Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Home to Chapel Springs (Chapel Springs #2)

Title:  Home to Chapel Springs (Chapel Springs #2)
Author:  Ane Mulligan
Pages:  300
Year:  2016
Publisher:  Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas
My rating is 5 stars.
Note:  I received a complimentary copy for an honest review of this book from www.bookfun.org  The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility. 
What occurred in the preceding novel in the series Chapel Springs Revival then completed by the novel Chapel Springs Survival we’ll talk about another time.  In this novel, the main character is Carin who returns to Chapel Springs with her 6-year-old son when her marriage falls apart, bringing a host of unanticipated changes.  Carin is a successful author whose life is uprooted; yet, she finds hope in the joy her son JJ brings and in returning to a town where there are pleasant memories.
Now Carin must somehow piece her and JJ’s lives back together along with restoring the home bequeathed to her without any income at the present.  Along with that, Carin begins to be reacquainted with the small town people she grew up with who shower her with care and affection.  There are a couple of other older female characters in the book that at times caused me to burst out laughing with their antics or words.  The town is going through a mayoral race that is constantly causing local folks to wonder if their current mayor is still the right man for the job or should it be his opponent who seems to be a sneaky kind of man.
That is just the tip of the iceberg of what is in store for any reader adventurous enough to engage in the fictional town of Chapel Spring and its eclectic town folk.  The author does a wonderful job of weaving together themes of faith, brokenness, dysfunctional family, loving people even though they may not like them and a mystery to boot!  The town believes that a theater that has been closed for four decades is the home of a ghost.  Wait till you discover who or what it really turns out to be!
I loved traveling in my imagination to a small town with what appears like a reflections of real people with both positive and negative characteristics.  I thought some of the names of the local shops were quite brilliant and cute!  I hope you make time to enjoy the Chapel Springs novels with all the qualities of small town quirkiness and love with acceptance from many folks.  Above all, I loved how the author shows how God can make something beautiful out of tragedy.

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255. “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

The Witnesses by Robert Whitlow

Title:  The Witnesses
Author:  Robert Whitlow
Pages:  400         
Year:  2016
Publisher:  Thomas Nelson
My rating is 5 stars.
I enjoy reading novels that include courtroom drama along with a smattering of mystery and suspense.  Robert Whitlow delivers on all three fronts as well as giving readers romance, family relationships, history and a very powerful theme regarding spiritual blessing on the next generation.  What also came through in the story was the choice each individual had to repent, seek the Lord and receive His forgiveness, love and presence.
At first, I was lost in the novel as the main character, Frank Haus, was introduced in a historical framework as a soldier in the German army.  Then, readers are propelled to modern day and introduced to his grandson, who is a lawyer named Parker.  From that point on, the author uses flashbacks to help the audience understand what Frank experienced in war time and his ultimate decision to leave Germany behind.
Parker is an associate lawyer who works for a very small firm and as he helps with cases, he begins to experience this innate ability to see where the questioning of a witness needs to go or perhaps who would make a good jurist, etc.  The ending of the novel has a lot of action, but also drives a spiritual truth home to readers that will leave an impact for a long time after the book is done.
While most people look horizontally to see where they are going or where in life they want to go, the novel really had me understanding that the eternal is far more important.  It isn’t just a personal eternal perspective that Robert Whitlow shares, but also helping others see the truth of the eternal life or death that awaits them.
I hope you take time to enjoy the journey this novel holds for anyone who takes time to enjoy the story!

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255. “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Monday, August 29, 2016

A Heart Most Certain (Teaville Moral Society #1)

Title:  A Heart Most Certain (Teaville Moral Society #1)
Author:  Melissa Jagears
Pages:  393
Year:  2016
Publisher:  Bethany
My rating is 5 stars.
Nicholas Lowe is the wealthiest man in town and also the stingiest according to most townspeople.  Lydia King is tasked with getting a donation from Mr. Lowe for the Teaville Moral Society.  She is given this task by the group’s leader to see if she is worthy to be a member of the group as well as worthy of her son’s affections.  Lydia is being courted by Sebastian Little, son of the town’s new mayor as well as having political aspirations of his own.  Lydia is desperate for a way to get her father out from under his gambling debts as well as provide care for her dying mother.  Lydia’s parents think marriage to Sebastian will solve all their problems.  Lydia is not so sure, but what else can she do?
As Lydia is unsuccessful in getting a monetary donation from Mr. Lowe, she returns multiple times to try again.  She refuses to give up.  What will Sebastian’s mother think?  She already holds Lydia in low regard as she has no social standing and no money.  She and Mr. Lowe begin an unsteady friendship when he grants her three wishes for the use of some of his money.  What happens next will change their lives forever.
I thought this story very deftly portrayed the hypocrisy that can be present in some churches today with speaking one way, but acting quite another.  Scripture can be accurately quoted, but when it comes time to actually do something about a problem or an issue then it is either ignored, swept under the rug or left for someone else to deal with.  I thought it interesting to read about the very limited life choices a woman in that time period.  I enjoyed getting to know the real Nicholas behind the gruff exterior.  I really liked how Nicholas and Lydia became willing to obey God regardless of the cost to them and how they were willing to put the words of Scripture into action.

