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Friday, July 29, 2016

A Beauty Refined

Secrets. Intrigue. Sapphires. Romance. Suspense. Two Continents. A Family Torn apart. These all fall into the latest novel from Tracie Peterson, A Beauty Refined, the second novel in the Sapphire Brides series. From the family home in Germany, Phoebe Von Bergen and her father are in Helena, Montana in search of the treasures from the Montana Sapphire mines. Said to be of equal quality to those of Ceylon, Count Von Bergen has been hired to construct the latest in jewelry for the Duchess all bearing prize sapphires. But as honest as his intentions may be, deep down inside he holds a secret that will threaten to topple his plans not only for financial success but in marrying off Phoebe to the Duke has he already chosen.

As compliant to her fathers wishes Phoebe is, she believes she is only doing her part as a woman in keeping the family estate going smoothly. It has always been her father's plans to arrange for the same marriage that he, himself, garnered when he wed Phoebe's mother. After all, women need to understand their role and place in society especially in the titled circles they esteem from. Now he needs to tie up a few loose ends and then arrive back home in Germany in time for Phoebe's arranged wedding. Only problem is, that she is not aware that any plans have been made.

All she knows for certain, is that she has accompanied her father to America to see the famous legends she has only read or heard about. Cowboys and Indians, and the famed wild west. While her father leaves for a few weeks to search out the stones he desires from the Montana mines, Phoebe runs into more than just fate. It appears that the story her father constructed of her mother's ill-fated sinking at sea has been just that, a rumor and a lie. She only realizes it when she runs into a woman who looks eerily like her mother working as a maid in the hotel she is staying at. Now she has a few short weeks to uncover the truth before her father returns and she will have to face him and the lies he has built over these years in her young life. Can God really help her? Has God orchestrated this divine appointment just in the nick of time? What role does Ian Harper have to play as the hired lapidary for her father's sapphire purchase? Only time will tell as it all plays out.

I received A Beauty Refined by Tracie Peterson compliments of Bethany House Publishers and Litfuse Publicity for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation aside from a free copy of this novel in exchange for my honest and unbiased personal opinion. We all have secrets in our family at one time or another, but in this case the lies that Count Von Bergen have constructed is a like a game master choosing precisely how each piece will move in accordance to his desires. The only thing he fails to control however, is what happens when it all doesn't go according to plan? What happens when the only control you think you have is all in your own mind? I love it when the plans of evil are foiled by God as only light can truly uncover darkness. Darkness always exists, it just takes light to cause it to pull back and withdraw. Readers of historical romance and fans of Tracie Peterson's novel will love this recent addition to their own personal library much like I have. This one now squeezes in to my own library and garners a 4.5 out of 5 stars.

For more information about A Beauty Refined, Tracie Peterson or where you can pick up a copy of this novel today, please click on the links below:

You can find Tracie Peterson on Facebook to stay up to date on all her latest novels.

To read more reviews on A Beauty Refined, please visit Litfuse Publicity's website.

Little does Phoebe know that her father's plans—for the sapphires and his daughter—are not what they seem. If you love historical fiction, romance, and adventure, don't miss Tracie Peterson's A Beauty Refined. When Phoebe meets Ian, everything changes. Yet the more he gets to know her, the more he realizes that her family story is based on a lie—a lie she has no knowledge of. And Ian believes he knows the only path that will lead her to freedom.

Join Tracie in celebrating the release of A Beauty Refined by entering to win her Precious Gems giveaway (details below) and by attending her author chat party on August 9!

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One grand prize winner will receive:
Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on 8/9. The winner will be announced at A Beauty Refined Facebook party. RSVP for a chance to connect with Tracie and fellow fans of historical fiction, as well as for a chance to win other prizes!

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

Thursday, July 28, 2016

HCSB The Illustrator's NoteTaking Bible

Seems like the latest trend for Bible readers, is called Bible Journaling. It combines coloring and note-taking into one within your Bible. Rather than simply jotting down notes, readers are doing far more than simply drawing simple pictures in the margins of their Bibles and Bible publishers have taken notice.

I had the chance to review one such incredible Bible for those who love the coloring concept taking over the Bible trends but perhaps may be like me, a bit artistically challenged in defining what they might want to add to their Bible. HCSB or Holman Christian Standard Bible has created The Illustrator's Notetaking Bible. Filled with over 600 images including text designs, images and filigree patterns along with adjoining pages that still provide you the ability to create your own designs or utilize them for note taking as well.

These illustrations are done in a light grey allowing you to personalize them in any way with your own color choices or design elements. There are everything from famous scriptures verses, random doodles, florals or leaves, to detailed elements pertaining to a particular passage or chapter that anyone can design to their own personal artistic tastes.

