Friday, November 30, 2012

Cloud Culture by Chuck Giancinto and Bryce Conlan - Reviewed

About the Book:

In their new book Cloud Culture: Walking the Walk & Typing the Talk: Christian Living in the Social Media World (Seven Leaf Press, 2012), Chuck Giacinto and Bryce Conlan help believers understand how social media fits into their daily walk with Christ and how it can be a mechanism to serve others.

In Cloud Culture, Giacinto and Conlan examine social media technologies to see how they fit into a Christian’s life, as they seek to live out Christ’s kingdom on earth, follow Him, and serve others. Less about social media and more about the need to communicate well, Cloud Culture is a book about communication, how to do it better and how Christians can engage the world through the dynamic and ever-evolving world of social media.

My Thoughts:

So here’s my admonishment to you – be the peculiar people you’re made to be (1 Peter 2:9).  Be the person who includes people from every tongue and tribe among those you call friends.  Join hands with people that you have nothing in common with but Christ himself… and the world will take notice.  Use any means necessary (social media included) to meet and love fellow believers from around the world and keep an open mind that the message that we carry is 100% applicable to everyone, everywhere, at every time.  Period.”  (quote from the Cloud Culture Blog)

If you are reading this blog right now, you are being affected by my words.  You and I may never meet on this earth, but what I say to you through the internet cloud, can be used by God to reach others for all eternity.  What I post online, here or anywhere, should reflect my faith in my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  This Cloud Culture is not just a “safe place” to vent.  In fact, as a Christian, I am made to realize anew what a grave and awesome responsibility I have to Christ, because He gave me this place, this platform, these words, to reach others for Him.

If you have a blog, a Twitter account, a Facebook Page or any other internet “place” you call your own, you really need to read Cloud Culture.  Gain a new perspective.  Allow God to mold and make you and ask Him to guide your thoughts and words whenever you come to this Cloud Culture.  It has eternal consequence.  Amazing!!

This is a timely, important book!! (the blog and everything else associated with this book offer great tools for those of us who have an online platform)

About the Authors:
Chuck Giacinto and Bryce Conlan are long-time acquaintances who have lived seemingly divergent lives before tag teaming on this collaboration. Both based in Illinois, Giacinto serves as a worship pastor, music producer, husband and father of three, while the Connecticut-bred/Chicago-transplanted Conlan, also married, works with his video production company Big Swell Media servicing celebrities, authors and politicians. Cloud Culture is their first collaboration.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Q&A with Chuck Giacinto and Bryce Conlan - Cloud Culture

So, what is Cloud Culture about? 
Cloud Culture is about social media, but I don’t want that to scare anybody off because this isn’t a techie, computer-oriented book at all. We feel that social media, at its core, is about two things: communication and relationship. We believe God designed us with a need to know others and to be known by others and Cloud Culture, while it addresses current social sites, is really about how to develop deep personal relationships in this new and evolving landscape, and, ultimately, where our faith fits into that.

So, this is like a social media “code of conduct” per se?

Actually, no. In the earliest stages of writing we realized how easy it would be to throw down a list of do’s and don’ts and write a “rules and regulations” book. We worked very hard to avoid doing that. I don’t think anybody really wants to read that anyway. I know I don’t. Instead, Cloud Culture is more of a “big picture” approach to it all. Social media will always be changing and advancing, so we wanted to start a dialog that discusses the fundamentals of how we communicate and navigate relationships from a biblical standpoint in this post-modern era. So, rather than a code of conduct, we want the Church to have the vision to see the possibilities and limitless opportunities available to us through social media. Cloud Culture is not intended to show you how to “do” social media. We want to start a movement, a movement that sets a foundation for relationships and communication that honors God and allows the Gospel to seep out of our lives in a real, organic way.

Why now?

Well, we feel this book could come out next year or five years from now, and still be relevant in terms of its concepts, regardless of how the landscape of social media changes. But because of the void there has been regarding a real conversation in the Church about social media, along with the approach we wanted to take, we felt a sense of urgency to be on the front end of this conversation.

Who did you have in mind when you wrote Cloud Culture?
We wrote this in a way that multiple sets of people will benefit. Our youth have grown up with social media and they know no other way. This will help them get a foundation of understanding what the Bible says about the power of their words. Also, parents need this because they often feel ill-equipped regarding social media. They’re just trying to stay afloat themselves with all of the changing technologies, not to mention parenting their kids through it. That’s where Cloud Culture comes in. And last, it’s for those in the ministry. We want pastors and youth pastors to feel well equipped to speak and function confidently in this new landscape that NEEDS to be pastured. They’re just trying to keep up as well with it all, and their congregants need guidance. This is where we want to help. And we feel the book will serve those in ministry well. But to date, we have gotten tons of positive feedback from people who don’t fit any of those profiles. So we’ve realized that if you’re a Christian and you’re involved in social media, no matter how directly or indirectly, then you will benefit from reading Cloud Culture.

