The Best People In The World!

Monday, May 29, 2017

Dog Company



What does it take to hold a prisoner in a war?

You just might be surprised at the politics involved that most American's know absolutely nothing about, and if they did, I believe most would be as outraged as I am. It seems like America has to always come out like the good guy during the war and thus our treatment of those who are killing our own troops get treated better than our own soldiers do, even in the face of overwhelming evidence that would easily convict them in our own courts of law. Yet with regard to war time policies, most of this terrorists are allowed to walk free and even have our government provide them with money to leave. Doesn't this just make your blood boil?

In the book, Dog Company by Lynn Vincent and Captain Roger Hill, it highlights one particular event that happened in which American soldiers were abandoned by their high command, meaning anyone higher up the command chain. "In this case the Pentagon does not want you to read about its catch-and-release detention system that allows the same enemy fighters to ambush, bomb, and shoot at America's sons and daughters over and over again. They don't want you to read about the unworkable rules of engagement that ties our troops hands behind their back while sending them to fight against an enemy that has no such rules. They don't want you to read about a system in which young soldiers are court-martialed, kick out of the service, or even imprisoned, while enemy spies who kill Americans are set free.

Dog Company tells the story of one Army unit's tragic experience with all those evils. But Dog Company, a unit of the famed 101st Airborne, is not alone. Her story is being replayed again and again in a lawyered-up war in which, the enemy leverages our rules of engagement by blending into the local population while our warriors, operating in a combat environment, are held not to just the laws of armed conflict but to unprecedented standards of criminal law. Senior civilian and uniformed leaders allow our soldiers and Marines to be tried and convicted for war crimes when, in bygone eras, their actions, motivated by the desire to protect their mates, would have been viewed as collateral damage in the fog of war. " (Author's Note).

I received Dog Company by Lynn Vincent and Captain Roger Hill compliments of Center Street Publishing, a division of Hachette Book Groups. This is such an eye opening book that really conveys to readers the politics that interfere with our soldiers ability to do their jobs. We know that our enemies don't play by the same standards of warfare that we do and they know what we can and can't do to them, so they simply play our own rules against us and further cost American soldiers more lives lost in an effort to combat terrorism. I was immediately drawn into their story that is conveyed in this book and even includes the blacked out redactions that our government executed in an attempt to keep this from being published. The authors left it in so they could share the book as it was intended to be written so you will see pages of the book with black out phrases or paragraphs the government didn't want shared to the reader. This is such an intense but honest look at what is happening behind the battle lines that the media and most American's don't see but need to understand what is happening everytime our soldiers go out each day to deal with terrorist threats or simply doing their job while being deployed in hostile areas. Well deserving of 5 out of 5 stars and perfect for a Memorial Day read! This book does more than simply talk about the lives of those affect and lost, but gives readers more information about what is really happening to our American troops!

For more information about Dog Company, Lynn Vincent and Captain Roger Hill, or where you can pick up a copy of this book today, please click on the links below:

Dog Company: A True Story of American Soldiers Abandoned By Their High Command by Lynn Vincent and Captain Roger Hill

You can find Dog Company on Facebook to learn more about those featured in this powerful book.

You can find Captain Roger Hill on Facebook to learn more about him and his combat teams!

You can find Lynn Vincent on Facebook to stay up to date on all her latest books.

To read more reviews on Dog Company, please visit Center Street Publishing's website.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Goodnight From London



"I don't think I could describe it if I hadn't lived through it. It's as simple as that. The fear of the bombs is real enough, and if there's a man or woman in London who isn't scared ruing the raids I'd like to borrow some of their courage. It's their good humor that surprises me. How this city can paste a smile on its collective face and still get to work more or less on time, still get the jobs done that need doing, and apart from a wobbly moment here or there, still find things to joke and sing and laugh about, I haven't yet figured out. When I do I'll let you know..." ~ Dispatches from London by Miss Ruby Sutton, September 31, 1940."

