Christian Fiction Scavenger Hunt Stop #27

Christian Fiction Scavenger Hunt Stop #27

Welcome to the Christian Fiction Scavenger Hunt! If you’ve just discovered the hunt, be sure to start at Stop #1, and collect the clues through all the stops, in order, so you can enter to win one of our top 5 grand prizes!

The hunt BEGINS on 3/18 at noon MST with Stop #1 at LisaTawnBergren.com.

Hunt through our loop using Chrome or Firefox as your browser (not Explorer).

There is NO RUSH to complete the hunt—you have all weekend (until Sunday, 3/21 at midnight MST)! So take your time, reading the unique posts along the way; our hope is that you discover new authors/new books and learn new things about them.

Submit your entry for the grand prizes by collecting the CLUE on each author’s scavenger hunt post and submitting your answer in the Rafflecopter form at the final stop, back on Lisa’s site. Many authors are offering additional prizes along the way!

Hi there! I’m Jennifer Deibel–a former-expat-turned-middle school-teacher now living in Arizona. I write historical fiction, currently set in Ireland. You can connect with me on Instagram, Facebook, and through my monthly newsletter. My debut novel, A Dance in Donegal, just released on February 2, and I’m so excited to share it with you! Here’s a little bit about the book:

All of her life, Irish-American Moira Doherty has relished her Irish mother’s descriptions of her homeland. When her mother dies unexpectedly in the summer of 1920, Moira accepts the challenge to fulfill her mother’s wish that she become the teacher in Ballymann, the homeland village in Donegal, Ireland.

After an arduous voyage, Moira arrives to a new home and a new job in an ancient country. Though a few locals offer a warm welcome, others are distanced by superstition and suspicion. Rumors about Moira’s mother are unspoken in her presence, but threaten to derail everything she’s journeyed to Ballymann to do. Moira must rely on the kindness of a handful of friends—and the strength of an unsettlingly handsome thatcher who keeps popping up unannounced. While Moira learns to trust Sean and his intentions, she struggles to navigate a life she’d never dreamed of . . . but perhaps was meant to live.

I lived in Ireland for 6 years, and I fell head over heels in love with the land and her people! Two of those years were spent in Donegal, so I thought I’d share with you My Top 5 Places In (and Around) Donegal!

#5. The Bloody Foreland

Rugged, wild, and absolutely gorgeous. This is an amazing place to watch the sunset, enjoy the ocean view, or look out over the valley behind you. Just make sure you hold onto your hat–it is almost always crazy windy here! Photo credit: Gareth Wray

#4. Bad Eddie

This shipwrecked boat on the beaches between the sister villages of Derrybeg and Bunbeg is a local iconic landmark. I love that when the tide is out, you can go right up to it and look inside. There are several legends about how this ship landed here, but it’s just fun to explore! Photo credit: Gareth Wray

#3. Assaranca Waterfall

These gorgeous falls are tucked away off the beaten path. They are absolutely stunning, and they look different every time you visit. It’s especially lovely in the fall, when the trees around it are changing. Photo credit: Gareth Wray

#2. Slieve League (Sliabh Liag)

The tallest sea-cliffs in Europe, the Slieve League cliffs are a close second for my most favorite place in the county. Now a booming tourist destination, it was once a hidden gem. The fabled home of the giant Finn McCool, vistors can hike the trails, and even go across the highest point–wide enough for only one person to traverse at a time. In the water, you can see Finn’s desk and chair–all that remain from his fortress. Photo credit: Gareth Wray

#1. The Poison Glenn

Easily one of the most gorgeous places in the county, The Poison Glenn is home to several of my favorite haunts: Mount Errigal, Glenveagh Castle and National Park, and this roofless church near Dunlewey Lake. Photo credit: Gareth Wray

Here’s the Stop #27 Basics:

If you’re interested, you can order A Dance in Donegal at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, CBD or at your local bookstore!

Clue to Write Down: slip

Link to Stop #28, the Next Stop on the Loop: Tracy Higley’s site!

But wait! Before you go, I’m offering an exclusive A Dance in Donegal sticker, a hand-crocheted sheep, and a print of The Lord’s Prayer in English and Irish! Use the Rafflecopter form below to enter! (USA Only)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

12 Days of Christmas **Giveaway!**

Welcome to the 11th day of the 12 Days of Christmas Giveaway!