How does social media look different for a Christian versus a non-believer?

In one respect it looks the same. It’s how we communicate. It’s literally our lives and relationships on display. Where it looks different for the Christian is that we strive to hold ourselves to a higher standard and even consider how what we say will affect those on the receiving end of our posts. Are they just acquaintances or people we want to impress or stay in touch with? Or do we really SEE them, as God sees them? Are we open to reading between the lines to see people’s need and to realize that we have been handed these amazing tools that no previous generation could have dreamed of to communicate with the world? Cloud Culture isn’t really a formula. However, it is an encouragement and a reminder that you are in a relationship with God, and, if THAT relationship is strong, it will naturally spill over into social media in a real and genuine way that a formula can’t produce.

In Cloud Culture, you write that we should strive against using social media as only a platform for voicing our beliefs and opinions. What do you think about bloggers, and particularly those who spend the majority of their time calling out what they believe are problems in the Church?

Well, it is certainly a place and a platform to express ourselves, and our views, etc. That’s part of the beauty of it. My concern is that we don’t want to get lost in all of the noise as just having another set of opinions or beliefs among many. Ours is not just one more set of opinions out there. It’s the Gospel of Christ. And because of that, we have to remember what social media is about at its core…relationship and communication. So Cloud Culture isn’t about being good at technology; rather, it’s about being biblically grounded in terms of relationship and communication. As believers, when we’re sincere and good at both, that will come out and resonate in a real and honest way. As far as the problems in the Church or disagreements, we want people to realize that what we post has a very long shelf life. Long after we may have resolved a situation, it still lives out there. As Christians, more than anyone, we should realize the power of our words.

You talk about Christians being ambassadors of Christ. How does that look on a practical level in the social media world?

(Chuck) It looks much the same as in our real lives because that’s what people are watching unfold on social media--our lives. I’ve been married for 21 years, and if there was no trace of my relationship with my wife in my social media, well, that would speak to some real issues. So, how can we conduct ourselves daily in social media and have our relationship with God nowhere to be found? And not forced or fake, or out of a sense of duty, but a natural reflection of the place the relationship holds in our lives.

What are some practical ways to reach people through social media without simply just posting daily Bible verses?

One thing we can do is work at fostering real relationships within our networks. Another thing is to reach out with a private message when we can see that someone is struggling. There are other ways too - less public ways. For example, what if everyone reading this today looked at their Facebook friends list or Twitter followers, then picked one person and prayed for them today, and did the same tomorrow. It’s a quiet act, and maybe no one would know, but that doesn’t negate the fact that it’s a remarkably powerful. Imagine if we could get thousands or perhaps millions to do this on a daily basis.

In Cloud Culture, you write, “It’s a true sign of maturity and Christian character when you can restrain yourself from leaving remarks that will only fuel the online conversations which are neither edifying nor productive.” How does a Christian handle this type of temptation?

You know, it’s not easy. There are certainly things worth defending. But it does require some discernment. It’s easy enough to misinterpret each other speaking face to face. But when typed or texted, and we abbreviate and condense our thoughts, there is again a real loss of context, which makes it very difficult to communicate well this way. Sometimes the most constructive thing we can do is to choose a different path. Pick up the phone and talk, or speak face to face. There’s an amazing amount of healing that takes place when someone takes the time to call and resolve the issue personally rather than the quick text message of tweet. Sometimes skipping the new convenient route for the old fashioned one is the wisest choice.

What do you think social media will look like in the years to come?

It’s almost impossible to know, and I’m sure someone is already hard at work imagining and building the next big social media platform. But I am sure of two things. First, it’s not going away. Social media only stands to get bigger and hold a bigger place in our lives and culture. And second, whatever form it takes, whatever it looks like, whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, or the next big thing, it is still…at its core…ultimately about communication and relationship…and how we “do” both. And because of that, what we are setting out to accomplish with Cloud Culture is to lay down some principles that aren’t limited to any current or popular platform that could be out of date or out of business tomorrow, but instead we want to establish a standard as Christians for how we communicate with each other, how we relate to those around us, and ultimately how we represent the cause of Christ.


