Friday, September 29, 2017

Liar's Winter by Cindy K. Sproles - REVIEWED

About the Book:
Lochiel Ogle was born with a red-wine birthmark--and it put her life in jeopardy from the moment she entered the world. Mountain folks called it "the mark of the devil," and for all the evil that has plagued her nineteen-year existence, Lochiel is ready to believe that is true. And the evil surely took control of the mind of the boy who stole her as an infant, bringing her home for his mother to raise.

Abused and abandoned by the only people she knows as family, Lochiel is rescued by a peddler and given the first glimpse of love she has ever known. The truth of her past is gradually revealed as is the fact that she is still hunted by a brother driven to see her dead. Unsure if there's anyone she can truly trust, Lochiel is faced with a series of choices: Will she continue to run for escape or will she face her past and accept the heartbreaking secrets it reveals? Which will truly free her?

Set in the wild and beautiful Appalachian Mountains of nineteenth-century East Tennessee, Liar's Winter is an unflinching yet inspirational exploration of prejudice and choice.

My Thoughts:

Kindness is from the soul.  It’s gived ‘cause it can’t help but be gived.”  (p.50)

Lochiel Ogle couldn’t begin to comprehend the life giving truth of these words when she heard them.  Lochiel is what I consider a tragic character, suffering innocently at the hands of desperate, ignorant people.  Her story is told with powerful, beautiful prose, and the process of transformation unfolds in unexpected and unusual ways in the hills of Tennessee.  This story is one that spans a couple of decades in a family’s history, and, as truth is revealed, the reader’s heart is painfully stretched to choose kindness.

I love a book that compels me to highlight and underline passages just so I can return to the words and savor their beauty.  Cindy Sproles tells such a story, and, through her prose, she creates characters that come to vivid life and cause you to laugh and weep right along with them as they experience their story.  Sproles really illustrates grace, time and time again, as her characters strive to find freedom and truth  as they are relentlessly pursued by an evil that seems to know no bounds.  I’ll be honest, there are characters in this book that I could not muster an ounce of kindness for. 

This book is filled with the truth of the gospel told and expressed through the lives of these characters and their circumstances.  I believe this is why this novel is so incredibly powerful.  I also love the way Sproles illustrated the living power of God’s Word and its transformational influence on the hearts of all who receive it! This book is SO RICH!!!  I can’t recommend it highly enough!!

About the Author:
Cindy K. Sproles is the author of devotions published in newspapers across the country and a teacher at Christian writers conferences. She spent her formative years showing off her beloved Appalachian Mountains to others, and she and her family still live in the mountains of East Tennessee. Visit Cindy at

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

These Healing Hills by Ann H Gabhart - REVEIWED

About the Book:
Francine Howard has her life all mapped out--until the man she loves announces his plans to bring home an English bride from war-torn Europe in 1945. Devastated, Francine seeks a fresh start in the Appalachian Mountains, training to be a nurse midwife for the Frontier Nursing Service.

Deeply affected by the horrors he witnessed at war, Ben Locke has never thought further ahead than making it home to Kentucky. His future shrouded in as much mist as his beloved mountains, he's at a loss when it comes to envisioning what's next for his life.

When Francine's and Ben's paths intersect, it's immediately clear that they are from different worlds and value different things. But love has a way of healing old wounds . . . and revealing tantalizing new possibilities.

My Thoughts:
Perhaps the Lord had put her right where she was supposed to be.”  (p. 59)

Ann Gabhart inserted a prophetic word over Francine Howard’s life early in her latest novel, These Healing Hills.  I was totally drawn into this novel from the very first pages.  Francine (Fran to the other characters in the novel) followed her heart into the midwifery calling, but discovered the truth of God’s Word when God worked things out for her good and His glory. 

We are able to watch Fran fall in love with her calling, and then with the people of Kentucky – Ben  Locke in particular.  I was so excited to learn all about the Frontier Nursing and that it was indeed founded in the 1920’s, and can STILL be chosen as an education option today!! (isn’t Google fun!)  Anyway, Fran finds herself in the hills of Kentucky at the end of WWII, and while she is following her own dreams of a nursing career in midwifery, she is also making a fresh start for herself after being jilted by the man she thought she would marry at the end of the war.

This book is so well-written that the characters leap from the pages into your heart!!  Granny Em and Willie will win you over quickly, as will the rest of the nurses!  And I can’t forget Sarge!  You’ll get to know and love him too!  The community is so connected and vibrant, you will find yourself totally immersed in story and having a hard time finding a stopping point!  Enjoy the journey, readers!! I certainly did!  You don’t want to miss this!!

