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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Book Review -- Hobbits, You, and the Spiritual World of Middle Earth

Jill Richardson pulls from J. R. R. Tolkien's book The Hobbit  to present Christian principles. Each chapter focuses on a different character in the book, along with their strength's and weaknesses. Richardson overlays this with with clever tie ins to biblical characters, and their spiritual journey. She includes questions at the end which could be used for personal reflection or for group Bible study.  The casual voice and simple presentation seems to have a style that would suit teens well. The book would work best as a supplement after reading the Hobbit. I praise Richardson for this unique and original study. I think this book would be a great tool for youth leaders to use with their groups.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Book Launch and Book Giveaway, Lessons of Life


I'm hosting Ron Millicent, a first time author who has two books out at the same time. 

Ron is giving away one copy of Lessons of Life. To enter, comment below this post, leaving your name and letting me know what interests you about either of Ron's new books. The contest is open to U. S. residents only.

A bit more about Ron...

He claims no advanced degrees in psychology, but he has an insightful way of bringing  `home` the lessons he has learned over several decades. He was raised in Hawaii (before it was a state – go figure). He lived in France as a young man. He taught English – (with absolutely no teaching experience) in a Greek Island. 

He was stranded in Germany- not speaking German – with no money- of any kind.
He came out of heart surgery cracking jokes. And he has been married for 5 decades – same spouse (go figure). He connived a prime posting in the army – and even fibbed about being a carpenter to get out of the rain.

Interesting  fellow – good tales, good insight.

Lessons of Life:
This book was written as a result of my sister saying one day, “You know that to have lived for over 70 years, we must have learned something! That got me thinking:

I was raised in Hawaii – before it was a state; I lived in France for two years as a young man; I have been thrown off a train in Germany in a small town – in the middle of nowhere with no money, and no German language skills; I have been to 16 countries, and about a dozen islands;  I taught English on a Greek island for a few weeks – and did so having absolutely no experience as a teacher; and actually had 
surgeons laughing during a heart procedure. I have been married for 49 years (same woman – poor soul) and have lived from counting quarters to go to McDonalds – to having meals in Paris, Rome – and Athens - -- and then back to McDonalds!You know, I would have to have been a moron not to learn certain things along the way.

Now, assuming you are younger than I am – the odds are pretty good that you can learn something from my experiences, and rambling.  I actually think you can!
You have nothing to lose!  Well, $7.00 something, I guess.  Heck, you can lose that by buying one greasy hamburger – and a coke that is no good for you anyway.
Give me a shot!  I’ll bet you will get some laughs, and – who knows – maybe a little insight.Go ahead!

Successful Habits:

I wrote this book after being dismayed about all the publicity about `The Secret` and various renditions of the Law of Attraction.  While completely valid, all the hype was that somehow someone had `discovered` the secrets of life – and for a paltry $99 - $???? They would share these marvelous secrets with you.  The promise was that it would change your life. The truth is – as I see it – that the ` secret ` is really no secret at all.  The most ancient writings tell of it – as well as the Bible. Actually the Bible is full of these `secrets’.

You can pick up a Bible for far less than one of these courses will cost!
So, being dismayed at the proliferation of these `clandestine revelations’, I vowed to bring to the surface that what was lacking in our society was not some `covert source’ of information, but rather the application of these principles. So, this little handbook was born.  It goes into the actual application of these beliefs, or laws, and does it 
with humor and wit.  Each page has a saying, or representation of some type, to make the point in that chapter.

And rather than relying on these purported `secrets` - it actually ties the principles to one of the newest branches of science – Quantum Physics.  Isn’t that interesting?
You will find that it is a fun read – and a very insightful step-buy-step guide for the person who really truly wants to live a fuller life. There is no hype about becoming a multi-millionaire in the next 90 minutes, but it does provide a program – which can (and should) change your life for the better – in very short order. 

WHERE TO PURCHASE RON'S BOOKS:

 http://www.createspace.com/4368076

https://www.createspace.com/4379483
  

Friday, December 6, 2013

BOOK REVIEW: SAVAGE LOVE BY JODI WOODY

Samantha, who has weathered teen motherhood and now the loss of her husband from a marriage of convenience, has car troubles while traveling through Montana with her teenage daughter. They are picked up by a limo and brought to the home of a mysterious stranger who is battling cancer.

