Thursday, March 27, 2014

Raw Faith by Kasey Van Norman - REVIEWED

About the Book:
As a respected Bible teacher, Kasey Van Norman had dedicated her life to sharing God’s Word and encouraging women to trust in God during times of crisis. Then, just as her ministry was poised to explode, Kasey was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer that shattered her spirit and rocked her faith to its core. Sick, frightened, and in pain, Kasey suddenly found herself facing the greatest challenge of her life—believing her own message.

In Raw Faith, Kasey chronicles her courageous battle with cancer, taking readers on a candid and poignant journey of faith and discovery, from the depths of despair through triumphant victory.

Drawing on a variety of Bible stories and characters, Kasey discovers and distills the singular truth that has existed since time began: while change and uncertainty are inevitable, God is alwaysunchanging, and He is always faithful—even when our circumstances might tempt us to think otherwise.

My Thoughts:

The words on these pages are intended to leave all coddling behind and wake you up to a desperate hunger for God’s glory in all things – even suffering.”  (Kasey Van Norman)

Raw Faith has left me vulnerable – seeking – expectant – raw.  I’ve never experienced such a powerful story, shared with such transparency and fortified with so many Biblical examples of God’s plan and purpose for His children as they walk through this fallen world.  Kasey encourages us all to believe the truth about our trials, according to the Bible and get rid of  the lies the enemy has used to keep us bound up in pain, distrust, anger and doubt.  She wants all of God’s children to embrace the fact that God doesn’t waste anything in our lives.  She wants everyone to know that sometimes there just are no words that someone can offer to relieve us of the pain we must walk through.  It is a moment by moment choice to engage our faith in God’s truth and walk through our trials with expectant hearts.

I really don’t know what to say except – READ THIS BOOK!!! It will encourage you. It will challenge you. It will take you into the Word of God with a new perspective and teach you profound truth.  Thank you Kasey Van Norman!! Thank you!! Thank you!!

About the Author:
Kasey Van Norman is being called "the most dynamic female voice for the new generation" by Christian leaders.
Her 2012 breakout book and Bible study series, Named by God, skyrocketed to bestseller status as an inspiring and cutting-edge journey into the redemptive power of Jesus. In her book and when she speaks, Kasey opens up about her past abuse, traumatic rape, promiscuous teen years, her extramarital affair, and attempted suicide, culminating in a heroic rescue by Jesus--pointing to his restoration of her marriage and life.
Kasey's 2014 book and Bible study, Raw Faith--What Happens When God Picks a Fight, will challenge readers to experience God's love when he seems anything but loving. In Raw FaithKasey chronicles her battle with incurable cancer and her struggle to believe her own message of faith amidst such pain.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

I Like Giving by Brad Formsma

Although I haven't read Formsma's book yet, I totally identify with this lovely woman's story!! I am blessed to have family members who have given me life-long examples of selfless giving!  I actually have a great-aunt who is, herself, alsmost 98 and she still drives!  Giving of ourselves gives us wealth that cannot be measured in dollar amounts!  Take a look!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Maybelle In Stitches - by Joyce Magnin - REVIEWED

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Maybelle In Stitches
Abingdon Press (March 18, 2014)
Joyce Magnin


A word from the Author:

I am the author of seven novels. Five adult novels and two middle grade readers. I never wanted to do anything else but write and every day I wake up astonished that I get to do what I always dreamed about. My days are filled with words and images along with the usual family stuff. I have three children, Rebekah who is married to Joshua. They have three of the most adorable boys on the planet, Lemuel, Cedar and Soren. My daughter Emily Kate is a lovely young woman anthropologist and my son Adam is fourteen and a student--he's a genius who loves frogs and lizards and fish and plants. He amazes me.

I have never eaten a scallop. I love cream soda. Drink way too much coffee. I do not like elevators but I do enjoy needle arts and of course books. I prefer jazz over country (no offense), milk chocolate over dark, but not roller coasters although my life has often resembled a roller coaster ride.

One of my life's desires is to meet Amy Grant so I can tell her she saved my life.


Maybelle can’t sew. But when she finds an unfinished quilt in the attic of her mother’s house, she gets the crazy idea to complete it. At first, it’s just a way to fill the lonely nights while her husband, staff sergeant Holden Kanzinzki, is away fighting in World War II.

Yet when Maybelle discovers that the quilt is made from scraps of material that can be traced back through her family heritage, the project is suddenly much more important. Then word comes that Holden is missing in action, and with little else to do, Maybelle clings to the quilt as much as to the hope that her husband is still alive. As neighborhood friends gather around Maybelle to help her through the unknown days and nights ahead, it is the quilt that becomes a symbol of her unflagging belief that Holden will return—to her, to their home, and to their quilt-covered bed.

