The Best People In The World!

Friday, November 28, 2014

Love Without End

For me, there has always been a flair for romance and the love of horses for as long as I can remember. Just looking at the cover of a novel that pairs a young woman and a man wearing a cowboy hat is enough to make me sigh! Couple that with a great premise of two people who have experienced loss in their marriages that make them both not sure if they are ready to get back in the saddle for romance or love anytime soon.

Robin Hatcher takes her readers back to a much loved setting she wrote about in A Promise Kept where she vowed to help Chet Leonard find a second chance at love again. She begins her latest series of novels with Love Without End. It's a timeless story of second chances and how much more full our lives are when we are given a second chance at happiness and love when we least expect it.

Chet Leonard has been trying to come to terms with why his wife left him and his three sons after the death of their oldest son, Rick. She simply up and left, subsequently divorcing him after leaving the ranch. Not sure it was because life with Chet would be forever a reminder of Rick, but it definitely left Chet believing that love had all but forgotten him and headed for the sunset instead. Now he was struggling with how to keep the ranch profitable after a lifetime of being in his family for generations. He would surely hate to lose it all now. Thankfully just having Anna moving back into the guesthouse after losing her husband would help give them hope again. Even though she wasn't family by blood, the Leonard's legacy was kept alive but the day Anna showed up on their land back in the early 1940's.

Kimberly Welch could hardly believe that life had taken the turn it had. A dead end is more likely where she found herself. Her husband death at 40 from a sudden and unexpected heart attack would have thrown anyone for a loop. But it was what he hadn't shared with her in their marriage that made trust an issue. Leaving them with more debt than they could manage, she lost first her husband, then her house and car and finally everything she owned except for her fifteen-year-old daughter Tara, and it looked like she was slowly losing her every day that went by. Thankfully her friend Janet, stepped in and offered them a place to stay so they wouldn't have to live on the street and along with that, a gift of a horse, for Tara to enable her to find her way back to life again. They only needed to convince Chet Leonard to help them break the horse in for Tara after being neglected by its previous owner. But is love without end or simply a detour in two broken lives and hearts? Only time will tell in this amazing novel!

I received Love Without End by Robin Lee Hatcher compliments of Thomas Nelson Publishers and Litfuse Publicity for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable review and the opinions contained here are strictly my own. This is such a remarkable story because it unites more than two hearts, but two families and two generations. Robin utilizes the combination of past and present lives of the Leonard family to convey the depth of the love of ranching but also for the love of family. You get a sense of betrayal for both Kimberly and Chet when they look at their past marriages and realize where the flaws resulted that cause both to fall apart so early on. The novel also conveys that often times God uses the difficulties and trials in our own lives to bring us to new beginnings and new hope. I loved this novel and read it immediately the day it arrived. Being a horse lover as a child, stories like this one fed my book lover's heart and gained a well deserved 5 out of 5 stars in my opinion. There is even a sneak peek at the next novel in the series Whenever You Come Around as well as a Reader's Discussion Guide at the conclusion of this novel.

For more information about Love Without End, Robin Lee Hatcher or where you can pick up a copy of this novel today, please click on the links below:

You can find Robin Lee Hatcher on Facebook to stay up to date with all her latest novels.

To read more reviews on Love Without End, please visit Litfuse Publicity's Book Tour Page.

Fire up the romance this holiday with Robin Lee Hatcher's latest offering in the King's Meadow Romance series, Love Without EndFor two single parents with bruised hearts, it’ll take more than a little courage to get back on the horse when it comes to love.

Celebrate love rising from the ashes of tragedy with Robin by entering her Kindle Fire giveaway.
 One grand prize winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire
  • Love Without End and the rest of the King's Meadow Romance series from Robin Lee Hatcher
Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on December 14th. Winner will be announced December 15th on Robin's blog.


Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Susie's Hope Giveaway and Review

We see it happening more and more and often times graphic images of abused animals find their way onto our Facebook feeds. We see the commercials with Sara McLauglin's song In the Arms of the Angel, tied to the humane society commercials. But what matters more is how we respond to those images. It's simply too easy to change the channels or bypass the images as if we never saw them. The ones of animals that have become the voiceless victims of horrible crimes.

Left for dead, these animals are beaten, trained as bait for fights, burned and disfigured with a pretty dark outlook for their future. Some can be rehabilitated, but sadly most are simply put down because the costs for their medical care is beyond what some counties and states can provide. Local volunteers often fund raise but there are far too many victims and not enough help.

In the DVD release of Susie's Hope from Stone's Throw Films, the topic of animal abuse and the laws surrounding the issue are the highlight. While this is Dove Family Approved for audiences of 12 and up, the images portrayed in the movie are graphic. This movie was based on the true story of one such case that prompted the law in North Carolina to be rewritten to give harsher sentences to people who commit crimes against animals.

The story is brought to life when Donna Lawrence, (Emmanuell Vaguer, 40 Days and 40 Nights), an animal lover at heart, befriends a neighbor's pit bull who is left alone outside to act as a guard dog chained to a tree. Often left at out night, the barking becomes a nuisance and concern to Donna and her neighbor and best friend Ramona Hodges, (Andrea Powell, Ender's Game, The Twilight: Breaking Dawn Saga: Part 2), who bring the dog food and water. Donna's husband Roy (Burgess Jenkins, Remember the Titans), is concerned for their unborn child that they have waited so long to have. He warns Donna and Ramona to stay away and let Animal Control handle the issue. But seeing the outcome before it happens, Donna is attacked by the pitbull and is left for dead.

In a twist of fate, Donna and Roy learn that the attack has left them with no ability to have future children. Dealing with the effects of the attack, Donna struggles with nightmares and fears of being attacked. She even questions what God's purpose was in her being allowed to survive if she can't have children. When she finds a badly abused puppy left for dead in a park, she finds an outlet not only for her own healing but that of the puppy she names Susie. This is definitely a heart warming story of hope and to bring attention to animal abuse and the laws surrounding the cases of animal cruelty.

I received Susie's Hope by Stone's Throw Films compliments of Fly By Promotions for my honest review. Except for the free copy of the DVD,  I did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable review and the opinions expressed here are strictly my own. This is a great movie to highlight the changes that need to be made to ensure that punishments against animal cruelty cases require more than a simple fine and probation, but now include jail time or more for repeat offenders. This gives a voice to those victims of animal abuse everywhere for those that cannot speak for themselves. I think Martin Luther King Jr summed it up best at the conclusion of the movie, "It may be true that the law cannot change the heart, but it can restrain the heartless." This one deserves all 5 out of 5 stars in this reviewer's opinion. This is a message about love, loss and redemption. A portion of the profits of this movie will go to the American Humane Association. Susie has been named the 2014 American Hero Dog.The DVD runs approximately 105 minutes.

Now the most amazing part, thanks to the generosity of Fly By Promotions, they are offering a giveaway copy of Susie's Hope DVD along with a Susie's Hope bracelet, to one lucky follower of Reviews From The Heart. Here are your guidelines:

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

2. "Like" Susie's Hope on Facebook. 

3. Be a resident of the US or Canada. Please No P.O. Boxes.

4. Leave me a comment below telling me why you'd love to win a copy of this DVD. Don't forget to include your email along with it otherwise I have no way of contacting you if you are the winner of the giveaway. You can use the words (at) and (dot) instead of the symbols.

