Bonita Creek Series ~ JustRead Books

Welcome to the Blog Blitz for the Bonita Creek series by June McCrary Jacobs, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

There are three books we are going to highlight today: Robin’s Reward, Jorie’s Journey, and Christmas in Bonita Creek. Each will also have an excerpt for you to enjoy.

Title: Robin’s Reward

Series: Bonita Creek #1

Author: June McCrary Jacobs

Publisher: Independently Published

Release Date: May, 2021 (re-release)

Genre: Contemporary Christian Romance

Is a relationship which began with both parties harboring secrets destined to survive?

Welcome to friendly Bonita Creek, a small town in the Coastal Mountains of the Mendocino Coast of California . . .

Bonita Creek’s librarian, Robin Bennett, is heartbroken after being abandoned by her husband, Thomas. Mysterious Jeff Clarke arrives in town unexpectedly and touches Robin’s life with his wit and warmth. Without warning, Jeff’s harsh words and abrasive actions scare her off, and Robin’s hope of finding true, long-lasting love withers again.

Can the couple move past their troubles and the obstacles in their path to find love and happiness together? Jeff and Robin must use their faith and their newly-forged bond with each other to remain strong and true. Will it be enough for them to embrace a life of love, trials, and blessings . . . together?

‘Robin’s Reward,‘ Book One in the Bonita Creek Series, is a contemporary Christian romance story which is completely clean in language and content.PURCHASE LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon | BookDepository | BookBub (not my affiliate links)

EXCERPT From Robin’s Reward:

“I brought out some freshly-baked muffins and a bowl of strawberries I picked from my
garden this morning. Would you like a snack with your tea?”
“Sure, I could eat.”
“Help yourself. I’d like to say grace before we start to eat,” she said. He nodded as he bowed
his head.
When she murmured amen, he said, “My family always said grace before a meal when I was
growing up. I guess I’ve gotten out of the habit, being a bachelor. I eat most of my meals alone.
Not a good excuse for not expressing my gratitude, I know.”
Robin was touched by his candor and hesitated before lifting her eyes to meet his gaze. So,
he’s not married.
As they each loaded food onto their plates, Jeff spoke. “I figured out on my walk that I live
on the next block over in that direction.” He pointed toward the back of Robin’s property. “In
fact, I think I may live directly behind you.”
“Proving once again it’s a small world,” Robin said shaking her head.
“I’ll say. You have a beautiful garden out here.” He waved a hand toward her front yard. “It’s
full of all sorts of flowers and shrubs. It looks as if your lot is deep on the back side of the
cottage. What do you grow back there?”
Robin sat back in her chair and realized after a rough start, she was slowly beginning to
relax. She loved talking about her gardens to whoever would listen.
“I grow strawberries, carrots, lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, watermelon, and some green
beans. Later on in June, I’ll plant a small pumpkin patch with some other types of squash and
gourds, too, so they’ll be ripe and ready by October.”
“Wow,” he said. “I’m impressed.”
She took a couple of sips of her iced tea and continued, “I have some berry bushes and a few
small citrus trees. I love to take flowers to the church for the altar and to give to my friends and
extended family, so I have a large cutting garden with Shasta daisies, Gerbera daisies,
sunflowers, coneflowers, roses of all colors and sizes, peonies, irises, and gladioluses.”
After popping a juicy strawberry into her mouth she continued, “I have a section by the
fence that runs pretty natural with wildflowers such as California golden poppies, bachelor’s
buttons, blue and white lupine, and nasturtiums. My favorite summer flowers are dahlias. I have
a bed way in the back where I try to plant a different variety of dahlia each year, but my
collection is still rather small.”
Robin stopped short and looked directly at her guest. “Are you tired of hearing about my
gardens yet?”
“Absolutely not; go on.”
The genuine warmth she felt in his smile made her heart skip another beat. She ate a few
more strawberries and continued, “I have a section in back that gets a lot of sun, so I filled it with
lavender, cacti, succulents, and rocks.”
“Excuse the interruption, but don’t the rocks require a lot of water? I’ve heard California is
constantly in a state of worry about drought.”
She smiled. “Very funny . . .
© June McCrary Jacobs, 2015

Title: Jorie’s Journey

Series: Bonita Creek #2

Author: June McCrary Jacobs

Publisher: Independently Published

Release Date: May, 2022

Genre: Christian Western Contemporary Romance

After an idyllic life scarred by a traumatic event, is Jorie Woodstone ready to move forward to share her life’s journey with a man who loves her unconditionally?

Welcome back to friendly Bonita Creek, a small town in the Coastal Mountains of the Mendocino Coast of California . . .

Jorie Woodstone is the owner and operator of the wildly successful Cowgirl Bakery in Old Town Bonita Creek. She appears to have it all. She is musically gifted and belongs to a warm, loving, supportive family; but she’s built a brick fortress around her heart after being traumatized by an acquaintance in an unforgettable event three years earlier.

Join this talented, spirited cowgirl as she journeys on through life’s joys and sorrows with faith, strength, courage, and love on the road to true happiness.

‘Jorie’s Journey,’ Book Two in the Bonita Creek Series, is a contemporary Christian Western romance story which is completely clean in language and content.