My Thoughts:
No. You keep doing what you’ve been doing.  That’s all any of us can do.  You keep doing what you’ve been doing until you hear otherwise.” (p.74)

From the moment Doris utter these words to Maybelle until Maybelle answers her with the words:

Hope is why we’re calling the quilt that, remember?  It’s all we got.  And maybe hope means different things for different people.”  (p. 178)

Many, many things have taken place to create a realistic picture of what the lives of many women consisted of during WWII.  The reader is taken back to the 1940’s when letters and telegrams made the slow trek back and forth across the ocean.  Sometimes the news was good.  Other times the news was devastating.  Sometimes the news couldn’t be contained in written words.  All of these experiences are made accessible to the reader through the very well-written tale, Maybelle In Stitches, penned by Joyce Magnin. 

This installment in the quilts of love series is packed with well-developed characters, poignant story lines, emotionally powerful situations  - all sewn together with the threads of hope that keep this strong generation going forward amid some very daunting circumstances.  WWII stories have always been some of my favorite, and Maybelle In Stitches was a very satisfying addition to that group of tales!!  I was drawn into the story from the first pages and my interest never waned.  As a matter of fact, there were moments it seemed I couldn’t read fast enough!

I grew to genuinely care for all of the characters, and the friendship between Maybelle and Doris reminded me of my lifelong best friend.  Theirs is a solid and faithful friendship that gives them strength to weather the trials unique to wartime.  I highly recommend Maybelle  In Stitches to everyone!  This is a very well-written, satisfying story on many levels!

If you would like to read the first chapter of Maybelle In Stitches, go HERE.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Water Walker by Ted Dekker - Episode One - Reviewed

About this episode:
A thirteen year old with no memory beyond the past six months - Abigail.  A woman who has been searching for her daughter for thirteen years - desperate to have her back in her life. Olivia - an FBI agent who lost her daughter seven years ago - a fact that makes her the best at finding those children who suddenly are missing.  

These are some of the main characters in Ted Dekker's latest story, Water Walker.  The entire novel was just released, but after finishing episode one, I know that I have to discover the real story behind this novel! Written in a style familiar to Dekker fans, the story is rife with suspense from the first pages.  The characters are unique in their circumstances but portray universal truths about everyone. Why becomes the haunting refrain in this first episode as each character is left to sort through circumstances that are uncomfortable and frightening.

Toward the end of this episode, chapter Seven, a familiar character appears.  I wasn't expecting that, but neither was I surprised.  Dekker is taking readers on a personal journey of discovery - the discovery of the grace, the love and the mercy that pursues us regardless of the circumstances we allow to imprison us.  There is freedom.  There is forgiveness.  There is grace.

Like I said, I've only experienced the first episode, and I am hooked! Dekker has found his voice - his strong, true voice, and he is telling a story that must be shared!! Don't miss the opportunity to take this journey.  It will change your life!  I can't wait to dive deep into the story!

About the Author:

Ted Dekker (born October 24, 1962) is a New York Times best-selling author of more than twenty novels. He is best known for stories which could be broadly described as suspense thrillers with major twists and unforgettable characters, though he has also made a name for himself among fantasy fans.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

The Legend of George Jones Told By Those That Knew Him Best in New Book

(NASHVILLE, Tennessee) -- Heritage Builders Publishing is pleased to announce that The Legend of George Jones will be in stores everywhere on April 15, 2014. Nearly one year after the world said farewell to the Grammy Award-winning Country Music Hall of Fame and Grand Ole Opry member, Charlene and Earl “Peanutt” Montgomery remember their best friend of thirty years in this new, tell-all biography from Heritage Builders Publishing.

The Legend of George Jones is a collection of stories spanning many decades, five marriages and a marvelous career unequaled in the genre of Country Music. From humble beginnings playing the guitar and singing on the streets of Beaumont, Texas, George Jones became one of the most important and influential singers in music history. He was the voice behind many of Country music’s most enduring hits, such as “White Lightning,” “She Thinks I Still Care,” “Walk Through This World With Me,” “The Door,” “I Was Country When Country Wasn’t Cool” and “He Stopped Loving Her Today,” which is widely regarded as one of the greatest country music singles of all time. 

With The Legend of George Jones, Charlene and Peanutt wanted to set the record straight. Throughout Jones’ life, the tabloids chronicled his struggle with personal demons and often painted a less-than-flattering picture. Throughout the book, Charlene and Peanutt tell it like it is and make no excuses, but they document the real heart and soul of George Jones. 

Peanutt wrote seventy-three songs for George Jones including some of his best-loved number one hits. No other music star had a more faithful and loyal writer and musician with the talents of Peanutt Montgomery. Charlene, Peanutt’s wife and partner, is a prolific songwriter in her own right, and she had a personal relationship with Jones that spanned decades, and she remains today a revered and beloved friend of all the Jones children. 

The book, which has been endorsed by all four of Jones’ children, contains many never-before-told stories about his life. Among the highlights: 

  • The attempted murder of Peanutt by George Jones 
  • The culprits who brought Jones to bankruptcy, and his knees, are revealed.
  • Unexplained mysteries concerning Jones’ fifth wife Nancy, and the way that his children were treated at his funeral.

