Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Flight of Fancy by Laurie Alice Eakes - Reviewed!!

About the Book: (from Revell Publishing)

Her head is in the clouds. His feet are planted firmly on the ground. Can love cover the distance?

Cassandra Bainbridge may be a bit of a bluestocking, but when Geoffrey Giles is near, love seems a fine alternative to passion for Greek and the physics of flight. With his dashing good looks and undying devotion to her, the earl of Whittaker sets Cassandra's heart racing with his very presence. It seems his only flaw is his distaste for ballooning, the obsession that consumes so much of her thoughts.

When a terrible accident compels her to end her betrothal, Cassandra heads for the country to recover from both her injuries and her broken heart. With time on her hands and good friends to help her, she pursues her love for ballooning and envisions a future for herself as a daring aeronaut. But when Lord Whittaker slips back into her life, will she have to choose between him and her dream?

My Thoughts:

“We pushed God out of our lives because He was an inconvenient reminder of our bad behavior.”   (p 207)

OH MY!!! OH MY! MY! MY!  Flight of Fancy is SO MUCH MORE than I expected to experience!  This novel has an unexpectedly complex plot  line that is woven among the lives of several people over a  number of years.  There are sins that are unrepented of that wreck havoc on many lives.  There are sins that are repented of that transform lives into things of beauty.  There are characters who really struggle to accept the forgiveness that God offers them, and there are characters that can accept God’s forgiveness but continue to punish themselves because they think they must suffer their entire lives because of the wrong they’ve committed.  Then there are those characters who are so unconscionable that they will use anyone, no matter the hurt, to satisfy their own desires.

In the end….after all of this and much, much more, the reader is still left with their mouth gaping in surprise at the end of this story!! Oh my goodness!!  The gospel and forgiveness is lived out in the lives of these characters in a very powerful way, and you will not soon forget their love, their sacrifices and their heroism among the pages of this very well-told tale!!

AND….I’ve served as a crew member for a hot air balloon for the past couple of years, and I was entirely captivated by the ballooning history!  I loved every single aspect of this book!! There is something for everyone, and a lot of truth about the human heart that will convict, strengthen and encourage your faith!  YOU MUST CHECK THIS BOOK OUT!!! It is wonderful!!

About the Author:
Laurie Alice Eakes is the author of Lady in the MistHeart's Safe PassageA Necessary DeceptionA Flight of Fancy, and several other novels. She won a National Readers Choice Award for Best Regency in 2007 for Family Guardian. Laurie Alice writes full-time from her home in Texas, where she lives with her husband and sundry dogs and cats.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Undaunted by Josh McDowell - REVIEWED

About the Film:
Undaunted—both the book and  movie—chronicles the riveting true story of a young farm boy named Josh who carried unspeakable memories of an alcoholic father and a farmhand’s abuse, causing him to defy God’s existence. Yet God redeemed a horrible situation with his unbelievable grace. Today Josh McDowell is one of the most popular evangelists in the world who defends the reality of Jesus Christ to millions through his presentations and classic book More Than a CarpenterUndaunted unfolds the dramatic spiritual transformation in Josh’s life when he faces his past head-on and puts everything entirely in God’s hands. The result is an undaunted faith, a gift freely offered to everyone who seeks it.

My Thoughts:
Sometimes, I benefit greatly by approaching a review opportunity with very little information.  I didn't even read the back cover of this DVD before I popped it in the player.  What I experienced, as a result, was something very moving, challenging and ultimately encouraging and uplifting.  I was familiar with Josh McDowell's ministry, but never dreamed what he had lived through prior to experiencing God's grace in his own life.

What a mighty God we serve!! So merciful, so powerful, so long-suffering, so loving and so tender toward His children!!  Prepare to have your heart challenged and changed as you watch this film.  It is a powerful evangelical tool as well!  I am SO THANKFUL that Josh McDowell heeded God's call! Amazing!

About the Author:

Since beginning ministry in 1961, Josh has given more than 24,000 talks to over 10 million young people in 118 countries. He is the author or coauthor of 112 books, selling over 51 million copies worldwide, including More Than a Carpenter (more than 15 million copies in print worldwide), which has been translated into over 85 languages, and The New Evidence That Demands a Verdict, recognized by World magazine as one of the twentieth century's top 40 books.

