Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Yancy Wins Worship House Media’s 2014 Producer Award for “Kids Video of the Year”

(NASHVILLE, Tennessee) -- Worship House Media has announced that Yancy, Christian music’s reigning queen of diversity, has been named the recipient of the 2014 Producer Award for "Kids Video of the Year.” Yancy won for her video of the Chris Tomlin-penned song, “Our God,” which is featured on her 2013 album release, Jesus Music Box (Elevate Entertainment / Syntax Distribution).

The award is given out each year to the top-selling video on, a member of the Salem Church Products family. This marks the third year in a row that Yancy has taken home the coveted Producer Award in the Kids Video category.

"Awards are really cool but the lives represented by winning this award are what it's all about,” said Yancy. "I'm so thankful to create worship resources that churches can use and that kids love. Helping kids connect to God by worshipping Him is one of my greatest joys.” 

Jesus Music Box and Yancy’s other releases, including this year’s Spanish language project,Pequeña Fiesta de Alabanza!, are available now wherever Christian music is sold.

For more than a decade, Yancy has released radio-friendly pop/rock albums and multiple projects for kids and young adults, all while sharing the stage with such artists as Michael W. Smith, Newsboys, Mute Math and Nichole Nordeman. As a writer, Yancy has teamed up with Third Day's Mac Powell, wrote Avalon’s #1 hit “I Don’t Want To Go” and Jaci Velasquez’s “Something Beautiful,” among others. 

For more information, visit

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Monday, July 28, 2014

In The Field of Grace by Tessa Afshar - REVIEWED

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing

About the Book:
Destitute, grief-stricken, and unwanted by the people of God, Ruth arrives in Israel with nothing to recommend her but Naomi's, love. Her loftiest hope is to provide enough food to save Naomi and herself from starvation.

But God has other plans for her life.

While everyone considers Ruth an outcast, she is shocked to find one of the wealthiest and most honored men of Judah showing her favor.  Long since a widower and determined to stay that way, Boaz is irresistibly drawn to the foreign woman with the dark, haunted eyes. He tells himself he is only being kind to his Cousin Naomi's chosen daughter when he goes out of his way to protect her from harm, but his heart knows better.

In the Field of Grace is the story of a love that ultimately changes the course of Israel’s destiny and the future of the whole world.

My Thoughts:
He has not abandoned you, Ruth.  The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.  God may not always answer our questions, but He walks with us in the midst of them lest we get lost in the wilderness of our minds.  Invite the Lord into your pain.  Invite Him to be your sufficiency in the midst of it.  I promise, He will sustain you.”  (p. 263)

These are words Naomi speaks to Ruth after a journey through loss, pain, hunger, doubt, anger and many other trials.  Tessa Afshar has fleshed out the characters from the book of Ruth found in Scripture.  This story records one of the most tender testimonies of grace found in the world today.  Tessa offers a glimpse into this story as though you were walking alongside Naomi, Ruth, and Boaz as they discover the faithfulness of God in every circumstance!  EVERY circumstance!

Ruth and Boaz were unaware how their lives would impact the world for all eternity.  They had no idea that they had been grafted into the lineage of Jesus Christ.  Although centuries have passed since their relationship ushered Obed into the world, their story is filled with grace upon grace that never ceases to draw me closer to the Father.

My favorite scene – well one of my favorites - occurs as Boaz is racing across the field on his horse and God calls him to surrender.  WOW!!  I had to stop and weep and surrender some things in my own life!  This is a story of real people who faced real and harsh trials while they walked this earth.  Yet their faith and service to God survived and thrived and stands as a testimony to this day of God’s abundant grace and faithfulness!
Don’t miss this story!  Don’t look the other way!  Allow God’s grace to reach out and transform your world just as it did Ruth, Boaz and Naomi all those years ago!  Halleluiah!!  Amen!!

About the Author:

TESSA AFSHAR was born in a nominally Muslim family in Iran and lived there for the first fourteen years of her life. She survived English boarding school for girls before moving to the United States permanently. Her conversion to Christianity in her mid-twenties changed the course of her life forever. Tessa holds an MDIV from Yale University where she served as co-Chair of the Evangelical Fellowship at the Divinity School. She has spent the last twelve years in full and part-time Christian work and currently serves as the leader of Women's and Prayer ministries at a church in New England.

Friday, July 25, 2014

The Repurposed & Upcycled Life by Michelle Rayburn - REVIEWED

About the Book: (from the back cover)
Are there experiences you'd rather toss in the dumpster?

Discover the repurposed and upcycled life. With her laugh-out-loud Erma Bombeck way of looking at life, Michelle will help you see how some of your greatest disappointments, mistakes, and hurts can be beautiful treasures from God. Part memoir, part inspiration and self-help, this book will help you:

  • Unpack emotional baggage and deal with the past
  • Confront perfectionism and negative attitudes
  • Change your perspective on your circumstances
  • Let go of regret and shame
  • Build positive healthy relationships
  • Dream big and live with purpose

Through inspiration from God's Word and examples from everyday life, you'll discover the joy-filled, hope-rich way of viewing your past, present, and future.

