Monday, October 25, 2021

Beautiful Country by Qian Julie Wang

Wang has crafted an engaging memoir of living as an undocumented child in New York City. Her father had traveled to America first with his wife and child arriving later on a visitor visa. They never left and lived in fear of deportation. It was heartbreaking to read of the manual sweatshop labor her mother had to do after having been a published professor in China. Qian started school without speaking English and suffered childhood forms of discrimination. Life was hard for this family.

This is a well written memoir highlighting the experiences of those coming to America for a better life. Qian's father, while a child, had seen tragedy at the hands of Communists. America was to be a land of opportunity yet their being undocumented limited their options for employment. Qian's experiences are heartbreaking.

Her story pretty much ends at sixth grade. I would have liked to know more about how she came to go through the long process of citizenship. While her memoir gives us a good feeling of the experience of being undocumented, it failed to help explain how she made her way to success in the legal world. Perhaps a sequel is needed.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

Qian Julie Wang was born in Shijiazhuang, China. At age 7, she moved to Brooklyn, New York, with her parents. For the next five years, the three lives in the shadows of undocumented life in New York City. She is a graduate of Swarthmore College and Yale Law School. She is now managing partner of Gottlieb & Wang, LLP, a firm dedicated to advocating for education and civil rights. Her writing has appeared in major publications and she regularly speaks on issues such as immigration, education, discrimination, and economic disparity. She and her husband live in Brooklyn. You can find out more at https://www.qianjuliewang.com/. Photo © Ryan Muir

Doubleday, 320 pages.

I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.

(My star ratings: 5-I love it, 4-I like it, 3-It's OK, 2-I don't like it, 1-I hate it.)

100 Prayers Every Christian Should Know

Our experience with prayer is not something that happens in a vacuum. Millions of people are praying now. Sometimes we are with them as we attend prayer meetings and join our voices with theirs. Millions of people have prayed throughout history but we often are unaware of their words and their potential influence on our own prayer life.

Sometimes we just don't know how to pray. This book offers a collection of prayers organized in topics so we can find and read prayers to inspire us in our area of need. A bit of biographical information is given about the person who prayed the prayer. After the prayer is given, there are a few thoughts on why this prayer was included in the collection.

Some of the prayers and people who prayed them were no surprise. There is a prayer about not letting anything frighten or disturb us from St. Teresa of Avila. There is the often quoted prayer of St. Francis of Assisi. There are prayers for the nation by various presidents and political figures. There are prayers from people we recognize, like Dwight L. Moody, Billy Sunday, John Newton, and Susanna Wesley. I found some surprises like the one line prayer from Mister Rogers and a very lengthy prayer from Jane Austen. I was also surprised to find the overly promoted and often misused Prayer of Jabez in the collection.

This is a good book for Christians looking for encouragement and inspiration in their prayer life. You will find how Christians have communicated with God through the centuries. You will see how some have confessed and pleaded and praised. You will find prayers that will help you form your own prayer life with new insight and energy.

You can read an excerpt here.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

Bethany House, 272 pages.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.

(My star ratings: 5-I love it, 4-I like it, 3-It's OK, 2-I don't like it, 1-I hate it.)

Sunday, October 24, 2021

Beneath the Marigolds by Emily C Whitson Blog Tour and Giveaway

 

Beneath the Marigolds

by Emily C. Whitson

October 1-31, 2021 Virtual Book Tour

Synopsis:

Playing on our universal fascination with reality TV, Emily C. Whitson’s Beneath the Marigolds is The Bachelor(ette) gone terribly wrong.

When her best friend, Reese Marigold, goes missing after attending Last Chance, an exclusive singles' retreat on a remote island off the coast of Hawaii, no-nonsense lawyer Ann Stone infiltrates the retreat.

Ann quickly realizes there's more to Last Chance than meets the eye. The extravagant clothes, never-ending interviews, and bizarre dates hint that the retreat is a front for a reality dating show. Could Reese be safe, keeping a low profile until the premier, or did something sinister occur after all?