I will be emailing the winner of the giveaway when it ends on December 5th. So make sure to spread the word!!

For more information about Susie's Hope the DVD, or how you can help support non profit efforts of Susie's Hope, please click on the links below:

You can find Susie's Hope on Facebook to get more information about the impact this movie and to see Susie, the real dog from the movie!

To purchase a copy of Susie's Hope on DVD, please click here.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014


Some of the most memorable novels are the ones that don't follow the structure we would expect. It's like watching the movie, "The Sixth Sense," yes the one about a young boy who can see dead people who seeks the professional help of Bruce Willis, who promises to help him. It isn't until we get to the very end of the movie, when everything we have been led to believe comes completely unraveled as the real plot is revealed. It makes you realize not everything is as it seems. That is just what Erin Healy has managed to masterfully accomplish.

Now don't be misled by the questionable reviews out there. I honestly believe most didn't finish with the novel and see how it all is revealed by the end. I even, wondered to myself more than 100 pages in, how did I get so lost in this story. I wondered if I was the only one, was it worth digging in deeper to finish or should I throw my hands up in defeat and surrender. After all, all of the novels I have read from Erin Healy have been amazing. So I wondered just what is going on.

I don't want to give any of the details away, because those are so precious when you finally discover what is happening, I don't want to ruin it for you. What I will say is press on, because the prize is so worth it. This isn't like any other suspense novel I have ever read and the ending will completely turn you upside down. You will need to press on pass more than 100 pages in the beginning and give yourself a break from what you are trying to figure out. Don't!!! Simply take your time and read it as it is happening. Don't try to figure out anything, just take it as it comes. It will be so worth your time and I honestly believe you will LOVE it as much as I did. I did put it down for a few days while trying to figure out what I was going to do about finishing it. As an honest reviewer, I feel I am committed to providing an honest review of any novel I am asked to review, whether it is positive or negative.

To give you a brief overview of the novel without giving anything away, I will refer to the synopsis that Erin provides on her cover. "A whispering voice at the back of my mind reminds me that I've been this way for some time. Dead. That is."

"The dead have a very broad view of the living, of actions performed out of sight, of thoughts believed to be private. I would know. Losing both parents is a trial no child should endure, and Marina and Dylan have endured enough. They deserve the one thing I could never give them: a mother's love."

"A mother's love, and the truth."

"My children have believed a lie about me for years and years. After all this time, I can still feel their hurt in my heart. But the tether holding me to them is frayed from years of neglect... and I have to find a way to make my confession before it snaps."

"But when the truth comes out, what other beasts will I unleash?"

"Why do we lie to the children?" someone asked me once.

"To protect them," I answered.

"How terrible it is that they need protection from me."

I received Motherless by Erin Healy compliments of Thomas Nelson Publishers and Shelton Interactive for my honest review. Besides receiving a free copy of the novel, I did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable review and the opinions expressed in this review are strictly my own. This is such a great novel because it completely deviates from your standard novel. It doesn't follow scripted patterns you can easily figure out, it has you all over the place because as readers, we honestly are trying to figure it out before it ends. Erin, keeps your guessing. Everything I thought was tossed over the ocean cliff by the time I got to the final chapters. Don't even read the discussion guide questions for clues because you will ruin it for yourself. Keep pressing on despite how difficult the beginning may be. Even I struggled, but I persevered and for once it was SOOO worth it! Erin Healy is by far becoming one of my favorite authors because she doesn't write the novels you are expected, she gives you the unexpected and for me that was so refreshing. Hands down a well-deserved 5 out of 5 stars.

For more information about Motherless, Erin Healy or where you can pick up a copy of this novel today, please click on the links below:

You can find Erin Healy on Facebook to stay up to date with all her latest novels.

To read more reviews on Motherless, please visit Thomas Nelson Publishers. 

Monday, November 24, 2014

Rumors of Wars

"In the end, we all worship something."

Imagine a world where the technology will revolutionize the way we buy and sell and even maintain our health and fitness. As technology advances, RFID chips will be the wave of the future. Fear of identity theft now removed; maintaining your health information without the hassle of doctors keeping paper records will be a thing of the past. Taking food stamps, welfare and government benefits and incorporating them into a small embedded chip is now here. You can even get discounts instantly on the places you shop the most without the inconvenience of carrying paper coupons or even leaving them at home. Maintain your stress levels and BMI's effortlessly and even counting calories now a thing of the past. Get yours today at a local Zurn center today!

Sound like something from a science fiction movie or merely a chilling look at what might be our future staring right at us. Think of the ability to prevent terrorist attacks because we can instantly locate anyone who has received the RFID chip and even track who is purchasing items that might be used in a terrorist threat. No more missing persons, because they can instantly be located like a Find Phone app!

In the DVD release of Rumors of Wars, Word Films takes a chilling look at the future where the government is in the process of rounding up citizens who haven't received the RFID chip to ensure the end of the terrorist attacks that are happening all over the US. Religious zealots are to blame for their division against the government control. The National Defense Authorization Act has been approved and now allows the Alliance, a military police force, to ensure that all comply or be killed. Martial law is unleashed to help find the religious rebels and their leaders to bring their war to an end.

But is it all one big cover up to some sick plan to control the population? The housing and financial economic collapse along with terrorist plots part of something bigger going on to do whatever it takes to plant fear into the minds of the American people? Society's end is just the beginning. Just another conspiracy theory? You decide!

I received Rumors of Wars compliments of Word Films and Edify Media Inc for my honest review. Except for the free copy of the DVD,  I did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable review and the opinions expressed here are strictly my own. This is such a great movie that takes Bible Prophecy and showcases a possible "what if" scenario. Starring Eric Roberts (Heroes) and Ben Davies (Courageous) this movie takes a look at the possible way the Mark of the Beast of Revelation might be played out in the present day. It truly shows you how simple technology would make the implementation of such a system possible. The movie runs 89 minutes and is Dove Family Approved. There are some great special features like interviews, an indepth look at the diary Roxy carries, character profiles and much much more. I easily rate this one a 4.5 out of 5 stars.

For more information about Rumors of Wars, Word Films or where you can pick up a copy of this DVD today, please click on the links below:

You can find Word Films on Facebook to stay up to date with all their latest movies.

You can find out more interesting fun facts on Facebook with Rumors of Wars!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Jesus Boat: Witness to Prophecy

2000 years ago much of what was Ancient Israel was destroyed and with it the hopes of the history of the Jewish people and their culture. It is also surprising that with each day, discoveries are being made that not only validate Ancient Israel but fulfill Bible Prophecy and Jesus' Words to the most minute detail. Following some of the great theologians of our day including Franklin Graham, Joel Rosenberg, Jay Sekulow, Skip Heitzig, and Chuck Smith along with some notated archaeologists as they share with you the most recent discovery ever made in the Sea of Gailee.

In the DVD documentary Jesus Boat: Witness to Prophecy by Edify Films, we get a look at not only the history of the destruction of Ancient Israel, the Jewish Temple to the fall of Ancient Rome, but also a divine unveiling of what could quite possibly be one of the fishing boats that the disciples used or even the very same one as Jesus used. The Sea of Gailee is quite small by comparisons of most seas you would think of, measuring just 12 miles long by 7 miles while. Jesus' ministry all took place in a 12-mile radius. His disciples according to the Bible were fisherman.