NASHVILLE, Tenn.(November 28, 2012) -Author, successful investment manager and philanthropist Jeff Petherick is set to appear as a guest on the Thursday, November 29, segment of Atlanta Live, where he will discuss his current book, Grace Like Rain: Soaking Up God's Best, Even When We're At Our Worst, which was released July 17 by Elk Lake Publishing and New Day Christian Distributors. Viewers can watch the live broadcast of Petherick's appearance from 7 to 9 p.m. E.T. on WATC TV-57's long-running flagship Christian program.
"I am excited about the opportunity to be on Atlanta Live to talk about grace and my latest book, Grace Like Rain," Petherick says. "So many of us understand grace — we get what we don't deserve — but still live like it's all about Karma — we get what we deserve. Living the life Jesus intended for us means we must live in the beautiful, and unfair, reality of grace."
Grace Like Rain, which follows the release of Petherick's publishing debut, Wavelength: Tuning In To God's Voice In A World of Static, examines the most powerful and perhaps most misunderstood power in the universe — God's grace — through real-life accounts about a God who did the unthinkable to save the unlovable.
Throughout Grace Like Rain, Petherick writes about grace in action, how God wants people to take the grace they have received and pass it on to others. In the book, he shares gripping stories of people surprised by grace and changed forever.
"Grace is transformative, not only to our lives individually, but to those around us. When we begin to understand this and receive it as a gift, we become empowered to show that grace to others in our lives," says Petherick, a successful investment manager who has been featured as a financial expert by the likes of CNBC and Forbes. Petherick also is a philanthropist who is in demand as a Christian speaker and teacher.
"Jesus told us to be 'light.' However, light without grace is like a light bulb without a filament," Petherick continues. "We will have no ability to illuminate truth without the power of love and grace.Grace Like Rain helps us see how God has used the brokenness and sinfulness of ordinary people to transform them into true light bearers for Him."
Grace Like Rain is published by Elk Lake Publishing and is distributed exclusively to the CBA market through New Day Christian Distributors. For more information about Petherick, Grace Like Rain or Elk Lake Publishing, visit

About Jeff Petherick:
In his writing debut, Wavelength, Petherick shared with readers his stressful world as a rising star mutual fund manager in the 1990s, often finding himself in the role of expert for such weighty financial news organizations as The Wall Street JournalBarron's, CNBC, Forbes and Kiplinger's Personal Finance. He went on to become founding partner in NorthPointe Capital, an institutional investment management firm with $1.5 billion in assets under management.
Following a life-altering encounter with Jesus Christ, Petherick embarked on many adventures with God, putting feet to his faith in such ventures as co-founding Impact India 360, which in the last eight years has built an orphanage, several schools, an elderly care facility, a church and a hospital.
Impact India 360 also offers college scholarships to village children and is involved in church-planting efforts throughout the region.
Petherick's work with Impact India 360 recently was featured in The Dancer, an award-winning short film garnering more than 15 awards, including First Place, Documentary Short, at the 2011 Los Angeles International Film Festival and Best of Fest/Grand Jury Award (out of 1650 films) at the 2011 San Francisco International Festival of Short Films. The Dancer shows life through the eyes of Satish Kumar, an 11-year-old orphan boy in a remote village in India. After the death of Kumar's mother and abandonment by his father, the youth now lives with 200 other children at the Dowlaiswaram, India, orphanage funded by Impact India 360.
Since beginning his walk with the Lord, Petherick's many adventures have included leading high school and college students on multiple mission trips to minister to the indigenous people of Iquitos, Peru, in the Amazon Rainforest.
Petherick is married to his high school sweetheart, Gina. They live in Michigan and have two children and one grandchild.
About Atlanta Live:
Atlanta Live is WATC TV-57's flagship program airing live weeknights from 7 to 9 p.m. ET with encore presentations every weekday morning from 7 to 9 a.m. ET throughout the greater Atlanta area. In addition, Atlanta Live is seen nationwide every weekday morning on the NRB Network at 8 a.m. ET. For more information, visit

This article was provided by McCain & Co. Public Relations

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Shattered Silence by Margaret Daley - REVIEWED

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Shattered Silence
Abingdon Press (September 2012)
Margaret Daley


Margaret Daley is an award winning, multi-published author in the romance genre. One of her romantic suspense books, Hearts on the Line, won the American Christian Fiction Writers’ Book of the Year Contest. Recently she has won the Golden Quill Contest, FHL’s Inspirational Readers’ Choice Contest, Winter Rose Contest, Holt Medallion and the Barclay Gold Contest. She wrote for various secular publishers before the Lord led her to the Christian romance market. She currently writes inspirational romance and romantic suspense books for the Steeple Hill Love Inspired lines, romantic suspense for Abingdon Press and historical romance for Summerside Press. She has sold eighty-three books to date.