The book also includes a CD of nine popular Peanutt Montgomery/George Jones hits plus two previously unreleased songs, newly recorded by some of country music’s top players.

For more information, visit

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Tide and Tempest by Elizabeth Ludwig - REVIEWED

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing

About the Book:

Two years ago, her fiance perished
during their voyage to America.

Now she discovers it may have been murder...

Dreaming of a better life, Tillie McGrath leaves Ireland behind and, with her beloved fiance by her side, sets sail for America. But when illness robs her of the man she holds dear, she's left alone with only a handful of tattered memories. While forging on proves difficult, Tillie soon finds some new friends at her New York boardinghouse, and begins pursuing a new dream--to open a home for orphaned children.

Despite two years passing, Captain Keondric Morgan has never forgotten the lass who left his ship so heartbroken. When a crewman's deathbed confession reveals her fiance's demise was the result of murder, the captain knows he must try to contact her. But his attention draws the notice of others as well--dangerous men who believe Tillie has in her possession something that could expose their crimes. And to their way of thinking, the best way to prevent such an outcome is to seize the evidence and then hand Tillie the same fate as her naïve fiance.
My Thoughts:
Her only hope would be to follow his lead and pray that somehow they would discover who was harboring a vendetta against her.”  (p. 138)

Tillie McGrath never expects to meet, much less depend on, Captain Keondric Morgan.  Tillie has already lost everything that gave her life meaning on her voyage to America, now trying only to create a new life in a new land, she discovers that someone wants to see her dead and she has idea how she wound up with a target in her forehead.  But she has unmistakably become someone’s target, and it seems that Captain Morgan and his brother can’t move fast enough to uncover the reasons behind the murders that are occurring with increasing frequency all around Tillie.

Tide and Tempest is the third book in the Edge of Freedom trilogy, so there is a significant amount of backstory that gives this novel significance to the reader. However, if you dive into this series at this point you will still find a tremendous amount of suspense and romance awaiting you!  Elizabeth Ludwig weaves a fascinating story, and time will evaporate in massive quantities before you realize it!

I was particularly frustrated and intrigued by the relationship between Tillie and the Morgan brothers. Even when she understands that their purpose is to protect her and allow her to realize her dream of an orphanage, she still stumbles and falters in her emotional bond to these two! The lines blur a bit too easily! That makes the suspense all the greater as you near the end of the story!  This is truly a race to the finish!
I am happy to recommend not only this novel, Tide and Tempest, but the entire Edge of Freedom series to everyone!!

About the Author:
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 aCarol 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.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Poison Town by Creston Mapes - REVIEWED

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing


About the Book:
There's More Than One Kind of Poison in This Town 

People are sick and dying. Rumors are swirling. Some claim chemicals leaking from a manufacturing plant are causing the cancer that's crippling people on the poor side of Trenton City, Ohio. Yet nothing at the plant appears amiss. The problem remains a mystery until reporter Jack Crittendon's long-time mechanic falls ill and he investigates. Soon Jack becomes engulfed in a smokescreen of lies, setups, greed, and scandal. The deeper he digs, the more toxic the corruption he uncovers. As he faces off with the big-time players behind the scenes and tries to beat the clock before more people die, he realizes the chillingly unthinkable-he knows too much.

My Thoughts:
Greed…That’s all it was.  And ever since the very second I agreed – it’s been nothing but poison.” (p. 281-282)

My unforgiveness has been wrong; it’s been poisoning me.” (p. 307)

Creston Mapes has created a tense, ever-increasingly fast paced novel that could have been ripped from today’s headlines.  He sets a large corporation against the residents of a small-town.  As the residents uncover the truth that is the underlying cause of the death and destruction tearing apart lives and families, they also discover the spiritual poison within their own hearts.  The choice to forgive and rebuild lies before them.  The battle to make the right choice and still see justice done becomes increasingly difficult when the lives of those they love hang in the balance.

When we were introduces to Jack Crittendon and his family in the novel Fear Has A Name, we experienced a personal attack within the Crittendon household.  Two families’ stories intertwined and set the stage for the second installment found within the pages of Poison Town.  Mapes continues to explore the effect of past sins levied upon the Crittendon family while introducing another, seemingly more insidious evil upon their community.  I love the way Mapes is so purposeful about drawing the reader into the lives of the characters – creating an emotional investment within the storyline. He uses this very effectively and builds the suspense layer upon layer until the pages are stirring up quite a breeze by the time you reach the final chapters.

The characters in Poison Town are flawed and justifiably frightened out of their minds.  As they try to navigate their everyday lives, they must face loss, the consequences of wrong choices, and the weight of making the right choice when their lives and the lives of the ones they love are in great danger!  
If you enjoy realistic suspense novels, I highly recommend Creston Mapes Crittendon Files!  You won’t get much sleep, but you will be a very satisfied reader!

