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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Book Giveaway: Success is Your Birthright by R Stanton Tucker

We are offering a book giveaway for one print copy of R. Stanton Tucker's new book, Success is Your Birthright.  To enter, leave a comment with you email at the end of this blog post stating why you would like to win this book. Drawing ends October 10th. 

Book Blurb:  Life resembles a roller coaster. It has suspense, intrigue, smooth moments, hairpin turns, sudden twists, plummets, loopty loops, near misses, excitement, and anticipation. Life consists of countless moments. Moments that make us smile, experience tingling sensations, laugh until we can hardly breathe, and leave us speechless with wonder and admiration. As beautiful as those moments are, our memoirs hone in and linger on the moments that leave us in tears, wincing, grinding our teeth, and asking for Divine Intervention. It is that part of life's roller coaster that makes you want to get off, wonder why, and feel psychologically queasy. Questions like "What do I do? Where do I go from here? How will I bounce back or can I bounce back?" surface. This book offers hope, love, and lessons to cope with those not so great moments and the people who instigate and perpetuate them, including ourselves, using the biblical Joseph Story as a platform. Why the Joseph Story? His story mirrors our own. He too experienced life's roller coaster. Joseph's story is not just a testament to resilience, but one of faith in and reliance on God. Success Is Your Birthright: God's Success: • Offers a spiritual awakening • Builds confidence • Prods introspection and growth • Encourages during difficult times • Challenges misconceptions • Opens a closed heart and hands • Demonstrates love, hope, selflessness, and forgiveness Life, then, becomes manageable and celebrated as a beautiful mosaic.

Author Bio:  R. Stanton Tucker is a husband, father, friend, servant, and author of Success Is Your Birthright: God’s Success. Tucker has spent more than the broader portion of his life in the congregation setting - church. Vacation Bible School, Sunday School, Bible Study, countless church revivals, plays, teaching Sunday School classes, ushering, speaking, and singing in the choir catalogue that rich experience within the church. He acknowledges he is in God’s [Yahweh] classroom like all believers and that none of us are really scholars rather students at various stages in our relationship with Him. As a student, Tucker is continuing to rehash past materials, digging deeper into the Bible, and allowing God to use every day experiences and encounters as his laboratory to learn of Him and His Will. Studying has helped to connect the Old Testament with the New and has led to researching historical references. Strabo’s Geography, Book XVI, Chapter 2, for example, sheds some light on Paul’s physical description being associated with an Egyptian revolutionist in Acts 21:38. Tucker wants to share the message that Yahweh wants a relationship with man, a relationship based of service, love, and doing His will. 

Q:  What was the inspiration (motivation) behind the book? (Why did you write it in the first place?)
A:  Success Is Your Birthright: God’s Success was inspired by God. I know that sounds like a cliché. I had no intentions of writing this book. God was dealing with me on a spiritual and personal level. I began to take notes and before I knew it; I had over a hundred pages of notes. Wherever I was, day or night, I took notes. Of course, I read the Bible and questioned what I thought I knew, and searched for answers to lingering questions and new ones. That is why I noted I was God’s secretary in the Acknowledgement.

Q:  What do you hope this book accomplishes?
A:  I am glad you asked that question. Success Is Your Birthright:: God’s Success is a spiritual and inspirational expedition. My hope is that people will read it and start to re-evaluate their relationship with God, and others. Many believe in a religion void of a relationship with God and people. These cherry-pick what they will or will not adhere to and engage in selective service to others, if at all, all the while calling themselves Christians or something else. Reading this book will somehow inspire them in a profound way.

Q:  What is God’s standard?
A:  God’s standard is similar to the parents-children relationship. Parents have expectations for all their children in an effort to nurture responsible adults. Relationship reinforces and supports those expectations. When the children do not meet those expectations, the parents communicate their concerns and reiterate what is expected. There are times when grounding, time outs, suspending privileges, and the like are employed to get their attention and nudge them back on track. Because the parents are displeased and have taken action, does that mean they love their children less? Quite the opposite. They love them more. There are times children are adamant about opposing their parents’ expectations. Peer validation empowers them to feel their actions are reasonable. The more the children challenge their parents’ expectations, the more normal it feels. Parents are faced with compromising, walking back their expectations, or standing firm in love and continuing to nurture in hopes their children will get back on course. What does this have to do with God’s standards you may ask?

