Thursday, November 27, 2014

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Christmas At Rose Hill Farm by Suzanne Woods Fisher - REVIEWED

About the Book:
Join bestselling, award-winning author Suzanne Woods Fisher for an Amish Christmas to remember.
Billy Lapp is far away from his Amish roots working as a rose rustler for Penn State and wants nothing to do with Stoney Ridge. And that suits Bess Riehl just fine. Why should she think twice about a man who left without a word of explanation? It's time she moved on with her life, and that meant saying yes when Billy's cousin Amos proposed--for the third time--and beginning to plan for her Christmas wedding. 

When a "lost" rose is discovered in a forgotten corner of the greenhouse at Rose Hill Farm, Billy is sent to track down its origins. His plan is to get in, identify the rose, and get out. The only catch is that he's having a hard time narrowing down the identity of the lost rose--and he can't get Bess Riehl out of his mind. 

As the history of the lost rose is pieced together, it reminds Bess and Billy--and Amos too--that Christmas truly is the season of miracles.

My Thoughts:
I marvel at all there it to discover on earth.  Just a hint of what’s to come. An eternity of discoveries.”  (p. 59)

At the point George makes this statement to Billy, a lot of contention has already surfaced in Suzanne Woods Fisher novel, Christmas at Rose Hill Farm.  A mysterious rose, found in the corner of Bess Reil’s farm, causes Billy Lapp to reappear in the Amish community he left behind years earlier.  Things have changed dramatically since he left, but time has a way of bringing the truth to light.

As the mystery surrounding the rose unfolds, the history between Bess and Billy also resurfaces.  Even though Bess in on the eve of marriage, she and Billy have some unfinished business lingering between them.  Billy also has some family business that needs to be dealt with, but he seems determined to push beyond both situations, identify the rose and retreat back into the University environment he now calls home.

The Lord has a different play laid out for every character of this story.  I don’t remember Fisher ever employing the means she uses to identify the tender areas of folks’ hearts in this story.  I won’t give it away, but I will hint that it is a good fit for the Season in which the story is set.  This is a good holiday read, but I’ll be honest, I’ve likes Fisher’s other work a lot better.  This left me feeling a bit…non-plussed.  Decide for yourself.  It’s an easy holiday read that will entertain for a few hours

About the Author:
Suzanne Woods Fisher is the bestselling author of The LettersThe Calling, the Lancaster County Secrets series, and the Stoney Ridge Seasons series, as well as nonfiction books about the Amish, includingAmish Peace. She is also the coauthor of an Amish children's series, The Adventures of Lily Lapp. Suzanne is a Carol Award winner for The Search, a Carol Award finalist for The Choice, and a Christy Award finalist for The Waiting. She is also a columnist for Christian Post andCooking & Such magazines. She lives in California. Learn more at and connect with Suzanne on Twitter @suzannewfisher.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Swept Away by Laura V. Hilton and Cindy Loven - REVIEWED

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Swept Away
Abingdon Press (November 18, 2014)
Laura V. Hilton
Cindy Loven


Award winning author Laura V. Hilton has penned many novels, including the Amish of Seymour series, the Amish of Webster County series, and the forthcoming Amish of Jamesport series. A member of ACFW, Laura is also a professional book reviewer for the Christian market, with over a thousand book reviews published at various online review sites. A pastor’s wife, stay-at-home mom, and home school teacher, Laura and her family make their home in Horseshoe Bend, Arkansas.

A lifelong reader, Cindy Loven is an active church wife of a minister and mother to one son who is a home school graduate. Cindy and her family reside in Conway, Arkansas.


Sara Jane Morgan is trying to balance teaching with caring for her ailing, stubborn grandmother. When school lets out for the summer, the plans are for Grandma to teach Sara Jane to quilt as they finish up the Appalachian Ballad quilt Grandma started as a teenager. But things don’t always go as planned. Andrew Stevenson is hiding from his past—and his future. He works as a handyman to pay the bills, but also as an artisan, designing homemade brooms. When Sara Jane’s grandmother hires him to renovate her home, sparks fly between him and his new employer’s granddaughter. Still, it doesn’t take Sara Jane long to see Drew isn’t what he seems. Questions arise, and she starts online researching him. What she discovers could change her life—and her heart—forever.

My Thoughts:
What was is about God that called her?”  (p. 168)

Once again, the latest edition to the Quilts of Love series, Swept Away, has amazed me!  And once again, I almost missed the blessing!   See, I’m a bit of a cynic when it comes to romance these days.  Being betrayed after 23 years of marriage does that to you.  So, when I read a story that focuses on this romantic relationship unfolding between a couple, I tend to want to turn away.  I am so glad I didn’t!

Sara Jane Morgan and her Grandma, Sari, experience a radical shift in the trajectory of their lives when they encounter Drew Stevenson at a local craft fair.  A craftsman and general handyman, Drew is in a rather uncertain time in his own life journey when Grandma invites him into her home with the intent of preparing it for sale.

Sara’s Grandma begins to exhibit some rather worrisome behavior as the story builds.  That worrisome behavior tends to build right alongside a possibility of relationship between Sara and Drew.  And like Grandma’s behavior, there are many miscues along the way.  Just about the time you think Grandma is making improvement, Sara and Drew’s relationship takes a nose dive and vice versa.  There is an even deeper issue going on up underneath – a lack of a personal relationship with Christ. 

The circumstances leading to this revelation and a resolution is not an easy or pleasant journey!  This story builds into a very multi-layered, realistic scenario.  The quilt story that is woven among the lives of the characters reflects all of the facets of the things they must walk through.  I love that!!

So, I want to encourage you to find a warm place to snuggle up with Swept Away over the holidays!  You may even consider it a great gift selection for readers on your list!  I am happy to recommend it to you!