Scripture references of Isaiah 9:1-2, in which "he will honor Gailee of the nations, by the Way of the Sea, beyond the Jordan - the people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in a land of deep darkness, a light has dawned." This brings a discovery of a boat found beneath the mud in the Sea of Gailee by two fisherman brothers, the Lufans, after a 4 year long drought in Israel. What they found there besides the 2000 year old fishing boat, were Jewish and Roman coins along with a Widow's mite which is what Jesus said the widow placed in the offering that was greater than all the other money given by the people. It was the equivalent of bread and lodging for a day.

Just as the archaeologist's laid their hands on the boat, it began to rain, after so many years of drought in Israel. While the men were praying, the rain suddenly stopped and a double rainbow appeared. The boat would turn out to be 27 feet long and 7 1/2 feet wide, handcrafted by 12 different types of wood. There are more surprising divine signs as you watch this documentary that showcases not only how relevant this is to Israel's history but to further document the Bible in its authenticity.

I received Jesus Boat: Witness to Prophecy compliments of Edify Films and Edify Media Group for my honest opinion. Aside from a free copy of the DVD, I did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable review. The opinions expressed in this review are strictly my personal opinion. I love that the Bible is being authenticated with new discoveries happening all the time. It validates what I have believed that the Bible is 100% accurate. This is a great documentary that showcases Israel's history from the destruction of Jerusalem as predicted by Jesus, to the discovery of a plaque in a Rome coliseum that validates the Temple to what these discoveries mean from authenticating Bible prophecy. I easily give this one a 5 out of 5 stars.

For more information about Jesus Boat: Witness to Prophecy, Edify Films or where you can pick up a copy of the DVD today, please click on the links below:

You can find out more about Edify Films by visiting their website. 

Thursday, November 20, 2014

When Calls the Heart: Rules of Engagement

Webster's dictionary defines the meaning of the word engage: as a verb, to mean occupying the attention or interests of a person or persons; to secure for aid, employment, use, hire, etc.; to attract and hold fast; to bind as by pledge, contract, oath or promise; to betroth; and to bring (troops) into conflict; enter into conflict with.

In the DVD When Calls the Heart: Rules of Engagement from the Hallmark Channel and Word Films, all of these definitions apply to the characters we find in Coal Valley as Season 1 comes to a close with the final two episodes of the show. Does true happiness exist for anyone in Coal Valley? That is the question, Elizabeth Thatcher (Erin Krakow) pens in her journal of this DVD. As the town's school teacher of Coal Valley, we find her wondering what the outcome will be for the relationship between her and constable Jack Thornton (Daniel Lissing). Jack is crowned the town's hero for the apprehension of the Toliver gang. Just as Jack returns from Cape Fulton, an unexpected surprises awaits him from the stage. A woman claiming to be Jack's fiancè, Rose Mary LeVeaux, a theater actress from New York. After 2 years of being away from Jack, she realizes she can't live without him and comes looking for him. But love is persistent in her eyes and no matter what Jack tells her, she believes until he conveys his feelings for Elizabeth, hope still awaits in the wings for her.

Inspector Bill Avery (Jack Wagner) arrives from Capital City to investigate the Pacific Northwest Mining accident that claimed the lives of 46 miners six months ago. He is hoping to build a case against the mining company for neglect thanks to the details Abigail Stanton (Lori Loughlin) has provide to Jack. But Mr. Gowen, owner of the mine reminds Abigail that unless she drops the investigation and claims against the mine she might not like what his lawyers will be forced to reveal, one that just might point the fingers at her instead of at the mining company. But Abigail and Mr. Avery will not take to threats from Mr. Gowen or his employees.

Tensions mount as the circuit judge Jedidiah Black (James Brolin) arrives to oversee the case that could spell disaster either way you look at it for the town of Coal Valley. If the mine is responsible, it would mean the mine would close and the men would be out of work and unable to support their families. If Abigail is found responsible, it might mean the end to her cafe in Coal Valley and in the eyes of her friends whose husbands deaths would be on her hands. Will Jack Thornton find a way to reveal his feelings to Elizabeth just as she receives a lucrative offer as the first woman teacher in Briarcliff Teaching Academy back on the East Coast, a true dream job for her? Viewers will just have to wait until Season 2 begins, but until then we can relive all the greatest moments in this DVD series!

I received When Calls the Heart: Rules of Engagement compliments of Word Films, Hallmark Channel and Edify Media Inc for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation aside from a free DVD for my honest review and the opinions expressed here are my own. This DVD is the 6th and final one in Season 1 and includes the TV Series episodes number 11: Rules of Engagement and number twelve: Final Adieu on this one. This is such an exceptional series that families of all ages will come to love as much as The Little House on The Prairie. Micheal Landon Jr. brought author Janette Oke's novels to life and this one for me easily gets a full 5 out of 5 star rating!!!

For more information on When Calls the Heart: Rules of Engagement, Word Films, or The Hallmark Channel Series, or where you can pick up a copy of this DVD today, please click on the links below:

You can find Word Films on Facebook to stay up to date with all their family entertainment.

You can find When Calls the Heart on Facebook to stay up to date with all the latest information on the series.

To learn more about the series on the Hallmark Channel, please click here. 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014


Book Review for the book titled Emissary by Thomas Locke

Written in a possible mid century type of style where wizards, mages, magic, mystery and a clouded past are just a part of the true underlying story of Hyam. Born and raised by a mother who did not birth him and a father who did not raise him casts shadows of uncertainty and an unresolved past of who Hyam really is. He has powers and can speak forbidden tongues of Milantian, Ashanti, and Elven even from an early age. It was told that anyone speaking or to be of Milantian blood would be killed on the spot. Hyam tries to understand who he is, where he is from and his uncertain future that bids of doom and prophecy.

Reading through the book from the first several chapters sent me in search of Ore as I turned each page. The character development was very well written and with each chapter I could see the characters forming in my imagination! Some of the writing could be better written with explaining how Hyam got from one town to another as in the beginning. It skips a bit without much detail on how the main character gets from one place to another.

Hyam, Joelle, Bryna as well as a flock of other interesting characters fill the pages with a deep sense of sorrow, wanting, and a lust to be free. The main characters could each have a separate book written about them and their races that would be just as fascinating as this book was. I will leave that to the author...

I rate this book a 5 out of 5 stars and would recommend anyone who loves mythical, magical science fiction and fantasy! I received Emissary by Thomas Locke compliments of Revell Publishers and Edify Media Group for my honest review. I received this book for free with no monetary exchange either written or expressed for my sole review. Thomas Locke is the pseudonym for Davis Bunn as he launches into a new genre of novels for readers. Davis Bunn has long been a favorite author of mine and this was did not disappoint. Definitely one I would recommend to fans of novels like The Lord of the Rings Trilogy and Chronicles of Narnia. This is the first novel in the Legends of the Realms Series due out in January of 2015, with a teaser prequel The Captive out now! I can't wait for the sequel and once again this author has found a true treasure in this book lover's heart!

For more information about Emissary, Thomas Locke or where you can preorder a copy of Emissary today, please click on the links below:

You can find Thomas Locke on Facebook to stay up to date with all his latest novels.

To read more reviews, please visit Revell Publisher's website. 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The Harbinger

Feeling inspired to write what God was revealing to him, lead to The Harbinger being published in a divine way, and shortly upon its release, made the New York Times Best Seller list. The Harbinger is written in the form of a fiction story based on true events or prophecies that were fulfilled that point the way to God and His divine judgment that befall ancient Israel and is now impacting America in precisely the same way. The message is a clear sign that we have fallen from our foundational beliefs in God and have slowly begun to walk away and leave God far out of the picture.

