Friday, January 27, 2017

The Mark of the King by Jocelyn Greet - REVIEWED


About the Book:
Life in This New World Requires More Strength Than She Ever Imagined
After the death of her client, midwife Julianne Chevalier is imprisoned and branded, marking her as a criminal beyond redemption. Hoping to reunite with her brother, a soldier, she trades her life sentence for exile to the fledgling French colony of Louisiana. The price of her transport, however, is a forced marriage to a fellow convict.

New Orleans is nothing like Julianne expects. The settlement is steeped in mud and mosquitoes, and there is no news of her brother, Benjamin. When tragedy strikes, she turns to military officer Marc-Paul Girard for help, but does he know more about her brother than he will admit?

With her dreams shattered, Julianne must find her way in this dangerous land, where only grace--and love--can overcome the stigma of the king's mark upon her shoulder.
My Thoughts:
You wear my name!”  (p. 323)

This quote is the essence of the discovery all of the main characters in Jocelyn Green’s latest book, The Mark of the King, make in their arduous journey in the Louisiana colony in the 1700’s.

For didn’t she know what it was to be buffeted, broken, and in pieces, and unrecognizable version of one’s former self?” (p. 392)

This quote give you a glimpse into the depth of personal challenges and change each character experiences in their journey of discovery.  Green has written an AMAZING story about a little know era of American history, and if you are like me, you are quickly swept up into this, sometimes agonizing, journey of the people who settled the Louisiana territory.  EVERY character has something significant to contribute to the story!  I was amazed, repeatedly, at how intricately every detail fed into another significant story line.  This is a multi-layered story, and by the end of the novel, you are left stunned by the completeness of the journey you take with this amazing set of characters.

Green also weaves a redemptive thread of God’s grace throughout the novel that creates a very impactful sense of God’s purpose in the lives of His children.  Nothing is wasted in His economy – NOTHING!!  So, I must strongly encourage you to PLEASE READ THIS NOVEL!! You will learn so much about American’s beginnings, and the characters will reveal a realistic picture of grace and mercy at the most gut-wrenching level of your heart!!  This is an AMAZING book!! Read it!!


Jocelyn Green inspires faith and courage as the award-winning author of ten books to date, including Wedded to War, a Christy Award finalist in 2013; Widow of GettysburgYankee in Atlanta; and The 5 Love Languages Military Edition, which she coauthored with bestselling author Dr. Gary Chapman. A former military wife herself, her passion for military families informs all of her writing as well as her numerous speaking opportunities. Jocelyn graduated from Taylor University with a BA in English and now lives with her husband and two children in Iowa. Visit her at www.jocelyngreen.com.

Monday, January 23, 2017

A Spectacle of Glory by Joni Eareckson Tada - REVIEWED


About the Book:
Every Christian wonders, Exactly why did God create me?  Well, God created you for one purpose, and that is to showcase His glory – He wants you to enjoy it, display it, and demonstrate it every day to all those you encounter.  Nearly 50 years of living as a quadriplegic and dealing with chronic pain on a daily basis has taught me how to make Jesus look good in the toughest of situations.  And I love passing those lessons on in my new devotional, A Spectacle of Glory.  I wrote it to help you learn how to put God's glory on display – how to say ‘no’ to a cranky, crabby spirit and say ‘yes’ to the daily adventure of following God down the difficult path.  Yep, I should know:  wheelchairs and cancer and pain can’t stop you from living life to the fullest.  So whatever challenges you are facing, I invite you to journey alongside me as every day we spend time together in A Spectacle of Glory.  And one more thing.  Don’t ever think your life is too ordinary, your world too small, or your work too insignificant: all of it is a stage set for you to glorify God!

My Thoughts:
Few people have the insight - the perspective - that God has gifted to Joni Eareckson Tada.  I am well aware that her physical limitations don't define her, but I can't pretend that I don't think about them when I read her words.  The fact that she has such an intimate relationship with God - something I am still growing towards in my own life - is clearly evident in every word!  The devotions are meant for daily consideration, and I must say that she packs a spiritual wallop in every page.  I am particularly moved by the prayers she pens!  

This devotional is power packed, and believers of all ages and stages will benefit from this devotional.  I'm sorry to be late in posting the review - but is is NOT too late to begin your journey through 2017 with Joni!!  This is a book that can be used year after year, so pick up a copy today!

