Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Litfuse Tour: Making Marriage Beautiful {Review}

About the Book

What kind of marriage do you want?

If you have been married longer than forty-eight hours, you know that you have bound yourself to an imperfect person who will have his or her own preferences, will disagree with your impeccable logic, and will cause you to confront your limitations. How you respond to this predicament shapes you and your marriage.

It's easier to focus on how your spouse needs to change, but to become a mature, joyful husband or wife with a flourishing marriage, you have to allow Christ to change you. Easy? No. Possible? Absolutely.

Through grounded faith, disarming candor, and the real-life stories of eight diverse couples, Dorothy Greco equips you to
  • create an honest and intimate marriage
  • acknowledge and resolve your hurts and disappointments
  • discover how family and cultural expectations affect your marriage
  • exchange unproductive relational patterns for healthy alternatives
  • become an agent of healing for your spouse
  • learn how to love sacrificially and faithfully
Making Marriage Beautiful provides wisdom, encouragement, and hope, regardless of whether you have been married four weeks or forty years.

Includes "Going Deeper" sections for individuals or couples

My Review

I greatly appreciate how this book reminds me I have no strength apart from Jesus to be the person my husband-to-be needs...but it doesn't let me off the hook from doing the hard work of turning to God again and again to help me love well.

I believe my favorite chapter in terms of how insightful and convicting I found it to be is "Unmasking Counterfeits: How Disordered Attachments and Addictions Thwart True Desire." Not exactly a lovey-dovey topic! But so important to address. This chapter discusses different kinds of addictions, noting that we all have the propensity to become addicted to something, and outlines the stages in a very clear, eye-opening way. But this section is not without hope, as the author balances compassion with a real look at the cost of sin.

I'd say that word—balance—is something that stood out to me about this book as a whole. It doesn't ask us to deny our own needs or identity; yet it also doesn't back down from asking us to be willing to change, grow, and open our own hearts.

Some other chapters I especially liked are found in the first half of the book, ones that discuss the expectations we bring to marriage and how we should handle our disappointments. I found myself underlining different quotes and lines throughout the book. Lots of great food for thought, and lots of great examples from Christian couples!

In some ways I think Making Marriage Beautiful could be a bit more readable in terms of word choice, and there are so many big topics addressed that it feels a little overwhelming. But I know the truth is that marriage really is a big commitment, and it would be worrisome if doing it right didn't feel a little overwhelming. ;) The author's analogy at the end brings it all together as she encourages readers to persevere in the hard but worthwhile endeavor of allowing God to work through us and our spouses to make something beautiful.

*With thanks to the publisher for providing me with a copy of the book in exchange for my honest opinion, to be shared during the Litfuse Publicity blog tour.*

About the Author

Dorothy Greco and her husband, Christopher, have spent their entire twenty-five-year marriage helping men and women create and sustain healthy marriages. They have served numerous churches in the Greater Boston area for thirty years. Dorothy's writing has been featured in Relevant magazine, Christianity Today, Sojourners, and Her.meneutics. She is a regular contributor for Gifted for Leadership, Today's Christian Woman, and Start Marriage Right. The Grecos have three sons and live near Boston.

Litfuse Tour Page: click HERE

Monday, February 13, 2017

Lena Goldfinch’s Sweetheart Blog Tour + Giveaway!

Celebrate Valentine’s Day with some sweet historical romances!

I’m excited to share about the latest book release and an awesome ebook deal from my author friend Lena Goldfinch. :) And don’t miss the fun giveaway at the end of the post!


A former tomboy resolves to be the perfect lady for her new husband. A mute struggles to break through the silence to win her rescuer’s heart. A shy advice columnist develops a secret crush on her most devoted correspondent. The Old West holds challenges galore for these brides…but true love is a worthy reward.

Book 1 | The Unexpected Bride {Buy Now}
Book 2 | Sleigh Bells & Mistletoe {Buy Now}
Book 3 | The Bartered Bride {Buy Now}
Book 4 | Only the Heart Knows {Buy Now}


(Too Tall) Mandy MacKenna is secretly the voice behind Ask Mack, an advice column for men, addressing all matters ranching-related. And she’s secretly in love with “Banks,” one of her most devoted correspondents. But whenever she’s around him, she can barely bring herself to make eye contact with the man.

