Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Direct Hit by Mike Hollow - REVIEWED

About the Book:
The jagged blast of high explosives rips through the evening air. In the sky over East London the searchlights criss-cross in search of the enemy. 

On the first night of the Blitz, a corpse is discovered in a van in the back streets of West Ham. Detective Inspector John Jago recognizes the dead man as local Justice of the Peace Charles Villers. But then a German bomb obliterates all evidence. 

Villers, not a popular man, was both powerful and feared. As the sirens wail, the detective must start matching motive to opportunity--and it doesn't help when his boss foists an intrusive American journalist on him. 

Jago soon discovers the dead man held many secrets, some reaching back to World War I. A lot of people wished Villers dead--and an air raid is a good time to conceal a murder. 

My Thoughts:
There was no justice in war, and sometimes no justice in peace.”  (p. 295)

Detective Inspector John Jago and his colleague Detective Constable Craddock are policemen in the town of West Ham England during the early part of WWII.  Air raids and an active draft board have created the perfect storm from which they must attempt to solve a murder.  If you can imagine a 1940’s version of a modern-day crime show, then you catch a glimpse into the first book , Direct Hit, in a brilliant series, The Blitz Detective

I now have another author to add to my list of favorite crime writers!  Mike Hollow’s characters, Jago and Craddock, are just men trying to do an almost impossible job of policework – all the while ducking into bomb shelters with the hopes of surviving long enough to solve their crime!  The other characters in the novel are realistically flawed by the circumstances to which they were born, and the universal themes of fear, greed, vengeance and romance weave together to create a very tangled web for our two detectives to unravel!

Relying only upon gut-hunches and minds sharpened by phenomenal detective skills, Jago  and Craddock sift through a mountain of witnesses and discover secrets that are as old as the First World War.  Parents are fighting to protect their children – young and old – from a war that seems intent upon destroying everything!  Amidst all of the chaos, Hollow inserts a feisty American journalist for good measure, and readers must read frantically to discover the truth at the bottom of the rubble left behind in the wake of unrelenting German bombers!

I am totally enamored by this series, and I HIGHLY recommend it to everyone!  Mike Hollow has scored a Direct Hit on my reading list with two very likable English police detectives! 

About the Author:
Mike Hollow studied languages at Cambridge, then worked for the BBC, and then Tearfund. Now a freelance writer and editor, he lives in Basingstoke with his wife Margaret. A popular poet, his work has been widely performed and has appeared in many collections.

Duck Derby!

(NASHVILLE, Tennessee) -- Nashville-based non-profit Gabe’s Chemo Duck Program is pleased to announce that Riley Bria from this season of American Idol will perform live and meet with fans at Chemo Duck’s 3rd Annual Duck Derby, taking place at Nashville Shores (4001 Bell Road in Hermitage, TN) on Saturday, August 1st. The popular family-friendly event will benefit kids living with cancer. 

Discount tickets to the event at Nashville Shores are available for $19.99 (plus tax) (promotional code: DUCK). For a donation of $5, supporters can purchase one of 2,500 rubber ducks that will be dropped into Nashville Shores’ lazy river. A Grand Prize of $1,000 will be awarded to the donor whose rubber duck is the first to cross the finish line. Additionally, a donation of 24 Chemo Ducks will be made to the hospital of the winner’s choice. Winners do not need to be present to win, and all proceeds from the event will be used to place more Chemo Ducks into the hands of young cancer patients waiting for a duck of their own.

Doors open at 10 a.m. and the Duck Derby will take place at 3 p.m. Eighteen year-old Spring Hill resident Riley Bria, who has shared the stage with artists like Keith Urban and made the Top 10 for the guys on the just-completed season of American Idol, will be on hand to perform and meet with fans. Additional games and activities for the entire family will take place throughout the day including a duck scavenger hunt and a duck face contest. Door prizes will also be available.

“We are so excited to have Riley joining us at Nashville Shores for the 3rd Annual Duck Derby,” said Lu Sipos, founder of Gabe’s Chemo Duck Program. “Nashville continues to embrace Chemo Duck allowing us to provide huggable hope to children living with cancer!” 

Chemo Duck’s 3rd Annual Duck Derby is sponsored by Jackson National Life Insurance Company, with additional sponsorship by B.L. Harbert, Williamson Pediatric Dentistry, StoneTree Mulch, Gravel & More, Crain Construction and Nashville Publicity Group.