My Thoughts:

What if we were real:  What if we were as honest about our failures as we are about our successes?” (p. 2)

Michelle Rayburn explores this question from every possible angle throughout her book, The Repurposed & Upcycled Life. She walks the reader through a myriad of situations, some from personal experience, some from the experience of others.  Michelle takes the Scripture and teaches transforming truths about successfully navigating life in a fallen world.  She uses her unique talent of repurposing “junk” and applies the practical truths of the Bible to each step of a transformational journey.  She wants everyone to walk in the freedom and purpose of God’s plan for their lives, and her book equips folks to do this!

Each chapter packed with things you will want to remember, so please read with your highlighter at the ready!  At the end of the chapter Michelle offers a section called Getting Personal.  Here you will find a section entitled Faith where she asks purpose-filled questions of self-examination.  She follows this with a section entitled Creativity where she offers ideas of creative activities that give your situation a concrete re-purposing.   The last section is entitled Everyday Life gives practical ways to put what you’ve learned into action.

This is a book that will bring healing and hope to many people in a variety of situations.  Don’t rush through this.  Take time to absorb what God has for you in these pages.  This book has been a love note from God in my life!!  How I praise Him for Michelle Rayburn’s ministry!
About the Author:

Michelle wants to help you connect the dots between faith, creativity, and everyday life and discover the joy of finding God in the most unexpected places. Years ago, she left her career as a registered nurse to raise her family, and along the way, she discovered her true passion for writing, speaking, and singing.

Along that path of discovery, she tried many side ventures, including: a wedding coordinator, rubber stamp demonstrator, custom painter and decorator, craft instructor, craft seller, and web designer. Pile on her hobbies as a quilter, scrapbooker, and avid reader, and that's a lot of dots to connect! For the sake of sanity, she has exchanged most of those roles for the thrill of putting words on paper.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014


Single From Singer/Songwriter's Current CD, Love Is All About You
Goes for Adds at Christian AC and Soft AC/INSPO Stations
"Born To Run," the new single from Eva Kroon Pike, is being released to Christian radio today. (Eva Kroon Pike photo).
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (July 22, 2014) -
"Born To Run," the new single from singer/songwriter Eva Kroon Pike's current CD, Love Is All About You, is being released to Christian radio today. The song, written by Pike and veteran Christian hit songwriter Don Koch, is being serviced to Christian AC and Soft AC/INSPO-formatted stations.
The new single was inspired, in part, by Pike's husband, Jonny.     

"Running took on a new meaning when my husband of almost 10 years decided to 'get healthier' and started running for weight loss," Pike says. "A year later and almost 90 pounds lighter, Jonny reached his physical goal of getting fit. I immediately thought of how we need to spiritually run the race for Christ, with endurance, towards the ultimate goal, heaven. My hope for 'Born To Run' is that it will encourage others to get physically and spiritually 'fit' for God." 
Pike co-wrote the song with her producer, Koch, who has written more than 35 No. 1 songs during his career. He is a multiple Dove Award winner, including winning a Dove Award for Song of the Year in 1994 for "In Christ Alone." Koch's songs have been recorded by the likes of Avalon, Donny Osmond, Michael Crawford, Brian Littrell (Backstreet Boys), and Phillips, Craig and Dean.
The single, the second from the CD, is being serviced to Christian radio by A-Sides Radio Promotion.
"I have been a fan of Eva Kroon Pike since her Grace That Chose Me album release back in 2010 and I'm ecstatic about working with her on her new radio single, 'Born To Run,'" says Jeff McLaughlin, president of A-Sides Radio Promotion.
For more information about Love Is All About You and Pike, visit To contact McLaughlin and A-Sides Radio Promotion, email 
About Eva Kroon Pike:
"Music is my passion," says Eva Kroon Pike, who has been singing since age 3 and also plays the flute, guitar and keyboard. During her career, Pike has performed in front of thousands of people and has shared the stage with the likes of Anne Graham Lotz, Mark Harris, Babbie Mason and Third Day. Pike's ministry, she says, is about "spreading the
Gospel, one song at a time." In her testimony, Pike shares her confidence that God has a plan for her life and that He chose, through her adoption as an infant, a very special family for her to grow up in to learn life's lessons. Her ministry is to point people to her loving Father who sent His Son to die so that everyone who believes in Him will live eternally. Pike states in her song, "Grace That Chose Me," which focuses on the theme of adoption, "So, if I'm anything close to what I'm meant to be, I owe it to the hands of Grace that chose me."
Pike's current EP, Love Is All About You, produced by six-time Dove Award winning producer and songwriter Don Koch (producer for Avalon, 4HIM, and many others; songwriter credits include classics "In Christ Alone," "Adonai" and "Mercy Said No"), was released in 2013. It is the singer/songwriter's fourth recording project. Her current single is "Not Miss A Thing."  

