Sunday, November 25, 2018

My 2018 #COYER Winter RC Sign-up Post

The 2018 COYER (Clean Out Your E-Reader) Reading Challenge is hosted by Berls and Michelle @Because Reading.  Rules are below.  Click the button above to go to the sign-up page!

  1. Read Your E-Reads! Every book you read MUST be in an electronic format – meaning E-Book or Audiobook. It’s okay to start a book before December 1st, you must be less than half way for it to count then review it during COYER.
  2. The books must be FREE or NEARLY FREE! This includes review books, tour books, NetGalley, Edelweiss, etc. What’s nearly free? No more than $2 for eBooks and no more than $5 for Audiobooks (or the equivalent in your currency). This does NOT include library books, borrowed books, or Kindle Unlimited books.
  3. Announce your participation! This can be a blog post (or if you don’t have a blog – Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Booklikes, Goodreads, Shelfari, etc.) If you want to list books you would like to read, that’s great, but not necessary. The point is to let everyone know you’re committed to COYER, maybe share some goals, and help spread the word. Not sure how to do your post? Check out this example from a previous COYER.
  4. Link up! Link that post (not just your blog homepage) to the linky below. (remember if you signed up before our site crashed we need you to sign up again)
  5. Review & Link Reviews! Your review may be on your blog, Goodreads, Shelfari, Booklikes, etc. Link the review to the Review Linky (which will be available on the kick off post on December 1st).
  6. We are giving away (2) $10 Gift Cards. One is for the review link and the other is for a goody type of giveaway. It will be for readathons, participating, visiting, etc. We will have all the info on the kick off post.
  7. Visit Each Other, Chat & Have Fun!

I never have a problem with the reading, but fall flat as a pancake on the record-keeping and updates of reading challenges.  So, here I am, going for it again!  And I couldn't think of a better book to start with than:

-to give you an idea, and to show you that the books on my e-reader are almost as old as I am (!), I've had "21 Days" on my Kindle since before Halloween 2112!  The other 'oldest' reads are from not much past that.  I'm aiming for 10 reads, trying to mix up genres and fiction/non-fiction, etc. etc. etc.

My List:

1.  Silver Bells Slaying by Madison Kent (5 Dec)
2.  Treasures of the North by Tracie Petersen (6 Dec)
3.  The Mystery at Underwood House (8 Dec)
4.  The Donut Shop Murder (9 Dec)
5.  Gluten-Free Murder (15%)

I'll add links to review posts as I go (yeah, fingers crossed on that one) and reveal just long each book has been on my e-shelf.  Hopefully I won't get so embarrassed that way and want to go hide in the stacks! :p

So click on the button at the top of this post, join in and declutter your eclutter with the rest of us!

Fun question:
Just how full is your e-reader?  Give yourself a totally subjective rating from 1-10
1-being that the lone ebook on your ereader desperately needs some company to
10 - one more book on your ereader will take out large portions of the national power grid!

Yeah, I'm at least a 9.9! *faint*


Also sharing with:  



Thanks to Marlene of Tynga's Reviews, Kathryn at Book Date, and Ramona at Create With Joy for hosting these respective link-ups!  (Click on the buttons to go to the respective blogs.)


Updated 6 Dec 2018 to add first two books read.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Into the Deep by Lauren Gaskill - #review

Develop enduring faith for the turbulent waters of life.

Following Jesus doesn’t guarantee sunny skies and smooth sailing. In fact, the waters of life are often tumultuous, crashing over us. Sometimes we can feel that we’re drowning in a sea of confusion, division, frustration, complacency, or disillusionment. We need more than a shallow faith to survive these deep waters.

Into the Deep is an invitation to dive headfirst into a life of courageous faith. With endearing warmth and authenticity, Lauren Gaskill shares how she and others have learned to swim with Jesus in the deep waters of life—facing challenges such as anxiety, depression, and chronic illness—only to discover a more authentic, enduring faith that cannot be shaken by circumstances. In addition to examining the character of God and the lives of women and men of the Bible who chose to dive deeper with God, she provides practical examples and tools that help us take our faith to the next level by learning to make decisions by faith alone, control our reactions to overwhelming situations, and live a life rooted in love.