About the Author:

Creston has fond memories of his boyhood in Bath, Ohio, where he became enchanted with his future wife, way back in the fourth grade. His father, Bernie, owned and operated The Weathervane Furniture Shop in town. The whole family lived right upstairs in the century-old house known as "The Shop." Creston studied journalism at Bowling Green State University, then began his writing career. During the past 30 years, he has worked as a reporter, corporate copywriter, creative director, freelance writer, and author.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

How Sweet the Sound by Amy K. Sorrells - REVIEWED

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
How Sweet the Sound
David C. Cook (March 1, 2014)
Amy K. Sorrells


An Indianapolis native and graduate of DePauw University, Amy lives with her husband, three boys and a gaggle of golden retrievers in central Indiana. After writing and editing for her college newspaper, she combined a nursing degree with journalism and creative writing, which led to publishing and editing a wide array of medical and nursing writing and multimedia projects over the past 21 years, a position as director of communications of her church’s children’s ministry, as well as a weekly column for a local newspaper which ran from 2009-2012. She has been a two-time semi-finalist for the ACFW Genesis awards, and was the winner of the 2011 Women of Faith writing contest.

When she’s not reading or writing, Amy loves spending time with her three sons; spicy lunches and art gallery walks with her husband; digging in her garden sans gloves; walking her dogs; up-cycling old furniture and junk; photography; and friends.


From a distance, the Harlans appear to be the perfect Southern family. Wealth and local fame mask the drama and dysfunction swirling through their family line. But as the summer heats up, a flood tide of long hidden secrets surface.

Devastation from a rape followed by the murder of two family members brings three generations of the Harlans together on their pecan plantation in Bay Spring, Alabama. Chief among them is Anniston, who by the time she turned thirteen thought she’d seen it all. But as her heart awakens to the possibility of love, she begins to deal with her loneliness and grief.

This tender coming-of-age tale, inspired by the story of Tamar in 2 Samuel 13, shows how true healing and hope comes only from God. Though our earthly family can wound and disappoint, our heavenly Father brings freedom to those long held captive through His mercy and grace.

My Thoughts:

“…learn to search for your own ladders, places in the clouds where the sky opens up and you can feel the angels pulling pain outta your soul and replacing it with a song.  Watch for the ladders around Comfort…..them ladders are everywhere.”  (p. 255)

The words Earnestine spoke to Anniston come just before the most violent storm to come against the Harlan family – yet.  For you see, the Harlan family is steeped in years of pain and secrets that are almost too hard for anyone to bear.  Even folks reading the fictional tale of this fictional family’s troubles.  Like Comfort and Anniston discover, there are many folks walking around with deep wounds – wounds that they feel they can ignore without repercussion.  That pain grows and destroys unless it is confronted and pulled out of the lives of the wounded, and the Harlan family is almost completely destroyed before the enemy is defeated.

Wow.  This was a painful book to read.  But the story is so real, so poignant, so common, that my heart feels somehow shaken with the truth it reveals.  I am a lifelong Southerner, and I know all too well the secrets that lie hidden deep within the hearts and lives of the walking wounded.  The Harlan family lives all around me. Scary reality.

This is a story of the deepest redemption possible that is brought about by the characters’ surrender to truth and grace.  The price paid just about destroys them, but the grace and mercy they discover echoes Earnestine’s words to Anniston.  God does replace our pain with His song if we allow Him to do the work needed to rid us of our pain.

I cannot begin to describe the vast impact this book has had upon my heart.  Wow!!  How I praise God for His mercy and grace!!

If you would like to read the first chapter of How Sweet the Sound, go HERE.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The Prodigals by Clark Rich Burbidge - REVIEWED

About the Book:
A great shadow over the land threatens to overwhelm not only the people but a thousand years of Giant service and perhaps the Giants themselves. The future of the land depends on three young prodigals and an aging hero. Their personal struggles must be set aside, for they are the land’s only true hope. Book Two of the Giants Trilogy follows Thomas, as a much older man now serving as the Land’s Forest Ward, and two of his grandchildren (seventeen-year-old Tommy and thirteen-year-old Rose). They are unexpectedly caught up in a struggle for the survival of their people and their way of life. A sudden tragic change shocks them from a complacent and distracted life. Thomas, Tommy, and a band of lost prodigals are placed on a dangerous path toward destiny or destruction. Though they are unprepared, they are all that stands between hope for the future and loss of all they hold dear.

My Thoughts:

As long as there is life there is hope, Tom.  Let’s keep that hope alive with every breath left!”  (p.151)

When Thomas says these words to his grandson, many, many things have happened to lead up to the battle that gives them opportunity to fight side by side.  The second book in Giants in the Land series, The Prodigals, is a story of redemption on many levels.  The redemption of a generational gap of understanding, the redemption of the relationship between townfolk and giants, the redemption of a town that has been overcome with an insidious evil. I would consider this series a classic series of stories that should be read aloud to the younger generation – and give families the opportunity to discuss faith using the tool of fiction.