The plot is a bit of a stretch—what is the likelihood that a perfect stranger would allow them to stay in his home for weeks?  Still, the ploy works. I loved the character of Daffyd and found him sensitive and compelling. It’s rare to find a book I can’t put down, but this one was a page turner for me because she hooked me and I wanted to know what was going to happen to him and if they would end up together.

There were a few issues, such as an info dump at the beginning and some editing issues, and the unlikelihood that everyone in Daffyd’s life would be a Christian, but the  characters are likable, the situation compelling and realistic most of the time. The  unique plot and a good story cancel out the other issues.   I give it four stars.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Book Giveaway - The Unexpected Enlightenment of Rachel Griffin by L. Jagi Lamplighter

Today's guest author, L. Jagi Lamplighter, loves to write fantasy. She has a new release, The Unexpected Enlightenment of Rachel Griffin. a young adult fiction for girls in the vein of the Harry Potter series.

I'm giving away one Kindle copy of the book. To enter this drawing, leave a comment below in the comments section with your email and why you would like to win this book.

Here's a blurb about the book:

Rachel Griffin wants to know everything. As a freshman at Roanoke Academy for the Sorcerous Arts, she has been granted to opportunity to study both mundane and magical subjects.

But even her perfect recollection of every book she has ever read does not help her when she finds a strange statue in the forest—a statue of a woman with wings. Nowhere—neither in the arcane tomes of the Wise, nor in the dictionary and encyclopedia of the non-magic-using Unwary—can she find mention of such a creature.

What could it be? And why are the statue’s wings missing when she returns? When someone tries to kill a fellow student, Rachel soon realizes that, in the same way her World of the Wise hides from mundane folk, there is another, more secret world hiding from everyone—which her perfect recall allows her to remember. Her desire to know everything drives her to investigate.

Rushing forward where others fear to tread, Rachel finds herself beset by wraiths, magical pranks, homework, a Raven said to bring the doom of worlds, love’s first blush, and at least one fire-breathing teacher.

Curiosity might kill a cat, but nothing stops Rachel Griffin!
---

Trade paper on Amazon:

Kindle on Amazon:

The author's blog: http://arhyalon.livejournal.com/

website: http://www.ljagilamplighter.com/

Twitter: @lampwright4


Thursday, November 28, 2013

Valerie Howard's Newest Book, Our God Saves

Today's blog spotlights writer Valerie Howard who has a new book coming out.

Valerie Howard is a stay-at-home mom with a 16-month-old son and two high-maintenance beagles.  She's married to a youth pastor, graduated from Piedmont International University (in that order), and resides in her hometown of West Baldwin, Maine. She loved to read and write as soon as she learned how to do both.  An ideal day for Valerie would be one where she could curl up on the couch with a hot cocoa and read an entire book in one sitting. 
Her newest book, Our God Saves,  is a compilation of over 20 personal salvation testimonies.  Each life story is written by someone with a different background, and each person tells how they came to know Christ as their Savior.  One woman recalls how she tried to set her house on fire in order to kill her parents before God saved her.  Another tells of how she received Christ in a nightclub while wondering if she’d ever return home to her husband again.  The point of the book is to show how God can save anyone, anywhere, at any time.  He is powerful and nothing can stop His love and forgiveness.
Valerie, what made you want to start this book project?  

Last year, I compiled a recipe book for our small church in Maine.  This year I thought, why don’t I compile a book of salvation testimonies?  The word spread and people from other states and churches also submitted their stories as well.

The book is available through the following links.

The book will be available on www.Amazon.com and www.ValerieHowardBooks.com on November 15th.

Valerie will be giving away a paperback copy of the book on her Facebook page. Be sure to check it out.  www.facebook.com/valeriehowardbooks

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Book Giveaway - Celibacy: What Was I Thinking? by Tranea Prosser

Tranea Prosser, also known as MizT, is a seasoned comedienne, as demonstrated on her nationally available comedy CD, Back at 'Ya, Lord! (her debut recording.) She has shared her comedy primarily within the Central Texas areas, but has been making inroads nationally in selected cities across the United States. She brings laughter in churches, at banquets, and any other place with a microphone and set of speakers. She does it all in a clean, family-and-kid-friendly manner that is pleasing to all. 

2013 Nominated Comedian of the Year, Gospel Sounds Radio Network Music Awards

2012 Dallas Idol Participant

2011 Texas Finalist in Search for the One Christian Comedy Talent

2010 Comedian of the Year Runner-Up Texas Gospel Music Excellence Awards

I am running a giveaway for one copy of her new book, Celibacy: What Was I Thinking?