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Love Letters from the Edge by Shelly Beach and Wanda Sanchez - REVIEWED

About the Book:
Meditations offering practical hope through biblical expressions of lament and God's relentless, unconditional love for the hurting

Millions of women in the United States battle with after-effects of suffering so great they’ve developed post-traumatic stress disorder—the same suffering experienced by soldiers who’ve gone through war. Sexual and physical abuse, catastrophic accidents, abandonment, natural disasters, invasive medical procedures, and many other painful and overwhelming events can trigger symptoms they are little equipped to deal with and hard-pressed to recognize.

Love Letters from the Edge provides a voice for those struggling to express this pain and reveals intimate encouragement for those in desperate need to hear God’s words of love and deliverance. This heartfelt devotional focuses on the profound laments in the book of Psalms. Each meditation begins with a letter from someone in the throes of despair and then offers a tender response to their pain from God’s perspective.

Fresh, honest, and intimate, Love Letters from the Edge will reach readers who never expected to hear good news from where they are and point them toward the hope and healing of Christ.

My Thoughts:
Love Letters from the Edge is a twelve-week book of meditations designed to help you express your questions and frustrations to God and to better understand his heart for you.”  (p. 19)

This is a very straightforward statement written by the author in an attempt to give the reader an idea of this books format.  There is no way to dive into the emotional  upheaval of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Like many, I always associated this with folks returning from war.  What I’ve learned is that any traumatic event, death, illness, addiction, loss, divorce…any and all of these events can result in lingering PTSD symptoms.   Basically this is a mental health issue that results when, “…a person’s ability to cope is overwhelmed by a highly stressful experience and an individual perceives a threat to his or her own life of the life of someone else.”  (p. 257) The appendices of this book alone contain a gold mine of information!

This book is written as though someone is writing letters back and forth between himself and God.  The circumstances are different for every letter, but God’s answers are consistent and true.  Yes, we do live in a fallen world and suffer the consequences of other’s evil choices.  Until the Savior returns to carry us home, that will always be true.  But God has given us help through books like this one, so that we may learn to seek help, seek answers and rest in God alone.

This is not an easy read, but it is a necessary read!! This isn’t just for those who suffer from PTSD but for anyone who knows someone affected by this disorder.  It is real, and many are suffering!  Give them a hand back into wholeness!! There is a WEALTH of information about medical, spiritual and physical help available for everyone!! A gold mine!! Don’t miss this!!

About the Authors:
Shelly Beach is an award-winning author of eight books, including the Christy Award–winning Hallie’s Heart and ECPA book of the year nominee, Precious Lord, Take My Hand: Meditations for Caregivers. She is a national speaker, delivering a message of hope to thousands of women each year, and writes to an audience of approximately two million readers each month on

Wanda Sanchez is the executive producer of one of the nation’s longest running talk shows, and has over twenty-five years of experience in media, marketing, and publicity. She experienced extensive physical and emotional trauma and has come out the other side. Today, she blogs and speaks about hope for recovery from post-traumatic stress disorder to women and health professionals around the country. 

Monday, July 21, 2014

Firewall by Diann Mills - REVIEWED

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing

About the Book:
After a whirlwind romance, Taryn Young is preparing to board a plane at Houston International Airport, bound for a dream honeymoon, when a bomb decimates the terminal. Injured but still alive, she awakens to discover her husband is missing and they’re both considered prime suspects in the attack. Further, the FBI is convinced her husband isn’t who he appears to be.

Agent Grayson Hall’s number-one priority is to catch those responsible for the day’s act of terror. All evidence is pointing to Taryn and her new husband. But his instinct tells him her pleas of innocence are genuine. Is her naiveté just for show, or could she truly be another victim of a master scheme, possibly linked to the software she recently developed for her company?

With both their lives and reputations on the line, and the media outcry for justice increasing with each passing minute, Taryn and Grayson have no choice but to trust one another . . . and pray they can uncover the truth before they become two more casualties. 

My Thoughts:
Odd how life could spin and drop at the same time.”  (p. 327)

Taryn makes this observation at a critical point in the novel, but her life has been spinning and dropping for the previous 326 pages!!  And so has mine!  To read a novel by Diann Mills is to launch yourself into the unknown and “expect an adventure.”  This novel has the lives of everyone in a tailspin from the very first page!

Adults, children, no one is safe in this novel!  And the plot line is so twisted that the reader will be in knots by the time things start to unwind!  Honestly!  Diann casts a number of red herring upon a very tumultuous sea of events – events that read like today’s headlines!  That’s what makes this novel a tad disturbing!  When the idea was conceived and written down, Diann could have never dream what the headlines would be in the month this novel released.  It’s almost as if the Lord Himself is putting an exclamation mark at the end!