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255. “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Identity Theft by Ron Cnator

Title:  Identity Theft (Book #1)
Author:  Ron Cantor
Pages:  250
Year:  2013
Publisher:  Destiny Image
My rating is 5+ stars.
While the book is written in a fictional format, don’t let that fool you or distract you from discovering the nuggets of truth within the story.  The fictional male character is a young Jewish man seeking to find the truth that will set his heart free.  During a trip to a local coffee shop to write an article for his publication job, David’s life is abruptly interrupted.  What an interruption!  David is taken by angel to the past, the recent past and also way back to the first century.
What unfolds before David is meant to provide scriptural answers to his questions as well as some history of the Jewish people/nation.  When he returns to the coffee shop, not much time has passed; however, he isn’t the same person anymore.  While questions were asked, answers were provided with only one more action needed to be taken that was a weighty matter.
I was gripped by the fictional story to be sure, but more so by what I learned.  It isn’t easy to put into words how my heart was both excited and troubled by some things I read.  I was raised in a Roman Catholic family and it really wasn’t until the last couple of decades that I began to understand what I was taught and what the Bible teaches.
I began in September 1980 to walk with Jesus as my Savior and my life has never been the same.  The one discipline I was taught by my parents and am so thankful for was to always love learning.  I wasn’t meant to ever stop or just let others tell me what to think or say.  The other discipline I learned was to constantly read, which I do even to this day, along with learn.  By the grace of God, both my sons also have captured the love of learning and reading.

So when you read Identity Theft, I pray you do enjoy the story but don’t stop at that point.  I pray you consider the truths being presented and then search for the Truth in the Bible.  Ron Cantor‘s character was shown that what is learned should be backed up by scripture more than religious teaching, traditions, etc.  It takes a lot of courage to embark on a search for truth as one must be willing to let go of what is false to be free to embrace truth, the Truth being Jesus!

The Jerusalem Secret (Identity Theft #2)

Title:  The Jerusalem Secret (Identity Theft #2)
Author:  Ron Cantor
Pages:  240
Year:  2016
Publisher:  Destiny Image
My rating is 5+ stars.
The first book in the series is titled, Identity Theft, really whet my appetite for what comes next in The Jerusalem Secret.  To me, where book one is an introduction to being exposed to some truth via fiction, book two really sinks into the heart of the reader.  Some time back the Lord led me to do some reading from various Messianic Jewish writers.  However, what Ron placed before me in this fictional story which is continued from book one is a feast for the mind and heart!
Some of the information will take time for me to have deeply entrenched in my heart and mind, and some of what is presented flew over my head.  Yet, there is much that I could have jumped for joy over when I read as it gave me more sources and Scripture references for knowing why I believe what I do!  I love the Jewish people and Israel more than I really know how to express.
I really hope and challenge people to read both Identity Theft and The Jerusalem Secret as the novels that teach via fiction.  To me, this is what Jesus did when he taught using parables so his audience could readily identify what He was attempting to teach.  Know that I am not suggesting Ron’s books are equal to the Bible by any means.  However, this second book was especially challenging to my mind and heart, which I appreciate authors like Ron doing so that I come away with more than just a good story.
With all that is going on in the world, to me, novels such as this are even more important as they utilize the tool of fiction to teach.  We all know that sometimes we lose focus when being taught or lectured whereas given a story and our attention rarely falters.  Do you experience the same?  In any case, when reading both novels, consider giving copies to people you know and then have a discussion about what each of you come away with when you’re done reading.  I hope too that like me your learning won’t stop here, but look at the sources listed in the back of the book and do some self-teaching, digging to discover more truths about Yeshua!  So, will you join me?

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255. “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Saturday, August 27, 2016

COLTS vs Eagles (CBS) @ 7 pm


                                     vs

Hebrew Word Study (Revealing the Heart of God)

Title:  Hebrew Word Study (Revealing the Heart of God)
Author:  Chaim Bentorah
Pages:  432
Year:  2016
Publisher:  Whitaker House
My rating is 5 stars.
Here is a book that will enrich a believer’s study of the Scriptures as well as the understanding brought with a deeper revelation of the God we love and serve.  In the preface, a paragraph I read really revealed to me the author’s heart:  “One secret to sustained studying of God’s Word is this:  If you fall in love with the Author of the Bible, you will feel there is not enough time in the day to study His word.  Also, as your love for Him deepens, He will reveal His secrets to you.  I have fond the Word of God to be a well that never runs dry.” (pg. 15)
The book is written in a devotional format so no one has to know the Hebrew.  The author does a superb job of having us focus on the heart of God.  There are 90 days worth of short devotions that I believe the author meant as a launching pad to begin further, deeper study of the Bible.  In that time alone with God, our minds are renewed, our sins become revealed and once we repent we are forgiven.  We come out of that time sustained and thirsty for more of Him instead of looking at time with the Lord as something to check off out daily “to do list”.
The book reminds readers of the Person of God and His heart’s desire for us to draw near to know Him, to come and reason with Him by using our God given minds.  Over the last few years, God has led me to study, read and desire to understand the Jewishness of the Word.  We have the Bible today because of those Jewish people to whom it was given and they brought it to the world.
I hope you read, reflect and share with others what you learn about the heart of our God when you use the Hebrew Word Study by Chaim Bentorah.  If you desire to know more, the author has a website as well as other books that he has written to help us grow in our understanding and to see the loving heart of God revealed in the Bible.