Using her comedic background, Tranea provides humor, encouragement, advice, lessons learned and tender experiences on the life of a celibate person.  While her decision to live celibate was done primarily for religious purposes, her advice and writings apply to anyone living a celibate life.

 Her candid approach to this delicate topic leaves the reader with real-life tips on avoiding relationship pitfalls and ways to survive until they find the life mate of their dreams!

To enter to win this book, all you need to do is leave a comment with your email.  Contest is open to U. S. residents only.

Here are links to where Tranea's book can be purchased.
www.miztcomedy.com
http://www.amazon.com

THIS CONTEST IS OVER. CONGRATULATIONS TO KIMBERLY B ON WINNING THIS BOOK.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Book Review – The Gifts of Imperfection



Brené Brown is a writer and research professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social work. She has authored several books including I Thought It Was Just Me, which dealt with shame and is well-known speaker.

Brown spent countless hours interviewing people and compiling data for this book. Her study lead her to realize that there are certain people who seem better adjusted and happier than most and these people embrace whole-hearted living. Though each of individuals is different from the other, they hold similarities in attitude and lifestyle choices, including how they deal with their own short comings and the disappointments life hands out. Based on these, Brown came up with 10 guideposts which we can apply to our lives to become more like these well-adjusted individuals.

Some of the things I appreciate most about this book is the author’s own admissions of her areas of struggle and what she learned along the way. She also includes illustrative stories and definitions to help us gain insight and suggestions of ways to grow and change. I give this four out of five stars.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

BOOK LAUNCH AND GIVEAWAY: BRAVE NEW CENTURY

THIS CONTEST IS OFFICIALLY CLOSED. CONGRATUATIONS TO TAMMY ARMSTRONG, THE WINNER OF A FREE COPY OF BRAVE NEW CENTURY



Announcing a book giveaway of Brave New Century.  This is the book I co-wrote with three other authors.  I’m giving away one copy in either paperback, Kindle format, or PDF.  Winner’s choice.  To enter, leave a comment as to why you want to win this book along with your email contact. Offer good to U. S. residents only. Contest ends (11/29/13).
 Brave New CenturyInspirational Historical Romance from Prism Book GroupStories of four young women who are each braving challenges at the dawn of the 20th century in the big city. Will they overcome their hardships and find love?

Three Rings for Alice by Lisa LickelLove and respect in 1899 Milwaukee is as close as a phone call.

Forgiven by Paula MoweryWhen Henry and Jessie meet it seems to be classic love at first sight until a shocking revelation tears them apart.

The Pocket Watch by Kathleen RouserSearching for the past an orphan and a young doctor find love for the future.

Flames of Hope by Teena StewartLove ignites in the midst of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire. More about Three Rings for Alice:
Our opening story, Three Rings For Alice, shows Alice Smith’s struggles to be a modern woman at the turn of the twentieth century in America. Orphaned, she must make her own way in an age when women are just coming into the workforce. Despite a proposal of marriage from a long time friend, she determines to marry for nothing less than love, even if her love is a voice over the telephone.

About the author: Lisa Lickel is a Wisconsin writer who lives in a hundred and sixty-year-old house built by a Great Lakes ship captain. A muti-published, best-selling and award-winning novelist, she also writes short stories and radio-theater, is an avid book reviewer, blogger, a freelance editor, and magazine editor. Visit LisaLickel.com.

More about Forgiven:
Henry Smith has little interest in the plans his parents have for him when it comes to his career and who he will marry. His world is turned upside-down when a shoot-out ends in fatalities. Jessie Lee Capelle and her sister strike out from the orphanage their father mysteriously abandoned them at to make a life for themselves. Shamed by her background, Jessie struggles with Henry's attention. 

Just as Henry and Jessie decide on a life together a shocking revelation could force them apart unless true forgiveness can be found.  Paula Mowery is a published author, speaker, and acquisitions editor for Prism Book Group. Her articles have appeared in Woman's World, The Christian Online Magazine, and the multi-author devotional blog, Full Flavored Living. She reviews Christian fiction for several authors. She is a member of ACFW and on their author interview team. Paula is a pastor's wife who lives with her husband and daughter in East Tennessee.  Find her at www.paulamowery.blogspot.com or connect with her through her author page on Facebook.