The Bible comes in a brown leather like cover, with ribbon place holder perfect for keeping track of your daily Bible reading. The illustrations were done by Kristi Smith, an award-winning illustrator and hand-letterer at Juicebox Designs, a graphic design firm in Nashville, TN. Her work can be seen in their online porfolio and retail store, the Juice Bar, located at

The only downside I can see on this, is despite all the markers I have tried, they ALL bleed through even highlighters if used repeatedly, to say highlight a particular passage of Scripture and want to deepen the shade of the color. I would LOVE it, if I could find something that works with the quality of true marker colors and hues, but for now, the only thing that I would recommend is coloring pencils of any brand and maker.

The font size is 7 pt and comes with colored maps at the end, a presentation page if you were to give this as a gift to someone, God's plan of Salvation, Commonly Used Abbreviations, Bullet Notes, Daily Bible Reading Plan and a Concordance. Truly this would make a wonderful gift to anyone who truly loves God's Word and adding a bit of color to their Bible alongside their note-taking. The words of Jesus are not red-lettered and the edges are gold tipped.

I received HCSB The Illustrator's Notetaking Bible compliments of B and H Publishing for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation aside for a free copy of The Illustrator's Notetaking Bible in exchange for my personal and unbiased review of the product. Now all I have to do is manage to pick up another one of these because my 17-year old daughter absolutely has inherited this for her own and even takes along a package of coloring pencils for those times when you arrive early to church and need something to do. Well worth all of the 4.5 out of 5 stars in my opinion. There are two color cover choices, tan or purple so there is one for every member of your family who loves to color!

For more information about HCSB The Illustrator's Notetaking Bible, Kristi Smith or where you can pick up a copy of this Bible today, please click on the links below:

You can find Kristi Smith at the JuiceBox Designs on Facebook. 

To read more reviews on HCSB The Illustrators Notetaking Bible, please visit B and H Publisher's Facebook page. 

Monday, July 25, 2016

Caged No More

Did you know that slavery is still happening in the world today? Human trafficking is the world's fastest growing global crime and that every 30 seconds a child is sold into slavery. Don't just think it's happening in some other country. It is happening in our nation as well. Every year 1.2 million children are sold from the ages of 12 to 18 into human slavery. Makes you wonder about all those kids that go missing. Are they simply part of the human slave trade? Did you realize that parents are often the biggest criminals selling their own children into the human slave trade market? An estimated 27 million people are enslaved worldwide. Slavery is not over, it is still happening and we need to put a stop to it now!

Caged No More takes viewers into the heart of a fictional movie inspired by real events. Aggie (Loretta Devine) Prejean, a grandmother on a desperate search to find her two granddaughters, Skye and Elle, who have been kidnapped by their sinister father (Kevin Sorbo). As the details behind the girls' disappearance begin to unravel, they have been discovered to have been taken overseas to be sold into the sex trade, under the guise of a modeling contest in Greece. Aggie enlists the help of the girls' uncle, a well-respected philanthropist, and his son Wil (Alan Powell), who is a former Special Forces officer. A global hunt ensues, and the team will stop at nothing to see the girls safely returned home.

This is not a family-friendly movie, but it is one that cannot be ignored. For far too long many groups that are working to put a stop to human trafficking, are merely overlooked by the public and media groups. Our goal should be to see this come to a halt, whether it is public and national exposure or even working with our local community groups to do all we can to see this crime exposed for the pure evil it is. It might be your daughter, friend, niece, sister or family member that is sold into the human sex trade. We need to ensure that every church and community sees this film, but more than that, to do our part to help. You can find out more information about human trafficking and how to help at You can even find the nearest group working to end this in your community.

I received Caged No More compliments of Word Films and Edify Media Inc for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation aside from a copy of this DVD in exchange for my honest and unbiased personal opinion. One thing is certain, we need to spread this message and expose the darkness in this world and see an end to human trafficking once and for all. Every family, church and community needs to see this movie. We need to talk to our daughters and let them know that this is a crime that often goes unreported or falls under kidnapping or missing kids. Who are your kids chatting with online or through social media. It's time we all take a stand and protect our kids. I easily give this DVD a 5 out of 5 stars and encourage everyone to watch it. It is rated PG-13 and runs about 97 minutes.

For more information about Caged No More, Word Films or where you can pick up a copy of this DVD today, please click on the links below:

You can find out more about Caged No More, by visiting their Facebook page.

You can find Word Films on Facebook to stay up to date on all their latest DVD and movie releases.

