Thin Places

I read in a devotional recently about “thin places.” I like the wording of this phenomenon when I can almost reach out and touch the face of God. Of course, we cannot do that literally, but we can have the sense of God so near. And He is near, for with the belief of Him residing in a believer’s heart puts Him right there. Yet, there are times when an experience is so amazing that there is an overwhelming sense of Him being close. In these thin places, the separation between heaven and earth seems to grow a bit thinner.

“For great is Your love, reaching to the heavens; Your faithfulness reaches to the skies.” Psalm 57:10

Sometimes those experiences are in nature or simplicity. Here are a few of the thin places I have experienced:

  • A sunset
  • Beauty of flowers
  • Children and innocence
  • Animals and their faithfulness
  • Arms of a loved one
  • Meditation in silence of nature
  • Scripture
  • Love
  • Gardens
  • Walks

See if you can add to the list. Do you ever sense that thin place that puts you so near to God?

I yearn for more of the thin places especially in the thick of the battle.

Review and Giveaway A Dark Beauty

About the Book

Book:  A Dark Beauty

Author: Clarissa Kae

Genre: Fairytale

Release date: March 9, 2021

A Victorian Twist on Beauty And The Beast

Bold and brilliant, Georgiana has a gift for fixing machines—from clocks to carriages—while her father has a penchant for finding trouble. In an accidental fire, Georgiana and her father scar the once handsome face of Lord Pichon, cousin to the queen.
Rumors of Georgiana’s gift raise her family’s status. Her incomparable beauty captures the eye of many gentlemen and the wrath of Lord Pichon. Abandoned by his peers and alone in his cold castle, Lord Pichon is determined to enact revenge.
When Georgiana’s father makes a terrible mistake, she sacrifices herself to pay his debt—as a lowly maid in Lord Pichon’s castle.
Her wit and warmth begin to thaw Lord Pichon’s estate, making him question his version of the past. Will her kindness break the beastly lord or will he hold her family hostage forever?

Click here to get your copy!

My Review

I felt welcome and invited into Queen Victoria’s drawing room in 1850. The author explores the Victorian world with vivid characters with the backdrop of the Great Exposition. I’m always excited to read a new-to-me author, and I am not disappointed. From the first page the characters expose their flaws and deep wounds in a less than perfect world, whether from the glitter of the palace or the dark rooms of townhouses. Their physical flaws work their ways into altering personalities and overall outlooks on life.

While reading the intriguing drama and ensuing changes due to life in London and at court, I ponder my own physical realm with my own flaws and failures. Am I forgiving of myself and my frailties? Or do I allow them to alter my character? Do I depend on God to see me through anything or do I turn to people to fulfill my purpose? This book offers opportunities to question personal motives as I view fellow humankind and how I treat them, flaws and all. I hope you decide to go on this journey, joining the lives of people in pain as they grow and possibly escape their physical bonds and frailties. Bravo to Clarissa Kae!  

About the Author

Clarissa Kae is a preeminent voice whose professional career began as a freelance editor in 2007. She’s the former president of her local California Writers Club after spending several years as the Critique Director.Since her first novel, she’s explored different writing genres and created a loyal group of fans who eagerly await her upcoming release. With numerous awards to her name, Clarissa continues to honor the role of storyteller.Aside from the writing community, she and her daughters founded Kind Girls Make Strong Women to help undervalued nonprofit organizations—from reuniting children with families to giving Junior Olympic athletes their shot at success.She lives in the agricultural belly of California with her family and farm of horses, chickens, dogs and kittens aplenty.

More from Clarissa

As a young girl most of the fairy tales talked about beauty as the only attribute but when Disney came out with Beauty and the Beast, my world was rocked. For the first time the heroine was a woman with a brain and a plan. I began researching the fairy tale and read every version. When my youngest daughter was born (with dark hair and big beautiful brown eyes) I named her Isla Belle. For as long as I can remember, I dreamed of writing a Beauty and the Beast retelling. And finally, that dream as come true.

Blog Stops

For Him and My Family, March 25

Labor Not in Vain, March 25

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, March 26

The Write Escape, March 26

Books and Everyday Life, March 26

Texas Book-aholic, March 27

Breny and Books, March 27

The Christian Fiction Girl, March 28

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, March 28

Melissa Wardwell’s Back Porch Reads, March 28

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, March 29

Tell Tale Book Reviews, March 29

Through the Fire Blog, March 30

Inklings and notions, March 30

deb’s Book Review, March 31

Connect in Fiction, March 31

Inside the Wong Mind, March 31

Locks, Hooks and Books, April 1

Inspiration Clothesline, April 1

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, April 2

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, April 2

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, April 3

To Everything There Is A Season, April 3

Beauty in the Binding, April 3

Connie’s History Classroom, April 4

Blogging With Carol, April 4

A Baker’s Perspective, April 5

Genesis 5020, April 5

Pause for Tales, April 5

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, April 6

Godly Book Reviews, April 6

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, April 7

Adventures of a Travelers Wife, April 7

Mary Hake, April 7

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Clarissa is giving away to two winners one $25 Amazon gift card each!!