If you would like to read the first chapter of Swept Away, go HERE.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Pound Foolish by Dave and Neta Jackson - REVIEWED

About the Book:
Greg Singer coordinates consumer sports shows for powerboats, four wheelers, snowmobiles, and jet skis-macho toys for outdoor men like himself. But the job puts tremendous stress on his marriage with Nicole, who for the first time notices the handsome lawyer at the end of the block. "Greener pastures?" When the recession hits Greg's industry, he thinks the crisis is merely an opportunity for God to bless him with unmatched prosperity, a promise he hears preached each Sunday, and he steps out in bold faith . . . But is he being "pound foolish"? The fourth in the Windy City Neighbors series, POUND FOOLISH explores the economic upheaval and uncertainties challenging every family. Intersecting with PENNY WISE (book three), the Jacksons employ the innovating storytelling technique of "parallel novels." Though each book follows its own drama and story arc, the characters' lives become intertwined and affect one another. Pound Foolish returns us to Beecham Street-a typical American neighborhood . . . where a growing friendship brings new meaning to prosperity.

My Thoughts:
A nonexistent being can’t teach you anything.  But the fact that he’d made the effort to teach me something proved no on ly that he existed, but it proved he was with me and cared about me.”  (p. 197)

Harry Bentley’s invitation to a men’s Bible study, his testimony of God’s faithfulness, and his own faithfulness to keep reaching out to his neighbor Greg made a HUGE difference in many lives!  That’s what I’ve enjoyed about every book the Jackson’s have ever written.  They really know how to create believable characters, realistic life scenarios, and an everyday – feet on the battlefield – kind of faith that transforms lives from the inside out.

Pound Foolish is another stellar example of this rich community.  Not everyone practices faith in Christ, not every believer in the story has a solid grounding in God’s Word or a daily walk with Christ that allows them to navigate life’s circumstances successfully.  But the Jacksons place truth strategically in the lives of their characters in such a way that readers from all walks of lives will be ministered to in a unique and powerful way!

Greg and Nicole are ground zero in this novel.  A weak economy, a layoff, a false gospel and a too-good-to-be-true opportunity combine to create a perfect storm in Greg and Nicole’s home.  As they interact with their neighbors, make choices and face the resulting consequences, some hard truths are introduced into everyone’s lives.  They must choose to change directions before it’s too late. 

I won’t give away spoilers, but you will recognize every situation presented in this story!  It gets tough! Your heart will ache.  But the lessons learned by the characters in the story will impact your life if you will open your heart to receive the truths they encounter along their journey!  I highly recommend the entire Windy City series!

Read my reviews of the Windy City Series!  Grounded, Derailed, Pennywise

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 their website, find them on facebook

Friday, November 21, 2014

Trading Secrets by Melody Carlson - REVIEWED

About the Book:
The truth may set you free--but it might also land you in some uncomfortably hot water.
Over the years, Micah Knight has exchanged many letters--and many secrets--with her longtime Amish pen pal, Zach. But Micah's kept quiet on the biggest secret of all--the fact that despite her name, she's a girl.

Now Micah finally has the chance to meet her pen pal face-to-face. She wants nothing more than to experience life on Zach's Amish farm, but she's more than a little anxious. Will he be angry at her for deceiving him all these years? And will she risk losing his friendship to find something more?

My Thoughts:
“ …I feel certain this lifestyle is not for wimps.”   (p. 172)

Once again, Melody Carson takes a honest, sometimes whimsical look, at life through the eyes of a teenager.  This time she allows Michah Knight to get into some pretty hot water when she goes to visit her Amish penpal over Spring break.  She convinces herself she just wants to share the truth with him face-to-face – the truth of her six-year long deception!

She discovers many things during her brief stay among the Amish.  Michah learns a lot about the Amish way of life – about the hard work required, the dedication of faith, and the life-long commitment required to walk out that lifestyle choice.  She also learns that not everyone born to that lifestyle embraces it.  At that moment.  Some people have dreams that require them to leave the Amish faith, but they just want to leave it for a time, and then return to their faith and their people.  But that isn’t really an option, so they hide and discount their dreams as unreachable.

Zach, Michah’s Amish pen-pal, tries to hide his long-held dream from everyone, even himself.  But friendship opens the door for both Michah and Zach to share their dreams with each other.  In doing that, they open the door to opportunity – to fulfill dreams and deepen their friendship.

As always, Carlson drew me into her story.  Personally, I think Michah’s dad should have been a bit more curious about her plans for Spring Break, but that’s just me.  It all worked out for everyone involved in a most unlikely but satisfying way!  This is a young adult read that I am happy to recommend!

About the Author:
Melody Carlson is the award-winning author of over two hundred books with sales of more than five million. She is the author of several Christmas books from Revell, including the bestselling The Christmas BusThe Christmas Dog, and Christmas at Harrington's, which is being considered for a TV movie. She is also the author of many teen books, including Just Another GirlAnything but NormalDouble Take, the Life at Kingston High series, and the Diary of a Teenage Girl series. She is the winner of aRomantic Times Career Achievement Award in the inspirational market for her many books, including the Diary of a Teenage Girl series andFinding Alice. Melody and her husband live in Oregon.

For more information about Melody visit her website at

Thursday, November 20, 2014

The Christmas Cat by Melody Carlson - REVIEWED

About the Book:
He felt his face flushing as Cara opened the door. Wearing a garnet-colored knit dress and with her dark hair pinned up, she looked even prettier than he remembered. Suddenly he wished he'd thought to bring a hostess gift. Like a cat.