Josh continues to travel throughout the United States and countries around the world, helping young people and adults bolster their faith and scriptural beliefs. Josh will tell you that his family does not come before his ministry—his family is his ministry. He and his wife, Dottie, have four children and eight grandchildren.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Win an iPad Mini from @JimRubart and RSVP for his Live Video Chat {11/13}!

The first book in best-selling author Jim Rubart's new series, Soul's Gate, releases on November 6th! To celebrate, Jim has teamed up with his publisher, Thomas Nelson, for a virtual book tour, iPad Mini giveaway and a Live Video Author Chat {11/13}. Watch the video trailer for the book here.


One "soulful" winner will receive:
  • A brand new iPad Mini
  • Soul's Gate by Jim Rubart {Be caught up in this captivating series.}
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on November 12th. Winner will be announced at the "Soul's Gate Author Chat Party on 11/13. Connect with Jim for an evening of book chat, trivia, and a live video chat! There will also be a chance to win gift certificates, books, and other fun prizes!

So grab your copy of Soul's Gate and join Jim on the evening of the November 13th for a chance to connect 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 13th!

Friday, October 26, 2012

A Light in the Window by Julie Lessman - REVIEWED

About the Book: 
One Woman. Two Men.  One stirs her pulse and the other her faith.  But who will win her heart?

Marceline Murphy is a gentle beauty with a well-founded aversion to rogues.  But when two of Boston's most notorious pursue her,attraction, dreams and faith only muddle her mind.  Can the light in the window illuminate the path of true love?

My Thoughts:

Marcy fought the inclination to roll her [eyes] and gave him a patient smile.  “I’m not sure ‘angels’ are prone to extend mercy to one with a bit of the devil, Mr. O’Conner, but you’re in luck…the Lord requires it of human beings.”   (Marcy speaking to Patrick)

If you are familiar with any of Julie Lessman’s books, you KNOW the O’Conner clan intimately!  And once you’ve read her e-book, A Light in the Window, you will have NO DOUBT where the clan get their spunk – their passion – their charm – their wit – their stubbornness -  you witness it ALL from the very beginning!!  Now I need to go back to the very beginning and start reading again while I await Julie’s new series!! Sigh.  Romance, Julie’s got your number!!

About the Author:
Julie Lessman is an award-winning author whose tagline of “Passion With a Purpose” underscores her intense passion for both God and romance. Winner of the 2009 ACFW Debut Author of the Year and Holt Medallion Awards of Merit for Best First Book and Long Inspirational, Julie is also the recipient of 14 Romance Writers of America awards and was voted by readers as “Borders Best of 2009 So Far: Your Favorite Fiction.”

Chosen as the #1 Romance Fiction Author of the Year in the Family Fiction magazine 2012 and 2011 Readers Choice Awards, Julie was also awarded #1 Historical Fiction Author of the Year in that same poll and #3 Author of the Year, #4 Novel of the Year and #3 Series of the year. She resides in Missouri with her husband, daughter, son, daughter-in-law and granddaughter and is the author of “The Daughters of Boston” series—A Passion Most Pure, A Passion Redeemed, and A Passion Denied. Book 1 in her “Winds of Change” series A Hope Undaunted ranked #5 on Booklist’s Top 10 Inspirational Fiction for 2010.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Julie Lessman's Kindle Contest!!


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

1 Message a Kelly's Filmworks Production - REVIEWED

My Thoughts:
This movie is a first-person journey through the diagnosis of breast cancer and the aftermath of that diagnosis.  For Becca, a young woman who had it all by the world's standards, she finds herself homebound by choice, and a prisoner of her own fears and uncertainties.  Though her family and friends try to reach out to her, it is a stranger that sends her a message via her computer that finally gets through all of her emotional road blocks and allows her to begin the road to healing.  What she discovers on her journey will surprise and amaze everyone!

Although the technology is already old news, (sorry to mention this small detail, but even I know laptops don't notify you of a new message when you close it!) The story told within this film is very realistic and plausible.  The diagnosis of breast cancer effects everyone differently, and it really thrown Becca under the bus emotionally.  However, she does learn to accept her new normal, and  her the things that her newfound friendship reveals to her about relationship and about her own heart will really make you examine your own motives for reaching out to others.