Gabe’s Chemo Duck Program is a program of the Nashville-based nonprofit organization, Gabe’s My Heart, which was established in 2004 to provide education and comfort to children living with cancer through medical play using therapeutic tools. The goal of the program is to enable hospital staff and parents to prepare children for chemotherapy treatment and eliminate the fear of the unknown. Chemo Duck is a stuffed yellow duck dressed in blue hospital scrubs with a bandana around its head, a chemotherapy port on its chest and an immobilizer on his arm. In a gentle, age-appropriate manner, children learn what to expect during cancer treatment and have a friend to share the experience. In turn, children can use Chemo Duck to help friends, siblings and classmates to understand and empathize with their experience. For more information, visit

Monday, July 27, 2015

Dead Dog Like Me by Max Davis - REVIEWED

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Dead Dog Like Me
Worthy Publishing (June 23, 2015)
Max Davis


Max Davis is the author of over twenty books, has been featured in USA Today and Publisher’s Weekly, and has appeared on The Today Show and The 700 Club. He holds degrees in journalism and biblical studies. In addition to his own works, he’s done a variety of ghostwriting and collaboration projects. Max and Alanna have three grown children and a grand baby.


Nick Gregory regains consciousness after a horrific car accident to find he’s been transported back in time and that he has become Mephibosheth, Jonathan’s son and King Saul’s grandson. Aware that he’s experiencing another man’s life, he has to learn fast. When mega-church pastor, Nick Gregory, regains consciousness after a horrific car accident, he’s on the ground in agonizing pain. Nick realizes he is in a bizarre place – a foreign, parched, ancient land, having been transported back in time to 800 B.C. Unbelievably, he is in the body of a prince named Mephibosheth, a son of Jonathan and King Saul’s grandson. Nick is fully aware of who he is and that he’s now living in Mephibosheth’s body, strangely able to speak and understand Hebrew. This experience helps him see that he, like Mephibosheth, is a broken man desperate for God’s outrageous grace and healing (2 Samuel 9:8). Returning to present day, Nick’s experience motivates a changed life.

My Thoughts:
God’s specialty is breathing life into dead situations.” (p. 173)

I am SO THANKFUL that Phillip Gregory had a friend like Kenny Squires!  I know, these are fictional characters, but when I completed dead dog like me, I was totally invested in the lives of these characters!  A megachurch pastor’s fall from grace….well, it happens.  That’s reality.  And Phillip Gregory’s fall was pretty spectacular.  This fictional character mirrors many well-known mega-church pastors – multiple books published and church members and news media that trek them with the accuracy of a bloodhound on the scent of a fresh kill.  There is no grace and mercy for being human in this realm.  None.

So what choices present themselves?  Supernatural experiences that take place when the veil between this world and the next becomes thin…..and daily spiritual battles are displayed in a way that every believer will recognize and relate to!  I love the way the author develops each character and realistically walks alongside all of their many choices.  There is loss, betrayal, tragedy…and time and time again, each character has a very difficult choice to make – to follow God, or to follow their emotions. 

Everything get particularly brutal for Phillip’s wife, Abbi.  My heart broke for her time and time again.  She was the character I related to most closely, and her journey to find healing and wholeness is not an easy one.  Phillip’s experiences are rather remarkable, and the way both characters submit to the process of transformation is realistic and very moving!

I began this book with no expectations, and what I discovered was  a story that will leave its mark upon my life for always!  Max Davis is a new author to me, and I’ve elected myself to the Number One position in his fan club!  DON’T MISS THIS BOOK!! It is remarkable in every way!

If you would like to read the first chapter of Dead Dog Like Me, go HERE.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Tattered and Mended by Cynthia Ruchti - REVIEWED

About the Book:
Jesus takes our ragged edges and missing pieces and mends us into something both whole and beautiful.Artisans can reclaim exquisite beauty from the broken, frayed, and hopefully shattered—perhaps once thought beyond repair. But what about us? What of the wounds that keep us from living the life we want to live?

In Tattered and Mended, readers walk through a gallery of reclaimed and restored art as well as broken and restored lives of those who have gone before us. With a gentle touch and personable wisdom, Cynthia Ruchti shows how even the most threadbare soul can once again find healing and hope.

My Thoughts:
It’s counterproductive for us to wait until we’re ready to heal.  We’ll never be ready for the mending process.  God invites us to heal anyway.”  (p. 36)

Cynthia Ruchti enters boldly into a the subject of healing…being mended by God in all of our broken places.  To recognize this healing as a process that we must choose to pursue as we submit to God’s will, is divine sovereignty in every single event in our lives.  He is always making beauty from the tattered souls that have walked through trials in this life.  Ruchti speaks to trials that are both self-inflicted and those that explode upon us with a fierceness that threatens to destroy us.  God is there.  He is the master designer and healer of our souls. 

