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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Ruth's Redemption

Sometimes reading about the mistakes of America's past can be difficult especially when it happened over 200 years ago but it doesn't minimize the impact it would have on you reading about it. Take for example the recent book I just read, Ruth's Redemption by Marlene Banks about the horrors of the slavery conditions that happened in the early 1800's. Even though the story is a fictional account it was still based on true events. This one centered around the Nat Turner Rebellion in Tidewater, Virginia and is where the story begins.

It shows how the differences in peoples mind's about slavery between those in the North and those in the deep South. The North had begun to accept that slavery should be abolished but the progress was slow in getting people to come to terms with equality among all men and women. Bodine Peace was left free when his master died and left him adequate land to begin a life for himself. He finally found that deep within himself that all along, owning slaves had been wrong. He made sure that the terms for freeing Bodine Peace was upheld by his sons. Bodine Peace, or Bo as he was called was a man of God who believed that despite how long it was taking for God to bring about justice to all men, He would eventually free them all.

Bo used his land to help other slaves become free as well. Asking that all they had to do for freedom was work off the price he had to pay for them by working on the land Mr. Maitland had given him. He would teach them a fair trade, educate them and when a year's time was up, he had legal papers drawn up to provide them their freedom. It was during this time that Bo came across a woman who called herself Ruth. He was in town to purchase slaves as he felt led by God and when Ruth's determined actions cause her owner to beat her in public, Bo felt he had God's answer.

Yet it would take time to heal the hatred in Ruth's heart towards all men and especially to heal her bitterness and resentment towards God. Ruth had been sold into slavery primarily for breeding based on her good looks which she saw as a curse from God since there wasn't anything she could do about that. So she remained determined to do whatever she could to find freedom even if that meant using her looks to her advantage.

I received Ruth's Redemption by Marlene Banks compliments of Christian Fiction Blog Alliance for my honest review and really loved how well the characters of Ruth and Bo were developed by Marlene so that the reader would be immersed in their lives and could see things from their eyes, how cruel the world could be, and how not everyone believed people should be treated like livestock. This one rates a 5 out of 5 stars in my book and shows just how much God's plan will work for those who LOVE Him despite the outward circumstances.

For more information on this book, the author and where to purchase a copy of this book, please click on the link below:

Monday, January 30, 2012

The Face Thief

The perfect criminal is one who can read the body language and facial features of their victim and that is just the premise for the latest book from Eli Gottlieb, The Face Thief.

The book revolves around the lives of three people involving a series of circumstances with a common thread. The more you know about a person, the better it enables you to gain the upper hand. If you can define someone simply by how they carry themselves and what their face tells you that their words don't can be very beneficial if you know how to read them.

Margot is a promising up and coming journalist who wants to gain the advantage in the business world in learning to read faces and define the subtle movements our body language portrays. She hopes it may give her the advantage she will need to climb the corporate ladder in the competitive world of journalism where being a female may be the disadvantage. So when she signs up to take a course designed by the expert in reading body languages and faces, she gets more than she ever thought she would.

Lawrence Billings has made a name for himself as a best selling author and successful business man now leading seminars discussing The Physique of Finance: The Art of Face Reading and Body Language for Professional Advantage. He always had unique gift of seeing things others missed and now it was paying off in a big way at fifty three and still married to Glynis even after his indiscretions. Life was perfect until Margot showed up in his class. Things were about to change and not in the way he would have expected.

John Potash has finally struck gold. When Janell Styles of Greenleaf Financial calls and offers him the best investment opportunity of a lifetime, one he's been waiting for his whole life, he takes a chance after his initial investments have returned better than expected returns. Now just when his personal life has finally settled down after a recent divorce, he plans to invest in their future in a very big way. However life isn't always what we expect despite how we may think we have it all figured out.

I received The Face Thief by Eli Gottlieb compliments of William Morrow, a division of Harper Collins for my honest review. This book really does have quite a few twists and turns and until about half way through I didn't realize what was happening with the three different story lines in the book, however now looking back I could see how it all played out. As a reader, keeping that in mind, it will make the book much more enjoyable knowing that when you begin and throughout the book, you will find the pattern that shows how they all interconnect without realizing it. I would rate this book a 4 out of 5 stars for that reason. It deals with preying upon peoples trust and weakness to make a fast buck no matter what the cost and having the best tools on hand can make it that much easier.

For more information on this book, the author and where to pick up a copy of this book, please click on the link below:

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Not In The Heart

What would you do to save the life of your child? For most of us parents, the answer is an easy one. There isn't anything we wouldn't do. However for a man like Truman Wiley that answer has been a struggle. A difficult internal struggle at that. Being married to Ellen and having two children, Aiden and Abigail, he has spent his whole life trying to measure up to what he believes they expect and want from a husband and father. When he comes up short, he turns to his only addiction, gambling. Whether it's online or visiting a local casino or horsetrack, Truman finds that when he wins, he feels like he's on top of the world, able to meet the obligations to his family he feels they are owed, but when he loses as is often the case, he turns and runs. Runs away from the very thing he swore to protect and love, his family. This is where we find Truman as Not In The Heart begins by Chris Fabry.

Truman Wiley was once at the top of his game in journalism, over turning rocks to bring to light the slime of the world's worst whether they were in politics or in the lime light. He felt it was his true talent to not be afraid of the truth and be willing to report it, no matter how often his life was threatened. Until no one wanted to work or hire Truman any longer. Then he found that gambling provided the control he needed to maintain in his life. His personal life was a wreck.

His only son Aiden since he was young was diagnosed with a heart defect that would place their family under enormous financial and physical pressure. Not knowing from one day to the next if this was in fact their last time with Aiden, they lived on the edge. Ellen maintained the burden of caring for the children and family while Truman tried to find a way to make ends meet. When he failed, he ran. Ran away from the family that needed a husband and father more than a paycheck, but he couldn't see past that. He felt like a failure and until he could rise above once again, he would stay away. Better to do that than show himself to be a failure to those whose opinions mattered the most.

When Truman learns that there might be a way to save Aiden through an heart transplant of a man waiting on death row, he is curious how he could possibly help. When Ellen explains the wife, Helen Wright has one request that he write her husband's story of transformation from murder to reformed man since finding God in his life and is willing to pay him to do it, Truman takes the bait. What he learns in working through the evidence on the case, is that an innocent man may in fact be put to death. How can he is good conscience report the truth if it means his son may die if he doesn't get this heart transplant?

I received Not In The Heart by Chris Fabry compliments of B & B Media Group for my honest review and found it difficult not to relate to the characters Chris brings to life within the pages of his novel. From the internal struggle happening within Truman, it's easy to see how a man can judge his worth by what he brings to the table and how often he finds it's easier to give up rather than push forward when the challenge becomes to hard. Truman is forced to come to terms with all his past mistakes and it's hard to watch how often he will turn away from his family to work towards the goal of saving his son, but in the process is missing opportunity to connect with him while he wants to spend time with his dad.

