Melissa Mashburn http://www.melissamashburn.net Real Women. Real Life. Real Faith. Tue, 29 Sep 2015 13:30:09 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.4.10 When Grace Meets You In The Vacuum Cleaner Aisle http://www.melissamashburn.net/2015/09/29/when-grace-meets-you-in-the-vacuum-cleaner-aisle/ Tue, 29 Sep 2015 13:30:09 +0000 http://www.melissamashburn.net/?p=4166 [...] ]]> Grace_Vacuum_MelissaMashburn

All of this is for your benefit. And as God’s grace reaches more and more people, there will be great thanksgiving, and God will receive more and more glory.
2 Corinthians 4:15 NLT

A few weeks ago while in the vacuum cleaner aisle at Target I was given the gift of grace. She was hurt, I was hurt. It was a misunderstanding, to say the least, but months had gone by and no progress was made. This was a ten year friendship that went off the rails fast and in the middle of ministry, motherhood and marriage it fell off to the side and in a season of hurt and frustration it was just not something I could deal with at the time.

Sounds harsh, I know, but when you are in the middle of a storm and life feels like your ship is going to go down, the first thing you start to do is throw things overboard. There went the gym, friendships that were outside your day to day bubble, and pretty much anything else that might lighten the load so you don’t go under in the season of storms.

I’m not proud to admit it, at all actually, but I just had to share with you what God did next.

After wading through the storms life got busy and although I wanted to reach out it was hard to take the chance of getting hurt again. Although I wanted to talk to her again I was too afraid. I would look on Facebook every so often to see how she was doing, looking for an opportunity to reach out, but I let the fear, hurt and insecurity keep me away.

Until a few weeks ago when I needed to purchase a new vacuum cleaner. Truth be told I hated to spend a bunch of money on a new vacuum so I stood in the vacuum cleaner aisle at Target for about forty minutes comparing the different vacuums and wrestling with how expensive they are when, turning right toward me in the aisle is this friend and her husband.

In that moment there wasn’t time to decide how to respond, react or anything else, there was just sheer joy at seeing each other again.

To finish reading “Grace In The Vacuum Cleaner Aisle” head on over to the Internet Cafe Devotions site…

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Here’s a little Instagram pic I made for you…as a reminder that grace can find you anywhere! Enjoy!

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Keeping First Things First In Ministry, A Guest Post Over At Upgrade With Dawn http://www.melissamashburn.net/2015/09/14/keeping-first-things-first-in-ministry-a-guest-post-over-at-upgrade-with-dawn/ Mon, 14 Sep 2015 14:00:30 +0000 http://www.melissamashburn.net/?p=4153 [...] ]]> FirstThingsFirst_MMashburn_Upgrade (1)

“Ministry can become all consuming, but it’s important to remember to keep first things first and that’s making your own family a priority,” Melissa says. “Every day you are given a gift—your family. Yes, you have a call to do more, serve more and love the people in your community more, but ultimately, your family is your first ministry.”


Ministry can become all consuming, but it’s important to remember to keep first things first –…
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There are so many things to love about ministry, like being able to be a part of someone else’s faith journey, using your gifts and skills for the Kingdom, and doing something with your life that is far beyond anything you could do on your own.

Unfortunately the “job” can become overwhelming. You can find yourself stuck in a never-ending cycle of trying to catch up. 

After fifteen years in full time ministry at a local church in South Florida, I finally realize a few things about ministry:

  1. You will never get it all done. There will always be room for improvement or one more thing on your ministry task list.
  2. It’s not all up to me. You are there to do your part, but the whole thing doesn’t rest on your shoulders. If it’s God’s will, He will make it happen— with or without you.
  3. Your family is your first ministry. If you are married and have children, they need to see they are number one in your life, not your job or ministry.

…there’s so much more to share about this topic. To find out what happened when I took my eyes off what’s really most important come on over to Upgrade with Dawn.

