep its secrets buried?

The Mountains Bow Down by Sibella Fiorello

A cruise to Alaska sounds like the perfect vacation–it’s a geologist’s dream and will give Raleigh space to sort out her feelings about her recent engagement. But before the ship even reaches its first port, a case manages to find her. The producer of a movie that’s being filmed onboard goes missing and is then discovered hanging from the railing. Suicide seems to be the cause, but Raleigh quickly realizes the pieces don’t add up.

When the Seattle field office sends Jack Stephansonto assist her in the investigation, her personal uncertainty skyrockets. Why is it that she forgets to even call her fiancé back in Virginia. And Jack seems to know her as well as she knows herself. She’ll have to wait to sort out those feelings, though, because she and Jack only have five days before the cruise ends to solve this case.

Summer of The Burning Sky Series by Susan May Warren

Former bad-boy Tucker Newman has learned his lesson—as the temporary team leader of the Jude County Smokejumpers, he’s all about following the rules to keep his team safe. Especially when he has to partner with a group of local low-security prisoners to knock down the raging fire. But the prisoners are not who they seem, and when they stage a break, kidnapping one of his teammates, he’ll have to break every rule he knows to get her back.

US Marshal Stevie Mills knows that to get the job done, she must work alone. She simply can’t risk another person getting hurt because of her. When she discovers that a wanted fugitive accused of rape and murder has not only been set free to fight the fire — but is now on the lam with a hostage– the last thing she needs is a zealous smokejumper getting in the way of her pursuit.

Whether they like it or not, Tucker and Stevie must join forces if they hope to save lives, and in the meantime, they just might discover a new definition for the word teamwork, in book 1 of the Summer of the Burning Sky.

Of Moose And Men: Lost And Found in Alaska by Torry Martin and Doug Peterson

Torry Martin — a comedian, actor, and hippie — fled from California to the wilderness of Alaska, searching for answers to life’s big questions. He found what he was looking for…and a lot more!

A moose got its head stuck in Torry’s window. A reindeer was trapped in his kitchen. A bear almost prevented him from reaching his airplane. He once woke up frozen to his cabin floor.

Like the Israelites of old, Torry experienced plenty of miracles and mishaps in the wilderness. And like them, he came face-to-face with God and was changed forever.

Each of these true stories of Torry’s hilarious blunders and misfortunes contains a nugget of truth, but one theme prevails: If God can reclaim and repurpose Torry Martin’s life, He can do the same for you and those you love.


Book Review — Of Moose And Men: Lost And Found In Alaska

10 Jun

Torry Martin — a comedian, actor, and hippie — fled from California to the wilderness of Alaska, searching for answers to life’s big questions. He found what he was looking for…and a lot more!

A moose got its head stuck in Torry’s window. A reindeer was trapped in his kitchen. A bear almost prevented him from reaching his airplane. He once woke up frozen to his cabin floor.

Like the Israelites of old, Torry experienced plenty of miracles and mishaps in the wilderness. And like them, he came face-to-face with God and was changed forever.

Each of these true stories of Torry’s hilarious blunders and misfortunes contains a nugget of truth, but one theme prevails: If God can reclaim and repurpose Torry Martin’s life, He can do the same for you and those you love.

My Impressions:

I don’t usually review non-fiction; I love a story. But when I stumbled upon a blog post about Of Moose and Men: Lost And Found in Alaska by Torry Martin and Doug Peterson, I knew I had to include it in my reading research for my trip to Alaska. This book featuring stories of Martin’s time in Alaska is laugh-out-loud funny, but contains deep spiritual truths as well. The subtitle definitely describes some of Martin’s misadventures, but also describes the deepening relationship with God he experienced along the way. I read a story a day as part of my quiet time. Each chapter brightened my day while providing food for thought. So if you want something a little light and a whole lot different, check out Of Moose And Men.


Audience: adults.

To purchase click HERE.

(I purchased this book from Amazon. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

First Line Friday — Of Moose And Men

17 May

I am going to Alaska in just 3 short weeks! I am so excited! As part of research for the trip, I have been reading books set in Alaska. I stumbled on a non-fiction account of one man’s encounters with God in the Alaskan wilderness — Of Moose And Men: Lost And Found in Alaska by Torry Martin and Doug Peterson. This book is hilarious and suitable for devotional reading at the same time. Torry recounts his adventures and misadventures while living in Alaska. I love his anecdotes and how he applies him with live with God. I am reading a chapter a day and will finish up a few days before I fly out to my own adventure.

Leave a comment with the first sentence(s) of the book nearest to hand, then head over to Hoarding Books for more fabulous first lines!

Torry Martin — a comedian, actor, and hippie — fled from California to the wilderness of Alaska, searching for answers to life’s big questions. He found what he was looking for…and a lot more!

A moose got its head stuck in Torry’s window. A reindeer was trapped in his kitchen. A bear almost prevented him from reaching his airplane. He once woke up frozen to his cabin floor.

Like the Israelites of old, Torry experienced plenty of miracles and mishaps in the wilderness. And like them, he came face-to-face with God and was changed forever.

Each of these true stories of Torry’s hilarious blunders and misfortunes contains a nugget of truth, but one theme prevails: If God can reclaim and repurpose Torry Martin’s life, He can do the same for you and those you love.