Torn between the need to uncover the truth and her desperate desire to get off the island, Ann partakes in the unusual routines of the "journey to true love" and investigates the other attendees who all have something to hide. In a final attempt to find Reese on the compound, she realizes that she herself may never get off the island alive.

Praise for Beneath the Marigolds:

"Cleverly plotted...Whitson's debut novel is an intriguing new entry in the women's suspense genre, driven by dual first-person narrators and tension-filled parallel timelines."— Carmen Amato, Silver Falchion Award Finalist and author of The Detective Emilia Cruz Mystery Series

"Exhilarating twists and turns...a fast-paced psychological thriller that mashes up the reality series The Bachelor with Gone Girl." — Helen Power, author of The Ghosts of Thorwald Place

"A fun, propulsive read...this book cleverly combines the archetypes of "reality TV" and the "trapped-on-a-remote-island" mystery that will perpetually keep you guessing." — Marcy McCreary, author of The Disappearance of Trudy Solomon 

My Review:

This is a suspenseful novel exploring what people will do to find the love of their life. It is also a good exploration of authenticity in developing relationships as opposed to forcing them in arranged situations.

The narrative alternates between Ann's current experience and Reese's prior one. Both are given from the first person viewpoint. Some of the people who had been at the retreat when Reese was there were also there with Ann. Because both accounts are in first person and many of the same people are referenced, keeping straight which character I was currently following became a chore.

There were lots of hook-ups between the men and women at the retreat. There seemed to be more of an emphasis on sexual encounters than really establishing long lasting relationships.

That being said, this is a good debut effort. There is subtle psychological suspense throughout. There are several surprise twists near the end of the novel. Whitson has a good writing style that kept me reading. I'll be looking for more from her.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

 

Book Details:

Genre: Thriller/Psychological
Published by: CamCat Books
Publication Date: September 21st 2021
Number of Pages: 320
ISBN: 0744304202 (ISBN13: 9780744304206)
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads | CamCat Books

Read an excerpt:

Prologue

I knew too much. On that island, on that godforsaken singles’ retreat. I knew too much.

I ruminated on that thought, chewing it carefully, repeatedly, while Magda, the makeup artist, transformed me into a life-size nightmarish porcelain doll. Ghastly white face, penciled-in eyebrows, blood-red lips. I’d look beautiful from a distance, she had told me, leaving the other part of the sentence unspoken: up close, it’s frightening. She tsked as she dabbed my damp forehead for the fourth time, her Russian accent thickening with frustration.

“Vhy you sveating so much?”

I worried my voice would come out haggard, so I shrugged, a little too forcefully. Magda shook her head, her pink bob sashaying in the grand all-white bathroom as she muttered something foreign under her breath. My gaze danced across the various makeup brushes on the

vanity until it landed on one in particular. I shifted my weight in the silk- cushioned chair, toyed with my watch.

“Magda, what do you want out of this retreat?” No response.

Did she not hear me, or did she choose not to respond? In the silence, I was able to hear Christina’s high-heeled feet outside the bathroom.

Click, clack. Click, click.

When I first met the host of the singles’ retreat, I was in awe of her presence, her unflappable poise. Shoulders back, she walked with a purpose, one foot in front of another, and though she was a couple inches shorter than I was, she seemed larger than life. Her icy eyes, colored only the faintest shade of blue, seemed to hold the secrets of the world—secrets she intended to keep. But I had stumbled upon them just a few short hours before, and I was now afraid her gait represented something more sinister: the march of an executioner.

Click, clack. Click, clack.

Her stride matched the even tick of my watch, and a drop of sweat trickled down my back. Was I being ridiculous? Surely Christina wouldn’t hurt me. She had been reasonable with me earlier, hadn’t she? “One meenute,” Magda shouted at the retreat’s host. She doused

my fire-red curls in hairspray one last time before asking me if I was ready to go.

“I just need to use the bathroom.” I wheezed through shallow breaths. “I’ll be right out.”

Magda exaggerated her sigh before shuffling out of the white-marble immurement, closing the doors behind her with a huff. My last remnants of safety and rational thinking left with her.