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Keep 1st Things 1st N #Ministry. Family must B a priority. http://bit.ly/1NZlgAD @Mels_World…
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Book Review: Crazy Little Thing Called Love, by Beth K. Vogt http://www.melissamashburn.net/2015/09/13/book-review-crazy-little-thing-called-love-by-beth-k-vogt/ Sun, 13 Sep 2015 21:57:07 +0000 http://www.melissamashburn.net/?p=4148 [...] ]]> Crazy-Little-Thing-Called-Love-PK

My Thoughts About the Book:

Completely captivating. A journey for the senses and the emotions. Beth Vogt has taken her readers on a journey through the complicated emotions of young love, growing up, hurricanes and adventure. The story of Vanessa and Logan is one that will grab you by the heart strings and take you along while both sort out the complicated feelings that come along with listening to God’s plan for your life and also His nudging on your heart. I scooped this book up and enjoyed it on a long lazy Saturday afternoon and if you’re looking for a great book to enjoy then this is one you should check out today.

About the book:

Wedding bells and storm clouds collide in the first engaging novel in a brand-new series about destination weddings, the power of love, and the possible mishaps and missteps that happen on a couple’s journey down the aisle to “I do.”

Paramedic Vanessa Hollister has put her adolescence behind her, including the unwanted label of being the new kid in town over and over again, thanks to her father’s military career. She’s overcome what her mother called “the biggest mistake of her life” and is planning an elegant destination wedding in Destin, Florida with her new fiancé. But will the reappearance of her first husband from her what-were-you-thinking teenage elopement disrupt her dream of an idyllic beach wedding?

As a professional storm chaser, Logan Hollister is used to taking risks. However, a reckless decision during the last tornado season has him questioning the future of his team, the Stormmeisters. Coming face to face with his ex-wife eight years after their divorce compels him to confront his greatest regret: losing Vanessa. Does their past give him the right to interfere with her future?

A fast-moving, powerful hurricane throws Vanessa and Logan together as they evacuate to a storm shelter along with other residents of the Florida Gulf Coast. Forced to spend time together, the pair battles unexpected renewed feelings for each other.

Vanessa and Logan are faced with a choice: Should they accept, once and for all, their teenage marital mistake? Or is God offering them a second chance at happily ever after?

You can pick up a copy here: http://www.bethvogt.com/books/crazy-little-thing-called-love

BVogt-319About the Author:

Beth K. Vogt believes God’s best often waits behind the doors marked “Never.” A 2015 RITA® Finalist and a 2014 Carol Award finalist, Beth is a contemporary romance novelist with Howard Books. Her 2014 novel, “Somebody Like You,” was one of Publisher’s Weekly’s Best Books of 2014. In 2015 she introduced her destination wedding series with both an e-novella, “Can’t Buy Me Love,” (May) and a novel, “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” (June).

 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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I Got To Show You Grace, by Kelly O’Dell Stanley http://www.melissamashburn.net/2015/06/29/i-got-to-show-you-grace-by-kelly-odell-stanley/ Mon, 29 Jun 2015 20:32:33 +0000 http://www.melissamashburn.net/?p=4065 [...] ]]> I GOT TO SHOW YOU GRACE!

by Kelly O’Dell Stanley

One Sunday morning when our son, Bobby, was six, he left our pew and walked straight to the front of the church, up the steps onto the platform, right in the middle of our worship. Pastor Nathan was sitting in a chair off to the side, putting the finishing touches on his sermon notes. Bobby circled around the worship leader, ignored the musicians, and climbed into the seat next to Nathan. With a sigh, he leaned back and then scooted to the edge of the chair. The big smile and hug Nathan gave him weren’t a surprise—Nathan had taught all the children that they were always welcome to come up front. That day, as I watched through tears, I finally understood the beauty of having direct access to God. Knowing that He welcomes me, and you, with joy. No matter who’s watching.

That’s what the Bible means when it says, “So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.” (Hebrews 4:16, NLT)

It’s a perfect picture of how we are to approach God. Boldly, with the faith of a child. Not hesitating, not being hindered by all the reasons we—or someone else—might think we’re not worthy to be up there right next to the King. All that matters—the only thing—is that He loves us. He could be annoyed by the interruptions; He could shush us and say that he has more important things to do. But He doesn’t.

Some people have trouble coming to God because they don’t feel worthy. They quote scriptures like Psalm 22:6 (“But I am a worm and not a man. I am scorned and despised by all!”). Their understanding of mankind’s (general) and their own (specific) sin, paired with an awareness of the holiness of God, cripples them, making them afraid to trust that He really wants them. Because they are convinced they don’t deserve to be there.