Friday, July 22, 2016


When you think of the word Scandal, you are probably thinking something to do with Washington right? It is hard especially when you consider everything from the Benghazi murders, to the corruption that seems be never ending at all levels of government. You begin to wonder who is running this country and more and is there truly anyone out there willing to expose the truth?

In the book Watchdog, Darrell Issa, gives readers real stories behind the headlines from the Congressman who exposed Washington's biggest scandals. As I began to read this book, the one thing that really hit home is besides exposing these scandals, what else has been done? I believe more has to be done besides simply exposing this corruption, but it is holding people accountable from the bottom all the way to the top. It seems however that lately those committing this crimes are getting off with nothing more than a hand slap.

While the book Watchdog gives readers more of an inside look at the background of Darrell Issa, along with some of the biggest scandals he was responsible for investigating, it just seems that lately more needs to happen. Working on the Oversight Committee just means that he investigates and attempts to provide information necessary for further charges to be administered, but like most things in Washington, it all gets buried under more red tape.

The book does give you insight into how broad the corruption really is from bribes to money laundering, to uncover what is really happening in the Obama Administration and Hillary Clinton's state department. The one thing you really come to understand is while the truth might be exposed, there are those who will stop at nothing to ensure that these issues never come before the public, while paying off the media to simply look the other way. Makes one wonder if there is any hope for some real change. Guess we owe Nixon a huge apology for the way things were handled today in light of everything happening from Obama Care to the many issues with Hillary Clinton. One thing is certain, while people might want the truth, when it is exposed, nothing happens and that is where the true problem in Washington lies.

I received Watchdog by Darrell Issa compliments of Center Street Publishing, a division of Hachette Book Groups for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation aside from a free copy of this book in exchange for my fair and unbiased personal opinion. I was hoping for more than I honestly got and even though it really dug deep it saddened me as an American citizen to know that all we are seeing now is the tip of the proverbial iceberg. There is so much much more happening that we don't even get to see and part of that is given in this book. The worst part is that is seems like this monster is growing and there seems to be nothing to stop it. What will the world look like in another 10 years is downright frightening. I give this book a 4 out of 5 stars.

For more information about Watchdog, Darrell Issa or where you can pick up a copy of this book today, please click on the links below:

You can find Darrell Issa on Facebook to stay up to date on all his ongoing progress.

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

Thursday, July 21, 2016

BugzOff Electric Fly Swatter Racket - Product Review

I have always been fascinated by Bug Zappers, in fact I begged my husband for one since having one in our backyard many, many years ago, and since moving to the desert, anytime we turn on a light, bugs are inevitably attracted to the light. We have strong LED porch light that we keep on at night and whenever we attempt to enter our home at night, after being out, we have tons of flying creatures we have to duck and avoid just to make it inside our front door.

My dad has an electric bug zapper similar to this one and I really wanted to try it, especially now that summer is here and with all kinds of flying pests whenever you want to eat outside, I thought this might be fun. It takes 2 AA batteries in order to operate the zapper portion of it, and you simply press the red button on the side to activate the device.

Pros: Easy to use, and operate. Adding the batteries can be done without using a screwdriver, just simply put on the battery cover and insert the batteries.

Cons: The portion on my battery cover is extremely sharp and not well made. I can see cutting myself if I don't file it down a bit. Also when I attempted to push the button and swing the device, it sparks without hitting anything randomly. It took almost seven pops of the zapper to kill a simple wasp. I was a bit afraid to set it down on anything since I didn't want anyone to get zapped by it accidentally, since when I set it down the first time on a plastic tub, it zapped without having the button depressed. Not sure I would want this laying around for any child to touch by accident even if you don't depress the button.

Overall, I was NOT impressed by the quality of the product. It feels cheaply made considering other devices out there that do the same thing, and based on the issue I had with it discharging without depressing the button, I would not recommend using it around pets or children. I received the BugzOff Electric Fly Swatter Racket compliments of BugzOff and VIP Power Club for my honest opinion. I did not receive any monetary compensation aside from a free coupon to try the product in exchange for my honest and unbiased opinion. Based on the device I received, I would only give this a 3 out of 5 stars in my opinion.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Family Tree

I don't think there hasn't been a time or two in anyone's life where they didn't second guess the "What if's in their life." What if I had taken a different job, dated a different person, had kids, not had kids, moved away, followed a dream to the end. Life can sometimes be that paradox for some, as it is in the case of Family Tree by Susan Wiggs.

Annie Rush had a life some would envy but deep down inside, I believe she wishes it was different on many levels. Sure she had her dream of taking a cooking show centered around one "key ingredient" and making it a hit of the same name. Married to an incredibly handsome man, Martin who is also the star of the show, and you'd think you have the definition of success. Just when she thinks she has achieved the proverbial "cherry on top" when she discovers she is pregnant, she rushes off to tell her husband the great news only to discover he has been sleeping with his co-host.