PURCHASE LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon | BookBub (not my affiliate links)

EXCERPT From Jorie’s Journey:

As she approached the front counter in her Cowgirl Bakery shop located on Main Street
in old town Bonita Creek, California, Jorie Woodstone wiped her wet hands on the fluffy towel
buttoned to her crisp white apron. Her long, thick hair was pulled into a ponytail peeking out
from beneath her red gingham scarf. An urge to make a detour to check her reflection in the
nearby mirror kicked in when the man standing at the counter turned to face her. His emerald
green eyes were set off by a head of thick, wavy dark brown hair.
Jorie recited her usual greeting, “Hi, may I help you?” in a slightly more-friendly-than-
usual tone. To her surprise, the newcomer was so busy checking her out that he hesitated for
nearly thirty seconds before responding. When he spoke, his rich southern baritone vibrated
through her ears.
“Hello, miss. I need to pick up a couple of pies to take over to my friend’s house for
Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow. The Cowgirl Bakery was highly recommended to me by my
hostess at the bed and breakfast inn where I’m staying. Please don’t let me down by telling me it’s
too late to order pies for the occasion.” His mouth settled into a sweet pout.
“What flavors did you have in mind?” Jorie tried to sound thrilled to have his business at
this late hour. In truth, she was exhausted from the multitude of Thanksgiving orders for pies and
other baked goods she’d received from her ultra-supportive hometown. She dreamed of going
home early tonight to soak her exhausted body in a luxurious bubble bath and watch a couple of
episodes of her favorite Masterpiece Mystery series.
“What do you recommend? I mean, you’re the one who works in a bakery and all.”
“I think it’s always nice to offer an assortment of pies. How about one organic apple
cinnamon and one organic pumpkin nutmeg? Most people seem to like one or both of those
“I’m from New Orleans, so I was dreaming of a pecan pie . . .”
“No can do,” Jorie clipped off. “We don’t usually do pecan pie here in California. Well, I
mean we don’t do pecan pie without some advance notice. It’s too late to order organic pecans for
“What a shame,” the customer shook his head sadly. “Well, I guess I’ll just have to accept
the fact tomorrow will be my first Thanksgiving feast ever without a slice or two or three of
pecan pie.”
He looked as if he were already grieving the loss of pecan pie on his Thanksgiving menu.
Jorie felt a twinge of regret for his loss, but the line of customers behind him was stacking up and
she was short-handed today. Her most-experienced employee, Connie, had requested the day off
so that she and her husband could travel to spend the holiday with their family in Idaho. Her
other experienced employee, James, was home nursing a bad case of strep throat and was unable
to serve the public.
She wanted nothing more than to hurry this man along. However, she accepted long ago
the reality that a large part of being a successful small business owner was to project the image
that said owner actually enjoyed working with the public. She always attempted to give the
illusion of being the queen of customer service in Bonita Creek.
© June McCrary Jacobs, 2022

Title: Christmas in Bonita Creek

Series: Bonita Creek #3

Author: June McCrary Jacobs

Publisher: Independently Published

Release Date: December, 2022

Genre: Christian Historical Romance with Military Elements

After seeing more than two years of combat in the Korean War, will the homecoming of two men from Bonita Creek be filled with the joy and romance they are yearning for or will it bring them even more heartache?

It’s late summer, 1952, in friendly Bonita Creek, a small town in the Coastal Mountains of the Mendocino Coast of California . . .

Estelle Vincent is missing her older brother, Sam, and her fiancé, John Chaplin, who are far away fighting for the US Army in the Korean War. They’ve been gone for more than two long years, and she is feeling out of sorts.

When she has a frank discussion with her mother, Estelle realizes that she is not the only one who has been moody and bored with her uneventful life. Her mother’s words inspire Estelle and catapult her into action organizing a community holiday project for the children and teens whose parents work for Mountainside Ranch outside of town.

As the story deepens, Estelle learns that several people close to her are harboring secrets—including her mother, her brother, and her best friend. She learns to be flexible and understanding as she looks outside of her own life and examines the impact of unforeseen events on those closest to her heart.

Join this intelligent, strong-willed hometown young woman as she navigates the obstacles and challenges of life with hope, perseverance, faith, courage, and love on her road to a brighter future filled with dreams come true.

‘Christmas in Bonita Creek,’ Book Three in the Bonita Creek Series, is a historical Christian holiday romance story which is completely clean in language and content.

PURCHASE LINKS: Amazon | BookBub (not my affiliate links)

EXCERPT From Christmas In Bonita Creek:

Bonita Creek, California
August, 1952
Estelle carefully cut out another construction paper leaf as she prepared the decorations
for the Back-to-School window display she was designing for the Bonita Creek Drugstore where
she had worked since graduating from high school six years earlier. She loved her job serving
customers, stocking shelves, and helping the pharmacist and owner, Mr. Randall, in any way she
could. By far, her favorite job duty was decorating the store for the various holidays and seasons
throughout the year.
She had enjoyed making arts and crafts in school. Since kindergarten, her favorite
subjects had been reading and art. As she grew older she also enjoyed creative writing and
history, especially world history. She dreamed that someday she’d be able to travel to the
faraway places she loved to read about. Greece, Egypt, Australia, South America, and other
exotic places appealed to her sense of adventure.
For now, she was content to work in the drugstore and live at home with her parents
while she waited—not so patiently—for her someone special to return from his military service
in Korea. She had been writing faithfully to John Chaplin since he left for Korea with her
brother, Sam, two long years ago.
John and Sam, who were both World War II combat veterans, had been placed on active
reserve rather than being discharged when the war was over in early September, 1945. They
were both reactivated and assigned to serve in South Korea in this new conflict that President
Truman felt the United States should enter at the end of June, 1950. Two years was far too long
to go without seeing her brother or her beau.
Estelle stopped what she was doing, sighed deeply, and looked out the front window of
the drugstore to see what was happening on Main Street in her small coastal mountain hometown
of Bonita Creek, California.
She didn’t know how long she had been staring into space when the service bell on the
counter dinged. She looked up to see her best friend, Gloria Marino, snickering in Estelle’s
“Earth to Ellie, come in,” Gloria said with a big grin.
“Oh, hi, Glo. I didn’t see you come in. Sorry.”
“You looked like you were a million miles away in—let me guess—South Korea, right?”
“You got it. You’re so lucky you don’t have a fiancé or a brother in South Korea. It’s a
real drag. What brings you in today?”
Estelle noticed her friend was no longer smiling. The color had drained from Gloria’s
cheeks, and she looked as if she might cry. Estelle quickly rushed around the counter and took
Gloria’s hand.
“What is it, Glo? What’s happened?”
“Nothing. I just felt like seeing my best friend for a minute. I came to town to pick up a
few things at the market for my mother, and while I was here I . . .”
Estelle’s friend’s fidgeted with the Peter Pan collar on her blouse and swiped a hand down
her silken black ponytail. Gloria looked directly into Estelle’s concerned eyes. She took a deep breath before saying, “Someday soon you’ll know everything, and then you’ll understand why I’m
so moody sometimes.”
“Why don’t you just tell me everything now so I can help you?” Estelle pleaded with her
best friend.
“No. I promised I wouldn’t tell anyone.”
“Is someone hurting you or bothering you?” Estelle asked firmly.
Gloria blinked her eyes a few times in surprise. “No one is hurting me or bothering
me. I’m fine. I’d better go.”
© June McCrary Jacobs, 2022