Margaret is currently the President for American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), an organization of over 2300 members. She was one of the founding members of the first ACFW local chapter, WIN in Oklahoma. She has taught numerous classes for online groups, ACFW and RWA chapters. She enjoys mentoring other authors.

Until she retired a few years ago, she was a teacher of students with special needs for twenty-seven years and volunteered with Special Olympics as a coach. She currently is on the Outreach committee at her church, working on several projects in her community as well as serving on her church’s vestry.

On a more personal note, she has been married for over forty years to Mike and has one son and four granddaughters. She treasures her time with her family and friends.


A serial killer is targeting illegal aliens in southern Texas. Texas Ranger Cody Jackson is paired with a local police officer, Liliana Rodriguez, to investigate the murders.

While the case brings Cody and Liliana ever closer, the tension between Americans and Mexican Americans heightens. As Cody and Liliana race to discover who is behind the murders and bring peace to the area, what they uncover isn't what they expected. Will Cody and Liliana's faith and love be strong enough to survive the storm of violence?

My Thoughts:

The only one who is really in control is God.  Once we realize that, we can give it over to him and not fight life so much.” (p. 305)

A Texas Ranger, a local police officer a string of unsolved murders, an abusive spouse, a dead parent….sounds like too many elements for one story to pull together, doesn’t  it?  Well, it’s not too much for Margaret Daley to deal with!  Shattered Silence is a book filled with realistically flawed characters who are in some pretty high-stress situations.  Forced to examine their lives and their faith, Cody Jackson and Liliana Rodriguez are brought together to try and solve a sudden rash of murders in their usually quiet town.  In tandem with their murder investigations, both of their personal lives have taken a serious hit, leaving them in an emotionally painful place.

When the silence of the murderer is finally broken, the reader is brought face to face with the frailty and wickedness of the human heart.  In fact, there is no way to deny that God alone is in control, and without Him, none of us are able to withstand the evil choices perpetrated against us and our loved ones.
Margaret Daley does a great job weaving the pieces of these characters life together into a mystery that will keep you engaged from first page to last.  I appreciated the way she allowed her characters to be so emotionally transparent.  This is both a powerful and entertaining read!

If you would like to read the first chapter of Shattered Silence, go HERE.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

A Game for All by Linda Gilden

A Game for All
Adapted from the recently released book, Mama Was the Queen of Christmas
by Linda Gilden
How will all the little holiday extras ever get done? I ask myself that question every year. And as much as I enjoy the holidays, there seems to be so little time.
One year I decided to let go of expectations and concentrate on celebrating Jesus.    I came up with a plan to accomplish a lot of the extras in a very short time. I created a game!
“Come on, everyone,” I said. “We are going to play a game.”
There was minor grumbling but in the end everyone agreed a family game would be fun. And I was so excited about the end result!
“Just give me an hour of your time,” I said. “Then you can get back to your homework.”
I found a cute Christmas container and deposited little slips of paper, each describing a job.
“I am going to set a timer for twenty minutes,” I said. “When you draw a slip of paper, you have twenty minutes to work at your job. When the bell rings, you will choose another job and change what you are doing. In an hour, you will have helped me with three pre-Christmas chores.”
The papers in the container had jobs like:
  1. Position the electric candles in the windows.
  2. Put the greenery on the mantle downstairs.
  3. Wrap presents. (Not your own, although most were willing!)
  4. A smile face. This job was really important. The person who got the smile was to circulate, serve refreshments, and make sure everyone was having fun.
  5. Address Christmas cards.
  6. Plan a family activity that will help us concentrate on the real meaning of the season such as memorize the Christmas story from Luke, find someone to share the season with who hasn’t yet met the Savior, concentrate on a different aspect of Jesus’ birth in daily devotions, etc. 
  7. Make a Christmas goodie or edible treat. My family favorite is “Rocks!”
Christmas music playing in the background created a festive and jovial mood.
As it turned out, everybody was a winner in this game. The family gathered in the kitchen for a sample of “rocks,” pointing out that we had become happy little elves, proudly creating an atmosphere of merriment for the holidays.
Are there things you can do to make this holiday season less stressed for you and your family?
RECIPE: Rocks – Favorite Holiday Treat!
2 cups chocolate chips                                              
1 ½ cups dry roasted peanuts
½ cup peanut butter                                               
(1) 12.3 oz. box Crispix cereal
Confectioners Sugar
  1. Melt chocolate in a large bowl in microwave oven. Heat on high for 1 minute. Stir well. Heat 30 seconds more or as needed to melt chocolate. Stir until smooth. (Chocolate could also be melted in a double boiler over low heat on the stove.)
  2. Add peanut butter and stir until well blended.
  3. Add peanuts and cereal and mix until thoroughly coated. A wooden spoon works best for this.
  4. Put confectioner’s sugar in a plastic bag. Add cereal mixture, close bag tightly, and shake gently until mixture is coated with sugar. If you do a third of the mixture at a time, it is easier to handle.
  5. Makes a lot! Store in an airtight container. Enjoy!

