About Me I am a retired librarian and I now support books and authors through my reviews.

I have always loved to read and I was able to share that love through my work as a public librarian for 22 1/2 years. I now enjoy reading to my granddaughter and supporting authors through my reviews!

Saturday, June 19, 2021

The Joy of Being Mom: Embrace the Adventure with Study Guide by Judy Brisky: Review & Giveaway

The Joy of Being a Mom: Embrace the Adventure with Study GuideABOUT THE BOOK

You know all about crying babies, dirty diapers, toddler tantrums, potty training, school assignments, and the list goes on and on. Ahhh, Motherhood! But wait, there’s more! 

Judy Brisky wants you to know that despite any of these demanding situations, even in the toughest of seasons, you can experience the joy of being a mom every single day. But first you will need help and wisdom that can only come from the Lord. Then you will find that being a mom is one of the most joyful experiences you will ever have. Yes, you’ll get tired and you’ll feel pressures, but you’ll also be filled with joy!
Judy offers the encouragement you need to face common challenges and offers practical solutions from the Bible. She shares from her own relatable experiences, mostly good, but also not so great. Even more, she will bring you hope and motivation to: 

Cherish each season
Deposit intentional investments of love
Make every word count
Leave a lasting legacy


This book is for moms of ALL ages, and it is filled with encouraging words for women in EVERY stage of motherhood. Author Judy Brisky shares her experiences in raising her own children, along with the wisdom she has gained. She also urges readers to value the role that God has given them, to dedicate themselves to raising children who love and respect their Heavenly Father, and then, being a living witness for their children. She reminds us that "Telling your children to read the Bible is good, but reading it with them as you sit side by side is even better".

The Joy of Being Mom
has so many nuggets of sound advice and it is rich in God's Word. Each chapter begins with a Bible selection, but it doesn't stop there. More scripture is shared throughout the chapter and it concludes with a Study Guide that includes a Review, (more) Scripture, Questions, Heart Connectors, and Prayer. The icing on the cake? There are coloring pages at the end of each chapter to further emphasize the topic you've just read.

I've experienced all of the stages of being a Mom, so I've felt the exhaustion, the fears, and the disappointments. I have also known the overwhelming love and joy, and I do value the role that God gave me. I also understand that "once a mom, always a mom" is so true, as I enjoy this season of being a grandmother!

Brisky has written this book in an easy, conversational style that makes you feel like she is talking directly to you! I recommend that you grab a copy, take your time to read and ponder the words, and then apply them to your own season of being a mother, so that you can also appreciate The Joy of Being Mom!

I received a copy of this book from Gateway Publishing and Blog About Blogger Network. There was no obligation for a positive review. These are my very own thoughts.

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Judy and her husband, Mike, have been married more than 30 years. They attend Gateway Church in Southlake, Texas, where Mike is the Executive Pastor to the Senior Pastor. For more than a decade, Judy has enjoyed teaching and speaking on marriage, parenting, and all things Jesus! She has a bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications from Pan American University (known today as The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley). Judy and Mike have two adult sons and two wonderful daughters-in-love. Jacob is married to Neeli, and Joel is married to Danielle (Danny).

Want to learn more? Visit Judy's    Website    Facebook    Instagram   


I am thrilled to have a copy of The Joy of Being Mom to give away. Please comment below, telling me what season of motherhood you are enjoying. Are you a mom to young children, teens, adults, or are you perhaps enjoying grandchildren? Please tell me and don't forget to leave your email in a non-spam format. Example: name (at) domain name (dot) com. Giveaway ends Friday, June 25, 2021. 

Thursday, June 17, 2021

Every Window Filled with Light by Shelia Stovall: Review & Giveaway with Celebrate Lit


About the Book

Every Window Filled with Light

Author: Shelia Stovall

Genre: Contemporary Women’s Christian Fiction

Release date: April 2, 2021

Welcome to Weldon, Kentucky, where the only things the locals love more than fried pies are gossip and match-making.

Librarian Emma Baker, a young and childless widow, believes her dream to build a family is over. It’s been two years since a student accidentally stabbed Emma’s husband to death, and her grief has stifled any interest in romance—until she meets Pastor Luke Davis. But when Emma learns Luke is counseling her husband’s killer fresh out of jail, her temper gets in the way.

Meanwhile, Emma discovers twelve-year-old Harley, abandoned by her drug-addict mother, hiding in the library, and takes the girl in as her foster mom. Then a young mother is made homeless by an apartment fire, and Emma opens her home again. One person and one prayer at a time, Emma begins to discover hope.

If Emma can yield and offer forgiveness to her husband’s killer, perhaps she’ll be able to piece together the broken parts of her heart…and the broken people who enter her life…to form a new family and maybe even have a second chance at love.


Click here to get your copy!


A widowed librarian in a small town, a minister who looks like he's stepped off the cover of CQ, and a teenager who's been forced to grow up too fast. Three very different people who share one common connection--they've all experienced deep hurts! These are just three of the great characters in Every Window Filled with Light, and they are some of the reasons that I enjoyed this book so much. Author Shelia Stover is a librarian herself and she perfectly describes some of the activities that a library director would be involved in. She also gives Emma Baker a loving, generous heart for young people, with one notable exception. She cannot forgive the young man that she holds responsible for the death of her husband. She's lost the love of her life, she can't have children, and her relationship with her mother is nothing to write home about. Emma is basically alone!

