Saturday, April 17, 2021

Blog Tour and Giveaway: Blessed and Transformed by Dr Jeanine Bennett

About the Book

Book:  Blessed and Transformed

Author: Dr. Jeannine Bennett

Genre: Christian Nonfiction (Women’s Bible Study)

Release date: October 2020

What do you do when God answers your prayers, renews your mind, and transforms you?

Life does not always turn out the way we hope. It is often filled with tragedy, heartbreak, and loss, but make no mistake, God doesn’t abandon us during those times. Instead, God uses every experience we encounter to transform us so we can live the life He intended when He created us.

As Christians, we understand that we live in a fallen world. A world where dwelling on past failures or falling prey to the same sins seems normal. But what happens when God opens our spiritual eyes and shows us a different way to live? Do you run to Him and embrace the change? Do you find your calling and live out your purpose?

In Blessed and Transformed, Jeannine Bennett shares how much sweeter life is when you recognize God’s blessings and fully embrace His transformation of your life. She shows you there is no limit to what you can endure or accomplish by keeping God front and center.

Click here to get your copy!

 

About the Author

Jeannine Bennett is a wife to Hayden, mom to four children, and grandmother to seven grandchildren. Her children are named Sandra, Brittany, Camryn, and Zachary. Her grandchildren are Colin, Lilyana, Willow, Savannah, Winter, and Hope. She is the founder and CEO of Vision to Purpose, located in Virginia Beach, Virginia, an adjunct faculty member in the School of Business for Liberty University Online, and an executive coach for The Honor Foundation.

To those who know Jeannine, she is simply a woman who loves Jesus, is devoted to her family, and struggles with life’s challenges like the rest of us. She is not immune to bad hair days, shrinking clothes (weight gain), or sleepless nights. She loves learning and sharing the knowledge acquired to help others learn too. Her favorite ice cream is a toss-up between butter pecan and mint chocolate chip. And, although she has lived in Virginia for more than 30 years, she still calls a water fountain a bubbler. A term she grew up saying in her hometown of Racine, Wisconsin.

More from Jeannine

In my previous book, Broken to Beautiful, I shared my testimony. The first half of my story was filled with hopelessness, disappointment, heartache, and loss. The second half described accounts of undeniable blessings. I have chosen to continue my story in Blessed and  Transformed because I want to further the conversation about what happens when we

receive all of those blessings.

Friends, we cannot have blessings without being transformed. Just as each trial, each struggle, each challenge changes us, each blessing is a gift that God uses to change us too.

I believe blessings are God’s way of showing that He loves us. I also think He uses those blessings to nudge us forward in pursuit of what He has called us to do.

I pray this book is a blessing to you!

In Christ,

Jeannine

Blog Stops

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Jeannine is giving away the grand prize of a $25 Amazon gift card!!

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

https://promosimple.com/ps/10a4d/blessed-and-transformed-celebration-tour-giveaway


My Review: 

I loved Jeannine Bennett’s Broken to Beautiful: Brokenness is Not the End of Your Story and was excited to have the opportunity to read the follow up to it. Blessed and Transformed: Living the Life God Intended does not disappoint. What was supposed to sit down and read the study the first chapter, wound up spending hours with the whole book. This book perfectly relates with what I am going through in my life right now. It is broken down into two parts: Blessed and Transformed. There are fifteen chapters that are around five to nine pages long and were so easy to follow. Each chapter includes: Story / Commentary, God’s Promises, Scripture Support, and Questions to Reflect On. 

Blessed and Transformed: Living the Life God Intended is getting a very well deserved five plus stars from me. I highly recommend it for readers need to feel blessed and transformed. Such great inspiration. 

I received Blessed and Transformed: Living the Life God Intended from the publisher. This review is one hundred percent my own honest opinion.

Friday, April 16, 2021

Blog Tour: The Away by Cassandra DeJesus

 

Join us for this tour from Apr 12 to Apr 23, 2021!

Book Details:

Book TitleThe Away by Cassandra DeJesus
CategoryYA Fiction (Ages 13-17), 224
GenreYoung Adult
PublisherMascot
Release date:   April 2021
Content Rating:  This book is rated PG.