About the Author:
Linda Gilden’s favorite season is Christmas. But, truthfully, she and her family like to celebrate all year long, so can it really be called a season? Growing up in a home where the spirit of Christmas prevailed throughout the year, she knows she is blessed to have married a man who shares the same philosophy—Jesus is not just for a season but for a lifetime! Linda is the author of over a thousand magazine articles and several other books, such as Love Notes in Lunchboxes, Love Notes on His Pillow, and Mommy Pick-Me-Ups (all by New Hope Publishers), but Mama Was the Queen of Christmas is one she has wanted to write for a long time. Her heart’s desire is to see families enjoy each other and make memories no matter what the season. Linda lives in South Carolina with her husband, three grown children and children-in-law, four grandchildren, and a granddog, all of whom love Christmas as much as she does!

Monday, November 26, 2012

The Breath of Dawn by Kristen Heitzmann - REVIEWED!

About the Book:

"Heitzmann weaves a many-layered tale keep[ing] readers entertained and wondering when the next bit of drama will occur." -Publishers Weekly
Corporate turnaround specialist Morgan Spencer, dubbed the "success guru," has a Midas touch in business. But losing his wife sent him to the brink, and his two-year-old daughter, Livie, is all he's living for-until they encounter a woman whose trouble just might draw him out of his own.
Four years ago Quinn Reilly did the right thing. Now the man her testimony put in jail is getting out. Though she has put up barriers to protect herself and those around her, she has come to care for the Spencer family, especially the winsome Livie and her mercurial father. Unwilling to put them at risk when the threats begin, she requests something she hopes the super-successful Morgan might be able to deliver.
Fixing problems is what Morgan does best, but his counterproposal takes them in a direction neither is equipped to handle. Determined to confront the past, will they survive to build a future?

My Thoughts:
Sometimes you just act.”  (p 427)

When Morgan Spencer speaks these words, he is speaking a profound truth and acknowledging a profound shift in his heart.  Kristen Heitzmann has created a character in Morgan Spencer that just gets into your soul!  He is a person who reaches out to others, gives his very best to everything, yet he is a man who has experienced such great loss, that his growth and healing are like a precious gift within the story. Heitzmann gives you every nuance, every emotion, every significant change in such a realistic way that by the time you reach the end of the story, you’ve shed your fair share of tears for Morgan – both in sorrow and in joy.

Quinn Reilly is the other major character painted upon the canvas of this story, and, like Morgan, she becomes someone you learn to love a great deal.  Her experiences within the story are both emotionally difficult and heart-poundingly frightening - for it is Quinn who is threatened by a very subtle enemy and a deadly set of circumstances.  There are several chapters that threaten to take her out of the story all-together!

Once again, Heitzmann has created a host of characters that the reader comes to care for very deeply, then she sets up situations that have you racing toward the end of the story with your heart pounding, and your breathing rather faulty!  Romantic suspense is an art that this author has perfected, and The Breath of Dawn will keep her fans happily reading well into the night!  Bravo!!! 

Purchase your copy HERE today!

About the Author:
Kristen Heitzmann is the bestselling author of over a dozen novels, including "Freefall", "Halos", "A Rush of Wings", and the Christy Award winner "Secrets". She and her husband, Jim, and their family live in Colorado Springs, Colorado, where she serves as worship leader in their church. 

Find out more about Kristen at

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Win a Kindle Paperwhite and connect with Kristen Heitzmann at “The Breath of Dawn” Facebook Party {11/27}!

Kristen Heitzmann is celebrating The Breath of Dawn by giving away one of the new Paperwhite Kindles and hosting a fun Author Chat Party on Facebook. (11/27)

One fortunate winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Paperwhite
  • The Breath of Dawn by Kristen Heitzmann
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on November 26th. Winner will be announced at the "The Breath of Dawn" Author Chat Facebook Party on 11/27. Connect with Kristen, get a sneak peek of her next book, try your hand at the trivia contest, and chat with readers just like you. There will also be gift certificates, books and a Book Club Prize Pack to be won (10 copies for your book club or small group)!

So grab your copy of The Breath of Dawn and join Kristen on the evening of the November 27th for a chance to connect with Kristen and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book - don't let that stop you from coming!)