About the Author:
Joni Eareckson Tada is the founder of Joni and Friends, an organization accelerating Christian outreach in the disability community that numbers 610 million people worldwide. This organization operates out of the new Joni and Friends International Disability Center located in Agoura Hills, California. Joni is not only an international disability advocate but an artist and the author of numerous bestselling books, including Pearls of Great Price, Diamonds in the Dust, More Precious Than Silver, the Platinum award-winning Joni, Heaven: Your Real Home, When God Weeps, and The God I Love.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Eden The Animals' Parable by Keith Korman - REVIEWED


About the Book:
Eden: The Animals' Parable (Liberty Island, April 2016)
"Ask the animals, and they will teach you." -Job 12:7
Experience the Gospels in a way that you never imagined.
In this beautifully inspired retelling of the Gospels, we see Jesus and his disciples in the Holy Land through the eyes of the animals---especially his intrepid and loyal dog, Eden.
With a wise, old donkey, innocent lambs, and legions of curious field mice---the animals follow their master's journey across Galilee and onto Jerusalem, rapt with awe and wonder and bearing great tidings---even if they don't fully comprehend the divine events they witness.
Simple, clear, and spiritually profound, Eden is for readers of all ages, this artful retelling is captivating, moving, and alive with the joy you felt the first time you opened the Bible.

Purchase you copy HERE!

My Thoughts:
Eden saw her master find a secluded spot away from the others.” (p. 126)

Eden’s master is none other than Jesus!  She observes many things in her lifetime, and it is through her eyes we witness the earthly journey of Christ.  I never dreamed of viewing Jesus’ earthly ministry through the eyes of a pet, but it proves to be a very insightful place from which to observe actions and reactions without being intrusive. 
Eden is not the only animal providing a very observant view, but other animals join her along the way. Because of this, reader receives a very complete view of all of the people that played a part of Jesus’ ministry as well as those who sought its end. 

 Some may find the animals are a bit TOO observant, but, honestly, I think we all assign many emotions and thoughts to animals anyway, so it seems completely believable to me!  In fact, I think this book provides an ingenious way to introduce Jesus and his earthly ministry to young children who might not learn about it otherwise.

I believe this book will provide a natural opening for adults to engage children of a variety of ages in discussions about Jesus.  It seems it would be particularly effective with unchurched children.  Reading this would provide a natural bridge to open a Bible and read the corresponding biblical story.  I cannot help but believe God will make this a useful tool in the hands of adults leading children’s ministry.

This is a VERY WELL written book that captures the imagination from beginning to end!  I am happy to recommend this to everyone!

About the Author:
Keith Korman is a literary agent and novelist. Over the years he has represented many nationally-known writers of fiction and non-fiction at his family's literary agency, Raines & Raines. The idea for Eden first came to him as a child when he saw the little calf jump across the stable in the prelude to William Wyler's Ben Hur. And he's been thinking about it ever since.


Wednesday, January 18, 2017

My Holy Bible for girls - Journal Edition - REVIEWED

My Thoughts:
I would have LOVED this as a young girl, because it it beautiful!  I also love to journal, and to have room to journal in my Bible!  Talk about a treat!  I grew up with a note-taking heritage at church. so to have this kind of room to make notations in is amazing!  Now, I'm a bit too old to carry something so feminine to church, but I will take advantage of this opportunity to record my thoughts in God's Word.

This Bible is very user-friendly, and any girl who love Jesus and is making discipleship a priority will adore this version of God's Word!  I highly recommend this as a tool to encourage young girls to stay engaged in their church experience.  It would also be a fabulous way to allow them to see their own spiritual growth first hand as they look back at their notes.

I would have loved this when I was younger, because I love it now! What a beautiful way to have a conversation with God!

Monday, January 16, 2017

The Mark of the King by Jocelyn Green - REVIEWED


About the Book:
Life in This New World Requires More Strength Than She Ever Imagined
After the death of her client, midwife Julianne Chevalier is imprisoned and branded, marking her as a criminal beyond redemption. Hoping to reunite with her brother, a soldier, she trades her life sentence for exile to the fledgling French colony of Louisiana. The price of her transport, however, is a forced marriage to a fellow convict.