This is a pretty long film, but the time files by.  I can't promise you that you won't shed a few tears along the way - especially at the end - but it's well worth it!! I don't get the chance to review a lot of film, but I'm certainly glad this one made its way across my path!  You will be glad as well!  And, as a bonus, part of the proceeds of the film goes toward the fight against breast cancer!  You can't go wrong with this film!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Memory Jar by Tricia Goyer - Brief Review

About the Book: 

Book One in the Seven Brides for Seven Bachelors series
Every year, 30–40 young Amish men descend on the cozy little town of West Kootenai, Montana, arriving in the spring to live there for six months and receive ‘resident’ status for the hunting season in the fall. They arrive as bachelors, but go home with brides! Sarah Shelter has lived in West Kootenai for the last ten years and wonders if she will ever fall in love.
Since the tragic death of her best friend, she carries her memories in a jar along with the small items connected to them. For just as long, she’s also been carrying around her emotions instead of allowing them to penetrate deep into her heart. Now she’s met a kind and gentle man who may be able to break down the wall. But can Sarah risk her heart to finally achieve her dreams?

You can purchase your copy HERE today!

My Thoughts:

Then again, the small items Sarah had tucked away reminded her of the journey.  They reminded her that no matter how far she’d wandered off.  She always returned home with another treasure to tuck into her jar.”  (p. 58)

Tricia Goyer has taken a little known fact – single men coming to Montana, staying long enough to establish residency so they can hunt – and they snag more than wild game – they snag wives as well!  That’s not their intent, but the Amish are pretty keen on establishing family, and large ones at that, so the relationship aspect of the story comes as no surprise.  What is intriguing about this relationship is the unique ways that Sarah and Jathan are so perfectly suited for each other, both running from something and toward God for the answers. 

The answers they find both surprise and delight readers, and I daresay sound awfully familiar to every believer who has come to realize how intimately they are known by their Heavenly Father.  Jathan’s mother puts it this way: “…helping us all understand that Goad made us all creative in special ways.” (p. 335)  To me, that is the treasure of truth that makes this story special.  The message is real, and relevant, and Tricia weaves it into the fabric of the story in a variety of unique and memorable ways.  Tricia has told yet another great story, and The Memory Jar begins a new series! So sit back and enjoy the ride!
About the Author:
Tricia Goyer is the award winning author of over thirty books including Beside Still Waters, Remembering You, and the mommy memoir, Blue Like Play Dough. Tricia is a regular speaker at conventions and conferences and is the host of Living Inspired. She and her family make their home in Little Rock, Arkansas where they are part of the ministry of FamilyLife.

Monday, October 22, 2012

No Safe Harbor by Elizabeth Ludwig - REVIEWED

About the Book: (from Bethany House)

New York City, 1897

She came to America searching for her brother. Instead all she's found is a web of danger.

Cara Hamilton had thought her brother to be dead. Now, clutching his letter, she leaves Ireland for America, desperate to find him. Her search leads her to a houseful of curious strangers, and one man who claims to be a friend--Rourke Walsh. Despite her brother's warning, Cara trusts Rourke, revealing her purpose in coming to New York.
She's then thrust into a world of subterfuge, veiled threats, and attempted murder, including political revolutionaries from the homeland out for revenge. Her questions guide her ever nearer to locating her brother--but they also bring her closer to destruction as those who want to kill him track her footsteps.
With her faith in tatters, all hope flees. Will her brother finally surface? Can he save Cara from the truth about Rourke... a man she's grown to love?

My Thoughts:
It’ll be alright, lass.  God’s help is nearer than the door” (p. 22 – advise from Cara’s mother)

Trust no one.  Speak to no one.”  ( p. 42 - advice from Cara’s father)

Cara Hamilton’s parents gave her very different advice, never dreaming that she would be left alone to travel from her homeland of Ireland to the shores of the United States in search of her brother – someone she thought to be already dead.  Although the US was founded by people seeking religious freedom, our society quickly established its own set of prejudice as different nationalities flocked to its shores.  All people groups brought their own set of prejudice’s’ and Cara lands in the midst of all of it.  It is not a position I’d want to be in!

Right away, her fear of the unknown and her trusting nature puts her in the path of some unsavory characters. She barely survives through the last half of the book – many times escaping danger by a mere hair’s breadth.  Throughout the story she builds friendships and rediscovers a faith that she had long laid aside.  By the time she finds herself in real and imminent danger, her faith is strong enough to withstand the storm, no matter the outcome.