Book Description:

Sonia Peterson can't help but be excited for the bright future ahead as she nears the end of her last year of high school. But she quickly discovers that things are not what they seem in the quiet community of Glendale. After her neighbor's suicide and a slew of disappearances, Sonia's friend Devon divulges one of the town's best-kept secrets: at eighteen, residents are required to receive a serum that takes away their immoral impulses and imperfections, or they are exiled to a place called the Away. At first, Sonia can't believe what she's heard, but when her turn for the appointment comes, all of her worst fears are confirmed. Now, she must decide who she can trust and discover who is really at the core of the plot to rob Glendale's residents of their elemental human nature. Her journey takes her deep into the heart of the Away in pursuit of freedom for herself, her friends, and her community. Can she unravel the conspiracy before it's too late?

Buy the Book:
Amazon ~ B&N
Mascot
add to Goodreads

Meet the Author:

Cassandra DeJesus is a first-time author. The Away came to her in a dream so strongly that she felt she had to write it. Cassandra’s highest education is a high school diploma with some college credits. Cassandra has worked in many different fields but has never found her true calling. It was at Bay Shore High School where she met her high school sweetheart and now husband, John DeJesus. They have two beautiful children together. Today, Cassandra continues to remain a stay-at-home mother for her two children.

connect with the author:  website (coming soon!) ~ facebook ~ instagram ~ goodreads

Tour Schedule:

Apr 12 – Cover Lover Book Review – book spotlight
Apr 13 – Working Mommy Journal – book spotlight
Apr 13 - Living in a Bookworld – book spotlight
Apr 15 – Gina Rae Mitchell – book spotlight
Apr 15 - Rockin' Book Reviews – book spotlight
Apr 16 – Locks, Hooks and Books – book spotlight
Apr 19 – Splashes of Joy – book spotlight
Apr 20 – Sefina Hawke's Books – book spotlight
Apr 21 – Book Corner News and Reviews – book spotlight
Apr 22 – She Just Loves Books – book spotlight
Apr 23 – Jazzy Book Reviews – book spotlight

 


Blog Tour and Giveaway: Cooking Up a Mystery by Gail Pallotta

About the Book

Book:  Cooking Up A Mystery

Author: Gail Pallotta

Genre: Cozy Mystery

Release date: April 24, 2020

Laney Eskridge worked to put her husband through dental school. Then he left with another woman. She’s on edge from the emotional scars and her parents’ deaths. Then she hears unexplained noises in her new tea house, and her anxiety is tripled. Add a budding romance with Eric—a guy with a fear of commitment—and it’s all too much to handle. She cuts ties with Eric and plunges into making her business pay off.

When Eric discovers that Laney’s in danger, he vows to protect her. But can he make a lasting promise? Will she trust him? . . .and when they overhear a threat that could cause national turmoil, will anyone believe them? There’s more brewing than herbal tea in Cooking up a Mystery.

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

Award-winning author Gail Pallotta’s a wife, Mom, swimmer and bargain shopper who loves God, beach sunsets and getting together with friends and family. A 2013 Grace Awards finalist, she’s a Reader’s Favorite 2017 Book Award winner and a TopShelf 2020 Book Awards Finalist. She’s published six books, poems, short stories and several hundred articles. Some of her articles appear in anthologies while two are in museums.

More from Gail

In Cooking up a Mystery running a business with no background or formal training in accounting or management overwhelms Laney, the heroine. George, her assistant, tells her she has him and God, who knows her needs. Then he adds, “You … have your mom’s wonderful recipes and you whip them up like a pro.”

I chose the food industry for Laney, a woman entrepreneur succeeding against the odds, because I have lots of cooking experience. I learned the skill at age ten. The reason, according to my father—I’d know how when I got married. I didn’t marry until I was thirty. By then, I’d received lots of instruction, so I knew how to prepare some pretty good dinners. My husband said, “You could start a restaurant.” I wanted to do other things instead, such as write, but I started one in this book.

