Tuesday, October 24, 2017


Become a woman less overwhelmed by life and more overwhelmed by God and enter to win Hayley’s $75 Merry Maids Visa Card Giveaway to help lessen your daily load.
One grand prize winner will receive:
  • A copy of A Woman Overwhelmed
  • A $75 Merry Maids Visa Cash Card
Enter today by clicking the icon below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on November 3. The winner will be announced November 6 on the Litfuse blog.


A Woman Overwhelmed: Finding God in the Messes of Life (Abingdon Press, August 2017)
“A Woman Overwhelmed” is a phrase with which many women can relate.
But what would happen if we could see the insanity in our pace and embrace our overwhelming God?
There is a reason they say that a woman’s work is never done— because it isn’t! As women, we often are overwhelmed by the demands and circumstances of life, resulting in stress, fear, worry, impatience, fatigue, frustration, and even depression. The truth is that we were created to be overwhelmed . . . not by life but by God! When we learn to be overwhelmed by God, the fruit in our lives goes from rotten to fragrant—filling our days with peace, hope, love, and joy.
In A Woman Overwhelmed, best-selling author Hayley DiMarco shares biblical insights and personal stories to offer a glimpse at the comedy of an overwhelmed life while encouraging us to discover the depths and heights of God’s love and power.
Be empowered to find freedom in becoming overwhelmed with who God is—by learning to focus on what we know about God so that we can hold onto faith even when it seems that all is lost. For it is when an overwhelmed woman gives up the mission of me and exchanges it for the mission of God that being overwhelmed becomes a good thing.
Choose to bask in the abundance of the Father instead of the abundance of life as his unfathomable depths can surely replace our fathomable messes.
Hayley DiMarco


Hayley DiMarco is the best-selling author of more than 40 books, including multiple books in the God Girl line, “The Fruitful Wife,” “Obsessed,” “Die Young” and “Own It.” As the founder of Hungry Planet, a company intensely focused on feeding the world’s appetite for truth, DiMarco speaks regularly for women’s groups and events, including Women of Faith, dotMOM, Precept National Women’s Convention and MOPS International. Hayley and her pastor husband, Michael, live outside Nashville with their daughter and four dogs.
Find out more about Hayley at http://hayleydimarco.com.

Statistics on Overwhelmed Women
—According to the National Institute of Mental Health, women are twice as likely as men to suffer depression.
—According to the American Psychological Association (APA), women are more likely than men to:
–Report their stress levels are on the rise.
–State they are in fair or poor health.
–Find that connecting with others in their life can help their stress management strategies.
—According to the Pew Research Center:
–Working parents are the new norm — creates need for balance.
–Women do the majority of childcare and housework — particularly managing the mental checklists of children’s schedules and needs.
–41% of working mothers said being a parent made it harder to advance in their careers, compared with 20% of fathers.
—Millennial Women Survey conducted by Refinery 29 & Secret found:
–68% of women sometimes feel stress (versus always or rarely).
–48% feel unmotivated when stressed.
–Stress gets harder to cope with as we age.
–Top stress: money
Other top stresses: body image, work, family, romantic relationships and health concerns

Monday, October 16, 2017

A Writer's Review of Lady Maybe by Julie Klassen

First of all, and probably because I'm a published author and pay attention to more publisher related things, I knew from almost the day I heard about this book that it was written for a secular publisher. That said, I still looked forward to reading it because I love Julie Klassen's writing. She's always been one to write her historical romances involving a little more of the messiness of life, so I went into reading Lady Maybe fully expecting much of the same, but perhaps on a different level--which as it turns out, was exactly what I got. 

There are many things about Lady Maybe that are nothing like a Bethany House (her usual publisher with which she used to also edit for before her debut released) historical romance novel. But I didn't go into reading it expecting it would be, and quite possibly that is a major factor in why my response to the book is so different than what it's been for many of her faithful inspirational followers. 

I loved this book. It's the first book I've read for pleasure in about two years (my own last book contract came as I'd just found out I was pregnant with my second son--so I spent my 2nd trimester writing a book, the 3rd RECOVERING from doing so while pregnant + having a 2yo running circles around me, and then because I have two little boys and I'm trying to write my own books, I just haven't had much time until now). And I read it in about a day's time, losing much valuable sleep. 

Lady Maybe ended up being very different from the usual kind of books I enjoy reading, and this has nothing to do with the romance.  It was the level of mystery and intensity throughout the plot that really had me reading. The romance part of the story definitely took the back seat (in more ways than one), so much so that I wasn't sure who the hero of the story actually would end up being until the last few pages. 

There were three character POVs mentioned in this novel--one character had one chapter near the beginning, one was the heroine and the other had a number of chapters in the latter half of the book. Which is another "not normal" way of writing a story--but it worked. And I think a lot of the reasoning behind going with the publisher she did probably had a lot to do with things like this, and not strictly because of the complicated messy relational issues between the characters. 

And yes, wow it was complicated. And messy. And interesting and compelling. Klassen's way with words was perfect, as always. She pulled me in and didn't let go, planting little seeds throughout the novel that only made sense at the end. These are the reasons I loved it. 

Although the characters are not perfect--by far--there is a ton of Christianity in this secularly published book. I do think it might have been a good idea to use a pen name in having this book published, since I know it can be found in Christian bookstores and in The inspirational sections of libraries solely based on her name and other books from Bethany House. I think Lady Maybe has a bit lower ratings (compared to most of her other books) simply because most of her readers read it assuming it would be like the rest of them. But don't be fooled by the low-star ratings. Yes, there is a lot of mess in this book, but it is still a really good, well-written novel that teaches lesson after lesson about grace, forgiveness, second chances and how God can take a huge mess and still bless those who love him despite the fact that they don't deserve it. Isn't that real life every day?