Posts by Josephine-Anne Griffiths @BooksTeaAndMe57

Josephine-Anne Griffiths has always had a passion for the written word, both reading and writing it. Josephine is currently rewriting a fictional memoir ‘Charlie Dreams’. Josephine has also tried her hand at short story writing and poetry, with a poem published in Glimpses of Light Anthology. She also writes inspirational, narrative non-fiction with a fierce passion. Josephine-Anne, fondly known as Jo’Anne, is happily married to Leon. They live at the base of Sydney’s beautiful Blue Mountains. Between them, Jo’Anne and Leon have six wonderful children, six gorgeous grandchildren, and a sooky ‘jug’ dog called Toby. You will find Jo’Anne either lost within a book, behind her keyboard, or in her garden day-dreaming.

The Baggage Handler by David Rawlings (Review and Giveaway)

Baggage-Handler-Cover-210x300About the Book

In a similar vein to The Traveler’s Gift by Andy Andrews or Dinner with a Perfect Stranger by David Gregory, The Baggage Handler is a contemporary story that explores one question: What baggage are you carrying?
Three people take a flight that will change their lives forever.
Fresh off a run-in with his wife, harried businessman David disembarks the plane angry and impatient.
Gillian thought she would be more excited about coming to her niece’s wedding, but she is just hoping to survive.
Malcolm has gambled everything on this trip to start his fledgling artistic career. To him, failure means working in hardware in what his father calls “a real job.”
After each picks up the wrong suitcase, they make their way to a mysterious baggage depot in a deserted part of the city. There they meet the Baggage Handler, who shows them there is more in their baggage than what they have packed.
A simple baggage mix-up at the airport is more than an inconvenience when it forces three people to face the baggage they are unknowingly carrying around.

 

About the Author

david-rawlings-287x300David Rawlings is an Australian author and a sports-mad father-of-three who loves humor and a clever turn-of-phrase. Over a 25-year career, he has put words on the page to put food on the table, developing from sports journalism and copywriting to corporate communication. Now in fiction, he entices readers to look deeper into life with stories that combine the everyday with a sense of the speculative, addressing the fundamental questions we all face.

 

More from David

Watch the trailer: https://vimeo.com/250255594 
 Check out David’s Padlet page to follow The Baggage Handler:https://padlet.com/david_rawlings/TheBaggageHandler 

 

my-thoughts

“Yes, people usually collect their baggage, but they’d be better off if they dealt with it. ‘Deal with’ is exactly what we mean.”

I loved the clever symbolism within this contemporary fable.
Sorting out baggage at the airport or shipping dock can be a nightmare at times, but what if we had to sort out ‘our baggage’ before being allowed to continue our journey?
Three main characters Gillian, David, and Michael have each collected the wrong suitcases at the airport … each other’s.
If only sorting out or dealing with one’s baggage was that simple. If only Gillian, David and Michael had been a little more patient and attentive this problem wouldn’t have eventuated. You see, the bags in question were almost identical in appearance to the casual observer.
Gillian, David, and Michael did need to misplace their suitcases however, otherwise, they would have continued through life without ever dealing with their own baggage. And as we discover it is difficult for some to ever sort out their baggage due to fear, lack of trust, and lack of faith.
Mr. Rawlings has crafted an incredible story. The characters are well thought out and believable. The Baggage Handler has a strong, powerful message for us all. I would recommend this book to everyone, because no matter who we are, we all have some baggage to deal with.

“ … this is the most important part: when you give it to me, you need to let go of it.”

I received an advanced reader’s copy from the author via NetGallery and CelebrateLit. I am under no obligation to provide a positive review. All thoughts are entirely my own.

 

Click here to purchase your copy.

 

Giveaway

Baggage-Handler-Cover-210x300

To celebrate his tour, David is giving away a finished copy of the book to three winners!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

 

The-Baggage-Handler-FB-banner

 

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, March 30

Fiction Aficionado, March 30

Carpe Diem, March 31

Where Crisis & Christ Collide, March 31

Christian Author, J.E. Grace, April 1

Christian Bookaholic, April 1

Godly Book Reviews, April 2

Remembrancy, April 2

Jeanette’s Thoughts, April 3

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, April 3

Spoken from the Heart, April 4

Connect in Fiction, April 4

2014 and Beyond!, April 5

The Becca Files, April 5

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 6

Inklings and notions, April 6

Texas Book-aholic, April 7

janicesbookreviews, April 7

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, April 8

All 4 and About Books, April 8

Creating Romance, April 9

Josephine Anne Writes, April 9

Aryn The Libraryan, April 10

Reader’s Cozy Corner, April 10

Bigreadersite, April 11

Just the Write Escape, April 11

Artistic Nobody, April 12

A Reader’s Brain, April 12

The Simple Soul of Susan by Noel Branham – REVIEW & GIVEAWAY

About the Book

The-Simple-Sould-of-Susan-200x300 (1)Title: The Simple Soul of Susan

Author: Noel Branham

Genre: Romance, YA, Coming-of-Age, Contemporary

Release Date: October 11, 2017

Susan Combs had long ago found the love of her life. The only problem was the other party still didn’t know he had been found.

