Monday, December 14, 2009

Booked for the Holidays Finale - Part 1

Welcome to Part 1 of this year's Booked for the Holidays Finale! I hope you've enjoyed this as much as I have.

Shelly Beach is a wonderful new-to-me author that I met at the Expo back in March. What a delightful experience that was! She is friendly and outgoing and made me laugh. . .and yet she is serious and deep and passionate about God and made me think.

Her novels are compelling and difficult to put down. I read and enjoyed both of these:

Hallie's Heart won a 2008 Christy Award.
As a single woman struggling to establish an antique shop in the sleepy town of Stewartville, Mona VandeMolen’s life is complicated enough. When she discovers her fifteen-year-old niece Hallie hiding in her abandoned beach house, consumed with guilt over her sister’s drowning death, Mona’s true battle begins.

Morningsong is the sequel to Hallie's Heart.
After her terrifying accident on the shores of Lake Michigan, Mona Vander Molen is trying to pick up the pieces of her life. Mona's brain injury has limited her physically and the doctor's uncertain prognosis isn't helping her feel any better. As she faces the threat of permanent disability, Mona also struggles to make sense of her relationship with the kindly carpenter Adam Dean. At the peak of her own crisis, Hallie appears again, this time seeking Mona's help and refuge for both herself and her mother. But when their dear friend Harold Rawlings has a stroke, Mona and Hallie see their hidden fears come to light. Can Mona resolve her doubts about her relationship, face her uncertain future, and help her sister-all at the same time?

Shelly has also written books for those who are caring for loved ones, especially those in the grip of Alzheimer's. These books were born out of the experience of caring for her father-in-law and then her parents in her home, and Shelly knows that of which she writes. She has traveled the difficult journey of parenting a parent and has laughed and cried along the way.

Ambushed by Grace: Help and Hope on the Caregiving Journey is a book that I am tempted to keep a stack of on the shelf to give as gifts as the need arises. Since we have helped care for, and subsequently buried, both my mother and my FIL in the past 15 months, I can vouch for the fact that this book is spot-on! The phenomenal title is just a foreshadowing of the wisdom, humor, and lessons she shares from her journey.
The book every caregiver needs. Millions today are caregivers for aging or ailing family members and loved ones, and millions more will join them in the years ahead. Most who must take on this role walk into the job with no training, relatively few skills, and tenative hearts, only to be blindsided by stark realities. Caregiving is messy and costly and probably the hardest work you will ever do. Yet it can also change your heart and transform your life, even as you minister to your loved one's needs, ease their pain, and work at the challenge of setting healthy boundaries.

Writing out of her own experience and passion, Shelly offers both practical help and spiritual insights to those facing the challenges of caregiving. Includes practical appendices and websites.
Precious Lord, Take My Hand: Meditations for Caregivers was an ECPA Book Award Finalist in 1988.
Approximately 49% of the U.S. adult population currently shoulders or soon will shoulder elder care responsibilities. For the past seven years Shelly Beach and her husband have been caregivers for their parents. At present, they have two parents living with them. What are the challenges of this kind of day-to-day caregiving, which many children are facing today as their parents age and deal with illness, Alzheimer’s, and death? With her fresh and compelling style, Shelly offers devotionals/meditations based on her own life and daily experiences, providing understanding, insights, inspiration, and, yes, even laughter for anyone who is in the midst of these often difficult circumstances.

Caring Devotionals for Caregivers
  • Inspiration for Those with Caregiver Responsibilities and for Families of Those Suffering with Chronic Illnesses and Dementias
  • Enlightening, and Sometimes Humorous, Insights from One “Who Has Been There”
  • Prayers and Questions at the End of Each Meditation Provide Opportunity for Personal Reflection

Last, but certainly not least, her newest book is The Silent Seduction of Self-Talk: Conforming Deadly Thought Patterns to the Word of God. While I just recently purchased this book and haven't read much of it, I look forward to reading it. The first chapter is incredible, and you can read it here.
We speak to ourselves at a rate of 1,300 words per minute, making constant assessment and judgments—often filtered through sinful and selfish agendas. The Silent Sedution of Self-Talk provides a down-to-earth, readable narrative, as well as practical tools that help us surface our inner conflicts. Our internal dialogues can make us blind to the scriptural truth that the vision we hold of ourselves and the reality of our walk in Christ are often polar opposites. In this book, author Shelly Beach explores real-life examples and includes tools to assist readers in the spiritual disciplines of self-assessment, repentance, commitment, and transformation.