After years abroad, Garrison Brown finds himself at the home of his beloved grandmother who has just passed away. He must sort out her belongings, including six cats who need new homes. While he hopes to dispense with the task quickly--especially since he is severely allergic to cats--his grandmother's instructions don't allow for speed. She has left some challenging requirements for the future homes of her furry friends. 

Can he match the cats with the perfect new owners? And is it possible that he might meet his own match along the way?

My Thoughts:
Where’s your faith now?”  (p. 136)

Garrison had questioned a lot of things since learning of his Grandmother’s death, but when Elliott questioned his faith, it really set him back on his heels.  Garrison not only had had to face the loss of his Grandmother – his only remaining family – but he was faced with one of the most unusual circumstances he’d ever faced when he was asked to execute his grandmother’s will.  He was battling frustration, grief and a “family” of cats that he was allergic too.  What did that have to do with his faith?

Well, the people who lived in his Grandmother’s neighborhood had high expectations that Garrison would fulfill her dying wishes.  Along the way, they also began to believe in a dream Garrison had shared with his neighbor Ruby.  Life was more than just going to work and paying the bills.  Life was rich with opportunities to give back to others.  Garrison had been doing that for years on the mission field, and when he returned home, he began to believe that he had to fit into the “successful” model of the world.

God had greater plans for Garrison, and He uses the loss of his Grandmother to introduce people into his live that challenge him to look beyond his circumstances and embrace his dream. At the point Elliott questions him about his faith, it is beginning to look as though Garrison is giving up on a lot of things – good things.  And then….well, God shows up in the most unexpected way!

Melanie Carlson, you do it to me every time.  You capture me with story and then rock my world with truth.  Thanks, again!  And readers, don’t miss The Christmas Cat!  It’s a great read!

About the Author:
Melody Carlson is the award-winning author of over two hundred books with sales of more than five million. She is the author of several Christmas books from Revell, including the bestselling The Christmas BusThe Christmas Dog, and Christmas at Harrington's, which is being considered for a TV movie. She is also the author of many teen books, including Just Another GirlAnything but NormalDouble Take, the Life at Kingston High series, and the Diary of a Teenage Girl series. She is the winner of aRomantic Times Career Achievement Award in the inspirational market for her many books, including the Diary of a Teenage Girl series andFinding Alice. Melody and her husband live in Oregon.

For more information about Melody visit her website at

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Promises to Cherish by Elizabeth Yount - REVIEWED

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Promises to Cherish
Howard Books (October 7, 2014)
Elizabeth Yount


Elizabeth Byler Younts is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers. She is an Air Force officer’s wife and a homeschooling mom with two young daughters. She makes her home wherever her family is stationed. Elizabeth was Amish as a child and after her parents left the church she still grew up among her Amish family and continues to speak Pennsylvania Dutch.


As World War II draws to a close, nurse Christine falls in love with roguish Amish boy Eli and must choose between a new, uncertain life in the Amish faith or face the judgment of a conservative postwar American society for her past mistakes.

It’s 1945, and Christine Freeman is a nurse at Hudson River State Hospital, where she works alongside members of a Civilian Public Service unit. Eli is one of the conscies—conscientious objectors to the war—and he is doing his best to become a man of character instead of the immature heartbreaker he used to be back home in his Amish community.

Christine and Eli are friendly, but when an old acquaintance, Jack, returns home from the war, Christine’s world is violently turned upside down. Eli, heartbroken to see his friend so hurt, offers her an escape within his Amish community. Despite her misgivings, Christine is fully embraced by Eli’s community. She slowly begins to feel valued and loved as she learns the Amish way of life.

Christine finds herself falling for Eli. But soon, the abusive Jack discovers Christine in her Amish hideaway and starts causing trouble for the quiet community. Christine can’t see herself becoming Amish, and she knows that if Eli leaves the church to be with her, he will be shunned. Will she escape Jack and possibly have to give up the one thing she holds most dear, or will she follow her heart and promise to cherish the Amish man who loves her?

My Thoughts:
If you know who you are, you can’t ever really lose yourself.  You might stray a measure from time to time but you don’t lose yourself – unless you just don’t know who you are.”  (DeWayne to Eli)  

Elizabeth Byler Younts has written an Amish novel unlike any I’ve ever read!  This is the second book in The Promise of Sunrise series, and it is a book that takes an honest look at many common struggles that all believers face at some point in time.  The scene in chapter four where Eli realizes his true identity is one I won’t soon forget!  And Christine reminds me so much of myself in my twenties it’s a bit unsettling! 

This novel finds a lot of young people searching for their identity during a time in American history where multiple countries were also seeking direction and identity.  While this novel does contain some of the Englishe/Amish struggles unique to the Amish people, this was my first look inside the lives of conscientious objectors during WWII.  I was unaware of the role the Civilian Public Service units played during the war, and the way the dire economic conditions lingered in the lives of so many families who lost multiple loved ones during the war.
Simply put, Younts is a gifted writer that is able to weave a lot of intriguing situations together into a believable and realistic whole.  Her characters struggle, and not everything ends up neatly and in order.  The character of Jack was very disturbing to me, not only because of his drinking but the way his temper was so secretive and malicious.  I am so thankful that the Amish community showed her such love and mercy when his character tried to re-enter the scene!

There are simply a multitude of reasons I want to recommend this book to readers everywhere! This is a solid, gripping, multi-layered novel that readers will remember long after the final page!  A novel I highly recommend!

If you would like to read the first chapter of Promises to Cherish , go HERE.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

A.D. 30 by Ted Dekker - REVIEWED!

About the Book:
Enter a sweeping epic set in the harsh deserts of Arabia and ancient Palestine.

A war that rages between kingdoms on the earth and in the heart.