I have known my own Truman in my personal life, with addictions to jobs. I can see how easy it would be to justify working long hours and missing personal time with your family for the reward of a paycheck because you think it justifies the time being away. It has taken me years to see that in life, there is a cost to everything, and not everything is worth the cost it takes on your personal life and family, we just need to see it. For this reason, this book will speak to hearts everywhere and shine the light of truth inside us all and for that, I rate this one a 5 out of 5 stars. Chris Fabry's writing style will touch your heart in ways you never thought imaginable and I can't wait to read the next one!

For more information on this book, the author and where to purchase a copy of this book, please click on the links below:

You can also find Chris on Facebook by clicking here.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Raylan: A Novel

If your a murder/mystery fan, than I have the perfect book for you!

Raylan: A Novel by Elmore Leonard is a great collection of crime stories all linked around the central character of U.S. Marshall Raylan Givens. The novel begins with a new kind of crime being committed and the rewards for the criminals are worth taking that risk. Seems lately the drug lords have found a new commodity to deal, human body parts. Seeing as an entire human body when parted out can net close to a million dollars, there are loads of people just ripe for the picking. When they begin simply by taking the kidneys out of wealthy people and then selling them back to the victims, they begin to see other opportunities to make money faster than raising marijuana.

This is where U.S. Marshall Givens is called in to investigate. When he starts to get too close to the actual criminals, Givens is about to discover that he may in fact be the next victim. Will he be able to solve the crime before he becomes the next revenue source on the black market?

In the book, Raylan: A Novel by Elmore Leonard, the reader is taken on the journey into a series of criminal cases the U.S. Marshall Raylan Givens is in the midst of solving from human body part trafficking to coal mine operators looking for a bigger piece of the pie when it comes to company profits, and finally closing on a college student who is running the tables at poker to make a fast buck.

I received this book compliments of William Morrow, a division of Harper Collins Publishers for my honest review. The writing style for me was a bit choppy and there is a fair amount of profanity and sexual content. However, for those that expect this in their crime novels to make it more realistic, then this book will work for you. I would rate this one a 3.5 out of 5 stars in my opinion. I love the ideas behind the different crimes but I couldn't connect to the story the way I would have liked. The details were fuzzy and vague and it kept moving at a rapid pace. I would have liked to seen the writer spend more time in writing three separate books on these crimes instead of trying to get them all to fit into one.

For more information on this book, the author or where you can purchase a copy of this book, please click on the link below:

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Love Blooms In Winter

It's 1892 in the small town of Dwadlo, North Dakota just as winter is beginning to set in. When I refer to Dwadlo being a small town, it is just that. All the buildings in town from the post office, general store, bank and the residents homes are all within a few short blocks either way. The train station literally ends at Dwadlo and here is where we find the setting of our story and meet the characters from Love Blooms in Winter, book 1 in the Dakota Diaries series by Lori Copeland who is fast becoming a personal favorite writer for me.

Here we meet Mae Wilkey who runs the post office within the general store and helps out when she can with the customers who come in for various supplies. Mae is also the sole provider for both herself and her younger brother Jeremy, who is 13, but mentally acts like 9 due to issues with his birth. Mae's parents died and now she cares for Jeremy as well as Pauline, a 92-year-old woman who needs constant care to due her age and mental capability. She lives alone caring for all the towns stray animals who are constantly finding their way to Pauline's home. Mae fears that once she marries Jake, the local well-to-do lawyer, there will be no one left to care for Pauline.

So Mae takes it upon herself to find out of Pauline has any living relatives who might be able to care for her. While cleaning out Pauline's desk, she uncovers the name and address of Tom Curtis, but the problem is, Pauline in her moments of clarity can't remember if he's related to her or not. So Mae sends a letter explaining the circumstances in hopes that Tom is in fact related to Pauline and can come care for her in the time she has remaining.

When Tom Curtis receives Mae's letter, he thinks it's a practical joke being played on him by one of the railroad employees. However, when a second letter arrives, Tom makes arrangements to check out the details of the letter and arrives to pay Mae a visit. What he doesn't plan on, is that his so-called routine life is about to get the biggest upheaval he will ever know.

I received Love Blooms in Winter compliments of Christian Fiction Blog Alliance for my honest review and was captured in Mae's story. Not only in caring for her mentally challenged younger brother Jeremy, but also for her neighbor Pauline. Mae is a true do-gooder with a heart for everyone. She tries her best to be the best she can, even though she has been waiting six long years for Jake to ask her to marry him. She is by far, my favorite character in the book, because she is always putting everyone else's needs above her own. I can't wait to read the next book in this series as Lori Copeland writes her stories so well, you feel like you're part of the action! I rate this one a 5 out of 5 stars.

For more information on this book, the author and where to purchase a copy of this book, please click on the links below:

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Accidental Bride

If you've never read a Big Sky Romance novel by Denise Hunter, you are truly missing out. Denise writes her characters so well, you can't help but feel as though they are truly real people. In her latest, The Accidental Bride, Shay Brandenberger has experienced a life time of pain. First, her childhood love, left her standing at the altar when fear got the best of him and he simply headed west. Promising herself to never fall for another man again, Shay did the unthinkable and fell hard again.

Maybe as a way to prove to herself and the town of Moose Creek, Montana, that she wasn't hopeless failure after all, she married Garrett, against her common sense. Now the mother of a new daughter, Olivia, Shay realizes that she never loved Garret and that he doesn't fit into her ideal dream of a cowboy running a busy family ranch, now in her care. Divorced and a single mom, Shay vows to commit her life to simply raising her daughter as best as she can, and try to find a way to keep Yellowstone River, her family ranch from being foreclosed on by the bank.

When she volunteer's to play the part of the bride in a wedding reenactment in a Founder's Day ceremony, she is hoping to finally put all the past behind her. Only when she arrives at the altar, Shay is more than surprised and shocked to see the man she almost married, Travis McCoy is the groom. Can she pull her emotions together to get through the ceremony or will she once again be the talk of the town?

I received The Accidental Bride by Denise Hunter compliments of Thomas Nelson Publishers and B and B Media for my honest review and LOVED IT! Once again, Denise captivated my heart and emotions as I truly felt for both Shay and Travis in their relationship. Trying to find a way to deal with their feelings and the pain of getting hurt, they both decide to trust God to handle things and the gossip and rumors that any small town is bound to have. This one rates a perfect 5 out of 5 stars in my book and can't wait to pick up all the Big Sky Romances!

For more information on this book, the author and where to purchase a copy of this book, please click on the links below:

You can also find Denise on Facebook by clicking here.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

The Coming Revolution

This book comes at the perfect time for me teaching my 7th grade daughter about the American Revolution in History! We know that history bears lessons of both success and failures of what we've gone through as a country and just where we have fallen short even now. What this leads me to believe is that our country is sitting on the cusp of another Revolution in America.