Don't miss a moment of the fun, RSVP todayTell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 27th!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Five Christmas Titles for a Combined 40 Percent off Retail!! HUGE GIVE-AWAY!

New Hope Publishers Offers Two-Week Promotion:
Five Christmas Titles for a Combined 40 Percent off Retail 

Birmingham, AL -- New Hope Publishers is launching a two-week promotion of their five Christmas print titles for 40 percent off their retail price. All five titles, normally $65.95 combined retail, will be available for $39.59, no promo code needed. The promotion will run from November 23 through December 7. Beginning November 23, Black Friday, just go to and click on the Christmas bundle ad that appears at the top.
The discount does not apply to the print books individually. Both New Hope and the authors will support the promotion through their respective social media outlets, mailing lists, and digital media including
Sample chapters of these titles are available by clicking the covers below: 

The mission of New Hope® Publishers is to provide books that challenge readers to understand and be radically involved in the mission of God. New Hope Publishers is the general trade publishing division for WMU®, a missions auxiliary to the Southern Baptist Convention. New Hope Publishers is a member of the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association (ECPA).


Thursday, November 22, 2012

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Kindle Fire Giveaway - by David E. Stevens!!

To celebrate the release of Resurrect, David E. Stevens has teamed up with his publisher, Kregel Publications, for a Kindle Fire Giveaway and Facebook Author Chat Party {12/4}.

One "thrilling" winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire
  • Resurrect by David E. Stevens
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on December 3rd. Winner will be announced at the "Resurrect" Author Chat Facebook Party on 12/4. Connect with David, get a sneak peek of the next book in the Resurrect Trilogy, try your hand at the trivia contest, and win some great prizes—gift certificates, books and a Book Club Prize Pack (10 copies for your book club or small group)!

So grab your copy of Resurrect and join David on the evening of December 4th for a chance to connect with David and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book - don't let that stop you from coming!)

Don't miss a moment of the fun, RSVP todayTell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 4th!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Resurrect by David E. Stevens - REVIEWED

About the Book:

Book 1 in the ResurrectTrilogy.

Preventing his burning fighter from crashing into a neighborhood, Navy Commander Josh Logan ejects ... too late.
Critically injured, he's offered a new life and mission exploit highly classified military technology to stop a global cataclysm. The price? He'll be dead to everyone he knows.
He wakes in a city hospital with a genetically enhanced body and no identity. With the help of his brilliant, Neuro ICU nurse, and guided by nothing but a voice, he must infiltrate the military-industrial complex to develop the world's most powerful weapon ... to protect humanity? 
Link to buy the book: 

My Thoughts:

Instead of telling people directly what’s going to happen, we leak it, and then deny it.  It’s weird, but people are often more likely to accept something if they believe it’s a secret.  The beauty of a conspiracy it that it can’t be proven wrong, because anyone who attacks it…”

Must be part of the conspiracy.”  (p 211)

David E. Stevens has written a compelling tale of intrigue and conspiracy woven among a very interesting set of characters.  This story does require the reader to exercise disbelief to a rather extreme extent!  When you sit down to read this story, just be prepared to experience a LOT of incredible stuff that is a far reach for most people’s imagination.

I’m not denying that any of it is possible, mind you.  Much of the story is entirely TOO possible for my taste!  The entire concept presented in the story is just eerily plausible.  If you are familiar with the prophecies in the book of Revelation, you will recognize the possibilities immediately!

So, bottom line, if you like a fast paced thriller, built upon a conspiracy to end the world as we know it…then please don’t hesitate to pick up RESURRECT!  You will love it!!

About the Author:

A Navy fighter pilot with hundreds of aircraft carrier landings, Commander David E Stevens holds degrees from Cornell and the University of Michigan with graduate work in astrophysics. He test piloted new fighters and received an aviation patent. With a Top Secret clearance, Dave served as Strike Operations Officer for the Persian Gulf during Desert Storm and led classified defense programs. He's traveled to over two dozen countries.