The harrowing journey of the woman at the center of it all.

Step back in time to the year of our Lord…A.D. 30.

The outcast daughter of one of the most powerful Bedouin sheikhs in Arabia, Maviah is called on to protect the very people who rejected her. When their enemies launch a sudden attack with devastating consequences, Maviah escapes with the help of two of her father’s warriors–Saba who speaks more with is sword than his voice and Judah, a Jew who comes from a tribe that can read the stars. Their journey will be fraught with terrible danger. If they can survive the vast forbidding sands of a desert that is deadly to most, they will reach a brutal world subjugated by kings and emperors. There Maviah must secure an unlikely alliance with King Herod of the Jews.

But Maviah’s path leads her unexpectedly to another man. An enigmatic teacher who speaks of a way in this life which offers greater power than any kingdom. His name is Yeshua, and his words turn everything known on its head. Though following him may present even greater danger, his may be the only way for Maviah to save her people–and herself.

My Thoughts:
Yeshua’s way was to abide only in forgiveness.  And he was the power of that forgiveness.” 

Ted Dekker has once again explored a life-altering truth from a most unusual perspective – from a female slave whose father has rejected her, but has, in the midst of a Bedouin war, reached out and tasked her with a mission that is far beyond her ability to complete.  However, along her perilous journey she encounters Yeshua. His words to her are life-giving and transformational in ways she is unable to comprehend immediately.

When I first began this novel, I had no idea how it could possibly lead to an encounter with Yeshua.  Maviah’s life was such an unlikely source of anything but heartache and pain! When Judah’s character was introduced, I began to think meeting Yeshua was a remote possibility, but even then Maviah, Saba and Judah composed a rag-tag trio faced with nearly insurmountable odds!  I never thought they would survive The Nafud!

You see, Maviah's journey is chronicled by what happens in each location she travels to during her journey.  Even that becomes significant during the course of the story.  From the details of traversing the dessert on camel, to the Bedu war that rages about them, each page of this story adds to the climax of the final encounter of Maviah’s journey.  Dekker has always amazed me at his ability to reveal profound truths in his stories, but A.D. 30 is the most amazing yet!  Words fail to express my gratitude of the insight and faith lived out in the life of Maviah.

Dekker offers a bit of insight into his own faith journey at the beginning of the book, and I truly believe A.D. 30 will enter the realm of timeless masterpieces of the 21st century!  I encourage anyone who knows how to read to pick up a copy of this book TODAY!!  It’s that important!! I thank God for Ted Dekker’s obedience to record this story!  AMEN!!

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.
Dekker was born to missionaries who lived among the headhunter tribes of Indonesia. Because his parents’ work often included extended periods of time away from their children, Dekker describes his early life in a culture to which he was a stranger as both fascinating and lonely. It is this unique upbringing that forced him to rely on his own imagination to create a world in which he belonged.
After leaving Indonesia, Dekker graduated from a multi-cultural high school and took up permanent residence in the United States to study Philosophy and Religion. Upon earning his Bachelor’s Degree, he entered the corporate world and proceeded to climb the proverbial ladder. But his personal drive left him restless and, after many successful years, he traded corporate life for wide range of entrepreneurial pursuits that included buying and selling businesses, healthcare services, and marketing.
In the early nineties while visiting a friend who had just written a book, Dekker decided to pursue a long held desire to be a novelist. Over the course of two years he wrote two full length novels before starting from scratch and rewriting both. Now fully enamored by the the process and the stories, he realized that storytelling was in his blood and a new obsession to explore truth through story gripped him anew.
He sold his business, moved his family to the mountains of Western Colorado and began writing full-time on his third novel. Two years and three novels later his first novel was published.

Dekker’s novels have sold over 5 million copies worldwide. Two of his novels, Thr3e and House, have been made into movies with more in production. Dekker resides in Austin, Texas with his wife Lee Ann and two of their daughters.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Look Inside the Time of Jesus by Lois Rock; Illustrated by Lorenzo Orlandi - REVIEWED

About the Book: (from Kregel Publishers)
A fascinating flap book full of bustling scenes from the time of Jesus that will keep inquiring young minds busy. Detailed depictions of Bible history are enhanced by a glimpse behind the scenes with flaps to lift on every page. Brief text explains the setting of the picture, and references events and stories from Jesus’ life. The captivating pictures and to-the-point text make this book especially useful for encouraging reluctant readers. The book covers the first Christmas, a synagogue and carpenter’s workshop in Nazareth, fishing in Capernaum, farming and shepherding in the hills of Galilee, homes of the wealthy and everyday people, the temple in Jerusalem, the way of the cross, and the first Easter.

My Thoughts:
From a stable in Bethlehem to a Garden Tomb, this is a rich flap book that will keep your children entertained for hours on end!  Each picture is exploding with details!  The most memorable of the details are enriched further by lifting the flap and being able to view the picture from a more intimate, “inside” view.  The story line focuses more on the highlights of Jesus’ earthly ministry and includes the Rich Man’s Feast, The Temple in Jerusalem and A Roman Trial.

The concentration is more on the cultural details of the era and not on the truth of Jesus ministry.  I was rather disappointed at the ending, because the book ends with the frightened disciples left behind at the ascension and never progresses to the spreading of the gospel!  So, one more page would have left readers with hope and purpose!  But, children will learn a lot about the culture in which Jesus lived and ministered, and this will give them a greater understanding of the gospel.
I think this would be a great addition to any child’s library!