More about The Pocket Watch:
Isabel Jones, an orphan, receives a ruby ring left by the mother she never knew and wants more than ever to find her roots. When a young physician, Daniel Harper, rescues her from an oncoming automobile and she finds his pocket watch in a puddle, her circumstances take a turn. She begins to consider what life outside the orphanage could be like. Daniel’s heart has been broken before and the attractive young lady who finds his treasured timepiece wouldn’t be deemed suitable by his social climbing parents.

When Isabel and Daniel work side by side, caring for the orphanage children during an influenza epidemic, she becomes gravely ill. Compelled to redeem the time by helping her find the past, Daniel finds a buried truth that creates an unbridgeable chasm between them. Where will they find hope in a hopeless situation?

About the author: Kathleen Rouser has loved making up stories since she was a little girl and wanted to be a writer before she could even read. The Pocket Watch is Kathleen’s debut novella. She has been published in Homeschool Digest and An Encouraging Word. She currently enjoys interviewing authors for the Novel PASTimes historical fiction blog. Her desire is to bring to life endearing characters who resonate with readers and realize the need for a transforming Savior in their everyday lives. She lives in southeast Michigan with her hero and husband of 31 years, Jack, who not only listens to her stories, but also cooks for her. Find her at: www.kathleenrouser.com, www.novelpastimes.com and https://www.facebook.com/kathleenerouser

More about Flames of Hope:
Young San Francisco police officer Gideon Light is smitten the moment he sees Lily McMinn rolling down the awnings on her father’s mercantile. Lovely, petite, and spunky, Lily had to grow up quickly after her mother passed away. She not only oversees the welfare of two younger siblings, she also helps run her father’s business.
Gideon and Lily are immediately attracted to each other and soon become good friends. It doesn’t take long before Lily realizes her feelings for Gideon have changed to something far deeper. He secretly harbors dreams of advancing in the force to earn a substantial enough income to make Lily his wife.

Before either has a chance to pursue each other, however, an earthquake of unthinkable magnitude shatters their world. With a raging fire fast in its wake, tragedy and triumph await as Gideon, Lily, and her family flee for their lives with little more than the clothes on their backs.
Set during the time of the great 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire, this tale of great loss, incredible human courage, and sweet romance, will inspire and warm your heart.

About the author: Teena Stewart is a published author, an accomplished artist, and a ministry leader. In addition to Brave New Century, her recent published books include Mothers and Daughters: Mending a Strained Relationship and The Treasure Seeker: Finding Love and Value in the Arms of Your Loving Heavenly Father. Brave New Century represents Teena’s first fiction inclusion in a book. She and her husband Jeff are involved in “out-of-the-box” organic church ministry in Hickory, NC. For more info on Teena visit www.teenastewart.com WHERE TO BUYhttp://www.amazon.com/Brave-New-Century-Lisa-Lickel/dp/1940099250/ref=sr_1_5?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1384256685&sr=1-5&keywords=brave+new+century


Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Book Review - Desire at Will by Adrienna Dionna Turner


Desire at Will shows us how to understand and interpret God's will so that we listen to what he is telling us and act according to his wishes. Turner covers five main elements: First, hearing God's voice which happens through the scriptures. God also uses other Christians as ways to reach us as well as direct communication with him.

Second, understanding his plan. Learning to evaluate or discern what we think we have heard. Fourth,  choosing to believe what we have heard. Lastly, we must act on what we have been told.

Turner believes that if we follow God’s will then we will be “blessed in abundance.” The forward by Bishop Noel Vaughn sets the tone. He believes we have the will power to win and we must hold tight to this desire in order to reap the abundant blessings that could be ours.


The author includes many scripture references that follow a personal path of application that challenges us to reflect, meditate, apply and change. Most are referenced but not included in the text so readers will need to look them up to gain better understanding of her points.  This is a very thorough study of how to abide in God’s will. Though you may not agree with everything the author says on the topic, she provides ample ammo for studying what the scriptures say and for coming to your own conclusions.  I give this three out of five stars.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Book Review: Against the Tide by Elizabeth Camden

A very enjoyable read, this Christian historic romance’s heroine is Lydia Pallas, a young woman orphaned at an early age. Lydia is proud to be out on her own with her own place, though she struggles on her present salary to keep what she has. She works as a translator for the Navy.

When she meets charming Bane, a young man with looks hardly any woman can resist, she is determined to resist him, but they are destined to be together. Bane has his own demons from his past and he’s dedicated his life to wiping out the opium trade. Lydia gets drawn into the mix.