To work abroad covering the results of the war in London is a dream come true for Ruby Sutton, a news correspondent for the American, a paper in the states. Now she will take her love of bringing readers right into the action while working for Picture Weekly as a staff writer along with sending back her stories for her own column with the American. It would be the job opportunity of a life time and with no family back home to miss her, she was the right person for the job. Now it would be time to let readers back in America what was happening as Hitler continued to barrage London in nighttime attacks known as the Blitz. Sharing with readers what it felt like made her stories sensational, desired and desperately read as well as selling quite a bit of papers in both places. Only the last thing she ever expected to face was losing those things closest to her.

Like most of victims of the war, she too, will be faced with the greatest challenge. As an orphan, she gave up hope long ago as well as forming any close relationships with men or women. It was the very reason she was sent to London, she had no ties at home. Now working with Mary, her photographer assigned to her, they will have to face the worst things war had to offer. Seeing places that have been leveled when the day before they might have walked the very street that had faced being bombed. It is the very reason that her articles resonated with readers. Even though they didn't have to face the things Ruby saw, they felt as if they were right there with her. It doesn't hurt that she has Captain Bennett to show her around when she gets to London and offers to contact her whenever he is in town. Yet just when it seems like Ruby is about to get a second chance at life, the war will remind her that nothing is guaranteed and tomorrow is just an illusion.

I received Goodnight From London by Jennifer Robson compliments of William Morrow, a division of Harper Collins Publishers. I absolutely love the little tidbits that close some of the chapters, bits and pieces of the wonderful articles that Ruby writes as well as some real life examples of woman reporters covering the war across the pond. It's that basis for historical facts that make novels like this one worth reading. It's so much better than history books, even though there is much fabricated to make readers connect with the characters, but I truly love Ruby's sense of adventure and responsibility to do what very few women were able to do. Take readers into the heart of what she was seeing, from sitting in a shelter while bombs were being dropped or simply interviewing those who had lost everything. I'd give this novel a 4.5 out of 5 stars and can't wait to read more from her in the future.

For more information about Goodnight From London, Jennifer Robson or where you can pick up a copy of this novel today, please click on the links below:


You can find Jennifer Robson on Facebook to stay up to date on all her latest novels.

To read more reviews on Goodnight From London, please visit William Morrow's website. 


Wednesday, May 24, 2017

The Marriage Bureau



Who would have thought that two women who simply didn't want to get married themselves would find a way to eke out living just before World War II? Heather Jenner and Mary Oliver both had everything to offer a man who was searching for a wife, both good looks, education and a willing heart for romance, only both of them wanted nothing to do with finding suitable matches for their own hearts, but felt they could match up their friends and family with men they knew overseas that were looking for love, but because of the short duration of their military leaves, didn't have much time to get to know someone before they were shipped back. So an idea was formed to create a perfect place to help love find the right match.

The Marriage Bureau began in a small office in England and they would charge either parties a small fee to find them a suitable partner. While they couldn't guarantee a marriage, they would interview each potential client and find out what they were looking for in a suitable spouse. Then they would send correspondence to both parties to see if they wanted to write one another and decide if a date might be in order. Those that didn't work out, would simply be sifted back into the pile for other possible matches. Along the lines there were plenty of difficult clients to try and find suitable matches for as well as those that were the basis for their business, to find them someone to marry. Often times in as little as 4 days for dating and on the 5th day, marriage. Clients that found their suitable partner were required to pay a Marriage Fee.

It was quite the lucrative business just before the war began, and once the war did, the girls had to get creative in how to keep their business afloat or risk being forced to give it all up. But what the war did was inspire many men to get married quickly so they would have someone to come home to or at least write to during the time they were deployed. From the wealthy elite, to those who were the poorest of the poor, matches were found. Even in the midst of the war, the girls used their skills to turn in clients that might be using their service as spies for the enemy under the guise of looking for love. This is where services like Match.com or eHarmony got their humble beginnings.