Box Set Sale

Bonita Creek Box set

$5.99 for a limited time

About the Author

June McCrary Jacobs

June McCrary Jacobs‘s debut novella, ‘A Holiday Miracle in Apple Blossom‘, was the winner of Cedar Fort Publishing’s 2013 Holiday Tale Contest. ‘Robin’s Reward‘, a Christian contemporary romance, is set in the Mendocino coastal region of California. It is Book One in the ‘Bonita Creek Series‘ and was originally released in 2015; the second edition of the book was released in July, 2022. The second book in the series, ‘Jorie’s Journey‘, was released in late May of 2022. The third book in the series a Christian historical romance, ‘Christmas in Bonita Creek‘, was released in December, 2022. ‘Romance By Proxy‘ is a later-in-life clean, wholesome romance set in Humboldt County on the Northern Coast of San Francisco which was released in August, 2021. June’s Christian historical romance short story, ‘Handmade Hearts‘, was inspired by the true story of how June’s aunt and uncle met in New Orleans during World War II and was released in December, 2018. June’s debut middle-grade novel, ‘RES-Q Tyler Stop‘, a historical novel set in Sonoma County, California, in 1968, was released in the spring of 2019. In early 2022 she published two short story collections for children entitled, ‘Carter’s Cookies & More Family Stories for Children‘ and ‘Banjo & More Pet Stories for Children‘. As a retired elementary school teacher and literacy mentor, June finds writing for children to be a rewarding and challenging experience.Connect with June by visiting to follow her on social media or subscribe to email newsletter updates.

Tour Giveaway

(1) winner will receive a $15 Amazon Gift card + Bonita Creek Series e-books!

Bonita Creek JustRead Giveaway

Full tour schedule linked below. The giveaway begins at midnight January 18, 2023 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on January 25, 2023. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US/CAN only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

Enter Giveaway

Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

JustRead Publicity Tours

The TEXT Bible (New English Translation) ~ a review and giveaway

Disclosure: Many thanks to Harper Collins Christian Publishing for providing a sample of the product for this review.
Opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation.

“God sent you a message. Do you know how to find it?”

This is printed on the lid of the box the TEXT Bible (NET) arrived it. It was talking about the Bible. We all like to receive messages and the Bible is the best one ever. The TEXT Bible features a study method developed to help Bible students of all ages and maturity levels delve into the message that God has sent. The refreshing Good News is available to all and the editors of the TEXT Bible want you to find it.

TEXT is a mnemonic device that helps gain and retain information. TEXT stands for:

T – Talk to God in prayer.
E – Encounter God and humanity in scripture.
X – eXamine your heart.
T – Talk to God and others.

This Bible engagement technique helps younger students, new believers, and young adults, as well as believers of all levels, find the message of God. To help this message really become part of you, there are several additional helpful study features.

  • TEXT the Text: use the four-step TEXT study method— Talk to God; Encounter God and humanity; eXamine your heart; Talk to others—to engage with Scripture
  • Big Q of the Text: big life questions with short answers
  • “Who is God?”: nearly 100 short devotions on the person and character of God
  • Praying the Text: Learn how to start praying God’s Word right back to him!
  • Get to Know the Text: brief explanations of people and events found in Scrip-
  • Follow the Thread: navigate the Bible across topics
  • Anatomy of the Text: concise descriptions of literary devices and categories
    of Scripture found within the Bible, such as parables and apocalyptic books
  • Terms of the Text: brief definitions of important words to help us better un-
    derstand and discuss Scripture

At the back of the book, you will find an appendix. This includes charts such as “Prophecies Fulfilled At The Cross”, “The Flory of the New Covenant”, “Spiritual Gifts”, “Two Types of Wisdom”, and “Praying The Text Index.” There is a hashtag index that is intended to help locate scripture related to particular hashtags that might be used, such as #loneliness or #testing or #wealth. There are reading plan checklists for a couple of different options. There is fairly strong concordance, giving definitions and scripture together for key words and people in scripture. Finally, there are 8 full-color maps.

The TEXT Bible that I received is a hardback, about 6×9 inches, with a paper dustcover. There is a royal blue satin-like, ribbon bookmark and a white satin bookmark; both are sewn into the binding. The pages are fairly thin and are printed with a navy blue ink on white pages. The margins are about 2 inches wide on the left and right and have faint dots for the lines and columns. This makes the margins perfect for notes, drawings, or journaling.

Honestly, I am not much for gimmicky things when it comes to God’s word and I feel like this one pushes that a bit too far. The translation seems to stay accurate, with a solid mix of clear, readable, and accurate. But really, I don’t think we need yet another niche Bible to reach those who want to know. Would I recommend it if asked about it? Absolutely. It is God’s word and for that reason, you won’t go wrong.

Purchase: You can purchase the TEXT Bible through this link. Get 50% off your copy of The NET TEXT Bible if you order before Valentine’s Day!