Mt first woman entrepreneur appears in Hair Calamities and Hot Cash, a romantic comedy about a hairstylist. It’s set in Eve’s Clips, a salon in Triville, a fictitious town in the North Carolina Mountains where Laney opens Laney’s Delectable Delights.

A section in the back of Cooking up a Mystery, Laney’s Chefs in the Making, features over two dozen recipes. Only Laney’s Pineapple Rice is mine. The rest are from a book, Heavenly Delights, authored by my friend, Pam Nichols Griffin, as a fundraiser for Mission Love Seeds, a charity that helps children throughout the world and responds locally after disasters to demonstrate God’s love.


Laney’s Pineapple Rice

Ingredients:

Rice (can be instant, but not boil-in-the-bag)

Cooking oil or spray

One small onion (chopped thin)

Five cloves garlic (or minced gloves equaling five cloves)

One tablespoon fresh grated ginger

One cup fresh pineapple

Small amount of pineapple juice

One teaspoon sugar

One lime

Cook rice according to directions on the box, but substitute a couple of tablespoons to 1/4 cup pineapple juice (depending on taste) for part of the water.

Chill rice

Coat a heavy bottom skillet with oil. Add the onion, garlic, ginger, pineapple and sugar and stir. Add cold rice, break up, squirt with the juice of one lime and stir until heated and blended.

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 9

Blogging With Carol, April 9

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, April 10

She Lives To Read, April 11

Texas Book-aholic, April 11

Inklings and notions, April 12

Genesis 5020, April 12

For Him and My Family, April 13

deb’s Book Review, April 14

Worthy2Read, April 14

Reflections From My Bookshelves, April 15

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, April 15

Locks, Hooks and Books, April 16

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, April 17

Godly Book Reviews, April 17

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, April 18

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, April 19

CarpeDiem, April 19

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, April 20

April Hayman, Author, April 20

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, April 21

Simple Harvest Reads, April 21 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, April 22

Labor Not in Vain, April 22

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Gail is giving away  the grand prize of a $40 Amazon gift card!!

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

 https://promosimple.com/ps/10a4e/cooking-up-a-mystery-celebration-tour-giveaway


My Review

Cooking Up a Mystery is another entertaining book by Gail Pallotta. This delightful story has a lot of what I enjoy reading in a book. There was light suspense and mystery, with sweet romance. The plot is somewhat easily predictable but still oh so good to read. It was fun meeting Laney and Eric. The book is not a long one and it took me no time to have it read in one sitting.

I am going to give Cooking Up a Mystery four stars. I recommend it for readers who enjoy reading a clean and quick cozy mystery. I am interested in reading more like this by Gail Pallotta in the future. This one is that should not be missed and worth a read. 

I received a digital copy of Cooking Up a Mystery from the publisher. This review is one hundred percent my own honest opinion.

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Book Blast and Giveaway: Tiger Stripes by Hannah Renae


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Hannah Renae will be awarding a $100 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Four psychiatric wards

Three rehabs

Two jail cells

And a suicide attempt...

Hannah was told she would not make it to 25 with the way she was living. She had struggled with mental illness her entire life, but at 22 her demons came to a head at the grips of severe substance abuse, life-changing trauma, and two major deaths in her life.

Hannah's struggles land her places no one ever hopes to grace; jail and psych wards lead her to the brink of death. Running out of options she's left with two choices: live or die. This heart-wrenching memoir combines recovery with bittersweet romance told in a raw presentation that immerses the reader into the author's dark state-of-mind in every page.

Tiger Stripes is going to add a valuable voice to the conversation about women's mental health issues.


Read an Excerpt

THE LETTER H

October 7, 2019

“HENRY! HENRY! HENNN-RYYYY!!!!”

I am screaming at the top of my lungs and can feel my throat tearing, becoming raw. I don’t know how many times I have said his name now, but it is all I know how to do because nothing is making any sense.

I am in a locked room and flashes of images are going through my head, but there is only one thing, one thought that I can focus on, that is pounding through my brain throughout this confusion and that is pouring out of my lungs to the point that my chest feels like it is going to rip.