Ruchti says it best: “In surrender – not to the pain, but to The Healer – we abandon ourselves to the process, to the One whose steady hand pieces the ripped canvas back together, thread by thread.”
 (p. 91)

This is a tender, honest book that looks at the lives of both modern-day and Biblical characters and establishes the truth that, if we turn to God in our brokenness, regardless of the source of that brokenness, He is able and faithful to heal us if we submit to the process. 

I HIGHLY recommend this book for everyone who has even been wounded by life.  You will come away with a faith that is stronger, that has been challenged, and a hope that will sustain through any trial.
About the Author:
Cynthia Ruchti is the author of the critically acclaimed Where the Morning Glory Blooms andThey Almost Always Come Home. After 33-years as writer/producer of the daily 15-minute radio broadcast, The Heartbeat of the Home, Cynthia served a two-year term as president of American Christian Fiction Writers and currently serves as ACFW's Professional Relations Liaison. In addition to writing novels, devotionals, and magazine articles, she speaks for women's events and writers' conferences. Cynthia and her plot-tweaking husband live in Central Wisconsin, where she creates stories of Hope-that-glows-in-the-dark. Find Cynthia on the web at

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Thriving in Babylon by Larry Osborne - REVIEWED

About the book: 
Thriving in Babylon
 (David C. Cook, April 2015)

Meet a man forced to live in a fast changing and godless society. He faced fears about the future, concern for his safety, and the discouragement of world that seemed to be falling apart at warp speed.

Sound familiar? His name was Daniel, and with the power of hope, humility, and wisdom, he not only thrived, he changed an empire while he was at it. Though he lived thousands of years ago, he has a much to teach us today.

Even in Babylon, God is in control.

In Thriving in Babylon, Larry Osborne explores the "adult" story of Daniel to help us not only survive - but actually thrive in an increasingly godless culture. Here Pastor Osborne looks at:

-Why panic and despair are never from God
-What true optimism looks like
-How humility disarms even our greatest of enemies
-Why respect causes even those who will have nothing to do with God to listen
-How wisdom can snatch victory out of the jaws of defeat
For those who know Jesus and understand the full implications of the cross, the resurrection, and the promises of Jesus, everything changes---not only in us, but also in our world.

You can purchase your copy HERE.

My Thoughts:
God’s judgement always begins with his own.  Which is why he raised up the Babylonians and allowed them to sack Jerusalem, and maybe why he’s allowed the modern-day sacking of American Christianity.”  (p. 50)

Larry Osborne’s book, Thriving in Babylon, is a critically important book for readers to experience if they are hungry to learn how to ensure their faith thrives despite the darkness of the modern day trials that surround us.  Instead of allowing panic to paralyze our faith-walk, we can walk into each day with assurance that God is indeed Sovereign over all that is taking place – both in our lives and the world around us.  The bottom line ultimately can be summed up succinctly:  “Though our options are nowhere near as gut-wrenching or perplexing as Abraham’s, we still must choose if we are going to trust God or not.”  (p.105)

Osborne uses both biblically accurate and practical everyday examples and illustrations to encourage believers not to give up the fight as days grow ever darker around us.  He uses the framework of hope, humility and wisdom to build upon, and the result has become a powerful encouragement to believers no matter if they are new believers or if they have a mature and solid faith foundation. 

For me, this book was a literal godsend!  I read thoroughly, highlighted, underlined, and used a host of sticky flags to mark passages that spoke to me.  I think believers need this encouragement, and the challenge this book sets before us.  I can’t recommend this book highly enough!! 

No matter what you’re going through at the moment, God hasn’t forgotten you.  He has a master plan.  He may well be preparing you for a place called Babylon. And if he is, it’s not so you can survive.  It’s so you can thrive!” (p.88)  

About the Author:
Dr. Larry Osborne has served as a senior pastor and teaching pastor at North Coast Church---one of the ten most influential churches in the country---since 1980. Dr. Osborne is the author of numerous books, includingAccidental Pharisees. He and his wife live in Oceanside, California. They have three grown children.

You can find him on the web on Facebook and Twitter

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

warrior chicks by Holly Wagner - REVIEWED

About the Book:
There is a lot in life we cannot control--a cancer diagnosis, the choices our children make, a spouse who leaves, disappointments in our career, a broken heart. But in those tragedies, big and small, we still have a choice: 

Lie down and give in or stand up and fight.
In this inspiring call to arms against victimhood, Holly Wagner challenges women to enlist as Warrior Chicks. She shows women that they are beautiful just the way they are, they are destined to be overcomers in this life, and that the battle is already won for us. She shares the secrets of being equipped to fight the good fight and do more than just survive. As one who has battled many things in her life, including breast cancer, Holly shows how you can be either a casualty of the pain or a warrior who overcomes. 