Giveaway: 1 (one) copy of the TEXT Bible (Hardcover)
Note: This is limited to US winners only. Bible will be sent by publisher.
Visit the link to enter. Winner will be randomly drawn on the morning of January 16, 2023.

Enter the Giveaway! Click Here!

Lori, At Home.

Rise Up and Build Blog Post: More than Walls – guest post for Lads to Leaders entry

Some people like the King James Version. Some like the NKJV or the ESV. For standard Bible reading, I usually don’t have a strong preference which version of scripture I’m reading, as long as it’s an actual translation…

*side eye at the Message*

Usually, I’ll end up reading an NIV, one of the translations most used today. While looking at our theme verse for this year, I noticed something interesting: only the NIV, of the versions I mentioned, uses the word rebuild in our theme verses Nehemiah 2:17-18:

Then I said to them, “You see the trouble we are in: Jerusalem lies in ruins, and its gates have been burned with fire. Come, let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem, and we will no longer be in disgrace.” I also told them about the gracious hand of my God on me and what the king had said to me. They replied, “Let us start rebuilding.” So they began this good work.

Other versions simply say “let us rise up and build rather than “start rebuilding” – and I think that’s an important comparison to explore. It lends an interesting light to these verses, and to the point of Nehemiah’s story: building Jerusalem up again better than before – with God.

While our theme for this year’s convention is ‘rise up and build,’ what Nehemiah was leading the Israelites in doing looked to be rebuilding. The walls of Jerusalem had long been destroyed, but with the king (and the King) supporting him, Nehemiah determined to take away the shame his people continually suffered by building them up again. So it seems strange that only the NIV, out of the handful of popular translations I picked, uses the word rebuilding. That’s what they were doing, after all…right?

Well, in Nehemiah 2:3, Nehemiah asks the king, “Why should not my face be sad, when the city, the place of my fathers’ graves, lies in ruins, and its gates have been destroyed by fire?” In building the walls again, Nehemiah and the Israelites were able to restore their people’s honor – no longer did the Israelites have to withstand ridicule because their city was nothing but the tattered remains of their nation’s legacy. The Hebrews were a shattered nation. Thematically, these verses speak of building more than walls. In building the walls, Nehemiah restored their spirit.

Nehemiah had to rebuild not only the walls, but the nation – a much larger challenge. It was about rebuilding the people. Once the walls were built and the defenses set, from Nehemiah 7:5 onwards he focused on doing just that. But Nehemiah didn’t truly rebuild the people, because he did not build them up again in the same form as they were before, just as he did not build brick for brick the same wall as was there before.

Previously, Israel was not focused on God, and was therefore struck down by Babylon. In Nehemiah 8:1-8, Nehemiah gathers “the men and the women and those who could understand” and reads the Book of the Law of Moses to them “from early morning until midday.” To build the nation of Israel again, Nehemiah built from the ground up, on what should have been their foundation the whole time – God.

The walls they built would someday be destroyed again. But the people remained, and though Nehemiah wasn’t there to see if they would ultimately keep themselves built upon God when he was gone, the work he did left a lasting impact. We don’t often physically build things for God in the same magnitude that Nehemiah built the wall, but we too can make that impact building other people up and encouraging them.

Our theme for Lads to Leaders this year is rise up and build – not rise up and rebuild. Don’t build up again in the same old way if the old way wasn’t focused on God. In the case of the Israelites, that’s why it failed! I like that the theme uses the word build – it’s interesting to think about the implications of words; how rebuilding something means to build the same thing again in the same manner, while Nehemiah built the walls and the people up in a new way – the right way, around God. Whether we are building or rebuilding in our service to God, physical or purely spiritual, we need to remember to build in the same way as Nehemiah – with God as our foundation.

America’s Favorite Christmastown ~ a book review

Disclaimer: I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary ebook copy of this title which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.

A quick, fun, holiday-time read that is clean and a bit off the beaten trail. This was a fun read for me and I really enjoyed the setting of an out-of-the-way resort. That brings a lot of small-town America comfort to the story. With the relationship between Alexis and her grandmother I found a comfort and joy that brought to mind many times spent with my own grandmother. This is the story of a vlogger who is considering a change of business and needs the advice of a trusted source. That is her grandmother and she finds out that her grandmother is considering a major change herself- to resort owner. Teaming up with her grandmother, the real-estate agent, and eventually the whole town, they bring the Christmas spirit to all around. It was a fun, simple read that didn’t take more than a couple of days to read but it brought me much joy. 

TITLE: America’s Favorite Christmastown by Dawn Klinge
Publisher: Independently Published
Release Date: November 22, 2022
Genre: Christmas romance/contemporary/novella (Clean)

To Purchase via @justreadtours purchase link.


#justreadtours #AmericasFavoriteChristmasTown

#DawnKlinge #christmasfiction #bookstagram #amreading #christianfiction #bookworm

Christmas at Whispering Creek ~ a book review

Disclaimer: I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views are my honest opinion.

Welcome to the Blog Tour for Christmas at Whispering Creek by Barbara M. Britton, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

Life can sure throw some curve balls but what we do with them is what matters. Bitter or better is a phrase that often comes to mind and this book is all about “better.” How do you handle the rough parts and how do you come out of it?

Samantha was destined to be a teacher but a breast cancer diagnosis changed that. At 23, all her plans were derailed. She heads to the property that Ted, an old family friend, left her after his passing. She is determined to deal what she has to and get her life back on track. But God through Ted had other plans.

Cole is struggling to get himself back to wherever it is he is supposed to be after his song-writing partner and girlfriend left him for a rising country music star. His family’s electrical business is still there but does he really want to burden himself with all that past? Can he let go of the anger and uselessness that is holding on? Visiting Ted, not knowing he had passed away, brings Cole right into the midst of God’s plans for him.