Every day Susan saw Calder Hurtz, her next door neighbor and childhood best friend. They always enjoyed the short drive to school down the dusty streets of their small Texas town. She was happy in those perfect moments, for her life at home was most imperfect. The challenging homestead she inhabited was also the favorite subject of local gossip.

But one autumn day she overhears Calder and another boy having a conversation. This occasion of accidental audience sets Susan’s life on an unforeseen path. In the seasons to come, her future will be changed by two hospitalizations, two confessions of love, and one betrayal.

Compulsively readable, The Simple Soul of Susan is an engaging, soul-endearing romance and a mesmerizing debut.

MY THOUGHTS

A nice debut novel by Noel Braham.  The Simple Soul of Susan read pleasantly throughout. There were instances where I felt things were somewhat drawn out, especially in the first quarter of the book. However, once that bridge was crossed I found the story more than enjoyable.

Both main characters were relatable and eventually lovable. Susan had my heart from the beginning as her personality reminded me of myself at a younger age.  She has a beautiful heart that is unfortunately smothered with suffocating insecurities, and a low self-esteem.  Initially I didn’t like Calder’s character, but eventually understood his flaws to be mere traits of youth. th (1)Once Calder’s personality matured, his true soul shone through, and he finally realised which people were most important.  He saw through all of the superficial friendships … people who hung around only for what they could possibly gain. In fact Calder’s soul was bestowed with simplicity, which for a long time he was too proud to acknowledge.

“Neglect is the absence of love , and it can cause more pain than hate.”

Noel perfectly demonstrates the importance of pure, trustworthy, friendship in any relationship. Human love is never perfect, and most important to understand is that there is never instant love … not the lasting kind. But when we combine God’s unconditional love with sincere, trustworthy friendship, we are able to have the most perfect relationship humanly possible.

Susan waited hopefully, most of her life for Calder to notice her the same way she noticed him. But as with all good things, they only happen if they were always meant to be, and in God’s excellent timing. Yes, Susan’s soul was perfectly simple, but so was Calder’s … it just took him longer to realise it.

“I don’t know what I’m trying to say either. But I want to be part of your life. I want you to be a part of mine. I want to sleep closer to you than forty feet away for the rest of my life. I want to fish with you every Sunday afternoon and catch armadillos with you every night until I’m too old to walk. I want to buy you flowers every Valentine’s Day and write my name on the tag, …”

Often young people like Calder who have such a competitive nature that they would do anything to gain an edge or to win, soon realise that they are only competing with themselves.  Hopefully they can manage to change the way they do things before it’s too late.

Simple, uncomplicated, unselfish, is always best, after all Jesus did say, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, if anyone does not receive the kingdom of God like a little child, he will never enter it.” ~ Luke 18:16-17  I suppose that’s because the simple, innocent, and unconditional love of a child is the closest to that of our heavenly Father.

This would be a perfect book for young people experiencing all of these confusing feelings, but also a great book to remind us oldies of the importance of sincere, honest companionship … necessary elements to any relationship.

How about you? What do you think? Are earthly, material qualities and possessions a necessary part of a healthy, loving relationship? I would love to hear from you

I received a complimentary copy of this sweet book from the author via CelebrateLit. I was under no obligation to provide a positive review, and all thoughts are entirely my own.

 

Click here to purchase your copy!

 

About the Author

Noel-Branham-300x300 (1)Born and raised in a small Texas town, Noel Branham started her career in digital communications after graduating with a degree in English. An award-winning communicator, she now writes from her residence in Florida about things closest to the heart: home, family, and love.

Guest Post from Noel Branham

Fictional Romance: A Real Relationship Killer?

