Etania’s Worth [Blog Tour]

Friends, I have a special treat for you today [Trials Tuesday to follow in a couple days]. My friend and writer, M.H. Elrich, has come out with her first novel.

(Imagine the crowds applauding)
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

I have had the privilege to hash out writing ideas with this friend, for a few years now. It was actually her encouragement, which led to “Grace Leads: A Devotional Series on the Power of God’s Grace” making it to others’ bookshelves. I couldn’t have imagined allowing my words to “hit the shelves” without her loving guidance and sometimes accountability – as we hone our gifts of writing. So, I want to introduce you to her and “her baby” today. [Be sure to check out the links at the end of this blog post]


About Her:

M.H. Elrich is a writer, reader, teacher and editor who wears too many hats. This means she consumes coffee and tea with a mug that reads “Wait until I’ve drained the cup.” She received her B.A. in English and was published in The Write Word, Orpheus and Short Fiction Break.  She currently resides in a part of California where “perfect” weather comes with a layer of smog.


It is a great pleasure to introduce you now to Etania’s Worth and the story M.H has to share with us.

About Etania’s Worth:

Etania’s new apprenticeship as a librarian is shattered when she fends off an attacker with a power, or Neuma, she didn’t know she had the ability to disable evil beings. When her father discovers Etania’s gift, he wants to use her as a weapon to stop a new threat rising over Tamnarae. Etania doesn’t want to be her father’s new weapon and wonders if that really is the purpose of her Neuma. Yet, the death of a loved one brings the struggle closer to home, forcing Etania on a journey to embrace her newfound power before it’s too late.


Before we begin our interview time with M. H Elrich, why don’t we listen to a couple quotes?

“Why do I fail to protect those I love?
To show you who is the true protector.”
-Keyel and Melchizidek from Etania’s Worth

” ‘Neuma? I don’t have Neuma. Besides, Tamnarae doesn’t need to be saved, we’ve been at peace for a hundred years.’
‘Everyone needs to be saved.’ Melchizidek asserted.”
-Etania and Melchizidek Etania’s Worth


Q & A Time:

What made you want to write Etania’s Worth?

I’ve always been interested in Christian fantasy since I read The Chronicles of Narnia and my father read me The Lord of the Rings. Then I wrote stories along with my friend, C.M. Fritzen, eventually expanding into writing my own worlds and characters. From those foundations came Etania’s Worth.

Were any characters based on people in your life?

I think Etania and her companions are all different parts of my personality more fleshed out and walking around. I did base Jakin loosely on my brother, whose humor I tried to infuse into my character and Keyel loosely on my husband, whose quiet confidence is echoed in Keyel. However, that is where the similarities end, because I strive to make my characters unique.

How long did it take you to write Etania’s Worth?

I’ve been writing Etania’s Worth consistently for two years, but the ideas and clippings have been around for eight years. Even after I finished the first draft of Etania’s Worth, I had to rewrite it entirely and then edit the second draft several times before formatting and publishing. It’s been a long journey for me, but well worth it.

Why did you choose to write a Christian fantasy instead of a regular fantasy?

Christianity is so infused in my blood that I found it difficult to try to write a more symbolic fantasy instead of a fantasy in the vein of C.S. Lewis. So I decided to give up trying to be the next Tolkein and strove to write the story God placed on my heart.

Does Etania’s Worth contain magic?

No. The Neuma of the peoples in my novel is based on the idea that God gives special gifts and abilities to each person that is for them to use responsibly. Spells, incantations, or anything remotely like sorcery is emphasized as evil and ungodly.

Is this book appropriate for children?

The ideal reader of this book is a young adult, ages 16+. This book is appropriate for readers with an older vocabulary and tolerance for some violent content.

Why did you name the book Etania’s Worth?

I love Proverbs 31 and in it there is a verse that stood out to me: A virtuous wife who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. That one word, worth, stood out to me because Etania struggles to accept her identity. Women who struggle to accept their identity realize that they must embrace their worth in Christ to have confidence. I know, because I was one of those women. So that’s where I got the title.


Be sure to pick up your copy of Etania’s Worth. You can find it on Amazon and other places. I haven’t had the opportunity to read my copy yet, but super excited for M.H. Elrich and to have the privilege to read it. She is a very engaging writer, so I am sure she will keep us captivated in Etania’s Worth.