See, it is my opinion that security is a myth – a vapor that is whisked away by the evil hand of terrorists around the globe.  Diann has tapped into the depth and breadth of the possibilities surrounding this idea and places Taryn and Grayson square in the middle of the tumult!  Neither of them escapes physical, emotional and spiritual upheaval throughout this novel, and their survival is questionable at best. 

Firewall kicks off Diann’s latest series FBI: Houston.  You don’t want to miss a word of it!! Believe me!  Your mouth will be gaping open with surprise time and time again!  GREAT adventure!!

About the Author:
DiAnn Mills believes her readers should “Expect an Adventure.” She is a fiction writer who combines an adventuresome spirit with unforgettable characters to create action-packed novels. Her books have won many awards through American Christian Fiction Writers, and she is the recipient of the Inspirational Reader’s Choice award for 2005, 2007, and 2010. She was a Christy Award finalist in 2008 and a Christy winner in 2010. 

DiAnn is a founding board member for American Christian Fiction Writers, a member of Inspirational Writers Alive, Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, and is the Craftsman Mentor for the Christian Writer’s Guild. She speaks to various groups and teaches writing workshops. 

DiAnn and her husband live in Houston, Texas. Visit her website or find her on Facebook at

Friday, July 18, 2014

Feast For Thieves by Marcus Brotherton - REVEIWED

About the Book:  (from Moody Publishers)
Sergeant Rowdy Slater is the most skilled-and most incorrigible-soldier in Dog Company, 506th PIR, 101st Airborne, an elite group of paratroopers fighting for the world's freedom in World War II. 

Through a bizarre set of circumstances, Rowdy returns to the States after the war, turns his life around, and falls into the only job he can find-preacher at the sparsely populated community church in Cut Eye, Texas, a dusty highway town situated at the midpoint of nowhere and emptiness.

The town's lawman, suspicious that Rowdy has changed his ways only as a cover up, gives an ultimatum: Rowdy must survive one complete year as Cut Eye's new minister or end up in jail. 

At first Rowdy thinks the job will be easy, particularly because he's taking over for a young female missionary who's held the church together while the men were at war. But when a dark-hearted acquaintance from Rowdy's past shows up with a plan to make some quick cash, Rowdy becomes ensnared due to an irrevocable favor, and life turns decidedly difficult.

Rowdy's a man used to solving problems one of two ways: with his rifle or with his fists. Will he be able to thwart his old friend's evil schemes while remaining true to his new higher calling? 

This is a wild ride of a book bursting with a bank robbery, kidnapping, desperate prayers, and barroom brawls. Before the smoke clears, all sides just might end up getting exactly what they want.

My Thoughts:
With grace, there was nothing that came between him and God. It didn’t matter if the fella had a rough background.  It didn’t matter, even, if he’d once committed a crime.”  (p. 126)

By the time Rowdy Slater understood just a glimpse of grace, he had witnessed war, death and participated in depravity of all sorts!  God definitely worked in mysterious ways time and time again in order to reach Rowdy’s heart.  In the process of reaching Rowdy, God used him to reach others who felt their lives were generally meaningless and without hope.   Cut Eye, Texas was forever changed as Rowdy Slater’s life was transformed right before their eyes!

Sherriff Halligan Barker is probably the wisest, slickest man in all of Texas to rope Rowdy Slater into a role so diametrically opposed to every aspect of his life.  He took an almighty gamble when he made a deal with Rowdy!  In short order life begins to unfold beneath Rowdy’s feet, and he begins to know the people of Cut Eye in the most intimate way!  Deputy Roy, Augusta and Cisco, Myrtle and Clay, Sunny, and Reverend Bobbie are all brought to vivid life in the reader’s heart.  The entire town of Cut Eye becomes something you want to fiercely protect and become a part of.

I have a weakness for broken, brave and cutting edge characters like Rowdy Slater!  I am thrilled to learn that Marcus Brotherton is planning to create a series of books that feature Rowdy as the main character!  Feast For Thieves presents the truth of the gospel in the most exciting unusual way, and truly gives the reader countless examples of mercy and grace throughout the story. 

I can honestly say that I was sad to reach the end of this novel, but thrilled to learn that I can look forward to more from the pen of Marcus Brotherton! I highly recommend this book to everyone!!