Somehow, I didn’t have that same struggle. I knew I couldn’t earn my way to a relationship with God, but like my son, I approached God with confidence. I took the Scriptures at face value: “God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners …  So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God.” (Romans 5:8-12)

But then.

My mom was diagnosed with small-cell lung cancer and I started a three-year roller-coaster ride. I claimed to have faith, but I was as dry and parched as a desert inside. When it came time to pray, I had nothing to say. Bitterness and sorrow and pain replaced any words I might have had. After Mom died, I built the walls even higher—fortifying them, adding a moat filled with alligators, for good measure—to protect myself from being hurt again. I rolled my eyes when someone at church would stand up and testify that they had been healed. Or even that they believed in healing.

I wasn’t sure if God didn’t answer or if He gave me the wrong answer. I began to doubt whether He was able to effect change at all. I hadn’t just lost Mom. Not to sound overly dramatic, but I’d lost everything I believed in. My grief made me incapable of seeing the truth. And the fickleness of my faith filled me with shame.
I had ceased to be the child approaching God without hesitation, or even the temperamental teenager stamping her foot and refusing to look at Him—and turned into that lowly earthworm. Why would God want me back? Once I realized how much I wanted—needed—Him, I didn’t feel like I had the right to ask Him. Because I had rejected Him before.

And then one Sunday morning at church we sang a song that broke through my defenses. “Through it all, through it all… I learned to trust in Jesus, I learned to trust in God.” I felt the walls crumbling as I thought-prayed, “No I didn’t. I failed miserably. Lord, I’m so sorry.”

Immediately I felt His response. “But I got to show you grace!

Notice, He didn’t say that He had to. Nor that He did it grudgingly. Instead, it was like our magnificent, holy God was a little child Himself, hopping from one foot to the other, giddy with excitement at the gift He was thrilled to give me.

The one I didn’t deserve.

But that didn’t matter to God. All that mattered was that He wanted me back. He allowed me to march right up to that altar and lean into Him, to scoot close to the edge of His chair. To look into His face and see the kindness in His smile.

And to take a deep breath of relief, knowing I was right where I belonged. Filled with, wrapped in, emboldened by, and surrounded by His unfathomable grace.

 

stanley_kelly_high resBIO: Kelly O’Dell Stanley is a graphic designer, writer, and author of Praying Upside Down: A creative PUD cover finalprayer experience to transform your time with God. With 25 years of experience in advertising, three kids ranging from 21 to 14, and a husband of 24 years, she’s learned to look at life in unconventional ways—sometimes even upside down. In 2013, she took top honors in Writer’s Digest’s Inspirational Writing Competition. Full of doubt and full of faith, she constantly seeks new ways to see what’s happening all around her in her small-town Indiana home. Download free prayer prompt calendars at www.prayingupsidedown.com.

If you’d like to purchase Kelly’s new book, “Praying Upside Down” you can pick up a copy here: AmazonBarnes & Noble,  christianbooks.com, Lifeway, Books-a-Million, Target, Parable, iTunes, and others.

You can also find Kelly here:

Blog: www.prayingupsidedown.com
Facebook author page: www.facebook.com/ KellyODellStanley
Twitter @kellyostanley
Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/ kellyostanley/

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Book Review: The Day I Met Jesus http://www.melissamashburn.net/2015/06/09/book-review-the-day-i-met-jesus/ Tue, 09 Jun 2015 23:57:26 +0000 http://www.melissamashburn.net/?p=3947 [...] ]]> The Day I Met Jesus

 

My Thoughts About the Book:

The Day I Met Jesus – The Revealing Diaries of Five Women from the Gospels will absolutely change the way you read your Bible and the way you will see, hear, smell and feel the love of Jesus in your everyday. I wept as I read through their stories. Mary DeMuth brings such depth, character and insight into the every day lives of these 5 women. Yes, chances are that you’ve read about them and maybe even “know of them” but after reading this book you will have a heart to heart connection with these women like you never dreamed you could.

