It’s National Book Day as I write this post — but then, every day is a “book day” in my house. Honestly there are books everywhere, including a box full that I’ll deliver to our local used book store once the COVID-19 restrictions are lifted. (Of course, while I’m at the book store, it’s likely I’ll find a few new/old books to take their place.)

I always have at least three books in progress at the same time. Currently on my reading stack are Paula, a memoir by Isabel Allende (found at the massive John King Book Store in Detroit), Streams of Living Water by Richard J. Foster and Becoming Sage by Michelle Van Loon. During this pause in our pre-pandemic daily lives, I’ve launched a book club on Facebook and invited a few friends to join me in reading and discussing books. Our first read-along was the novel Send Down the Rain by Charles Martin. I am a Charles Martin fan and it was great fun introducing him to a couple of my friends (see their reviews below).

A Free Book for You!

As a writer, it’s an honor and a joy to support other writers as they launch their books. When I do, I always pre-order a copy because that pushes the new book out there and builds their status with retailers. I’m offering free copies of two books I helped launch and another I’m reading with women in my online book club.

The books I’m giving away in a drawing among faithful followers of this blog are Everything Is Yours by Kris Camealy, Making Peace with Change by Gina Butz and Van Loon’s Becoming Sage. Camealy and Butz both write beautifully. Each of them grounds her work in scripture, drawing from their own lives to share principles that have helped them navigate the world in which we live. Kris gives us heart-felt encouragement to discover “how giving God your whole heart changes your whole life”. Gina vulnerably holds out practical lessons for “navigating life’s messy transitions with honesty and grace”. I gained valuable insight from both books. Here are my reviews from Goodreads:

Everything Is YoursAuthor Kris Camealy lays bare her personal journey toward surrender and reminds her readers that it will be a lifelong process. If you struggle to let go and need a guide who will be vulnerable and will root her counsel in Scripture, trust Ms. Camealy’s words in her beautiful book Everything Is Yours: How Giving God Your Whole Heart Changes Your Whole Life. Not one of us finds surrender an easy task, but as we walk in the freedom that comes with letting go, we learn that God’s call to trust and lean into Him is a gift. Ms. Camealy offers examples from her life to assure us that, however difficult it is, giving God your whole heart is an act of love.

Making Peace with ChangeBoth inspirational and practical, Making Peace with Change speaks to all of us. Life is riddled with changes, some huge, many small and seemingly inconsequential. The author shares her own struggles with change and gives heart-felt, practical encouragement for finding the good in circumstances beyond our control and even those we chose.

I’ve just begun Becoming Sage, the book I’m reading alongside others in my Facebook club. It is so good that I’m having a hard time stopping at the two chapters we’re going to discuss in our upcoming Zoom gathering! Van Loon has written six other books (I’ve read a couple of them) and she speaks with a voice of both authority and comfort. Her writing is so well researched, while her treatment of the subjects is offered in a tone that says “we can do this.”

I am a woman with a lifetime of faith, but I hope to never stop growing. In this season, I’ve cultivated that growth by engaging in spiritual practices that I have in the past taken for granted. Already, Van Loon’s clear, encouraging principles are helping me discover how to navigate this season of “becoming sage.” The subtitle of her book lets us know we have value in the last half of our lives if we find ourselves “Cultivating Meaning, Purpose and Spirituality in Midlife.” As I award my extra copy of this book, the recipient will be invited to join our Facebook reading club.

I will draw from my list of subscribers on April 30. The winners will be notified by email. If you are not currently a subscriber, this is a great time to join us! Fill out and click on the link below.

While I am NOT giving away my copy of Send Down the Rain, I’m sharing with you my friends’ reviews of this excellent novel. Martin has written 13 novels in all, including his newest The Water Keeper (releasing in May). He also wrote the non-fiction title What If It’s True, which I read during Lent.

Enjoy these reviews of Send Down the Rain by two of my discerning fellow readers:

“The unpredictable twists and turns the author lead us on through his engaging storytelling skills made Send Down the Rain a hard-to-put-down book. The author captured my attention on page 1, and held it all the way through to the end. If you are looking for a captivating, gripping easy read, I suggest you pick up and read Charles Martin’s Send Down the Rain.” ~ Laurie

 

“This was my first read by Charles Martin, but it won’t be my last. You are several chapters into Send Down the Rain before you realize how the lives of all his characters are intertwined. There is hardship, anger, joy, friendship and a heavy dose of what we will do out of love throughout. Once you start reading, you won’t be satisfied until you find yourself on the last page.” ~ Luann

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