Every Window Filled with Light refers to Emma's desire to fill her large, stately home with people. This is a touching story of hurts left to fester, forgiveness that seems to be elusive, and the addiction epidemic that threatens our society. It is also a testament to the power of love and faith, and the liberation that comes from forgiveness.

I enjoyed everything about this book! The depiction of life in a small town, the people who live there, and the reminder of the importance of good foster care. I also enjoyed the hint of romance and the strong faith element woven throughout the story. This is Shelia Stover's debut novel and I look forward to reading more about the fictional town of Weldon, Kentucky. I recommend Every Window Filled with Light to all who enjoy Christian fiction.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher and Celebrate Lit. There was no obligation for a positive review.

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


About the Author

Shelia Stovall is the director of a small-town library in southern Kentucky, where only strangers mention her last name, and the children call her Miss Shelia.

Shelia and her husband Michael live on a farm, and she enjoys taking daily rambles with their three dogs to the creek. Spending time with family, especially her grandchildren, is her all-time favorite thing. The only hobby Shelia loves more than reading uplifting stories of hope is writing them.


More from Shelia

When I was younger, I daydreamed about becoming an author, but it wasn’t something I pursued. I wrote a few short stories for fun, but I poured my time and energy into my children and career.

In the summer of 2011, I participated in a Bible study called Jonah by Priscilla Shirer. One evening, our facilitator asked us to meditate on the question, What does God want you to do that you don’t want to do.  I sat feeling smug as the others prayed. I’d already signed up for a short-term mission trip to Africa, which I hadn’t wanted to do. But as I sat in the quiet, God spoke to me. Write a book for me. My heartbeat quickened as God gave me the opening and the ending of the story. I envisioned a large two-story yellow Victorian home with every Window filled with light.

God’s request filled me with panic, and the workbook page remained blank. The thought of someone reading God’s request made my face hot. Who was I to think I could be an author? Finally, I made a feeble attempt, but it was too hard.

My Ninevah was Africa. I turned my thoughts and efforts to preparing to go to Niger in December 2011. After the trip, all I could think about was returning to Africa. Our translators were visiting the US. It thrilled me when they accepted my invitation to stay overnight in my home. While preparing for their visit, I discovered my laptop under the bed covered in dust. I gulped as I remembered God asking me to write a book. With trepidation, I opened the computer and read the first few pages of the story I’d started. It wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t great. I whined to God. I don’t have the skills or the talent. I don’t know how to write a book.

Then, I received an email in my work email account promoting a Christian writers’ conference. To this day, it is still the only email I’ve received at work advertising a writers’ conference. I could hardly breathe as I read the email promoting the writers’ workshop to be held at East Texas Baptist University in Marshall, TX—a long way from Kentucky. I shared everything with my husband, and he encouraged me to go even though we didn’t have the money. He reminded me we had a travel credit in our airline account because of connection problems during our first trip to Africa, and so, I packed my bags.

When I attended the conference, two instructors, New York Times best-selling author Lisa Wingate and Judy Christie, changed my life when they encouraged me to finish the story. Judy asked me to commit to writing one hour a day, and she predicted I’d finish the first draft by Thanksgiving if I’d stick with it. The conference was held in October, and I thought her expectations impossible. I didn’t meet her goal, but I finished the first draft on 12/12/12. I’ll never forget that morning. It’s a good thing I had no idea of the work ahead of me.

Judy was kind enough to give me the email address of her award-winning editor Jamie Clarke Chavez. I sent the first three chapters to Jamie, and my mouth dropped open when she agreed to work with me. Today, she is someone I consider a dear friend. Writers have asked me, How did you get Jamie Chavez to work with you. She must have taken pity on me. I cringe as I remember those first chapters. I consider Jame a gift from God.

Through the years of hard work, God has been faithful to provide me with encouragement and help along the road to publication. If there is anything good in Every Window Filled with Light, it is from Him and the people he sent to aid me. The best blessings of the writing journey are the friendships I’ve made along the way.

I hope you’ll read Every Window Filled with Light or give it to someone who needs an uplifting story of hope. If there’s a person you know who doesn’t know Christ and doesn’t want to listen to a witness, this is a book you can share. I hope the reader will be so drawn into the story they won’t realize they are being exposed to God’s salvation plan until it’s too late.

Thank you for taking the time to learn about why I wrote Every Window Filled with Light. Has God ever asked you to do something you didn’t want to do?  I’d love to hear your story.

Warm regards,


Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, June 10

The Avid Reader, June 10

Through the Fire blogs, June 11

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, June 11

Texas Book-aholic, June 12

Cats in the Cradle Blog, June 12

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, June 13

For Him and My Family, June 14

CarpeDiem, June 14

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, June 15

Inklings and notions, June 16

Just Writing, June 16

Older & Smarter?, June 17

Rebecca Tews, June 18

deb’s Book Review, June 18

Locks, Hooks and Books, June 19

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, June 20

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, June 20

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, June 21

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, June 22

Mary Hake, June 22

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, June 23


To celebrate her tour, Shelia is giving away the grand prize package of a themed gift basket from Habegger’s Amish Market!!

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


View all my reviews