Categories
Author Interviews

A Chat with Author Crystal Bowman

Crystal Bowman
Crystal Bowman

Davalynn Spencer here, welcoming children’s book author Crystal Bowman to tell us about her board book, My Arms Will Hold You Tight.

Crystal, please give us a thumbnail sketch of your featured book.

My Arms Will Hold You Tight board book
My Arms Will Hold You Tight by Crystal Bowman

Adorable animal babies and their parents share the tenderness of heartfelt love through various playful activities, as well as comforting hugs on days that are sad. Parents can snuggle and cuddle with their little ones as they turn the pages to read the lyrical text.  

What a delightful title, Crystal. Why did you write this book?

I’m enjoying my seven grandchildren and love those early years of snuggling and cuddling. These years go by so quickly and I wanted to write something to capture those special moments. 

With seven opportunities for the snuggling, did anything surprise you during the research or writing of this book?

I was surprised to learn that relationship experts believe children need 4 hugs a day to survive, 8 hugs a day for maintenance, and 12 hugs a day to grow.

That’s some serious need, and I wonder how many hugs we need as adults. Did God use the message of this book in your own life?

It’s been a strong reminder to hug my grandkids and even my adult children. During this pandemic, we are starving for hugs.

So very good to remember. Do you have a favorite section in your book?

At first, I wasn’t excited about the artist wanting to feature bats in one of the spreads, but it turned out to be my favorite. She made them look adorable!

Amazing what perspective can do for us, something that you as an author share with your readers. Has being a writer impacted your perspective of and relationship with Christ?

It’s made me realize how dependent I am on having the Lord direct my writing paths. I am deeply humbled and in awe that this is what He created me to do. 

What drew you to write children’s books?

I love writing for children, to teach them that God loves them. I also love to write in rhythm and rhyme, so board books and picture books are the right genre for me.

Tell us about your most touching moment with a reader.

A young mom sent me a video of her son reading one of my books to his military dad over Facetime. I sobbed!

That is touching indeed – reaching all the way into a parent’s heart. With such a ministry in writing, are there other ministries in which you are involved?

I am involved with MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) as a speaker and mentor. I write for young children, and the moms are the ones who read my books to their children. I love connecting with them.

Everyone seems to struggle with time management in our 24/7 world. How do you stay disciplined and meet your deadlines?

Deadlines really stress me out, so I set my own deadline two weeks ahead of the publisher’s deadline. I divide my work into segments and figure out how much I need to write each day or week. I love surprising editors by turning in my work early (and they love it too!).

When not working on deadline, do you have any hobbies, activities or passions outside of writing?

I enjoy exercising outdoors and often go for walks. This winter, when the snow came, I bought a pair of cross-country skis and have been skiing in our backyard. It’s great exercise and has helped me enjoy a Midwest winter.  

Now that is a creative way to keep moving in the grip of a snowy winter! What about your future plans – what is your next project?

I had the privilege of writing a picture book based on a true story about a young refugee who left her home in Sudan and came to the U.S. when she was 14 years old.

Davalynn Spencer
Davalynn Spencer

We’ll be looking forward to that book’s release! Thank you for spending time with us today, Crystal.

For more about Crystal Bowman and her books, visit Crystal’s website and blog at and her group blog, Christian Children’s Authors.

Davalynn Spencer

Davalynn’s website

May all that you read be uplifting.

Categories
New Releases

2021 Spring New Releases

2021 Spring New Releases

My Arms Will Hold You Tight board book

Author: Crystal Bowman
Title: My Arms Will Hold You Tight
Publisher: Tyndale
Release: January 2021
ISBN-13: 978-1496446220
Genre: Board Book
Link to Book: https://www.tyndale.com/p/my-arms-will-hold-you-tight/9781496446220

Dreams of Savannah

Author: Roseanna M. White
Title: Dreams of Savannah
Publisher: Bethany House
Release: January 5, 2021
ISBN-13: 978-0764237478
Genre: Historical Romance
Link to Book: https://www.roseannamwhite.com/books/stand-alone-novels/dreams-of-savannah

How to Listen So Your Kids Will Talk by Becky Harling

Author: Becky Harling
Title: How to Listen so Your Kids Will Talk
Publisher: Bethany House
Release: January 5, 2021
ISBN: 978-0764237218
Genre: NF/Parenting
Link to Book: http://beckyharling.com/store

Duplicity At the Lowell House

Author: Caryl McAdoo
Title: Duplicity at the Lowell House
Publisher: Peaceable Publishing
Release: January 11, 2021
ISBN-13: 979-8569032020
Genre: Mystery, Historical
Link to Book: Amazon Only