I love the pairing of Mary’s storytelling with the heart and passion pursuit of truth, details and facts that Frank Viola brings to the table. I never would have dreamed that this partnership would be so amazing, but after reading, soaking, enjoying and devouring this book I would say that it was a divine connection.

Run, don’t walk to wherever you need to go to get a copy of this book. I have treasured my time in it and can’t wait to go back and re-read it again. As a women’s ministry leader this one book that I’m absolutely going to make sure every woman I know hears about. It’s really just that amazing! Well done Mary & Frank, this was spot on incredible!

About the book:

Two thousand years ago, Jesus Christ met face-to-face with people just like you. Broken, imperfect, sometimes fearful and without hope. The Day I Met Jesus is a beautifully crafted narrative that chronicles the remarkable encounters of five women in the Gospels who were desperate to find wholeness, security, and purpose. Like all of us, these women struggled with the regrets of their pasts, the stresses of their presents, and the worries of their tomorrows.

Join Mary DeMuth and Frank Viola on a fascinating journey back in time as they retell the dramatic accounts of five women who met Jesus. Each narrative is told from each woman’s unique perspective, yet tightly grounded in the Gospel accounts and faithful to first-century history. Elegantly written and profoundly stirring, this book blends creative narrative with uncommon insight, spiritual depth, and practical application.

If you are someone who seeks a renewal of hope, faith, and love, The Day I Met Jesus will make your Bible come to life and usher you into a fresh encounter with your Lord.

You can purchase a copy of the book here.

About the Authors:

FrankViola-LargerFrank Viola has helped thousands of people around the world to deepen their relationship with Jesus Christ and enter into a more vibrant and authentic experience of church. He has written many books on these themes, including God’s Favorite Place on Earth and From Eternity to Here. His blog, frankviola.org, is ranked in the top ten of all Christian blogs on the Web today.
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Mary DeMuth is a former church planter in France and the author of more than sixteen nonfiction and fiction books. A sought-after speaker and longtime blogger, she has overcome (through Jesus’s healing) a difficult childhood full of neglect, abuse, and familial dysfunction to become a living example of what it means to live uncaged. She lives in Texas with her family.

 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

 

 

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Book Review: Undone, by Michele Cushatt http://www.melissamashburn.net/2015/05/22/book-review-undone-by-michele-cushatt/ Fri, 22 May 2015 14:58:10 +0000 http://www.melissamashburn.net/?p=2554 [...] ]]> Undone_MicheleCushatt

My Thoughts About the Book:

My thoughts about this book are truly hard to articulate, I would have to say it is one of the most moving, authentic, and transparent books that I have ever read. Michele has a unique ability to write where it doesn’t feel like you are reading someone else’s story, but rather that you are sitting in a comfy chair at the local coffees shop just catching up with a good friend.

I love that she had the good, the bad and the ugly all in the stories she shared, her real life “stuff” and yet through it all there wasn’t a sense of bitterness or resentment, but rather the whole thing was sprinkled with grace, hope, laughter and love. I’ve “known” Michele online for many years now and have always enjoyed that she’s been real about her faith, her struggles and her life, but this book, Undone was a peek into her heart and for that I am grateful. Grateful for her strength, her faith and her willingness to take us all on the journey with her.

If you’re living an unexpected life right now, or if you love someone that is living that season of life, then you don’t want to miss out on this book. It will be a comforting friend while you travel on your bumpy road — you will laugh at loud at times and also bust out crying, but through it all you will see Jesus…and that, my friends, is why I love this book so much! Do yourself a favor and grab a copy today!

About the book:

Undone is author Michele Cushatt’s quest to make peace with a complicated life. It is an honest confession of a diagnosis of cancer and the joys and disappointments of motherhood and marriage, ripe with regret over what is and, yet, still hopeful for what could be.

With enough humor to ease the rawness of the story, Undone takes the reader on a roller coaster two-year journey through the unexpectedness of life. A look back makes Michele long for a do-over, the chance to make fewer mistakes and leave less of a mess to clean up. A look forward makes Michele wonder if all her attempts to control life have robbed her of the vibrancy of it. And, in the middle of this internal chaos, she finds her once-pristine house filled with the sights and sounds of three small, uncontainable children who just want to be loved.