Find out more about David E. at

Saturday, November 17, 2012

The Christmas Pony by Melody Carlson - REVIEWED

About the Book: (from Revell Publishing)

With Christmas around the corner, the Turnbull family is in need of a few small miracles.
It is 1937, and Lucy Turnbull knows better than to wish for a pony this Christmas. Her mother has assured her in no uncertain terms that asking for a pony is the same as asking for the moon. Besides, the only extra mouths they need at their boarding house are the paying kind. Then an interesting pair of strangers comes to town, and Lucy's world changes forever.
My Thoughts:

I definitely think God will answer your prayer, Lucy.  But sometimes God’s answer isn’t the answer we want.  Sometimes God’s answer is no…or wait.” (p 55)

And sometimes God makes us wait and then says yes!  I’m just suggesting that the question of ten-year-old Lucy Turnbull praying for her mama to smile again, is a reasonable prayer for any child to pray.  Lucy also prays for boarders for her mom so that bills can be paid and that the worry lines that are etched into her mother and grandmother’s face will ease from worry.  1937 was not an easy time to be a widow with a dependent child and a live-in parent, but Miriam was taking in laundry and boarders to make ends meet, and so far was getting by. 

Christmas was approaching, and like any young girl, Lucy was praying for a gift.  The gift she wanted most of all? To see her mother smile! Lucy’s prayer for boarders was answered, but the stress that came with them didn’t help Miriam’s smile! Or did it?

Once again, Melody Carlson has created a heart-warming tale for the holidays!  Sit down with a warm mug of chocolate and indulge your heart!

About the Author:
Melody Carlson is the award-winning author of over two hundred books with sales of more than five million. She is the author of several Christmas books from Revell, including the bestselling The Christmas BusThe Christmas Dog, and Christmas at Harrington's, which is being considered for a TV movie. She is also the author of many teen books, including Just Another GirlAnything but NormalDouble Take, the Life at Kingston High series, and the Diary of a Teenage Girl series. She is the winner of aRomantic Times Career Achievement Award in the inspirational market for her many books, including the Diary of a Teenage Girl series andFinding Alice. Melody and her husband live in Oregon.

For more information about Melody visit her website at

Friday, November 16, 2012

Still I Will Praise:The Power of Praising God Even When You Don't Feel Like It by Renee Bondi - REVIEWED

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Today's Wild Card author is:

and the book:

CLC Publications (August 24, 2012)

***Special thanks to Blythe Daniel for sending me a review copy.***


Renée Bondi is a popular speaker and recording artist who has shared the stage with Sandi Patty, Larry King and Point of Grace.  She has been featured in magazines such as Today’s Christian Woman and Woman’s World and on shows, including “The 700 Club,” “Hour of Power,” and TBN. Renée is the founder of Bondi Ministries. Among her many awards and honors is Woman of the Year from the California State Senate and recognition for Outstanding Service to the Community from the U.S. House of Representatives.  She lives with her husband and son in Southern California.

At age 29, Renée s future was incredibly bright. She was engaged and had a beautiful singing voice, a thriving career as a music teacher, and a loving family. But then one night a bizarre accident left her a quadriplegic. Renée lost not only all use of her arms and legs, but also her singing voice she could barely speak above a whisper. Through even this, Renée remained hopeful and held tight to her faith. Her unbroken spirit and amazing physical progress baffled the medical field and even surprised those close to her. She miraculously began to sing again and went on to live more fully than she ever dreamed. Whether performing or sharing her victorious story Renée are uplifted and mesmerized by her angelic voice, music and messages. Most importantly, all who hear Renée are encouraged to pursue a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

Visit the author's website.


Praising God hasn’t come easy for Bondi. She shares, “For most of us, praising God in difficult times doesn't come naturally.  We praise God on the mountaintop, not in the valley.  After becoming paralyzed, I found when I chose to lift my eyes and heart in praise to Christ, I experienced a much deeper peace and strength I didn’t have before. Praising God changes my focus, which changes my mind and then my heart and ultimately my attitude.”

Her book is filled with personal stories that emphasize how important worship has become in her life and brings to life some well-known and more obscure Bible characters who praised God in the good times and also in the tough times.

Product Details:
List Price: $18.99
Hardcover: 175 pages
Publisher: CLC Publications (August 24, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1619580136
ISBN-13: 978-1619580138

My Thoughts:
"The writing of Hebrews admonished us to continually offer God our "sacrifice of praise" (13:15).  Why a sacrifice? Because we don't always feel like it....We can give praise continually be remembering God, including Him in our day and filtering whatever happens through His perspective.  This reminds us that God is God and that He's on the throne.  And because He is, we can offer praise even when we don't like our circumstances." (p 36)

Renee Bondi has written a powerful, significant book that will change your life.  Read it. Rejoice in the truth of the words she shares. And PRAISE GOD!!! I know my heart is rejoicing in the treasure of truth and hope that is found within the pages of this book! This is a book that will encourage everyone you know in a significant way!  Thank you Renee for teaching others the power of praising God!


Please go HERE and press the "Look Inside" button on Amazon to read the first chapter of this amazing book.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Too Far To Say Far Enough by Nancy Rue - REVIEWED!!