You’ve heard it before… All romance novels give readers unrealistic expectations of relationships. Yep. They totally do. But I think most of the time, with life in general, we have unrealistic expectations not only of others but of ourselves. We live in a world where there is always something else to try, buy or satisfy our ever-evolving aspirations of happiness and fulfillment. So here are three things to remember while reading romance novels that will lead to having deep, meaningful, romantic, relationships in real life:

  1. Happiness isn’t fulfilled expectations. When you expect yoursignificant other (SO) to see you and romantically sweep you off your feet while pulling flowers from behind your back and force feeding you chocolates… you may have some unrealistic expectations. Would it be nice? Sure! But there is always something more they could do to make you happy, feeling loved, satisfied, etc. It’s a bottomless pit of desire and implied anticipated actions. We have to realize that no matter how many things we want out of a relationship, we can never receive them all… because realistically, we could never live up to the things expected of us either. Romance is a two-way street.
  2. Happiness is the unexpected, fulfilled. Wait… how can you fulfill something that isn’t expected? You can’t. And that’s what makes it so great. Your SO fills your car up with gas, takes you out for a date for no particular reason, watches that Victorian-era PBS drama with you even though they can’t understand the accents… When we get rid of expectations for ourselves and others we are able to really enjoy the things and people we already have and anything else is simply adding to lovely life that we already possess.
  3. Happiness in relationships is what you make of it. Just not feeling the love anymore after five years together? Was it that you chose the wrong person? Was it something they did? Something you did? Love can be a feeling and an action. Your relationship doesn’t have to be defined by feelings. Feelings fade. They aren’t realistic. They change with time as people change with time because all people change. But actions… actions are what you choose to do on a regular basis. They are a daily intentional choice (made by you) to care for another person. You can control your actions, but not so much your feelings. Funny thing is often times your actions create feelings you never thought you could have.

If you are looking for a romance novel with a bit more realism to test out these principals, check out The Simple Soul of Susan. You can have the realistic expectation that you won’t be disappointed 🙂

Giveaway

e5f4939d-cd96-45de-b748-8fb15bc1a0af

To celebrate her tour, Noel is giving away:

Grand Prize: $50 Amazon Gift Card
First & Second Place Prize: eBook copy of the Simple Soul of Susan!!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/cee4/the-simple-soul-of-susan-celebration-tour-giveaway

Blog Stops

Among the Reads, May 10

The Christian Fiction Girl, May 10

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, May 10

Multifarious, May 11

Remembrancy, May 11

Two Points of interest, May 12

Blogging With Carol, May 12

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, May 13

Inklings and notions, May 13

Kristin’s Book Reviews, May 14

proud to be an autism mom, May 14

Artistic Nobody, May 15 (Spotlight)

Texas Book-aholic, May 15

Mommynificent, May 16

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 16

The Fizzy Pop Collection, May 17

Janices book reviews, May 17

Pause for Tales, May 18

Jeanette’s Thoughts, May 18

Bibliophile Reviews, May 19

Carpe Diem, May 19

A Baker’s Perspective, May 20

margaret kazmierczak, May 20 (Interview)

Simple Harvest Reads, May 21 (Guest post, Mindy Houng)

Reading is my Super Power, May 21 (Interview)

Christian Author, J.E.Grace, May 22

Bigreadersite, May 22

Reader’s cozy corner, May 23

Josephine’s Thoughts, May 23

‘She Who Knows No Fear’ by Barbara Bras (Review and Giveaway)

Bstsell-auth-223x300About the Book

Genre: Contemporary Women’s Fiction

Release Date: December 8, 2017

Cassie’s dream is about to come true. She’s marrying her best friend, the love of her life.

She will never be alone again.

But when Zack fails to return from surfing, Cassie’s safe world comes crashing down around her and she begins her struggle anew.

Haunted by her conviction that her late grandmother left her something that will help her, Cassie discovers hidden “treasures” in the house she inherited.

With the help of her stepmother, Cassie unlocks the secrets of her grandmother’s journey and along the way finds the ultimate answer for her own life.

Click here to purchase your copy.

 

“FEAR can keep us up all night long,

But FAITH can make us a fine pillow.”

 ~ Philip Gulley

 mythoughtsI enjoyed this story, although I think it would have been good if I had read the preceding book She Who Knows – A Tale of the Heart which was the first in this series. This book can easily be read as a standalone, however as Barbara Bras has gone to great lengths to develop believable and lovable characters, I would personally recommend reading She Who Knows first.

She Who Knows No Fear – Another Tale of the Heart tells a sweet story of love and perseverance with a powerful underlying message.

 The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters, He refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for His name’s sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely Your goodness and Love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever. Psalm 23:1-6 

There was an enticing amount of Hawaiian Folklore intertwined within the story which made for an interesting read. Love’s journey throughout the book was beautiful, with Cassie and Zack bonding a life-long friendship into a marriage based upon selfless love, trust, and companionship. However, the love that was most pleasing throughout the book was that of God – the reminder that we need never feel discomfort or anxiety over anything, as He has our hearts, minds, and souls in His grasp.