Elizabeth Ludwig has taken an Irish group – the Fenians – and built a story of intrigue and suspense in the framework of Ellis Island in 1897.  I had no idea such a group existed, and my curiosity was piqued. This story is built carefully and accurately, and the elements of human prejudice and its war against faith is told in living color by a host of unique characters.  I am happy to recommend this story to you! It will keep you reading long after light’s out!  

Go HERE to read an excerpt from the novel!

About the Author:
Elizabeth Ludwig is an award-winning author and an accomplished speaker and teacher. Her historical novel Love Finds You in Calico, California earned four stars fromRomantic Times. She is the owner and editor of the popular literary blog The Borrowed Book. Along with her husband and two children, Elizabeth makes her home in Orange, Texas. Learn more

Saturday, October 20, 2012

At the Feet of Jesus by Joanna Weaver - Reviewed

About the Book:

You were made for more than serving God; you were made to know Him.
Intimacy with God—to know Him and be known by Him. It is what our hearts desperately need, but somehow life conspires to keep us busy and distracted.
For anyone who struggles when it comes to daily devotions, At the Feet of Jesus extends an irresistible invitation to set aside your duties and find the amazing peace and incredible joy that come from time alone with Him. Drawn from Joanna Weaver’s beloved Bethany trilogy, each reading in this 365-day devotional includes a Bible reading passage and reflection question. All-new material and “Going Deeper” sidebars are also woven throughout.
Discover for yourself the riches that come from spending a portion of each day alone with God. At the feet of Jesus—where true life begins!
Includes a unique One-Year Bible Reading Guide.
About the Author:
Joanna Weaver is known the world over for her transparent and life-changing books, Having A Mary Heart in a Martha World and Having a Mary Spirit. Joanna has appeared on a wide variety of nationally syndicated radio and television broadcasts. She is also a highly sought after speaker and shares her message at intimate gatherings and several high profile events each year. But Joanna’s greatest joy is found in being a wife and mother and her role as a pastor’s wife.

My Thoughts:
I must say, this is really a thought-provoking devotional.  If you enjoy learning how the Bible is applicable to daily life, then you need to check this devotional out!  Joanna Weaver's main intent is to get women into the Word of God and allow the Word to do the molding, shaping, healing and remaking.  She leads women to the truth and encourages thoughtful consideration of that truth.  
Although broken down into daily  readings, each page is full of things that will make you stop and consider God's work in your life.  I'm still enjoying this devotional, and look forward to many more days that are Scripture-filled!  I am happy to recommend this to everyone!  

At the Feet of Jesus - Contest Information!

Celebrate the release of At the Feet of Jesus with Joanna Weaver by entering to win an iPad and RSVPing for the "True Life" Webcast Event on 11/8!

One blessed winner will receive:
  • An iPad
  • The Year in Bethany Trilogy (Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World, Having a Mary Spirit and Lazarus Awakening 
  • At the Feet of Jesus for YOU and Five of your friends.
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on November 7th. Winner will be announced at the "True Life" Live Webcast Event on November 8th. Connect with author Joanna Weaver and her special guest for an evening of encouragement, laughter and a Q&A! There will also be gift certificates and books given away to participants.

So grab your copy of At the Feet of Jesus (or one of Joanna's other books) and join Joanna on evening of November 8th for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the books - 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 8th!

Friday, October 19, 2012

The Sons of Jude by Brandt Dodon - REVIEWED

About the Book: (from the publisher)
The body of a young woman is found in a dumpster in Chicago and detectives Andy Polanski and Frank Campello are charged with finding the killer. The two are polar opposites. Polanski is the son of a disgraced Chicago police officer and is fastidious about his reputation. He has also recently been transferred from another district having blown the whistle on some corrupt cops. Campello, however, takes a live and let live approach to his life and job. It soon becomes clear, as another young woman – a potential witness – is murdered, that a sex-trafficking operation in Chicago is preying on illegal aliens. As the ill-matched pair dig deeper, an influential alderman and his son are implicated. Then Polanski is framed for a narcotics offense, devastating the cases against the corrupt officers and the alderman. Only when Campello is challenged by a local minister, whom he meets when visiting Polanski, does he find the motivation to seek justice.