In the events since 9/11, we have watched with chilling accuracy the mirror images of Israel of the past coinciding with the America of present day and even a warning for the future. Each of these harbingers are signs that reveal a biblical mystery that points to a specific event occurring but all linked together. From the terrorists background, the prediction of 9/11, to the rebuilding of the Freedom tower on the site of where the twin towers used to stand, to the Sycamore Tree that prevented the destruction of St. Pauls Chapel, where our first godly foundations were laid when we became a government under the leadership of God. Isn't it odd that the church where George Washington led the first government leaders in prayer immediately following his inauguration,  happened to be in St. Paul's Chapel in our nations capital? I'm not talking Washington, D.C. The first nation's capital was New York and specifically on the exact land that the Twin Towers stood that originally belonged to the church?

Is it all merely a coincidence or is God revealing something that we are all missing? Is God trying to give us a final warning before the destruction of America? Is something coming on September 13, 2015 that will shake up the economy more than 2001 and 2008 stock market crashes combined? You might just want to pick this book up and see for yourself. Do the research along with the book and see if our own government leaders from the senate all the way to our current president have issued God a defiant vow that we don't need him just like Israel did before their ultimate destruction? This book for me was so eye opening as a fan of Bible Prophecy and seeing the signs God is revealing in the skies that we simply chose to ignore or don't understand. For me, this one easily rates a 5 out of 5 stars in my opinion and is a MUST READ for every American citizen. The warnings are there, will we return to God before it's too late? Only time will tell!

For more information on The Harbinger, Jonathan Cahn or where you can pick up a copy of this amazing book, please click on the links below:

You can find Jonathan Cahn on Facebook to stay up to date on all the latest information.

Monday, November 17, 2014

The Devil's Game

Not since Stephen King or Frank Peretti have I come across such an exceptional Christian Supernatural Suspense until I picked up Daniel Patterson's The Devil's Game. In fact if you asked Simon Paradis, Harmony's newest resident, he would tell you that you have lived yet until you have met him. Things are going to get a whole lot more interesting for the people in Harmony. What they don't realize is that their very souls are on the line and the last time, Simon came to town, every single person died who chose to stay and see if they could match wits with him.

Reverend James Buchman at New Hope Church knows that the man in front of him wearing a long, black coat that is frayed at the edges, long hair and a black goatee with some gray in it, looks much older than he appears even though he can't put his finger on it. Simon Paradis seems to be able to charm his way into volunteering to help out all the people who are part of James church. Little do they really know what his true motives are. Not only is he able to control the thoughts of people he likes to call "weak-minded" but he has a sinister plot in mind if he can only get rid of Reverend Buchman.

He knows that subtlety and patience go a long way to bring his plans to fulfillment and all he needs is to convince a few key players in town to do their part to keep Reverend Buchman busy trying to save some people while he begins his deadly game. All he was hoping for was for the Reverend to be willing to lay down his life for his flock or in a twist of fate, simply leave town and Simon will take care of the rest In fact his sinister past has decimated cities in the past, and he is looking to make Harmony his latest target. With Reverend Buchman have enough faith to beat the devil at his own game? Check this one out and see!

For fans of Frank Peretti, Ted Dekker and Stephen King, you will definitely want to pick this one up. It's easy to get addicted to it and you can literally inhale this one in a matter of hours. This is a supernatural thriller that pits the devil against the pastor to see who will ultimately win in this spiritual battle for the town of Harmony. This is the first book in the Reverend Buchman Series and at this time is only available for eBook readers. This book is so well written because it engages you from the first chapter and before you know it, you're done. It does have a bit of a cliff hanger ending so you know that the battle continues and Simon is still on the loose. I rate this one a 5 out of 5 stars and LOVE this genre, not to mention it's a Christian suspense thriller! I can't wait for more from Daniel Peterson.

For more information about The Devil's Game, Daniel Patterson or where you can pick up a copy of this eBook today, please click on the links below:

You can find Daniel Patterson on Facebook to stay up to date on all his latest novels.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Pound Foolish

There is a saying that the grass is always greener on the other side. I wonder why people believe that to be true. I guess sitting in your current situation, it is easy to look at how other people seem to be so much better off than you are. Their marriage is full of love and romance, their kids are so well behaved, they don't struggle with finances like you do, but what we often fail to realize is what those people had to endure to get to where they are now. We like the blessings, we don't like to work at it to get there. Isn't that true?

Dave and Neta Jackson have been sharing a series of novels called the Windy City Neighborhood and in their latest book, Pound Foolish is by far my favorite. I think that is so because there is something in this one that most people can relate to. The Windy City Neighborhood Series is about a group of people who live on Beecham Street in Chicago, a melting pot of families in all shapes and sizes and in each novel, we get to interact with them as those it is another episode in a television series to see what has been happening to them since we last met, and get a more in depth look at one family in particular.

In Pound Foolish, we get to meet the Singer family. A couple who have been married for quite some time, with two children, a boy and a girl. Greg Singer, is the proverbial breadwinner of the family whose job as an event coordinator for PowerSports, a company that deals with sport shows in hopes of gaining people who will come to these events to buy boats, ATVs, or Snowmobiles. Just when he believes he is literally at the top of his game, the economy takes a nose dive and some of the larger companies are deciding to pull their registrations from upcoming events. Greg just believes it will pass but soon learns his boss is closing the company and he is about to be laid off. His biggest dilemma is how to tell his wife Nicole.

To say that their marriage is challenging lately would be an understatement. Nicole home schools her two children and runs the entire household. Her husband on the other hand simply believes that is the way God designed it and over time has put more time into his working relationship than in the relationship with her and the kids. In fact she has been considering the attentions of one of their neighbors who says and does all the right things, the way Greg used to and she wonders if their marriage can manage through this latest storm. When Greg believes the messages from their prosperity preacher that he is simply lacking the faith to believe in the greater blessings of God, it will ultimately test more than his family and his friends to see that it isn't the right kind of faith to have. Will he lose it all in the process of trying too hard to hold on to what he believes is right for his family?

I received Pound Foolish by Dave and Neta Jackson compliments of Castle Rock Creative Publishing and Litfuse Publicity for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation and the opinions contained in this review are strictly my own. I think the reason I loved this one more than the previous three books is because we have all had issues with security, whether in our finances, our marriages or our jobs. I can see through the eyes of each of the Singers how desperate they are to "fix" things but believe they are right and the other person is wrong. How seeing the struggles they have to endure to hold on not to just their finances while Greg struggles to find work, but in trying to hold on to those relationships that are important in our lives, family and friends. Even the struggles they have to endure with what their church pastor is preaching makes us all a bit more diligent into not merely accepting the truth because it's being preached by a man in a pulpit. I loved the entire novel and can easily say it is a well deserved 5 out of 5 stars in helping to teach us what is really important in our lives. There is a Reader's Discussion Guide and sneak peek at book 5, "Snowmageddon", at the conclusion.

For more information about Pound Foolish, Dave and Neta Jackson or where you can pick up a copy of this novel today, please click on the links below:

You can find Dave and Neta Jackson on Facebook to stay up to date on all their latest novels.