The prizes are building, and today’s winner will receive a copy of A Dance in Donegal, and some yummy chocolates from me!

And

The Painted Castle by Kristy Cambron

Coral by Sara Ella

Cold Case Christmas by Jessica R. Patch

The Joy of Falling by Lindsay Harrel

Literature and Lattes by Katherine Reay

Until I Met You by Tari Faris

The Light at Wyndcliff by Sarah Ladd

When Twilight Breaks by Sarah Sundin

The Cowboy’s Christmas Blessings by Jill Kemerer

A Dazzle of Diamonds by Liz Johnson

It’s not too late to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway below by following some of your favorite authors on social media and signing up for their newsletters. We draw a new winner every day, from December 1-12, 2020, and on December 12th, we’ll give away a $100 Amazon Gift Card in addition to all the other great prizes!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And don’t forget to stop by Liz’s blog tomorrow to see what prize is added then. 

Join the Launch Team for A Dance in Donegal!

Calling all book-lovers! Love Ireland? Even better!

I’m looking for enthusiastic readers to help get the word out about the release of my debut novel, A Dance in Donegal.

Here are the deets about the book itself:

A Dance in Donegal is a Christian historical romance novel set in Ireland in 1921. It releases from Revell Publishers on February 2, 2021.

What the book is about:

All of her life, Irish-American Moira Doherty has relished her Irish mother’s descriptions of her homeland. When her mother dies unexpectedly in the summer of 1920, Moira accepts the challenge to fulfill her mother’s wish that she become the teacher in Ballymann, the homeland village in Donegal, Ireland.

After an arduous voyage, Moira arrives to a new home and a new job in an ancient country. Though a few locals offer a warm welcome, others are distanced by superstition and suspicion. Rumors about Moira’s mother are unspoken in her presence, but threaten to derail everything she’s journeyed to Ballymann to do. Moira must rely on the kindness of a handful of friends—and the strength of an unsettlingly handsome thatcher who keeps popping up unannounced. While Moira learns to trust Sean and his intentions, she struggles to navigate a life she’d never dreamed of . . . but perhaps was meant to live.

I am so very humbled and excited about the release of this book! And I need your help! If you’re interested in applying for the launch team, keep reading for what would be expected of you, what you can expect, and the link to apply!

What would be expected of you if you’re accepted?

  1. Follow Jennifer Deibel on at least 2 social media accounts
  2. Read the book and leave an honest review on at least 2 major retail websites (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, ChristianBook, etc.)
  3. In addition to the two items above, you agree to doing at least SIX of the following action items between January and February 15:
    • Add A Dance in Donegal to your GoodReads.com to-read list
    • Review on GoodReads.com
    • Feature A Dance in Donegal on your blog/website/podcast (this could be a review, an author interview, character interview, etc.)
    • Post a photo of A Dance in Donegal on social media (in a bookstore, of you reading it, at a coffee shop, with your dog/kids, etc.)
    • Ask your local public library to order A Dance in Donegal
    • Buy a copy of the book for a friend
    • Share various memes on social media (memes you make, or share the memes/share squares I will provide)
    • Suggest it as a pick for your book club

What can you expect if accepted?

Launch team members will receive a free copy of the book, and the opportunity to join a private Facebook group with exclusive giveaways.

Spots on the team are limited, and this application will only be open for 1 week! So, if you are interested, click the link below to fill out the application!

Are you Irish or Irish-at-Heart?

When we left Ireland, part of what was so painful about it all was feeling like we’d lost our tribe. The Irish are an amazingly warm, welcoming lot, and our friendships there were some of the best, deepest, most gratifying of our entire lives. So, to have to leave that behind was one of the most painful experiences I’ve ever had.

When we moved back to Arizona, I sort of tried to forget Ireland for awhile. It was just too painful to let the memories come. But slowly, bit by bit, my walls cracked. I just couldn’t keep Ireland out anymore. I finished my book–which is set in Ireland near where we first lived. And I reconnected with the Irish Cultural Center here in Phoenix.

I attended their first ever Women’s Conference with a friend, and immendiatley felt like I’d found a second (or fifth LOL) home. I was surrounded by Irish ladies (and lads) who had moved to Arizona–as well as those who are more Irish-at-heart. The lilting voices and the proper tea sucked me in hook, line, and sinker.