I shoved the vanity chair underneath the door handle. I grabbed the makeup brush with the flattest head and hurried to the bathroom. I gingerly closed the lid of the toilet and slipped off my heels before tip-

toeing on top so I could face the window. After removing the beading, I inserted the head of the makeup brush between the frame and glass. The brush’s handle cracked under the pressure, but it was enough to lever the glass out of its mounting. I placed the glass on the floor as gently as I’ve ever handled any object, trying not to make even the slightest sound, before hoisting myself up and through the window. I jumped into the black night, only partially illuminated by the full moon and the artificial lights of the mansion. I allowed my eyes to adjust.

And then I ran.

The loose branches of the island forest whipped at my cheeks, my limbs, my mouth. The soles of my feet split open from fallen twigs and other debris, but the adrenaline kept the pain at bay. I tripped over something unseen, and my hands broke my fall. Just a few cuts, and a little blood. I couldn’t see it, but I could feel it.

I jumped up, forcing myself to keep moving. The near darkness was blinding, so I held my bloody hands up, trying to block my face. The farther I ran, the more similar the trunks of the trees became. How long had I been running? I gauged about a mile. I slowed down to gather my bearings. Behind me, the lights of the mansion brightened the sky, but they were only the size of my palm from that distance.

I heard the hum of a moving car come and go. I must have been near the road. I was about to start moving again when I heard the snap of twigs. Footsteps. I stopped breathing. I swiveled to my left and right, but nothing. I exhaled. It was just my imagination. I continued away from the lights. Away from the retreat.

And then someone stepped toward me: Christina. Her face was partially obscured by darkness, but her pale eyes stood out like fireflies. “It doesn’t have to be like this,” she said. Her expression remained

a mystery in the darkness.

I turned around, but one of her handlers was blocking that path.

Christina took another step forward, and I jerked away, tripping over the gnarled roots of the forest in the process. My head broke the fall this time, and my ears rang from the pain.

Her handler reached for my left hand, and for a moment, I thought he was going to help me stand. Instead, he twisted my ring finger into an unnatural position. As my bone cracked, my screams reverberated through the woods.

It was showtime.

***

Excerpt from Beneath the Marigolds by Emily C. Whitson. Copyright 2021 by Emily C. Whitson. Reproduced with permission from CamCat Books. All rights reserved.

 

Author Bio:

Emily Whitson received a B.A. in journalism from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She worked as a marketing copywriter for six years before pursuing a career in fiction and education. She is currently getting her M.Ed. at Vanderbilt University, where she writes between classes. She is particularly passionate about women’s education and female stories. This interest stems from her time at Harpeth Hall, an all-girls college preparatory school in Nashville, Tennessee. When she isn’t volunteering, writing, or in the classroom, Emily can usually be found with her dog, Hoss, in one of Nashville’s various parks. Beneath the Marigolds is her debut novel.

Catch Up With Emily C. Whitson:
EmilyCWhitson.com
Goodreads
BookBub - @emilycwhitson_author
Instagram - @emilycwhitson
Facebook - @emilycwhitson

 

Tour Participants:

Visit these other great hosts on this tour for more great reviews, interviews, guest posts, and giveaways!

Click here to view Beneath the Marigolds by Emily C. Whitson Tour Hosts.

 

Join In:

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Emily C. Whitson & CamCat Books. There will be 1 winner of one (1) print edition of Beneath the Marigolds by Emily C. Whitson (US, Canada, and UK Only). The giveaway runs October 1 through November 2, 2021. Void where prohibited.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Get More Great Reads at Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours

 
I received a complimentary egalley of this book through Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours. My comments are an independent and honest review. The rest of the copy of this post was provided by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours.

(My star ratings: 5-I love it, 4-I like it, 3-It's OK, 2-I don't like it, 1-I hate it.)

Saturday, October 23, 2021

Written in Ink by Sara Davison Blog Tour and Giveaway

About the Book

Book: Written in Ink

Author: Sara Davison

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Release date: August 4, 2021

Everything he has built his life and future on has been torn away.