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

https://promosimple.com/ps/109d3/a-dark-beauty-celebration-tour-giveaway

Have you read a historical novel about the Victorian era?

Review and Giveaway Love at First Flight

Love at First Flight

About the Book

Book:  Love at First Flight

Author: Linda Shenton Matchett

Genre: Christian Historical  Romance

Release date: September 15, 2020

LAFF cover

Can two people emerge from the clouds of past hurt to find a silver lining of love?

Evelyn Reid would rather fly than do anything else, so when war engulfs the U.S., she joins the Women’s Auxiliary Ferrying Squadron. One of the program’s top pilots, she is tapped for pursuit plane training…the dream of a lifetime until she discovers the instructor is her ex-fiancé, Jasper MacPherson.

Collecting enough points to rotate stateside, fighter pilot Jasper MacPherson is assigned to teach the WAFS how to fly the army way. Bad enough to be training women, but things take a turn for the worse when his former fiancée shows up as one of his students.

Click here to get your copy!


My Review

In the historical WWII genre, it’s not often for a novel to come along set in the US. I forgot what a major role the work in the continental US did to propel the end of the war. This novel takes place in Brownsville, Texas. I’ve been there, and Matchett’s description is accurate—hot and dusty with a unique beauty.

Besides offering a view of states side wartime, the active role of women in the war shines through the WASP program. Headway is made even though not fully realized. Love is difficult in normal situations. But wartime? Romance blossoms and can quickly be extinguished. In wartime or pandemic or economic depression romance and love have roles, but will the sacrifice be worth it? As I read this novel, I put myself into a war and wonder what role I would play? Would I love or leave?  

About the Author

Linda Matchett Head Shot

Linda Shenton Matchett writes about ordinary people who did extraordinary things in days gone by. She is a native of Baltimore, Maryland and was born a stone’s throw from Fort McHenry. Linda has lived in historic places all her life, and is now located in central New Hampshire where her favorite activities include serving as a volunteer docent and archivist for the Wright Museum of WWII, exploring historic sites, and immersing herself in the imaginary worlds created by other authors.

More from Linda

Dear Readers:

It’s all I can do to parallel park my car…well, actually I can’t. I’m terrible at that sort of thing, which is why I’m so impressed with the Women’s Air Service Pilot who served during World War II. Created in August 1943 by merging the Women’s Flying Training Detachment and the Women’s Auxiliary Ferrying Squadron, the WASP was a civilian organization that came under the authority of the Air Force and freed male pilots for combat or other duties. Their leader was the intrepid Jacqueline Cochran, an award winning pilot who set and broke numerous records during her career.

Qualifications for the program were stringent, and of the more than 25,000 women who applied, only 1,800 were accepted. Of that number, 1,074 completed the program. These women flew over sixty million miles and transported every type of military aircraft from the ninety-nine foot long B-29 Bomber that weighted over 100,000 pounds to the P-51 Mustang that could fly at over 400 miles per hour.

The WASP also towed targets for live anti-aircraft gun practice, simulated strafing missions and transported cargo. Thirty-eight WASP members lost their lives and one disappeared while on a ferry mission, her fate still unknown. Disbanded in December 1944, the WASP did not receive military status or benefits for their service. However, after nearly three decades its members were granted veteran status, and in 2009 they were awarded the Congressional Gold Medal.

It is my hope that Love at First Flight honors these brave women in some small way.

Blessings,

Linda Shenton Matchett

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, March 24

Texas Book-aholic, March 25

Genesis 5020, March 25

Inklings and notions, March 26

Betti Mace, March 27

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, March 27

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, March 28

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, March 29

Jeanette’s Thoughts, March 29

Hebrews 12 Endurance, March 30

For Him and My Family, March 31

Connect in Fiction, March 31

She Lives To Read, April 1

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, April 2

deb’s Book Review, April 2

Connie’s History Classroom, April 3

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, April 4

Blossoms and Blessings, April 4

Locks, Hooks and Books, April 5

CarpeDiem, April 6

A Novel Pursuit, April 6

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Linda is giving away the grand prize package of an autographed paperback edition of Love at First Flight, eco-friendly reusable shopping bag with image of Women’s Air Service Pilots, stuffed WASP bear, Norman Rockwell notecards, VJ Day book mark, and I {heart} Spam socks!!