Adam Booker is a banker-turned-rancher who’s struggling to make his way after he inherits his uncle’s place. If not for Ask Mack, he would have surely floundered by now. But the ranch is only one of his problems, because the woman he has a romantic interest in—a natural beauty by the name of Mandy MacKenna, daughter of the region’s wealthiest rancher—seems less than interested in him. 

A sweet but convoluted romance of secrets and revelations ensues...

Kindle | Nook | Kobo | Google Play | Paperback {You can read a cute excerpt on Amazon!}


For a limited time, get book 1 in the series for only $.99 in ebook format! Sale ends 2/20.

Kindle | Nook | Kobo | Google Play


Lena Goldfinch writes sweet historical western romance / inspirational romance and books for teens. She’s always been a sucker for a good old-fashioned romance, whether it’s a novel or short story, young adult or adult, fantasy or realistic, contemporary or historical. Lena has been a finalist in several national writing contests, including the RWA Golden Heart and ACFW Genesis contests. She enjoys life in a quiet, small town with her husband, two kids, and two very spoiled Black Labs. 

Amazon | Facebook | Goodreads | Pinterest | Twitter | Website


Indulge your love of books with a $25 gift card to Amazon.com OR Barnes & Noble (winner’s choice!) and all four ebooks in The Brides Series. (If you already have the series, you can surprise a friend by gifting the ebooks to them!) To enter for a chance to win, just fill out the Rafflecopter form below.

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Monday, February 6, 2017

Prism Book Tour: The Outlaw's Secret

On Tour with Prism Book Tours

The Outlaw's Secret
by Stacy Henrie
Christian Historical Romance
Paperback & ebook, 288 pages
February 7th 2017 by Love Inspired Historical

Lawman in Disguise

Getting taken hostage by a gang of train robbers wasn't in dime novelist Essie Vanderfair's plans, but interviewing these men could make her career soar. Especially since the gang includes legendary outlaw Tex Beckett, better known as the Texas Titan. Tex is famed for his protection of women and children, so she'll be fine…right?

Keeping the gang in line was hard enough before a stubborn, beautiful writer interfered. Now Tex is scrambling to keep Essie safe, to gather evidence against the gang and most of all to hide his dangerous secrets. First, that he's a detective working undercover. And second, that he's not the Texas Titan at all, but Tex's twin brother, Tate Beckett.

My Review

After reading and thoroughly enjoying The Express Rider's Lady {you can read my review HERE}, I was definitely on board for another fun trip through the West with a Stacy Henrie book. While I didn't fall in love with this story quite as much, I still found it to be an entertaining ride!

Essie is quite the spontaneous soul, and a bit of suspension of disbelief is required to not question her choice of traveling with a gang of outlaws for the sake of book research. But I do like how Essie's interviews give the reader (and Essie herself) insight into the outlaws and their stories. It's a great reminder that we're all human. We all face challenges and make choices (right or wrong) that take us down the road we're on, for better or worse.

On the romance side, it's fun to watch Tate/Tex and Essie dance around each other, both mistrusting in turn and each fiercely determined to follow their own goals. Their journey includes moments of danger, threats to budding feelings, and a few twists. (Although I wouldn't have minded a little more speed, excitement, or romantic tension in the plot. But that might just be me being a little too picky after how much I remember enjoying The Express Rider's Lady!) The writing style is engaging, and this cast of characters makes for an interesting exploration of the "wild side" of the Old West.

*With thanks to Prism Book Tours for providing me with a copy of the book in exchange for my honest opinion.*

About the Author

USA Today bestselling author Stacy Henrie is the author of western romances and the Of Love and War series, which includes Hope at Dawn, a 2015 RITA Award finalist for excellence in romance. She was born and raised in the West, where she currently resides with her family. She enjoys reading, road trips, interior decorating, chocolate, and most of all, laughing with her husband and kids. You can learn more about Stacy and her books by visiting her website at stacyhenrie.com.

Tour Giveaway

- 1 winner will receive print copies of LADY OUTLAW and THE EXPRESS RIDER'S LADY + $10 Amazon Gift Card (US only)
- 1 winner will receive a $25 Amazon Gift Card (open internationally)
- Ends February 18th

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