My Thoughts:

“…better the devil you know that the devil you don’t.”  (p 313)
“The police will never win, and they will never lose.  It’s a war that is fought one battle at a time.”  (also on p. 313)
These two phrases capture the essence of Brandt Dodson’s novel, The Sons of Jude. I didn’t know who was dancing with the devil from one minute to the next!  Seriously!  There were times I was sure that I had figured out this very tangle web of deceit only to find out I didn’t have a CLUE what was really going on!  Time and time again, I found myself holding my breath – hoping against hope that Campello, Polanski and Christy would survive to the end of the novel!
This is a very well-written, well-paced story, and you can tell that the author is intimately familiar with every aspect of the life of a policeman – even the dark parts of the force. It’s kind of scary to think of the scope of deceit that exists in law enforcement, but it exists everywhere.  I only hope that I can be as brutally honest and tenaciously dedicated to the truth as some of the characters in the novel!  You really have to think on your feet in this story! Don’t let your guard down for a minute!!  Enjoy!!

About the Author:
Brandt Dodson comes from a long line of police officers dating back more than seventy years on both sides of his family. In addition, he was employed with the Indianapolis office of the FBI. He has lived in Chicago and travels to the city annually.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Someday by Jennifer Shaw - REVIEWED!!!

From the Press Release:
Nashville, TN -Top 40 Billboard artist, author, and conference speaker Jennifer Shaw will release her new album entitledSomeday, produced by Lifeway Christian Resources’ Producer of the Year Paul Marino, in early October.  One of the songs, “To Be Love,” will be used as the theme song for Remember Nhu, an organization that exists to prevent the exploitation of children in the sex trade industry throughout the world.  Shaw was asked by Remember Nhu to travel to Thailand earlier this year and the song was inspired by those events.  A music video of the song will be produced and used by Remember Nhu in various fundraisers and promotional efforts.

My Thoughts:

You are glorious.  God victorious
The nails that held Your hands and feet
Are the ones that set me free
You are glorious. God victorious
Forevermore.  You are glorious.  (You are Glorious – chorus)

This is just one of the many praise songs that have filled my heart and mind for the past couple of weeks.  Someday was my introduction to Jennifer Shaw’s work, and I was just so very pleased!  I’m particularly blessed because one of the songs, To Be Love, will be the theme song for Remember Nhu, an organization that exists to prevent the exploitation of children in the sex trade industry throughout the world.  Yet another song, Your Child, was written specifically for parents of special needs children. So Jennifer, Shaw is a very talented lady who sings unto the Lord with a very tender heart for others!

I can’t even pick a favorite from the album, because every time I listen to it, I’m blessed anew by a different song!  Bottom line, if you enjoy a great praise and worship session, Someday is definitely an album that will abundantly bless you!  I am so grateful that I was given an opportunity to share this with you!

About the Artist:
With degrees in both piano and vocal performance, Shaw completed her graduate work in opera performance at the prestigious Manhattan School of Music.  A former professor at Cedarville University, Shaw is a top 40 Billboard artist and has garnered a #3 hit song on the national Inspirational radio charts.  For more information, visit

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Against the Tide by Elizabeth Camden - REVIEWED!

About the Book: (from Bethany House)
After a childhood rampant with uncertainty, Lydia Pallas has carved out a perfect life for herself. She spends her days within sight of the bustling Boston Harbor, where her skill with languages has landed her an enviable position as a translator for the U.S. Navy. 

Lydia's talents bring her to the attention of Alexander Banebridge, a mysterious man in need of a translator. Driven by a campaign to end the opium trade, Bane is coolly analytical and relentless in his quest. He cannot afford to fall for Lydia and must fight the bittersweet love growing between them.

When Bane's enemies gain the upper hand, he is forced to turn to Lydia for help. Determined to prove her worth, Lydia soon discovers that carrying out Bane's mission will test her wits and her courage to the very limits.

When forces conspire against them from without and within, can their love survive? 