About the Author:
Ann H. Gabhart is the bestselling author of several Shaker novels--The Outsider, The Believer, The Seeker, The Blessed, and The Gifted--as well as Angel Sister, Small Town Girl, Love Comes Home, Words Spoken True, and The Heart of Hollyhill series. She lives with her husband a mile from where she was born in rural Kentucky. Learn more at

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

The Assault by Bill Myers, Frank Peretti, Angela Hunt and Alton Gansky - REVIEWED

About the Book:
As Darkness Threatens, Four Gifted People Will Give the World Its Best--And Maybe Only--Chance to Survive. This is Harbingers.

In Invitation, four beloved and bestselling suspense authors introduced supernaturally gifted characters on a race to stem the tide of growing evil. Now Bill Myers, Frank Peretti, Angela Hunt, and Alton Gansky return with the next cycle of fast-paced and riveting tales.

In Bill Myers's "The Revealing" the team finds themselves in Rome trying to retrieve the mystical spear Hitler once stole. The task will take them from hidden chambers inside the Vatican to a mysterious seaside cave with unexpected and dangerous powers.

Frank Peretti's "Infestation" tells of a microscopic plague unleashed on the world that deceives, blinds, kills, then spreads and kills again. The Harbingers team must confront this faceless evil bent on seducing and destroying humankind.

In "Infiltration" by Angela Hunt, a seaside respite intended to buy time for the wounded team turns deadly when misplaced trust leads the Harbingers into dangerous waters.

Alton Gansky's "The Fog" reveals a supernatural mist unlike any other, filled with vicious monsters that kill whatever they find. When one team member realizes the only way to stop the fog is to enter it, the ultimate sacrifice must be made.

My Thoughts:
The Assault – WOW!  How to you begin to tell others about a book, written by four of the best writers in the genre of supernatural thrillers?  This was a book I literally could NOT put down!  I didn’t have the time to read, I could barely stay ahead of all that was going on in life, but I carved out time for a few pages of this book every single day until I had finished every word!

I think was really appealed to me most was that each author told the story from a different character’s perspective.  The story continues at break-neck speed from first page to last, and there are many, many times you think that the characters won’t survive until the next page – and they almost don’t!    So all of the characters you came to love in the first book of the Harbinger series.

I want to tell you some things, but I dare not spoil the thrill of the ride!  Just trust me when I tell you that you will encounter things that will bend your mind like a pretzel!  Just remain pliable!  It is SO WORTH the ride!!  The gifts that the characters discovered in the first book, they polish in these stories.  Like all believers, they must learn to trust God to move when He wants to and not when they want to.  This was one of many truths that this book showcased that kept the pages turning! 

I cannot begin to recommend this series highly enough!  I would suggest reading them in order so you will be able to fully appreciate all of the subtle nuances of these incredible stories!

About the Authors:

Bill Myers is a youth worker, creative writer, and film director who co-created the "McGee and Me!" book and video series; his work has received over forty national and international awards. His many books include Hot Topics, Tough Questions, and The Dark Side of the Supernatural.

Frank E. Peretti is one of American Christianity's best-known authors. His novels, including This Present Darkness, have sold more than 10 million copies. He makes his home in Idaho. Learn more at

The author of more than 100 published books and with nearly 5 million copies of her books sold worldwide, Angela Hunt is the New York Timesbestselling author of The Note, The Nativity Story, and Esther: Royal Beauty. Romantic Times Book Club presented Angela with a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006. In 2008, Angela completed her PhD in Biblical Studies in Theology. She and her husband live in Florida with their mastiffs. She can be found online at

Alton Gansky is the author of twenty-four novels and eight nonfiction books. He is a Carol Award winner and an Angel Award winner, and has been a Christy Award finalist. He holds a BA and an MA in biblical studies and has been awarded a Doctor of Literature degree. Director of the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference, Gansky also serves as an editor and collaborative writer for top tier authors. He lives in California.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Mercy Triumphs by Jana Kelley - REVEIWED

About the Book:
Three women. Three impossible circumstances. One merciful God.

Mia, an American Christian, has lived in Sudan so long that persecution, harassment, and danger have become commonplace for her. Her tough outer shell threatens to harden her heart while her newly Christian friends, Halimah and Rania, former Muslims, are forced to live in exile outside Sudan. All three quickly discover that escaping danger in one place only means facing even greater challenges elsewhere. As God's mercy becomes evident in their lives, they must choose whether or not to offer mercy to those who don't deserve it.