From the get-go, this book drags you right in and doesn’t let you go. The story is one that so many of us can relate to, even if we haven’t experienced these exact situations the characters go through. We recognize ourselves in them and that really makes this story come alive. I read it in under a day because the storyline just wouldn’t let go. I felt it. I felt the emotion, the stirring, the angst, the worry, the heartache, the wonder. It is all there. You won’t regret the time spent with Christmas at Whispering Creek.

Book Information:

Title: Christmas at Whispering Creek

Author: Barbara M. Britton

Publisher: Pelican Book Group-White Rose

Release Date: November 30, 2022

Genre: Christian Contemporary Romance

All Samantha Williams wants is to use her teaching degree to instruct a classroom of second graders. With a breast cancer diagnosis at the age of twenty-three, and failed reconstruction surgery, Sam finds herself without a job and temporarily living with her parents. This isn’t the life Sam expected. When a family friend dies and leaves Sam a house and land in Whispering Creek, Tennessee, Sam must decide if leaving Wisconsin for Southern living is in her lesson plans.

Nashville native, Cole Donoven, left his family’s electrical business to write country music. When Cole’s song writing partner and girlfriend dumps him for a country music star, Cole abandons Nashville to hold up in Whispering Creek and compose one more song. The last thing Cole expects to find in the sleepy small town is a deceased friend, estate squabbles, and a Northern beauty. Will the chaos in Whispering Creek help create a bestselling song for Cole and possibly help him find a life-long collaborator?

PURCHASE LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | IndieBound | BookBub
(not my affiliate links)


(1) winner will receive a Christmas at Whispering Creek book box filled with books and goodies!

Full tour schedule linked below. The giveaway begins at midnight December 6, 2022 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on December 13, 2022. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US only. International prize, ebook only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.



Barbara M. Britton

Barbara M. Britton lives in Southeast, Wisconsin. She writes Christian Fiction from Bible Times to modern day USA. Barbara has a nutrition degree from Baylor University but loves to dip healthy strawberries in chocolate.Connect with Barbara by visiting to follow her on social media or subscribe to email newsletter updates.

Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops! Some of the stops include excerpts so be sure to visit.

JustRead Publicity Tours

Lori, At Home.

Once Upon A Winter Wonderland ~ book review

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this title from the author and JustRead Tours for the purpose of a review. All opinions are my own.

Author Susan May Warren is joined by authors Rachel D Russell, Michelle Sass Aleckson, and Andrea Christenson to bring you Once Upon A Winter Wonderland: A Deep Haven Christmas Anthology.

Deep Haven, Minnesota. At Christmas. In the snow.

It’s perfect for the dream wedding.

Boone and Vivien are set for a Christmas Eve wedding. And it will be perfect. Unless… a big storm comes in. And it does, threatening to take down the wedding. But old friends, along with new ones, plow ahead through all that is thrown their way to make the dream wedding come true. Can they overcome snow, lost cars and rings, fire (or at least smoke), and all the other things that threatens to keep this wedding slipping out of hand?

Join the authors as they take you to the beautiful and rural Deep Haven in four novellas brought together to tell the story of four different groups of people fighting through different backgrounds, hurts, and struggles, all bound together to help pull off the wedding of a lifetime for Boone and Vivien. With the focus on God and his faithfulness through it all, something beautiful is bound to rise from the ashes.

My thoughts – I had no idea that this was tied to a series and now, I seriously want to read every single book set in Deep Haven and having to do with these rich, deep, Christian characters. I found this an un-put-down-able book and I loved it. I can’t choose which of the four is my favorite because I found my to be enjoyed in each of the different stories. Each different set of characters and each different set of challenges were endearing. This was a true joy to read.

Giveaway: Visit JustRead Tours on Instagram to enter.

⇒ Book Name Once Upon a Winter Wonderland

⇒ Authors Susan May Warren, Rachel D. Russell, Michelle Sass Aleckson, and Andrea Christenson

⇒ Publisher Sunrise Publishing

⇒ Giveaway – (1) winner will receive a print copy of the book and a $10 Amazon gift card.

⇒ Purchase Link #ad (not my affiliate link)

⇒ Release Date – October 9, 2022

⇒ Genre – Christian Contemporary Romance

Lori, At Home.

A Christmas Bargain ~ a JustRead Tours book review & giveaway

DISCLAIMER: I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book, which I received from the author. I received it in ebook form. All opinions are my own and are my honest opinions.

Welcome to the Blog + Review Blitz for A Christmas Bargain by Mindy Obenhaus, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

When I settle in to read a story after a busy week of dealing with our normal schedule in addition to two sick children, I want something simple, pleasing, happy, joyful. A Christmas Bargain by Mindy Obenhaus brought just what I needed.

Book Information:

Title: A Christmas Bargain

Series: Hope Crossing #2

Author: Mindy Obenhaus

Publisher: Love Inspired

Release Date: November 29, 2022

Genre: Christian, Contemporary Romance, Christmas

Can a property dispute…

Turn into a holiday blessing?

When single mom Annalise Grant inherits a fledgling Christmas tree farm in Texas, she vows to do whatever it takes to make it a success. But when neighbor Hawkins Prescott claims some of her trees are on his property, the only option is a partnership. As Christmas draws closer, Annalise and Hawkins find themselves growing closer as well. Could a family by Christmas become part of the deal?


PURCHASE LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | BookDepository | IndieBound | Christianbook | BookBub

Book Summary:

As the story begins, we meet widowed mother Annalise Grant in the midst of one of those days – moving to a new place, have to get groceries to have dinner but the baby is fussy, can’t find the wallet, and on it goes. Can it get worse? After a kind stranger steps in the help, she finally begins to settle into the Christmas tree farm she just inherited. She is in love with the idea of independence, strength, running a business, and all the other things that her new life will bring to her. And then…

A property line is found to have been moved and it just happens that the kind stranger is part of the family whose land was taken in the fence line moving. How does Annalise handle it? Can she just let the land go, even knowing it was wrongfully taken? If she does, will she be financially ruined without those trees to sell? Can she come up with a bargain that the family will accept and work through this so that everyone will benefit? Will this end up being a holiday blessing?