About the Author:
Lois Rock has established an international reputation as a children’s writer. Specialising in Bible stories, prayer books, and information books, her books have been translated into over 30 languages with sales approaching 4 million copies. She draws on her experience as a mother of three, and as a leader of church children’s groups.|Lorenzo Orlandi graduated at the School of Applied Art of "Castello Sforzesco", in Milan, and has since worked with magazines, advertising agencies and publishers. Specialising in illustration of nature, history, science, and agriculture, he is also an expert in military history and costumes from ancient populations to the First and Second World War.  

About the Illustrator:
Lorenzo Orlandi lives and works in Milan. He works for magazines, advertising agencies, Italian and foreign publishers of adult and children’s books. He likes projects which lets him illustrate books about nature - from dinosaurs to living animals and plants, their evolution history as well as man’s prehistory. He has experience as an art director and has in-depth knowledge on the subjects of military uniforms, history and ancient costumes. 

Friday, November 14, 2014

If You Follow Me by Pam Rhodes - REVIEWED

About the Book:  
In the parish of Dunbridge, the news is out--Claire and Neil are engaged! And yet, almost before the celebrations have begun, Ben, the father of Claire's son, appears back on the scene--keen to pick up where he and Claire left off.

As Neil reels in the face of Claire's confusion, Wendy always seems to be there to provide support and comfort. Little does he know of Wendy's involvement in Ben's reappearance . . .

However, Neil has little chance to ponder his love life as the whole weight of running the church and parish descends upon his inexperienced shoulders. His mother, Iris, who has never hesitated to share her opinions, has just moved to be near him and Neil's time as a curate in Dunbridge is coming swiftly to an end. Where should he go next, and just who will go with him?

My Thoughts:
I don't know if Pam Rhoodes is familiar with the Mitford series, but that is what this book reminded me of.  The small English village of Dunbridge and all of the people that live as members of  Neal Fisher's parish congregation create a community that you will recognize as true and familiar.  From Wendy, Claire and Iris to Sam Ben and Danny, the people of Dunbridge come alive in your heart as you read their stories of heartache, trauma and joy.

All of the characters, including Neal, deal with problems easily recognized by every reader. From addiction to abuse, jealousy to true love, I don't think Rhodes misses much!  The setting and characters are intricately detailed for the readers, and you begin to feel like part of their community!  You will encounter folks you love, and some you dislike all together! This is a very believable community of people.  

If you Follow Me is the last of the Dunbridge chronicles, and though I feel you would feel more attached to the story if you had read the entire series, you are perfectly able to understand the books alone.  This was my introduction to the series, and I fully intend to go back and read the other installments!  

There is some mild language in the story, but nothing that breaks down the truth of the story.  I am more that happy to recommend this series to you!  

About the Author:

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Hardie Avenue Releases New Self-Titled Album Featuring Collaborations with Manafest and Pillar's Rob Beckley

(TULSA, Oklahoma) -- Christian pop/rock band Hardie Avenue released their new self-titled album today, available at and wherever digital music is sold. On Hardie Avenue, the band has collaborated with fellow hit makers Manafest and Pillar frontman Rob Beckley on the tracks “Dance with My Hero” and “Indestructible,” respectively. 

To celebrate the release, is hosting the world premiere of the band's new music video for the single, “Can’t Live Like This.” View it here:

Hardie Avenue is the follow up to the band’s well-received 2013 release, Party at the End of the World. The album earned strong reviews leading to an extended media tour and heavy airplay in many markets from coast to coast. 

The Tulsa-based-band formed in 2005, releasing a few independent projects before stepping into the national spotlight with their 2009 Tate Records release, “Beautiful Words.” In recent years, Yuriy Mayba (lead vocals/guitar), Dave Allie (bass/BGVs), Steve Allie (lead guitar) and Josh Harms (drums) have shared the stage with many of Christian music’s top acts, including Disciple, Hawk Nelson, Family Force 5, Jars of Clay, KJ-52, Sanctus Real, Fireflight, Manic Drive and many more. 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Dreaming on Daisies by Miralee Ferrell - REVIEWED

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Dreaming on Daisies
David C. Cook (October 1, 2014)
Miralee Ferrell

Miralee and her husband, Allen, live on 11 acres in Washington State. She loves to minister to women (as a certified Lay Counselor with the AACC) or through her writing, riding her horse, working in her flower beds and playing with her dogs—her 7 lb, long-haired Chihuahua, Lacey, spends a lot of time on her lap while Miralee is writing. Miralee speak at various women’s functions and has taught at writers’ conferences. She’s been writing since 2005, and her first book released in 2007. Since then, she’s had 10 more books release, both in women’s contemporary fiction and historical romance, and she’s had the honor of being a best-selling and award-winning author.


When her father's debts, brought on by heavy drinking, threaten Leah Carlson's family ranch, she fights to save it. When handsome banker Steven Harding must decline her loan request, he determines to do what he can to help. Just as he arrives to serve as a much-needed ranch hand, Leah's family secrets—and the pain of her past—come to a head. They could destroy everything she's fought for. And they could keep her from ever opening her heart again.

This is western historical romance that offers hope and healing to the deepest wounds in a woman's past.

My Thoughts:
And what if I’m part of God’s answer?”  (p. 97)

What a loaded question this turns out to be!!  I think Steven never imagined how many lives would be changed through his relationship with Leah.  Of course he had no idea, at the time he spoke those words, of all the pain the Leah and her family had already walked through.  And Leah had to learn the family behind Steven too. 

I think that is what surprised me about this novel – well, pleasantly surprised me – because all of the family ties that unfold, all of the generational ties, it made the relationship that grew between Leah and Steven so much deeper, so much more poignant!!  Trust was hard for both of them for a lot of reasons.  Relationship in general was difficult for both of them.  But I love the way Miralee Ferrell builds and connects all of the layers of relationship in the story!  It winds up being far more complex than I thought it would be, but that complexity represents a very present reality for a LOT of readers!  On so many levels!