I have come to care deeply for Thomas and all of his family.  I don’t know whether I will see them again in n another tale or not, but I must applaud Clark Burbidge for creating a fictional world that accurately mirrors the spiritual challenges faced by both young and old alike. This is a series that draws you in, entertains you, and leaves you true issues of worth to ponder in your mind and heart.

I am happy to recommend the Giants in the Land series to everyone!! It is a fabulous series! 

About the Author:
Clark Burbidge's path to becoming an award winning author had distant beginnings. He received an MBA degree from the University of Southern California and a BS Degree in finance from the University of Utah. His career spans 31 years in banking, project finance, investment banking and more recently as Chief Financial Officer of three separate companies. 

He has been actively involved in community and church service, including lay youth and adult ministry, for over 35 years. It has been his long-term dream to write and publish several works that have been kicking around in his mind for many years. His first book, Life on the Narrow Path: A Mountain Biker's Guide to Spiritual Growth in Troubled Times was released nationally in March 2011. His second book A Piece of Silver was published in July 2011 and is currently entering its 2nd edition. Clark enjoys life in the foothills of the Rockies with his wife, children and three grandchildren. He looks forward to this next phase of life's wonderful adventures.

Learn more about the author's other books at the following websites: 

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Giants In The Land by Clark Rich Burbidge - REVIEWED

About the Book:
We all have “Giants” in our lives—individuals that profoundly change and uplift us. They may be parents, mentors, religious leaders, employers, coaches, teachers, etc. They inspire us to achieve impossible goals and to persevere during troubled times. One day we discover that each one of these "Giants" has passed on. How do we carry on? How do we deal with such sudden changes, especially when others may look to us for that same guidance and support? Is the real question just 'carrying on' or do we owe a greater duty to those who may see us as their "Giants"? These are timeless and ageless questions.

Giants in the Land provides the reader a pathway to overcoming devastating events and teaches that we can, in fact, become more than we otherwise might have been. This story is about a young man, Thomas, and his rite of passage. His search for the missing giants is exciting and dangerous. It will keep you turning the pages as you join him in his great discovery and see him overcome his own great loss. The reader will enjoy the danger and adventure, but they will also discover the "Giant" within and understand what it means 'Live with the Heart of a Giant'.

My Thoughts:
“…we exercise our faith to turn hope into action, and we build a future with our own hands.” (p. 100)

Clark Burbidge has written a most brilliant tale that will introduce concepts like courage and faith, strength and patience into the lives of young children in a way that will captivate their imagination.  These concepts can be taught by parents as they pull their children onto their laps or gather them alongside to read to them a tale of adventure, of trial, of overcoming strength.  This story will open the doors of discussion wide as you talk with your children about the confusion brought about by fear and doubt, and the peace that comes from faith and strength found only in The One.

Parents and children alike will be drawn into Thomas’ arduous journey to discover why the giants have departed from his land.  He must leave his entire community behind – including his wife and daughter – to seek the answers no one else is willing to seek.  What he discovers on his journey surprised both he and the giants.  His discovery comes subtly and realistically, and his conclusions are true and sound.
Truly this series of stories was written for such a time as this!  Parents do miss these books! They will provide precious hours of both entertainment and discussion and will open up a world of understanding for your children!  Bravo, Mr. Burbidge!  I can’t wait to dive into the next book of the series!

About the Author:
Clark Burbidge's path to becoming an award winning author had distant beginnings. He received an MBA degree from the University of Southern California and a BS Degree in finance from the University of Utah. His career spans 31 years in banking, project finance, investment banking and more recently as Chief Financial Officer of three separate companies. 

He has been actively involved in community and church service, including lay youth and adult ministry, for over 35 years. It has been his long-term dream to write and publish several works that have been kicking around in his mind for many years. His first book, Life on the Narrow Path: A Mountain Biker's Guide to Spiritual Growth in Troubled Times was released nationally in March 2011. His second book A Piece of Silver was published in July 2011 and is currently entering its 2nd edition. Clark enjoys life in the foothills of the Rockies with his wife, children and three grandchildren. He looks forward to this next phase of life's wonderful adventures.

Learn more about the author's other books at the following websites: 

Monday, March 10, 2014

At Peace in the Storm by Ken Gire - REVIEWED

About the Book:
Encouragement and Comfort from God's Word for Those Experiencing Difficult Times 

For most people, life isn't a placid cruise; everyone passes through storms at some point. In At Peace in the Storm, master storyteller Ken Gire helps readers take a fresh look at faith in the face of life's turmoil. Bringing experience and insight to familiar Bible narratives--from Jonah's disastrous voyage to Paul's Mediterranean shipwreck--Gire gets to the core of our fears and uncertainties, and the circumstances that bring them out in the open. Readers will rediscover the comforting presence of God, no matter the intensity of their personal circumstances.