Cash McCall has loved Dr. Renee Dawson for half his life. Although they’ve talked about a future together, she has never believed it was the right time for them to get engaged. Now she has ended their relationship, and he has no idea why.

Everything Renee worked so hard for is in jeopardy. One agonizing decision has changed everything, and she has been forced to shatter the heart of the man she loves. And her own.

The extremist militant group The Arm is on a mission. Its leader doesn’t care how many innocent lives are lost in the pursuit of the group’s end goal, and Renee has seen something she was not supposed to see.

If Cash can’t get to her in time, Renee could end up in the crosshairs of the terrorists, and he may lose her—and any chance at the life he’d always envisioned—forever.

Click here to get your copy!

My Review

This novel has a strong message about abortion. Davison has done a good job of creating an interesting and very readable story around the whole issue of premarital sex and abortion. The characters are realistic and well drawn. There is some suspense near the end as well. Several issues are explored in the novel, including family relationships, forgiveness and committed love. There is a very clear presentation of the gospel.

The point of view changes as the narrative follows three people. We get insights into the lives and thoughts of Cash, father of the unborn child, and Renee, the pregnant medical student finishing her training. A couple since high school, they are not Christians and developed an intimate relationship. We are also introduced to Jude, brother to Cash and a dedicated Christian. His story was apparently developed in a previous novel. The final major character is Beau. We see from his story what can happen with dedication to a cause when it becomes militant and misguided. The changing point of view technique is not a favorite of mine as I feel it breaks up the flow of the novel.

This is a good novel on the controversial topics of abortion and protesting them. Good discussion questions are included. Readers should know there are a couple of places where you might get a little queasy.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

 

About the Author

Sara Davison is the author of three romantic suspense series—The Seven Trilogy, The Night Guardians, and The Rose Tattoo Trilogy, as well as the standalone, The Watcher. She has been a finalist for more than a dozen national writing awards, including Best New Canadian Christian author, a Carol, two Selahs, a Holt Medallion, and three Daphne du Maurier Awards for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense. She is a Word and Cascade Award winner. She currently resides in Ontario, Canada with her husband Michael and their three children. The words on the mug she uses every morning pretty much sum up her life—I just want to sleep, drink coffee, and make stuff up. Get to know Sara better at www.saradavison.org and @sarajdavison.

More from Sara

The Rose Tattoo Trilogy is set in one of my favourite small towns in Canada—Elora, Ontario. It was such a joy to develop the setting in this series, describing the quaint shops and the natural beauty of the gorge, places I have wandered through countless times. In the first two books of the series—Lost Down Deep and Written in Ink—the real-life fifty-nine stone steps built into the hillside and leading down to the river that runs through the gorge plays a big part in the story, as reflected in this excerpt:

The fifty-nine stone steps set into the side of the hill felt like twice that many as Cash descended slowly into the ravine.

The Elora Gorge was a natural wonder, with a steep rock face flanking both sides of a narrow river. The beauty of it was lost on him, though, and had been for five years, since the night his sister Tessa had traipsed down these stairs and onto the ice. Ice that had shattered beneath her feet, allowing the frigid river to steal her from them forever. Simply being here now drove daggers as sharp as those shards of ice into his chest. How did Jude deal with it when he’d been the one who had lingered at the top of the steps, too tired after a long day to go after her in the cold and dark, until he’d heard the ice crack and his sister scream?

By then it had been too late.

Below is a photo of the actual steps down to the river. I have been up and down those steps many times, and while they aren’t that easy to traverse (especially the going up part!) the effort is well worth it when you reach the bottom and find yourself surrounded by beauty, as Cash does here.

A cool spring breeze brushed across his cheeks. High up in one of the trees, roots clinging, against all odds, to fissures halfway up the rock across the water from him, an owl hooted, the sound drifting across the ravine. Moonlight glinted off the water, sending sparks of light skittering across the surface. Cash scanned the gorge. As far as he could see in either direction, the beauty of the night, of this place, filled his senses.