New Orleans is nothing like Julianne expects. The settlement is steeped in mud and mosquitoes, and there is no news of her brother, Benjamin. When tragedy strikes, she turns to military officer Marc-Paul Girard for help, but does he know more about her brother than he will admit?

With her dreams shattered, Julianne must find her way in this dangerous land, where only grace--and love--can overcome the stigma of the king's mark upon her shoulder.
My Thoughts:
You wear my name!”  (p. 323)

This quote is the essence of the discovery all of the main characters in Jocelyn Green’s latest book, The Mark of the King, make in their arduous journey in the Louisiana colony in the 1700’s.

For didn’t she know what it was to be buffeted, broken, and in pieces, and unrecognizable version of one’s former self?” (p. 392)

This quote give you a glimpse into the depth of personal challenges and change each character experiences in their journey of discovery.  Green has written an AMAZING story about a little know era of American history, and if you are like me, you are quickly swept up into this, sometimes agonizing, journey of the people who settled the Louisiana territory.  EVERY character has something significant to contribute to the story!  I was amazed, repeatedly, at how intricately every detail fed into another significant story line.  This is a multi-layered story, and by the end of the novel, you are left stunned by the completeness of the journey you take with this amazing set of characters.

Green also weaves a redemptive thread of God’s grace throughout the novel that creates a very impactful sense of God’s purpose in the lives of His children.  Nothing is wasted in His economy – NOTHING!!  So, I must strongly encourage you to PLEASE READ THIS NOVEL!! You will learn so much about American’s beginnings, and the characters will reveal a realistic picture of grace and mercy at the most gut-wrenching level of your heart!!  This is an AMAZING book!! Read it!!


Jocelyn Green inspires faith and courage as the award-winning author of ten books to date, including Wedded to War, a Christy Award finalist in 2013; Widow of GettysburgYankee in Atlanta; and The 5 Love Languages Military Edition, which she coauthored with bestselling author Dr. Gary Chapman. A former military wife herself, her passion for military families informs all of her writing as well as her numerous speaking opportunities. Jocelyn graduated from Taylor University with a BA in English and now lives with her husband and two children in Iowa. Visit her at www.jocelyngreen.com.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Singer/Songwriter Sommer Floyd to Make Guest Appearance on 'The Chuckie Perez Show'

SINGER/SONGWRITER SOMMER FLOYD TO MAKE GUEST APPEARANCE ON THE CHUCKIE PEREZ SHOW  
  
Emerging Artist to Perform Songs from Debut CD, Ray of Light, on Popular Late-Night 
 JUCE TV Saturday, January 14, 2017
Emerging recording artist Sommer Floyd recently taped her guest appearance on this weekend's edition of The Chuckie Perez Show in front of a live studio audience at the TBN studios in Tustin, California. On the show, which is slated to air on Saturday, January 14, 2017, Sommer shares stories and music from her debut CD, Ray of Light.  Picured (L to R): Sommer, and television host Chuckie Perez. (Sommer Floyd photo)
 
BURNET, TEXAS (January 12, 2017) - Emerging recording artist Sommer Floyd is slated to appear as a guest on the popular late-night variety program, The Chuckie Perez Show, set to air on the TBN network's JUCE TV this weekend. Sommer will share songs from her debut CD, Ray of Light, with host Chuckie Perez and his television audience.

The show will air on Saturday, January 14, 2017, at 8:00 p.m. Pacific Time (subject to change, check local listings). Fans can watch the show live online at jucetv.com/watch-live. JUCE TV is also available on AT&T U-verse channel 570, Dish Network channel 264 and DirecTV channel 363. For a complete list of cable and broadcast outlets that carry JUCE TV, visit jucetv.com/wp-content/uploads/JUCETV-Distribution-List1.pdf.

"What a blessing to have the opportunity to share my music and my ministry on The Chuckie Perez Show," says Sommer. "Chuckie and the crew were amazing, and so much fun to work with. I can't wait until our paths cross again!"
"Ray of Light," the title track from the Texas singer/songwriter's new CD, has been impacting multiple Christian radio formats, and landed at the top of the Independent Christian Radio Chart's Contemporary Christian Music chart, reaching No. 1 during the week of October 10, 2016. 
 