Now that her dreams are coming undone, she also finds herself the victim of an industrial accident only to wake up after being in a coma for a year to have everything over in a nutshell. Her husband has divorced her and moved on taking the cooking show with him, and she has landed up back with her family in Vermont with a fresh start ahead of her. Perhaps this is where she will get to take the road less traveled and get an opportunity at a second chance for happiness in life when she runs into her high-school sweetheart Fletcher. Now it is time to see what the road ahead looks like as she has to begin all over again, despite all the short-comings of her past life.

I received Family Tree by Susan Wiggs compliments of William Morrow, a division of Harper Collins Publishers for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation aside from a free copy of the novel in exchange for my honest review. While this will appeal to some contemporary romance fans, most of my reader base will not like the moral dilemmas facing Annie with her lifestyle choices between Martin and Fletcher's romantic interludes. For this reason, I have given this one a 3 out of 5 stars. Not that situations like this don't happen every day, but for a majority of my readers will not like the sexual content that is covered between the pages of this novel. When reading the premise for this novel I had expected something quite different than what this one delivered for me. This novel does spend quite a bit of time toggling between past and present day for those who might not enjoy that in a novel.

For more information about Family Tree, Susan Wiggs or where you can pick up a copy of this novel due out in August 2016, please click on the links below:

You can find Susan Wiggs on Facebook to stay up to date on all her latest novels.

To read more reviews on Family Tree, please visit William Morrow's website.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Writey Board Stick On Whiteboard and Markers

If you home school or have a home office, you are sure to have use for a dry erase board and markers. I know for the duration of 11 years I used one for my home school children from everything to spelling tests, to math homework and everything in between. For a busy executive like I have, a monthly dry erase board helps keep track of business meetings, deadlines, travel plans and more. So when I was asked to review Whitey Board Stick On Whiteboard and Markers, I had to try it. I will break it down into two groups, what I liked about each product and what I didn't care for, along with a sum up of the review in conclusion.

Writey Board Stick On Whiteboard and Markers is a blank, monthly dry erase board in a sense that it is a peel off sticky board. You simply peel it off, and apply it where you would love a monthly dry erase board. It does come with warnings to ensure if you have recently painted a surface within 30 days, it might remove the paint and to take caution before using. It also comes with 4 dry erase refillable markers, red, black, green and blue, chisel tips. This was depending on how you use it, you can get a broad or fine edge to your lettering.

Pros: Love the thickness of the dry erase board, if you can call it that, since it is a peel off. It is really study and I could see simply using thumb tacks instead of peeling it off and applying it to use it. Love the blank month and days, so I can simply update it depending on the month. It comes pre-packaged in a cute dry erase marker shape. The colors of the markers are vibrant and clear and don't smell as strong as your typical dry erase markers. The white board measures 2 feet by 3 feet.

Cons: Since it is a peel off and apply dry erase board, you have to be cautious on which surfaces you apply it to, as I mentioned above. Not sure how you might test it in a long term situation, to ensure there is no damage to the surface you apply it to. The markers leak. I was surprised when I opened the cap to the red one and it literally dripped all over the carpet, my jeans and fingers. Not what you want when using a refillable marker. I was pretty happy with the product until that happened. It does wash off easily enough and haven't washed my jeans to see if the red dye comes out since I just tried it today. Since this applies to a surface, caution must be used to ensure you don't wipe off the markers onto the wall when erasing the ink.

Overall, based on the markers, I would rate this product overall a 3 out of 5 stars. I would keep the Writey Board Monthly Calendar and use another set of dry erase markers that don't leak. If you are using them with younger children, these could become a bigger mess than it is worth. I would avoid using these for younger children due to all the precautions mentioned above. I received Writey Board Stick On Whiteboard and Markers compliments of Omni-Deals and Writey Board for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation aside from a Writey Board and Markers to try in exchange for my personal and unbiased review.

For more information about Writey Board Stick On White Board and Markers, please click on the links below:

Monday, July 18, 2016

A Heart Most Certain

Sometimes, you read a novel that stirs something within your soul that needs to be challenged. Changed even. As a long time Christian, I needed to be pushed and pried out of my humble comfort zone, and the novel A Heart Most Certain by Meliisa Jagears did just that. In the first novel in the Teaville Moral Society, I was so moved that I wasn't at all rushed to finished this novel. It was if the voice of the Holy Spirit was present throughout the entire novel and challenged me in my own views of how I see the world through my own eyes instead of Gods.