I received The Marriage Bureau by Penrose Halson compliments of William Morrow, a division of Harper Collins Publishers. This is the true story compiled by hours of research garnered by Penrose using newspaper articles, advertisements, film, photographs, letters and books to bring this book to life. From war veterans and widows, to debutantes and shopgirls, each was looking for love and the promise of a future with someone suited just for them. This was the birth of matchmaking based on the true stories of the two women who made it all possible for love to be found in the midst of war in an unforgettable story and most unusual business. I absolutely LOVE the section at the conclusion of the book that shows what women and men's requirements were to become a client in addition to the interview comments from 1939 to 1940. There is even a discussion guide that would make this a perfect book club selection. I give this a 4 out of 5 stars and gives us a look at history we never knew existed before.

For more information about The Marriage Bureau, Penrose Halson or where you can pick up a copy of this book today, please click on the links below:


You can find Penrose Halson on Facebook to stay up to date with all her latest books.

To read more reviews on The Marriage Bureau, please visit William Morrow's website. 


Monday, May 22, 2017

Come Fly With Me



"Because that's what you do - fly into town, entertain your whims, and poof, you're off again on an adventure, leaving people to clean up your messes."

Those were the exact words that Luanne Palmer used to describe, Roy Bennett, a journalist and professional aeronaunt who found himself grounded and staying with her brother Geddes, who also piloted hot air balloons. Now waiting the next Hot Air Balloon Race in Helena, Montana, he never expected to find himself falling for Luanne, a schoolteacher at the Central Secondary School. She had signed a contact committing herself for the next year to be above reproach in all she does as one of the teachers. If she so much as tarnish her reputation in any way, it will be the end of her teaching career. So she must do what she can to persuade Mr. Bennett, that she is immune to all his charms. Now if only she could make herself believe it, it might come across as convincing.

Only she is faced with severe opposition as her family is convinced that she needs rescuing and Mr. Bennett is just the man for the job. Spending most of his life, traveling the world and writing about it to further his own travels, he isn't ready to give up his career to stay in Helena, Montana. He has many more travels planned along with a promising journalism career for one of the larger publications companies. Yet despite all his arguments, he hopes that he might be able to sway Luanne to follow her own adventurous heart and join him in his journey discovering places few have ever seen. But no matter how hard he tries to court her, she is unwilling to bend. He also faces competition with Professor Tate, whom seems convinced that Luanne would make the perfect mother to his six orphan children. Again, not an offer, Luanne wants to entertain.

So when her students listen to Roy speak at school, they seem more eager to learn about their own futures despite the standard jobs of thieving and prostitution. Luanne wants them to learn more so those are the types of jobs they won't want and instead shows them that any dream is possible if one is willing to pursue it. Perhaps it is advice she might take herself is she is to be honest and truthful with them. So when an afterschool project of building a hot air balloon begins to take flight, with the approval of the school board, Luanne is helpless to refuse. But with this new project be just the beginning of her own future or the end of one? Only time will tell.

I received Come Fly With Me by Gina Welborn and Becca Whitman, compliments of Zebra Books and Kensington Publishing as well as Net Galley. I absolutely love the inspiration that Luanne instills within her students to hope for something better on the small frontier when not much opportunity existed for most of the towns citizens. She puts all her heart into her efforts as well as her charitable communities, showing that she is unwilling to settle for what others think is best for her. She is a take-charge woman with hopes and dreams that may or may not be beyond the borders of her own small town. I give this a 4 out of 5 stars and is a quick novel to complete in a matter of hours. The story remains engaging all the way to the end and readers are given a quick peek at another series, the Montana Brides, coming soon by the author as well.

For more information about Come Fly With Me, Gina Welborn, Becca Whitman or where you can pick up a copy of this book today, please click on the links below:


You can find Gina Welborn on Facebook to stay up to date with all her latest novels.