The Ray of LIght CD released November 11, 2016, through Sommer Floyd Music. For more information about Sommer Floyd and Ray of Light, visit sommerfloyd.com.
# # #
About Sommer Floyd and Ray of Light:
Ray of Light, was produced by Multi-Dove Award
 winner Steven V. Taylor (Michael W. Smith, Matt Redman, Veggie Tales) and was recorded at the legendary Dark Horse Recording Studio in Franklin, Tennessee. 
 
A joyful amalgamation of sparkling Pop/Rock, New Country and Contemporary Worship, Floyd's inaugural release has drawn comparisons to artists like Kari Jobe, Mia Fieldes, Laura Story and The Band Perry's Kimberly Perry. Fan favorites include the celebratory "Children of God," the fun and encouraging Pop-Country anthem, "Drop and Run," and the gently meandering confessional ballad, "I Need You." 

Sommer allows her natural effervescence to shine through on the exuberant "Ray of Light," a song she says was inspired by a lazy summer afternoon spent in the company of her young daughter, Heidi. "We were sitting outside looking up at the sun," she recalls. "I realized, that's how we are supposed to be as believers. We were meant to shine as a ray of light, to illuminate the dark places."

Sommer's love of the great outdoors served as inspiration for a number of other songs on the project, including the upbeat anthem, "Let It Rain," the gently rocking, "Lighthouse," and the slow-burning "Live Like Jesus." She unveils her vulnerable heart in the lovely, yet achingly poignant, "Stronger," a song she wrote for a friend battling leukemia. "I had just gotten off the phone with her husband," she muses. "She had gone to the emergency room, thinking it was just allergies. I cried out to God, wondering why bad things happen to good people. I still don't have the answers to that question, but I know that the love of God is sufficient for all our needs. And when life gets harder, God makes us stronger. He has destined us to overcome, even when it doesn't look like it from the world's perspective."  
 
Her peace-evoking Contemporary Worship hymn, "How You Love Me," could easily become a staple in church services across the country with its lovely chorus: "You are worthy, worthy/ I fall down at Your feet crying holy, holy/ Your love is all I need and Your beauty takes my breath away from me." 

Speaking of hymns that are church staples, Sommer delivers her own unique take on the beloved classic, "Great Is Thy Faithfulness," which is the only song on the project that she didn't write. "The words to this hymn are so powerful that I wanted to include it on the album," she explains.

If you look up "All American Girl" in the dictionary, chances are the definition will be accompanied by a picture of Sommer Floyd. Born and raised in the Texas Hill Country, Floyd was an honor roll student, gifted athlete, beauty queen, and genuinely nice person. Voted "Class Favorite" and "Most Talented" by her high school classmates, Floyd was the quintessential cheerleader, earning four individual high school All American designations and three All Star Team National Championships. Attending college on a cheerleading scholarship, Floyd was designated a college All American as a freshman, an almost unheard of accomplishment. She ran on the varsity track team, played tennis, showed livestock, participated in rodeos and earned her Deep Sea Diving certification.
And she sings. And writes songs.
While Sommer certainly has all the credentials for The All American Girl, she is also 100 percent human. She is the first to admit she has made her share of mistakes. Those poor choices produced a deep level of brokenness, which compelled Sommer to dig deep into God's faithfulness, and reconnect with the God of her youth. The more connected the young woman became with God, the more songs began to flow from her pen.
"Putting my brokenness on paper helped to get me through the hard times," Sommer says, "and the lyrics started to turn into worship."
Her experience of brokenness and restoration resonated strongly throughout her community, opening doors for her to share her music and lead worship at churches and charity events throughout the Texas Hill Country, where she lives with her daughter, Heidi.
Sommer's fetching vocals, ear-pleasing melodies and spiritually mature lyrics caught the ear of her producer, Steven V. Taylor, and she soon found herself in Franklin, Tennessee with some of Nashville's finest musicians, recording her debut CD at the legendary Dark Horse Studios.

For more information on Sommer Floyd and Ray of Light, visit sommerfloyd.com.
# # # 
About The Chuckie Perez Show
The Chuckie Perez Show was birthed following a telephone conversation between friends. Singer/songwriter/performer Chuckie Perez mentioned his opinion that television was lacking clean, quality, family entertainment. His friend immediately invited Perez to a taping session at a local TV studio, where he introduced him to a TV executive. That meeting resulted in an invitation for Perez to submit a pilot for consideration to the Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN). Within a few weeks, a pilot had been produced, pitch meetings were scheduled, and soon TBN was on board with the network's newest show, which airs on Tuesday and Saturday nights on JUCE TV. For more information, visit chuckieperezshow.com.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Death In The Shadows by Paul McCusker - REVIEWED


About the Book:
When Father Gilbert traded in his detective's badge for an Anglican priest's collar, he never expected he would be pulled into a different kind of mystery--the mystery of the spiritual world.