So what's it going to be?

My Thoughts:

It’s all about a life rooted in God.  It is knowing who you are in Him, knowing the purpose for which you have been created and staying committed to working that out.”  (p. 153)

Holly Wagner’s book, warrior chicks, takes these profound truths and adds realistic steps to flesh out the story of her own journey as well as those who have walked through the Bible before us.  She uses examples from her years in ministry to illustrate the truth that we all have a choice to make when the storms of life crash over our lives:  we can lie down in defeat or we can rise and fight.  We can be foot soldiers, or we can be warriors.  We must choose to wallow in defeat or rise and fight from a place of victory!

Holly has a gift of speaking the truth in love while simultaneously challenging and encouraging readers to fall into the arms of their Heavenly Father and embrace His love for us!  We CAN KNOW who we are and whose we are as children of God, and we can live lives that can touch and bring healing to others.

This book has intersected my life at a God-appointed time.  A time of great change. A season of forgiving and receiving forgiveness.  A season of closing the door on yesterday and throwing the door to my future wide with hope.  This is a book that makes me feel God’s love for me and a book that has encouraged me anew to put on my armor and continue to fight the fight set before me.  To wait on God and listen to His voice.

I cannot begin to say enough about this book!  It is a gift! It is a message of truth and hope!  Fight on, sister warriors!  We are not alone!

About the Author:
Holly Wagner is copastor of Oasis Christian Center in Los Angeles, California, where she oversees the women's ministry. GodChicks has grown beyond Oasis to reach thousands of women each year through conferences, books, and other resources. Holly is a popular conference speaker known for her challenging, humorous style and honest approach to real-life issues. Holly has written four books, includingGodChicks and Daily Steps for GodChicks. She and her husband, Philip, have two children.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

The Lost Garden by Katharine Swartz - REVIEWED

About the Book:
Present and past residents of a countryside English vicarage search for love 

Marin Ellis is in search of a new start after her father and his second wife die in a car accident leaving her the guardian of her fifteen-year-old half-sister, Rebecca. They choose the picturesque village of Goswell on the Cumbrian coast and settle into Bower House, the former vicarage, on the edge of the church property. When a door to a walled garden captures Rebecca's interest, Marin becomes determined to open it and discover what is hidden beneath the bramble inside. She enlists the help of local gardener Joss Fowler, and together the three of them begin to uncover the garden's secrets. 

In 1919, nineteen-year-old Eleanor Sanderson, daughter of Goswell's vicar, is grieving the loss of her beloved brother Walter, who was killed just days before the Armistice was signed. Eleanor retreats into herself and her father starts to notice how unhappy she is. As spring arrives, he decides to hire someone to make a garden for Eleanor, and draw her out of--or at least distract her from--her grief and sorrow. Jack Taylor is in his early twenties, a Yorkshire man who has been doing odd jobs in the village, and when Eleanor's father hires him to work on the vicarage gardens, a surprising--and unsuitable--friendship unfolds. 

Deftly weaving the dual narratives, Katharine Swartz explores themes of loyalty and love through her memorable characters and strong sense of place. 

My Thoughts:
This is what happens to everything.”  (p. 155)

Rebecca was speaking of the abandoned, overgrown garden at the back of their property when she spoke to her half-sister Marin.  However, these few words are a bit prophetic in both of the stories Katherine Swartz weaves together in her novel, The Lost Garden.  This novel cleverly weaves the lives of two families that span nearly a century of tragedy, heartache and, albeit grudging – renewal.  The lives of the Sanderson family in the wake of the First World War, and the lives of Marin Ellis and her half-sister Rebecca in the wake of their own family tragedy begin to mirror one another more and more as the novel progresses.  This becomes the universal story of grieving losses and, in the end, choosing how to move forward even though you would rather not.  The longing for things to be different from what they are is a circumstance we all face time and time again over the course of a lifetime.  The journey to discover the choices that these characters make will both surprise and satisfy you.

I was totally able to identify with the propensity to keep secrets….to protect the ones you love from further hurt…all the while sorting through your own pain.  Life has always been filled with complex choices, and we all have to deal with the repercussions of each choice we make.  To own that is the journey each of Swartz’ characters is put upon through some means or another.  It is fascinating to follow their development and to reach the conclusion of their individual choices.