About the Author:

MARCUS BROTHERTON is the author or coauthor of more than twenty-five nonfiction books. Notable works include Shifty's War, A Company of Heroes, and the oral history project, We Who Are Alive and Remain: untold stories from the Band of Brothers, a New York Times bestseller. This is his first novel.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Audience Favorite DOONBY Set to be Released on DVD July 22nd

Doonby is a movie that will make you think and make you feel. Entertaining from start to finish, it packs a special punch that is sure to make it one of this year’s most talked about films.”
— Peter Roff, U.S. News & World Report
“Brilliantly weaves an intriguing tapestry.”
—  L’Osservatore Romano
Los Angeles, CA - Described by actor and screenwriter L.M. Kit Carson as “It’s a Wonderful Life meets The Twilight Zone,” the spellbinding thriller, DOONBY, is set to be released on DVD July 22nd by Green Apple Entertainment and Riverhorse Entertainment.  Written and directed by Irish filmmaker Peter Mackenzie, Doonby examines how much one man’s life can affect those around him while answering the larger question of what one life is worth.
Doonby tells the story of Sam Doonby, a mysterious drifter who quickly becomes the talk of the small Texas town. He finds work at Leroy’s Country Blues Bar, where his musical talents make him a local celebrity, attracting the attention of the beautiful but spoiled Laura Reaper. Sam is strangely immune to the misfortunes of others, yet always around to prevent sudden disasters from happening.
Soon the narrow-minded townsfolk become jealous and start to question his background and motives. But, it is Laura’s doubts that cause Sam to vanish, leaving the locals to deal with some difficult admissions. Sam’s abrupt disappearance forces those he left behind to deal with some painful revelations and to question his mysterious arrival and departure.
Starring John Schneider (The Haves and the Have Nots, The Dukes of Hazzard, Smallville) as Sam Doonby, alongside Will Wallace (Tree of Life, The Thin Red Line), Robert Davi (The Expendables 3, The Goonies, Die Hard), Ernie Hudson (Ghostbusters), and Jenn Gotzon (Hulk, Frost/Nixon), Doonby is produced by Riverhorse Entertainment.
Beginning on July 22, the DVD release of Doonby will be available online through outlets such as, big box stores such as Best Buy, and at brick and mortar Christian retail outlets such as Family Christian Stores. Doonby is presented in widescreen with an aspect ratio of 16 x 9 (1:78) and Dolby Digital Surround Sound.
About Riverhorse Entertainment Ltd.
Riverhorse Entertainment Ltd. is an Irish production company owned by husband and wife team, Peter and Sally Mackenzie, with offices in the United Kingdom and Texas. Founded in 1990, Riverhorse Entertainment develops feature projects and live stage productions. Doonby is just one of ten projects that they have in their portfolio. Other current features include Finklestein’s Miracle, a comedic tale of redemption, and The Wedding Present, a paranormal thriller set in New Orleans.
About Green Apple Entertainment
Green Apple Entertainment is a leading international distributor of quality, independent entertainment on DVD, Blu-ray, download and streaming platforms and cable VOD. Headquartered in Boca Raton, Fla., Green Apple works directly with filmmakers to cultivate superior filmmaking for a variety of genres – including action, drama, romance, thrillers, horror/sci-fi, documentaries, family and animation – and fresh new viewing experiences for a diverse array of audiences. Green Apple was founded in 2005 by industry veteran Tim Warren. For more information, please see or follow on Facebook at

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Death Takes a Ride by Lorena McCourtney - REVIEWED

About the Book:
It's official. This case is above her pay grade--and Cate's in over her head.
Cate Kinkaid arrives at H&B Vintage Auto Restorations to give a friend a ride. But, as usual, trouble finds Cate even there--this time in the form of one dead man, one wounded man, and what appears to be a pretty obvious case of self-defense. 

Despite having been merely an unfortunate bystander, Cate finds herself sucked into the case. And the deeper she gets, the more she begins to suspect that the shooting in the H&B office may not have been as cut-and-dried as it appeared.

Bestselling and award-winning author Lorena McCourtney takes you on wild ride in this clever cozy mystery that will keep you guessing.

My Thoughts:
Not even midnight yet, and already she’d turned into a PI pumpkin.”  (p. 261)

I met Cate Kincaid in Dolled Up To Die, and she is still my favorite PI!   I adore a good cozy mystery, and Lorena McCourtney uses a dog – a large, motorcycle-loving brute of a dog named Clancey – to add a unique touch of humor and attention-grabbing oddity to a rather unexpected murder mystery.  This case tumbles into Cate’s life much like the candle tumbles into the stack of napkins in one of the final scenes of the novel.  I guess that’s why I like her so much, because things tend to be a haphazard jumble most of the time. 
However, when things begin to come together, both in the murder mystery and her personal relationships, things happen in rapid succession with no guarantee all will end well for those involved.  Mitch, good ‘ole dependable, snarky Mitch, gets dragged into Cate’s messes in the strangest ways, and McCourtney uses this relationship to sprinkle a dash of romance into the mystery.  Just about the time I want to tell Mitch to dodge, dismiss and disengage from Cate’s life – something that is implied to be happening in this novel – he turns around and does something sweet to endear himself to my heart all over again.  He is a true keeper!

And the mystery is anything but safe!  There are some high stakes involved, and McCourntey casts a wide net for suspects.  As any good writer, she holds her cards close to her chest and has a rather dramatic and dangerous reveal at the end!