The information about the opium trade and those it impacted are based on true facts and Camden held my interest by making its two main characters people who I soon came to care about. I give this book 4 ½ out of 5 stars. 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Book Review: The King's General

I have never been disappointed with any of Daphne DuMaurier's work. She masterfully weaves her story, building believable characters while adding a sense of foreboding--one of her trademarks. Usually something tragic unfolds or there is a dark secret or both. The King's General falls under the gothic category and DuMarier did extensive historical research.

The main character in this story is a beautiful but wild eighteen-year-old girl named Honor Harris. The youngest in her family, she has been spoiled. Her beauty and unwieldiness culminate in rebellion when she meets up with Richard Grenvile who is a commander in the king's army and who has a reputation for strictness with his men, cruelty to those in defiance and womanizing. The story begins in 1653 just prior to civil war (one of several in England) and as Honor defies her mother's order to stop seeing Grenvlle, we know the stage is set for tragic love. Like a moth to a flame we can only watch knowing that everyone who comes in close contact with the Grenviles is doomed to be used or crushed.  I won't giveaway too much of the details but suffice it to say that I keep very few books after reading them but this one is going on my shelf. I'm giving this a rare five out of five stars.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Book Launch & Author Interview: A Brother's Vow by Naty Matos


My guest author today is Naty Matos. Naty's fourth book, “A Brother’s Vow” just released. This drama filled novel deals with struggles of addiction, religiosity, grief, the power of family support and faith. This Contemporary Novel expresses the reality of spiritual warfare and sends a message of hope to even those in the direst situations.This e-book is being launched on amazon.com, Barnes & Nobles, and Smashwords. Print copies will be available within the next few weeks.

Book Description

A crazy promise made during a night out with his twin brother will change Randall’s life forever. 
Will he be able to keep the promise he made or will his past cause him to go against everything he’s worked hard to

Book Blurb

Randall Benson didn't think life could be any better. His job with the family business allowed him to travel and meet new people. His relationship with his girlfriend the model, gave his access to all the red carpet events and parties, yet there was no requirement for him to be faithful. Although his family doesn't approve of his careless lifestyle, they love him and do whatever they can to keep him from self-destructing. Yet Randall’s only Randall’s world begins to come undone after a series of unexpected events. As Randall tries to settle down and become more dependable , his twin brother Brian seems to be headed down a path that Randall is way too familiar. Brian makes an unusual request that nonchalantly he agrees to keep. He never thought that he would have to keep his word, but he does. As Randall struggles to fulfill his promise to his brother, he is confronted with challenges from his past. Will he succumb to his past and risk losing everything he’s worked so hard to accomplish?

What inspired you to write this book?
I am always inspired by the Parable of the Prodigal Son and that’s part of what inspired this story. There were times where decisions are clouded by condemnation or rebellion; so I decided to write a story from that standpoint.

How did you come up with the title?
To be honest my first title was “My promise to keep” Because the story centers around a promise that Randall, the main character, makes to his twin brother Brian and the events that follow him trying to fulfill that promise. I found that there were too many books with that title already so I changed it to “A Brother’s Vow” as it is more fitting to theme in the book.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
That no matter how far gone or deep in trouble we think we are, God always welcomes us with open arms and there’s always the chance for new beginnings. 
How much of the book is realistic?Nothing, this is a pure work of fiction.

What book are you reading now?I just finished “Waking up Married” by Mira Lynn Kelly a few weeks ago which I truly enjoyed. I’m about to start “Until Forever” by Darlene Shortridge


What are your current projects?I have a powerful book on the subject of domestic violence titled, “Breaking Free” that is at the second draft revision and a Christmas romance novella, “Lost Love on Christmas Day” which is also at the second draft revision level. I’m hoping to be able to release those next year.

Do you have any advice for other writers?
Never give up and keep on writing. Be open to correction and feedback. 

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Open yourselves to the opportunity of supporting indie authors. You will find that some traditionally published books are great and some are not; the same is true for the indie books. I have recently been watching some indie movies and found some great ones. It is time to open our minds to the concept that quality doesn’t always come behind a corporate label. 

Happy reading!


Naty writes Christian fiction and non-fiction.
She maintains a blog on Christian Living Topics at 
www.therisingmuse.com




Friday, October 4, 2013

How to Improve Your Outlook and Performance

I  wish I could take credit for this but I borrowed it from a psychologist who was on TED TV, and, being a bad writer, I failed to write down his name.(smile).

I have, however, started putting what he said into practice.  He said that you can improve your outlook and performance (includes job performance) by doing the following. You need to journal it so you stick to your routine and you are more likely to follow through if you write it down daily, at least for 21 days. Why 21 days? That's how long it takes to form a new habit.