Just how have we missed the mark? The things that are happening now are becoming the new accepted norm, redefinition of marriage, our educational system is failing and we're dumbing down our standards for our children, as well as accepting things our founding fathers would be appalled over. The 2010 election was a watershed. It was in effect a firewall against further encroachments and further legislative destruction from the Left. It was a good start, but it was just a start. Those who would like to undermine our form of government, our traditional values and beliefs, and our way of life haven't gone away. They're just waiting for the opportunity to strike again. That's one of the reasons why author, Dr. Richard G. Lee has written the book, The Coming Revolution, as a warning and a wake-up call to every citizen to stand up, speak up, and become engaged in the contest for America's future.

Make no mistake; we are in a contest to see what this nation will be for the next two hundred years. Will we uphold the values of the Founders, who were dedicated to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness? Will we defend the moral and ethical values our forefathers fought and died for? Or will we stand by silently, like the dazed and defeated citizens of a half-dozen fallen empires of the past, and watch this nation sink into the swamp of socialism, totalitarianism, and anarchy, ultimately leading to collapse? This is choice we have to make, and it is one contest we can't afford to lose.

We live in a significant time of change. But the change Washington imagined - and promised - has failed; leaving many Americans disenchanted, disappointed, and angry. With the masses stirring restlessly under the current leadership, the potential for a revolution is great. But what, exactly, would God have us do?

I received the book The Coming Revolution by Dr. Richard G. Lee, compliments of Thomas Nelson Publishers for my honest review. I personally think this is a book every single person who lives in the United States should read. Lee examines with conviction and mastery the social and religious elements that propelled American into the First American Revolution and opens discussion for the idea that this generation may also be seeking "a new freedom" is startlingly similar ways as our ancestors. This book will encourage readers to find their voice and join the countless men and women who are taking a stand against the direction America's leaders are taking them. Lee challenges us to follow our deeply held convictions and the promptings of faith to lead once again to new personal and national freedoms. This one rates a 5 out of 5 stars in my opinion!

Fore more information on this book, the author and where to purchase a copy of this book, please click on the link below:

Saturday, January 21, 2012

The Starlite Drive-In

I wasn't there when they dug up the bones at the old drive-in theater, but I heard about them within the hour. In a small town, world travels like heat lightning across a parched summer sky. Irma Schmidt phoned Aunt Bliss and delivered the news with such volume that her voice carried across the kitchen to where I was sitting.

After hanging up the receiver, Aunt Bliss peered at me through her thick bifocals. "With all those farms around there, they could be the bones of some animal."

I picked up the coffee mug, drained it, then set it on the worn Formica table. "They could be."

Pursing her lips, she stared hard at me. "I know what you're thinking, but more than one person disappeared that summer."

"Yes," I said reflectively, "that's true." But my heart was beating faster. (pg 1).

And so begins the story of The Starlite Drive-In by Marjorie Reynolds. Called Anne Benton knows the identity of the victim who mysteriously disappeared thirty-six years ago. In sweltering summer of 1956, when a handsome drifter named Charlie Memphis arrives at the Starlite to help Callie Anne's injured father run the theater. Both she and her mother, Teal, fall for Memphis's rugged style and gentlemanly manners, but Callie Anne's father - bitter in his role as caretaker for the rural drive-in and his agoraphobic wife - doesn't like the drifter's increasing interest in Teal.

A disastrous turn of events change their lives forever, and it's up to the grown up Callie Ann to unlock the secrets of the decades-old mystery.

I received The Starlite Drive-In compliments of Harper Collins Publishers for my honest review. In my own personal childhood memories I can still picture the sights and sounds of those long-forgotten classic drive-in theaters and Marjorie Reynolds does such an exceptional job at bringing the reader back to a much simpler time as we journey along with Callie Anne's memory of what happened so long ago. I absolutely loved this book and can't wait to read more from Marjorie Reynolds. Her writing style flows so well that it takes the readers back in time and you actually become part of the story, which I love. For that reason I rate this one a 5 out of 5 stars!

For more information about this book, the author and where to pick up a copy of this book today, please click on the link below:

Friday, January 20, 2012

The Mulligans of Mt. Jefferson

Cal, Harlan, and Buddy grow up together in a small Virginia town in the years before the second World War. United by age, proximity, and temperament, they get into and out of all the trouble that boys manage to find. They even earn a nickname from a local restaurateur who gives the boys their first jobs and plenty of friendly advice. Uncle Vic calls them the Mulligans, because they always seem to find a way through a thicket of trouble family problems, girls, college, war to success. Cal and Harlan and Buddy have been blessed with second chances. Now it's 1959, and police lieutenant Buddy receives an early-morning phone call: his friend Harlan, a store owner, has been shot in a break-in. Cal, now a preacher, meets Buddy at the hospital, and together, as professionals and as friends, they begin to unravel what might have happened to Harlan.

I received The Mulligans of Mt. Jefferson by Don Reed compliments of Christian Fiction Blog Alliance for my honest review and have to say it's quite unique from other books I've read. The author takes the reader into each of the characters lives both past and present day so you gain an insight unlike most novels. For example the reader first is introduced to the present day situation where Harlan has been shot and how the three interact in dealing with the circumstance, Harlan the victim, Buddy works for the police department and Cal is the local pastor.

Beginning with Harlan, the book toggles back and forth in each subsequent chapter going back into Harlan's past when he was a boy growing up and then flashing forward to present day, then back to the past again, until we learn all about Harlan's upbringing. Then the next segment of the book walks us through Cal's life and finishes up with Buddy so you can see how they have all arrived at where the book begins and just how Harlan has wound up in the hospital now shot. While it wasn't a favorite for me, due to all the changes in past and present between character, I'm sure other readers will enjoy this book. For me this one rated a 3 out of 5 stars.

Here's even more information on this book, the author and where you can get a first chapter sneak peek:
This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
The Mulligans of Mt Jefferson
David C. Cook (January 1, 2012)
Don Reid


Don is one of the original members of the STATLER BROTHERS, the most award-winning act in the history of country music. He and his brother and two friends began singing in their hometown of Staunton, Virginia when Don was only fourteen years old. Working all over their home and neighboring states as a part time group, they were discovered in 1964 by Johnny Cash and given their first record contract. By the time Don was 20 years old, the STATLERS had their first major, world-wide hit record with FLOWERS ON THE WALL, which started a string of hits that generated a career in the music industry that lasted for four decades. The STATLERS have been recipients of multiple industry awards:

It wasn’t until the STATLER BROTHERS decided to retire from traveling in 2002 that Don pursued his writing career to another level. Having songwriting and scriptwriting under his belt, the next obvious step was to write a book. And that book was the scripture based HEROES AND OUTLAWS OF THE BIBLE published in June of 2002 by New Leaf Press. He has since written two other non-fiction books and in 2008 saw another dream come true for Don when he released his first novel, O LITTLE TOWN. Novel number two came in the form of ONE LANE BRIDGE, and THE MULLIGANS OF MT. JEFFERSON, is a sequel to O LITTLE TOWN.