Once again, a very satisfying read!! I can’t wait to see what Cate stumbles into next!! And I really can’t wait to see what role Mitch will play after his attempt at a romantic cookout! SO FUNNY!!

About the Author:
Lorena McCourtney is the New York Timesbestselling and award-winning author of dozens of novels, including Invisible (which won the Daphne du Maurier Award from Romance Writers of America), Dying to Read, and Dolled 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Shenandoah Dreams by Lisa Belcastro - REVIEWED

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Shenandoah Dreams
OakTara Publishers (July 1, 2014)
Lisa Belcastro


Lisa Belcastro lives with her family on Martha’s Vineyard. She loves chocolate, gardening, outdoor activities, cooking, laughing, reading, traveling, a healthy dose of adventure, and her cat Ben, who keeps her company while she spends hours working at the computer.

She was inspired to write Shenandoah Nights, the first book in the Winds of Change trilogy, while chaperoning two Tisbury School summer sails with her daughter, Kayla, aboard the schooner Shenandoah. The weeklong adventure, sans electricity, Game Boys, iPods and modern conveniences, kindled her imagination to dream of an altogether different voyage.

In addition to writing romance novels, Lisa currently pens the cuisine column for Vineyard Style magazine. She has worked as a staff and freelance reporter and photographer for The Chronicle of the Horse and as assistant editor at The Blue Ridge Leader. She has written articles for USA Today, Dressage (London), USA WEEKEND Magazine, The Blue Ridge Leader and Sidelines.

When she’s not at her desk, Lisa is living in paradise, volunteering at her daughter’s school, serving in her church community, planting and weeding her numerous gardens, trying to run a marathon a month, or walking the beach looking for sea glass.


What if she met the man of her another century? Tisbury, Massachusetts, Martha s Vineyard. It s just a dream, Melissa Smith whispers as she stares into the intense eyes of a man dressed in Colonial clothes, as though stepping out of an American Revolution movie set. A school chaperone with Holmes Hole Elementary, she d boarded the old schooner Shenandoah for a weeklong educational sail. But they are not visiting Plimoth Plantation, the Boston Tea Party Museum, or the Concord Bridge reenactment. They re sailing the waters around the island of Martha s Vineyard. Yet, when she awakes in Cabin 8, the captain claims to be Isaiah Reed, who sailed the original Shenandoah in the eighteenth century. He cannot possibly be real, Melissa thinks. And traveling back in time is impossible. But days pass, and she s still in 1770. What if Isaiah, who is simply too handsome to be real, is real? What if the fire he ignites in her from barely a touch isn t in her imagination? Can a dream last for weeks on end? If so, how will she find her way the twenty-first century? And can she bear to leave the one man who has captured her heart, when everything in her longs to stay? A Vineyard Romance Romance, history, adventure. Get swept into the exciting Winds of Change series.

My Opinion:
Shenandoah Dreams….my opinion?  Well, it is an intriguing concept that needs to be more thoroughly developed.   I know if I fell asleep in one century and woke up three centuries earlier I’d be pretty freaked out.  However, spouting off historical forecasts would not be my method of choice to convince folks that I had a valid reason to be upset.  The folks in the 18th century had to warn Melissa that being  so far afield in her thinking COULD be contributed to a bump on the head OR get you burned and the stake convicted of practicing witchcraft! 

Bottom line, this plot was not believably developed in the very brief 224 pages it took to tell the tale.  The story felt rushed, and the faith elements seemed a bit…over the top. Melissa bursts into a verse of a praise song trying to calm herself and then spouts off the name of a 21st century singer and hope no one notices.  This just felt forced to me.  So much so, that I was unable to suspend my disbelief long enough to enjoy the story.  It has great possibility, but, it’s just too underdeveloped.   But this is just one opinion.  Try it for yourself and form your own.  Please.

If you liked to read the first chapter of Shenandoah Dreams, go HERE.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Penny Wise by Neta and Dave Jackson - REVIEWED

About the Book:
Penny Wiseintroduces us to yet another family in "the neighborhood"---the Jaspers, busy with demanding jobs, busy with church, busy volunteering, parents of three active teenagers, juggling sometimes crazy schedules. All good things. Until all those "good things" feed into a series of crises that affects the whole family. Something's gotta change!

The third in the Windy City Neighbors series, Penny Wise is a contemporary peek at an urban family wrestling with the spiritual and practical challenges of real life. The series employs the innovating storytelling technique of "parallel novels," each with its own drama and story arc, but whose characters' lives become intertwined with their neighbors and affect one another. Welcome to Beecham Street---a typical, isolated American neighborhood that is beginning to come out of its shell . . . for better or worse.

Purchase you copy HERE.