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255. “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Friday, August 26, 2016

Service Tails by Ace Collins

Title:  Service Tails (More Stories of Man’s Best Hero)
Author:  Ace Collins
Pages:  224
Year:  2016
Publisher:  Abingdon
My rating is 5 stars.
Yes, I am a dog lover no doubt about it!  Sure, there are some animals I don’t want two feet near me; I just adore them from a distance.  I grew up having two dogs as pets most of the time, each one with a unique personality.  When I saw the title of the book, my mind went immediately to military dogs that are in the service or retired.  However, this book covers people who are disabled and whose lives would have been limited or perhaps even shortened without the aid and companionship of their furry and well trained friends.
I am utterly amazed at how the dogs were trained and then adapted to each owner’s specific or special needs.  The instinct God has given to dogs really has allowed them to be of aid to a variety of people from all spectrums of life whose lives might not have reached the heights they did without the aid of the dogs.
Even the owners sometimes need change, and the dog would be bonded so well with the person to adapt to the new situation.  I believe your heart will be touched as was mine by how the organizations and animals go to such lengths to help a person.  Perhaps too how one views a person with a disability might be challenged to think outside the box as well.
Ace Collins did a wonderful job sharing real people and animal stories along with giving us the ability to look into the various organizations via the internet.


Service Tails Ace Collins

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255. “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Gratitude (A Prayer & Praise Coloring Journal)

Title:  Gratitude (A Prayer & Praise Coloring Journal)
Pages:  112
Year:  2016
Publisher:  Tyndale
My rating is 5 stars.
I have noticed an increase in coloring books that either promote a theme of some kind or include Scripture verses.  Here is one that I like a lot because it has pages for people to write out their thoughts, prayers, praise or whatever along with a page of coloring.
The hard cover provides a firm way to aid in writing or coloring.  While they aren’t a lot of pages, I believe that can be beneficial so that a person doesn’t get bored or feel the weight as being heavy as he/she might if it were a thick book.
I think people of all ages would enjoy the book.  I would consider giving it as a gift to people you know or someone you don’t as a way to introduce them to Jesus!

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255. “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

365 Pocket Morning Prayers

Title:  365 Pocket Morning Prayers
Author:  David R. Veerman
Pages:  320
Year:  2016
Publisher:  Tyndale Momentum
My rating is 5 stars.
Have you ever had moments when words seemed to be unable to pass your lips to God’s ear or been in a moment whether being rushed by pressures or life takes an unforeseen turn and been unable to express your heart in prayer?  Is there someone you know who maybe struggles with praying in any way, but longs to be more consistent?
I, for one, recommend this small, pocket-sized, morning prayer book regardless of whether you use it in the morning or any time of your day.  I was impressed when I read through some of the prayers written along with scriptures whether posted in its entirety or not.  The prayers written aren’t of the quick without heart kind nor are they extremely lengthy.  They are just long enough, and they are heartfelt prayers to be used as the Spirit guides you or in the one-a-day format.
I think the book is a great way to help new believers begin learning to pray or a more seasoned prayer warrior who needs refreshment.  The goal is to set the heart of the believer as well as the eyes on the One we are all ultimately dependent on, Jesus.  The prayers felt like words born of the soul, longing to connect with God before starting the day.  If you use this tool, it will be like a great jump start to your day helping you to look to God and realizing He is right beside throughout your day.

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255. “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Close to Home (Chicory Inn Series #4)

Title:  Close to Home (Chicory Inn Series #4)
Author:  Deborah Raney
Pages:  304
Year:  2016
Publisher:  Abingdon Press
My rating is 5 stars.
For those not familiar with this series we are introduced to the Whitman family who are the central characters to the novels.  The series novels start with Home to Chicory Lane, followed by Two Roads Home, Another Way Home and now Close to Home.  There is to be a fifth and final novel in the series titled, Home at Last, but I have no knowledge right now of when it will be released.
In each novel, a member of the Whitman family is highlighted and then their individual story is told within the folds of the larger and extended Whitman family.  Here the character focus is on Bree who was married to Timothy Whitman when he was killed in action over in Afghanistan.  It’s been almost five years since she lost him and now perhaps she thinks she might be ready to enter the social scene again and perhaps marry someday.
While this is occurring, Grant Whitman, who is the father of the family, has a mother, Cece, who is starting to show signs of dementia.  Along with life happening in the other adult sibling’s life and running Chicory Inn, Bree is struggling in her first relationship with a coworker, Aaron.  However, it becomes apparent to Bree over a couple of weeks that she and Aaron aren’t exactly matching up well in the dating arena.  Now Bree is contemplating her next move and hoping her job won’t come to an end because of her decision to date a coworker.
Each novel for me has been a thrill to read.  The story takes on a life of its own and it is very easy to get lost into this world of fiction.  There are things that happen in the Whitman family that are both good and trying.  I love the themes of romance, family togetherness, time made for extended family to gather weekly, and faith.  Deborah Raney crafted her characters to appear lifelike and my heart was touched several times during the reading of the tale.  Each book has been a pure delight for me to read, review and share with you.  I look forward to the last novel with bittersweet emotions, sweet as the books have been so heartwarming and bitter because it will be the last book of the series.
I hope before the final book is released that you have a chance to read each novel and be prepared to enter into the Whitman family home one more time before moving on to whatever the author pens next for her readers!
Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255. “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Fetching Sweetness (Love Unleashed #2)