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

https://promosimple.com/ps/109d2/love-at-first-flight-celebration-tour-giveaway

Do you read books about WWII?

Review and Giveaway Heart Pressed

Heart Pressed

About the Book

Book:  Heart Pressed

Author: Melissa Wardwell

Genre: Christian Contemporary Romance

Release date: February 23, 2021

Hearts pressed

Crushes are great for grapes, wine, and romance—not so great for hearts.

The Sweetheart Festival, an Elnora Island institution, has sparked more than a few romances over the years, but who would have thought it would light a fire in two hearts from two of the island’s oldest families. When Amara Martin and Dante Greco meet, sparks fly that may ignite more than romance.

Two wineries, old feuds, generations of traditions.

Seeing the attraction at Amara and Dante’s chance meeting, Beth Stevens and Scott Anderson join forces to do a little matchmaking, not realizing the pressure it would bring to both households and their own hearts. The new couple must decide if they will adhere to tradition or break free from expectations and choose love. Pressure on every side threatens a love that hasn’t yet had a chance to ripen—for both Amara and Dante as well as for Beth and Scott.

In this “forbidden love” novel, Heart Pressed continues the Elnora Island romances of the Independence Islands Series featuring five islands, six authors, and a boatload of happily-ever-afters.
The Independence Islands Series: beach reads aren’t just for summer anymore.

Click here to get your copy!

My Review

Melissa’s Independence Islands novels are yummy! Beth and her concoctions make me want to bake something delicious dripping with calories. The portrayal of island life fills a yearning for a simpler existence. There is no lack of entertainment or drama. The background lacks the noise and rapidity of life on the mainland.

With the introduction of Amara and Dante, the age-old vice of holding grudges laced with secrets winds through the generations to land in their laps. They have a choice to continue the feud or twist it up a bit. One reason I love this series is the continuation of the stories of beloved characters. Beth’s story is not finished which reminds me that my story is ongoing too. Life and worth has nothing to do with age but everything to do with God’s purpose.

About the Author

Chautona

Melissa Wardwell resides in Owosso, Michigan with her husband Jonathan, three children, a cat, and two pitbulls. Besides writing, she enjoys reading, having coffee with friends, and spending quality time with her husband kayaking and fishing.  Melissa likes to joke about the voices in her head, but it is those voices have inspired her to write several romance novels such as “I Know the Plans” (a story based in her hometown of Owosso) and “Finding Hope in Savannah”. When she is not penning works of fiction, she is busy reviewing books on her blog, Back Porch Reads. To see more from Melissa Wardwell, visit http://www.melissawardwell.com

More from Melissa

“Life never goes as planned.”
That is the understatement of the century. 2020 has been the perfect example of it. Around the world, plans were made on January 1st to do this or that. Plans to use the year as a spring board for something new, better, or just a change.

Then that virus dashed all those plans. We were shut out from the world with only our books, our televisions, and our families. Some battled the shut down alone, while others had a house full (one friend of mine had eleven people in her house and only one was not her child). I know a couple of single friends who decided to stay at one house for the few weeks that Michigan was closed. Others, like myself, may not have done as well as everyone thought they were. Brave face and all. But we survived. We persevered. We adapted.

“Heart Pressed” is my covid story. It is about the unexpected way life change while you are in the middle of making plans for the future. How some changes are wonderful and rewarding, while others will bring you to the ground, begging for mercy.

Take Amara, for instance. She had a plan and put things into motion to make that plan come to fruition, but God (don’t you love those two words?) had a different plan and took hold of her heart. He softened it, molded it, made it a place where He could reside. Then life came knocking. The one person she thought would be there, couldn’t be, but God (there it is again) gave her someone to count on, hold her hand, and help her through the storms. He showed her that she wasn’t alone in this world by surrounding her with new people who loved her and cared for her.

(Disclaimer – I know God didn’t do anything, but we all have those stories in our own lives where God intervened on our behalf.)

Did you find a way to survive the storm? Did God bring people into your life, even at a distance, that made things better? Did your faith strengthen to new levels? I hope so because life never goes as we plan, but it sure is nice to have someone to hold your hand.

Blog Stops

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, March 19

lakesidelivingsite, March 19

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, March 20

A Novel Pursuit, March 20

She Lives To Read, March 21

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, March 22

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, March 22

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, March 23

Mypreciousbitsandmusings, March 23

Aryn the Libraryan, March 24

deb’s Book Review, March 24

Artistic Nobody, March 25 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Blossoms and Blessings, March 25

Locks, Hooks and Books, March 26

Batya’s Bits, March 26

For Him and My Family, March 27

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, March 27 (Author Interview)

Inklings and notions, March 28

Cultivating us, March 28

Texas Book-aholic, March 29

Blogging With Carol, March 29

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, March 30

Connect in Fiction, March 30

Simple Harvest Reads, March 31 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, March 31

Splashes of Joy, April 1

Godly Book Reviews, April 1

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Melissa is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Amazon gift card and a copy of the book!!