About the Book: (from David C. Cook)
Allison Chamberlain has done everything God required of her-but as He continues to nudge her in the third and final book of The Reluctant Prophet series, she is ready to say, “Enough!”
Even with two Sacrament Houses open, the Sisters’ second hand clothing boutique making its debut, and the orphaned Desmond legally adopted, Allison Chamberlain receives the divine Nudge to Go another mile. Eventually responding with her usual reluctant obedience, she finds herself caring for a very young prostitute and facing the deepest roots of evil. Despite the adversaries who threaten those closest to her, Allison finds that she has not gone far enough until she conquers hate and learns to love as God does. No matter what the consequences.   

My Thoughts:

I knew something else.  We would all stay locked up, unable to get to the world we so wanted to change, if we didn’t give in to loving another mile.”  (p 468)

It’s not a matter of blame…or shame or guilt.  It’s a matter of making the choice between loving and hating.  And you do it over and over and over again.” (p 474)

We all have a choice,” I said. “We can live our lives the way somebody else tried to shape them.  Or we can live them the way God wants to shape them if we give God a chance.”  (p 479)

If you’ve read many of my blog posts, you know I try to pick a quote that sums up the theme of the story. Too Far To Say Far Enough is a very involved story that encapsulates a lot of truth.  The three examples I chose to open this review are given as evidence of the true warrior heart of Allison Chamberlain.  Her character is so gritty and real that I can’t help but believe that in some way she reflects the heart of the author!  Nancy Rue has crafted a very unique and moving series within the Reluctant Prophet, and I can only imagine what her heart must go through as she crafts the lives of these characters!  She has put my heart through the paces reading Too Far to Say Far Enough!

This story gives resolution to some issues, but opens just as many new avenues for your heart to travel.  Readers of all ages will be drawn into this story.  The descriptions of people alone are enough to keep you curiously turning pages! The exchange between the Mosquito and Allison (Classic) was timeless and very, very real!! All of the exchanges – verbal, emotional, spiritual – are very, very real. That’s what sets these stories apart.  The issues are heartbreaking, but the reality exists and Christians are called to be Jesus in the lives of the broken.  

Nancy Rue gets that truth and conveys it in a powerful way through story.  Bravo, Nancy!! No wonder you won double Christy’s last year!  I imagine it won’t be the last time! Bravo!

About the Author:
Nancy Rue is the author of over 100 books for adults and teens, including Healing Waters, which was a 2009 Women of Faith Novel of the Year, and has recently been named an ECPA 2010 Christian Book Award Finalist. Nancy travels extensively-at times on the back of a Harley Davidson-speaking and teaching to groups of `tween girls and their moms and mentoring aspiring Christian authors. She lives on a lake in Tennessee with her Harley-ridin' husband Jim and their two yellow labs (without whom writing would be difficult.)

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Bible Detective by Peter Martin Illustrated by Peter Kent - Reviewed

About the Book: (from Lion Hudson publishing)
Young detectives will never tire of this picture-search puzzle book. Readers can pore over 17 cleverly illustrated scenes of Bible events to find the answers to the questions posed on each page. Some puzzles involve looking for details of everyday life, others highlight things that happened in the Bible stories – offering hours of fun to readers as they search for the answers. With lots to find, this kind of picture book is particularly great for reluctant readers and visual learners, helping all children get an overview of the Bible’s history and content as they super-sleuth their way through the book. Warning: may be addictive!

My Thoughts:

Bible Detective is a treasure chest of Bible information!  This is not scripture from the Bible, but rather historical information that allows you to learn everything about the culture of the people recorded in scripture! To a child, this book is an endless hunt for fascinating images.  To a parent, it is an opportunity to teach and spend precious, priceless hours with the children in your life! I spent many hours engaged with my own children over the pages of similar books, and I can’t imagine and more enjoyable way to teach Bible history or learn about ancient civilization that brings Bible stories to life!

Be warned parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and older siblings: time evaporates when you sit down with this book!  I’m serious!  You intend to spend just a few moments, find just a couple of images, and all of the sudden a half hour has disappeared and you’re still looking for things!  I love it!! So the Christmas Season is just ahead, and I’ve just solved several gift dilemmas for you! This will be the perfect gift for young Bible scholars – and those who teach them!  Have a blast!! I did!

I received a copy of this book from Kregel Publications in exchange for my honest review.

About the Author:
Peter Martin has developed a wide knowledge of Biblical history during his many years working in religious education. His years as a parent as well as a teacher make him able to bring his expertise in this field within reach of young readers. He acted as an advisor on The Bible in Its Time, also from Lion Publishing.