Title:  Fetching Sweetness (Love Unleashed #2)
Author:  Dana Mentink
Pages:  224
Year:  2016
Publisher:  Harvest House
My rating is 5 stars.
Just looking at the cover of the book I thought the dog looked like a real sweetie and the story within is one of the best!  One character, Stephanie, is a literary agent trying to get a manuscript deemed a real gem by her boss.  What readers learn about Stephanie is her dreams, heartbreaks, faith and hope.  Rhett is a man who is plagued by guilt, convinced he is on the direction God has for him and totally sets his feet on a path that has many twists and turns.  When he runs into Stephanie and decides to help her out of her problem, life gets really interesting for both of these characters.
Readers will enjoy the antics and comedy the dogs provide in the story very well described so readers easily see the funny moments.  The heart-touching moments in the book are also revealing and teach us about what really is most important this side of heaven.  The last few chapters of the book were really exceptional and I don’t think I will soon forget them.  I enjoyed the first book in the series by the author titled, Sit Stay Love, and I hope Dana continues to write novels like these that are filled with faith, hope and love.

Fetching Sweetness Dana Mentink

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255. “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

A Loyal Heart

Title:  The Loyal Heart (A Lone Star Hero’s Love Story #1)
Author:  Shelley Shepard Gray
Pages:  309
Year:  2016
Publisher:  Zondervan
My rating is 5 stars.
This new series by Shelley Shepard Gray is set about two years after the Civil War’s end, and this story in particular is set in Galveston, Texas.  The two main characters are Miranda Markham and Robert Truax.  There are occasional flashbacks to a time during the war as well.
Before the end of the war, Robert and a few of his comrades who had served the Confederacy together made a pact.  They were currently prisoners of war in Ohio, but when the war was over they vowed to always look out for each other.  In particular, Phillip Markham asked that they look after his wife if something happened to him before the war’s end.  Well, Phillip didn’t live to see the end of the war and his widow, Miranda is in trouble.  Robert is contacted by his former captain and agrees to travel to Galveston to see what the problem is.  When he arrives, he soon finds out Miranda is treated as an outcast and Phillip has been deemed a traitor to the South.  Robert knows for a fact that Phillip remained loyal to the South and intends to find out how these rumors got started so he can fix the situation.  He also intends to find out who started the rumors about Miranda offering more than room and board at her home for her boarders.
Miranda Markham just exists in a fog of despair for the two years since her husband’s death.  They loved each other very much and she is depressed over his death, his family’s and the community’s treatment of her, the threatening letters she has received and the sheriff’s lack of response to these threats.  When Robert arrives, she begins to have hope for the future.  He has told her he will be leaving once he has helped her solve her problems, but can he leave a woman he find so fascinating?  Loyalty on many fronts plays a key role in the story as evidenced by the title.  I look forward to the next book and seeing what attribute will be highlighted.  As always, this author writes with a deft pen and draws her readers in from page one.  I find the Civil War time period very interesting and this book certainly kept me engaged.


Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255. “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Monday, August 22, 2016

Without Warning (Elite Guardians #2)

Title:  Without Warning (Elite Guardians #2)
Author:  Lynette Eason
Pages:  347
Year:  2016
Publisher:  Revell
My rating is 5 stars.
Daniel Matthews is a former marine turned CEO of six restaurants.  He is alone one night catching up on some paperwork at one of his restaurants when he hears a noise.  He doesn’t give it much thought, but the noise continues.  He investigates and makes a gruesome discovery.  Not long after that one of his other restaurants burns to the ground.  His teenage niece who lives with him after the death of her parents is concerned for his safety so she hires the Elite Guardians to protect her uncle.  One of the guardians is her teacher in a self-defense class, so she knows about what they do for a living.
Katie Singleton is plagued with PTSD from an incident three years ago that killed her brother.  When she meets Daniel Matthews, she discovers he can relate.  He also suffers from PTSD from his service in Afghanistan and Iraq, but he has learned some coping techniques to help lessen flare-ups.  He and Katie find they have a lot in common.  Daniel is very involved in the investigation of the crimes committed at his restaurants and admires Katie’s strength of character.  He has been angry at God for the death of his brother and sister-in-law, but witnesses Katie’s faith in action and begins to think more about God.  Can they catch whoever is out to ruin him before he hurts someone else?  Why has Daniel been targeted?
I like the women portrayed in the Elite Guardians because they are tough women who can take care of themselves, but can accept help when they need it.  They struggle with emotions, doubts and insecurities just like other women; they deal with very real issues.  I also really like how faith is interwoven in the story without being preachy.  The good guys in the stories are protective, but not obsessive.  The third book in the series, Moving Target, is to be released in the spring of 2017 and that can’t come soon enough for me!  This is a series filled with action, suspense, romance and faith that readers won’t want to miss, so pick up a copy for yourself or a friend for some exciting reading!