Here's the "formula."  Do each of these daily for 21 days for it to become ingrained in your routine.

Write down three things you are grateful for.

Write down a positive experience.

Exercise

Meditate for at least 15 minutes (For me, I pray.)

Do one random act of kindness for someone.

Since starting this regime I nave noticed that I pay attention more to what I am grateful for and I also try  to help people more. All of this takes the attention off of me.  People who make this a part of who they are are happier. If you decide to try it, let me know how it goes. I'm about halfway through.


Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Book Review – Be the Blessing by Paula Mowery

Carpe diem to help and encourage others is the theme of this book by Paula Mowery. Addy Townsend, a pastor’s wife, is the main character. Life is hard sometimes and Addy must face a series of difficulties, starting with her father’s stroke. Sometimes, even in the midst of these struggles, we can be a blessing to others through our attitude and willingness to give back. Addy stands as a positive example of how to weather these storms.

The lesson in this story will linger long after your finish the book with the words, “be a blessing,” returning to remind you of ways you can live out your Christian faith and make a difference. I give this four out of five stars

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Paula Mowry Guest Author, Talks About Her New Book, The Blessing



It's exciting to have fellow author Paula Mowery as a guest on my blog today. Paula, Lisa Lickel, Kathy Rouser and I recently collaborated on a historical fiction book compilation which will release this November. It’s entitled Brave New Century. Paula also has a new release entitled, which I’m spot lighting today. Be the Blessing.

Here's more info:

"We all wonder why bad things happen to good people. Can God use even the worst events in our lives to help us feed the world around us?Be the Blessing skillfully provides both food for thought and food for discussion." -- Lisa Wingate, national best-selling author of The Sea Glass Sisters and The Prayer Box.

Addy Townsend hadn't strolled with Conrad or had a vision in five years. Now Conrad has returned to challenge her to be a blessing to those around her. The Holy Spirit begins to nudge her into service in new ways and she follows. But when she is blindsided with personal problems, can Addy learn to be a willing vessel even in times of struggle and suffering?
Author Bio:  Paula Mowery is a pastor's wife and former homeschool mom. She has always been an avid reader of Christian fictions. She began writing in the are of nonfiction creating three Bible studies which were self-published. However, she crafted fictions stories which she shared with friends and family. When one of her readers encouraged her to pursue publication, she  she joined American Christian Fiction Writers, learning more about the world of fiction. Her debut work of fiction is a novella published by Harbourlight, a division of Pelican Book Group – THE BLESSING SEER. She is also an acquiring editor for Prism Book Group. 

Learn more about Paula at her blog – www.paulamowery.blogspot.com

Read more of her writing in her monthly columns on www.christianonlinemagazine.com.







Thursday, September 19, 2013

Book Review: Covenant Child by Terri Blackstock

When twins, Kara and Lizzie Holbrooke’s mother dies a few months after giving birth, their father Jack does the best he can to raise them as a single parent. A few years later he meets and falls in love with Amanda, who is enamored with Jack and his charming daughters unaware that he is heir to the billion dollar Holbrooke fortune, a fortune he relinquished in an effort to have a normal life.

Shortly before they marry, Jack reveals this to Amanda. Their happy marriage is cut tragically short by a plane crash which ends Jack’s life. Amanda’s world crashes as well as the twins’ grandparents from Jack’s first marriage claim to be the closest blood kin. They win custody, ripping the children from her care but all they really want is the fortune.


As the girls vanish from her life, Amanda is left to try to curate the remaining fortune and keep it ready for them when they come of age. Meanwhile the twins are reared in poverty, because their grandparents squander the funds. They are grossly neglected but hope prevails and a inheritance awaits them if they will only believe and accept that there is someone who truly loves them despite their sins. This is an endearing and symbolic tale of love, hope and forgiveness. I give it four out of five stars.  