My Thoughts:
“I’m so glad I learned to trust thee,
Precious Jesus,  Savior, Friend.
And I know that thou are with me,
Wilt be with me to the end.” (p. 302)

Once again, Neta  and Dave Jackson have allowed me to live among the dear folks that live on Beecham Street in the suburbs of Chicago.  This installment of the Windy City Neighbors series takes us into the home and lives of the Jasper family.  Michelle, Jared, Tabby, Tavis and Destin create a world of their own that spins 100-miles-an-hour wide open.  Jared and Michelle often feel overwhelmed by the responsibility of raising three teens, working full-time and being active in their church and community.  Every moment of every day is simply bulging at the seams with activity!!

And then….God shows up and shows out in profound and unexpected ways and carries this precious family into relationship with Him in very personal  and specific ways.  By the time you “listen” to Shareece  Watson sing “Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus” you will be on your feet weeping and praising God!  There are some significant, raw and painful moments in the lives of the Beecham street neighbors.  But you will be longing to enter their homes and lives once again the moment you read the final page!

I absolutely adore the Jackson’s ability to create such strong, transparent, vulnerable characters!  Their struggles mirror the lives of those you encounter every day, and God’s longsuffering, and tender wooing to His heart just makes my own heart soar with promise!!  Don’t miss one single minute of this brilliant series! 

About the Authors:
About the authors: Dave and Neta Jackson are award-winning authors living in the Chicago area where their parallel novels from the Yada Yada House of Hope and Harry Bentley series are set. As a husband/wife writing team, Dave and Neta Jackson are enthusiastic about books, kids, walking with God, gospel music, and each other! Together they are the authors or coauthors of over 100 books.

Visit there website

Friday, July 11, 2014

Pequena Fiesta de Alabanza by Yancy - Press Release and REVIEW

From Nashville Publicity Group:
Yancy has long been Christian music’s reigning Queen of Diversity, but with the upcoming release of “Pequeña Fiesta de Alabanza!,” she’s expanding her reach far beyond English-speaking fans. Her all-new Spanish language children’s project, a CD/DVD set, will be available online and in Christian bookstores everywhere on June 24th, via Elevate Entertainment.

Yancy and friends (including Jaci Velasquez and Salvador frontman Nic Gonzales, who provided vocals and vocal production) have taken some of the most popular songs from her “Little Praise Party” series and translated them into Spanish. The result is a fun collection of 15 songs that will warm the hearts of kids and their parents too. The accompanying DVD features animated music videos (one for each song!) that are sure to capture the imagination of children. 

“Last year, I received a request to make my music available in Spanish,” says Yancy. “This wasn’t unlike previous requests, but on this particular day, the seed took root. A few weeks later, I couldn’t shake it. I realized that now was the time. It was time to take that step and help make my music and worship resources available in another language. Jesus told us to go into all the world and preach the good news to everyone (Mark 16:15), so here I go!” 

“Little Praise Party” has an app for iOS and Android. The songs from “Pequeña Fiesta de Alabanza” will be featured in the monthly playlist in addition to the English versions of the songs. The app is a wonderful resource for praise sing-along fun on the go.

“I'm so happy there's music like this for kids and even happier that Yancy took the plunge and did this fun praise music in Spanish,” says Jaci Velasquez. “I’m glad to have been involved, I foresee lots of kids around the world worshipping alongside Yancy in every language.”

"I am so thrilled that Yancy has lent her considerable talent to the Spanish community,” says Beth Guckenberger of Back 2 Back Ministries ( “From ‘Me Gusta’ to ‘Es Navidad,’ it's an album chocked full of God's Biblical truth. I can't wait to share these catchy songs and creative lyrics with the children we serve in the Spanish speaking world."

For more than a decade, Yancy has released radio-friendly pop/rock albums and multiple projects for kids and young adults, all while sharing the stage with such artists as Michael W. Smith, Newsboys, Mute Math and Nichole Nordeman. As a writer, Yancy has teamed up with Third Day's Mac Powell, wrote Avalon’s #1 hit “I Don’t Want To Go” and Jaci Velasquez’s “Something Beautiful,” among others. 

For more information, visit

My Thoughts:
I can't speak or sing a word of Spanish, but I love this album!!  I understand that Yancy didn't sing or speak Spanish either, but with the coaching of Jaci Velasquez and Nic Gonzales, she has produced a Spanish version of her popular kids praise songs "Little Praise Party."  It is really fabulous!  You will be tapping your feet and hands and generally jamming for Jesus!  If you know of a kids ministry specifically for Spanish speaking kids, you have GOT to get a copy of this!! It's really amazing!!

Thursday, July 10, 2014


tER-logo-Horiz-650x162(Colorado Springs, Colo.) July 8, 2014—The Exodus Road, a leader in fighting modern day slavery, is giving a voice to the voiceless by working tirelessly to bring about freedom and helping to put an end to sex trafficking. With several key initiatives in place, the organization continues to ask others to join them in the fight.