Something flowed through him like the water passing between the rocky banks. Cash withdrew one hand from his pocket and held it to his chest. What was that? He struggled to put a name to it. Peace, maybe?

Personally, the Elora Gorge has always been a place of peace for me, as it is for Cash in Written in Ink. Do you have a place you go when you need to get away from the chaos of life and experience peace?

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, October 23

Library Lady's Kid Lit, October 23

Debbie's Dusty Deliberations, October 24

Inklings and notions, October 25

An Author's Take, October 25

Texas Book-aholic, October 26

CarpeDiem, October 27

For Him and My Family, October 27

Locks, Hooks and Books, October 28

deb's Book Review, October 29

The Sacred Line, October 29

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, October 30

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, October 30

Because I said so -- and other adventures in Parenting, October 31

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, November 1

Life, love, writing , November 1

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, November 2

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, November 3

Vicarious Living, November 3

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 4

Sodbuster Living, November 5

Mary Hake, November 5

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Sara is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Amazon card, a paperback copy of Written in Ink, a pair of rose earrings, and a pack of temporary rose tattoos!!

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

https://promosimple.com/ps/126b5/written-in-ink-celebration-tour-giveaway

I received a complimentary digital copy of this book through Celebrate Lit. My comments are an independent and honest review. The rest of the copy of this past was provided by Celebrate Lit.

(My star ratings: 5-I love it, 4-I like it, 3-It's OK, 2-I don't like it, 1-I hate it.)

Friday, October 22, 2021

Reading Between the Crimes by Kate Young

This is the second in a cozy mystery series but read fine on its own. (You can read my review of the first in the series, On Borrowed Crime.) Lyla is again our sleuth. She is not supposed to be so amateur this time as she is now employed by her uncle in his investigations business. When a guest is found murdered at her parents' home during one of her mother's fundraisers, Lyla is on the case.

This mystery has a great deal of family history involved. Some of it has to do with the motive for the murder but much of it seems to be there for Lyla to discover. I am not sure I understand all of the outcome and the reasons behind the complex plan that included the murder.

I do like the idea of a reading group that concentrates on mysteries and then gets involved in solving them. And I like the quirky grandma character, arriving at the book discussion meeting with helmet hair. A good mystery if you pay particular attention to all the family history being revealed bit by bit.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

Kate Young writes Southern mystery novels. She is a member of Sisters in Crime and the Guppy Chapter. She lives in a small town in Georgia with her husband and their three kids. You can find out more at www.kateyoungbooks.com. 

Crooked Lane Books, 336 pages.

I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.

(My star ratings: 5-I love it, 4-I like it, 3-It's OK, 2-I don't like it, 1-I hate it.)

Thursday, October 21, 2021

Redeeming Your Time by Jordan Raynor

We feel swamped. The solution to our struggle with time management, Raynor says, is Jesus Christ. First, we have peace in Him. Second, He shows us how God manages time.

Raynor looks to the Author of time to help us know how we address time. In that sense, in addition to a how-to book, this is a why-do book. It centers on the gospel. We are encouraged to redeem the time, manage our time wisely and carefully. (Eph.5:15-17) The result is not more time for our own pleasures but to further the kingdom.

Raynor explores seven principles drawn from the commands of Jesus or the way He lived His life. Stories, science and Scripture are combined to for the foundation and illustrations of the principles. Tested practices are suggested for each principle. He also offers resources and tutorial videos at his website.

While many of the practical suggestions will not be new, the reasons behind them may be. One that impressed me was solitude (silence). We are well aware of the distraction of technology and that we need to control it. Raynor reminds us of the many times Jesus sought solitude, even when crowds were pursuing him. That gave me a truly spiritual reason to temper social media time.

This is a good book for readers who are interested in the spiritual principles behind good time management. You'll get valuable insights into how our time relates to God and His mission. You'll find practical strategies too. But, as Raynor says, this is not a quick fix. It took him more than a decade to work out his own time management. It's hard work, he says, but worth it.

You can read an excerpt here.