“HENRY!” I choke on his name and a sob.

He cannot hear me, and he is not coming. He doesn’t know where I am and I don’t know where I am, but I know I am not supposed to be here—and I have to get out.

I beat at the metal door that barricades me from something unknown and choke on words that begin with H.

“HENRY!”

“HELP!”

“HENRY!”

“HELP!”

I repeat these words for what feels like a lifetime, until I forget how to speak and my begging turns to carnal screaming—shrieking.

No one comes. No one answers. I wait for footsteps, for the sound of the door unlocking, but all I can hear is the sound of my frantic breaths and the echoes of a lamentation that is anything but human.

I look down at my body. My feet are bare against the concrete floor; I cannot feel them. The jean shorts I am wearing show off my slender, scratched legs and remind me that I am small and feeble at this moment, but in an act of desperation, I put all of my faith in the power of momentum and I run. I fucking run as fast as I can from the three paces it takes to get from the wall to the ominous looming, locked door and attack it with my entire being, letting out my most vicious battle cry as I fumble towards it.

The door wins.

I try again.

And again.

And again.

And again.

And again.

I am degraded to a crumbling, bruised ball of flesh.

I can barely speak, my throat reduced to sandpaper.

Everything hurts and I can taste the bitterness of blood in my mouth. The floor is like ice against my bare legs. Through the tears in my eyes I see the moon shining through a window at the top of the room. It is full and brilliant and illuminates the white of the brick walls that surround me. I realize that there is writing on them. People have been here before me. People will be here after me. Why am I here though? I should not be.

I should be home, where I belong. In bed, with him. Safe. I feel anything but that word in this moment, as terror sweeps through every single one of my nerves.

I whisper in one last futile attempt:

“Henry?”

But there is silence. Horrible, deafening, fatal silence.

And it seems to last forever, until I hear it, or think I do. A click, the door unlocking, and the small room is suddenly filled with light. Fluorescence suffocates me.

When I dare to open my eyes, they do not find Henry. Instead I find a police officer looking back at me. He wears broad, black framed glasses that are too big for his face and he looks eerily familiar. A sudden memory of lying in a hospital bed comes to me but does not fully resonate. His face is forlorn and almost disappointed, as if he expected more out of me.

“I thought you were going to hurt yourself,” he tells me. “Promise you’ll stay calm and you can come out for a bit. We’ve got to get you fingerprinted.”

It’s then that I have the shattering realization that I am drunk and in a holding cell at a police station. The reason why escapes me though, as I try to grab onto flashes of sober memories but drown in my current state-of-mind.

I try to breathe with intent as I remember every single arrest-cliché in the book, and I cling to the fact that I am going to get my phone call. They will probably let me go—they have to. If anything, they will make me stay the night at the most.

I remember the silent promise I had once made myself—that the moment I got a DUI that I would put down the bottle for good. Jail was the worst it could get. It had been my crowning achievement at my last three rehabs that I had never graced the inside of a jail cell and I never planned to.

“Continue down the path you have been,” one of the staff members at my second treatment center had told me after sharing her own story about prison, “and jail is a guarantee.”

And here I am. Her words have come to pass, as promised.

I then remember what else she told me as we talked over a pack of Marlboro Reds on a warm Orange County night.

“Finish the 90 days,” she had said, “Or you will not make it and there will come a day where you will no longer be able to cry out ‘I’m a good person!’. You will lie. You will steal. You will become someone and something else. You will hurt everyone you love. You will lose everything, and just when you think you have lost it all, you will lose something else.”

About the Author:
If there is anything Hannah believes in, it’s hope, but that wasn’t always the case. For a long time, chaos was comfortable for Hannah, but at just 22 she would have to make her hardest decision yet: was life really worth living? Since picking up a pen Hannah has had a love for writing, and as an adult it would become her greatest tool in healing from an almost decade-long battle with severe mental illness and substance abuse. Her first book, Tiger Stripes, is a harrowing, raw telling of her year in and out of hospitals, treatment centers, and jail that finally led her on the road to recovery and freedom.