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255. “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

2 Chairs (The Secret that Changes Everything)

Title:  2 Chairs (The Secret that Changes Everything)
Author:  Bob Beaudine
Pages:  192
Year:  2016
Publisher:  Worthy Publishing
My rating is 4 stars.
Within this small book are words of wisdom passed down from mother to son, and from his own experiences as a grown man.  The name of that man is Bob Beaudine whose mother taught him what she had learned so long ago.  Regardless of what one may think or believe God wants to speak to us in His own way into our own unique life.
While I was reading, I was encouraged by the many simple words of instruction and the Scripture references that spoke to my heart.  Just know this isn’t a cure-all book just a pointer in the right direction like a sign one might see when driving on the road.  Don’t feel you have to do exactly as the author says unless God leads you to do so.  Start with the simple steps and let God develop yours and His time together.  It never ceases to amaze me how God encourages the heart of an individual person.
I hope you come away as I did with ways to grow time with God.  Perhaps you know a few people like I do who could use this short book to jump start their prayer life or renew it.  Regardless of each person’s life, God wants us to cast all our cares on Him because He loves us!

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255. “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Colts vs Ravens (FOX) @ 7 pm


                                       VS

Her Deadly Inheritance

Title:  Her Deadly Inheritance
Author:  Beth Ann Ziarnik
Pages:  266
Year:  2016
Publisher:  Lighthouse of the Carolinas Publishing
My rating is 5+ stars.
This is a debut novel that surely is attention-grabbing from the first word till the very last one!  Beth delivers to us a tale of family strife, heartbreak and surprises.  On top of that, the main female character, Jill Shepherd, would rather stay in hiding and let the courts declare her legally dead than take possession of a house.  Why?  One reason is that Jill is very afraid of what she might find should she return and make herself known to an aunt who despises her and had despised her mother as well.  Another reason is that Jill isn’t sure she can find the courage to walk into the very house where her mother was said to have taken her own life.
Jill is now a Christian and she turns to her Bible with a heart wanting to do what God wants her to do.  She knows she doesn’t have the courage unless God provides it.  She is also burdened with a load of guilt and needs the Lord to tell her what to do in order to face the past squarely.  From the moment Jill lands on the island to show herself to the court as being alive, life will take many twists and turns for her.  There is something she hadn’t counted on though and that is falling in love with Clay Merrick; however, he has something in his past that he doesn’t want uncovered.
The moment I started reading this suspense-filled story I was hooked!  I couldn’t put the book down as the tension in the story was building, and while some mocked Jill’s faith there were surprises for those who came to know Christ as their Savior.  I loved how Beth showed a reflection of reality in the heart of her main character, Jill, when she wanted to know if her mother knew Jesus before her death.
I enjoyed the constant uncertainty as to who the real antagonist of the story was because there were some times I thought it was one character only to think it another a bit later in the story.  I thought the faith theme very strongly presented was so important in the novel as the characters faced their own mortality or just dealing with their life.  The ending was brilliant and a nice touch to include the kitten named Buttons.  I can only wonder if the author has a sequel in mind for this story or something brand new for readers to enjoy!  Either way, I plan on watching for whatever Beth offers to us in the future!

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255. “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Q & A of Debut Author Beth Ziarnik

Thank you for inviting me, Lisa. I’m excited about this opportunity to visit with you and your blog readers.
                             Where did the idea for the novel Her Deadly Inheritance start?
I didn’t realize it at the time, but the idea started when I was a child in elementary school. I loved reading those wonderful stories of beautiful princesses and handsome princes who fought through dreadful danger to enjoy true love.
Years later Phyllis A. Whitney’s romantic suspense novels captivated me, and no wonder! Her heroes and heroines had to overcome dreadful danger and impossible obstacles before they could enjoy their happily ever after.
This eventually became the basic plotline for my own romantic suspense novels, including Her Deadly Inheritance.

         What did you do to help prepare you to write fictional novels?
The best thing I did to prepare was read hundreds of romantic suspense novels, especially by Christian authors since I wanted to write Christian romantic suspense. I studied the elements they included in their stories and read every how-to book and article I could find about writing fiction—especially romantic suspense.

While writing Her Deadly Inheritance, I joined two critique groups—one through Word & Pen Christian Writers (my local group) and the other through American Christian Fiction Writers. What a great help they are, lending fresh eyes to the reading of my story and giving me valuable suggestions.

I also made it a practice to attend at least one Christian writers’ conference a year. Wow! Learning from published writers and making friends with other conferees made a vast difference in my progress. Just this past June, after years of attending the Write-to-Publish Conference, I received its “Writer of the Year” award because of Her Deadly Inheritance. What a blessing!