Maryann's Hope

Author: Molly Jebber
Title: Maryann’s Hope
Publisher: Kensington Publishing Group
Release: January 26, 2021
ISBN-13: 978-1420150674
Genre: Historical Fiction/Amish
Link to Book: https://www.mollyjebber.com/maryannshope.html

Author: Grace Fox
Title: Finding Hope in Crisis: Devotions to Calm the Chaos
Publisher: Rose Publishing
Release: February 1, 2021
ISBN-13: 978-1628629927
Genre: NF/Devotional
Link to Book: https://www.gracefox.com/books/finding-hope-in-crisis-devotions-for-calm-in-chaos

Author: Sarah Sundin
Title: When Twilight Breaks
Publisher: Revell
Release: February 2, 2021
ISBN-13: 978-0800736361
Genre: Historical Fiction
Link to Book: https://www.sarahsundin.com/books/when-twilight-breaks

A Change of Scenery

Author: Davalynn Spencer
Title: A Change of Scenery
Publisher: Wilson Creek Publisher
Release: February 4, 2021
ISBN-13: 978-1735074115
Genre: Historical Fiction
Link to Book: https://davalynnspencer.com/books/a-change-of-scenery

Wild at Heart

Author: Vickie McDonough
Title: Wild at Heart
Romance in the Badlands 1
Publisher: Mountain Brook Inc.
Release: February 15, 2021
ASIN: BO8SLHRVJR
Genre: Historical Christian Romance
Link to Book: https://mountainbrookink.com/mbi-books/historical-romance/romance-in-the-badlands/#wild

Author: Diane Stortz
Title: Say & Pray Bible Wipe Clean: First Words, Stories, and Prayers
Publisher: Tommy Nelson
Release: February 16, 2021
ISBN-13: 978-1400229826
Genre: Children Bible stories activity book
Link to Book: https://www.dianestortz.com/books/say-pray-bible

Growing a Mother's Heart

Author: Karen Whiting
Title: Growing a Mother’s Heart:
Devotions of Faith, Hope, and Love
from Mothers Past, Present, and Future
Publisher: AMG Publishers
Release: February 23, 2021
ISBN 978-1617155604
Genre: NF/Parenting
Link to Book: https://karenwhiting.com/viewproduct/27

Praying Through Every Emotion

Author: Linda Evans Shepherd
Title: Praying Through Your Every Emotion
Publisher: Revell
Release: February 2021
ISBN-13: tbd
Genre: NF/Christian Living
Link to Book: https://www.gottopray.com/linda-s-prayer-books

Shadows of the White City

Author: Jocelyn Green
Title: Shadows of the White City
Book 2 in The Windy City Saga
Publisher: Bethany House
Release: February 2021
ISBN-13: 978-0764233319
Genre: Historical Fiction
Link to Book: http://bakerpublishinggroup.com/books/shadows-of-the-white-city/396160

Texas Trails

Author: Caryl McAdoo
Title: Texas Trails
Publisher: Peaceable Publishing
Release: March 6, 2021
ISBN-13: 979-8587396340
Genre: Historical Fiction
Link to Book: Amazon Only

Deep End of the Lake

Author: Carol Grace Stratton
Title: Deep End of the Lake
Publisher: Iron Stream Media/LPC
Release: March 9, 2021
ISBN-13: 978-1645262770
Genre: Women’s Contemporary Inspirational
Link to Book: https://www.carolgstratton.com

Outlaw Heart

Author: Vickie McDonough
Title: Outlaw Heart
Romance in the Badlands 2
Publisher: Mountain Brook Inc.
Release: March 15, 2021
ISBN-13: tbd
Genre: Historical Christian Romance
Link to Book: https://mountainbrookink.com/mbi-books/historical-romance/romance-in-the-badlands/#wildOutl

Night Fall

Author: Nancy Mehl
Title: Night Fall
Book 1 in The Quantico Files series
Publisher: Bethany House
Release: March 30, 2021
ISBN-13: tbd
Genre: Suspense
Link to Book: http://nancymehl.com

Victor! The Final Battle of Ulysses S Grant by Dr. Craig von Buseck

Author: Dr. Craig von Buseck
Title: Victor! The Final Battle of Ulysses S. Grant’s final battlefor his family and for freedom
Publisher: Iron Stream
Release: April 4, 2021
ISBN-13: 978-1645263159
Genre: NF Biography/History
Link to Book: https://www.vonbuseck.com/victor-ulysses-s-grant