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07KFRXRYG?ref_=pe_3052080_276849420
Other Bookstores: books2read.com/u/4EyrZe

Be sure to follow my friend, and writer M. H. Elrich, on social media:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mhelrichbooks/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mhelrich247/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/mhelrichbooks


Befriend (Tyndale)

befriendScott Sauls has come out with a new book, and I am very pleased to bring it to you today in review.

In his book, Sauls opens up about the truth regarding friendship and even ourselves. While we all crave friendship on different levels, we were all made for relationships. Authentic relationships.

In Befriend, we are given direction and insight on how to pursue real friendships with others.

Sauls makes his case for befriending. In relationships, there are specific types. Many of us are familiar with one sided friendships. While we ache for a friendship resembling something that David and Jonathan of the Bible shared, we face a difficult reality. We find it difficult to have authentic friendships, where we can be vulnerable and build a common connection of two lives shared. I know, this struggle quite well.

Real friendships, for many of us, seems just too far out of reach. In the world we live in, surface level friendships seems to be what is made available to us. It seems to be the norm in the world of Facebook, to settle for inauthentic friendships. Let’s become unsettled, friends, and remember the gift of authentic friendships. In this book, we are reminded of the abundant beauty found only in real friendships. In real friendships, we find belonging and a support system.

We all want to belong. Even in today’s world, we can find the tools necessary to turn our relationships into something more.

This book hits home for me. I have written about my ache for real friendships before. I am loving this book. It has been exactly what I have needed to read. While I am not finished reading the book, I can definitely say I would (and do) recommend grabbing a copy to read for yourselves. Not only does it talk about authentic relationships that seem far away, I find a friend in Sauls. As soon as I began reading his book, I just felt like it was exactly what I needed to read. Sauls offers much needed advice.

Befriend reminds us the better friendships must include vulnerability and love.

There are twenty essays collected in Befriend. Not only are the chapters short and relevant, Sauls hits a different aspect of real friendships too, giving us a fuller picture of friendships.

Be sure to pick up your copy of “Befriend” today!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through Tyndale’s book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

31 Verses to Write on Your Heart (Blogging-for-Books)

higgsHave you ever wondered how to memorize Scripture? I have a wonderful study tool to share with you all today!

Liz Curtis Higgs’ latest book is on this very important topic – memorizing Scripture. As Christians, we know we need to make an effort to memorize the Word of God (see Ps. 119:11; Joshua 1:8; Matthew 4:1-11; Col. 3:16; Rom. 10:17). But, have you ever asked yourself how to do this important task? I know I have found myself in that very place, which is why I am pleased to bring this review to you all.

In her book, 31 Verses to Write on Your Heart, Higgs takes us on a beautiful journey. We will not only come away with having spent memorable time in the Word of God and learning to memorize Scripture, but will have also made a good friend and learned much about God and His Word.

This study is available for personal use, but there is one more benefit to this book. The study guide, located in the back of the book, makes it ideal for a small group study as well. This study is absolutely amazing! I hope you all have an opportunity to check it out!

Specifics on the Study

These are 31 verses that we desperately need to know by heart. When we learn the Scriptures, by heart, they will come to mind at the very moment their presence is needed. A short list of the set aside verses include –

  • Philippians 1:6
  • 2 Corinthians 5:17
  • Proverbs 3:3

… among many other treasured Scriptures that remind us of God’s truths.

In each day’s reading, you can expect to find 5 key elements…

~ A devotion
~ Time of prayer
~ The daily tip for memorizing Scripture (which means we get 31 tips designed to help us memorize Scripture!!)
~ The Scripture of the day in New International Version (NIV)
~ A space for us to write out the verse in our favorite translation

My Last Thoughts

I love to pore through this book. There is so much truth found within the contents of this book, that comes from God’s Word. In her devotions, Liz takes us through the Scripture word – by- word, phrase – by – phrase. Higgs is a researcher, which is one of my favorite things about her way of teaching, so we get to glean all that she is learning and has to share with us.

Not only is Liz knowledgeable, when it comes to the Word of God, she is witty. Whenever I take a journey with one of her books, it is like I am reacquainting with an old friend. This study will challenge us in our relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ. Plus, it isn’t a time consuming study – which is a must for many of us. As we dive into 31 Verses to Write on Your Heart, we will be challenged to seek after God and to come as we are. This study is a blessing, and I highly recommend it!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the “Blogging for Books” book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

“The Longing in Me” Review

One of my favorite authors and teachers is Sheila Walsh. She is one who follows after God’s heart, even bringing “the stuff” life has handed her. “The Longing in Me” is absolutely no exception.