1905, Teaville, Kansas takes us into the heart of Lydia King who is stuck between a rock and a hard place. Like most women, her parents wanted to ensure a right match for her so that when they passed on, she would be well cared for. Her father wanted it for strictly selfish reasons, as he gambled away all of his meager earnings in hopes for the one big win, that unfortunately never came and instead pushed the King family deeper into debt. With the threat of losing the family home, Lydia is hopeful that a marriage to Sebastian Little, a well-known up and coming lawyer, and whose father was the town's mayor and his mother, heads up the Moral Society. A group dedicated to running the houses of ill repute out of Teaville and quench the saloons and gambling establishments.

Now if Lydia is able to garner a small sum for the town's wealthiest resident, Nicholas Lowe to pay for two sewing machines so that the Moral Society can make quilts for the poor in town to keep them warm this winter. Unfortunately no one has been able to pry one cent from the man, and Lydia is bound and determined not to let a simple "No" sway her. Perhaps Mr. Lowe just needs to understand how important it is to the town's poor. After all, he barely pays his tithes to the church as a good Christian man should. If he did, perhaps they would have enough money to pay for the machines out of the church fund. However, Lydia knows her time is short with both trying to win Mr. Lowe to her worthy cause in her mind while her mother is slowly dying and there is little they can do. Why does money always have to be the answer to what troubles the poor?

I received A Heart Most Certain by Melissa Jagears compliments of Bethany House Publishers and Net Galley for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation aside from a free eBook copy of this novel in exchange for my honest and unbiased personal opinion. I absolutely LOVED this novel and so thrilled that more are scheduled to come in this series. I love the challenged Lydia must face both with what she perceives is true charity and what is really is. The chemistry that develops between her and Nicholas is worthwhile to see and makes you truly rooting for them the whole time. It really has changed how I now view the homeless in my own city and drives me out of my comfort zone of merely supporting those charitable causes through monetary efforts. It means so much more to get your hands dirty and see how these lifestyles affect those who have no hope in this world. For me, well worth each and every 5 out of 5 stars.

For more information about A Heart Most Certain, Melissa Jagears or where you can pick up a copy of this novel today, please click on the links below:

You can find Melissa Jagears on Facebook to stay up to date on all her latest novels.

To read more reviews on A Heart Most Certain, please visit Bethany House Publisher's website. 

Friday, July 15, 2016

God Bless Us Every One

What better way to get into the Christmas spirit than a wonderful Christmas romance! Combining some of the best quotes from the Charles Dicken's classic A Christmas Carol at the beginning of each chapter, we watch a contemporary version of this being played out in God Bless Us Every One from Eva Marie Everson.

Charlie Dixon believes that classics are a bit outdated and like the play, A Christmas Carol, it has been done over and over again that it has lost its charm and appeal. So when she attempts to put a new twist on a high school Christmas play, she finds herself laid off and without any future attempts at employment. So she hightails it to her grandmother's house in Testament, North Carolina,  where she hopes she can stay until she finds a new job and perhaps help around the house during the busy Christmas season. Her grandmother has been tasked to work with the local high school drama teacher in preparation for the Christmas play and hopes Charlie might just lend a hand.

What Charlie doesn't know is that the meeting is scheduled with her old flame from school, Dusty Kennedy. He is more than thrilled to get a chance to work with her. The only problem is that Dusty's idea for the play is Charles Dicken's A Christmas Carol, which just seems to be a sign from above that there is a deeper message within it, if Charlie is only willing to look at the details surrounding why Charles Dickens wrote the play in the first place. She only hopes she might convince him that a new contemporary spin might just be the ticket to make this successful, but Dusty believes in keeping things traditional and classic. Now all Charlie has to do is find a way to deal with the fact that her father is back in town, a man she has vowed doesn't deserve anything less than a Bah Humbug this Christmas.

I received God Bless Us Every One by Eva Marie Everson compliments of Net Galley and Abingdon Press for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation aside from an eBook copy of this book in exchange for my unbiased and personal opinion. I really love the blend of both the traditional and contemporary that is scattered throughout this novel and it takes readers into the heart of what Christmas really means, a time for second chances and a time for new beginnings and forgiveness. There is a wonderful happily ever after tucked away but it might not be who you think it is for in the end. I'd rate this a 4.5 out of 5 stars and is perfect to get you in the mood for Christmas.

For more information about God Bless Us Every One, Eva Marie Everson or where you can preorder a copy of this book due out in September 2016, please click on the links below:

You can find Eva Marie Everson on Facebook to stay up to date on all her latest novels.

To read more reviews on God Bless Us Every One, please visit Abingdon Press' website. 