Hannah was born in Orange County, CA but has lived in the Los Angeles area for several years. She now lives in West L.A. with her boyfriend. When she is not writing she can be found reading, running, cooking, or finding the best vegan eats in L.A.!

Website - http://hannahrenaeauthor.com/
Twitter - https://twitter.com/byhannahrenae
Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/hannahrenae/
Pinterest - https://www.pinterest.com/hurnpublications/tiger-stripes/
Book Landing Page - https://hurnpublications.com/tiger-stripes/

Buy Links:

Amazon - https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08WM2S9Y2/ref=as_li_tl
BN - https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/tiger-stripes-hannah-renae/1138814034?ean=9781736450901
Kobo - https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/tiger-stripes
Apple Books - https://books.apple.com/us/book/tiger-stripes/id1553383519
TBD - https://www.bookdepository.com/Tiger-Stripes-Hannah-Renae/9781736450901
Indigo - https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/tiger-stripes-a-memoir/9781736450918-item.html

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Blog Tour and Giveaway: Courage in the Mountain Wilderness by Misty M Beller

 [Insert Tour Banner Here]

About the Book

Book:  Courage in the Mountain Wilderness

Author: Misty M. Beller

Genre: Christian Historical Romance

Release date: April 6, 2021

Keeping her son safe on this epic journey may be harder than she imagined.

Caleb Jackson is on a journey. And not just the mission he and his friends have embarked on to fetch the Nez Perce chief’s runaway daughter. Maybe someday, he could also find God’s plan for his life. He’d once thought being a small town minister was the Lord’s will for him, but he’d proved a failure at living under the scrutiny of his congregation. Yet the chief’s niece and her feisty toddler accompanying them on this expedition make him feel like he might be able to make a difference yet.

Otskai is eager to take on a challenge. She’s lived under the shelter of other’s choices her entire life, especially when she was betrothed to one of the village braves at the tender age of eight. Now with her husband dead, she’s finally found the freedom she always craved—even with a two-year-old to raise. She’s built her camas root harvest into a thriving trade to provide all she and her son need and more, yet she can’t seem to keep her active child safe. When she agrees to accompany her new friends on a trip to bring back her wayward cousin, she knows she’ll have her hands full managing her boy.

The journey turns out nothing like Otskai expects, and for the first time in her life, she’s thankful to have others around to help. Especially Caleb, whose gentle attentions captivate her son and occupy him for hours at a time. But as the danger escalates and her worst fears come to light, she must find the courage to choose between freedom and a love more liberating than she imagined possible.

From a USA Today bestselling author comes another epic journey through breathless landscapes and adventure so intense, lives will never be the same.

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

Misty M. Beller is a USA Today bestselling author of romantic mountain stories, set on the 1800s frontier and woven with the truth of God’s love.

She was raised on a farm in South Carolina, so her Southern roots run deep. Growing up, her family was close, and they continue to keep that priority today. Her husband and children now add another dimension to her life, keeping her both grounded and crazy.

God has placed a desire in Misty’s heart to combine her love for Christian fiction and the simpler ranch life, writing historical novels that display God’s abundant love through the twists and turns in the lives of her characters.

More from Misty

Mom Guilt—it’s real, no matter what your race or tribe.

One of the things I love about writing the Call of the Rockies series is the cast of characters that covers almost more races than I can count on all my fingers! From Spaniards, to Frenchman, to Southern Americans, to Blackfoot, to Nez Perce, to Salish, to Shoshone. And let’s not talk about the various sectors within some of the tribes (Peigan Blackfoot, Blood Blackfoot, Pikunin of the Nez Perce…oops, we weren’t going to talk about those!).

But what I love the most about so many people groups represented is learning how much we really are alike, down deep in our cores! Sure, some are introverts, some are extroverts. Some like to swim, some hate to swim. Some like to cook, some like to play with the kids (okay, maybe most like to play with the kids!).

Yet there are common threads that connect us all. As I was writing Courage in the Mountain Wilderness, I discovered a new thread that I have in common with Otskai, the Nez Perce hero of the story.