Third in a trilogy, Mercy Triumphs opens the reader's eyes to modern-day persecution and the life of Muslims in Sudan. Based on real-life events, Mercy Triumphs reveals some of the struggles Christians face when living under Islamic law. The reader will be inspired to pray for new believers, those who are persecuted for their faith, and even for the salvation of the persecutors.

Purchase you copy HERE!

My Thoughts:
What made me come back?......The opportunity to serve others and not myself.”  (p. 115)

I think Mercy Triumphs may be one of the most powerful and convicting books I’ve read in a very long time.  I’ve read the other books in this series, but this third book in the trilogy captures the essence of what mission work looks like on a daily and very sacrificial basis.  To be a witness for Christ in a Muslim country is to know that when God does bring salvation to someone’s heart, it comes with an immediate and very costly sacrifice. 

This novel explores the cost of faith in Christ both from the Muslim and Christian perspective.  The Muslim characters who have been transformed by Christ basically lose everything they have ever known.   The Christian missionaries deal with the daily challenge of sharing Christ within the context of the Muslim culture and balancing that with helping those who do believe survive the cost of their belief.

This book is very, very well written!  The characters just come alive in your heart, and you will weep and rejoice with them as they travel their journey.  You will explore the true meaning and cost of freedom, and you will examine your own heart as is relates to how and where you are willing to share Christ with others.

Please, read this book.  It will change your life and transform your heart!

About the Author:
Author of the captivating novel "Side by Side," Jana Kelley is a Texan who hardly ever lives in Texas. Raised in Southeast Asia, Jana developed a love for cross-cultural living early in life. Her love for writing came soon after. Jana returned to Texas to attend East Texas Baptist University. She and her husband married a month after she graduated, and by their second anniversary, they were living in a remote African town. After 13 years living in Africa and the Middle East, Jana, her husband, and their three boys moved to Southeast Asia where they currently live.
Find out more about Jana at

Thursday, September 14, 2017



LOS ANGELES, Calif. – The inspiring feature, “The Heart of Man,” comes to cinemas nationwide today, Thursday, Sept. 14 at 7:00 p.m. local time. The highly-anticipated docudrama is presented as a special one-night event by Sypher Studios, in partnership with Fathom Events. Immediately following the feature presentation, cinema audiences will benefit from an exclusive roundtable conversation showcasing national thought-leaders such as Pastor Chad Veach and best-selling author of “The Shack” William Paul Young, among  others.

“’The Heart of Man’ is a story inviting the sons and daughters of God to leave behind our broken, moralistic and religious way of thinking and relating to God and to others,” saysJason Pamer, filmmaker and executive producer of Sypher Studios. “Once we begin to know who God is (and as a result who we are), we have something to invite the world into. We can experience freedom from performance; freedom from managing our behavior so we appear acceptable to God; and freedom from our addictions, compulsive behaviors, secrecy and double lives.”

Uniquely produced combining a blend of narrative and documentary elements, “The Heart of Man” is a timeless, deconstructed re-telling of the ancient prodigal son story.  Featuring subjects of brokenness, identity and grace, the project brings people together for a night to understand they are not alone and that they can re-connect with God, their faith, family and one another. In the retelling of this famous parable, audiences will encounter powerful true stories that bridge back to God, interwoven throughout with interviews featuring author William Paul Young (“The Shack”), author Dr. Dan Allender (“The Wounded Heart”) and spoken word artist Jackie Hill Perry, among others.

“My hope is that this project tears the veil of confusion over the church's current identity crisis and enables it to invite the rest of the world to the banquet that God is throwing for all of us,” adds Pamer.

Shot on location in Hawaii, which provides both the emotional and cinematic backdrop for story, “The Heart of Man” is produced by Jason Pamer and Jens Jacob, directed by Eric Esau and executive produced by Brian Bird (“Captive,” “The Case for Christ, “When Calls the Heart”).  Tony Anderson serves as composer for the project’s powerful musical score.

“’The Heart of Man’ is a unique partnership for us in the faith category,” said Fathom Events CEO John Rubey. “This event can help open up dialogue for those who may have struggled with these topics in their communities, as well as unite them nationwide to be part of something greater.”

The team at Sypher Studios is thrilled to join forces with Fathom Events as they present an exclusive, one-night experience for ‘The Heart of Man,’” adds Pamer.  “This is the most critical window for a film's life and we have absolute confidence in the value and excellence that Fathom brings to deliver a moving experience for all audiences on the big screen."