Families aren’t perfect, and though love and loyalty exist, families also suffer addictions, betrayals and hardship along the way.  Ferrell weaves a very believable faith through some of the lives of her characters as she reveals the hard parts of their lives.  She does a beautiful job of showing how God woos them to His heart.

This is a very rich novel in many ways.  I almost turned it away as a review opportunity, because I wasn’t keen on a Western romance.  This is SO MUCH more!! I am happy to recommend this novel!

If you'd like to read the first chapter of Dreaming on Daisies, go HERE.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Debra Black Releases “You Go Before” Special Edition Lyric Video Featuring Studio Footage

NASHVILLE, Tennessee) -- Worship leader and singer-songwriter Debra Black has released a special edition lyric video for her worship song, “You Go Before,” featuring in-studio footage. The song is quickly becoming a fan favorite from her debut album, God In Every Season, which was released in August.

 “When my producer and co-writer Josh Williams and I sat down to write for this album, one of the anthems the Lord was singing over me was ‘trust me, I am good,’” says Black. “I started to think a lot about how I as a believer somehow have equated the Lord and His faithfulness, goodness and being able to trust Him down to mere man’s level. Thinking that for some reason He will fail me like so many. The lyrics in this song came alive through the literal walk I was walking.”

 As I walk, through the valley,
I will fear no more I will REST upon your promise,
forever and always You go before,
so I’ll trust you Lord

 Says Black, “I remembered that verse in Isaiah 52:12 that says, ‘But you will not leave in haste or go in flight; for the LORD will go before you, the God of Israel will be your rear guard.’"

 “Not only has He gone before us,” says Black, “but He is the lamp unto our feet, that when He asks us to take that next step, just the next one, we can take that step with Him being our light, we can approach the unknown with confidence because He is already there, we can step firmly on that next step because He is our Rock, the firm foundation. He will not let us slip or sink like shifting sands. He is Our God who will walk hand in hand as we walk through the fire, as we walk through the desert, or valley. He is Ever Present, God with us, Emmanuel.”

 For more of the story behind the song, visit:

 Since the release of God In Every Season, Black has kept busy with a broad outreach to churches and an impressive string of media appearances, including Cornerstone Television Network’s Real Life!, JUCE TV’s TOP3, Niteline, Friends and Neighbors, Atlanta Live, Good Morning Arkansas, WREG-TV Memphis’ Live at 9, The Marybeth Conley Show, Life Lessons Radio, Kingdom News, Christian Connections and more.

 Based in Atlanta, Black had already been singing and leading worship for more than a decade when she started working on her own music. She founded and pioneered Worship on the Square, a non-profit organization bringing the church body together in city centers to worship God and bring awareness to social causes. Unique, relatable, and possessed of unshakeable faith, Black inspires listeners to take refuge and find trust in God.

 Connect with Debra:

Friday, November 7, 2014


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (November 6, 2014) - "Christmas Revolution," the new holiday single from singer/songwriter Eva Kroon Pike, releases to Christian radio this week. The song, written by Pike and veteran Christian hit songwriter Don Koch, was serviced on Monday, November 3.
The new single, which was inspired by Pike's desire to refocus on the true meaning of Christmas, juxtaposes joyous, bouncy and encouraging lyrics against a military drum roll to create a unique take on the song's revolutionary theme. The martial musical underpinning forms a firm foundation for layer upon layer of shimmering pop instrumentation, and serves to heighten Pike's pristine vocals as she encourages listeners to "Start a Christmas revolution/ where a baby is a king/ where hope can conquer anything!"
"'Christmas Revolution' is by far one of my favorite songs we've written," says Pike. "We've allowed Christmas to become commercialized...the focus is on Santa and presents instead of the true meaning--our King came in the form of a tiny baby to conquer this world and give of himself sacrificially to save us from our sins! So many times we as Christians have sat back and allowed the world to take Christ out of Christmas...I think it's time to say 'enough is enough' and start a 'Christmas Revolution!'" 
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 is being serviced to Christian radio by A-Sides Radio Promotion.
"Eva's new single is not the typical Christmas song you hear," says Jeff McLaughlin, president of A-Sides Radio Promotion. "It's an original and an incredible radio song with a great is time to start a 'Christmas Revolution!'"

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." Pike believes 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 heart's desire 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 focuses on the theme of adoption in her song, "Grace That Chose Me," in which she sings, "If I'm anything close to what I'm meant to be, I owe it to the hands of Grace that chose me."

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Q&A with Bruce Malone Author of Brilliant: Made in the Image of God

1) What makes BRILLIANT: Made in the Image of God unique among other books about creation?
First, the topic is completely different than typical creation books.  Most books on creation deal with the scientific evidence supporting the reality that we have a designer.  Brilliant places creation in a real Biblical timeline of Earth history.  If the Bible were given the same respect and consideration as any other book, it would have to be acknowledged that it clearly states that the Earth (and all life upon the Earth) was formed approximately 6000 years ago, death entered into all of creation because of mankind’s rebellion against God shortly after that, the entire Earth experienced a globe restructuring flood approximately 4350 years ago, and every culture in the world arose subsequent to these real events of Earth history.  Brilliant takes the Bible seriously and every page contains an artifact from some ancient culture testifying to the reality of these true events of history.  Every article also includes a timeline central to the subject discussed upon that page - showing where ancient cultures and artifacts fit into a biblical viewpoint of history.

Second, every page of Brilliant is exquisitely illustrated to draw the reader into the topic of that page before going onto a new artifact or topic on the next page.  This book is the Christian version of Dorling Kindersley educational books but it makes the Bible central to its discussion of history and brings the biblical timeline alive to the reader. 