Where do your ideas for characters, scenes, and plots come from?
Mostly from living. None of my characters are copies of people I know, but they are composed from bits and pieces of taken from their lives and my own. For example, Clay. My novel’s hero plays softball in one of my story’s scenes. His batting and fielding feats are ones I’ve witnessed my dear husband accomplish as a ball player.

Scenes come from researching settings in books and magazines, online, and by visiting the locations. Jim and I vacationed at Munising and Grand Island twice while I researched my novel’s setting. We experienced the storms that are part of the story. Things like that are only made possible with on-site research.

Plots start with the “What if ..?” question asked over and over as I write. I’m what’s called a “pantser” novelist. Though I know the gist of my story, I have to experience it along with my characters as I write. How? I have no idea. It’s a mystery to me as much as it is for any other “pantser” author.

To date what other types of writing have you tackled?
For many years I wrote nonfiction articles for Christian publications and had two monthly columns. Most of my articles were devotional pieces, but I also wrote profile interviews, news articles, book reviews, and feature articles.

     Do like to hear from readers of your writings?  How can people interact with you?
I love hearing from readers and faithfully reply whether they contact me through my website (www.bethziarnik.com ), my Facebook pages (www.facebook.com/beth.ziarnik  or www.facebook.com/authorBethAnnZiarnik ), my blog (https://bethziarnik.wordpress.com ) or leave a review of Her Deadly Inheritance on Amazon.com (www.amzn.co/194110360X/ ).
  
    Are there others in your family who have been or want to become authors?
Not that I know of, but we have great oral story tellers in our family. And I often say that my mother was the first writer in our family. When I was born, she wrote a sweet poem about me which she put in my baby book.

 How do you keep the passion for writing alive as well as fresh?
By reading novels by other authors, attending writers’ conferences and my local Christian writers’ group, and staying in touch with writer friends. But more than anything, prayer keeps my passion fresh

How long have you been married? Where did you meet your husband?
Jim and I met while we were in college. We both remember that brief, magical moment when a mutual friend introduced us. Two years later, we started dating. Jim and I enjoyed 47 years as husband and wife before he went to be with the Lord

Is there anything in the writing process that you would readers to understand? 
Being a published writer takes perseverance. If you believe God has called you to write, don’t quit. Keep working toward that next level of expertise that will lead to publication. It will happen, if you keep praying, keep honing your craft, and you don’t quit.

        Do you have any future endeavors or projects in your plans/goals?
I’m currently working on my second romantic suspense novel and have four more in the works at various stages of development. In the meantime, I also enjoy speaking at women’s, writers’, and community events where I get to meet my readers face-to-face. Great fun!

   Do you have a Scripture verse or verses or a quote that helps you continue in your calling as an author?
“For we walk by faith, not by sight.” 2 Corinthians 5:7

I discovered this verse on an Easter card when I was a child, and it had been my life verse ever since.


Friday, August 19, 2016

New Movie to watch for in 2017!

When Death Draws Near (Gwen Marcey #3) Author: Carrie Stuart Parks


Title:  When Death Draws Near (Gwen Marcey #3)
Author:  Carrie Stuart Parks
Pages:  330
Year:  2016
Publisher:  Thomas Nelson
My rating is 5 stars.
Gwen Marcey has fallen on hard times.  She has had to sell her home to pay off her medical bills from her prior breast cancer treatment.  She is divorced now and her ex-husband has remarried.  Their relationship is tenuous at best.  Her teenage daughter is dressing like a rebel now with the help of her new step-mom.  While on a case, she receives a call from her doctor after some recent testing and the news is not good.  Can Gwen’s faith sustain her or will she let anger and despair rule?
She has a job opportunity provided by her friend Dave, so she heads off to horse country in Kentucky.  While there, she is able to draw an accurate picture of a previously unidentified body.  An identification of the body is established based on the picture, and the parents of the victim are so impressed with Gwen’s talent, they invite her to a religious revival.  A local politician has befriended Gwen when the local police chief seems slow to investigate the murder as well as attempts to scare Gwen off the case.  The politician wants Gwen to infiltrate this particular religious group in the hopes of her then being able to draw those people in the group.  They allegedly are breaking the law with some of their religious practices and this politician has his eyes on working up the political ladder, so he wants to get some legislation on the books to make him look good.
This is another great mystery/suspense novel.  I have read all three books in the series so far and each one has been excellent!  I read quite a bit and the mystery/suspense genre is one of my favorites, so to find an author that can challenge my mind, make me laugh and stir compassion says a lot to me.  Gwen’s sense of humor rings so true with me and her struggles in life are realistic.  Her skill in forensic artistry I find amazing as I can’t even draw a stick figure!  The next book in the series is titled, Portrait of Vengeance, and is due to be released in August 2017.  These are books to place on your “keeper” shelf after sharing them with friends or family.  Great job Carrie!