My thoughts:

I really did find this an enjoyable, just-what-I-needed read. It was clean (and by that I mean no language, no “situations”, just a few kisses) and I really appreciated that part of it. I don’t like calling this a romance because these days that leads to an unsavory idea, even among many “Christian” writers. This story, though, was truly clean. I enjoyed the ebook copy that I received. I was able to sit back and just bask in the family joy that was found within the covers.

I loved the gumption of Annalise. She didn’t back down from a fight and she stood up for herself and what she needed. However, she was soft enough to allow others into her heart, and her daughter’s life, right away. She was embraced by them and they embraced her idea for the farm. I thought this was a beautiful set of relationships that modeled love, friendship, and respect among women so well.

I also loved that Hawkins was a good guy. And not just the proverbial “good guy” but one who stood by his word, helped out those in need regardless of the past/situation, and respected those around him. (Not to mention that he had a soft spot for the baby.) This is somewhat rare in stories, so Hawkins was a breath of fresh air for a leading male character.

I think this is a very good read and have no problem recommending it. My 18 year old is looking forward to reading this one.


(1) winner will receive a signed copy of A Christmas Bargain and a $25 Amazon gift card!

A Christmas Bargain JustRead Giveaway

Full tour schedule linked below. The giveaway begins at midnight December 7, 2022 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on December 14, 2022. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.



Mindy Obenhaus

Award-winning author Mindy Obenhaus is passionate about touching readers with Biblical truths in an entertaining, and sometimes adventurous, manner. She lives on a ranch in Texas with her husband, two sassy pups, countless cattle, deer and the occasional coyote, mountain lion or snake. When she’s not writing, she enjoys spending time with her grandchildren, cooking and watching the Hallmark Channel.Connect with Mindy by visiting to follow her on social media or subscribe to email newsletter updates.

Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

JustRead Publicity Tours

Lori, At Home.

The Lifeway Women’s Bible ~ review and giveaway

Disclosure: Many thanks to Lifeway Christian Resources for providing a sample of the product for this review. Opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation.

The Lifeway Women’s Bible is a CSB (Christian Standard Bible®) translation and study Bible, and it would make a lovely Christmas gift for women of any age. (Hint: You can get 50% off your copy of the CSB Lifeway Women’s Bible today using the code SAVE50LWB!)

There are several features to this Bible to assist with study and diving deeper into God’s word. Also, there are some that placed in this Bible specifically to speak hope and truth into women’s hearts.

  • over 100 articles placed alongside corresponding Biblical texts to help in study and to foster deeper reflection on the topics and passages, many focusing on the needs of women
  • close to 100 short devotionals placed throughout the Bible
  • short Bible genre introductions with an overview and reading plan highlighting key sections in that genre
  • book introductions for each of the 66 books of the Bible, including an overview and book-specific timeline
  • character profiles of over 40 women in the Bible with study questions for application
  • reflections questions to help women engage more deeply with the Bible
  • about 100 brief inspirational quotations sprinkled throughout
  • over 25 word studies on meaning and significance
  • over 30 charts, graphs, and maps
  • multiple reading plans, including 90 days, one year, and three year plans
  • concordance

This lovely Lifeway Women’s Bible comes in genuine leather, LeatherTouch, or cloth-over-board covers. The marigold LeatherTouch that I received is bright and beautiful. It is a heavier Bible with wide margins for note taking or illustrating. Each page contains a single column with cross-references and text notes at the bottom. The text is a black on white print in a 9.5 point size. There are 2 ribbon markers sewn into the binding, which is a Smyth-sewn, lay-flat binding. All-in-all, this is a lovely Bible that I can’t wait to begin using.

How To Purchase:

Get 50% off the purchase of (1) Lifeway Women’s Bible with code SAVE50LWB
(Only available on Limit 1 Bible at 50% off retail price, any Lifeway
Women’s Bible sku. Limit one offer per person. Cannot be stacked with any other
offer. Valid 11/15/22-12/31/22.)


1 (one) copy of the Lifeway CSB Women’s Bible (Marigold LeatherTouch
Edition) Note: This is limited to US winners only. Winner will be drawn on December 13. Enter through the link below.

Good Luck!

Lori, At Home.

October and November 2022 Books

Well, as it is already December 4 (HOW? How did it get to be December already?), I’m going to combine the books I read in October and November into a single post. It will have a good number of books because I’ve been getting in a lot of reading time and really enjoying it.