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Life is Better at the Beach

Some of life's best memories are made at the beach: the boat rides and the waterskiing, the smell of saltwater in your hair, those early-morning walks when the beach is quiet. So many memories remain vivid, even after the last laundry load is washed and summer settles into fall. Living and experiencing every moment created lasting memories of the beach. You heard, saw, smelled, tasted, and touched different things every day, and they all combined to form some of your life's best memories.

You may not be able to live at the beach 365 days a year. Your home may be in the rolling hills of Pennsylvania or the cornfields of Wisconsin. You might live in a city amidst skyscrapers and office buildings or in the suburbs of west Michigan. Wherever your home lies, even if it's not by the beach, you can still make and incorporate this ideas and memories into each and even day. That is where "Life is Better At The Beach" by Christina Vinson comes into play. This adorable and whimsical hardcover book is inspiration for living each day like you're at the beach. One of my favorite places to be of all time.

There are 15 Beach Rules and not only are they followed by wonderful beach seascapes but also with a quote or Scripture verse that applicably applies to the beach rule. Such as beach rule # 4, Look for Seashells. "If you have ever looked for seashells by the ocean, you know that the best shells aren't always visible - they're often in the water. And in order to walk home with your hands full of unique sea souvenirs, you need to get wet. Sometimes that may feel like a risk.

Getting wet doesn't always seem appealing. Perhaps it's a rainy day, or maybe you aren't dressed appropriately for the water, or maybe the water is a tad chilly. But to find something good, you need to venture in. Sure, there's a big possibility there won't be any shells when you wade in. But then again, there just might be.

This rings true over and over in life, doesn't it? The biggest opportunities may look a little daunting, whether it's introducing yourself to a new friend, applying for a new job, taking that evening class, or trying to patch up a broken relationship.

Maybe you don't feel qualified, the risk seems too big, or perhaps you're just plain shaking-in-you-flip-flops afraid. It's okay to feel those feelings. But what if giving into your fears means you miss what is perhaps the most beautiful shell you've ever seen? You won't find it scanning the edges of the water or walking on dry land. Getting wet will often feel daunting, but you may emerge with a treasure in the end." (pg 43).

I received Life Is Better At The Beach by Christina Vinson compliments of Thomas Nelson Publishers for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation, aside from a copy of the novel in exchange for my unbiased and personal evaluation. Being born and raised at the beach, my heart is always at peace whenever I hear the ocean call or smell the salty air. Peace inevitably follows. This is such a wonderful way to incorporate all those beach memories into life applications that can make your day a whole lot less stressed and enable you to remember what is important and to keep on creating those memories wherever you are. For me, this book rated a 5 out of 5 stars and I love all the ocean and beach analogies that apply to every single thing in my day.

For more information about Life Is Better At The Beach, Christina Vinson or where you can pick up a copy of this book today, please click on the links below:

To read more reviews on Life is Better At the Beach, please visit Thomas Nelson Publisher's website.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Entitled People are NEVER Thankful!

No one is born with a thankful heart. This is something regarding our character that needs to be instilled in us, and challenged, to nurture a thankful heart. If we become disgruntled, we become unhappy. We are spoiled. To feel entitled, and entitled people are NEVER thankful. It is never enough for them. Whatever they have, they want more.

When you are not thankful, everything will be bitter. There is nothing good ever. We need to change that and be thankful for what we do have. Change your perspective on things. Stop grumbling and replace that with a thankful heart.

We need to develop a thankful heart. Throughout Scripture, there are always types of Christ-like characters and anti-Christ like ones. Today we are going to look at these to see who is who. We know in the history of Israel, they went through cycles of obedience and disobedience, over and over again. It's a back-slider life. It's not worth living that way as you will soon see.

Israel missed doing that, developing a thankful heart. For all these years, 2 judges, who ruled for many years and its what we don't see that is relevant.

Judges 10:1-5 ~ "After Abimelech there arose to save Israel Tola the son of Puah, the son of Dodo, a man of Issachar; and he dwelt in Shamir in the mountains of Ephraim. He judged Israel twenty-three years; and he died and was buried in Shamir. After him rose Jair, a Gileadite; and he judged Israel twenty-two years. Now he had thirty sons who rode on thirty donkeys; they also had thirty towns, which are called "Havoth Jair" to this day, which are in the land of Gilead. And Jair died and was buried in Camon."

We don't see much here. No amazing feats like Gideon did. Their names are simply mentioned. Some commentators say these were bad guys, but notice the word, "SAVE." During all this time, Israel did not have a war involving them for 45 years. They had 45 years of peace. They must have led Israel rightly and justly. They were judges. They were godly people. They were blessed. There is no fault here.