You can learn much more about Shelly and see videos about her books on her website. I love the final paragraph of her bio, which is indeed the "bottom line":
Like most writers, I’ve mined my life experiences in my writing. My brain lesion, caregiving struggles, love of family, insecurities, and aspirations are all woven through my fiction and nonfiction. But central to everything I share with my readers is my passion for Illuminating truth through the power of story – the truth that Jesus Christ gives purpose and meaning to all that we do and all that we are. I believe I’m a steward of the stories God has given me – whether those stories are fictional or true. My desire is to impact lives with truth and to encourage people to be all God created them to be in Jesus Christ.

And what does all of this have to do with you? You can win one of these books! I will do 5 drawings, one for each of these books! PLEASE READ THIS IMPORTANT INFO ABOUT HOW TO ENTER:

  • Leave a comment on this post by Wednesday (9/16) at 8:00 pm CST.
  • In your comment, tell me if you want to be entered in all 5 drawings. If not, please let me know the book(s) for which you wish to be entered in the drawing:
    1. Hallie's Heart
    2. Morningsong (AUTOGRAPHED at the Expo by Shelly Beach!)
    3. Ambushed by Grace
    4. Precious Lord, Take My Hand
    5. The Silent Seduction of Self-Talk
  • If you win, you must email me no later than 6:00 pm CST Thursday.
  • If the winner(s) have not emailed me by 6:00 pm Thursday new winners will be drawn and contacted.
  • Remember, those who have posted the button on their blogs receive an additional entry.
  • US Residents only, please.

Be sure to come back tomorrow for the final Booked for the Holidays giveaway!

Thanks to Shelly Beach and Kregel Publishers for providing my personal copy for review and the giveaway copy of Morningsong (received at the Christian Book Expo).
Thanks to Barbour Publishing, distributer for Discovery House Publishers, for my personal copies of Ambushed by Grace and Precious Lord, Take My Hand.
All other personal and giveaway copies have been purchased by me.


View blog reactions


quilly said...

I would like to be entered in all 5 drawings. I would also like to know how to get invited to this book expo you keep talking about.

Kim said...

Hallie's Heart and Morningsong both sound like fun reads.
Ambushed by Grace would encourage all those involved in the care of my FIL.
Can we be entered for more than one?

sara said...

I would love to be entered in all 5. though I am not a caregiver right now, I do know several people that could use the encouragement her books would bring!

I also have your button!!!

CeeCee said...

I read Hallie's Heart and need to get to Morningsong. Please enter me for Silent Seduction Self-Talk. Thanks!

Skoots1moM said...

halley's heart and morningsong...i'd love to give them to my aunt who lost her husband 12/12 in the final stages of dimentia...
great list!

Barbara H. said...

I'd love to be entered in all five, but either of the caregiver ones top my interests right now. But I'd be happy with any of them! Thanks!

Barbara H. said...

I do have your button in my sidebar as well.

collettakay said...

Please enter me in all 5 drawings. Your button is on my blog.


apple blossom said...

All the books sound wonderful, but I think I'll stick with my name in these two drawings.

Ambushed by Grace
Precious Lord, Take My Hand

I have aging parents. I think these books would be most beneficial for me right now. Thanks.

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

Kim said...

Please enter me for Morningsong!! PLEASE???!!

kimfurd at hotmail dot com

Suzanne said...

You're so good at this, Linda! And I DO appreciate your comments on my blog! When you miss a few days...I start to worry!

Kim said...

Would be happy with any of the five!


Anonymous said...

HI Linda,

I would love to be entered for "Hallie's Heart" and "Morningsong." Thank you for the opportunity to read these fabulous books.

Merry Christmas to you and yours.


2cats said...

I would like to be entered for the 2 books by Shelly Beach...Hallies Heart and Morning Song.
I would also like to be entered into either of the books about care giving. You can pick which one for me.
Thank you for this opportunity.

Thena said...

Hallie's Heart, and Morningsong sounds wonderful.

Thena said...

I have your button on my blog.

Anonymous said...

Please enter me for all 5 books! Love to read! Thanks. Will be following your blog...just found it.

Mary Lou said...

Please enter me in all five drawings. I love to read and have some good friends who could use the books on Caregiving. Our last parent died this summer, so we have no more older people to care for, but I know of someone who could really use those kind of books. Thank you.
mary lou dlowran1(at)comcast(dot)net

Mocha with Linda said...

Winning names have been drawn. Thanks to everyone for entering!