To read more reviews on Pound Foolish, please visit Litfuse Publicity's Book Tour Page.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

The Gate

Heaven is a very real place. As believers, we have the hope and faith of believing that when this life ends, our eternal one ends. Dann A. Stouten in his debut novel shares one such experience of Schuyler Hunt, who takes a journey one afternoon while his wife and daughters head out for a all-girls shopping trip to inquire about a cottage for sale. This cottage reminds him of the one from his childhood and might just be the perfect thing to consider making a purchase on to help his own family share in his favorite times at the lake!

Sky needs this time alone not only to reflect on his favorite times at the cottage, but also to get away from the stress of always coming to the aid of her younger brother Ben. It always seems like Sky has bailed Ben out of one financial mess after another and this time is no exception. Ben has overspent on the line of credit the bank has extended on the used car lot his brother now manages. Instead of immediately coming to his rescue again, he simply needs to take some time to consider just what to do, and another perfect reason for this trip.

Only when he arrives, he gets more than he bargained for when he arrives at the entrance of the property in a rain storm and gets his car stuck in the mud. Knowing it's late, he decides to sleep in the car until morning. When he arrives at the real estate office, he meets Michael DeAngelo who tells Sky, they have been expecting him. Sky figures his wife has made these arrangements and thinks nothing of his comment. He is escorted into the cottage, where he meets Ahbee who makes him an amazing breakfast. Ahbee tells him that he is about to get a true taste of heaven, but doesn't understand all the implications just yet. He thinks Ahbee is taking about the home made cinnamon rolls he made for breakfast. Sky thinks he truly has gotten away from all the cares of home and is now in God's country. Ahbee tells him that he is and he will be learning quite a few things during his stay at the cottage, but whether he stays or not is his choice.

What Sky is about to encounter will truly be a heavenly experience as he enters Angel's Gate and spends some time at the cottage reflects on God's interaction in his life and the people who have moved on to heaven are now given a rare moment in time to share something that God wants each of them to pass along to Sky in his quest for answers to the problems in his life. There are so many great and inspirational quotes it is too hard to list them all here, but trust me, once you pick this one up, you will also find yourself on your own journey into a small slice of heaven!

This novel reminded me so much of Mitch Albom's One More Day in which the main character Sky finds himself in heaven where he gets to visit with those who have died for a day. His mother, grandparents, friends and mentors all share a bit of heavenly wisdom along with God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit to encourage and inspire Sky to become a much better person with the time he has left on earth. He remembers that "time is an unrenewable resource that should never be wasted," and spends the "time" he is here learning from those who have gone before them. This is such a wonderful novel that gives us all a glance into what heaven might be like and cause us to live our lives with the time we have left on earth, with more passion, purpose and love. I'd rate this one a 5 out of 5 stars.

For more information about The Gate, Dann A.Stouten or where you can pick up a copy of this novel today, please click on the links below:

You can find Dann Stouten on Facebook to stay up to date on all his latest novels.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Proof of Angels

"Life is not just a bunch of disconnected events and people. It's not just a random stream of coincidences. There are reasons, and we may not know them or recognize them and we may not understand them, but we have to trust that there are reasons beyond us, because I've seen it work out enough. It doesn't mean we will all live forever. It doesn't mean bad things won't happen or we won't feel sad sometimes, but it does mean that we can't discount the miraculous in the mundane." (209).

Firefight Sean Magee never believed in angels before even as he watched his nephew Colm die after numerous attempts to try and save him from his heart defect. As Colm slowly passed from this world to the next, Sean knew that despite all the claims Colm had that heaven was real, he still doubted. He doubted until he saw what he believed was an angel at Colm's side that night. He wouldn't remember it was the very same until Sean found himself trapped in a burning building. Unable to locate his way out in the black smoke, Sean uttered a prayer to God that if he saved him, he would spend the rest of his life being a better man, and just like that the angel appeared to lead him to the third floor window. Sean's only issue was jump from this height or risk being burned further from the flames following him out.

So he jumped, not knowing if he would die in the process or be forever crippled and unable to walk. When he woke up, he was neither. Against all the odds, Sean lived even though it would take months of rehabilitation to restore his shattered legs and back and recover from the burns. Now as he spends time thinking about how he can make good on his promises, he can't help but wonder if angels are real or if he was just imagining that had happened. He would eventually discover that" the secret to happiness is not wanting. It's not getting what you've always hoped for or imagined. It's managing your expectations." (275). Perhaps, just perhaps, there are angels after all in the unlikeliest of places, just when we need them the most.

I received Proof of Angels by Mary Curran Hackett compliments of William Morrow, a division of Harper Collins Publishers for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable review and the opinions contained here are strictly my own unless otherwise notated. I loved this novel, especially after being familiar with Sean Magee where readers were introduced to him in Proof of Heaven. This is his story, "about finding second chances, about failure and forgiveness, about doubt and faith, and about all the angels who touch us along the way. The ones who might just bump into us long enough to nudge us on our way and the ones who stay in our lives forever and guide us indefatigably toward the light."(24). I give this one a 4.5 out of 5 stars and truly believe that there are angels around us, and some happen to be the people we need in our lives who are inspired and encouraged to help make us all better people. There is also Reading Group Discussion Questions at the conclusion of this novel.

For more information about Proof of Angels, Mary Curran Hackett, or where you can pick up a copy of this novel today, please click on the links below:

You can find Mary Curran Hackett on Facebook to stay up to date on all her latest novels.

For more reviews on Proof of Angels, please visit William Morrow's website. 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Quilted by Christmas

Each of the Quilts of Love novels are perfect for a little romance with a quilt as the setting around which the story itself revolves. Any of them can be read in any order even though they all belong in the series. Quilted by Christmas from Jodie Bailey takes an Irish Chain Quilt and weaves a story of high school romance that is given an opportunity for a second chance. After reading this one, it makes me want to break out my quilting supplies again while my daughters are still single.

Taryn McKenna and Justin Callahan grew up as best friends who fell in love before they turned eighteen. Through a series of arguments that dealt with the differences in how each of them were raised, they soon parted ways. Now that Taryn has turned 30, she is wonders if all those secrets from her past will keep them apart when she learns that Justin has come home after serving in the Army. If she can only find a way to tell him the one thing she should have 12 years ago that may or may not have changed where they find themselves today.

Jemma, Taryn's feisty grandmother is in the process of passing down a time honored tradition of hand sewing an Irish Chain quilt for Rachel, her niece since both girls have lost their mothers, Jemma is all they have left to ensure that the family tradition of handing down the quilt as a marriage gift continues on. She also knows how much Taryn has loved Justin and the circumstances that have kept them apart. In fact, she knows just how to make all the necessary arrangements to ensure they spend time together as Christmas nears and she has so much to do.

I received Quilted by Christmas by Jodie Bailey compliments of Litfuse Publicity and Abingdon Press for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable review and the opinions expressed here are strictly my own. This is the story of redemption, forgiveness and second chances which I believe the author expressed beautifully in the characters of Taryn, Justin and Jemma. It outlines in a carefully constructed way the consequences of keeping some secrets that should never be kept. In the conclusion of the novel the author exemplifies the true meaning of unconditional love through Justin's actions towards not only Jemma but also in dealing with Taryn's secret. "It also exposes that love isn't something you earn. It's not something you have to be good enough for. Real love is freely given, not taken away because you don't do what someone else wants." (99). Such a perfect way to spend a cold crisp December evening, curled up by the fire and reading an exceptional romance such as this. A well deserved 5 out of 5 stars. There is a sneak peek of Swept Away by Laura V. Hilton and Cindy Loven  and a Reader's Discussion Guide at the conclusion of this novel as well.