This is a more complex book than I first suspected, but I think it is largely due to the places it intersects my own journey.   I think this novel reflects what each individual brings to the story.  So prepare for the unexpected!  You may cry.  You may laugh.  You may experience many things you didn’t expect.  Enjoy the journey!

About the Author:
After spending three years as a diehard New Yorker, Katharine Swartz now lives in the Lake District with her husband, an Anglican minister, their five children, and a Golden Retriever. She enjoys such novel things as long country walks and chatting with people in the street, and her children love the freedom of village life--although she often has to ring four or five people to figure out where they've gone off to! 

In addition to writing women's fiction, she writes contemporary romance for Mills & Boon Modern under the name Kate Hewitt. Whatever the genre, she enjoys delivering a compelling and intensely emotional story.

Monday, July 20, 2015

No Safe Harbor by Elizabeth Ludwig

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
No Safe Harbor
Bethany House Publishers (October 1, 2012)
Elizabeth Ludwig

I haven't received my reading copy.  I will post my review once I am able to read the book.


Elizabeth Ludwig is an award-winning author whose work has been featured on Novel Rocket, the Christian Authors Network, and The Christian Pulse. Her first novel, Where the Truth Lies (co-authored with Janelle Mowery), earned her the 2008 IWA Writer of the Year Award. This book was followed in 2009 by I'll be Home for Christmas, part of the Christmas anthology collection, Christmas Homecoming.

In 2011, her second mystery, Died in the Wool (co-authored with Janelle Mowery) was nominated for a Carol Award. In 2012, the popular EDGE OF FREEDOM series released from Bethany House Publishers. Books one and two, No Safe Harbor and Dark Road Home, respectively, earned 4 Stars from the RT Book Reviews. Book three, Tide and Tempest, received top honors with 4 1/2 Stars.

Elizabeth is an accomplished speaker and teacher, often attending conferences and seminars where she lectures on editing for fiction writers, crafting effective novel proposals, and conducting successful editor/agent interviews. Along with her husband and children, she makes her home in the great state of Texas.


The Thrill of Romantic Suspense Meets the Romance of 1800s America

Lured by a handful of scribbled words across a faded letter, Cara Hamilton sets off from 1896 Ireland on a quest to find the brother she'd thought dead. Her search lands her in America, amidst a houseful of strangers and one man who claims to be a friend--Rourke Walsh.

Despite her brother's warning, Cara decides to trust Rourke and reveals the truth about her purpose in America. But he is not who he claims to be, and as rumors begin to circulate about an underground group of dangerous revolutionaries, Cara's desperation grows. Her questions lead her ever closer to her brother, but they also bring her closer to destruction as Rourke's true intentions come to light.

If you would like to read the first chapter of No Safe Harbor, go HERE.

Friday, July 17, 2015

SADA K. Music Video, Directed by Actor Tyler James Williams, Premieres Today at

 (LOS ANGELES, California) -- SADA K. has partnered with for today's exclusive World Premiere of her new music video, “Live Love Laugh.” The video was directed by newcomer Jahmel A. Holden and actor Tyler James Williams, whom fans will recognize from shows like Everybody Hates Chris, The Walking Dead, Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders, Disney's Let It Shine and more.

 "Life is all about choices,” says SADA K. “It was our goal to create a visual to display just how beautiful life can truly be when we make the decision to live life to the fullest, walk in love and take time to find joy in everyday life because laughter is healing in so many ways."

 Four years after a devastating knee injury nearly ended her career, the former Press Play vocalist has re-emerged with her debut solo album, Long Story Short, available now at iTunes, Amazon and everywhere digital music is sold. For more information, visit the official website at

Thursday, July 16, 2015

To Capture Her Heart by Rebecca DeMarino - REVIEWED

About The Book:
In an uncertain time, she faces a choice that will change her life forever
It is 1653 and Heather Flower, a princess of the Montaukett tribe, is celebrating her wedding feast when a rival tribe attacks, killing the groom and kidnapping her. Though her ransom is paid by an Englishman, she is bound by her captors and left to die--until she finds herself rescued by handsome Dutch Lieutenant Dirk Van Buren.

Still tender from her loss, Heather Flower begins to heal in the home of the Hortons, English friends of her people. Torn between her affection for Dirk and her longtime friendship with Ben Horton, Heather Flower must make a difficult choice--stay true to her friend or follow her heart. 

Exploring a unique slice of history, Rebecca DeMarino transports you to the wild land that would eventually become Long Island, New York. 