Don is the father of two sons. Debo and his wife, Julie, and daughters Sela Mae and Adra, live within a stone’s throw. You may have seen Debo’s name on many songs written with Don on albums over the years.


Cal, Harlan, and Buddy grow up together in a small Virginia town in the years before the second World War. United by age, proximity, and temperament, they get into—and out of—all the trouble that boys manage to find. They even earn a nickname from a local restaurateur who gives the boys their first jobs and plenty of friendly advice. “Uncle” Vic calls them the Mulligans, because they always seem to find a way through a thicket of trouble—family problems, girls, college, war—to success. Cal and Harlan and Buddy have been blessed with second chances.

Now it’s 1959, and police lieutenant Buddy receives an early-morning phone call: his friend Harlan, a store owner, has been shot in a break-in. Cal, now a preacher, meets Buddy at the hospital, and together, as professionals and as friends, they begin to unravel what might have happened to Harlan.

If you would like to read the first chapter of The Mulligans of Mt Jefferson, go HERE.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Lens and the Looker


It’s the 24th century and humans, with the help of artificial intelligences (A.I.s) have finally created the perfect post-dystopian society. To make equally perfect citizens for this world, the elders have created History Camps, full sized recreations of cities from Earth’s distant pasts. Here teens live the way their ancestors did, doing the same dirty jobs and experiencing the same degradations. History Camps teach youths not to repeat the mistakes that almost caused the planet to die. But not everything goes to plan.

In this first of a trilogy, we meet three spoiled teens in the year 2347. Hansum almost 17, is good looking and athletic. Shamira, 15, is sassy, independent and an artistic genius. Lincoln, 14, is the smart-aleck. But you don’t have to scratch too far beneath the surface to find his insecurities.

These three “hard cases” refuse the valuable lessons History Camps teach. But when they are kidnapped and taken back in time to 1347 Verona, Italy, they only have two choices; adapt to the harsh medieval ways or die. The dangers are many, their enemies are powerful, and safety is a long way away. It’s hardly the ideal environment to fall in love – but that’s exactly what happens. In an attempt to survive, the trio risks introducing technology from the future. It could save them – or it could change history.

About Lory Kaufman

“I write Post-Dystopian fiction. After society’s collapse, which is imagined in so many great dystopian stories, humans will either fade into history, with the dinosaurs, or, if it learns the right lessons, society will go on to construct a civilization to last tens of thousands of years. History Camp stories are the exciting adventures of young people doing the latter.” -Lory Kaufman

On the artistic side of Lory’s career, he’s written, acted and directed children’s theatre and musical theatre. He enjoys art, especially sculpture. He loves science fiction and historical fiction and he has been deeply involved in the green movement all across North America. All this shows through when you read his work. Lory has three grown children and works and lives in Kingston, Canada.

To find out more about Lory visit

My Review:

I absolutely loved the concept of this novel for young adults, and being a huge fan of history, Mr. Kaufman does a fine job at keeping the reader as immersed in the time period as possible. What starts off as punishment for those three young teens for being a little too rowdy and cocky in their own classrooms as know-it-alls and practical jokes. Knowing that their A.I.'s can't physically harm them when they act up in class, they are sentenced to hard time in History Camp. Hansum knows the ins and outs because he has relatives that are enactors (people who are acting in the time period as characters) and have told him exactly the inside secrets of history camp.

However while attending the camp for two weeks is a premise, they soon learn once they arrive that they are there for a whole lot longer than they expected and they will have to adapt and learn the trades of old, for any chance at survival. It will take all their skills of working together to enable them to survive.

I received The Lens and The Looker compliments of Pump Up Your Book for my honest review and think it's a perfect way to incorporate a love of learning about history and still keeping it fun for young readers. I would easily rate this one a perfect 5 out of 5 stars. For more information on the author, the book and where you can pick up a copy of this book, please click on the link below:

The Lens and The Looker by Lory S Kaufman

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Shadow of Your Smile

The Hueston family is dealing with the loss of Kelsey, who at 17, was the victim of a robbery in which she was killed in the process. Each of them is trying to move forward but from outsiders looking in, they don't seem to be moving forward at all. More like avoiding the subject and pretending at times that it didn't really happen.

For Eli Hueston, he personally feels the responsibility of the loss as the father who should have been able to prevent this tragedy from claiming his daughter. Had he simply ran the plates of the teenager he stopped that fateful night, he would have learned that there was a Beyond On The Lookout for the boy who was speeding. Instead he simply let him off with a warning to slow down.

Noelle is dealing with the loss as only a mother can. Spending the first three months not being able to learn how to live, she dove deeper into despair and depression. Her and Kelsey shared an unbelievable closeness that really seemed like best friends and soul mates. She had a difficult time learning how to deal with things especially when Eli packed up all her stuff and moved it to storage without her knowledge. Now her and Eli have spent the last three years more apart as roommates than as husband and wife. He has been sleeping in the den and spending every available moment out fishing in the woods.

For Kyle, the oldest son, he's had to endure watching his family literally fall apart. Besides losing his only sister, he's also had to watch his parents lose sight of who they were together. Now it seems like the only thing he can do is find a way to make sure nothing like this happens while he is working for the sheriff's department again. He has moved out and is struggling with his own grief of watching his family fall to pieces and not knowing how to pull them together again. When he finds Kelsey's best friend Emma, he learns that she too is dealing with the loss of her best friend whom she feels she had a hand in killing. Had she not switched shifts with her that fateful night, Kelsey would still be here and so would her dad, the deputy that confronted the teen that night.

When an accident at a truck stop coffee stop leaves Noelle with a concussion and temporary memory loss of the last 25 years of her life, the family sees this as a way to deal with their loss again as a family in helping her to remember and in the process enabling them all to heal.

I received The Shadow of Your Smile compliments of Net Galley and Litfuse Publicity for my honest review and LOVED this one. The Shadow of Your Smile by Susan May Warren is the beautifully written story that shows how loss affects everyone not just the person who died but everyone who was connected to them. It shows how people deal with things internally instead of turning to God who can help them heal through the grieving process when they are ready. He shows that they are never alone and He can mend all things and restore broken hearts again in time, we simply have to be willing to turn to Him for help. I rate this one a 5 out of 5 stars!

For more information about this book, the author and where to purchase a copy of this amazing book, please click on the links below:

You can also find Susan on Facebook by clicking here.

Come Back to Deep Haven and Win a $200 Visa Card from @SusanMayWarren!

Sometimes love requires a little forgetting ... Come back to Deep Haven and find out what's been happening in your favorite quaint hamlet. If you're new to the Deep Haven series - this is the perfect book to start with - each book in the series is a stand alone story.

Susan is celebrating the release of The Shadow of Your Smile by giving away a prize pack worth over $200 from 1/9-1/28.