I would recommend this delightful book to anyone who worries unduly … and also to those who don’t.

I received an Advanced Readers’ Copy of this book from the author via CelebrateLit. I wasn’t at any time under obligation to provide a positive review.

 

untitled-1-198x300About the Author

In 2015, Barbara Bras left her career to pursue her dream of serving God. She believed that her first step was to share the amazing story of God’s blessings in her life. Wrapped in God’s Grace, A Life Rediscovered does so through a trio of narratives. It begins with the story of her son’s miraculous adoption and the challenging years that followed, her grandparents’ remarkable survival in Armenia, and her own quest for purpose and love. Once written, Barbara realized her life’s new purpose. Captured by St. Paul in 2 Corinthians 1:3-4, she views her writing as a tribute to the God who comforts and strengthens us in hardships and trials, and as her mission to encourage others. Her first novel, She Who Knows, A Tale of the Heart,seeks to inspire and encourage. The sequel, She Who Knows No Fear: Another Tale of the Heart,released in December 2017. Solo Deo Gloria, To God Alone Be the Glory

 

Giveaway

e5f4939d-cd96-45de-b748-8fb15bc1a0afTo celebrate her tour, Barbara is giving away a grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card plus a signed copy of She Who Knows and She Who Knows No Fear!!

Click here  to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! 

 

She-who-knows-no-fear-image

Blog Spots

All-of-a-kind Mom, April 26

proud to be an autism mom, April 26

Reflections From My Bookshelves, April 27

Inklings and notions, April 28

Blogging With Carol, April 28

Bibliophile Reviews, April 29

A Greater Yes, April 29

Josephine’s Thoughts, April 30

Among the Reads, April 30

Maureen’s Musings, May 1

Texas Book-aholic, May 1

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 2

Janices book reviews, May 2

Jeanette’s Thoughts, May 3

Reading is my Super Power, May 3 (Interview)

Reader’s Cozy Corner, May 4

Pause for Tales, May 4

Kaylee’s Kind Of Writes, May 5

Carpe Diem, May 5

A Baker’s Perspective, May 6

margaret kazmierczak, May 6 (Interview)

Mary Hake, May 7

Simple Harvest Reads, May 7 (Guest Post from Mindy Houng)

Two Points of Interest, May 8

Bigreadersite, May 8

For the love of books, May 9

Pursuing Stacie, May 9

 

A Review of “Bearing Fruit: What Happens When God’s People Grow”

Bearing Fruit

A wonderful  book review. Spiritual Growth is more than just a couple of trendy words.

Published: 2017

“A Christian can’t grow himself; however, he can put himself in an environment for spiritual growth. When that happens, God brings forth fruit.” This simple message resonates throughout Robby Gallaty’s latest book, Bearing Fruit

To read entire review, click on the following link: https://wp.me/p2CbYE-nO

‘A Loyal Heart’ by Jody Hedlund (Spotlight and Giveaway)

A-Loyal-Heart-Web-Copy-188x300About the Book

Genre: Adult medieval romance

Release Date: March 6, 2018

He’s taken her as his prisoner. But she’s holding his heart captive. In gaining their freedom, will they lose what matters most?

When Lady Olivia’s castle is besieged, she and her sister are taken captive and held for ransom by her father’s enemy, Lord Pitt. Loyalty to family means everything to Olivia. She’ll save her sister at any cost and do whatever her father asks—even if that means obeying his order to steal a sacred relic from her captor.

As Lord Pitt’s commander, Sir Aldric is in charge of the beautiful but feisty new prisoner. He has his hands full attempting to keep Lady Olivia out of trouble. When Lord Pitt throws her in the dungeon and threatens to hang her for stealing, Aldric conceives a plot to save Olivia’s life—betrothal to him.

Can Olivia give up the prestigious match her father has arranged with a wealthy marquess in order to marry a lowly knight like Aldric? And can Aldric move beyond his past mistakes to embrace love again? When loyalties are tested, they’re thrust into danger that could cost them their love and their lives.

Jody-Hedlund.-Web-Copy-250x300About the Author

Jody Hedlund is the author of over twenty historicals for both adults and teens and is the winner of numerous awards including the Christy, Carol, and Christian Book Award.

Jody lives in central Michigan with her husband, five busy children, and five spoiled cats. Although Jody prefers to experience daring and dangerous adventures through her characters rather than in real life, she’s learned that a calm existence is simply not meant to be (at least in this phase of her life!).

When she’s not penning another of her page-turning stories, she loves to spend her time reading, especially when it also involves consuming coffee and chocolate.