In total for nearly 45 years, Israel enjoyed peace and quiet within its borders and without. The enemies of Israel had been held at bay and the Jews prospered. The land and the people recovered and became strong and productive again. Everything "seemed" to be going well.

If it was true for a nation, could it be true about you and me, personally? Israel was not thankful during that time of peace and its a lesson we need to learn as well. As soon as they had the chance, they would depart from God, and go and do bad things again.

As a nation, a nation will go as its people go. A nation goes as a family goes. As families go in a nation, so goes America, as statistics have shown. Solomon said there is nothing new under the sun. Israel in its prosperity forgot God. Isn't that what nations do during times of great prosperity? They begin to enjoy things more than enjoy the One who gives us these things.

What are you thankful for? There are only really a handful of things worth striving and longing for in the end anyway, and that really matter. We know we have to work, gain an income and pay our bills, but when those things become our sole purpose, we will begin to fall into an unthankful heart. We begin to see that what we are striving for doesn't bring us any people. It doesn't give us any comfort. When it's all stripped away, can you write down things you are thankful to God for?

God is a jealous God. He doesn't want to share. He wants your heart. Houses and cars don't matter. We need to look at things with spiritual eyes instead. You can walk down the corridors of a hospital and the people inside some of those rooms would just love to smell the air outside again. To feel the breeze on their face and to hear the sounds of birds singing.

When everything is stripped away, do you still have a thankful heart? Israel didn't.

Developing a thankful heart, creates an appreciation.

Judges 10:1-2 ~ " After Abimelech there arose to save Israel Tola the son of Puah, the son of Dodo, a man of Issachar; and he dwelt in Shamir in the mountains of Ephraim. He judged Israel twenty-three years; and he died and was buried in Shamir."

We don't know much more than that about Tola. His name in the Hebrew means scarlet or red, grub-like worm, a maggot. The crimson-grub. Used in the dying of fabric. To color "red" a robe or a garment. The crimson, scarlet worm. The death of a tola, provided a red-colored dye to stain a garment completely, perfectly and permanently.

In nature, the Tola has a very unique way of birthing its young. It would come out of the hearth, make its way up the trunk of a tree on the east facing side, and then wait for the rising of the sun. The sun would cause it to literally "explode " sending its young back to the earth to develop. The death of a Tola worm would leave a crimson red stain on a tree. A picture of Jesus Christ for us to see.

Psalm 22:1-6 ~ "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me? Why are You so far from helping Me, and from the words of My groaning? O My God, I cry in the daytime, but You do not hear; and in the night season, and am not silent. But You are holy, enthroned in the praises of Israel. Our fathers trusted in You; They trusted, and You delivered them. They cried to You, and were delivered; They trusted in You, and were not ashamed. But I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised by the people."

Many scholars believe Jesus quoted all of this instead of just the first verse. When God the Father looks at you and I (independent of our efforts, works or deeds) He sees us covered in the "red" that Jesus' blood provides us. The Bible says that Jesus went to the cross for us, taking upon Himself all the sins of the world. It is why God could not look at Jesus. It is why Jesus felt forsaken by the Father. God can not look upon evil.

The reason most people don't come to Christ is because a sad, horrific, pathetic Christian witness keeps them from coming to Christ. But try as you may, there has never been found a Christian who went to the cross to die for your sins. Aren't you glad? Because it wouldn't have accomplished anything except the world would have one less Christian walking around.

Jesus died for us. He saved us! The Bible says we have been washed in the blood of the Lamb.

 1 Peter 1:18-19 ~ "Knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver and gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish or without spot."

Romans 5:8-9 ~ "But God demonstrates His won love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him."

Romans 3:23-25b ~ " For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His brace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness,"

You can't buy your way into heaven. You can't wait to make a decision for Christ either. No one is guaranteed a tomorrow. You either have salvation or you don't. Live for Jesus now! Jesus changes your life. We become witnesses for Christ. We are to be on call for Him 24/7. We need to be leading people to Christ.

Ephesians 1:7-8 ~ "In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace, which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence."

He provided "the blood" which "redeems' us based upon the act of His "grace" that "brings" us salvation.

The Spirit of Rejection

"The only way to get rid of them for good is through truth. The person must submit to truth to stay free. This strips them of their legal right to be there. Fighting demons without removing their right to be there is like trying to get rid of a mighty oak tree by plucking its leaves."

I have to say with all honesty, that this was the hardest novel to read, not in terms of the writing style but based on the content. This one really hit home for me in my own personal walk. You see at 17 before I was a Christian, I had an abortion. It was for the same reason the characters in The Spirit of Rejection by Eric M Hill wanted one, but mine was successful in the procedure was complete but the internal torment never ends. Even as a believer and through confession of my sin, the enemy runs rampant in my mind with this situation and it brought me back to that moment but from another perspective. One in the spiritual sense I had never considered. That unseen realm between demons and angels, good over evil and that struggle between our salvation and our unsaved souls.