Get ready to exchange fear and frustration for the boldness, courage, and holy confidence that lead to a life of deep faith and joy!



At my first swimming lesson as a child, I refused to put my head under the water ... or even my face in the water.  This unfortunate pattern of fearing to venture outside of my comfort boundaries has delayed many wonderful experiences from being part of my life.  Delayed?  Yes.  Stopped entirely?  Well ... not exactly!

My heart stopped following my body to church services when I was about twelve years old and just beginning to get 'too big for my britches', as the saying goes.  Of course, being berated in front of the Sunday School for not providing the expected response to a question, might have had something to do with my choice to distance myself from 'all things church'. 

So the deep end of pretty much anything, from a swimming pool, to my faith, has never been especially familiar to me.  And the unknown usually breeds fear.  (Just look at the news headlines these days.)  Luckily for me, when I needed help most, said help would 'magically' be there.  Like now.

I am so grateful for Lauren Gaskill's book "Into the Deep: Diving Into a Life of Courageous Faith".  Because lately, I've been feeling that my relationship with God is not what it should be.  To continue the swimming/pool analogy, I feel like I've been splashing around in the shallow end, looking at the deeper end, longing to be one of 'those' people who seem to be getting so much more out of the experience. 

By sharing her own experiences and providing examples from the Bible, Lauren shows that I am not alone (we are not alone) in our struggles.  That in itself would make Into the Deep a gift from God to us through the author.  Lauren helped me to see another way to strengthen my relationship with God.  This book has been a right message for this season of my life to do just that.  I can't tell you the number of times "Wow, I never thought of it that way," escaped my lips while I was reading this book.

Like some books, Into the Deep deserves more than a single read-through.  It's the type of book I like to work through or to 'digest' idea by idea or chapter by chapter, instead of all at once.  So, I read it through (for the review), and now I'm starting over again and really studying the message now.

I highly recommend this book to anyone seeking to strengthen their spiritual relationships.



Lauren Gaskill is an author, speaker and host of the Finding Joy podcast and Finding Joy Ladies Night Out events. After being diagnosed with an incurable connective tissue disorder, Lauren made it her life mission to encourage others to fight for faith and find joy — no matter what life’s circumstances might bring.

Gaskill is a storyteller who believes stories are powerful and loves how God uses them for His good. She writes and speaks to motivate and inspire others to experience abundant life in Christ. She is particularly passionate about encouraging women to fight for faith and go deeper in their relationship with Jesus. Gaskill also writes and speaks about what it looks like to walk with Jesus through pain and suffering.

She lives in Raleigh, NC with her husband and Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.



"Abingdon Press"


Click on the banner above to go to the tour site for more information.  

(Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book from the author and publishers via "I Read With Amber" book tours in exchange for my honest review.)

Friday, November 9, 2018

#HoHoHoRAT Nov 9 - 18 @kimbacaffeinate

Get your sleigh bells on, y'all because it is time for the "Ho Ho Ho Readathon" hosted by Kimba at the Caffeinated Reviewer.  Click on the cute little picture above to go to the sign-up page and get all the details!  Dig out your winter/holiday themed books and/or ebooks or audiobooks, grab a nice cup of hot chocolate and get reading (at midnight on the 9th in your time zone)!  Santa hat optional. (Personally, I'm heading to the dollar store in the morning!)






These are the books from which I will choose what to read.  Yeah, I'd love to be able to read all of them (that's one book a day).  Now I just have to decide if I am crazy enough to do it! *ho ho ho* Covers are linked to each book's GoodReads page.

Remember to click on the picture at the top of the cute little owl with the big eyes and Santa hat and join with other winter fan-atics as we read our way into the winter holidays!  And remember to share on social media with the hashtag #HoHoHoRAT!


So, are you already in the readathon?  What are some of the books you hope to read?  Feel free to leave all of that in a comment below, and/or tell me what is your favorite holiday?