To read more reviews on Come Fly With Me, please visit Kensington Publishing's website. 


Friday, May 19, 2017

Mandisa Out of the Dark CD Giveaway



The one thing I love about Mandisa is her transparency and beautiful soul. I fell in love with her first as a contestant on American Idol, but then found her through my Christian music stations with her singles Stronger, that exemplified for listeners that we could find strength in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Now her latest CD, Out of the Dark is exactly her next level of connectiveness to her listeners and fans. It never dawned on me that even Christian artists can face the temptations of the enemy and find themselves feeling alone, in the dark and at the bottom of a pit with no way out. This is why I believe this CD will identify with so many. We have all been there. Some of us are still struggling and each song on this CD will connect with those emotions.



There are 18 songs on this CD with the first being a voicemail intro of some of those trying to reach out to Mandisa, who was going through her own personal struggle. "It's been 4 years since I released my last album Overcomer. The inspiration for Overcomer was my friend, Lakisha Mitchell, who was pregnant with her second child when she was first diagnosed with breast cancer. I begged God for a healthy child to be born, and for Kisha to be healed. My first prayer was answered with a resounding yes; Brennon is healthy and will be 4 this June. My second prayer didn't receive the answer I wanted or expected. Kisha had one year with Brennon and her other son BJ, and husband, Breonus, before she went home to be with Jesus. While I know that Kisha is in a better place and feels no pain, the deferred hope made my heart sick, and I spiraled into a deep depression. I ignored God, isolated myself from everyone, and turned to my old ways. I didn't go to church, didn't open my Bible, barely left my house, and after losing over 120 pounds since 2008, gained it all back and then some. Shame and insecurity weighed me down and suicidal thoughts tried to overtake me in that dark pit. Thankfully, it only takes a flicker of light to dispel the darkness. God worked through my family and friends as the literal hands and feet of Jesus." You can see her interview below:



You can read the conclusion of this story, but I feel it is more felt through the lyrics of the songs you'll find on this CD. They are powerful, life-changing and have the ability to relate to those who are experience their own time in the valley or in a pit of complete and utter darkness. Good thing is that God doesn't leave us alone to figure things out. He can use anything and everyone to get our attention and bring us back into the light where we can remain victorious and stronger! Just like Psalm 40:2-3 says, "He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along. He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see what He has done and be amazed. They will put their trust in the Lord."

I received Mandisa: Out of the Dark compliments of Capital Records and Propeller LLC and FlyBy Promotions. I honestly believe like some of the lyrics Mandisa has compiled into her latest songs, this will bring light into those dark places. My favorites are believe it or not, her voicemail intro, because for me it brings me back to the reality of how when we are in the darkest places, we can push away everyone who comes around to help us out. Unfinished has recently topped the music charts and I especially LOVE Good News! There is even a duet with Jeremy Camp with the song My First Love, a duet with Britt Nicole in What You're Worth and even one with Toby Mac with Bleed the Same, a powerful song about uniting the racial tensions that are wrecking havoc in our communities all over the world. This by far is one of my new favorite albums of hers and look forward to seeing the lives that will be changed by those who are touched by this CD. By far this CD easily garners a solid 5 out of 5 stars!

For more information about Mandisa: Out of the Dark or where you can pick up a copy of this CD today, please click on the links below:


You can find Mandisa on Facebook to stay up to date on all her latest projects.

To purchase Mandisa: Out of the Dark, please click here. 

Now for the best part: Thanks to the generosity of Capital Records and FlyBy Promotions, they are offering a giveaway CD to one lucky reader! Here are the guidelines to enter this giveaway!

1. "Like" Mandisa's Facebook page.

2.  Be a resident of the US or have a US mailing address! No P.O. Boxes please!

3. Leave a comment below why you'd love to win a copy of Out of the Dark! Don't forget to include your email address so I have a way to contact you, if you're the lucky winner! You can use the words (at) and (dot) instead of the symbols.