In the end, Undone turns complication into a beautiful canvas, angst into joy, and the unknown into an adventure, revealing that sometimes life’s most colorful and courageous stories are written right in the middle of the mess.

If you’d like to pickup a copy, you can purchase Undone here

About the Author:

MicheleCushattA storyteller at heart, Michele Cushatt inspires audiences with the warmth of her transparency and presence. Her unique style makes you feel like you just spent an afternoon with a good friend, sparking tears one moment and laughter the next. Having experienced both the best and worst of life, she’s unafraid to disclose her imperfect spaces, so that you know you’re not alone in yours.

Michele and the love of her life, Troy, live in Colorado with their six children, ages 7 to 22. She enjoys a good novel, a long run, sleeping in the sun, and a kitchen table filled with people.

 

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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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Book Review: To Win Her Favor, by Tamera Alexander http://www.melissamashburn.net/2015/05/10/book-review-to-win-her-favor-by-tamera-alexander/ Sun, 10 May 2015 14:03:16 +0000 http://www.melissamashburn.net/?p=2545 [...] ]]> TameraAlexanderCover

My Thoughts About the Book:

I absolutely loved this book, full of history, witty banter, faith that God has a perfect plan, and strong family bonds made this a book that I just could not put down. I loved the spunk of the characters — both Maggie and Cullen had their own endearing qualities and I found myself rooting for them to just stop running from what was put before them. How many times can we say the same things for ourselves? Pretty often, I know in my case.

I hadn’t realized how much historical accuracy was also involved in this book, Tamera did an amazing job of taking us back to that season of life in “the south” — the good, bad and ugly were all there, but even in those times we saw glimpses of grace and the fact that there was a cord of hope woven throughout was just what was needed to make sure this book didn’t settle on the tough stuff but simply had it there in the context of what was going on in the characters lives.

Great book! Loved it, especially being a Kentucky girl who grew up in “the south” and around the whole horse world — would love to see what is in store next for Tamera Alexander and her friends in her books.

About the book:

To Win Her Favor (Zondervan, May 2015)

A gifted rider in a world where ladies never race, Maggie Linden is determined that her horse will become a champion. But the one man who could help her has vowed to stay away from thoroughbred racing forever.

An Irishman far from home, Cullen McGrath left a once prosperous life in England because of a horse racing scandal that nearly ruined him. He’s come to Nashville for a fresh start, hoping to buy land and begin farming, all while determined to stay as far away from thoroughbred racing as possible. But starting over proves harder than he’d wagered, especially when Maggie Linden’s father makes him an offer he shouldn’t accept yet cannot possibly refuse.

Maggie is certain that her mare, Bourbon Belle, can take the top purse in the inaugural Peyton Stakes, the richest race ever run in America. Maggie only needs the chance to prove it. To give her that chance—and to save Linden Downs from being sold to the highest bidder—Maggie’s father, aging, yet wily as ever, makes a barter. His agreement includes one tiny, troublesome detail—Maggie must marry a man she’s never met. A man she never would have chosen for herself.

You can purchase a copy here: http://bit.ly/1OYbn27

About the author:

TameraAlexander

Tamera Alexander is a best-selling novelist whose deeply drawn characters, thought-provoking plots, and poignant prose resonate with readers. Having lived in Colorado for seventeen years, she and her husband now make their home in Nashville, Tennessee, along with their two adult children who live near by. And don’t forget Jack, their precious—and precocious—silky terrier.

Find Tamera online: website, Facebook, Twitter

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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Sometimes You Just Need To Remember That You Are Not Alone http://www.melissamashburn.net/2015/04/07/sometimes-you-just-need-to-remember-that-you-are-not-alone/ Tue, 07 Apr 2015 14:00:14 +0000 http://www.melissamashburn.net/?p=2538 [...] ]]> YouAreNotAlone_MelissaMashburn

Dear one, I see you there struggling to make ends meet. Trying to make things make sense and just clear your head from all the distractions pulling on you right this very minute. Your mind is racing and you begin to wonder how you even got to this place, but here’s one thing you need to know – you are not alone.

I know it might feel like it at times.

Believe me I know.