Spring Betrayal

Author: Sally Jo Pitts
Title: Spring Betrayal
Publisher: Winged Publications
Release: April 6, 2021
ISBN-13: 978-1952661761G
Genre: Mystery/Detective
Link to Book: http://wingedpublications.com/authors/sally-jo-pitts/

Bent Tree Bride

Author: Denise Weimer
Title: Bent Tree Bride
Publisher: Iron Stream Media/Smitten Historical Romance
Release: April 13, 2021
ISBN-13: 978-1645262954
Genre: Historical Romance
Link to Book: https://shoplpc.com/bent-tree-bride

Miss Wetherham's Wedding

Author: Linore Rose Burkard
Title: Miss Wetherham’s Wedding
The Brides of Mayfair, Book Three
Publisher: Lilliput Press
Release: April 29, 2021
ISBN-13: 978-1733311199
Genre: Historical Romance
Link to Book:
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/57408732-miss-wetherham-s-wedding?ac=1&from_search=true&qid=y9Wmrn5sRV&rank=1Miss

Who Put the Vinegar in the Salt?

Author: Linda Wood Rondeau
Title: Who Put the Vinegar in the Salt
Publisher: Elk Lake Publishing
Release: April 2021
ISBN-13: 978-1649490186
Genre: NF/Devotions
Link to Book: https://elklakepublishinginc.com/linda-wood-rondeau

90 Devotions for Women on the Go

Author: Pam Farrel
Title: 90 Devotions for Women on the Go
Publisher: Tyndale Momentum
Release: April 20, 2021
ISBN-13: tbd
Genre: NF/Devotions
Link to Book: https://www.tyndale.com/p/90-devotions-for-women-on-the-go/9781496450753

Paying the Piper

Author: Sandra Orchard
Title: Paying the Piper
#16 in Scottish Bakehouse Mysteries
Publisher: Annie’s Fiction
Release: April 2021
Genre: cozy mystery
Link to Book: https://www.anniesfiction.com/products/annies-sweet-intrigue

Dangerous at Heart

Author: Sandra Orchard
Title: Dangerous at Heart
Publisher: Annie’s Fiction
Release: April 16 2021
Genre: romantic suspense
Link to Book: https://www.anniesfiction.com/products/annies-sweet-intrigue

Categories
Encouragement

As Seasons Change

Watching the summer season come to an end, and autumn follow, reminded me once again that God is in control. He is the one who sends the rain, the snow, and the sunshine. He directs the clouds and the wind and determines the temperature. Though people may try to predict the weather based on meteorological patterns, they cannot control it. Only God can.

God is a God of order. Since the beginning of time, God established day and night and seasons. He made the moon to mark the seasons, and the sun knows when to go down (Psalm 104:19).   Every day, every week, every month, every year the order of nature is consistent. Just as nature is consistent, so is our God. His love and care for us remain the same.

God is faithful. Just as we can depend on daylight and darkness, we can depend on God. He will never leave us or forsake us. He is always with us to guide and protect us. We can trust that He will do what He says in His Word.

Knowing this gives us peace and frees us from worry and fear that exist in an ever-changing chaotic world. As we savor the days of autumn, let’s give thanks to a faithful God whose love for us will last forever.

I am the LORD, and I do not change (Malachi 3:6 NLT).

 

Author, Crystal Bowman

Crystal Bowman is a best-selling, award-winning author of more than 100 books for children and adults. She is a lyricist for children’s piano music, contributor to Clubhouse Jr. Magazine, and presenter at writers’ conferences. Her latest picture book addresses the topic of dementia: I Love You to the Stars—When Grandma Forgets, Love Remembers.

Crystal’s Facebook Page

Crystal’s LinkedIn Profile

 

Categories
Book reviews

Book Review: I Love You to the Stars – When Grandma Forgets, Love Remembers

I Love You to the Stars: When Grandma Forgets, Love Remembers
I Love You to the Stars: When Grandma Forgets, Love Remembers

I Love You to the Stars — When Grandma Forgets, Love Remembers is a new picture book published by Kregel Publishing. Inspired by a true story, a young boy enjoys having his grandma and her dog live with them. Soon Grandma gets forgetful and needs to live in another home, but the love they have for each other remains the same.