 

Click here to purchase your copy

 

Guest Post from Jody Hedlund

The Growing Need for Sweet Young Adult Romances

By Jody Hedlund

This past year my youngest daughter turned twelve and entered seventh grade. And she decided that she wanted to read my books.

Of course I was thrilled that she was taking an interest in my writing. But since my adult historical romances are more intense and contain some mature themes, I handed her the young adult series I’ve written.

As she started the first book, I peeked in her room a time or two to ask her how she liked it.

“It’s the best book you’ve ever read, right?” I teased.

“It’s okay,” she replied, teasing me right back.

The true test for how much she liked the series came when she couldn’t put the book down. She hid away in her room and read all day. Then she read the second book the next day and the third book the day after that.

She never did gush over the series. But she didn’t need to. Her serious reading marathon told me all I needed to know! Then when I was writing the fourth book in the series, she asked me if she could read it early before it was published which was another testament to how much she enjoyed the series.

“As long as you promise to say that I’m your favorite author,” I said, teasing her again.

I’m happy to say that she finished A Loyal Heart just as quickly as the others. Although I’m not sure that I’m her favorite author, I’m satisfied that she loved the series.

Even more, I’m thrilled that I could hand her sweet romances full of chivalrous qualities—like courage, sacrifice, honor, and loyalty. As she’s being entertained, she’s learning lessons about character traits that are important in relationships.

My daughter, like other young teens I’ve talked to, really enjoys medieval settings and stories. In some ways, those kinds of stories connect them to the princess fairy tales they used to love when they were little. Let’s face it, even adult readers still love stories about knights and castles and daring damsels!

In a book market for teens that has grown increasingly dark, jaded, and sexual, I only wish I had more to offer my daughter and other young women. It’s my passion to continue providing wholesome, clean romances for teens, books I know will encourage and uplift as well as entertain.

How about YOU? Is there a teen reader you know who needs an alternative to what’s available in the market? I encourage you to gift them with A Loyal Heart. And make sure to enter the giveaway for a chance to win the entire series that you can read, pass along, or even gift to your library.

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Jody is giving away a grand prize of An Uncertain Choice, A Daring Sacrifice, For Love & Honor, and A Loyal Heart!!

Click here to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! 

 

A-Loyal-Heart-FB-Banner-copy

Blog Stops

Among the Reads, March 27

Lighthouse Academy, March 27

Neverending Stories, March 27

Reflections From My Bookshelves, March 28

books n baubles, March 28

Blossoms and Blessings, March 28

By The Book, March 29

Reading Is My SuperPower, March 29

Genesis 5020, March 29

Books, Books, and More Books., March 29

Have A Wonderful Day, March 30

Blogging With Carol, March 30

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, March 30

Cover to Cover and Everything in Between, March 31

Book by Book, March 31

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, March 31

God’s Little Bookworm, April 1

The Christian Fiction Girl, April 1

Mary Hake, April 1

Chas Ray’s Book Nerd Corner, April 2

Daysong Reflections, April 2

Novels Corner, April 2

Remembrancy, April 3

proud to be an autism mom, April 3

Texas Book-aholic, April 3

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 4

Janices book reviews, April 4

Jeanette’s Thoughts, April 4

Romances of the Cross, April 5

Carpe Diem, April 5

A Baker’s Perspective, April 5

Ashley’s Bookshelf, April 6

Karen Sue Hadley, April 6

Kaylee’s Kind Of Writes, April 6

Red Headed Book Lady, April 7

Bibliophile Reviews, April 7

Simple Harvest Reads, April 7 (Guest post from Mindy Houng)

Pursuing Stacie, April 8

Bigreadersite, April 8

margaret kazmierczak, April 8 (interview)

Henry Happens, April 9

Faery Tales Are Real, April 9

Joy of Reading, April 9

 

The bottom line

As always Jo-Anne Berthelsen’s posts are so inspiring.

Jo-Anne Berthelsen's Blog

Jo 17

I always look forward to Easter, not because of all those chocolate eggs and bunnies I don’t eat but enjoy giving our grand-kids—and not even because of those hot cross buns I do eat but shouldn’t! Instead, I look forward to Easter because I know it will bring me face to face again with the absolute beauty of Jesus and his love for us in a way I can’t ignore. I know his amazing sacrifice will shake me to the core again—just as I need to be shaken. And each Easter, I try to stop and reflect on what for me is the bottom line in my life, which is this: Jesus loved you and me enough to give his life for us, in order to save us and bring us back into close relationship with our Father God—forever.

I cannot get my mind around that—but I know it’s true.

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