Mom guilt.

Yep. Our situations are a little different—I’m married with four kiddos, and she’s widowed with one very energetic two-year-old son. But we both struggle with that same push and pull. That same set of conflicting longings. When I’m with my kiddos, sometimes I just desperately want time alone. Time to actually get things done. But then at night when they snuggle close at bedtime, wrapping their sweet arms around my neck and not just saying, but showing, how much they love me, I can’t imagine how I could ever want to do anything but spend time with these sweet little ones God has trusted me with.

Thus, the guilt.

Maybe Otskai and I are the only ones who’ve ever experienced that particular strain of Mom Guilt. But I’ll bet there are other ways you can relate—both to these very real fictional characters who may or may not be the same race as you. And also to the very real real-life characters you meet every day.

The great news is that God loves each and every one of us, Mom Guilt and all.

Blog Stops

lakesidelivingsite, April 6

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, April 6

Blossoms and Blessings, April 6

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, April 7

reviewingbooksplusmore, April 7

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, April 8

cats in the cradle blog, April 8

Betti Mace, April 9

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, April 9

For the Love of Literature, April 10

deb’s Book Review, April 10

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 11

Jeanette’s Thoughts, April 11

Texas Book-aholic, April 12

Maidens for Modesty, April 12

Inklings and notions, April 13

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

Older & Smarter?, April 14

Blessed & Bookish, April 14

Locks, Hooks and Books, April 15

Splashes of Joy, April 15

Wishful Endings, April 16

Mary Hake, April 15

For Him and My Family, April 16

She Lives To Read, April 17

Connie’s History Classroom, April 17

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, April 18

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, April 18

Adventures Of A Travelers Wife, April 19

Simple Harvest Reads, April 19 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Misty is giving away the grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card!!

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

https://promosimple.com/ps/10a1f/courage-in-the-mountain-wilderness-celebration-tour-giveaway


My Review: 

Courage in the Mountain Wilderness is yet another fabulous read by Misty M. Beller. This gives me another reason why she is among my favorite authors. I adored Otskai right from the start. I enjoyed the character of Caleb, as well. This is one of those books that will keep the readers attention from start to finish. It was great reading for me on a snowy afternoon. I loved it. 

Courage in the Mountain Wilderness is getting a very well deserved five plus stars from me. I highly recommend it for readers who enjoy clean historical fiction. I can not wait for the release for Faith in the Mountain Valley, the fifth book from the Call of the Rockies series. I look forward to find out what happens next.

I received Courage in the Mountain Wilderness from the publisher. This review is one hundred percent my own honest opinion.  

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Spotlight and Guest Post: The Amazing Adventures of Jimmy Crikey by Wallace E Briggs


Purchase HERE
Blurb: 

Do you want to know a secret?

Beneath the very ground on which you walk and beyond the stars above your head, are more worlds than you could ever dream of. There are monsters. Be afraid. Magic, wielded by witches and sorcerers. Epic adventures in worlds far across the ocean. And fearsome weapons which threaten to destroy everything.

Jimmy Crikey is a brave soul who faces some pretty scary challenges. Solving mysteries and averting mayhem, his incredible courage allows him to free up his abilities to shine and rise above every challenge in his path, on his way to discovering why he looks so very strange.

With a bright red mop of unruly hair, big blue eyes, a small snub nose, pointed ears and enormous feet, poor Jimmy is ridiculed by the neighbourhood children and runs away in search of a world where he fits in. Following a midnight flight through the forest, he stumbles into a lost, underground world called Roombelow and magic, adventure, danger and excitement await.

From the little lady who lives at the bottom of a well, a starship that wants to take him home, trolls, little people, traders and diamonite stealers to water sprites, witches, helpful dolphins, and interplanetary warfare, Jimmy learns the biggest lessons of his life.