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

https://promosimple.com/ps/10988/heart-pressed-celebration-tour-giveaway

Enjoy the tour!

Because Fiction Magazine and Giveaways

#BecauseFiction March Magazine is here!Check out articles from your favorite Christian authors such as Lena Nelson Dooley, Katherine Scott Jones, Marguerite Gray, and Liz Tolsma, and enter a bunch of giveaways for some fun prizes!Enjoy!

I have an article featured in the Magazine and a giveaway! Please share the link with your friends.

March 2021 Featured Article by Marguerite Gray

The Surprises on Bookshelves

What books are on your bookshelves? How do you organize your books? If I close my eyes, I imagine my ideal personal library: ceiling to floor bookshelves on all walls in a library with a rolling ladder like in Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast.” A true fairytale dream! What surprises I would find there! But even with my shelves I’m surrounded by special, sweet, surprises every day… (read more by following the links)


Link to newsletter: https://mailchi.mp/8e2aecbcc299/becausefiction-magazine-march-editions-giveaways-more-6170906

Link to my article: https://www.becausefiction.com/marguerite-martin-gray/

Wait for Me Blog Tour

Wait for Me

The time for my tour with Celebrate Lit is finally here. I want you to be among the first to know.

The way this works is you visit the blog stops and enter the giveaway. And what a giveaway! I’m giving one lucky winner a copy of all five books in the revolutionary series and a box of Charleston Tea!

Here are the blogs participating:

Blog Stops

Connie’s History Classroom, March 26

Artistic Nobody, March 27 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Locks, Hooks and Books, March 28

For the Love of Literature, March 29 (Author Interview)

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, March 29

deb’s Book Review, March 30

She Lives To Read, March 31

Betti Mace, March 31

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, April 1

Splashes of Joy, April 2 (Author Interview)

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 3

Texas Book-aholic, April 4

Inklings and notions, April 5

For Him and My Family, April 6

Jodie Wolfe – Stories Where Hope and Quirky Meet, April 7 (Author Interview)

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, April 7

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, April 8

An Interview on Because Fiction!!

I’m so excited about this! Please listen to it. I had fun with the interview with my publisher! Click on over to find out what is going on in my crazy world.

#Becausefiction Q & A with Marguerite Martin Gray

This weeks #Becausefiction Q & A features Marguerite Martin Gray (Marguerite Gray).We are asking Marguerite your questions!Find out if your question was picked to win the $5 Amazon card plus find out how you can win a special prize from Marguerite!Enjoy!

https://youtu.be/wweL9uJDg8c

Opening Up

It’s been over a year since the world as we knew it closed its door leaving us to find our way in a new, unchartered place. How did you fare? I hope I learned the lessons I needed and can apply them to my present and future.

The signs say “Open.” The TV spills the news about new guidelines or no guideline. Individuals are faced with making the decisions that work for them, a level of freedom to choose.

Personally, I’m wondering where I fit in this new society. Being a member of five organizations that meet monthly (not counting church and small groups), I’m not excited about my schedule filling up again. Will I willingly commit to all I have “easily” done without? I’m cautious—not out of fear of an epidemic, but a hesitation of losing my time, having it swallowed by the scheduled events.

A creature of habit? Perhaps not. With a new freedom to roam, how far will I venture? I might choose a different path without abandoning my obligations entirely.

What about you? Are you ready to fill your calendar again?

March Flowers Shine Anyway

In north Louisiana from February to April we are treated to a daffodil show from the early, mid, and late bloomers. But this year, these poor beauties had a very rough start with the two snow episodes. Well, one I would call a snowstorm, although my northern friends would argue the point. Anyway, the thousands of bulbs in my parents’ field have not bloomed like in the past. Yet, they are not dead, just delayed or scared.

I find myself in the same situation coming out of 2020. I’m not ready to enter my old vibrant way of life. I’m skittish when it comes to milling around with the “thousands.” I’m like the timid daffodils, showing my face to a few waiting for the big event later, maybe next year.

The beauty of the ones who braved the entry are spectacular. I appreciate the hope of spring that is tattooed on their faces. I confirm my desire to be a bright spot for those I see—a smile, a thank you, a wave, a kind word. Whether a daffodil in a field or a person in a grocery store, I want a view of the gentle mankind where beauty is still prevalent perhaps a little shy but alive just the same.  

God is not finished with me yet. Like a storm beaten flower, I will find my way to make others happy with a spring to my step and a song on my lips. I’m going to shine anyway.

How are you doing as Spring arrives in a few days?