 

And here’s a review reprinted with permission from Xochitl Dixon:

In Crystal Bowman’s I Love You to the Stars, readers are introduced to a close-knit family facing the heart-breaking decline of a loved one who suffers from dementia. Bowman’s gentle tone comforts readers as a young boy learns how to care for his grandmother while she transitions into a live-in facility. The illustrations compliment the text, showing a policeman helping the grandmother find her way home after getting lost and the mother grieving over the initial diagnosis. Each intimate scene offers readers opportunities to discuss and process the difficult circumstances and emotions families experience while serving as caregivers for dementia patients. The grandmother’s dog adds a sweet sense of hope throughout the story as young readers discover how this life-changing disease impacts everyone involved. I Love You to the Stars empowers young readers with the vocabulary to express their feelings as they step into a healthy supporting role and offer the priceless gift of sacrificial love.

~ Xochitl Dixon (www.xedixon.com), Our Daily Bread writer and author of Different Like Me, a children’s picture book that celebrates our differences and sameness as God’s beautifully diverse and purposefully connected people.

 

* * *

Crystal Bowman, Author
Crystal Bowman, Author

Crystal Bowman is a former preschool teacher and a bestselling, award-winning author. She has written more than 100 books for children and four nonfiction books for women. She and her daughter, Teri McKinley, are the co-authors of Our Daily Bread for Kids. She is also a lyricist, speaker, freelance editor, and Mentor for MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers). More than 2,000,000 copies of her books have sold internationally, and her books have been translated into more than a dozen languages. She is a regular contributor to Clubhouse Jr. Magazine, and writes lyrics for children’s piano music. She and her husband enjoy spending time with their grown children and seven huggable grandkids. For more information, visit her at www.crystalbowman.com

Categories
Encouragement

With Thanksgiving

 

Anxiety is running high these days—riots in the streets, political confusion, and a silent virus  infecting the world. It’s enough to make anyone lose sleep. But Jesus reminds us to cast all our cares on him (1 Peter 5:7). He also invites us to ask for anything in His name (John 14:14), and He will grant it.

In a world that seems hopeless, Jesus is our hope. In a world that seems helpless, He is our helper. In a world of anxiety, He is our peace.

As I’m reading Bible verses and devotions to help me listen to God, I have been coming across many verses on thanking God. Thanking Him in all circumstances. Thanking Him in the midst of trials. And thanking Him as I bring my prayers and requests to Him.

I’m pretty faithful in bringing my “to-do” list to God. I’m never shy about asking God for what I need. But I am learning to add thanksgiving to those prayers. When I tell God what I need, or ask Him to resolve pressing issues, I add, “Thank You that You hear me. Thank You that You will answer. Thank You that Your timing is always right.”

Does this mean my prayers will be answered faster? No. It means that when I pray with thanksgiving, God replaces my anxiety with peace.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:6-7 NIV).

Crystal Bowman
Crystal Bowman

Mothers in Waiting by Crystal Bowman
Mothers in Waiting by Crystal Bowman

Crystal Bowman is a bestselling, award-winning author of more than 100 books for children and adults. She is a lyricist for children’s piano music, contributor to Clubhouse Jr. Magazine, and presenter at writers’ conferences. Her newest book is releasing soon, I Love You to the Stars—When Grandma Forgets, Love Remembers.

 

Categories
Author Interviews

Crystal Bowman hears her own songs played by a young pianist

Watch how much hearing her own songs meant when Crystal Bowman hears a young pianist play for her.

Crystal writes children’s books and lyrics. You can find out more about her at

https://ChristianAuthorsNetwork.com/Crystal-Bowman/

 

Categories
Devotional Encouragement

Praising God in Uncertain Times

 

We are living in uncertain times. A global pandemic is not something we are used to coping with. When life changes quickly it often causes anxiety and fear. But the one constant we have is that our Almighty God never changes. Knowing and believing that God is greater than our circumstance gives us hope and peace.

In Psalm 150:2 the psalmist writes, Praise Him because He is greater than anything else. That means God is greater than our worries and fears. He is greater than our circumstances. And He is greater than a global pandemic.

One of the best antidotes for fear is praising God. When our focus is on praising God for His power and love, our fears slip away. Many verses in the Bible remind us that all of creation gives praise to God.

Isaiah 55:12 says, Mountains and hills burst forth in praise and trees of the field clap their hands. In Psalm 96:11 we read, Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad, let the sea resound and all that is in it.

If all of creation praises God, then we, who are created in His image, can praise His name even in uncertain times. Let’s lift our praises to God today and let Him be greater than our circumstance.

Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord. (Psalm 150:6 NIRV)

 

Crystal Bowman
Crystal Bowman

Crystal Bowman is an award winning, bestselling author of more than 100 books. She is a speaker for MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) and teaches at writers’ conferences. She is a monthly contributor to Clubhouse Jr. Magazine and writes lyrics for children’s piano music.