My Thoughts:
He is making something of eternal worth.  Something that lasts, that can’t be taken away from us, no matter what is taken from us in the storm.”  (p. 59)

I have literally marked this book to death as I’ve read it.  I’ve asked God to imprint the truths Ken Gire shares upon my heart, especially as I read the Scripture passages he uses to illustrate his point throughout the book.  Ken Gire know God in an intimate relationship that was developed throughout his lifetime – through good times and bad!  He knows God’s faithfulness, he understands how much God loves him.  Gire wants to share this blessed assurance with everyone.

Gire doesn’t offer empty promises, nor easy solutions.  He understands all too well that as we walk through this world, we will have circumstances that will shake us to our core.  But he also understands that God is with us through each circumstance, and that He offers us a peace that passes understanding to which we can cling as we weather the storms of life.

At Peace in the Storm is a healing book for me in my life!  I know beyond any doubt that this is going to bring healing to many lives in a variety of circumstances.  When you buy a copy for yourself, buy a copy to share!  This will be a priceless gift to those you love!

About the Author:
Ken Gire attended Texas Christian University where he earned a degree in History and Speech. In 1978 he graduated from Dallas Theological Seminary with his Masters in Old Testament Literature and Exegisis. From there he embarked on a career of fulltime writing which has resulted in the publication of more than twenty books, several of which have won prestigious awards. He has worked with well known names such as Chuck Swindoll and Eugene Peterson. As well, Ken serves as a speaker in a variety of settings such as the Billy Graham Training Center, Young Life and Bill and Gloria Gaither's Praise Gathering.

Ken has a heart for helping individuals create space for reflection so as to develop their personal relationships with others and God. While his books speak to the deep seated need of individuals to slow down and live more reflective lives, Ken has also founded a nonprofit ministry to address this issue. Reflective Living works with individuals, helping them to develop a more reflective lifestyle in order that they might experience radical change, authentic relationships and most importantly: a deeper walk with God. You can reach Ken on his Facebook page,

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Distortion by Terry Blackstock - REVIEWED

About the Book:
Juliet Cole's life has been dismantled by the murder of her husband. She doesn't know who---or what---to trust when everything she has believed to be true about her marriage has been a lie.
A husband's lies can have deadly consequences.
When Juliet Cole's husband of fifteen years is murdered before her eyes, she thinks it was a random shooting. Devastated and traumatized, she answers hours of questioning, then returns home to break the tragic news to her boys. But a threatening voicemail takes this from a random shooting to a planned, deliberate attack.
Juliet realizes that she and her children are in danger too, unless she meets the killers' demands. But as she and her sisters untangle the clues, her husband's dark secrets come to light. The more she learns, the more of her life is dismantled. Was her husband an innocent victim or a hardened criminal?
Pre-order a copy for just $4.99 on Kindle, Nook, iTunes, or the eBook version on CBD until March 10th.

Purchase a copy HERE.

My Thoughts:
These are the good days, “she said.  (p. 338)

You cannot begin to imagine all the Juliet had to go through before uttering this sentence!!!  Good grief! I’ve been reading Terri Blackstock for many years, and Distortion has taken me on a wild ride unlike anything I’ve read lately!!  Juliet is undoubtedly one of the strongest characters I’ve read lately.  The junk that unfolds in her life would have thrown  many people under the bus entirely!! But her fierce love for her children, and her faith alone are the things that give her the strength to do what must be done to put the bad guys away!  And you will not believe what in the world goes on in this book!!

I don’t know what Terri Blackstock had to do to put this story together, but she did a superb job on this book. The scenarios are believable and scare-your-sock-off real!  I lost all track of time reading this book. I lost sleep over this book.  You need to read this book!   It is fantastic!

About the Author:
 Terri Blackstock has sold over six million books worldwide and is a New York Times bestselling author. She is the award-winning author ofIntervention, Vicious Cycle, andDownfall, as well as such series as Cape Refuge, Newpointe 911, the SunCoast Chronicles, Restoration, and Moonlighters.

Learn more about Terri at:

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

A View from Julie Gorman's Window - What I Wish My Mother Had Told Me About Men! Join us!

“How can I possibly extend God’s love when I view half the human race as my enemy?” (p. 186) How indeed? Julie Gorman answers this and many other questions in her latest book, “What I Wish My Mother Had Told Me About Men”.  She addresses ten different lies we as women have believed about men, and set them down beside the truth of God’s Word.  Julie shines light into the darkness of misunderstanding and reveals that men and women are different by design, and that we are to be celebrated!

Please welcome Julie Gorman to my Window as we talk about What I Wish My Mother Had Told Me About Men.

Julie, what was the genesis behind this book?  Why was it necessary – other than being obedient to God – to write this?
The power of this book lays in transparency. God called me to write the book with vulnerability and promised that as people read my stories and the faulty paradigms and how he ran to rescue me, they would find hope for their soul.