One grand prize winner will receive:

  • A $200 Visa Gift Card (Use that to rekindle a little romance, treat yourself to a spa day, snap up those shoes you’ve been eyeing, or purchase a few great books!)

  • The entire set of Deep Haven Books

The winner will be announced on 1/30/12 on Susan’s blog, Scribbles! Just click one of the icons below to enter and tell your friends about Susan's giveaway on FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning.

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Tuesday, January 17, 2012


All they need is three things if they were born in Claysville, just food, drink and words. If she could get to them before they would awake she could make sure they remained where they were. Provide a sense of peace they expected. If they awoke, it was her job to find them. Her job to lead them back and prevent them from wandering. She was the Graveminder.

Rebekkah Barrow was a blood relative of Maylene, but considered her to be the closest thing to a grandmother should would ever know. Spending time with her in Claysville seemed so right. Just crossing over the city limit sign seemed to put her mind and body at ease. Never understanding why until she got a fateful phone call telling her that Maylene was dead and she needed to return as soon as possible. Since it was a town tradition to not embalm their dead, the funeral and burial would need to take place within 3 days, which left Rebekkah little time to get back to Claysville.

Picking her up at the airport was the only man she fell in love with but tried so hard to forget, Byron Montgomery. After being gone for the past ten years she thought she had put enough distance and time between them to avoid having any feelings for Byron. Being the son of the town's Undertaker, Byron felt it was his place to make sure Rebekkah made it to Maylene's house safe and to explain that Maylene didn't just die. She was brutally murdered.

Graveminder by Melissa Marr is a dark gothic fantasy of a role that the town of Claysville entered a long time ago ensuring a complete safe place to live, providing that the town kept the Graveminder and Undertaker doing their jobs. While growing up, Rebekkah watched as Maylene performed the same unusual ritual at every funeral: three sips from a small silver flask followed by the words, "Sleep well, and stay where I put you." Now it seems in Claysville, the worlds of the living and the dead are dangerously connected - and beneath the town lies a shadowy, lawless land ruled b the enigmatic Charles, aka Mr. D. From this dark place the deceased will return if their graves are not properly minded. And only the Graveminder, a Barrow woman, and the current Undertaker, Byron, can set things right once the dead begin to walk.

I received Graveminder by Melissa Marr compliments of William Morrow, a division of Harper Collins Publishers for my honest review. Growing up a fan of shows like Night Gallery and the Twilight Zone, this book found the perfect place for those that like a little suspense thriller in their novels. I have to say that this is a wonderful storyline and one that you think you might have figured out, until the very end when you are completely caught off guard. Melissa Marr is a talented writer who has crafted such a well written story that provides you with just enough to keep you turning pages until the very end. I have to rate this one a 5 out of 5 stars.

For more information on this book, the author and where to pick up a copy of this book, please click on the links below:

Graveminder by Melissa Marr

You can also find about more on Facebook by clicking here.

Monday, January 16, 2012

A Mile In His Shoes - DVD Giveaway and Review

One of the most exciting things this year has been to be able to view some incredible family films and today is no exception. Based on a true story, Dean Cain and Luke Schroder star in movie based on the book, The Legend of Mickey Tussler.

A Mile In His Shoes tells the story of a failing baseball coach Arthur Murphy (Dean Cain) who is trying to find a way to salvage his minor league teach, The River Rats. Taking a drive to interview a prospective candidate who may just turn out to be the next big thing, Murphy has a minor accident while trying to find his way into town. When he seeks the aid from a young boy, Mickey Tussler searching for his lost pig, Oscar to use a phone, he soon discovers God has bigger plans in store for Murphy and Tussler.

Watching Tussler 'smash apples' as he's feeding the pigs, Murphy discovers the boy can deliver the heat in his accurate pitches to throw apples into a tin barrel. Sensing a bright spot in both their lives, Murphy must convince the Tussler family of Mickey's potential at pitching baseball. However he discovers that Mickey has Asperger's syndrome, which is a form of autism that can overwhelm his sense if he is surprised or confused. They relent to allow Mickey to try out and soon discover that all roads lead to where God will call those who are willing to listen.

I received this DVD, A Mile in His Shoes compliments of Propeller, Thomas Kinkade and Nasser Group North for my honest review. This was is sure to be a homerun for fans of baseball, under dog stories of determination and the love of friendship and family and is also a movie from the director of Angels in the Outfield. I just know that you're going to love this film as much as my family did and that's why this one rates a 5 out of 5 stars in my opinion.

For more information on this film please click on the links below:

Dove Foundation Review

You can also find out more about the movie on Facebook by clicking here.

Now the exciting part. Thanks to Propeller and Nasser Group North, they are providing a giveaway copy of this DVD to one lucky reader of this blog. Here's all you need to do to enter to win:

1. Be a follower of my blog, Reviews From The Heart.

2. Leave a comment on my Facebook page, Reviews From The Heart and "like" this review once you find it.

3. Be a resident of the US or have a US shipping address. Please No P.O. Boxes.

4. Leave a comment telling me why you'd love to win a copy of this movie in the comment box below along with your email address. You can use the words (at) or (dot) instead of the symbols. I will notify the winner of this giveaway when it ends on January 23rd.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements of Testimonials in Advertising."

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Archon: The Books of Raziel ~ Giveaway and Review

By Blood, by Fire, by Air, By Earth
By Water, by Life, by Death, by Birth
By Sun, by Moon, by Sky, by Sea
I offer what is precious to me, my Dreams,
That portion of Death I see, and now your Spirit
Bound by the leash of my Will shall be…

There are some things worse than Death.

Angela Mathers, with her stain of dark red hair and alabaster skin – a freak, a monster, a blood head, and perhaps the possible fulfillment of a horrific prophecy, remains haunted by angels. One in particular with beguiling blue eyes and magnificent bronze wings who seduces her dreams. Her only escape from the nightmares is her paintings that depict the dark visions that have possessed her mind for years.

Newly freed from the mental institution she spent the last two year of her life in, Angela is hopeful that attending Westwood Academy, the Vatican’s exclusive univerisity, will bring her peace and will finally provide and explanation for the dreams and visions that plague her mind. The university is a school for students, specifically blood heads that possess super-natural powers, and among them is one special blood head that is more powerful than them all: the Archon, the human reincarnation of the dead angel Raziel. When the Archon arises as is foretold in the prophecy, they will rule over the supernatural universe.

Angela, already struggling with her own life and its sense of normality, has no desire to conquer the supernatural universe, but the choice may not be her own. Torn between the man she loves and her obsession with the beautiful angel who haunts her dreams and paintings, she must choose what is best for her and for the world, for she is the key to Heaven and Hell. Both will stop at nothing to have the Archon on their side of this battle between their worlds.

Sabrina Benulis, author of Archon: The Books of Raziel, has really put a fascinating spin on her own unique and complex version of Paradise Lost; of heaven, hell, and life on earth, how and why the angels fell in the first place, and the impending apocalypse prophetically called the Ruin.