God’s standard is His expectations for us. Meeting His expectations lend to eternal life, not eternal damnation. It is not His Will that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. (paraphrase II Peter 3:9) His standard begins with loving and serving Him unconditionally. Loving Him is accepting His Son, Servant, and our Elder Brother as The Christ. Yahshua [Jesus] gave us the blueprint to worshipping God and loving one another. Does God love us any less when we do not meet His expectations? Absolutely not! He is displeased and desires a repentant mind and heart, and commitment to His standard. Opposition to His expectations is called sin. That is not a popular word. Its detractors prefer expressing one’s self or exercising ones independence. It is appalling because sin implies something is taboo, forbidden. Democratic dialogue postulates nothing is taboo and everything is negotiable, especially with the right spin and public sentiment. A number of professed clergy and Christians have entertained those notions. They deceive themselves and others. Though all wobble with God’s expectations, believers work fervently to resist sin and repent when they stumble. Are we perfect people? Far from it. Every believer has a past and every non-believer has a future. We too are working daily toward eternal life. We wrestle against thoughts, feelings, and actions inconsistent with God’s standard. Adulthood and democratic dialogue do not give us a license to do whatever we think or feel.

Q:  What lessons can we grasp in the 21st century and after from this book?
A:  Man is not central to the universe, no matter our discoveries or the latest gadgets. God is the central force in and to the universe. His standard of right, responsibility, and morality minimizes life’s unnecessary conflicts and chaos. Life is not about what we have or do not have but our relationship with Him and one to another. To love is to have a service agenda. Imagine if we measured success by the lives we encouraged, engaged, and assisted. Material success would not be an obsession.

Here's the link to the book Success Is Your Birthright God's Success

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Book Review: The Newspaper Code by Lisa Lickel

A part of the Buried Treasure Series, in this book we join school teacher Judy Wingate settling into motherhood following the birth of her new baby. When Esme an older lady who was a member of the local garden club turns up dead with a garden claw in the middle of her forehead at the base of a statue in the center of town, Judy is determined to find out more. What’s the connection between the newspaper code, a code found in an aged newspaper stuffed into a vintage quilt, the empty closed off vault below the town and the missing money from the town treasury that disappeared years before? 

For the sake of convenience, Judy pairs up with Olivia, the “Miss Lonely Hearts” reporter of the local paper who could use a few lessons in grooming and who rubs Judy the wrong way. I especially liked the character of Olivia who desperately wants to have Judy as a friend. A good cozy mystery with a small town flavor. I give it 4 out of 5 stars

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Book Launch : Lake Surrender Book Launch by Carol Stratton

Carol Stratton is proud to announce her first novel, Lake Surrender.  I am giving away one copy of this book. 

To enter, leave a comment stating why you would like to win the book along with your email.

The story is about a career editor who loses her marriage, house and job. As a single parent of a precocious pre-teen and an autistic son, she’s forced to find a more inexpensive place to live than the San Francisco Bay Area. She ends up in Northern Michigan working as a cook at a dilapidated Christian camp. She can’t cook and right-wing religious types really irritate her. But God draws to Him as she discovers her journey ends where her life begins. I really put this girl through the wringer!

I wrote Lake Surrender because I wanted to show the difficulties parents have in raising a challenging autistic child. I have a degree in Recreation Therapy and love working with all kinds of disabled children. A few years ago I was a teacher’s aide in an autistic classroom where I learned the rewards of being able to enter their private worlds. As the body of Christ we need to encourage the families that deal with exhausting family situations every day.

According to a friend of mine who has an autistic son, 90 of those raising autistic children will become divorced.

Author Bio:  
Carol Stratton has been a freelance writer for 14 writing over 200 articles and is currently a reporter for the Mooresville Weekly. She has a degree in Recreation Therapy and has worked with autistic children in a classroom, an experience that inspired her to write about a woman with an autistic son.

She speaks at national writing conferences as well as MOPS and other women’s groups about personality temperaments, friendship and encouraging yourself.