The Irish Cultural Center is a place of community, education, and connection for the massive Irish (and wannabe Irish) here in Arizona. So many share stories of how the ICC gave them a foundation–a support system–when they came to this new, very, very dry place.

And since the Irish did that very thing for me when we moved to that new, very, very damp place across the pond, I was excited to be offered the chance to participate in the first ever Rose of the I.C.C. contest as a fundraiser to support the center.

Inspired by the famous Rose of Tralee Festival (which would be going on as I type this, if it weren’t for the ‘Ronas), the I.C.C. tweaked the rules and several Arizona ladies with celtic roots are in the running to be crowned the first ever Rose of the I.C.C.!

Below is the link to watch my video (this is where it gets really fun). For my “party piece,” I’m reading an excerpt from my debut novel, A Dance in Donegal, which doesn’t release until February! You can watch my video for free, and then if you feel so moved, I’d love for you to consider casting a vote. Votes are $2 each, or $10 for 6, and all the money goes to keep the I.C.C. running so they can continue to serve our community.

Learning to Curb my Temper in Motherhood

old-faithful-2You guys, I struggle with being a grumpy mom. That’s a nice way of saying that I tend to snap quickly and ask questions later when I’m dealing with my children; particularly when I’m tired and/or stressed. So, basically the past 2 years of our lives.

However, I’m taking steps, along with the Spirit’s help, to improve my situation – and my attitude.

Surprisingly, what is helping most is allowing myself to get ANGRY. Yes, really. To find out exactly what I mean, click over to the Better Mom to learn how Getting ANGRY is Helping Curb My Temper.

If you’ve just hopped over here from The Better Mom, welcome! I’m so glad to have you here! I hope you’re grab a cup-o-joe, make yourself at home and look around awhile.

Blessings, friends!

A Season for Everything: Including Self-Grace

When Moms are TenderHave you been running yourself ragged for too long, mom-friend? Have you been beating yourself up, berating your own tenancies and characteristics like a bootcamp sergeant? Are you feeling worn out, beat up and stomped on…mainly by your own doing?

Perhaps, like me, you’re in a season of needing to be tender with yourself, extending grace and engaging in practices and habits that renew, refresh and rebuild?

Join me over at The Better Mom today as I talk about what can happen When Moms Are Tender…With Themselves.

If you’ve just clicked over from The Better Mom, I’m so glad you’re here! Grab a cuppa, snuggle in and take a look around.

The Greatest Competition that Never Was

I sat in the waiting room babbling away to the woman next to me in the adorable outfit and impeccable hair with her babe laid to her breast. I don’t know why I felt the need to explain to the woman next to me why my baby was drinking from a bottle. I wanted her to know that I had breasted all of my babies, but this particular one was extremely hungry and with the stress of a postnatal infection, my body just couldn’t keep up. I wanted her to know I was a real mom.

I stood in line and stared at the child behind me…eating stickers. I wondered if his mother knew what he was doing. Should I say something to her? If she was any kind of mother she’d pay closer attention to her child. But then I looked at her face, and that’s when I saw it.

Hoodwinked quoteI saw the same bone-numbing fatigue in her eyes as I felt in my own. I saw the same slightly stooped shoulders of a woman who worries that she should be doing more for her children than she is. I saw the weight of guilt and perceived failure sitting on her back; and I felt it on my own.

Somewhere along the way we’ve deluded ourselves into thinking we can handle our own insecurities by one-upping the mama next to us and showing her how it’s really done. We’ve been hoodwinked into thinking its us versus all of them; that we must prove ourselves worthy of the title of mother. And we make darn sure they prove themselves worthy to us!

Oh, sisters, aren’t you weary? Aren’t you weary of the warring, the judging, the one-upping and the wondering? We’re all in this together, my friends. We’ve all left the house with spit up down our back and strained peas in our hair. We all have stayed up nights soothing a crying baby…or worrying about why the baby is so quiet. We all worry that we’re doing it wrong and heap guilt upon guilt on our own shoulders for not doing enough, not being enough.