You can watch the book trailer here.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

Jordan Raynor is a serial entrepreneur and national bestselling author who has helped millions of Christians around the world connect the gospel to their work through his podcasts, devotionals, and books. He also serves as the executive chairman of Threshold 360, a venture backed tech start-up that has built the world's largest library of 360-degree virtual experiences of hotels, restaurants, and attractions. He is a sought after speaker on the topic of faith and work. He was selected as a Google fellow twice and served in the White House under President George W. Bush. He lives in Tampa with his wife and daughters.

Waterbrook, 240 pages.

I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.

(My star ratings: 5-I love it, 4-I like it, 3-It's OK, 2-I don't like it, 1-I hate it.)

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Rising Danger by Jerusha Agen Blog Tour and Giveaway

About the Book

Book:  Rising Danger

Author: Jerusha Agen

Genre: Christian Romantic Suspense

Release date: May 25, 2021

It’s up to a K-9 handler and her canine partner to stop a bomber before it’s too late.

Someone’s planting explosives on dams in the Twin Cities, and Bristol Bachmann and her bomb sniffing dog must move quickly to find them before everything ends up underwater. That means relying on the dams’ supervisor—an ex-boyfriend Bristol never thought she’d see again. Hopefully Remington Jones has grown up from the rakish charmer she knew in her academy days. Because lives now depend entirely on them…

It’s an environmental terrorist who wants the dams gone, and his bid to set the waters free has lethal consequences. When he sees Bristol and her K-9 working to stop him, he sets his sights on them. Can they evade him in a lethal game of cat and mouse and protect their cities from devastating destruction before the clock runs out?

Click here to get your copy!

My Review

This is a good novel for readers who like dog units. The protective agency central in the novel is a K-9 one. It was interesting to see how dogs detect explosives and how they follow a scent. The plot centers around an environmental kind of terrorist who wants to free the Mississippi by blowing up dams. While there is some personal suspense, most of the narrative does seem to revolve around character thinking and relationship developing.

The main characters, Bristol and Rem, are flawed and have serious issues with past events. Bristol is mad at God and totally distrusts Him because of the death of her father and sister during a hurricane. Rem cheated at the police academy and got kicked out. Even though he has since become a Christian, he still worries about his performance and thinks God might disown him if he messes up too much. A possible relationship between Bristol and Rem is tumultuous but does offer the opportunity for a good presentation of the gospel.

I liked the novel. It was entertaining and informative about private K-9 work. It has main characters who grow, a bit of romance though troubled, and a little suspense at the end.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

 

About the Author

Jerusha Agen imagines danger around every corner, but knows God is there, too. So naturally, she writes suspense infused with the hope of salvation in Jesus Christ.

With a B.A. in English and a background in screenwriting, Jerusha is a speaker, writing instructor, and Fear Warrior who sounds the call to battle against fear in our everyday lives.

Jerusha loves to hang out with her big furry dogs and little furry cats. You’ll often find her sharing irresistibly adorable photos of them in her newsletter and on social media.

Get a free suspense story from Jerusha and find more of her thrilling, fear-fighting novels at www.JerushaAgen.com.

More from Jerusha

Hi, readers! For those of you who are familiar with my suspense novels, you know I love to interweave fast-paced suspense with powerful character journeys of redemption. I got to do just that in my romantic suspense novel, Rising Danger.

But what I especially loved about writing Rising Danger was the chance to feature a canine hero. Bristol Bachmann, the heroine of Rising Danger, partners with Toby, an explosives detection K-9, to stop a bomber from unleashing terror on the Twin Cities.

As a lifelong lover of dogs, I’ve always been fascinated by working K-9s like Toby. Getting to portray this black Labrador’s heroism in Rising Danger was so much fun.

I also feel that writing about Toby and the other K-9s in this tale who are part of the Phoenix K-9 Security and Detection Agency was a way to honor the heroic dogs I’ve had in my own life. No, I haven’t known any working K-9s, but I’ve shared my life with dogs who were heroic in different ways.

Take Lancelot, my first Leonberger. Lancelot was one of the sweetest dogs I’ve ever known. With his huge size, he was a true gentle giant. At an early age, he became terribly afraid of strangers and new places. I worked with skilled trainers to help him battle his fear, and he did have some improvement. But he would always struggle with meeting new people or visiting locations away from home.