For more information about Quilted by Christmas, Jodie Bailey, or where to pick up a copy of this novel today, please click on the links below:

You can find Jodie Bailey on Facebook to stay up to date on all her latest novels.

For more reviews on Quilted for Christmas, please visit Litfuse Publicity's book tour page.

BLOG CODE: Don’t miss the newest Quilts of Love book, Quilted by Christmas by Jodie Bailey. October’s QOL release is a warm Christmas tale of God's steadfast love.

Enter to win a Kindle HDX, and RSVP for the “Merry Quilted” Quilts of Love Facebook party on December 9th.

One winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire
  • Two copies of Quilted by Christmas by Jodie Bailey (One for you and one to give away as a gift!)
  • Hidden in the Stars by Robin Caroll
  • Swept Away by Laura V. Hilton and Cindy Loven
Enter today by clicking the button below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on November 16th. Winner will be announced November 17th at the Quilts of Love blog.

Wait! There's more! RSVP for the "Merry Quilted" Quilts of Love Christmas Book Chat Party on December 9th and connect with some of the Quilts of Love authors. Jodie Bailey, Laura V. Hilton, Cindy Loven, Cathy Elliott, and Gina Welborn will be hosting a "merry" evening of book chat, Christmas traditions, prizes, and more!


RSVP today and spread the word—tell your friends about the giveaway via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on December 9th!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Dreaming on Daisies

Sometimes it's great when novels can reach deep inside us and reach the pain we often have hiding inside our hearts. When Miralee Ferrell decided on a theme for her latest novel in the Love Blossoms in Oregon Series, she knew she what she wanted to convey in Dreaming on Daisies. From the outside, people can appear happy but on the inside is another story. For Leah Carlson, she was still dealing with the pain of her mother's death six years ago. When that happened it seemed it took the life of the man she once knew as her father and dumped him inside a bottle of whiskey he was so found of getting lost in at the saloon in Baker City.

For years bitterness continued to grow not only in finding ways to keep from hating the man her father was becoming, but at the way she had worked so hard to make the ranch a success and now it seemed like all their money was tied up in her father's drinking binges. No matter what great ideas she had to try and turn it around, her father believed that Leah didn't possess the common sense to understand ranching was a man's business and part of his pride.

Leah had also lost her older brother Tom, when he decided to walk away from ranching and never left word where he was going or why he even left. So all Leah had to figure out the broken places of her life was pieces of what she could understand. She must try to convince the bank to provide her with a small loan to help get them back on track otherwise the only thing remaining that she has held onto all this time will be losing the ranch she has loved since she was a child. That would be the one thing that would ultimately break Leah.

Steven Harding wished he had better news for Leah when she came to him to inquire about obtaining a loan to help get them through the winter, but since the deed didn't have her name on it and her father wasn't the one inquiring about a loan, the only thing he could offer her was he would keep on trying to convince the bank to give her a chance. But without her father's signature on the loan documents, Leah would have to find another way to save the family ranch. She just wasn't hoping to rely on Steven Harding to do it. But when a mining accident leaves Steven without a place to stay, he believes he has the solution to both of their problems. If Lean agrees to let him stay on the ranch, he will help with the manual labor her father seems no longer interested in doing. But is the ranch the only thing Leah could lose?

I received Dreaming on Daisies by Miralee Ferrell compliments of David C. Cook Publishers and Christian Fiction Blog Alliance for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable review and the opinions expressed here are strictly my own. This is a powerful novel that portrays the effects of what alcoholism can have on not only the person who is addicted but the family who is struggling with dealing with it. This novel conveys a story of a young woman who's been emotionally damaged by a father who turned to alcohol and abandoned her emotionally, and a mother who abandoned her physically. It's no wonder that Leah has trust issues dealing with anyone in her life. They can leave scars even on the strongest Christian that can linger for a lifetime. The author's hope in writing this novel is that some aspect of the story would minister to their heart and that Jesus can heal every broken and wounded heart that's brought to Him as she writes in the Author Note at the conclusion of this novel. There is also a Reader's Discussion Guide in the novel as well. Well worth a 5 out of 5 stars in my opinion and hit home in my western romance lover's heart!

For more information about Dreaming on Daisies, Miralee Ferrell, or where you can pick up a copy of this novel today, please click on the links below:

You can find Miralee Ferrell on Facebook to stay up to date on all her latest novels.

To read more reviews on Dreaming on Daisies, please visit Christian Fiction Blog Alliance's book tour page. 

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Saving Christmas - Review and Giveaway

It seems like every Christmas there is a debate over the validity over what people choose to incorporate as part of their Christmas celebrations. Some people don't like anything but nativity and others pull out all the stops with Christmas trees, Santa Claus and everything under the sun. But how has Christmas gotten so twisted with so many divisions over what should and shouldn't be allowed, are the Christmas Trees and Santa Claus really pagan symbols? What about Jesus, isn't He being lost in all the commercialism, in all the buying of presents? You might just be surprised if you're one of the many who believed that there are some things that should be omitted from your Christmas celebration besides the words Merry Christmas.

Kirk Cameron decided to dig deep into the origins of Santa Claus, the Christmas Tree and many of the other decorations we put up as part of our Christmas celebrations. It seems lately the joy is been completely taken out of Christmas and instead leaving us even more divided on the issue than ever before. In his movie Saving Christmas that is in select theaters on November 14th, Kirk finds himself at his sister Bridgett's Christmas party. Everyone is in the full spirit of celebrating except for her husband Christian. Christian has excluded himself from the celebration because he firmly believes that all this Christmas stuff has put Jesus on the back seat while all these pagan symbols are being worshiped instead. He struggles to find out where any of these are in the Bible. Kirk firmly takes the time to explain how the Nativity is more than what any of us considered. From the manger itself to the symbolism of Jesus' birth and what was happening in the world at that time. What the significance of the swaddling clothes Jesus was wrapped in and how will they make a return appearance later in his life?

This is such an impactful movie not only in the way it tackles all the hard issues like pagan symbols or religious symbols? Where can we find why we celebrate on December 25th, and just how God has impacted this time of the year to celebrate? How we can realize that all the stuff we celebrate is really pointing to Jesus, even Santa Claus? My family and I had the honor to watch this exclusively before it aired in theaters thanks to Provident Films and Propeller LLC for my honest review, and we all honestly loved it. Now we have a more firm foundation of explaining things to those who would try and take the fun and joy out of the Christmas celebrations. It has given us new life to our Christmas celebrations again and now I am so super excited to feel free to celebrate the way we have as we grew up without having to justify anything. This is such a sweet, funny and definitely learning experience for the entire family. It is wonderful to see Kirk Cameron provide just what so many believers and non believers have been waiting for.

I received my invitation to review Saving Christmas compliments of Provident Films, CamFam, and Propeller LLC for my honest review and did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable review. This is such an educational and fun family film for the entire family. The origins of so many of our Christmas favorites are explained in this incredible film. The movie will be in select theaters beginning November 14th for a limited engagement of only two weeks, so you don't want to miss this one. I easily rate this movie a 5 out of 5 stars and can't wait for it to come out on DVD so I can add this one to my must watch Christmas movie collection. I think watching it before Christmas is perfect to get you into the right Spirit for the reason for the season! And it's all about Jesus!