I would recommend this book to young adults and those comfortable with a Gothic style genre as well as the supernatural. I received this book compliments of Harper Collins Publishers for my honest review and would rate this book a 5 out of 5 stars. For more information about this book, the writer, and where to purchase a copy, you may click and follow the link I have provided below:

Archon: The Books of Raziel by Sabrina Benulis

Here's the best part, thanks to the folks at Harper Collins, they are offering a giveaway copy to one lucky follower of this blog. Here are your details:

1. Must be a follower of my blog, Reviews From The Heart.

2. Leave a comment on my Facebook page, Reviews From The Heart.

3. Be a resident of the US or Canada or have a shipping address in the US or Canada. Please No P.O. Boxes.

4. Leave me a comment telling me why you'd love to win a copy of this book. Along with the comment, please include your email address so I can contact you if you're the lucky winner. You can use the words (at) or (dot) instead of the symbols.

The giveaway will end on January 27rd and I will notify the winner at that time.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Sisters of the Quilt: The Complete Trilogy

The best part about reading Amish fiction is that you really come to love a series of characters, in this case the Lapp family from Owl's Perch. In this wonderful collection from Cindy Woodsmall, The Sisters of the Quilt is a complete novel containing three books in one and makes for a wonderful novel.

When the Heart Cries begins the story of the Lapp family with the oldest daughter Hannah spending much of her time working at an Mennonite farm just down the way from her farm. She has come to fall in love with Paul, the grandson of the women she is caring for. Yet she is caught between knowing what to do about it. Being only 17, she is in the middle of her rumspringa, and if she chooses to pursue the relationship with Paul, it might mean being shunned by her family or Paul having to lose his. When she decides to let God handle the details, she is forced into a car while walking home and is raped. This is considered an unmentionable by the Amish and one that may prove to be a shame to the community. Will Paul be able to handle the truth if Hannah can manage to tell him or will her family have Hannah sent away in shame?

When The Morning Comes deals with the Hannah Lapp being rejected not only by her entire family but even the man she loves turns his back on Hannah. She has no choice but to follow her heart and head to Ohio to find the aunt that was shunned many years ago by her father. Hannah will now learn to let her heart heal and learn how to put the pieces of her broken heart back together doing what she loves, learning about medicine and helping the Amish women out as a midwife. But has Hannah truly left her old past behind in Owl's Perch or will her past find a way to bring all the pain back to her new life?

When The Soul Mends is the final book in the Sisters of the Quilt series and now Hannah is on the brink of accepting her new life when a phone call late one night from her sister Sarah warrants an urgent return home. Seems like someone has been setting fires in Owls Perch and Sarah senses she is the one doing it. Now her best friend Matthew and his brother David have been injured in the fire and Hannah knows she has to be there for Matthew. Will that mean that the life she left behind in Ohio will be forgotten or will Hannah finally see that she can't outrun the mistakes from her past and finally reconcile with God?

I received Sisters of the Quilt series complements of WaterBrook Multnomah Publishers for my honest review and I have to say, I LOVED this idea. So many great Amish authors have such amazing series and to read them back to back really does create a seamless transitions between books. The strength of Hannah's character can teach us all that God will use any situation to bring about good in our life even though at the time, we may not be able to see it. Now you can see how Hannah's life is brought to a complete circle and see just how mighty God's healing hand can be. This one rates a 5 out of 5 stars and hope more Amish authors do the same with their series.

For more information on this book, the author and how to purchase a copy of this book, please click on the links below:

You can also find Cindy on Facebook by clicking here.

The Demi-Monde: Winter - Giveaway and Review

The Demi-Monde:

1. A subclass of society whose members embrace a decadent lifestyle and evince loose morals.
2. A shadow world where the norms of civilized behavior have been abandoned.
3. A massive multiple-player simulation technology that re-creates in a wholly realistic cyber-milieu the threat-ambiance and no-warning aspects of a hi-intensity, deep-density, urban, Asymmetric Warfare Environment.
4. Hell.

Welcome to the Demi-Monde, the ultimate in virtual reality - a military training ground and vivid, simulated world of cruelty and chaos run by psychopaths, madmen and fanatics. If you die die in the Real World.

In the year 2018, the Demi-Monde is the most sophisticated, complex, and unpredictable computer simulation ever created, devised specifically to train soldiers for the nightmarish reality of urban warfare. A virtual world of eternal civil conflict, its thirty million inhabitants - "Dupes" - are ruled by cyber-duplicates of some of history's cruelest tyrants: the fanatical Nazi butcher Reinhard Heydrich; Stalin's arch executioner Lavrentii Beria; the torture-loving Grand Inquisitor Tomas de Torquemade; the Reign of Terror's bloodthirsty mastermind Maximilien Robespierre.

But something has gone horribly wrong inside the Demi-Monde, and the U.S. president's daughter Norma, has been lured into this terrifying shadow world, only to be trapped there. Her last hope of rescue is Ella Thomas, an eighteen-year-old jazz singer and very reluctant heroine. But when Ella infiltrates the Demi-Monde and begins her hunt for Norma, she soon discovers the walls containing the evils of this simulated environment are dissolving - and the Real World is in far more danger than anyone knows.

I received The Demi-Monde Winter by Rod Rees compliments of William Morrow, a division of Harper Collins for my honest review and what I discovered between the pages was a very intense novel combining fantasy and science fiction coupled with an epic adventure that holds a very real possibility considering where our gaming industry is headed. Blending a darker version of an Avatar like environment set in the mid 1870's, the world worst criminal minds now run one of five different districts in order to recreate the world most chaotic training environment for the military. Only when those men are captured along with the president's daughter and the last remaining portal remains the only way in, an unlikely heroine is offered 5 million dollars to go on a search and rescue mission to bring her back no matter the cost. I rate this novel a 4.5 out of 5 stars for some strong language used by the characters.

For more information about this book, the author and even where to purchase a copy of this book, please click on the link below:

Here's the best part, thanks to the folks at William Morrow/Harper Collins, they are offering a giveaway copy to one lucky follower of this blog. Here are your details:

1. Must be a follower of my blog, Reviews From The Heart.

2. Leave a comment on my Facebook page, Reviews From The Heart.

3. Be a resident of the US or Canada or have a shipping address in the US or Canada. Please No P.O. Boxes.

4. Leave me a comment telling me why you'd love to win a copy of this book. Along with the comment, please include your email address so I can contact you if you're the lucky winner. You can use the words (at) or (dot) instead of the symbols.

The giveaway will end on January 23rd and I will notify the winner at that time.

Friday, January 13, 2012

The Keeper - Review and Giveaway

The Lapp family needs more help than they are willing to admit. Amos Lapp is slowly dying and with that, he is the last parent Julia has to rely on for help. Being the oldest, she has been trying to run the families produce stand, take care of the house and farm and raise her siblings, Sadie, Mary Kate and their special needs brother Menno. Amos has a bad heart and despite trying to heal from a recent heart attack, his heart isn't mending like he would have thought, and he's resolved to accept God's will that his life is now limited.