Third, if Christians are going to make the Bible credible to the world around us we have to start treating it as credible from the very beginning.  Re-establishing a biblical timeline of history is central to this and Brilliant does exactly this.  Cultures throughout the world are filled with mysteries which do not fit the pervasive evolutionary time-frame but make perfect sense if the Biblical timeline of history is understood.  Page after page confirms the credibility of the Bible’s timeline of history. 
2) Are there any new revelations or findings included in BRILLIANT? If so, please elaborate.

Every page is filled with revelations showing that the biblical timeline is correct and the millions-of-years evolutionary time-frame could not possibly be true. For instance:

  • Soft, non-decayed dinosaur tissue has been documented inside of numerous dinosaur bones.  This is absolutely impossible if these bones are millions of years old but perfectly fits the burial of dinosaurs 4350 years ago during Noah’s flood.  Yet professors showing this information to students have been fired.  Other pages display ancient burial stones from Peru revealing drawings of dinosaurs and ancient medical technology – both testifying to mankind’s brilliance and recent creation.
  • The Ice Age was a direct consequence of the global flood.  This is carefully explained and documented throughout the book.  Following the flood, mankind was traveling the world looking for places to settle and seeking new sources of raw materials.  One article documents an ancient map showing the coastline of Antarctica BEFORE it was covered by ice of the Ice Age. Modern textbooks place the start of the Ice Age starting 200,000 years ago - making this map impossibility.  The Bible would place the Ice Age after the flood - meaning the existence of this map confirms biblical reality because people after the flood would have been exploring Antarctica before it was covered with ice and documented what they found. 

  • Carbon-14 levels would have radically shifted following the flood and the implications of this are explained so that readers clearly understand why this method of dating cultures gives erroneous dates and has mislead people as to the true age of ancient artifacts.

  • Neanderthal and Cro-Magnon man were simply races of people living in a harsh Ice Age environment immediately after the flood.  They were actually highly intelligent human beings who developed chemical glue compounds which even modern researchers have struggled to reproduce, and artwork few today could duplicate.  There were obviously as intelligent and creative as modern man.

  • Ancient Chinese artifacts document events from the Garden of Eden in both the written symbols of their language and ancient bronze sculptures.

  • Pyramid structures build by ancient civilizations have been documented from around the world and had to have been produced simultaneous with the Egyptian pyramids.  Even today it is debated how these ancient cultures could have developed such advance technology so early in human history.  Brilliant shows how this knowledge came from a source which predates the flood of Noah (i.e. knowledge from brilliant people living before the flood would have come through the flood with Noah) and shows how multiple civilizations containing millions of people would have rapidly developed within 4-5 centuries of the flood.

In general, Christians are woefully ignorant of how to fit the Ice Age, ape-men, archeological discoveries, continental plate tectonics, and/or ancient Chinese/Egyptian/Peruvian/and other cultures fit into a real biblical timeline.  Brilliant shows how all these things not only logically fit a Biblical perspective but confirm its accuracy while contradicting the evolutionary perspective.

 3) What do you say to Christians who accept a hybrid belief of Creationism and Darwinism?
If you do not treat the Bible like it actually means what it says at the very beginning, when do you start deciding it means what it actually says?  If a book starts by saying that a foundation concept is “The sky is green”, how credible do you think the rest of the book will be?  If Christians do not accept the absolutely crystal clear statements of God’s Word about creatures reproducing after their own kind (repeated 10 times in Genesis 1), death existing because of mankind’s actions (Genesis 3), a real worldwide flood (Genesis 5-9), and the creation of the universe and everything in it in 6 literal days (Genesis 1 and Exodus 20:11) then how can they say they take God’s word seriously?  They are, in essence, saying the Bible cannot be trusted when it speaks on subjects dealing with biology, geology, ancient history, cosmology, or the age of creation.  If Christians treat God’s Word with such disregard, is it any wonder our culture is increasingly treating the entire Bible as irrelevant?  

Furthermore, all of this is absolutely unnecessary because evolution simple does not work to explain the origin of time/space /matter, the formation of life, the existence of the DNA code, the development of stars, or the transformation of one type of animal to a completely different type.  So why believe what these same intellectuals say about the age of things?  Blending creation with Darwinism is no different than blending atheism with Christianity.  It simply does not work and it is pure foolishness to pretend otherwise.  Romans 1:19-23 states that everyone is without excuse for belief in God because we can know God exists simply by observing what He has made (i.e., creation).  Yet if Darwinian molecules-to-man evolution is true, there can be no evidence for God’s existence from examining creation because everything in creation is explained by natural processes.  Our books are filled with page after page of examples of why Darwinian evolution is simply not true.   

4) Are there any key scientific or archaeological facts that all Christians should be aware of to support the biblical account of Creation?
Brilliant and Censored Science are books about the scientific and archeological evidence supporting the reality that biblical creation is true and they form a powerful “one-two” punch to answer this exact question.   