My Thoughts:
“I want you to find something Bane loves. And then bring it to me.” (p 91)

These words are uttered by a very evil man.  He is a man that uses people for his own purposes.  He uses terror to make them do his bidding.  And he is the largest opium dealer around.  And he has used a man one too many times, and man who is no longer a slave to greed, but a slave to grace.  What a blessed deliverance has been made in Alexander Bainbrige’s life – yet he still longs to see justice done in his lifetime and prevent anyone else from becoming a slave to opium.  He has set upon a very dangerous mission – a mission that allows for no distractions – and certainly not for any affection.

Oh, but God has a wonderful sense of humor!  Elizabeth Camden knows how to showcase it well, too!! Against the Tide is probably the most perfect blend of history, suspense, romance and a deep-rooted sense of justice I’ve ever had the pleasure to read!  Truly, it is just brilliantly balanced.  The characters are well-developed, the plot line is well-paced, and the chemistry between Bane and Lydia has made me laugh out loud (more than once!) and has also taken my breath away.  I think this pairing is just the most brilliant thing I’ve read lately!!

The way Bane and Lydia work to expose the wicked drug lord – for that is indeed what he is – was also well paced and historically accurate.  This is just a perfect blend of so many of my favorite fiction elements, it’s hard not to gush!  The Opium trade was real and devastating! Read this book!! You will love it!!  I did! Buy your copy today!!

About the Author:
Elizabeth Camden, author of The Lady of Bolton Hill and The Rose of Winslow Street, received a master's in history from University of Virginia and a master's in library science from Indiana University. She is a research librarian by day and scribbles away on her next novel by night. Elizabeth is a member of ACFW and RWA and lives with her husband in Florida. Visit her website

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

A View from Martha Bolton's Window - Josiah for President

I met Martha Bolton in Orlando at the International Christian Retail Show.  At the time, she was anticipating the release of her first novel, Josiah for President.  Well, that novel hit the shelves last week, and I'd like to celebrate that realease by sharing my interview with you now.   Please give a warm welcome, to Martha Bolton!

Tell us a little bit about your career, and the writing you’ve done prior to releasing Josiah for President. How was the idea to write a full-length novel born into your career?    I’ve written musicals based on Wanda Brunstetter’s work as well as Beverly Lewis’ work. I’ve served as a staff writer for Bob Hope, and written for Mark Lowry. I had the idea for the novel in my head, and one day, while talking with my producer, I pitched the idea. He said I should go home and write the story - right now.

Give us a brief synopsis of the story. Josiah is an Amish man who is asked to run for president. The idea goes against his Amish ways. He accepts the nomination – and wins. The office of president sets up an internal struggle that takes place throughout the novel, because he feels he’s doing what God has called him to do. Josiah has learned an important lesson in forgiveness in his own life that enables him to maintain his personal integrity before very aggressive political opponents. He says to a friend, “You hang on…and you let go. The fact that I’ve forgiven…doesn’t alter the truth. But not forgiving would alter my future.” (p289-290)

What do you hope readers will take away from this story? Josiah’s story is applicable to all of us. He remains true to himself and maintains his personal integrity. He doesn’t have to give away his whole heart…even though he has to sacrifice to follow God’s leadership…but he remains true to his beliefs.

Have you always been a writer?  I’ve been writing since early childhood. I never thought it would be a career. I started writing drama, and then went into writing comedy. Later, I wrote some political humor. Later on, I was able to marry the drama of my early writing with the skill of my comedy writing. So Josiah is the result of coming full-circle in my writing career.

Writing a novel was different from my other writing because I had to describe the scenes. I could see all of this in my head and could paint these scenes in words. Josiah was very Lincoln-like and I really like his character.

What other writing projects do you have waiting in the wings after Josiah makes his debut? I have three ideas that I’ve written up treatments for, so I hope that there are other novels in the future.

What do you do when you’re not writing? I spend time with my family and grandchildren. I have to carve out time for my writing.

What words of encouragement would like to share with other writers? To your readers? To writer’s – never give up. To my readers - trust the path God takes you on. I believe in God introductions. He plans for you to meet a person that will open a door for you to do His will for your life. Don’t map out your life by yourself…trust God and the paths He takes you on. Be aware of God introductions in your life.