That’s just not the truth though. Oh yeah, sure. the enemy is going to do his best to try to get you to give up hope. To feel lost. To isolate yourself. To just plain give up. But don’t because there’s a truth that you need to grab hold of — not just in your head, but also in your heart.

Our Heavenly Father is madly, deeply in love with you and He wants to rescue you from the pain that has a grip on your heart.

He wants you to know that…You are not alone.

Yes, I know that it’s easy to believe the lies that you are alone. I also know that the stress, pressure and stuff weigh heavy on your heart. To the point that some days it is hard to even get out of bed. I get that, because I’ve been there too.

I know what it’s like to;

– feel like I’m the only one going through this difficult situation.
– think that no one would love me or accept me if they knew me, I mean really knew me.
– believe that people would abandon me if they saw the scars from my pain or my past.
– hurt from deep down in my soul and wonder why this is happening to me.

Yes, I my friend, I am just like you.

Our stories and struggles might not be the same, but this much is true. How we “feel” doesn’t decide how we are loved or if we are lonely. As Lysa TerKuerst so eloquently says in her book Unglued, “my feelings are indicators, not dictators”.

Sweet friend, whatever you are going through right now you must grab hold of this — You never have been and you never will be alone.

You want to know how I know?

 

Then join me over at the Internet Cafe Devotions site… click here to read the rest of the post.

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Oh…maybe you are like me and you like to have these reminders for your phone or for your Instagram, then here’s a pic that is sized perfectly to share just for YOU. You are more than welcome to snag it for yourself. Enjoy! :)

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Book Review: The Accidental Empress http://www.melissamashburn.net/2015/04/06/book-review-the-accidental-empress/ Tue, 07 Apr 2015 00:09:04 +0000 http://www.melissamashburn.net/?p=2533 [...] ]]> AccidentalEmp_3Dx800-238x300
My Thoughts About the Book:

By far one of the most powerful, rich and incredible books that I’ve read. I could see, hear, smell and feel all the sights and sounds that Sisi experienced as if I was right there with her. My heart hurt so deeply at times for her and yet I was also encouraged and empowered by such a beloved historical figure.

Whomever said that history was boring has clearly never dug into the stories of royalty and peeled back the layers of intrigue, drama and family propriety. I love Allison Pataki not only shares the story of the Accidental Empress, she does so in a way that sweeps you right off your feet. I could not put it down and could not wait to do a little digging into the history of Hadsburg Empire on my own.

About the book:

The year is 1853, and the Habsburgs are Europe’s most powerful ruling family. With his empire stretching from Austria to Russia, from Germany to Italy, Emperor Franz Joseph is young, rich, and ready to marry.

Fifteen-year-old Elisabeth, “Sisi,” Duchess of Bavaria, travels to the Habsburg court with her older sister, who is betrothed to the young emperor. But shortly after her arrival at court, Sisi finds herself in an unexpected dilemma: she has inadvertently fallen for and won the heart of her sister’s groom. Intrigued by Sisi’s guileless charm and energetic spirit, not to mention her unrivaled beauty, Franz Joseph reneges on his earlier proposal and declares his intention to marry Sisi instead.

Plucked from obscurity and thrust onto the throne of Europe’s most treacherous imperial court, Sisi has no idea what struggles and dangers—and temptations—await her. Sisi upsets political and familial loyalties in her quest to win, and keep, the love of her emperor, her people, and of the world.

With Pataki’s rich period detail and cast of complex, compelling characters, The Accidental Empress offers a captivating glimpse into the bedrooms and staterooms of one of history’s most intriguing royal families, shedding new light on the glittering Habsburg Empire and its most mesmerizing, most beloved “Fairy Queen.”
Watch the trailer for the Accidental Empress -> https://youtu.be/ZOaHsIe59qk 

You can purchase a copy of the Accidental Empress here: http://allisonpataki.com/books/the-accidental-empress/

About the Author:

View More: http://triciamccormack.pass.us/allison_selectsALLISON PATAKI is the New York Times bestselling author of the historical novels The Traitor’s Wife and The Accidental Empress. She graduated Cum Laude from Yale University with a major in English and spent several years writing for TV and online news outlets.