  • Britfield & The Return of the Prince by C.R. Stewart – This book is the 3rd in a series that involves a young man searching to find who he is and his family. Please visit the post to read the summary of this book and what I thought about it.
  • The Prayer Jar Devotional: Hope by Wanda E. Brunstetter – This was a series of devotions that were designed to focus on hope. The main post was on Instagram so you can read more about it over there.
  • Being A Ballerina by Gavin Larsen – This is a very insightful and inspirational look at Gavin’s life from her earliest ballet classes through her professional career. It brought a very human aspect to her experiences and drew me into her heart and mind as she strove to be the best she could be. I found it to be quite illuminating for the life of a professional, especially one who deals with many health concerns. Her dedication was quite intense and it definitely helped me understand better the mind of one persuing this life. A definitely recommend for anyone who is interesting in knowing more about this life or seeing the background of a professional’s life. (Don’t tell my daughter but she’ll be getting this for Christmas! It is that good.)
  • All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriott – This was not my first read of this book and I enjoyed it a lot. This set of memoirs from a farm animal vet in rural England is fun to read. It is enlightening to see the life that James Herriot went through in order to serve those in his community. He writes with humor and honor of the people and animals he encountered during his career. I enjoy the scenes where he stops to appreciate what he is surrounded by in the Lakes district and the weather that both helps and hinders his treatments. He write about so much that he notices and it brings to life the world of a large animal vet.
  • Secrets of Emberwild by Stephenia H. McGee – The Secrets of Emberwild will grab hold of your imagination and keep you in the story all the way through. Nora loves her horses and doesn’t understand why “proper etiquette” can’t change. Yet, she loves her family despite the tensions and tries to honor her mother and father. But the horses keep beckoning. And she follows. When a stranger shows up and begins helping around the farm, she grows uneasy with the questions he asks yet finds herself appreciating that he honors her knowledge of horses and the way she handles them. Where is all of this going to go? Will Silas get answers? What will happen for Nora?
    The Secrets of Emberwild was a lovely read. It was set in a simpler time yet the themes of difficulty ring true for today. It is a clean read with none of the sexuality in many “clean” books today. The story is labeled as Christian, and though you see a tiny bit of that, I don’t feel there is enough Christianity in it to label it a Christian romance. However, thoroughly enjoyed it and can easily recommend it.
  • By Way of the Moonlight by Elizabeth Musser – When Nana Dale passed away, Allie’s whole world crashed. Nothing happened as it was supposed to. There is some sort of secret there but Allie is the only one who sees it. Everyone else keeps telling her to just accept what happened and move on – find another way to open her equine therapy practice. But Allie knows there is something there. So she keeps digging. And as she digs, her grandmother’s life opens up in way Allie had no way of guessing. And in response, Allie’s life opens up in ways she had not way of guessing. Life can be so unexpected but there can be beauty that grows out of that unexpectedness. I really enjoyed this book – a mystery without being a mystery. It was a clean read with a good amount of romance without anything unChristian about it. Clean, enjoyable, fun. I can wholeheartedly recommend this one.
  • The Painted Castle by Kristy Cambron – Such a fun read! Keira Foley has a job to do in the old manor where they have found some unusual art. She is hired to authenticate the art so it should be a pretty straight-forward job. But then Emory Scott is involved and nothing is straight-forward. As Keira falls deeper and deeper into the mysteries surrounding the art she is supposed to authenticate, her life begins to make more and more sense. It is like the manor’s past is tied to her future.
    There are three different time periods to follow in this novel and it is a lot of fun! With all three of the women, the life of hope and love and generations of secrets is uncovered and it just might push Keira’s own life back into some semblance of order.
    This was a clean and enjoyable novel with just enough romance to make it a fun historical read. I have no worries recommending this read to someone who is interested in the time periods, the art, or just a relaxing read. Definitely one I am glad I read and now I need to read the others in the series.

So, that’s my October reads. I enjoyed them quite a bit.


  • Along The Rio Grande by Tracie Peterson – Book 1 of the series; I found this series because of the review over at A Net In Time – Susanna Jenkins is just along to help her folks get set up and then she’ll return to her previous life as a widow. But her family needs her more than she thought, as they have never had to work for the things in their life. Now that they have to, Susanna is caught up in the middle of it, working hard and trying to honor her parents. They have to open the new Grand Hotel in San Marcial, NM, a small town where everyone knows and helps everyone else. Susanna’s family has to adapt to this new place and new idea of community. Can they do it?
    With the help of the Lord, whom Susanna truly leans on, she tries to help her family see how to honor Him and each other.
    This is wonderful novel set back in the later 1800s along the Santa Fe Railroad and the Rio Grande River. It is clean and can truly be called a Christian story. While there is romance in the story, it isn’t the focus of it AND there is nothing in it that I would be embarrassed about someone else knowing I had read (something too many “Christian” books include). The amount of writing that included thinking about, serving, or honor God was wonderful and I will definitely be looking for more stories by author Tracie Peterson.
  • Beyond The Desert Sands by Tracie Peterson – Book 2 of the series – I enjoyed this clean romance novel set in New Mexico. It was a bit expected but it was fun to read a story set in the Land of Enchantment. I could see the setting so clearly and I enjoyed the story line. It was a pleasant story that I was able to read in just a couple of days. Easy and enjoyable.
  • Under The Starry Skies by Tracie Peterson – Book 3 of the series – This was an enjoyable story set in New Mexico and along the railroad. I enjoyed the simplicity of the story, the beauty of the setting,and the infusion of Christian beliefs into the story line. The focus on belief and prayer to get one through the tough times was something I could relate to. I found this a pleasant read, completed in just 2 days.
  • Where is God In This? by Landra Young Hughes – This was a book that I read through but struggled to gain much from. Perhaps I wasn’t in the right place for it to really speak to me. If you are in the “hard” part of life right now, this just might be the book for you. Read the review to find out more.
  • A Christmas Bargain by Mindy Obenhaus – The review is yet to publish on this book but it was fun holiday story about starting over and learning to trust those around you. I would definitely recommend it if you are looking for a fun, enjoyable holiday read about a Christmas tree farm, starting over, and daring to dream all over again.
  • Once Upon A Winter Wonderland by Susan May Warren, Rachel D. Russell, Michelle Sass Aleckson, and Andrea Christenson – This review is yet to publish but this was a fun set of stories from authors I was unfamiliar with. They brought the reader to Deep Haven (hometown setting to a whole slew of books) where they find peace amidst challenges, hope amidst fear, and love amidst loss. This was a wonderful series of stories tied together by the characters, setting, and storyline. I completely enjoyed it.
  • America’s Favorite Christmastown by Dawn Klinge – A quick, fun, holiday-time read that is clean and a bit off the beaten trail. This was a fun read for me and I really enjoyed the setting of an out-of-the-way resort. That brings a lot of small-town America comfort to the story. With the relationship between Alexis and her grandmother I found a comfort and joy that brought to mind many times spent with my own grandmother. This is the story of a vlogger who is considering a change of business and needs the advice of a trusted source. That is her grandmother and she finds out that her grandmother is considering a major change herself- to resort owner. Teaming up with her grandmother, the real-estate agent, and eventually the whole town, they bring the Christmas spirit to all around. It was a fun, simple read that didn’t take more than a couple of days to read but it brought me much joy.
  • The Light Before Christmas by Marty Machowski – Please read the review on this one. The contrast of light and dark is an interesting idea so head over to see what I thought about it.
  • Give The Winds A Mighty Voice by Stan Mitchell – The official summary: Give the Winds a Mighty Voice is an adventure in the subject of singing and its history.  Stan takes us on a tour of music — music among the Israelites, music among Christians of the first century, music through the psalms, early writers, prolific writers, writers who were members of the Lord’s church and those who were not but whose songs and hymns have reverberated through the ages. Both individuals and congregations can profit by studying the lessons, along with practice sessions to learn new songs suggested in the book and to improve the quality of our singing.
    I am enjoying this book and am almost done with it. I find there is so much packed in that I’ll probably want to read it again. It can be purchased at Chula Vista Books.
  • Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell – Honesty here: I could not read this book. I tried. Several times. But it just never drew me in. So, this one isn’t really and “I read” book but rather and “I tried.” I didn’t enjoy it so I put it down. But I know many, many people really love this story. Maybe the TV series would help? I need to try that, perhaps.