For more information about Saving Christmas, Provident Films and where you can get more information about where this movie is playing near you, please click on the links below:

You can find Saving Christmas on Facebook to stay up to date on all the latest information.

Now for the fun amazing part! Thanks to Provident Films and Propeller LLC, they are giving away some Saving Christmas SWAG to one lucky follower of my blog, Reviews From The Heart. It includes a signed by Kirk Cameron Saving Christmas movie poster, the soundtrack to Saving Christmas and a Saving Christmas air freshener (smells like Christmas Trees!!!) Here are your guidelines to enter:

1. "Like" Saving Christmas on Facebook and leave a comment.

2. Be a resident of the US or have a US Shipping address. Please No P.O. Boxes.

3. Leave a comment below telling me what you are looking forward the most to seeing the movie, Saving Christmas. Don't forget to include your email address. I will need a way to contact you if your the lucky winner of the Saving Christmas SWAG.

I will notify the winner of the giveaway by email when it ends on November 21st. So be sure to spread the word and tell your friends and family to go see Saving Christmas on November 14th! The movie will only be in theaters for two weeks so don't miss 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 the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”

Friday, November 7, 2014

Why Do We Call It Christmas? Giveaway and Review

From the makers of What's in the Bible and Veggie Tales, Phil Vischer created a unique one of a kind DVD for children that specifically addresses Christmas and its traditions. Buck Denver is sitting alone in his cabin in the woods and wants to know what all those things we do at Christmas mean to signify the celebration of Jesus' birth. He decides he will invite a few friends over to explore what it all means.

Instead of bouncing our kids between "Jesus Christmas" and "Santa Christmas," wouldn't it be great if they understood how all these traditions fit together? How they ALL point us to Jesus? We think THAT would be a holiday worth celebrating. Topics of cutting down trees, hanging stockings, Santa Claus, are all discussed from their points of origins to show how each of them points to Jesus Christ and His birthday. You might know the Christmas story, but do you know the story of Christmas? Don't miss he whimsical, educational, Christmical party to end all Christmas parties as Buck Denver Asks...Why Do We Call It Christmas?

Viewers will understand the significance of why we celebrate Christmas on December 25th, the meaning behind the Christmas Tree, St. Nicholas day celebrations, the meaning behind Santa's red suit, where did we get the word Christmas from, what is Hanukkah, and the story of the Upside Down Kingdom. As Buck learns more from his friends as they make their way to his cabin for a Christmas celebration, he begins to understand just how wonderful our Christmas traditions mean and how we can explain them to our friends and family as we celebrate the real meaning behind the season in terms that are easy for kids to understand.

I received Buck Denver Asks...Why Do We Call It Christmas? compliments of JellyTelly and Propeller LLC for my honest review of this DVD. I did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable review and the opinions contained here are strictly my own. If you love the What's in the Bible Series, then you will want to pick up this special Christmas addition, just in time for the holidays. The DVD is loaded with all kinds of fun extras from a coloring page, a note from Phil, a special question and answer section to help parents further discuss what they learned from the DVD as well as some incredible bonus features on this 60 minute DVD. There was even information I didn't know until I watched this and it is specifically geared to entertain and teach children about all the stuff we celebrate at Christmas time! Well worth all 5 out of 5 stars.

Now the very best part....thanks to the generosity of the folks at JellyTelly and Propeller LLC, they are offering a giveaway copy of this DVD to one lucky follower of my blog Reviews From The Heart. Here's all you need to do to enter:

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

2. "Like" What's in the Bible Facebook page.

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

4. Leave me a comment below telling me why you'd love to win a copy of the DVD and what question you're hoping to find the answer to along with your email address. Remember if I don't have an email address, I can't notify you if you're the lucky winner.

I will be notifying the winner by email on November 24th, so please be sure to pass along the information on the giveaway. You can enter as many times as you wish!

For more information about Buck Denver Asks...Why Do We Call It Christmas?, JellyTelly, or where you can purchase your copy of this DVD, please click on the links below:

You can find What's In the Bible on Facebook to stay up to date with all their latest DVD's.

"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 the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”

Thursday, November 6, 2014

In the Heart of the Dark Wood - Giveaway and Review

"Everyone was lost somehow, turned around in their own darkwood, looking for something that would help them go on. Everyone just wanted to find their way home."

It's been eighteen months since the Carnival Day Storm when life in Mattingly would be defined as "Old" or "New" based on where you were when you arrived in town. For one young 12-year-old girl, Allie Gunderson has been marking it off in days. 542 when the novel opens. Allie has been holding on to her version of faith, refusing to accept that the tornado that tore her mother from her life, had taken her away for good. Allie was the only one in town who believed that somehow, somewhere, her mother was still out there, waiting to find her way back home. It was why she believed in her daily rituals that began each morning, and offered her a hope that she might just make it through this day.
"It started with prayer, nothing extravagant or drawn out like the speeches in church; a simply hello and thank-you were usually enough, and were expressed more through Allie's mouth than her heart."(41).

It was simply a way to mark off the time until her mother, Mary made her way home. Tornadoes were like that some times, picking people up and setting them down miles away from home. But no matter how logical some might argue their point with Allie, her faith remained. The only thing she had left of that day was a compass from the Carnival that her mother had given her. It stopped working long ago, and the strap that held it to her wrist like a watch, was once a bright red, had worn to a faded pink. In fact, she would have lost it several times, had Zach Barnett, not reminded her to keep an eye on it. Zach was one of those parts of her life, where Allie would deny she had feelings for, much like her dog Sam, because Allie knew if you loved someone, God would take them away from you. So she kept them both at arms lengths refusing to acknowledge her feelings for them.

Until the day her compass began working again. It was the day her faith would be put to the test when Allie believed her mother had found a way to communicate with her. She was simply pointing the way for Allie to come find her and help her find her way home. Now all she needed was to convince Zach to come with her and help prove once and for all that her mother was not dead. She was simply lost and needed help to find her way home, back to Allie and her father Marshall. Zach knew that Allie was barely hanging on by a thread, but he wasn't about to let her set off in search of her mother by herself. They both promised themselves that they would only be gone for a few hours, home by dark, he promised his parents. That would be four days from the day they entered the woods.

I received In the Heart of the Dark Wood by Billy Coffey compliments of Thomas Nelson Publishers and Billy Coffey for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable review and the opinions mentioned here are strictly my own unless otherwise notated. This is the third book in this series, and as the author mentions at the beginning, they can be read in any order, but I have to say the way they were written is the best way to begin them. This is a novel in my opinion that explores what faith means in the midst of our darkest times. It is where we face our greatest fears and find our truest strengths. It is where we are tested by fire to see what remains and in this case it is the greatest gift of all, love.

This isn't one of those novels that is wrapped up in a pretty bow at the end, but will cause you to reflect on the journey you find yourself on where you begin reading it. It's not meant to be rushed but savored, explored, and questioned as you the pages not only of Allie's faith, but Zach's character. It is a coming of age story in a different way because each of them has held on to something they have believed in, but hasn't been tested until they day the enter the woods and it will forever change them, not just Allie and Zach, but the entire town of Mattingly. Hands down, one of my favorites by Billy Coffey and I hope that this is not the end of Mattingly. Many more questions remain but perhaps the answers lie buried until another time. Well deserved 5 out of 5 stars in my opinion. A Reading Group Guide is included at the conclusion of this novel.