Censored Science shows the evidence for each major scientific discipline (first third - biological science, second third – earth science, last third – physics/cosmology) in a non-technical, easy to understand way.  Briefly – the laws of science reveal that evolution is impossible.  Matter cannot create itself…DNA is coded information and information cannot write itself…life only comes from pre-existing life and every experiment ever done testifies to this…there is not one missing link but systematic gaps between every  different kind of body structure…gas always expands outward –never packs tighter together so stars could never form themselves – and no one has ever seen a new star form.  Brilliant documents these and dozens of other examples of how we can know creation has a Creator and did not make itself. 
Brilliant shows that the literal timeline of the Bible is absolutely correct and that mankind has been brilliant and creative from the beginning of creation.  Had we come from apes there should be an extended period of slow development of technology, language, civilizations, and knowledge.  Yet there is not.  The “god’s” of ancient Greece have amazing parallels to the actual patriarchs of mankind – showing that even Greek mythology was based on a knowledge of early humanity; every culture in the world has a remembrance in the form of a story concerning the worldwide flood; an ancient worship center has been found at the very base of Mt. Ararat and worship was Noah’s first act after disembarking from the ark; ancient Egyptians and Chinese both have artifacts showing they understood the use of metalwork and this was listed as something mankind invented within four generations of Adam – yet these ancient cultures were supposedly still stuck in the “Stone Age” where no knowledge of metalworking should exist; working batteries have been found made from clay pots in ancient Babylon; examples of typesetting have been found in Greece - 2000 years before the process was “discovered” by Guttenberg.  Every two-page article and illustration in Brilliantbrings to life a different example of the biblical brilliance and creativity of mankind – because mankind was literally made “in the image of God”. 

5) When did you start Search for the Truth publishing and what motivated you to form the company?
The goal of Search for the Truth Publications is to “awaken hearts and minds to biblical truth”.  The Bible has become totally discredited in our culture because for the last 100 years Christians have largely quit explaining why it was trustworthy from the very beginning.  They thought if we just concentrated on Jesus and spiritual stuff, nothing else really mattered.  Yet Jesus never separated Scriptural statements about history from spiritual subjects.  As a matter of fact in John 3:12 he stated, “If you do not believe me when I talk of worldly things, how will you believe me when I speak of spiritual things.”  Search for the Truth exists to reconnect history and science with the Bible.  All of our creation books conquer complex technical subjects with short, two-page summaries including accompanying photos.  They are not long boring technical books seeking to turn people into science experts, but rather, they are interesting, relevant, extensively-illustrated books. These books show that modern science excludes the biblical viewpoint so it is misinterpreting the evidence from the world around us. We also make multiple copies of our materials available at extremely low cost so they are easy to share with others.  For instance, both of our full color coffee-table quality sewn hardcovers are available for only $6.00 per copy when purchased 10 at a time in any combination with any of our books.

6) List some of the company's significant accomplishments.

We have published 12 different titles from six authors along with video presentations.  Search for the Truth Publications currently has almost 200,000 copies in circulation – primarily creation related - but also materials dealing with sexual purity, escape from the addiction to pornography, a study guide for Christian living aimed at teenage girls, and a Christian adventure series for youth.   

My background is in scientific research. I worked as a research leader for Dow Chemical for 27 years and have 17 patents.  Now, I lecture frequently on the subject of creation and biblical history, and have spoken over 600 times in 12 countries. We have given away over 50,000 books to students and prisoners – every student who attends one of our lectures always receives the free resource of one of our books. 

7) Talk about your fiction series and why you added that genre to your catalog.

Our youth need quality Christ-affirming materials in all venues. But let’s face it, typical Christian literature is all too often preachy and poorly written.  The Freelandia adventure series is the Christian alternative to the Harry Potter and vampire fascination which has swept through the youth culture.  I published this series because it is simply a phenomenally well-told story which keeps you wanting to know what is going to happen next. You fall in love with the fascinating principle characters (a young orphan with phenomenal musical talent, an ancient warrior in charge of a tiny nations hopelessly outnumber defenses, and a young man gifted with the ability to discern the outcome of current actions of future events).  This Christian adventure trilogy is the epitome of a fast-paced page-turner yet the heroes truly desire to trust God in the midst of hopeless situations.  A central theme woven throughout the books is the effect of a supernaturally, musically-gifted person to lift people beyond the natural concerns of life with her music.  The results change individuals and entire nations in the process.  Quoting the music director of a major church, “I have never read a more exciting Christian adventure portraying the power of worship to transform the lives of individuals (and entire nations) as it central theme.  Once started, I couldn’t put it down!  I highly recommend this book to anyone from 8 to 108.”  
8) What future plans do you have for book acquisitions/ideas?

Our most popular books are creation related.  We have two books (A Closer Look at the Evidence and Inspired Evidence) which are laid out in devotional format - with a short interesting evidence for the reality of biblical creation on each page - from 26 different areas of science and knowledge.  Over  80,000 of these books are in circulation and our next publication will complete this series as a trilogy of creation devotional evidences.  As a set, these books will document over 1000 different examples of why we can trust God’s Word to mean what it says.

Our full color hardcovers have shown why the Bible is scientifically accurate (Censored Science) and why the timeline of the Biblical is absolutely historically accurate (Brilliant: Made in the image of God).  I am just starting a third full color hardcover which deals with another aspect of how mankind has been made in the image of God – we have been given the freedom of choice.  This is the opposite of what evolution implies.  If evolution is true then mankind is simply the product of chemical processes.  Ultimately life has no meaning and we are just complex chemicals doing what chemical randomly came together to do.  Thus in a broad philosophical sense, we ultimately have no choice nor are we ultimately responsible for our choices. 
By being made in the image of God and given the freedom to accept or reject God, we were also created with a brain which is capable of rejecting or accepting the truth.  Once we trade the truth for a lie we can reach the point where we fail to see the obvious truth even when it is right in front of our face.  I plan to document examples through history of how rejection of the truth and departure from obvious biblical principles has blinded people and cultures to reality and has caused enormous and tragic damage.  Our current age is being blinded by an acceptance of evolutionary principles and its accompanying timescale.  This is the foundation battle raging within our culture.  All other symptoms of our decaying morality (abortion, homosexuality, increasing crime, suicides, etc…) can be traced to the rejection of God’s Word as a basis for meaning and morality - and this rejection of God’s Word can be traced to the rejection of creation and the early parts of the Bible.