Tickets for “The Heart of Man” can be purchased online by visiting and or at participating theater box offices. Fans throughout the U.S. will be able to enjoy the event in nearly 500 select movie theaters through Fathom’s Digital Broadcast Network (DBN). For a complete list of theater locations visit the Fathom Events website (theaters and participants are subject to change).

For more information, please visit:

Twitter: @heartofmanmovie
Instagram: @heartofmanmovie

About Fathom Events
Fathom Events is recognized as the leading domestic distributor of event cinema with participating affiliate theaters in all 100 of the top Designated Market Areas®, and ranks as one of the largest overall distributors of content to movie theaters. Owned by AMC Entertainment Inc. (NYSE: AMC), Cinemark Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: CNK) and Regal Entertainment Group (NYSE: RGC) (known collectively as AC JV, LLC), Fathom Events offers a variety of one-of-a-kind entertainment events such as live, high-definition performances of the Metropolitan Opera, dance and theatre productions like the Bolshoi Ballet and National Theatre Live, sporting events like Copa America Centenario, concerts with artists like Michael Bublé, Rush and Mötley Crüe, the yearlong TCM Big Screen Classics film series and inspirational events such as To Joey With Love and Kirk Cameron’s Revive US. Fathom Events takes audiences behind the scenes and offers unique extras including audience Q&A's, backstage footage and interviews with cast and crew, creating the ultimate VIP experience. Fathom Events’ live digital broadcast network (“DBN”) is the largest cinema broadcast network in North America, bringing live and pre-recorded events to 896 locations and 1,383 screens in 181 DMAs. For more information, visit

About Sypher Studios
Sypher Studios is a feature length production company handling everything from script development and acquisition through marketing and distribution. Formed when producers Jason Pamer and Jens Jacob decided to forge their powers, visions and resources together, the company is committed to tell real, authentic and gritty human stories through film.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

The Return by Suzanne Woods Fisher - REVIEWED

About the Book:

In a wild country, the true cost of love may be more than they can bear

Beautiful and winsome, Betsy Zook never questioned her family's rigid expectations, nor those of devoted Hans--but then she never had to. Not until the night she's taken captive in a surprise Indian raid. Facing brutality and hardship, Betsy finds herself torn between her pious upbringing and the feelings she's developing for a native man who encourages her to see God in all circumstances. 

Greatly anguished by Betsy's captivity, Hans turns to Tessa Bauer for comfort. She responds eagerly, overlooking troubling signs of Hans's hunger for revenge. But if Betsy is ever restored to the Amish, will things between Hans and Tessa have gone too far? 

Inspired by true events, this deeply layered novel gives a glimpse into the tumultuous days of prerevolutionary Pennsylvania through the eyes of two young, determined, and faith-filled women.

My Thoughts:

The same sun that hardens the clay melts the ice. “  (p. 103)

This sentence is the essence of a major turning point in Suzanne Wood Fisher’s final installment of her Amish Beginnings series, The Return. This novel is based on some of the harshest realities of frontier America.  It was, in fact hinged on the practice that Indians had of kidnapping a white settler and offering them as tribute for a lost member of their tribe.  In this instance, an Amish community, pacifist by teaching and choice are the target of an Indian raid that both kills and kidnaps members of their community.  The conflict that arises between members of their community and among members of the Indian tribe are both troubling and universal in scope.

I was hooked from the first pages. Fisher creates such well-developed characters that any reader is quick to welcome them to their heart.  This novel evoked a lot of emotion, both positive and negative, and kept me completely immersed in the story the entire novel.  There were characters I got frustrated with, characters I admired, and characters I grew to dislike intensely!  

The character, Betsy Zook, will not soon be forgotten!  She is the strongest, bravest young woman I’ve encountered in fiction for quite some time!  There are situations unique but common to any Amish novel that I expected to encounter, but the way Fisher handled Betsy’s faith coming so harshly up against the Indian’s faith was masterful!  It made me consider again how important and difficult it is to love others as Christ did.

I can’t recommend this book highly enough!  I look forward to reading her next novel!

About the Author:

Suzanne Woods Fisher is an award-winning, bestselling author of more than two dozen novels, including Anna's Crossing and The Newcomer in the Amish Beginnings series, The Bishop's Family series, and The Inn at Eagle Hill series, as well as nonfiction books about the Amish, including Amish Peace and The Heart of the Amish. She lives in California. Learn more at and follow Suzanne on Twitter @suzannewfisher.