Hoodwinked CoverIn their new booked, Hoodwinked, Ruth Schwenk of The Better Mom and Karen Ehman of Proverbs 31 Ministries take us on a journey through the ten myths of motherhood our culture perpetuates. With kindness, humility, and a good dose of humor, Ruth and Karen help us

  • Identify those myths above

  • Replace the lies with the truth of what God says in the Bible about mothering

  • Acquire practical tools to help them form new and improved thought patterns and healthy behaviors

  • Forge healthy, supportive relationships with other moms of all ages and stages

  • Confidently embrace the calling of motherhood as they care for their families in their own unique way

 

I don’t know about you, friend, but I could use a whole lot more friends and supporters in this journey of raising these dear tiny humans; and I need far fewer critics and judges. I also need some loving hands to come alongside and guide me when I myself am the worst of those critics and judges!

Hoodwinked is full of wisdom, laughter, and hope. It is my prayer that through this book a new sisterhood will rise up. One that is determined to serve one another with love and truth and that through them our families, churches, neighborhoods, schools and beyond will be a fortress of comfort, strength and light.

 

*Disclaimer: I was provided a copy of Hoodwinked for the purposes of this review. All views and opinions are my own.*

Unexpected Life Lessons from A Foot

Have you ever had a God speak to you so clearly there was no doubt it was His voice you were hearing?

Has He ever used a totally random, completely unlikely source through which to do it?20140315-205406.jpg

How about a pair of water-wrinkled feet with chipped nail polish?? Join me at The Better Mom today as I share How An Old, Chipped Pedicure Made Me a Better Mom!

What unlikely ways has God spoken to you?

If you’ve just clicked over from The Better Mom, I want to extend a warm welcome to you. I do hope you’ll stay awhile and make yourself at home!

For The Lonely

The prompt this week from LisaJo is: LONELY

Five Minute Friday

START

I see the pain in your eyes, dear friend; hear the hurt in your voice.

Everyone you love most in life has left you…either abandoned you or taken too soon or is just…gone.

I know.

But sweet friend know that there is a Friend who sticks closer than a brother; than the best brother.

I know you’re tired. Like bone-deep, mind-numbingly, can’t-muster-the-heart-energy-to-lift-a-single-prayer tired.

I know.

But we have a promise. That those who wait on the Lord will renew their strength. Will fly and soar like an eagle without a care…no, with power. Might. Majesty.

Wait on the Lord?

I know.

I hate waiting, too.

When the silence threatens to swallow you whole and the ache deep inside tries to burst from within.

But wait. In His presence, wait. When your heart has no words, wait. Sit in His space and let Him surround you. To be filled with His infinite self and know that you are loved beyond compare.

Bask in the glow of who He is as you envision His face across from you at the table. Filling the room. Filling your soul.

Nourishing; replenishing; comforting.

I know how the loneliness pervades – even in the busiest of places, surrounded by thousands of people.

I know.

But know this…trust in this…even in your darkest, loneliest place, you may be lonely

But you are never alone.

STOP

Familiar, Yet Changed

Memories rise like dust in the desert with each step I take in this dry land, familiar yet changed.

Round every corner nostalgia blows afresh. The scent of a memory wafts by, gone as quickly as it came; so quickly one would doubt if ever it was truly there.

This place. It saw me bloom from child to young lady to woman.

Photo by Deibel Photography

Photo by Deibel Photography

These hills hold stories from my heart too numbered to recall. This sky with its glow of golden orange, ablaze in pink and purple –  fury of final light when the sun retires; finally relinquishing control to the night watchmen of moon and stars. It blankets me in memories so faint I wonder are they really there, yet so vivid it steals my breath and beckons tears or laughter seep toward the surface where I’m faced once again with the choice to let them go or force them back.

It’s all right there. The joy. The pain. The grief. The loss of ones loved too deeply for words.

I see your face in the mountainsides; hear your laughter in the coo of the quail on the wind.

The sun kissing my face brings your song to mind – and tears to the brim.

Your smile painted in wispy white across the sky.

This place has changed. Whether by the slow march of time, or crusades in the name of “progress”, the landscape is left forever different – like my heart.

So much is exactly as it was before; right where I left it. And oh so much more is desperately unrecognizable.  It both breaks and refines me.

For there are pieces of who I am which remain right where I left them – cemented and rooted years ago. Yet so much of what who I see is so very unrecognizable I’m both broken and inspired.

So I walk slowly, placing one foot in front of the other, letting the memories waft upward with the dust of what used to be. I breathe them deep, take them in, and let them out once more, minutely changed from what they use to be.

Just like my heart.

I’ve linked this post up with Time-Warp Wife, Women Living Well, Life in Bloom</small>