I love the way you clearly define every lie of the enemy and clearly follow it with the truth that nullifies the lie.  How did you identify the lies that seem to be at the root of a woman’s choice that sometimes leads her into a relationship that isn’t God’s best for her?

Honestly, through a lot of heartache! I grew up in a family where every abuse was present. My childhood abuse along with my teenage promiscuity distorted my views of men. I swung on a pendulum that on one extreme hoped for a knight in shining armor to believing every man was a pervert. Thankfully, God rescued me.

I thought I made those mistakes, by and large, because of my past, but as I’ve counselled and coached women, I discovered even women brought up in relatively healthy Christian homes shared similar struggles.
As women shared their stories, I discovered patterns. As I considered those patterns, I knew the solutions God provided that set me free. The book highlights those spiritual and practical truths.

Were the truths, the verses to consider, the prayers, born in part out of your own healing?  If not, what study or committed prayer enabled you to be so specific as you countered each lie of the enemy?

ABSOLUTELY! Every part of this book reveals a powerful liberating truth that permeates throughout every page. “Only God can satisfy the longings of your soul and He loves you deeply, madly, and passionately.”

If you had to choose a lie that is the most harmful, what would it be and why?

The most harmful lie is that “a man will validate our worth.”

Every one of us, male or female, young or old, single or married, search for significance; we desire to know someone completely and to be fully known; we long to be loved unconditionally. The problem comes where we allocate that affection. Until our needs are completely met, and this ‘God-Vacuum’ is filled, we risk the temptation of allowing other people or things to define our worth. But, the truth is, only God can satisfy the longings of our soul.
I believe God had me write this book because we desperately need to know WHO HE is and WHO HE SAYS we are. When our identity rests in Him, we enjoy relationship as He intended. Thus, each chapter provide moments for reflection, thought provoking questions, and life-transforming content to help readers identify their own faulty paradigms and the truths that will help set them free.

Do you think that this book would benefit those in premarital counseling? In what significant way?

Readers would say, yes! They constantly tell me “I wish I had read this book before I was married.” The universal principles supplied through each story and in each section of the book identify faulty thoughts that sabotage relationships and each chapter provides solution to overcome those lies. Obviously, if we can do that prior to marriage, it would allow us the opportunity to enter into marriage as a whole person, ready to love our mate as God intended.

Do you think this book would be appropriate for group study?  Or more powerful as an individual study?

We have groups popping up all over the nation. As a matter of fact, many are using the online videos that correlate with each chapter and the online leader’s guide to facilitate their meetings. The dialogue taking place in each group is powerful as women are mirroring the vulnerably found in each chapter.  The questions seem to provide the opportunity for authentic reflection and growth.

“Transformation takes time.  It requires my concentrated attention and intentional actions.  It is a result of an ongoing process; it’s more than an event.”  This is one of MANY powerful statements found within the book’s pages.  Transformation, recovery, healing, whatever name you use to define it, takes a lot of hard work!  How did you get to the point where you could realize this for yourself?  

How can I encourage other to embrace this and not be intimidated by the process?
MMMMM….that is a great question! Change rarely occurs in our life until the pain of staying the same exceed the pain of change. Only in that place of absolute desperation will TRUE surrender begin. To be transformed means we willingly do what we need to do, not out of convenience but because there is no other solution.

BUT…our hope comes in the truth that we are NOT alone in this process. GOD loves us passionately and runs to rescue us. He reminds us that though our past shapes us, it need not define us. He wastes nothing and as we rest in Him, trusting in Him completely, we discover that our surrender produces life!

“Until our needs are fully met in our Creator, we may find ourselves tempted to worship His creation and thereby sabotage our relationships…”  (p. 230) Why is it so hard to recognize when we’ve put the men in our lives in the place meant for God alone?

Whew! Another great question! The difficult part of relationships is that God designed us to desire connection. In the Garden, He looks at Adam and says “it’s not good for man to be alone.” Our natural tendency will be to desire GOD with skin on. They are tangible. They are visually present. Thus, in order to keep God first, we have to be intentional. We can know we have misplaced our affection when we begin to be defined by other’s opinions or when our joy hinges on a man’s approval or the lack thereof.
How has this book impacted your own walk with Christ?
LOL! You should see my copy. I have pink highlights, orange highlights, sections and quotes underlined. Places I’ve put stars by…It’s true! Each noted section points to GOD’s LOVE for me! I know what He’s done for me. I know how He has rescued me. So, as I read through the pages…they constantly remind me of a love that has never abandoned or betrayed me! I fall more and more in love with Christ as I read through the pages and remember how far he ran to rescue me. I love HIM much, because I have been forgiven much!

How has it impacted your ministry?

I am so humbled by the transformation I continually hear from readers. I love that people are writing and asking me to come speak. I am thrilled that women all across the country are using this book as a study for their small groups. I can’t wait to see how God fulfills what He promised me— as women read through my story and realize how far God ran to rescue me, they will find hope for their soul! What could be more fulfilling than that!