“The Exodus Road is committed to bringing the strategic process of deliverance to a worldwide community,” said Matt Parker, former youth minister and founder of The Exodus Road, who started the nonprofit with his wife, Laura. “Collaboration, empowerment, and strategic rescue are the heartbeats of our organization.”
With a collective reach of over 5 million, The Exodus Road recently completed one initiative, a recent blogger trip on June 16-23, which chronicled some of their efforts abroad. A team traveled to Southeast Asia, and on the trip, the bloggers met investigators, visited red-light districts and after care facilities, helped to work on actual cases and interviewed undercover investigators.
“…my primary objective on this trip was not tourism. I went to do a job. I went to learn. I went to witness, observe, and document the many ways The Exodus Road is working in partnership with other organizations and government agencies to end slavery and trafficking for good. That included an introduction to the world of undercover investigations,” said blogger Jamie Wright during the recent trip.
After aiding local police in a rescue of a victim of trafficking in Colorado this past year, the organization is now set to launch a “Trafficking Watch Program” in the U.S. With the aid of local authorities, the first trial will be held in Colorado Springs.  The organization will help to train a small “army” of volunteers, who will do basic level surveillance reporting/gathering intelligence/tips for the local police/FBI. Initially, two local churches will supply the volunteers (with 60 volunteers to date). The launch will be supported by training events at the end of August in Colorado Springs.
In October, the invitation only, “Second Annual Anti-Trafficking Intervention Conference” is slated to be held in Thailand. Last year’s event attracted nearly 80 attendees, including the U.S. Department of Justice, the Thai Royal Police, FBI, a team of investigators from India, and the Thai Federal Authorities, DSI.
In other strategic moves, public figures are lending their resources to further the organization’s work. The Exodus Road supporters include MLB player for the San Francisco Giants, Jeremy Affeldt, global Christian speaker and leader of Messenger International, Lisa Bevere, and the lead singer of Remedy Drive, David Zach .
“Human trafficking is everywhere. The mechanisms for slavery exist in nearly every country around the globe. Labor trafficking, sex slavery, indentured servitude– these are realities for an estimated 27 million brothers and sisters of ours around the world. Today. On our watch,” said Laura Parker, co-founder, The Exodus Road, who oversees the organization with her husband, Matt.

In regard to the latest statistics related to its ongoing work, in only two short years (the first one spent largely in development), The Exodus Road has supported the rescues of 284 sex slaves through the work of the 56 undercover investigators they support. Representing over 25 organizations, they are proving the model that when people work together, they can accomplish so much more. With headquarters in Colorado, they support field offices in four cities in Southeast Asia and India, and have given away over 150 pieces of quality covert gear.

The Exodus Road is not a single investigative organization, but rather it is a network of surveillance teams and individuals, committed to fighting trafficking, one legal court case at a time. Currently, they are working with 56 operatives, representing thirteen different investigative organizations. While their main niche is in intervention work, they do have key aftercare organizations also represented in their coalition. The goal of their coalition is to bring as many people as possible around the table for the sake of the individual victim, and they are finding that it is this spirit of collaboration that is empowering more effective rescue, officials said.

Continuing to work in the spirit of collaboration, Matt has recently taken the position as coordinator for the newly formed Liberty Alliance, a coalition of counter-trafficking organizations with two leading partners: Freeland out of Bangkok and Liberty Asia out of Hong Kong.

With on-the-ground accountability in the form of field directors and reporting systems, The Exodus Road primarily funds key deficiencies common for those working in targeted intervention. They supply operational funding for cases, covert surveillance gear, investigator training events, networking support, operative care, and fund advocacy projects (repatriation expenses, aftercare transition, social worker salaries, etc.). Believing that technology is a critical tool in effectively gathering evidence necessary for arrests, The Exodus Road is also working with partners to provide field teams with modern equipment, including the upcoming development of a cyber-forensics lab. They also have developed key programs, like “Search and Rescue,” where they connect donors with frontline teams by letting supporters fund one night of investigations for a certain team every month. Through this program and others like it, they consistently engage donors with the realities of fighting sex trafficking, both globally and at home.
NBC News recently reported that an estimated 40,000 victims were identified last year, according to the TIP (Trafficking in Persons) ReportIt’s also estimated that 100,000 children are victims of domestic trafficking right now and that 17,500 victims of trafficking were brought into the U.S. last year alone. Many cases still go undocumented.

About The Exodus Road
Founded by husband and wife, Matt and Laura Parker, The Exodus Road is a nonprofit organization that empowers freedom from sex slavery through covert investigation and rescue. The 501c3 organization operates internationally and domestically, working primarily in Southeast Asia, India, and the United States of America. With an empowering, life-changing mission, The Exodus Road finds teams already on the ground, doing the vital work of finding and freeing victims with local police and helps to fuel their work by providing covert gear, operational funding, training, and networking support. To find out more, or to help further the work of The Exodus Road, go to and