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

CrossReads Book Blast: UnEmbraceable by Precarious Yates


Title: UnEmbraceable By: Precarious Yates

About the Book

From the author of "Revelation Special Ops" comes a terrifying, hauntingly real and daringly hopeful tale of betrayal and love.
Leonard, a computer programmer, has a unique gift: by words alone he can calm violent situations. Which is helpful with all these kids running around the streets behaving like zombies. He has his own set of sorrows to face, but he's prepared for anything. Anything except Tamar, and the thunderous inkling that she will be his wife. This doesn't make any sense to Leonard. She stole his wallet. And his heart. Painful circumstances ripped family and stability from Tamar's grasp, but with gutsy tenacity she faces life head on. Meeting the gorgeous and single Leonard changes everything. But surely a guy like him would never fall for a girl of the streets like her.
LINK to KINDLE | LINK to PAPERBACK
Precarious Yates 2Precarious Yates Precarious Yates lives in Texas with husband, daughter, sheep, dogs, chickens, rabbit, lizard and by the time you read this some other exotic creature her husband or daughter has brought home. She had studied the plight of and worked toward the abolition of modern slavery for over a decade before sitting down to write Revelation Special Ops. She was further inspired by the work of her sister-in-law, who helped to found Love146, an organization that works to raise awareness about human trafficking and builds safe homes in vulnerable regions. Yates spent several years overseas as a missionary in Ireland, and also did missions work in India and the Philippines. Her passion for literature has become her means of further educating young adults of the realities of modern slavery, while producing hope through the power of Christ Jesus in us.
Follow Precarious Yates Website | Facebook | Twitter

Enter to Win a $50 Amazon Gift Card!

Enter below to enter a $50 amazon gift card, sponsored by author Precarious Yates! a Rafflecopter giveaway This book blast is hosted by Crossreads. We would like to send out a special THANK YOU to all of the CrossReads book blast bloggers!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

I’m Not Okay

It’s been a while since I shared a slice of life and I guess this one will be a doozy and from the depths of my gut.  Last evening something happened that knocked me to my knees.

My husband and I have a coffee shop ministry and lead a non-traditional interactive study group on Sunday evenings. We have several other churches that call our coffee shop home, but Sunday evening gatherings is our church. It’s small,l so when someone misses we feel it.

I felt God nudging me to try to get myself and others more involved in charitable outreach in our community. We know the Bible well but do we really put feet on our faith? In response to this I decided to hold a meeting in place of our regular meetings once a month to brainstorm what we could do and plan it out. I thought I made it clear that this was not a part of our regular meetings but would take place instead on the same night but only once a month. Those who wanted to attend could but were not obligated to.

I invited several other church group leaders from non-traditional churches to attend. One leader from one group had to cancel at the last minute. One other group did attend and had good representation. At this meeting we talked about what the group had done for charitable causes and kicked around a few ideas with nothing decided in the end except to do more research and start an online FaceBook benevolence networking page for members of our group so we could swap ideas and possibly collaborate.

The FaceBook presence has been launched so some good came of this. Several days later Jeff got a call from two of our leaders who had been faithful to our Sunday evening gatherings and who had attended the benevolence meeting. They informed us they were pulling out of our group because of a desire to be involved in a more traditional church. This came out of the blue and seemed very odd that it happened right after they attended the benevolence gathering. Had we put too much pressure on people to get involved in charitable events?  Had I said something to offend? I sent an email addressing some of these questions to the couple and again they stated it had nothing to do with us but was more related to where they stood for needs and church style.

I’d like to say I’ve recovered. But truthfully I’ve spent a tearful morning trying to cope. Lately it seems like the ministry world is unraveling and despite my best intentions people are disappointing me. Leading in ministry right now feels like herding cats. As a cat owner I know how impossible it can be.

It leaves me asking, “what is wrong with me?  Why am I such a mediocre leader and even why am I mediocre at everything?  Why do so many Christian men especially disappoint me?  Why do I have a preconceived idea of success that never measures up to the reality of what is?  Why do American Christians resist working together and for that matter, why, being one of the richest countries in the world, are we so stingy with our resources? I had hoped this benevolence group with be a time of camaraderie while doing good. If am supposed to stop leading and organizing, how do I turn that off when it’s a part of my makeup?
  

How many other Christians, especially those in leadership feel this way? At this point I don’t have any answers but I fully identify with the prophet Elijah under the broom tree. 

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Book Review: Be Your Own Doctor by Rachel Weaver

Rachel Weaver has earned the credential of of Master Herbologist. Weaver states that many of the drugs on the market have bad side effects or can be very costly when there may be better, more organic options available. You can save
money by taking care of most of your medical needs yourself. She qualifies that with a disclaimer that in case of emergencies one should always seek medical attention.

This book has a comprehensive listing of herbal remedies that you can use to treat ailments--everything from Abscesses to High Blood Pressure. Some of these can be treated with everyday household products such as cayenne or apple cider vinegar. Others may require more obscure herbs which you can either grow yourself or find at recommended sources.  It's hard to say how effective they are without trying them but she includes accounts of those who have tried many of them with success.