Thanks to Billy Coffey and Thomas Nelson Publishers, they are offering a giveaway copy to one lucky follower of my blog, Reviews From The Heart. Here are your guidelines:

1. "Like" Billy Coffey's Facebook page. If you're already a follower, simply leave a comment on his page.

2. Be a follower of Billy Coffey's blog, What I Learned Today. 

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

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

I will notify the winner by email once the giveaway ends on November 24th, and feel free to share this giveaway opportunities with everyone you know.

For more information about In the Heart of the Dark Wood, Billy Coffey or where you can pick up a copy of this novel today, please click on the links below:

You can find Billy Coffey on Facebook to stay up to date with all his latest novels.

To read more reviews on In the Heart of the Dark Wood, please visit Thomas Nelson's website. 

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

A.D. 30

I've been a huge fan of anything written by Ted Dekker. In fact, there hasn't been anything I've read that I haven't loved. Now whenever I get a request to review any novels from him, I don't even have to read the synopsis because I am already so excited to get my hands on another of his exciting series. His latest novel A.D. 30, was inspired by his wife, whom he references as Maviah, the main character in this novel. She has to utilize all her strength going beyond what she feels and pulls from an invisible source to deal with what life hands her throughout this novel.

But it wasn't so much the story that captivated me as much as Ted's chapter "My Journey into A.D. 30" at the beginning of the novel that really hit home for me as a believer. I too have struggled in my life as a believer so many times, when adversity hits home and we struggle to find that strength in Christ to measure up and move forward often times failing worse than a non believer might. It's a brutal honesty of his heart that resounded with me and made me want to venture into my own personal search in reading this novel. "What about you? You're saved in the next life as a matter of sound doctrine, but do you often feel powerless and lost in this life? Without a doubt, the answer for me and I am sure plenty of other readers will be a huge "Yes!"

Ted references Jesus in this novel as Yesua, the name He was called in His day. He takes readers into the search through this novel to discover "His Way through the lens of a foreigner - a Bedouin women who is cast out of her lofty position in the deep Arabian desert by terrible tragedy. Her epic, unnerving journey forces her to the land of Israel, where she encounters the radical teachings of Yeshua, which once again turn the world upside down." (5). As the alliances in which Maviah's people has broken down and betrayal runs rampant, she is the last hope, much like Esther was to her own people, to find salvation and restoration in meeting with Herod to broker an agreement that might save her father as well as her town of Dumah.

Along the way, her loyalty will be tested, her beliefs in the gods of Ancient Egypt will be questioned, and the faith and unconditional love she finds when she encounters Yeshua is bound to affect you in a remarkable way. It truly is a story of sacrifice for those you love and how far you might be willing to go, what the costs of revenge truly are, and how we can find strength in the midst of the darkest places in our life. Now I can't wait for the next novel A.D. 33 to come out. What an amazing novel that will impact you long after you finish the final page.

I received A.D. 30 by Ted Dekker compliments of Shelton Interactive and Center Street Publishing, a division of Hachette Book Groups,  for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable review and the opinions contained in this review are strictly my own unless otherwise notated. I absolutely love the richness of the details in this novel. I actually felt like I was part of Maviah's small caravan as she and her companions headed out across the desert oasis relying on the stars and the sand to help navigate the way to Sepphoris to reach King Herod before she is hunted down by the Thamud who are trying to stop her. It truly allowed me as a believer to experience the Way of Jesus as I never had until reading this novel. I love the interaction between Yeshua and Maviah and how she conveys how He literally saw not only her but through her to the deepest places of pain in her life, much as I would expect Yeshua would if we encountered Him. Well done again Ted Dekker, and now I wait anxiously for A.D. 33 in anticipation!!! Hands down a 5 out of 5 star novel!

For more information about A.D. 30, Ted Dekker or where you can pick up a copy of this novel today, please click on the links below:

You can find Ted Dekker on Facebook to stay up to date on all his latest novels.

To read more reviews on A.D. 30, please visit Center Street Publishings website. 

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Season of Forgiveness

Emma Johnson believes that in order to reach some people, she has to live out what she believes. If Jesus dined and associated with sinners without judging them, than that is just what Emma will do and teach her growing family of seven boys. To say she is strong in her faith is an understatement and it permeates everything she does and says in raising her boys while her husband Jake drives the cattle on their growing ranch. But not everything for Emma has been easy. As a daughter of a white father and Indian mother, some of the people in the town of Riverbend can't see past their own race prejudices and treat her as less than worthy of God's kindness.

While Jake and her two older twins Jed and Jerry are on their way back from a long cattle drive, Emma is faced alone with caring for her five younger sons. Knowing how to shoot and take care of their needs, she still has an unsettled feeling, danger is lurking nearby. As she plans to head out for a picnic with the boys in hopes of adding some coneflower roots to her medicinal supplies, she encounters a man who has more on his mind than cause Emma harm. He plans on having a little "fun" before he takes her life. Only he wasn't counting on Emma being trained in how to use a gun and finds himself shot before he can do anything to do. Not only once in the shoulder, but when he failed to take her warning seriously, she shot him in the knee as well. But Emma isn't planning on letting him die. After she ties him up, she begins to treat his wounds.

Daisy Carson is trying to understand just where she keeps going wrong. Her father seems to find fault in everything she does, no matter how hard she tries. After losing her mother, it seems like her father can't seem to find joy in anything, except drinking, finding faults and insulting Daisy, making sure she understands she is worthless and if the punishments need to take on a physical nature to get his point across, he doesn't hesitate. Along with his drinking, he takes to assaulting Daisy at night when he visits her in her bedroom. Just when she thinks it couldn't get any worse, her brother believes that since their father can get away with treating Daisy that way, so can he. But just before he assaults her, the hired hands that work for her father, manage to arrange a rescue. They arrange to raise some money to ensure Daisy no longer has to be treated like that by her family. She takes a train and heads west in hopes of finding a new life in the mountains.

In the novel Season of Forgiveness by author Templa Melnick, each of the women in the novel find themselves in different circumstances that teach them just how powerful prayer is, and how the act of forgiveness can work to heal them in ways they could never imagine no matter how hard it is to do. With God's help each of the women learn the strength that comes from their faith as well as how important prayer is in helping them move forward in their futures despite what others may think of them. I received Season of Forgiveness compliments of Cladach Publishing for my honest review and did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable review. I love how each of these women find their own strength in their faith and no two examples are exactly alike. Emma has to struggle with racial prejudice, Daisy has to deal with finding her own self worth, Dee, will need to come to terms with starting over with other's preconceived notions of who she was in her past despite trying to move forward and Sally needs to learn how to move on when her husband abandons her in search for gold. It is a testament to what we all have to deal with in learning to forgive others who have hurt us and realize that God's love supercedes what others may think. I easily rate this one a 4.5 out of 5 stars. This is the first novel in the Seasons of Riverbend series as well as the debut for Templa Melnick, and I personally can't wait for the next one!!!

For more information about Season of Forgiveness, Templa Melnick or where you can pick up a copy of this novel today, please click on the links below:

You can find more reviews and ways to order the book at Cladach Publishings website.

To order the novel on Amazon and view more reviews on Season of Forgiveness, please click here.