Julia Lapp was hoping for her wedding in November but since the arrival of the Bee Man, it seems as though all the eligible promised men are now having a change of heart and reconsidering the long term commitment marriage offers. Now her plans to wed Paul are being postponed for yet a second time. While Julia tries to think up a way to win back Paul's affections, she has many more personal problems dealing with her family and farm. There simply doesn't seem to be enough time in the day to take care of all their needs, not to mention dealing with her Uncle Hank who borders on childlike whims whenever he feels like it. This may be the very reason that Paul has called off the wedding. Who would want to marry Julia knowing what lies in their future dealing with her family?

The Bee Man, whose real name is Roman Troyer, has dedicated his life to roaming the Amish communities offering the services of his bees to help the farmers with their crops. His lonely life as some see it, offers very little in the way of putting down roots and having a real home, but its one that he loves. Little does anyone know the real reason behind while he travels so much, but as long as he stays on the move, he won't have to face his past. That is, until it shows up in the most unlikely of places on the Lapp farm. His past is now coming around full circle.

In the newest novel by Suzanne Woods Fisher, The Keeper is the first in the Stoney Ridge Series and a delightful way to introduce some amazing characters. Julia is the oldest and therefore all the responsibility is weighing heavily on her shoulders, even though she desires love and a family all of her own. Then there is Roman Troyer who finds that running from his problems will eventually catch up to him, no matter how far he goes. This is such a delightful book that shows that God can use any circumstance to bring about good, it just takes a matter of perspective to see things from His vantage point.

I received The Keeper compliments of Litfuse Publicity for my honest review and anxiously await the second book in this series to come. It feels like the Lapp family is one we'd all love to get to know and be willing to become a part of their lives. I rate this one a 5 out of 5 stars and love the message found between the pages, that sometimes we can't always see things when we are too close, sometimes we simply need to take a couple steps back and see it from God's eyes.

For more information about this book, the author and where to purchase a copy of this book, please click on the links below:

It’s a “Honey of a Giveaway” from Suzanne Woods Fisher!

Suzanne is hosting a "honey of a giveaway"during the blog tour for The Keeper! During 1/3-1/17 you can enter to win an iPad2 from Suzanne and connect with her on January 17th at The Keeper Facebook Party!

During the giveaway one Grand Prize winner will receive a Prize Pack valued at $600:

  • A brand new 16 KB iPad 2 with Wi-Fi

  • A $25 gift certificate to iTunes

  • A copy of The Keeper

But wait there's more! Just click one of the icons below to enter, then on 1/17 join Suzanne for The Keeper Facebook Party! During the party Suzanne will announce the winner of the "Honey" of an iPad Giveaway and host a fun book chat and give away some fun "honey" inspired prizes - It'll be 'sweet"!

RSVP early and tell your friends!

Enter via E-mail Enter via FacebookEnter via Twitter

Don't miss a moment of the fun. RSVP today and tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 17th!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

His Steadfast Love

Imagine if you will, being in Texas just on the Gulf. It's the spring of 1861 and Amanda Bell is the oldest of four sisters and a brother she is helping to raise along with her father, Pastor Ezekiel Bell on their southern plantation. Her mother passed away and left Amanda tasked with raising her siblings until they are old enough to fend for themselves.

However with the rivalry between the North and the South, the stirrings of a Civil War is on the horizon and Amanda's only brother Daniel is willing to go to war to defend the South's position on slavery. What he doesn't seem to understand is even though they treat their slaves well, they are still not free. However Pastor Bell provides his blessing over Daniel as he heads off to war along with his childhood friends and Amanda is helpless to stop him.

When Amanda meets Captain Kent Littlefield during a church service, she finds her heart pulled in a way she hadn't expected. Now that the war has begun, Captain Littlefield has been called to duty fighting for the North, which now puts her at odds with the man she loves from the North, going to war with the brother she loves from the South. Will either of them return home from the war? Or will this war keep her love at a crossroads she can never hope to cross battle lines?

In the latest novel by Golden Keyes Parsons, His Steadfast Love, shows the horrors of what men, fathers, sons and families had to endure when our own country went to war against itself. In the end, lines were drawn and even when the war ended some feelings would never be resolved over what men had witnessed during their time of war. This is a chilling, fictional account of the Civil War that was waged in regards to the issue over men's freedom within our own country and along the way, God and love will prevail.

I received His Steadfast Love compliments of Christian Fiction Blog Alliance for my honest review and was amazed at this fictional account of one of our countries bloodiest battles on our own soil and the amount of lives that were lost in the war. Amanda Bell is a strong woman character I could relate to, who was willing to put aside her feelings of duty to her family and learn to listen to her heart and God's word. I rate this one a 5 out of 5 stars and would recommend this to anyone who loves historical romance!

For more information about this book, the author and where to pick up a copy of this book, please click on the link below:

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


Niki Turner thought she had life all figured out. When God took her parents and her brother Jack, she felt that if she just didn't keep anyone close, she wouldn't lose anyone else or have to deal with the grief that has bound her personal life for the last 8 years.

She has vowed to just remain friends with her room mate Marcy and focus the remainder of her time at her job, Hamilton Production Solutions, as a software engineer. But Marcy had a goal this year, and that was to make sure that love found it's way into Niki's life. After all , all work and no play, makes for a very dull and boring life. She vowed to make it her New Year's resolution to find Niki a man who would love her, fall in love and live the proverbial "happily ever after" life!

However when a dream job at Heliotronics is offered to Niki, she sees this as a confirmation that she's been on the right track her whole life. However when Kyle Jacobs is assigned to work with her, she begins to question God's sense of humor after all. Kyle Jacobs, Marcy's older brother, has been the person she dreaded her entire four years of high school. He made it his mission to torture her no matter what opportunity presented itself and now here she was, stuck at her dream job with her worst enemy. But Kyle is a changed man, one both physically and spiritually, and now he has to find a way to prove to Niki that the past is really in the past.

In the newest novel from Karen Baney, Nickels, is her first contemporary fiction about second chances and seeing what God's plan is for us in life instead of what we perceive it's all about. I received this wonderful eBook compliments of Karen Baney and was more than delighted with this wonderfully, well-written story of dealing with the loss of loved ones and finally finding a way to move forward. The journey isn't an easy one but tea us the value of God's unconditional love for us and the meaning of having friends along the way. I rate this book a full 5 out of 5 stars and am so excited to be able to share this review with my readers. This is one you won't want to miss out on. Well done again Karen!