My Thoughts:
The one thing he’d learned growing up from his parents was to bring your troubles to the Lord first, and He would answer you in His time.”  (p.53)

Benjamin’s thoughts early on in Rebecca DeMarino’s novel, To Capture Her Heart, is a glimpse into the heart of a very fascinating story!  Set in the mid-1600’s, this book captures both enchanting and dangerous dynamics between the European settlers and Native American Indians.  DeMarino has done meticulous research and captured the many nuances of this early American culture.  Well, it wasn’t American then, was it? 

The warring factions between tribes presented many dangers to the Europeans fleeing England in search of religious freedom.  DeMarino captures the spiritual differences accurately throughout the story, and some of the tension in the story-line occurs between those who are believers and those still doubtful of anything that might replace tradition.  Another facet that DeMarino captures beautifully is the strife that is created when the Indians and Europeans fall in love! J  She weaves many complex relationships within her novel, and, honestly, creates a tension that captures the reader early in the story and keeps them entranced throughout!  That, fellow-fiction buffs is good writing!

I somehow missed the first of this series, but I can say with confidence that you are still able to follow the story.  Based on the first chapter preview of the third novel, I know I probably missed some of the depth of her characters, but that only makes me want to go back and read the novel I missed!  Again, more evidence of great writing!

I am very happy to recommend The Southold Chronicles  (in particular, To Capture Her Heart) to everyone!

Please go HERE to win fabulous prizes!!

About the Author:

Rebecca DeMarino is the author of A Place in His Heart and a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Romance Writers of America, and The Southold Long Island Historical Society. She was a 2011 Genesis Award semi-finalist. Rebecca is retired from a major airline and lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, Tom. Learn more at

Wednesday, July 15, 2015


Daughters to Critically Acclaimed Artist Beckah Shae, Grace & Joy Put Bible Verses in the Form of Song To Help Kids Memorize Scripture

Nashville, Tenn. (July 14, 2015) --This summer, Shae Shoc Records will release its first children’s album by Scripture Snack Kids titled Fun Size, Vol. 1 on July 31, 2015. Aimed to help kids memorize Bible scripture, the 20-track album features the vocal talents of Grace (6) & Joy (8), daughters to Dove Award Nominee Beckah Shae and famed producer Jack Shocklee.

Stemming from Shae Shoc Records’ previous Scripture Snack albums, which featured Beckah, the proud parents wanted to ignite their daughters’ gifts, while helping other kids their age grow in their relationship with God. 

Scripture Snacks fills the gap by memorizing scriptures in the form of a song. Fun Size, Vol. 1 by Scripture Snacks Kids is an a cappella album, consisting of kids vocals along with critically acclaimed singer Beckah Shae and producer Jack Shocklee’s (tobyMac, Group 1 Crew, Montell Jordan) spin on pop driven melodies and low bass vocal percussion.  With 10 tracks breaking down various scriptures from “The Ten Commandments” to “Fruits of the Spirit”, the project also includes instrumental karaoke tracks to each song to put listeners memorization skills to the test.

“Our great privilege as parents is to encourage them to walk in truth and to leave a legacy of faith,” shares Beckah. “We wanted to teach our children that Jesus is the way, the truth and the life and we know that it is necessary in the growing of their faith to hear the Word of God, to not just hide it in their hearts but to share it with the world!”

Fun Size, Vol. 1 will be available on iTunes ®, Amazon and other digital platforms and in select Christian retailers throughout the nation.

For additional information on Scripture Snacks Kids, please visit

Monday, July 13, 2015

Jack Staples and the Ring of Time by Mark Batterson and Joel N. Clark - REVIEWED

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Jack Staples and the Ring of Time
Mark Batterson and Joel N. Clark

About the Book:

An eleven-year-old Irish boy awakens to a fantastical world and is unwittingly drawn into a war that's been raging since time before time. Encountering creatures beyond imagination, Jack must face his fears if he is to fulfill his destiny-to save the world and destroy it. Young readers will cheer Jack on as he discovers new and extraordinary abilities in this epic battle between good and evil. Filled with unexpected twists and action-packed turns, the first book in this fantastical trilogy will introduce readers to both lovable characters and unimaginable beings. Readers will experience Jack's unforgettable adventure as he learns to stop running from his fears and stand up for what's right in the face of great evil.

My Thoughts:
It wasn’t the normal Jack was used to, but even insanity, if experience long enough, can start to feel like a certain kind of normal.”

The second installment of Jack Staples’ adventures, Jack Staples and the Ring of Time, seems to be a series of twists and turns that both the main character and the reader find both abnormal and mind-bending!   This particular book develops the back story that drives the action and the discovery for this entire series.  Many questions are answered for both the reader and the main characters within the story, and we are all left at the edge of a very precipitous fall! 