Okay, so that’s it. All the books for October and November.

Have a wonderful Christmas and Happy New Year!

Lori, At Home.

CSB Explorer Bible for Kids ~ a review and giveaway

Disclosure: Many thanks to Lifeway Christian Resources for providing a sample of the product for this review. Opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation.

The CSB (Christian Standard Bible) Explorer Bible for Kids helps kids place God’s Word in the middle of God’s World.

About The Explorer Bible for Kids:

The NEW CSB Explorer Bible for Kids is filled with fun facts, timelines, photography, and more. Kids will see the Bible as REAL, EXCITING, and LIFE-CHANGING TRUTH. QR codes even bring engaging videos, discussion questions, and activity pages to life. These help apply the imagery of the Bible to real world experiences. The Bible is available in hardcover and four (4) different leathertouch editions.

The Explorer Bible is intended to help readers engage meaningfully with the word of God through understanding more about the world, both in the past and the present. There are several ways that this particular edition of the Bible is designed to help with this.

  • Book Introductions – The one page introductions for each book of the Bible highlights key information for the book. It includes who wrote the text, who it was intended for, the time period of the writing, the time period of the events of the book and what was occurring in the world at that time, why it was written, and how it points toward Jesus the Christ. There is a table of contents with the books listed in the traditional order as well as one listing them alphabetically.
  • Excavating the Past – These are images of historical and archaeological discoveries to help understand the world, history, and culture of the Bible. There are 205 of these, noted by olive green boxes throughout the Bible. There is a table of these at the front of the Bible.
  • Exploring Creation – There are 115 teal boxes throughout the books that highlight facts and show images connecting modern day objects and things in the world today to God and the Bible.
  • Discovering the Truth – There are 237 Discovering the Truth boxes that help understand the essential truths of the Bible and apply them to everyday life. Most are accompanied by a QR code that leads to a video.
  • Character Field Guides – These are yellow boxes throughout that highlight important people in the Bible timeline, indicating different facts and insights. There are 79.
  • Charting History – There are 15 illustrated timelines that survery key time periods and events. These are also found in yellow boxes.
  • Archiving Discoveries – These are highlighted verses throughout the Bible that are key memory verses. These 336 verses are suggestedfor memorization.
  • QR Codes – There are QR codes for some videos, mostly related to the Discovering the Truth boxes. There are also other QR codes for things like activity pages that can be downloaded.

At the back of the Bible, you will also find,

  • A table of weights and measures
  • An explorer glossary
  • An index to Bible stories, separated by Old Testament and New Testament
  • A topical concordance for kids
  • QR Code links by scripture
  • 9 maps, and
  • A list of art credits

Utilizing full-color and images, this edition of God’s word engages student’s natural curiosity and helps them experience the wonder and truth of God’s word. Looking at real people, real events, and real cultures expands understanding and is just what young people need to know and understand God better. This all helps students hide God’s word in their heart, something that will transform them like nothing else. Learn more at this LINK.

My thoughts:

The CSB translation is one that blends accuracy and readability. It is linguistically accurate, combining the word-for-word translation with the contemporary rendering of a dynamic translation in more difficult passages. It draws from original language texts for the purposes of translation and over 100 scholars, editors, stylists, and proofreaders worked together, committed to biblical inerrancy. This seems to have brought us a translation that is understandable for young readers and new Christians alike, while staying true to older translations that will continue to challenge more mature Christians in their study. I have found this translation to be one I enjoy.

I think the CSB Explorer Bible for Kids is a wonderful combination of complete Bible text and apologetics information that is appropriate for younger students. This may be aimed for young kids, through elementary age, but I can see it being useful through junior high. The videos are definitely aimed at the younger groups but the text information, the book introductions, the character highlights, and the archaeology/culture information can be an impetus to those a little bit older to dig deeper. It is good information and a great start.

I have not seen anything that gives me pause. (I generally find an incorrect plan of salvation in Bibles directed at children but have not.) I would not have a problem with one of our girls having used this Bible when they were younger.


Get 50% off your CSB Explorer Bible TODAY by using the code EXPLORERGIFT50. Valid
for 50% off retail price for up to 1 copy of the CSB Explorer Bible for Kids. This is


1 (one) copy of the Lifeway Explorer Kids Bible
Note: This is limited to US winners only. Winner will be drawn on December 6 and notified. You must leave your name and address as one of the entry options to be selected as the winner.

#ExplorerBibleMIN #ExplorerBibleForKids #MomentumInflu-encerNetwork

Lori, At Home.

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