A well-written and thorough book. This book is a good option for those who have limited medical care, or no medical insurance or of for those who are leary of the side effects of synthetic drugs.

I give it 4 out of 5 stars.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Book Review : The Last Promise by Richard Paul Evans

Eliana, a young American woman married an Italian and now lives in Italy villa surrounded by the family's vineyard. They have a young son with severe asthma and the marriage is an unhappy one. Eliana's husband is constantly traveling and is unfaithful, showing little respect to Eliana and even less attention to their little boy. With little hope of happiness, she knows that leaving her husband. He has threatened to take away her son should she divorce him. Just when it seems that Eliana is doomed to live the rest of her life in isolation and misery, she meets another American, Ross Story and the two are drawn together by their love or art. But Ross, a wounded spirit, has his own personal misery and secrets Eliana knows nothing about.

The author's familiarity and knowledge of Italy makes this an enchanting and captivating setting as we learn more about Italian lifestyle and culture. Eliana is an exotic and enticing creative. An enjoyable read. I give it four out of five stars.






































































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Monday, September 2, 2013

Book Launch, Four Given by Malo Bel


Today I am giving exposure to Malo Bel's new book Four Given. Here's more about it in his own words.


TFour Given by Malo Bel – Discover the way from lost riches to unlimited wealth!


I was so close to the biggest deal of my life. Millions of dollars! Life would be set forever. Happiness, freedom, new cars – all those things we all know we want. But then he screwed me!

Yeah, I know this is going to sound crazy, but have things ever happened in your life that are just strange…sort of out of the normal. It happens to most of us at some time, and if you are like me, a bit crazy to start – well that’s what my wife says anyway – then it’s bound to happen.

I hit the bottom like you would never believe. It’s one thing to glide slowly to the troughs of depression, but to plummet one day from the heights of success to the pits of loss on every side, is horrendous. I didn’t want to talk to anyone. Not even my wife, however I ended up talking to someone I never would have expected.

Now let’s get something straight – I’m not like one of those religious guys. Sure my wife is Christian, and on occasion I will be dragged along, but that’s just for her. However what happened to me just blew me away. And yeah, I did call out to God for help. I didn’t think anything would happen, but when you’re facing death I can tell you, you will turn to whomever you can.

It started a few weeks into my trough – you know, like when you are in the mud at the bottom, when life has crushed every sense of joy and living from you. And for me this was turning out to be quite literal. We had gone away on a vacation, an attempt to cheer me up, but it would be yet another opportunity for disaster, one that I thought would end my life.

Let me share part of my blog post from that day.

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5:12 pm, Saturday, April 27
“Is there no God?” I silently ask.

After a few moments my resolve somehow renews. Digging my hands into small crevices in the rock to drag me forward I continue to slowly inch toward the light. My nails rip as my fingers scrabble to pull my weight forward. My shirt rips off as the rock above and stony ground below, conspire together, to tear it away. My shorts are in tatters. My breathing is labored in this narrow grave. A fitting hole for a crazy person to finally end.

Yet just before I finally give up, the space slightly widens. My breathing eases, and, with hope, I make a final effort to reach the light. With all my remaining strength I pull and kick and finally scramble out of my tomb.

I lift my weary head and look up.
I am stunned by what I see!

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This changed me forever, and this was just the start. I don’t know how to put it, but if you are sick of where your life is headed, sick of the lies, the false hopes, the elusive happiness, then share my journey. What I saw, the person I met changed me forever. I went from losing everything to a type of wealth that cannot be measured! Crazy? Yeah, I told you I was. However I have never had more joy and peace and contentment in my life than ever before. And the guy that screwed me over? Wow, was I in for a surprise there too – one that I still can hardly talk about.


Four Given is being showcased by the John 3:16 Marketing Network as part of their September Book Launch Event. Be sure to visit http://bit.ly/Christian_Books for a chance to win a Kindle Fire, a $25 gift card and a $10 Starbucks card, as well as purchase Four Given.

Malo will be giving away 50% of all proceeds from sales during the book launch to a charity that works in Africa to uplift families and communities, especially the disabled and children.

To discover a mystery about Malo Bel point any QR Code reader on a mobile phone at the QR Code alongside.

To learn more about Malo, please visit his website at http://www.malobel.com. You can follow him on twitter at http://www/twitter.com/malo_bel.