Monday, October 15, 2012

A Thousand Sleepless Night by Michael King - REVIEWED

About the Book: (from Realms Publishing)

A family torn apart by neglect and hurt…
And brought together again by a most unlikely force
In the 1970s, escaping a home where he knew nothing but violence and hate, Jim Harding found work, and love, on the largest horse ranch in Virginia. The object of his affections, Nena St. Claire, is the daughter of the owner—a man who ruled his ranch with an iron fist and would do whatever it took to keep Nena and Jim apart.
Against the wishes of her family, Nena marries Jim, and after her father dies, she sacrifices everything—including her family—to keep the ranch alive. Now their three grown children have lives of their own and want nothing to do with Nena. She was never the mother they needed.
When cancer strikes and Nena is given a devastating diagnosis, can Jim reconcile the family before it is too late?
My Thoughts:
Just because He’s God and I’m His child doesn’t mean I get excused from the sufferings of this world.  There’s no get-out-of-suffering- free cards.”  (p.172)

The truth of these words are the summation of a concept many Christians struggle with as they walk through this life.  The characters in Michael King’s debut novel, A Thousand Sleepless Nights, takes a family through a perfect storm of trial that threatens to rob them of everything – everything that matters to them in the present.  The story is told from the vantage points of Jim and Nena Hutching and their three children and respective families.   Each family is facing unexpected crisis, and each must decide how they will react to their circumstances.  

How we react to circumstances in our lives is often affected deeply by circumstances that happened earlier in our lives, and the Hutching family is no exception.  They are made aware of the consequences of poor choices in the past, and they must choose whether or not they will go forward differently.  That process is most often terrifying , and the temptation to return to familiar patterns of behavior – even though wrong – is a huge temptation.  However, when your life is in the balance, somehow taking chances isn’t as scary, because eternity is at stake.  That’s where you find the Hutching family – at the crossroads that separates the present circumstances from eternity itself.

The choices this family makes are pretty universal in their familiarity.  At least they were to me.  So many times the choices they made were simply out of a desperate need to get away from the pain of their past mistakes.  It isn’t until they are brought together as a family that they are forced to face the past and reconcile their present behavior with God .  The change that is wrought is not without painful consequences, but the strength to survive is evident by the end of the story.

This is an excellent modern-day story of family, faith and a fiery trial.  Readers will identify with one or more of the characters in the story, and will be challenged to look at their own life differently.  The author, Michael King, knows the struggles of the Hutching family intimately, because he is a cancer survivor.  Bravo!! This is a beautiful story!

About the Author: (from the author's site)
  I am a husband, father, author, teacher, workshop presenter, and follower of Christ. I write stories of faith and family, love and loss, heartache and triumph. My passion is reaching people through the power of story, to entertain and encourage, exhort and inspire.

Born in Baltimore, MD, and raised mostly in small towns in Pennyslvania, I have become an observer of people–a “peoplologist.” I’ve wrestled with stuttering for most of my life, eventually finding my voice through the written word, and battled and beat colon cancer.

My wife and I are doing our best to raise our four daughters. She homeschools the three oldest and I work full-time in homecare physical therapy.

I have a heart for those struggling with life as it is lived, those who are weary of the journey, fearful, anxious, lost. Those who have been faced with a mountain that seems unclimbable.

I’m just a man, doing my best to love my family and honor my God. I fail, I stumble, I mess up big time . . . but by God’s grace I get up and try again, keep plodding along, and hopefully, offer some encouragement to others along the way.

My first novel, A Thousand Sleepless Nights, releases everywhere on October 16. Be sure to check it out.

**(Michael King is the pen name of author Mike Dellosso. As Mike Dellosso I write stories of suspense and intrigue, as Michael King . . . stories of faith and family).

Saturday, October 13, 2012

A Love Surrendered by Julie Lessman - Reviewed!

ABOUT THE BOOK: (from Revell Publishing)

Orphaned in Iowa, Annie Kennedy moves to Boston to stay with her spinster aunt. She longs for romance to fill the void left by her parents' death. But when she falls hard for Steven O'Connor, the man who broke an engagement to her sister, Annie is worried. Will he break her heart too when he discovers who she really is?
With heart-pounding romance, intense family drama, and emotional twists and turns, A Love Surrendered is everything Julie Lessman's many fans have been waiting for.