Guest Post:

Israel/Egypt

My life as an Export Sales Manager was rarely as grand as it sounds. Ninety nine percent of my export sales trips consisted of taxi rides to airports, hours waiting in queues, a few hours flying, usually squeezed uncomfortably into the back of the plane and then more time spent in passport queues and baggage halls. Business Class (pure luxury by comparison) was only authorised for flights longer than five hours. Usually, it was then another taxi ride to the hotel, arranged by the company Travel Agent. Occasionally I was afforded the comfort of being picked up at the airport by a representative from an existing appointed distributor/agent.

There would usually follow meetings at the distributors’ offices, perhaps with staff training sessions, and end-customer/user visits which helped establish the status of the agent and perhaps assisted in the winning of some contracts. This could typically take one two or three days and often the programme allowed little if any free time for exploration of whichever county I was visiting. The exceptions were memorable, like the Salt Mine tour in Poland. The hotels I was assigned to were usually of a high standard and the quality of food excellent but it could be lonely existence as a stranger in a strange country, unless the distributor accompanied you for the evening.

The most memorable exception was a tour which included a five-day stint at an exhibition in Israel, followed by a three-day sales tour in Egypt with a newly appointed Distributor. The Egyptian part of the trip was planned so that I had a one day break from business in Cairo to visit the Museum and The Pyramids of Giza.

Ah! The best laid plans ....

As I approached the hotel venue on last day of a tiring, slow-moving exhibition in Tel Aviv, the MD of the Distributor put a hand on my shoulder. “What are you doing here?” I looked at him in surprise. “Today is the last day of the Exhibition. I’m not due to fly out until tomorrow.”

“We can manage the stand today but you are not on duty. You are on a one-day trip to Jerusalem. See, here is your ticket and Ashmeil will take you to the tour pick up office and when you get back the company will provide transport to your hotel, where you will join us for dinner, as thanks for your work supporting us this week.”

I was dumfounded but graciously accepted the MD’s offer.

In general my, memory is atrocious but that day is burned indelibly into my grey cells.

Emotions ran high that day, and still. To visit the Holocaust memorial and the eternal flame left with me with a heavy heart about man’s inhumanity to fellow men. I visited Christ’s supposed birthplace at the site of the stable by the side of the Inn, now entombed within a church. I walked in the steps of the Lord as our group traced His last journey, carrying the cross, on foot Via del Rosa, the Way of the Cross. The streets were crowded but there was clearly marked Stations of the Cross, points at which Jesus had stumbled or rested.

At that time I was an avid believer. Perhaps less so now, but nothing will erase those memories of walking the crowded, narrow streets of Jerusalem, covering the same ground Jesus had walked on over two thousand years ago.

Then I was on my way to Cairo. And two days later I had set a day aside during my short trip to Egypt to visit the pyramids. Who would swap places with me?

As I said before: the best laid plans of mice and men...

From landing in Cairo the following afternoon, the new distributor had set up so many appointments that there was hardly time to eat, let alone to visit any tourist sites. As we ended the programme of industrial visits late afternoon on the last scheduled day of business, we headed back into the city and drove past the pyramids on our right-hand side. “You have seen before,” he said. “No?”

“No,” I replied. “I had hoped to book a tour but we have been very busy.”

“That is not good,” the distributor said, and yanked his car across two streams of oncoming traffic amid a cacophony of blaring horns, and then sped back to the pyramids entrance. My heart rate must have doubled following that manoeuvre.

He drew up at the entrance gates which were in process of being locked. He jumped out of his car and there followed an intensive conversation with the Duty Guards. There followed much gesticulation amid raised voices and then, I swear, cash exchanged hands. The gates were opened and we were waved through. There followed awhat was almost a Grand Prix around the pyramids, at Grand Prix speede. At each pyramid we screeched to a halt in a cloud of dust and sand and I was ushered out of the car to take a photograph.

If I remember correctly, we completed a circuit of the pyramids in about ten minutes. I don’t remember the Sphynx and really, the rest is a blur across the pixels in my eyes.

And my photographic record is a disaster of poorly framed, out of focus shots on my manual 35mm camera. I was in touching distance of the great stones but never got to touch them.

But would I change a thing about that trip? Never! Of such stuff are lasting memories made. I was grateful for the opportunities that came my way, while doing a job I loved.