Once again, the reader experiences a very swash-buckling adventure as Jack and his co-horts tumble from one clash to another in an effort to stay one step ahead of the evil that pursues them.  This is a very allegorical tale that will introduce pre-teens to the gospel message.  My personal opinion is very strong that the children already have a basic understanding of the Biblical story of creation and redemption before plunging headlong into this series.   If a parent or teacher is willing, to read this aloud with the young adult would provide a rich environment to discuss many aspects of Bible truth.  A parent can lay a solid foundation for redemption with this story!  How wonderful is that?

Hang on for the ride!  Be prepared to have reality challenged!  Be prepared to enter an allegorical tale of spiritual warfare at its best and most exciting!  I am happy to recommend this series!!

About the Authors:
Mark Batterson serves as lead pastor of National Community Church ( in Washington, DC.  One church with seven locations.  NCC is focused on reaching emerging generations and meets in theaters throughout the DC metro area.  NCC also owns and operates the largest coffeehouse on Capitol Hill.  Mark holds a Doctor of Ministry degree from Regent University and is the New York Times bestselling author of 11 books, including The Circle Maker, In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day, Wild Goose Chase and the two most recent, The Grave Robber and Jack Staples and the Ring of Time.  Mark is married to Lora and they live on Capitol Hill with their three children: Parker, Summer, and Josiah.   

 Joel N. Clark is the co-founder and Creative Director of Atlas District Pictures (, a production and ideas house co-located in Washington, DC and Johannesburg, South Africa. As a writer-filmmaker, Clark's love for story and adventure shine through in the diversity of products he and his team create ranging from short films and features to sitcoms, commercials and justice-oriented documentaries filmed all over the world. He lives with his wife, Megan in Washington D.C.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Letters from My Father's Murderer by Laurie A. Coombs - REVIEWED

About the Book:

Letters from My Father's Murderer: A Journey of Forgiveness(Kregel, June 2015)

When her father was murdered, Laurie Coombs sought justice and found it.

His murderer now serves two life sentences with no possibility of parole. Yet, despite the swift punishment of the killer, Laurie found herself increasingly full of pain, bitterness, and anger she couldn't control. After coming to faith, she realized she was being called to seek something infinitely more difficult than justice: forgiveness.

This is an extraordinary true story of grace, mercy, and the redemptive power of God to change lives. The reader is swept along with Laurie as she undergoes the life-changing transformation of becoming a Christian. As she studies Scripture, seeing God redeeming losses and healing deep wounds time and time again, she starts to understand that her own healing would require her to love her enemy in a real, practical way.

Using her incredible correspondence with the man who killed her father, Laurie reveals a compelling journey of transformation, not only in her life, but in the lives of those whom many would call irredeemable.

Letters from My Father's Murderer is for any audience Christian or secular who

-Craves freedom from the inability to forgive those who've caused them harm 
-Wants to hear testimony of God's power in our obedience 
-Has experienced pain through other's sin against them 
-Needs to know healing is always possible
The real story here is not primarily about murder and its fallout, but rather about redemption and how far it can reach.

Purchase your copy HERE!

My Thoughts:
Tomorrow is most certainly a good day.”  (p. 199)

This one statement represents the essence of God’s redemptive work in the lives of Laurie Coombs and Anthony Echols.  When I began Letters from My Father’s Murderer  I didn’t have any idea what a God appointment this would be in my own life.  I’m living in the wake of a situation that desperately needs to reflect the forgiveness and grace that Laurie and Anthony pursued throughout this book!  Their experience has fueled a hope in my heart that I, too, will one day walk in this same freedom found only in the transformation of God’s forgiveness and grace.

The words of Jesus in Matthew 5:44, “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,” are the words that sparked a flame of obedience in Laurie’s heart.  She is very transparent about her own feelings throughout the book, and in spite of the pain, both she and Anthony persevered to reach out to receive all that God had for them within His mercy and grace!  As you read, you can “see” the transformation taking place in each of their lives.  You can see the struggle and how they submit to God time and time again.  It is through their obedience and waiting on God’s timing and leadership that every step toward forgiveness is taken.

It’s a process.  But the rewards will only be fully realized when we all stand together at the feet of Jesus.  This has got to be, without a doubt, the most profound and impactful book I have ever read!  I am so excited to see what God has for each of us that has our lives touched by this book!  There are great things ahead for all of us!!  PRAISE GOD!!!