Even so, he never stopped fighting against his fears. He continued to get better the more he fought. And while he battled his fears, he taught me how to battle mine.

Then, the worst battle of all commenced when he was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Doctors gave him only three to four months to live—a frightening and devastating death sentence for the dog of my heart.

But God had more to teach me through Lancelot. This courageous dog fought cancer as hard as he had fought his fears. He taught me how to find joy in every moment of life, even when there’s pain or sadness. He taught me how precious and powerful love can be. And God used him to give me unforgettable evidence of God’s loving providence and sovereignty at work.

Because God had a different plan for Lancelot. God gave me the gift of over 1,000 more days with my heroic dog.

Right up to the end of his days, Lancelot remained my hero. I’m so pleased to begin a series of books with prequel Rising Danger that feature K-9 heroes who, in different ways, remind me of the heroic dogs I’ve been privileged to love.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, October 20

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, October 20

Because I said so -- and other adventures in Parenting, October 21

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, October 21 (Author Interview)

Debbie's Dusty Deliberations, October 22

CarpeDiem, October 22

Betti Mace, October 23

Daysong Reflections, October 23

lakesidereadingsite, October 24

Texas Book-aholic, October 24

Inside the Wong Mind, October 25

deb's Book Review, October 25

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, October 26

Blogging With Carol, October 26

Locks, Hooks and Books, October 27

Simple Harvest Reads, October 27 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Inklings and notions, October 28

An Author's Take, October 28

Through the fire blogs, October 29

For Him and My Family, October 29

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, October 30

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 30

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, October 31

Just Your Average reviews, October 31

Mary Hake, October 31

Pause for Tales, November 1

Spoken from the Heart, November 1

Little Homeschool on the Prairie, November 2

For the Love of Literature, November 2


Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Jerusha is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Barnes and Noble gift card, one signed copy of Rising Danger, and book swag!!

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

https://promosimple.com/ps/126b0/rising-danger-celebration-tour-giveaway

I received a complimentary digital copy of this book through Celebrate Lit. My comments are an independent and honest review. The rest of the copy of this post was provided by Celebrate Lit.

(My star ratings: 5-I love it, 4-I like it, 3-It's OK, 2-I don't like it, 1-I hate it.)

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Change Has Changed by Sam Chand Blog Tour and Giveaway

About the Book

Book: Change Has Changed

Author: Sam Chand

Genre: BUSINESS & ECONOMICS /Leadership

Release date: October 19, 2021

The Greek philosopher Heraclitus said change is the only constant in life.

But the world has experienced so much upheaval since January 2020 that change itself has changed! In business, the church, and nonprofits, leaders are being left in the dust as events and challenges speed by in a blur. The pace of change was accelerating before…but the pandemic pressed the pedal to the floor.

“We’re at an inflection point,” says leadership architect and change strategist Sam Chand. “The way things were isn’t the way things will be.”

In his new book Change Has Changed, Sam sets out to help leaders understand the evolving nature of change so that they can guide their organizations with wisdom and confidence.

He examines three major shifts that he likens to three simultaneous earthquakes:

  • Our environment has changed. People are working from home, many businesses may never reopen, and the way we shop, handle health needs, and even go to church has changed.
  • We have changed. We’ve learned to live with rampant uncertainty and a raft full of nagging fears—but our bodies and our souls weren’t meant for this!
  • The people around us have changed. They are frustrated, isolated, depressed, anxious, and angry. They just don’t feel safe.

Sam tackles these and related issues head-on by offering lessons that will empower leaders to be ready for the next normal.

“We used to talk about a new normal as if it’s the end point of change,” Sam explains, “but if we’ve learned anything in the past months, it’s that change is perpetual, and we need to anticipate the next one on the horizon.”

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My Review

This is the first book I have read that is in direct response to the changes we have experienced because of COVID-19. “Too much has changed for us to go back to the way things used to be,” Chand writes. (95/1821) It is no longer business or ministry as usual. It is time to make bold decisions.