4. Share this giveaway on your own social media sites, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and others! For each link you come back and share here as a comment, gives you another entry into the giveaway! You can even share it every single day until the giveaway ends! Let's spread the word!

The giveaway ends on Thursday, May 25, 2017. So enter as many times as you want. Just make sure that you post your shared link for each entry! We really want to help get the word out about this album out to as many social media contacts as possible! So please share away! Lives will be changed, I am sure of it. .

“Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255:  “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”):  Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway.  Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation.  I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller /FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days on the same blog, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again.  Winner is subject to eligibility verification."

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Home



"One way to describe it is a longing for home, though that's not quite accurate. The Welsh have a word for it: hiraeth. It's difficult to translate in English, but I've heard it described as a homesickness for a home you can't return to. Our a place that never was. I've come to acknowledge it in myself as a longing for God. 'Eternity set in the hearts of men,' as Solomon so eloquently wrote."

I guess everyone has their own definition of what "home" really means. All I know is it is NOT confined to the walls of a brick and mortar building, but it is what is located in my heart. "It is either the sturdy foundation or the crumbling underpinnings a child is built upon." Home is in here. In our hearts, and time or distance have no bearing on it or cause us to lose our sense of where home really is.

In Ginny L. Yttrup's latest novel, "Home," we get a sense of what it means for quite a few of her characters. For married couple Melanie and Craig, who have been married for twenty-three years are struggling to come to terms with where their future might be headed. After learning that they can't have children, they have both faced their own uncertainties. Craig is a home builder struggling to manage both his business and home with the rising financial downturns of the local economy. All he knows is that he has to come clean with Melanie that they might have to sell their custom built home and cut spending until things pick up. He feels at fault for not providing for their family. Melanie, a successful author now on her sixteenth novel, but is now wondering if she has more creativity left to inspire her to her looming deadline with her publisher. She wants to contribute to the finances, but if she can't complete this novel, they will have to look at selling their dream home.

Their neighbors Marcos and Jill are facing their own struggles as well. For Jill it is dealing with her OCD behaviors that are beginning to impact her way of life and the way she relates to her family. She believes it has to do with a recurring nightmare that she is putting together bits and pieces of things that don't make sense to her. When she tries to explain it to her mother, she is dismissed. However it is possible these aren't nightmares but repressed memories? All she knows is that if she doesn't get help soon, she will come unglued and possibly hurt herself or her family without meaning to. Her only ally is her best friend Melanie, but even they are dealing with their own issues and now that Melanie has taken a trip away to a lakeside home to finish her novel, is it possible it is the end of her marriage as well to Craig?

I received Home by Ginny L. Yttrup compliments of Barbour Publishing and Net Galley. This novel really hit home for me after a particular rough Mother's Day and found myself questioning whether I made a difference in the lives of our family. I can't believe how much I found myself relating to Melanie's character. Struggling to understand if she loved Craig as much as she should being married or it is possible they simply have grown apart. Is there a way to put things back together and see one another differently now that they're in different places in their personal and professional relationships. One thing is certain, temptation is just around the corner in places they least expected. Home is found in our hearts! Everything else is simply temporary. We are all created to live life to the full, and we can only do that if we're willing to fully participate! That is what I realized, after reading this novel. It isn't about what others are doing, but what we contribute to the life we are living. We can partner with our spouse or walk away. It is always better to work together!! There are some great discussion questions at the conclusion of this novel that would be great for a book club. For me, this one earns a 5 out of 5 stars in my opinion, because it changed something even in my own heart, and for a novel to that, it has to be extraordinary.

For more information about Home, Ginny Yttrup or where you can pick a copy of this novel today by clicking on the links below:


You can find Ginny L. Yttrup on Facebook to stay up to date on all her latest novels.

To read more reviews on Home, please visit Barbour Publishing's website. 