For more information about this book, the author and where to purchase a copy of this book, please click on the links below:

You can also find Karen on Facebook by clicking

Monday, January 9, 2012

The Captive Heart

The latest novel, The Captive Heart is the second book in the Daughters of Caleb Bender series by Dale Cramer and could easily be read as a stand alone book as well. The first chapter is dedicated to an overview of just how the Bender family arrived in Mexico after leaving Ohio. They were facing a lot of persecution from the local government and school board for being Amish and adopting the Amish ways of life in regards to the education and raising of their children. Faced with jail time unless they were willing to change, the Bender family opted to move to Mexico for a new chance at living the life they have come to love without any interference from outsiders. The land was also cheap to purchase and ripe for a new start.

Now in the midst of the Mexican Revolution, the Bender family is having to deal with renegade bandits who will rob the family, kill their livestock and take the women because no one has stopped them up to this point. With the exception of Domingo, a Mexican farm hand her father has hired, the Amish community is at a loss for how to deal with this situation since the family does not believe in violence or even carrying weapons except for hunting.

However when the renegade group of bandit lead by El Pantera insist on provoking the Amish community to the point of kidnapping one of the women, they wonder if God will really be the answer to their prayers and protect them. Will Miriam find a way to fall in love with Domingo despite the fact he isn't an Amish man or will God have other plans for her?

I received the book, The Captive Heart by Dale Cramer compliments of Christian Fiction Blog Alliance for my honest review and was so excited to discover that this was the next book following Paradise Valley! This was a bonus for me and the excitement that is unfolding in each chapter keeps the reader flipping pages as fast as they can read just to see what will happen next. I could not put it down until I finished the final page in under four hours, and for me, that makes this an exceptional novel well worth 5 out of 5 stars.

Here's even more information regarding the author, the book and even a first chapter sneak peek below:
This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
The Captive Heart
Bethany House (January 1, 2012)
Dale Cramer


Dale Cramer spent his formative years traveling the world as an Army brat, then settled in Georgia at the age of fifteen when his father retired.

After high school he became an electrician, a job that took him to places as diverse as power plants, stadia, airports, high-rise office buildings and a hard-rock mining operation.

Twenty-five years of experiences in the trades provided him with the wealth of characters, stories and insights that populate his novels.

When he married his childhood friend, Pam, in 1975 he had no way of knowing they would not have children until fifteen years later.

In his early forties, when Dale left his job to become a stay-at-home dad, he suddenly found himself with time on his hands, so he pursued a lifelong dream and taught himself to write.

Using an online writer’s forum as a training ground, he wrote his first short stories in 1996. As his writing skills improved he turned to novels, publishing his first book, Sutter’s Cross, in 2003.

Since then, Dale has published four more novels and garnered a measure of critical acclaim with two Christy Awards, a listing among Publisher’s Weekly’s Best Books of 2004 and numerous other Best lists. Dale and his wife Pam live in Georgia with their two sons.


Bandit troubles intensify as Caleb Bender's family tries to settle into their new life in 1920s Paradise Valley. When El Pantera kidnaps Rachel and leaves her brother, Aaron, for dead, Jake Weaver and the Mexican native Domingo pursue the bandit leader to his mountain stronghold in a hopeless rescue attempt. Jake and Domingo manage to escape with Rachel, with the bandits hot on their trail. In a desperate attempt to avoid recapture, Domingo puts himself squarely in harm's way, giving Jake and Rachel time to get away. This is not the quiet life Caleb Bender envisioned when he led his family out of Ohio. What is a father to make of his daughter's obvious affection for a man outside the fold? And how will a pacifist Amishman like Caleb respond to the events that threaten his family and their way of life?

If you would like to read the first chapter of The Captive Heart, go HERE

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Sometimes He Whispers, Sometimes He Roars

What do we do when someone tells us that they need our prayers? Do we simply acknowledge their request and hope we'll remember to lift up their needs in prayer before the end of the day, or do we stop and send the prayer up right away?

Most of us have been asked to pray for someone in the course of our lives but very few have dedicated themselves to become a prayer warrior. Not just praying for the needs of people they know, but to go so far as to pray for people they don't know, states away, even for entire countries or the world. Yet in the book, Sometimes He Whispers, Sometimes He Roars, author Marilynn Chadwick was called to begin her journey into world wide prayer when 9/11 happened.

Inside the book she details her own experiences with prayer and how effective prayers can be achieved in a deeper level. She chronicles her own stories of what prayer has done in her lives and in the lives of those she has prayed for and in the end, you'll have a vision of just what your prayers can become.

I received the book, Sometimes He Whispers, Sometimes He Roars compliments of Howard Books compliments of Simon and Schuster for my honest review. When I agreed to review this book, I was looking for insight into enriching my own personal prayer life. Sometimes it seemed that my prayers lack a personal touch, a real connection between me and God and I needed help.

In this book, I learned some skills to really evaluate what I am praying for and how I need to become more effective. How to set aside some personal time and really get in touch with God during quiet time. I learned how Elijah, Peter, Paul and Jesus used prayer in their communication to God. We need to be alert, be specific and pray with authority as a believer in Christ and child of God. There are so many great tips on how to become an effective prayer warrior that anyone looking for help in this area of their lives, should get this book. I would rate it a 5 out of 5 stars and will be a resource book for me during the remainder of my own life as well as assisting others in their own prayers.

For more information on this book, the author and where to purchase a copy of this book, please click on the link below:

Saturday, January 7, 2012

One Perfect Word

I've been reading a book that just came out from one of my favorite authors, Debbie Macomber, called One Perfect Word. It's about focusing the entire year on just one word and making that your personal focus for the year. Praying on it, seeking God's will for that in your life and just studying it.

The book is really eye opening in that Debbie is very honest and forth coming on her journey to becoming a writer. Prior to having her books published, she wrote in journals a lot about her struggles and thoughts. Looking back at her own writing, she can see where God has taken her through each year and thus the reason why the personal focus on the "one word" has come into play.

She shares some of those word years with the reader in the book and encourages us to do the same. Along the way she shares with you how to go about picking your word of the year. Maybe it's something that keeps coming across your prayers, conversations and Bible study. Perhaps you should talk to friends and see what they believe it should be. She offers some interesting ways to go about seeing how that word will play out during the year as well from having it engraved in stone, carrying a reminder with you to pray about it during your days or having it written on a card or plaque.

I think the idea is beautiful and can help us to focus on smaller things, not bigger ones like committing a chapter or verse to memory each week but rather learn to see how God is working on your life through one simple word. Along with the fourteen words that Debbie shares with you in this book along with personal stories, are also scriptures, her written prayers from her journals, and even some practical tips on how to make the word come alive in a different mediums. This book is going to be an exciting journey for me this year and one I am so happy to be able to share with my readers.

I received this book compliments of Howard Books, a division of Simon and Schuster for my honest review and think it's a must read for anyone looking to enhance their Bible Studies! I rate this one a perfect 5 out of 5 stars and have started my own personal journey this year with the word TRUST! For more information on this book, the author and even where to get a first chapter sneak peek, please click on the links below:

You can also find Debbie at her website by clicking here or on Facebook by clicking here.