Categories
Encouragement

Blue Skies Above

 

Our winter season in Michigan has been mild. No subzero temps or newsworthy blizzards to report. I am grateful for that.

But the heavy, gray clouds that linger for days and even weeks, make me feel like I am trapped in a colorless dome.

Last week we flew to Texas to visit my daughter’s family. Shortly after takeoff, the plane penetrated the thick mass and ushered us into an atmosphere of endless blue sky and brilliant sunshine. It was a mood-altering moment that brought joy to my soul.

Most of us face difficult circumstances now and then. The weight of our problems can make us feel like we are engulfed in a heavy, dark cloud. But when we give our concerns to Jesus and trust him to guide us through our struggles, he will usher us into his light.

Jesus is the light of the world. When we follow him, he will remove the darkness and restore our joy. No matter how heavy your problems are today, remember there is blue sky above the clouds.

When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life”  John 8:12 (NIV).

Mothers in Waiting by Crystal Bowman
Mothers in Waiting by Crystal Bowman

Crystal Bowman
Crystal Bowman

Crystal Bowman is an award winning, best-selling author of more than 100 books for children. Her non-fiction books include Mothers in Waiting—Healing and Hope for Those with Empty Arms. She is a speaker for MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) and teaches at writers’ conferences. She is a monthly contributor to Clubhouse Jr. Magazine and writes lyrics for children’s piano music.

(Photo by Thomas Urquhart on Unsplash)

 

 

Categories
Devotional Encouragement

Join the Chorus

 

For fourteen years our home in Florida allowed me to escape the bitter Midwest winters. But due to a health crisis, my husband and I are now back in the Midwest, bracing ourselves for some bitter temps.

When I look out my kitchen window, I no longer see palm trees standing tall against a clear blue sky. I see a blanket of white on the ground and pine needles laced with snow crystals. I no longer see lizards scurrying across the backyard patio. Instead, I see squirrels gathering nuts for the long months ahead.

My environment has changed dramatically, but what hasn’t changed is my awareness of God’s presence and revelation through his creation. “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands” (Psalm 19:1).

No matter where I am in God’s Universe, his power and glory surround me. Whether it’s mountains or oceans, sunny skies or storm clouds, or a flock of noisy geese flying south, God’s handiwork is on display. He made all things and sustains all things—including you and me.

God is everywhere and his love follows us wherever we go. As all of creation praises him, let’s join the chorus and honor our Creator today.

“Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad; let the sea resound, and all that is in it. Let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them; let all the trees of the forest sing for joy” Psalm 96:11-12 (NIV).

Crystal Bowman
Crystal Bowman

Mothers in Waiting by Crystal Bowman
Mothers in Waiting by Crystal Bowman

Crystal Bowman is an award-winning, best-selling author of more than 100 books for children. She’s also written three books for women, including Mothers in Waiting–Healing and Hope for those with Empty Arms. She is a speaker and mentor for MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) and teaches at writers’ conferences throughout the U.S. She is a monthly contributor to Clubhouse Jr. Magazine and writes lyrics for children’s piano music.

Categories
Devotional Encouragement

Grateful for Life

 

On Mother’s Day morning we witnessed the baptism of our baby granddaughter in a wonderful service filled with praise and worship. Though I believe every new life is a miracle, we waited a long time for this baby girl since my daughter-in-law was told she would not be able to have children. It was a very special morning for our family.

Later that afternoon, I received a call from my sister telling me that my ninety-seven-year-old mother would soon be entering heaven. I was a few states away and quickly booked a flight to my hometown. My mom’s funeral was a beautiful celebration of her life, which was defined by unconditional love. It didn’t matter if her children, grandkids, and great grandkids were born into the family, married into the family, “stepped” into the family, or were adopted into the family. She loved us all the same.

In the days that followed, as I processed my emotions, I found myself grateful for a new addition to our family, and grateful for a mother who showed me what it means to love and accept others the way Jesus did.

In life and in death, our hearts can be filled with gratitude to our heavenly Father—the one who gives life and holds us in His hands.

I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heart;
I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.
 I will be glad and rejoice in you;
I will sing the praises of your name, O Most High
(Psalm 9:1-2 NIV).

Crystal Bowman
Crystal Bowman

Crystal Bowman is a bestselling, award winning author of more than 100 books for children and adults. She is a lyricist for children’s piano music, contributor to Clubhouse Jr. Magazine, and presenter at writers’ conferences. Her latest book is Mothers in Waiting—Healing and Hope for Those with Empty Arms (Harvest House).