Wednesday, May 17, 2017

The Resurrection of Gavin Stone - DVD Giveaway



Buy this!!!

That's truly all you need to know if you're looking for a great, well produced Christian movie that the entire family can enjoy! The Resurrection of Gavin Stone is such an incredible movie that shows what the power of grace and redemption can give to those who put their lives in Jesus Christ, from Universal Pictures! This is NOT your cheesy, poorly written Christian movie most of us are used to seeing. There is an exceptional plot, recognizable actors and well filmed so it truly looks like something you would see on the bigger movie screens. In fact it did make its debut on select theaters but didn't stay out too long. Now it is available on Blu Ray, DVD and Ultra-Violet!

The premise behind this one is childhood star Gavin Stone, (Brett Dalton, Agents of Shield) made it big when he was little but is struggling to find any roles now that he is grown. So like most childhood actors we know, he decides to exemplify the bad boy image and instead has turned to parties with less than desirable results. He is the spotlight star on reality news and the recent action of trashing a penthouse roof in a high rise hotel has now landed him on the wrong side of the law. With either jail or 200 hours of community service, he opts for the lesser of two evils. Only his community service is within the confines of a local church as a custodian.

When he happens upon the pastor's kid, attractive but means business Kelly Richardson, (Anjelah Johnson-Reyes) he learns that she is putting together a theater performance of Crown of Thorns and is auditioning local talent to play the parts of the show. Believing he is just the right person for the job as lead, he convinces the pastor of the megachurch, Pastor Allen Richardson, (D.B. Sweeney) to allow him to utilize his remaining hours to help out the struggling production. He wants to star as the lead, Jesus Christ. When Pastor Allen tells him that only Christians are allowed in the production, he lies and tells him that he's a Christian. That's when things get interesting, because now he has to prove it by acting like one, talking like one and sharing his testimony before the church. Will he be able to pull it off?



I received The Resurrection of Gavin Stone compliments of Universal Pictures Home Entertainment and Icon Media. I can't begin to tell you how incredible this movie was and am so glad I had the opportunity to watch this. Most well meaning Christian movies never really pull off the expectations most of us have for a great movie without a big budget behind it or a lesser known cast. But seeing Brett Dalton, Agents of Shield Grant Ward, play Gavin Stone, well this was a part suited just for his acting experience as well as everyone else who put this entire movie together. There are some great bonus features like deleted scenes, church uniform advice and interviews with the cast and Pastor James MacDonald. This movie is rated PG due to the crucifixion scene might be a bit graphic but the message of one man's redemption is simply one you won't want to miss. We even wish they included the entire play, because it was so well conceived in the parts you get to see. I easily give this one a 5 out of 5 stars!

Now for the best part, thanks to Universal Pictures Home Entertainment and Icon Media, they are offering a giveaway copy of this movie as a combination Blu Ray, DVD and Ultraviolet to one lucky reader! Here's the details to enter to win!

1. "Like" the Resurrection of Gavin Stone's Facebook page. 

2. Be a resident of the US or have a US mailing address. No P.O. Boxes please.

3. Leave me a comment below telling me why you'd love to win this movie along with your email address. You can use the words (at) and (dot) instead of the symbols, but I need a way to reach you in case you're the lucky winner.

4. Share this giveaway on social media or blogs. Please share your link below in the comments. For each share, you are entered in the giveaway. So the more you share, the more chances you have at winning!

The giveaway ends on May 24, 2017 and I will be emailing the winner of the giveaway. This is why you need to include your email address with your comment. I can't tell you how many times I have had to redraw winners because they left me no way to contact them. 

For more information about The Resurrection of Gavin Stone, Icon Media or where you can pick up a copy of this DVD today, please click on the links below:


You can find The Resurrection of Gavin Stone on Facebook to get more details about the movie.

You can purchase a copy of this movie through Universal Pictures Home Entertainment or a retailer near you.