“Because they’re too precious to risk doing it our way, a way that’s left both of us hollow and unhappy.” (p. 373)

Some members of the second and third generation of the O’Conner clan are learning first-hand the dire 
consequences of doing things apart from God’s strength and guidance.  In fact, there are plans that go so far astray – simply through acts of stubbornness and pride – that the effects ripple through the lives of almost every character in the story.  Living hollow, unhappy lives outside of God’s will and purpose is a choice every believer faces every day.  Will the members of the O’Conner clan choose wisely?

A Love Surrendered carries the earmarks of Julie Lessman’s writing style to an ever more refined state.  Passion burns beneath the surface of many relationship in the story, and by the time the reader reaches the last page, they have a very clear and beautiful picture of what God’s gift of marriage is meant to look like.  Julie builds such strong, vibrant  and flawed characters that the reader is drawn into the story and held captive the entire length of the novel.

The O’Conner clan have become familiar and dear to Lessman’s fan base by now, and to read A Love Surrendered is like an exciting yet comfortable visit with dear friends.  I can’t begin to imagine what comes next for Julie’s readers! Whatever it is will reflect God’s passion and tender mercies through the life of her characters.

A Love Surrendered is another perfect blend of passion, faith and family that will leave readers well-satisfied. 

Julie Lessman is an award-winning author whose tagline of "Passion with a Purpose" underscores her intense passion for both God and romance. Winner of the 2009 ACFW Debut Author of the Year and Holt Medallion Awards of Merit for Best First Book and Long Inspirational, Julie is also the recipient of 14 Romance Writers of America awards and was voted by readers as "Borders Best of 2009 So Far: Your Favorite Fiction." Chosen as the #1 Romance Fiction Author of the Year in the Family Fiction magazine 2011 Readers' Choice Awards, Julie was also awarded #1 Series of the Year in that same poll and #3 Author of the Year, #5 Novel of the Year, and #4 Historical Fiction Author of the year. She resides in Missouri with her family and is the author of The Daughters of Boston series and the Winds of Change series whose first book,A Hope Undaunted, ranked #5 on Booklist's Top 10 Inspirational Fiction for 2010. You can contact Julie through her 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

When a Heart Stops by Lynette Eason - Reviewed!

About the Book: (from Revell publishing)

A killer's deadly game needs new players . . . but someone's about to change the rules

As a medical examiner, Serena Hopkins is used to dealing with death. But that doesn't make it any easier when she's called to the eerie scene of a murder--especially when Serena realizes that she knows the victim. Nearly as unnerving is the presence of FBI agent Dominic Allen, her childhood crush.

As evidence mounts and points to a serial killer with disturbingly familiar methods, Serena and Dominic must work to find a pattern and stop the killings before the murderer strikes again. And when Serena's own life seems at stake, she must decide if the secret she has been keeping has put her next on the killer's hit list. Can she trust Dominic with the truth before it's too late?

My Thoughts:

Serena believed in evil…Evil existed.  And right now, she felt evil hovering around her.” (p. 290)

Lynette Eason knows how to crate characters who emit an evil presence.  She also know how to bury them within the pages of a well-written story!  So, reader beware!  There is a particularly evil character within the pages of When a Heart Stops that will almost make your heart stop!

From the very first pages of Eason’s story, Serene Hopkins is in a fire-fight with some pretty wicked people.  As a Medical Examiner, Serena usually deals with the aftermath of the crimes that evil people commit.  However, in this story, there is a relationship that pulls her into a search for a serial killer who plays a particularly deadly game!  It is a game with a very uncertain and deadly outcome.

Dominic Allen is an FBI agent who doesn’t need any distractions in his life as he searched for the Doll Maker Killer.  With nine people already dead, there's no time to lose!  When he catches a glimpse of Serena at the scene of the Doll Maker’s latest victim, his heart is immediately intrigued.  When he requests her help to find the killer before he claims another victim…he’s in for way more than he bargained for!

All right readers….I’m in my element now!  Romantic Suspense…thriller…call it whatever genre suits your fancy…but Lynette Eason rocks your world with When a Heart Stops!  I thought I felt mine flutter several times before I reached the end of the story!  CREEPY!! Oh my!!  You have got to read this! And pray that Serena and Dominic survive!  This is a great story!!

About the Author:

Lynette Eason is the author of several romantic suspense novels, including Too Close to HomeDon't Look BackA Killer Among Us, and When the Smoke Clears. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America. A homeschooling mother of two, she has a master's degree in education from Converse College. She lives in South Carolina.