About the Author:

Laurie A. Coombs is a passionate writer and speaker on the issues of forgiveness, redemption, and the hope that is found in Jesus. Her story was featured in Billy Graham's new film,Heaven. She is a featured writer and blogger for iBelieve and Crosswalk. Laurie and her husband, Travis, make their home in Nevada along with their two daughters.

Fine Laurie online:  website, Twitter, Facebook

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Gone Without A Trace by Patricia Bradley - REVIEWED

About the Book:
The past is repeating itself--and time is running out
It's been more than two years since homicide detective Livy Reynolds's cousin disappeared from Logan Point. Unlike most people in her hometown, Livy has never believed that Robyn left voluntarily. When Dallas private investigator Alex Jennings contacts her concerning a senator's missing granddaughter who was last seen in Logan Point, Livy notices eerie similarities between the two disappearances. With self-doubt plaguing her and an almost instant dislike of the self-assured PI, she's finding this investigation an uphill battle. But with the prospect of finding her cousin on the horizon, she'll have to find a way to work with Alex--before it's too late.

Award-winning author Patricia Bradley keeps you on the edge of your seat with a case--and a relationship--that is anything but certain.

My Thoughts:
Bring her home.”  (p. 297)

Kate’s plea is echoed throughout Patricia Bradley’s latest novel, Gone Without A Trace.  Over the years women have been disappearing from Logan Point.  When another young lady disappears, Alex Jennings is hired to find her, a challenge in and of itself, but then his dad challenges him with a bet of sorts, that if he doesn’t find the missing young lady, he has to take the bar exam and complete his law school training.  This is one of many difficult family relationship that appears in this novel.  Bradley blends both suspense and relational struggle and creates a fast-paced very suspenseful read that will leave you very satisfied!

Livy Reynolds is a homicide detective in Logan Point when her cousin disappears.  The last thing she ever expected in all of the loss and heartbreak is that the situation would introduce a man into her heart and life that would cause her to rethink some of her past choices.  Bradley doesn’t exclude a romantic element in her tale!  Actually, it is this element of the story that she uses to tie things together in a very unlikely way!

I’ve read Bradley’s work before, and I can honestly say, that her name on the title is a guarantee that you will be well-entertained and lose some sleep along the way!  Gone Without A Trace is no exception! The villain is a rather tragic character when all is said and done, and Bradley uses even that to cause the main characters to reconsider some of their own broken relationships!  It is a rather brilliant twist!  So, enjoy the ride, folks! It is a wild one!

About the Author:
Patricia Bradley is the author of Shadows of the PastA Promise to Protect, and Gone without a Trace. Bradley has been a finalist for the Genesis Award, winner of a Daphne du Maurier Award, and winner of a Touched by Love Award. Bradley is a published short story writer and cofounder of Aiming for Healthy Families, Inc. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America, and makes her home in Mississippi. Learn more at

Monday, July 6, 2015

A Noteworthy Re-Release !! Splitting Harriet by Tamara Leigh - REVIEWED

About the Book:

Did I mention I’m also a preacher’s kid? That’s right. And like the prodigal son after whom I modeled myself, I finally saw the error of my ways and returned to the fold. Today my life is all about lead me not into temptation. When I’m not serving as Women’s Ministry Director at my father’s church, I’m working at Gloria’s Morning Café. I even have worthy goals, like saving enough money to buy the café, keeping my Jelly Belly habit under control, and never again hurting the people I love. No more parties. No more unsavory activities. And no more motorcycles.
You’d think I was finally on the right track. But since my dad’s replacement hired a hotshot consultant to revive our dying church, things aren’t working out as planned. And now this consultant says I’m in need of a little reviving myself. Just who does this Maddox McCray think he is? With curly hair that could use a good clipping, a tattoo he makes no attempt to hide, and black leather pants, the man is downright dangerous. In fact, all that’s missing is a motorcycle. Or so I thought. But if he thinks he’s going to take me for a ride on that 1298cc machine of his, he can think again. Harriet Bisset is a reformed woman, and she’s going to stay that way. Even if it kills me!
My Thoughts:
I read this book when it was originally released in 2007.  An amazing book!!  I was also new to blogging at the time, so I only shared brief thoughts about what I was reading.  Here are my thoughts:
Splitting Harriet shows the reality of conflict within the Christian body and its too-often, jump-to-conclusions outcome. You will see first-hand the amazing change that accepting the forgiveness of our salvation will make in our lives! This may be "chick-lit" in appearance, but it contains a lot about human nature and our daily relationship with our heavenly Father.

Check it out!!