For anyone who has ever had an abortion or better yet considering one, read this novel. I hope in the end, you will make a different choice than I did, because I can tell you that this decision will haunt you forever. The emotional upheaval women go through but don't speak of, haunts us in those quiet moments and it truly is like living with hell on earth. This novel takes us into the heart of Becca Simmons who was rejected by her birth parents Heather and Vincent before she was born, and after two failed attempts to abort her, the spirit of rejection took up residence in her heart. Afterwards she was mistreated horribly by her birth parents and when her sister was born, she garnered all the attention that should have been Becca's.

She struggles with trying to find ways to appeal to her parents love, but it only comes back rejected. She feels unwanted, alone, hopeless, and a dozen other emotions and soon each demon takes up residence within her as the angels of mercy and truth intervene only when prayers from her grandparents reach out to her. They don't know the horrors that Becca has had to endure as she keeps them locked away only to face their onslaught and torment in the darkest hours of her day. There are so many take aways from this novel that really have forever changed me, the biggest being that the trials and persecutions we face are nothing in light of an eternity damned in hell without our eternal salvation in Christ and that is the theme throughout this novel. I don't think I can ever look at another human life without considering what I garnered through this novel. It is remarkable and truly life changing in its content and how beautifully it is orchestrated.

I received The Spirit of Rejection by Eric M. Hill compliments of SunHill Publishers for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation aside from an eBook copy of this novel in exchange for my honest and unbiased personal opinions. The theme of this novel is perspective on the redeeming qualities that can only come from Jesus Christ no matter what we have done and gone through, Jesus can give us that new start in life. The alternative is chilling and not something I would wish upon my worst enemy. I rate this novel a 5 out of 5 even though it brought me to tears more times than I could count, it has forever embedded itself in my heart and soul. This is the second novel in the Demon Stronghold Series, the first being The Spirit of Fear, and fans of such Spiritual Warfare fiction like Frank Peretti will absolutely LOVE this author and series! This novel is currently only available in eBook formats for now.

For more information about The Spirit of Rejection, Eric M. Hill or where you can pick up a copy of this novel today, please click on the links below:

You can find Eric M. Hill on Facebook to stay up to date on all his latest novels.

To pick up an electronic copy of this book, please visit Amazon. 

Monday, July 4, 2016

Lethal Harvest

Who hasn't heard of the latest claims of advocates for stem-cell research? Claims that with medical advancement, diseases like Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, cancers and more might be eliminated with the cloning of human cells to reproduces the cells necessary to reverse these affects. It has all been fiction, until now or is it really?

The current President of the United States is being to show signs that he may not be as healthy as his doctors and the press are claiming and when investigative reporters get a hold of a story, they won't let go. That is precisely why Tim Sullivan is so adamant about finding a cure for a disease known as akenosis, which is a deterioration of the nerve cells that will eventually kill those in whom it affects. In Tim's family it is all hereditary in males around the age of 40 and as the nephew of the President, he has been given government funds to find a cure before the President succumbs to the illness.

But as one of three researchers, working in the Center for Fertility Enhancement, Tim is using his free time to make advancement that his colleagues are unaware of and will have dangerous and deadly implications for them all. When Mexico's mayor decides to proceed with a fertility treatment, is unleashes a lawsuit on the center that will not only threaten to shut them down, but will seeing that those in charge pay with their lives when complications arise with the birth of the twin girls.

I received Lethal Harvest by William Cutrer and Sandra Glahn compliments of Kregel Publications for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation aside from a free copy of this novel in exchange for my personal and unbiased opinions. While the plot and characters of Lethal Harvest are fictional, the techniques portrayed in this novel are as real as today's headlines. The liberty of inventing a disease and a few of the technological procedures are fictional, the research portrayed is both accurate and ongoing for the potential of both good and evil as the author's note states. This is chilling to know that this type of research is being conducted with often times private funding to keep the governments hands cleans even though they are fully aware that this is happening. It definitely keeps the reader on the edge of their seat to see how this one will all play out in the end. I would rate this one a 4 out of 5 stars and the 2000 version of Lethal Harvest is available for free for the Kindle, but has since been updated for this generation with all the advancements in technology.

For more information about Lethal Harvest, William Cutrer and Sandra Glahn, or where you can pick up a copy of this novel today, please click on the links below:

You can find Sandra Glahn on Facebook to stay up to date on all his latest novels.

To read more reviews on Lethal Harvest, please visit Kregel Publication's website.