About Sheila

Sheila is a woman who loves Jesus, teaches well, and pours her heart out in her writings.

About the Book

There are three key aspects to this book.

Wrestling with the Past

Sheila uses this book, as a way to share her past. As she wrestles with hers, we can experience the freedom to consider our own. We can begin to take out those painful memories, and allow the healing process to begin.

The Human Longings

This book is all about the longings we experience, as human beings. While our longings may look differently, we all experience them. The question becomes, “how do we respond to them?” In order to change the course we are on, we must understand the longings. This book helps us to understand them.

The Bible Study

As we consider these two things, we are reminded of God’s Word. There is a particular man in Scripture who experienced deep longings and a past. King David experienced successes and failures. Yet, he is still known as a “man after God’s heart”. The longings left their imprint on his actions, yet he had a yearning spirit for God alone. Like David, we learn as we grow and seek God.

My Reaction

To be honest, I have been blown away by this book. She has vulnerably shared her past and testimony, which brings healing and truth to many.

I didn’t realize how much I needed this study, until I had it in my hands. It’s helped me, as I face my own past and intensely felt longings. I am learning God can bring freedom, as we begin to process these things. She offers up a “me too” attitude. I am actually not alone in my longings. Many others face the same way I do, which is a blessing to know.

In Closing

We each long to be chosen, protected, in control, and have longed for God alone. In her book, Walsh shows us how to connect our longings to God’s Word. As we study the life of David and his testimony, we are able to see the freedom and grace God has in store for us.

To learn more about Walsh and her book, click here. This particular book has a DVD and study guide companion, which makes it a wonderful choice for any small group. I have chosen to step out in faith, purchase the study, and am excited to have my small group join me on this journey. (Please Note: As an Amazon Affiliate, I am given a small earning when you use the above links to make any purchase.)

Below are two additional reviews concerning Sheila Walsh’s work –

The Storm Inside
Good Morning, Lord

Just a reminder, I was given a free copy by the publisher, Thomas Nelson, through BookLook Bloggers Program, in exchange for a honest review.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through BookLook’sblogger review program, in exchange for a honest review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Hope Unfolding (A Blogging-For-Books Review)

I recently found a new favorite book. Maybe, you have heard of it. Hope Unfolding is written by the wonderful – Becky Thompson! Through this precious book and author, we learn that our hope is not lost. In our circumstances, God is still for us. Though we feel forgotten, at times, we aren’t forgotten or left alone to fight off whatever battle we face today.

As a daughter of God and Christ-follower, we need to remember God is still with us, for us, speaking to us, offering us His amazing grace, and loving us through it all. We need to hang onto the hope we find in Jesus Christ, even when circumstances cause our hope to waver.

Though I am not a mom, I have taken away a lot from this book – due to chronic illness and the ups and downs that come from being a child-care provider. The take-away for me, has been to extend myself the same grace Jesus has. Even though my life is far different from Becky’s, she has a lot to teach me (and I am so glad she is writing a 2nd book).

“It can be easy to believe that life will always be just like it is right now, but God isn’t done writing your story.”

Thompson takes her story and life experiences as a momma, and offers them up as reminders that, even in these raw places, God has not forgotten about you (or the journey the God of all creation has set you on). I would highly recommend this book.

“Hope Unfolding” is filled with the reminder of the truth we find in Jesus Christ and the Word of God (the Bible).

Right now, Amazon has the printed book for a very reasonable price (!!). At the time of writing this, the printed copy is only $8.61 – that’s even cheaper than the Kindle copy. Have you heard about this book, “Hope Unfolding”? How is God allowing hope to unfold in your rough momma days or just rough days? While we are not all called to be someone’s momma, we all face rough days in this life. He can use those moments to remind us of His promises, nearness to us, and unending truths we found in the Bible – His trusted Word!

 

 

(To help support this blog, I am now a proud participant of the Amazon Affiliate program. What this means is – when you shop using the link above, I get a small earning – with no cost to you. And, the earning is from anything (much more than this beloved book) you buy using that Amazon link.)

**Please note: While Blogging for Books has graciously offered me a free copy of “Hope Unfolding,” this review is 100% of my honest opinion of this great book!**