When Death Draws Near Carrie Stuart Parks
Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255. “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Flirtation Walk







Title:  Flirtation Walk
Author:  Siri Mitchell
Pages:  374
Year:  2016
Publisher:  Bethany House
This story is set at the United States Military Academy and the nearby small town of Buttermilk Falls in the year 1855.  The main characters are Seth Westcott, a cadet at the academy and Lucinda Pennyworth, the niece of one of the teachers at the academy.  Lucinda has arrived in town to throw herself on the mercy of her aunt and uncle whom she has never met after the death of her father.  She has nowhere else to go and no way to earn an honest living as she has been in finishing school.  She has survived in the past as an accomplice to her father and his swindling schemes, cheating people out of their money.  Lucinda has never thought of this as something bad as her father has told her they are exchanging their money for hope.  Then, while living with her aunt, she begins to see truth and is convicted of all the lies and deception her father has taught her.  She learns about God in a new, revealing way and has His light shine on the darkness in her life.  She also develops a fondness for Seth, but eventually sees her past prevents a future with him.
Seth is in his last year at the academy.  He receives a letter telling of his mother’s death and his younger sister being left to sell the family farm on her own.  Seth is denied leave from the army to help his sister.  On her way to live with relatives in Kentucky, she loses all the money by investing in a nonexistent hotel.  Her only proof is a worthless deed to property that doesn’t exist.  Seth vows to find the swindler and get the money back, but to do so he needs to go west where the swindler has been operating.  Only the lowliest of cadets makes it into the cavalry and get sent west.  The only problem is Seth is at the top of his class and due to be sent to Europe immediately after graduation, leaving him no time to get his money back or take care of his sister.  How will he accomplish justice?
I applaud the amount of research the author did to write this book and I really enjoyed learning more about the life of a cadet in the 1800s United States Military Academy.  Lucinda’s father was such a mean snake!  I really liked the supporting characters of Deacon, Dandy and Otter as well as Phoebe.  I hope the series will continue and develop some stories for these characters.  The plot was a little slow moving for me and the two main characters weren’t as appealing to me as they could have been, but overall I still liked the book.
My rating is 4 stars.
Disclosure of Material Connection:  The above statements are only my opinion.  I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255. “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

: Starving Hearts (Triangular Trade Trilogy)











Title:  Starving Hearts (Triangular Trade Trilogy)
Author:  Janine Mendenhall
Pages:  300
Year: 2016
Publisher: Heritage Beacon Fiction
My rating is 5+ stars.
What heart gripping, nail biting story set in the late 1700’s in England!  For a debut author this work of fiction is such a rare gem normally it stories as well written come from a well seasoned author!  Book #2 will be titled Never Past Hope though I don’t know when it will be published; I none the less cannot wait to continue the story of Miss Annette Chetwynd and Mr. Peter Adsley budding romance and growing faith.
Now the writer includes many Scripture references woven into her characters interaction in their lives.  There is mystery, danger, and a man bent on revenge and nothing will he allow to come between his beloved prize of being a man of means and title.  When trails come into the lives of not just Annette or Peter but others how do the characters respond, or how do they view God?
I loved how the author introduces a historical person known as William Wilberforce and his work to abolish slavery.  Annette’s father is a godly man and he has allowed his daughter an unequivocal education not normally given to women at that time.  Annette has a fiery spirit who loves to talk about all subjects and desires to live outside the mold society or her mother are trying to squeeze her into.
The reason for the title shows up in the story so please watch for it the author did a wonderful job of sharing the message of Christ.  We see a reflection of humanity in the players when they sometimes wonder away from God, question God, and at times when they read the Bible, talk about what they hear Him saying and praying.  Readers will see the reality of how at times it is very hard to trust God when life turns in ways unexpected or when they are harsh and cruel times.
I cannot wait for book #2 or #3 though alas I must, but it is trying!  The novel is so well written I got lost in the story many a time sometimes forgetting to come up for a drink of water! Join me in this exciting story that will eventually cover three novels in total!  You won’t ever be sorry!

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255. “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” 

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

The Occupied by Craig Parshall

No Other Will Do Author: Karen Witemeyer

Title:  No Other Will Do
Author:  Karen Witemeyer
Pages:  368
Year:  2016
Publisher:  Bethany House Publishers
My rating is 4 stars.
This author is one who writes good historical romances that I know I will not have to worry about language, sex or anything I might find offensive, which I really appreciate.  This book is no exception.  The setting is Texas in the mid-1900s.  Emma Chandler is 23 years old and has been raised by her two spinster, suffragette aunts since the death of her parents when she was a young girl.  She is now the leader of a settlement of women only.  Harper’s Station is a place where a woman can get a fresh start and there are no men allowed.  Emma has a compassionate and merciful heart as well as having a good head for banking and investments.  She is the town banker and all the establishments are run by women.  Each woman shares whatever talent she has with the community and they all help each other when someone is in need.  However, recently a series of nasty notes have been left warning the women to leave town or else.  As the notes get closer and closer to the center of town, Emma is more ill at ease.  She decides to call in the cavalry in the form of her childhood friend, Malachi Shaw.
Malachi Shaw is an explosives expert, working for the railroad in Montana.  He receives Emma’s telegram, immediately asks for a week of vacation from his job and takes off for Texas to help Emma without knowing what kind of trouble he is walking into.  When Malachi arrives, the women take a vote and allow him to stay, but only until the trouble is taken care of and then he must go.  Emma and Malachi have stayed in touch with letters, but they haven’t seen each other in ten years.  Their attraction to each other is immediate, but they both try to fight it.  Malachi does his best to find the culprit who is trying to scare the women into leaving the town permanently, but his time is running out for soon he must return to his job.  Can these two survive another parting after the first one hurt so badly?  Why does someone want everyone out of Harper’s Station?