Carol is married to her husband John who she calls her “muse” and has four grown children and four grandchildren. Currently she and her husband, John, live in Mooresville, North Carolina where she loves to hike and play guitar and mandolin while learning to love liver mush.

Here's a link to Lake Surrender on amazon.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Book Release and Giveaway: Hush in the Storm by Julie Cosgrove

Author Julie Cosgrove is giving away two electronic copies of her new book Hush in the Storm. To quality, leave a comment at the end of this blog stating why you would like to win this book. Below is Julie's author bio and a book blurb. Thanks Julie for sharing you book with us. The book drawing will be on 9/25/14.

Book Blurb:  Jen, a young widow floundering in the storm of mourning, whose only lifeline is her humdrum job, is tossed into a maze of deceit and intrigue by a coworker named the request of her late husband, or so Tom says. He kidnaps her and fakes her death to keep her safe from the cartel who he thinks caused her husband's "accident." Together, they are thrust into a tempest of danger and deceit where no one is whom they claim to be. The list of people Jen can believe in keeps diminishing. Who can she trust while dodging the Feds, human traffickers and the press who've discovered she's alive? How will Jen rescue the two held-captive girls she befriends without drowning them, Tom, and herself in the waves of betrayal, especially when she's begun to suspect her husband may not be as dead as everyone thinks..

Author Bio: Freelance writer, author and  professional speaker Julie B Cosgrove leads retreats, workshops, and Bible studies. She writes regularly for several Christian women websites and devotional publications and has been published in the Chicken Soup for the Soul, Upper Room's Devozine and Alive Now, The Secret Place, Light from the Word, Family Faith Magazine  online ,The Journey and Good News Daily.  In February, 2013, she was commissioned by an international relief and development fund to write a mission-based Bible study.  Julie has three Bible studies, a devotional, an inspirational  and three fiction novels published, and is currently working on two more novels. She is a member of North Texas Christian Writers, Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, American Christian Fiction Writers,  Toastmasters International,  Daughters of the King, North Texas Christian Women's Chamber and the Christian Writers Network.  She's a spokesperson for Women at Risk, International, a Christian missionary effort to rescue women from sex slavery in 30 countries.  Julie is widowed, has one grown son, and lives in Fort Worth, TX with two cats.

Author Contact Info:    

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Book Review: Claire’s Not So Gothic Romance by Bonnie Blythe

Claire is a shy, plain girl who works at a florist, lives with her mom and loves Jane Eyre. When she has a minor accident while delivering flowers she ends up in the hospital and meets up with Sam. The attractive male is captivated by her. For Claire it’s too good to be true. Sam is a nice guy who admits he has a past but has cleaned up his act. When that past suddenly catches up with him, Claire is crushed.

The concept of the book is clever with its quirky characters and Claire continually comparing herself to her favorite heroine. The author has a witty style and is one of those rare authors who writes in present tense. It’s a cute story though it may have worked better to keep the narrative in past tense and I felt the characters were kind of cartoonish.  I give it 3 out of 5 stars.

Here's the amazon link  Claire's Not-So-Gothic Romance

Monday, September 8, 2014

Book Review: The Ransom by MaryLu Tyndall

The Ransom centers on Juliana Dutton who is trying desperately to keep her household from the brink of ruin. She runs her father’s shipping business in Jamaica in 1692 while he is gravely ill, keeping his condition  a secret so as not to run the risk of losing all his clients. But she cannot shake off her troubles including a brother who is a wastrel and a persistent sea captain  determined to wed her. She agrees to a fake engagement with an aristocratic fop, Lord Munthrope, to keep the captain at bay.

The more she gets to know Munthrope, the more perplexed she is by the man who harbors secrets and a kind heart and has more depth than she originally imagined. Then there’s the notrorious pirate Earl, known throughout the Carribean as the pirate most to be feared. Juliana encounters him when he comes her rescue while she’s visiting the bad side of town trying to locate a woman she’s trying to help. Fans of the Scarlett Pimpernel are sure to see similarities between the two stories and one can’t help but falling in love with the two complex characters of the Pirate Earl and Lord Munthrope.  I don’t want to say too much and spoil the surprise, but I found this book hard to put down. I give this four out of five stars.

Here's the amazon link 

The Ransom (Legacy of the King's Pirates Book 4)