Chand explores seven important organizational factors that need to be evaluated. The pace of decisions, for example. They can no longer take months but may need to be made in days. Getting church services online, while perhaps planned in the long run, had to happen quickly. Innovative decisions had to be made and clearly communicated when conditions changed suddenly. The pandemic exposed problems that might have been there for a long time but were now glaring. Changes had to be made in organization charts. While the content may have stayed the same, the delivery methods had to change to keep the process going. (Think online school classes and take out at restaurants.)

Those are just a few of the important issues Chand covers. He encourages leaders to find and use their innovative people. Church boards may have to think of doing church in ways never considered before. Reading through this book will help leaders be encouraged during this time when there is so much change. There are bullet points at the end of each chapter for a quick review. There are also questions at the end of each chapter for good discussion on the suggestions presented.

This is a good book for leaders to read to make the best of this time when it is no longer life as usual. You'll receive good insight into what has changed, how to evaluate your business or ministry, and suggestion as you plan to move forward.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

 

About the Author

Sam Chand’s singular vision for his life is to help others succeed. A prolific author and renowned international business consultant, he develops leaders through consultations, Sam Chand Leadership Institute, Dream Releaser Coaching, and resources such as books, webinars, and digital downloads.

Sam consults with large churches and businesses on leadership and growth, conducts worldwide leadership conferences, and speaks regularly at corporations, business roundtables, seminars, and other leadership development opportunities.

Being raised in a pastor’s home in India has uniquely equipped Sam to share his passion to mentor, develop, and inspire leaders to break all limits. He has been called a dream releaser, leadership architect, and change strategist.

In the 1970s, as a student at Beulah Heights College, Sam served as a janitor, cook, and dishwasher to finance his education. He returned in 1989 as president—and under his leadership, Beulah Heights University became the country’s largest predominantly African-American Christian college.

Sam holds an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Beulah Heights University, an honorary Doctor of Divinity from Heritage Bible College, a Master of Arts in Biblical Counseling from Grace Theological Seminary, and a Bachelor of Arts in Biblical Education from Beulah Heights. He has mentored leaders in churches and ministries as well as international corporations and business start-ups. He was named one of the top thirty global leadership gurus by www.leadershipgurus.net.

Sam has authored more than a dozen books on leadership, including Harnessing the Power of Tension: Stretched but Not Broken; The Sequence to Success: Three O’s That Will Take You Anywhere in Life; New Thinking, New Future; Culture Catalyst; Bigger Faster Leadership; Who’s Holding Your Ladder?; What’s Shakin’ Your Ladder?; and Leadership Pain.

Sam and his wife, Brenda, have two adult daughters. They make their home in Atlanta, Georgia.

For more information or to connect with Sam, please visit www.samchand.com.

More from Sam

Let us Dream Out Loud (DOL) with you! My team and I want to play a huge part in the conceiving, releasing, and achieving of YOUR dreams! Through our content, we hope to provide you with everything you need to be equipped, motivated, and inspired in your journey to achieving your dreams!

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, October 19

Texas Book-aholic, October 20

Debbie's Dusty Deliberations, October 21

deb's Book Review, October 22

Simple Harvest Reads, October 23 (Spotlight)

For Him and My Family, October 23

Inklings and notions, October 24

Locks, Hooks and Books, October 25

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 26

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, October 27

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, October 28

Because I said so -- and other adventures in Parenting, October 29

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, October 30

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, October 31

Artistic Nobody, November 1 (Spotlight)

Mary Hake, November 1

Giveaway

To celebrate his tour, Sam is giving away the grand prize package of $20 Starbucks gift card and a 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.

https://promosimple.com/ps/122a6/change-has-changed-celebration-tour-giveaway

I received a complimentary digital copy of this book through Celebrate Lit. My comments are an independent and honest review. The rest of the copy of this post was provided by Celebrate Lit.

(My star ratings: 5-I love it, 4-I like it, 3-It's OK, 2-I don't like it, 1-I hate it.)