What closing words of encouragement would you like to share with your readers?

First, thank you for taking time to read this interview. Thank you Kim for the opportunity to share! But most important, I’d simply like to share the central truth I mentioned earlier—a truth that permeates every page of the book—a truth I believe GOD wants everyone to know—“Only HE can satisfy the longing of your soul, and HE LOVES you deeply, madly, and passionately!”

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Love Is Alive by Jason Bare - REVIEWED

Jason Bare has announced the digital release this week of his new CD, Love Is AliveThe third release by the popular singer, songwriter and worship leader is available at all online retailers, including iTunes, Amazon and CDBaby, with a brick and mortar release set to follow.

A number of Christian music industry veterans have partnered with Bare on the new project. Luke Buishas and Aaron Rice, whose songwriter credits include such superstars as Mandisa, TobyMac and Rachel Lampa, served as producers. While Bare co-wrote every song on the project, he was joined by a number of acclaimed songwriters, including Jennie Lee Riddle ("Revelation Song"), Jason Dyba, Brandon Collins, Brian Campbell, Buishas and Rice, who was nominated for a Grammy for TobyMac's "Made To Love."

A worship leader at heart, Bare kicks off his new CD with "God of All," a shimmering anthem of adoration. "We lift our hands to sing your praise. We lift our voice to shout your name," Bare exults. "God of All, consuming one of blazing love. God of All, eternal king of majesty!"
"'God of All' is by far one of my favorite songs on the album," Bare confesses. "It is clearly our innermost worshiper crying out to the most-high God, and I think it was a turning point for this record." 
Bare pulls back to a more intimate mode on the confessional, acoustic guitar-driven "More Than Enough," then segues seamlessly into the equally confessional, "When I'm Found In You." He maintains that same sense of intimate worship on "Lamb of God," while at the same time inviting listeners to join in corporate worship. Bare shifts effortlessly from worship to praise and adoration on the quietly potent, "Let It Be Praise." The title track, "Love is Alive," invokes a swaying, Latin rhythm, complete with stunning Spanish guitar riffs and guest vocals by the remarkable Jeannie Ortega. 
Bare shares songwriter credits with producers Buishas and Rice on the uplifting pop number, "Bigger," which extols the fact that God is bigger than any problem life can throw at us. Bare's emotive vocals take center stage on the peace-filled, soul-baring, "He Took My Place." Bare continues to exult in the unfathomable attributes of God on the anthemic "Everlasting God" and on the piano-driven "Miracle Maker," where he is joined by guest vocalist Jennifer McGill.   
An independent artist, Bare has joined a growing list of musicians including Shaun Groves, Thousand Foot Krutch, John Schlitt and Cheri Keaggy who all funded their most recent CDs through Kickstarter. The innovative crowd-funding program only works if the artist's predetermined goal is achieved. If the goal is not met by the Kickstarter deadline, no money is collected from supporters and the project is not funded. Bare's supporters put his Kickstarter campaign over the top in July 2013.  
For more information about Bare and Love Is Alive, visit , or  follow him on Facebook ( or Twitter (@jasonbaremusic). 
My Thoughts:
He took my place / His blood poured out and covered my name / His perfect grace / Gave Him the cross that was mine to claim / His love for me / Has set me free”  (Chorus for He Took My Place)

Love is Alive is an album saturated in the truth of the gospel and the freedom and grace that is found only at the foot of the cross.  The lyrics are powerful and moving, and as worship music, this will lead people into the Lord’s presence in a very real way.

My favorite songs on the album were He Took My Place, Bigger and When I’m Found In You.  I love the way Bare just extols God’s grace and His presence in every moment of our lives.  It just fills my heart with wonder and settles my spirit. 

Oh, and I almost forgot my very favorite!  Lamb of God!! Now that is one that just lifts my hands in worship and leads me to cry out to Jesus with praise and joy!!  This is a very worshipful, holy song!!
Bare’s style is not really upbeat and fast, but more of a gentle build in each song that brings your heart into a sure and certain place within the truth of God’s Word and His great sacrifice to redeem His children.
I believe we will all be singing Jason Bare’s praise and worship music soon! 

About Jason Bare:
After spending a lifetime growing up in church as a preacher's kid, attending Lee University and traveling as part of the Lee Singers, Bare has spent the past 15 years leading congregations in praise and worship, most recently at Kingdom Life Ministries in Virginia, while also writing and singing his original music.
 In December 2010, his debut radio single, the nationally-released Christmas song, "For The First Time," hit No. 1. In 2011, he released his debut CD, Beautiful Design, and his Christmas EP, Have You Heard. In December 2011, the title track from Have You Heard peaked at No. 5 on the Christian Music Weekly Inspirational chart and No. 16 on Billboard's Soft AC/Inspirational National Airplay chart. 
During the last few years, Bare has appeared on television networks including TBN, JCTV and CTN, premiered his first music video for "You Found Me" and toured throughout the United States and South Africa.