The daughter of former New York State Governor George E. Pataki, Allison was inspired to write The Accidental Empress by her family’s deep roots in the former Habsburg empire of Austria-Hungary. Allison is the co-founder of the nonprofit organization, ReConnect Hungary. She is a regular contributor to The Huffington Post and FoxNews.com, and is a member of The Historical Novel Society. Allison lives in Chicago with her husband.

 
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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New Book from Rachel Hauck | ‘How to Catch a Prince’ and Royal Giveaway http://www.melissamashburn.net/2015/03/20/new-book-from-rachel-hauck-how-to-catch-a-prince-and-royal-giveaway/ Fri, 20 Mar 2015 14:00:21 +0000 http://www.melissamashburn.net/?p=2520 [...] ]]> HowToCatchAPrince

My Thoughts About the Book:

Oh my stars! I am not sure I have ever cried as much over a book as I did this one. Rachel Hauck is a literary genius and as much as I loved the first book in this series “Once Upon a Prince”. With characters that are real, rich with depth and heartache this has quickly become my favorite Christian Fiction book this year.

I finished the book in one day, I set aside a whole afternoon to sit back, pull up a blanket and a cuppa coffee because I needed to take a break. Not a get away and run around break, but a break from the hustle and bustle of every day life. The great thing is that Rachel Hauck delivered on that promise. I won’t ruin in for you, but there’s a scene towards the end of the book that I nearly lost it while I was right there in the scene with the prince.

As someone who also writes I am a sucker for every single detail in the book — I read reviews inside the cover and all the acknowledgments in the back cover as well. What I found in the back of the book is that writing this particular book wasn’t an easy process for the author, as a matter of fact, she mentioned that in the face of great obstacles she called out for prayer from her friends and family to help carry her through. The most amazing part of it all — in my opinion, this was one of her best books ever.

Don’t take my word, go out and grab a copy of “How To Catch A Prince” for yourself!

About the book:

How to Catch a Prince (Zondervan, February 2015)

She caught her prince once. Can she catch him again?

American heiress Corina Del Rey’s life was devastated by war. Every thing she loved was lost. But after five years of grief, she’s shed her grave clothes and started over in the sunshine along the Florida coast.

But some things are not so easily forgotten. When a secret from her past confronts her face to face, she realizes she must follow her heart. Even if it cost her everything.

Prince Stephen of Brighton Kingdom is a former Royal Air Command lieutenant turned star rugby player, trying to make sense of his life after the devastation of war. When his brother, King Nathaniel, discovers Stephen’s pre war secret, he must deal with an aspect of his life he longed to forget. But how can he do so without exposing the truth and breaching national security?

Yet, true love has a destiny all it’s own. As the cathedral bells peal through Cathedral City, Corina and Stephen must chose to answer the call of love on their hearts. Or let it be lost forever?

You can purchase a copy here: http://bit.ly/1BD8DVo

About the author:

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Rachel Hauck is an award-winning, best selling author of critically acclaimed novels such as The Wedding Dress, Love Starts with Elle, and Once Upon A Prince. She also penned the Songbird Novels with multi-platinum recording artist, Sara Evans. Booklist named their novel, Softly and Tenderly, one of 2011 Top Ten Inspirationals. She serves on the Executive Board for American Christian Fiction Writers and is a mentor and book therapist at My Book Therapy, and conference speaker. Rachel lives in central Florida with her husband and pets.

Find Rachel online: website, Facebook, Twitter

 

An American heiress and a crown prince seem destined to be together. Will the devastation of war keep them apart forever? Find out in Rachel Hauck’s new book, How to Catch a Prince. True love has a destiny all its own. With a little heavenly help, Prince Stephen and Corina embark on a journey of truth. But when the secrets are revealed, can they overcome, move forward, and find love again?

Enter to win a “royal” prize pack!

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One grand prize winner will receive:

  • A royal-themed Brighton charm bracelet
  • 2 tickets to see the new Cinderella movie
  • The Royal Wedding series (Once Upon a Prince, Princess Ever After, and How to Catch a Prince)

Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on March 23rd. Winner will be announced March 24th on Rachel’s blog.

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{NOT ON FACEBOOK? ENTER HERE.}
 

 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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