Attending a conference in a seaside town, he has yet another supernatural encounter, this time with a murdered girl who worked at a local massage parlor. Details of the murder lead Father Gilbert to approach the police with clues in common with other cases, bringing him into contact with a detective from his days with Scotland Yard.

Meanwhile, a local monastery has been vandalized, with grotesque images and profane graffiti defacing the altar and walls. The head of the monastery accuses the local sex-trade industry of retaliating against his outspoken stand against it. Then, one of the brothers at the monastery is found dead in the local red-light district. All evidence points to his having been a regular at a massage parlor--the same one where the murdered girl had worked. 

My Thoughts:
The things the clergy get up to.”  (p. 155)

Father Gilbert can’t go anywhere – not even to a religious conference where he is to be part of panel discussions – without some form of murder mystery just around the corner!  He is always gracious with his time and observational skills, and as he teams up with the local law enforcement, Father Gilbert finds himself digging through layers and layers of deception, greed and trafficking before he ever discovers the killer!

You can’t help but love the way Father Gilbert always tries to do the right thing – sometimes skirting just beyond honest for a hot second before snapping back to the straight and narrow.  He is honest about all aspects of his life, and the reader is able to struggle along beside him as he unravels whatever lies before him!  The local law always seems very appreciative – even if somewhat baffled by his choice to be a part of the clergy.

This is my second encounter with Father Gilbert, and I must say it has been highly satisfying!!  If you like a murder mystery that is solved with good old fashioned sleuthing, you will truly enjoy this novel!! I am happy to recommend it!

About the Author:
Paul McCusker has written more than forty published novels, and many radio scripts and stage plays. He is a vice president with Focus on the Family and producer of the Adventures in Odyssey series. He and his family live in Colorado Springs.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Conspiracy of Silence by Ronie Kendig - REVIEWED


About the Book:
This Is the Way the World Ends. 
Four years after a tragic mission decimated his team, Cole "Tox" Russell has been disavowed by the United States. And that's fine--he just wants to be left alone. But when a dormant, centuries-old disease is unleashed, Tox is lured back into action.
 
Tox and his former Special Forces team regroup to work with FBI deception expert, Kasey Cortes, and fiery archaeologist, Tzivia Khalon, to search the globe for answers--and a cure. As the mission leads from one continent to another, it becomes clear they're not just fighting a plague but battling an ancient secret society whose true goals remain hidden.
 
With time running out and the threat for a global pandemic rising, Tox and his team realize their sole chance might be to reach back through centuries of silence to find the only answer that can save them all.

My Thoughts:
Ask them and you will find yourself engaged in a conspiracy of silence.”  (p. 247)

Readers, by the time you read this sentence you will be on the thrill ride of your life!!  Ronie Kendig has knocked it out of the park with this book! This story has so many plot twists you will have whiplash when you reach the final page!  It has been a long time since I’ve has so much fun reading!

To be honest, the conspiracy of silence is layered throughout this novel.  Folks have been covering things in silence – keeping things hidden – for centuries.  But you don’t know that at first.  You only know that things have been covered up for the past few years.  Once that secret comes to light in one part of the world, another secret gets unveiled in another part of the world. The two seem totally unrelated – and they are at first – then suddenly, it becomes relative in ways you can barely fathom! 

The past explodes into the present and before you know it the entire globe becomes a black ops mission field!  This novel moves at the speed of light!  You become totally wrapped up in page after page.  As you get to know the characters, and begin to care about them, intensity begins to build.  By the time the connections become clear, your mind is blown time after time!  This is a GREAT READ!!


Bravo! Encore! I cannon recommend this highly enough!!

About the Author:
Ronie Kendig is an award-winning, bestselling author who grew up an Army brat. She's penned over a dozen novels, including The Quiet Professionals series and the A Breed Apart series. She and her hunky hero hubby have a fun, crazy life with their children and a retired military working dog in Northern Virginia.