I enjoyed the romance between these two main characters a lot.  Emma’s enthusiasm and impulsiveness added the right amount of spark and feistiness to their relationship.  I also liked how Malachi realized he needed to depend on God for solutions and not himself or anyone else.  I just loved the two aunts!  They added humor, love and compassion to the story.  This would be a great book to take on vacation to read beside the pool on a sunny afternoon.

Friday, August 12, 2016

TIm Tebow's book "Shaken"

Once Upon A Time

Title:  Once Beyond A Time
Author:  Ann Tatlock
Pages:  317
Year:  2014
Publisher:  Heritage Beacon Fiction
My rating is 5 stars.
Wow, what an intriguing and unique novel!  The author tells a captivating tale set in the Black Mountains of North Carolina in a house the Crane family moves to after the father resigns from the pastorate.  The move for the Cranes is from a Pennsylvania town and loads of people, friends and easy access to a multitude of places to eat, see movies, etc. to the backwoods where the town is so small it is like you blink and you’d miss it!
While the move was not anticipated, it is the reason for the move that was even less than desired.  On top of that, the oldest son is serving during a war and while not on the front lines, the family misses him very much.  It doesn’t take long for the reader to get the feeling something more is occurring than just a story of a family adjusting to living in a tiny town from a large suburban lifestyle.  Oh, no!  When people start appearing from different timeframes and the Cranes can talk to them but nothing else, everyone gets just a little bit freaked out!
I loved how the author takes chapters where the point of view is from one of the family members, Meg (the mother), Sheldon (the father), Linda (the daughter) and the youngest family member nicknamed Digger.  It was really fun to read each character’s thoughts, feelings, reactions, desires, and more, especially with the heartache involved.
Though the plot or storyline may sound simple, there is a deep message the author is building to reveal in her story.  It is at times a comical read while at other times it’s a heart-touching read, making me curious to see what was going to happen next.  I really was drawn into the story and the slow revelations of what was occurring within the “hearts” of the main characters.  Some of the side characters are really a hoot and made me laugh out loud!
I sure hope you enjoy reading Once Beyond a Time as I did.  I am sure I will reread this book again sometime in the future!

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255. “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Deadly Encounter by DiAnn Mills


Title:  Deadly Encounter (FBI Task Force #1)
Author:  DiAnn Mills
Pages:  400
Year:  2016
Publisher:  Tyndale House Publishers
My rating is 5+ stars.
This is the best novel yet that includes nail-biting suspense and intrigue unlike ever before from this author’s pen!  I have read all of DiAnn Mills FBI themed books, but this one is top of the charts, if not off the charts!  The author has always written very suspense-filled stories that are crafted after she has truly done a marvelous job of researching, so the story is authentic in many places.  Here is story of an Airport Ranger who is actually a full-time vet, but volunteers to ride her horse and ride a perimeter route to make sure Houston’s airport is safe.  However, unlike any of Stacy’s previous rides, she comes upon a body and discovers a drone.  When the FBI agents show up, one of them makes her feel as though she is a suspect and he can’t believe she is as innocent as she appears.  Special Agent Alex has had a bad experience in his professional line of work that has soured him towards believing any woman who claims she is innocent.
Stacy is a vet who has been at odds with her parents for years and is trying to adopt an 11-year-old young man whose IQ makes talking to him seem like he is an adult.  Whitt is the young man who has captured Stacy’s heart and it is felt both ways by the characters.  Living in a rundown neighborhood and trying to adopt this young man is one Stacy’s hearts desires.  Stacy also wants to be reunited with her parents after being estranged for so long so she slowly tries to bind up the broken family relationship with short weekly calls.  Now, Stacy is deathly ill and so are some of those in her neighborhood.  If they don’t find a serum to aid the sick or the right combination of antibiotics, some are going to die!
The race heats up quick as the FBI hunts down the source of the illness and the drones sent by nefarious people.  This was a quick-paced, action-filled ride that kept me up all night because I just couldn’t put the book down!  For anyone looking for a novel of that nature, look no further.  You’ll want to make time to read this outstanding FBI novel ASAP!


Author’s Official Website:   http://www.diannmills.com/
-          Free Book Preview – Full Chapter PDF:             Deadly Encounter – Chapter 1
-          Author’s Official Blog/Newsletter:     http://www.diannmills.com/articles/
-          Author Bio:            Tyndale Author Bio – DiAnn Mills
-          Facebook:              https://www.facebook.com/diannmills        
-          Twitter:                   https://twitter.com/diannmills    
-          Pinterest:               http://pinterest.com/diannmills/
-          Goodreads:            http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/81639.DiAnn_Mills
-          YouTube:                http://www.youtube.com/user/diannmills
-          LinkedIn:                http://www.linkedin.com/in/diannmills/



Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255. “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”