Saturday, December 31, 2011

AN UNLIKELY WIFE INDEED



Title: The Unlikely Wife
Author: Debra Ullrick
Publisher: Love Inspired (January 3, 2012)
Pages: 288

The cover and title, as well as the blurb on the back cover of THE UNLIKELY WIFE by DEBRA ULLRICK, intrigued me. I’m a sucker for historicals, and love the mail-order bride concept. This was my first read by this author, and I was pleasantly surprised. Right away I was swept away by the well thought-out characters and the predicament they were placed in.

When Michael Bowen’s wife by proxy arrives by train, he’s more than a little set off. To say the least, she’s nothing like the woman Selina Farleigh Bowen’s letters suggested she was.

Wearing a pair of men’s trousers, Selina is instantly looked upon as an outcast…including from the man she married, sight unseen. It becomes increasingly obvious he’s in love with another woman…the woman who wrote Selina’s letter to Michael, her best friend, Aimee.

A stubborn woman who’s comfortable in her own skin, Selina refused to change for no man. That is until worry over losing the man she loves threatens to consume her. Will Michael ever learn to love a woman that didn’t fit his image of the perfect wife, and learn the true meaning of love?

In reading THE UNLIKELY WIFE, I was introduced to Haydon and Raniee Bowman. Both characters stories spiked my interest. I’ll be placing an order in the future for THE UNEXPECTED BRIDE, to unravel their tale.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

ESCAPE FROM THE BADLANDS





Title: Escape From The Badlands
Author: Dana Mentink
Publisher: Love Inspired (January 3, 2012)
Pages: 224

ESECAPE FROM THE BADLANDS was my first read by author, DANA MENTINK. The first fifty pages had me turning them quickly. I couldn’t wait to see what was going to happen next. Shane Mason’s rescue of Kelly Cloudman, had me sitting on the edge of my seat.

Kelly Cloudman needed a job, so when she's asked to be a medic for South Dakota’s Desert Quest extreme race, she says yes. When her vehicle is trapped and threatens to be overtaken by water, she never would have guessed in a million years who her rescuer would be.

Shane Mason is on a mission. A mission to prove his brothers innocents before it’s too late, and enters the race of his life. The last thing he expected was to come face to face with the woman he walked out on.

ESECAPE FROM THE BADLANDS is packed with suspense that will keep you wondering which of the key players are guilty and why. A wonderful inspirational suspense you won’t want to miss.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

CAN'T GET ENOUGH OF THOSE COOPER MEN


Title: The Cowboy’s Holiday Blessing
Author: Brenda Minton
Publisher: Love Inspired (November 15, 2011)
Pages: 224 pages

What can I say, I’m a huge fan of BRENDA MINTON. Every book I’ve read by her has been amazing, and THE COWBOY’S HOLIDAY BLESSING was no exception. I’ve read about the men from the Cooper family in previous books and hoped there’d be more. When I heard the next book was about Jackson Cooper, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it.

When a teenage girl shows up on Madeline Patton’s doorstep by mistake, Madeline’s compelled to help her. Only problem is, that means coming face to face with the handsome Jackson Cooper.

Jackson Cooper isn’t too happy when his mousey neighbor shows up on his doorstep with a teenage girl claiming to be his daughter. As agitated as he is, he can’t resist the temptation to make the school teacher blush.

Jackson Cooper may have changed his rebel ways, but marriage and kids aren’t in the plan. Even if he allowed himself to want those things, they weren’t possible.

Madeline Patton only wants to teach and go home to her quiet place…alone. After all she doesn’t need a man in her life, much less wants one.

Jackson, Madeline and thirteen-year-old Jade, discover God’s amazing grace and a family they never imagined possible.

I loved the whole bad boy meets shy, mousey girl. Brenda Minton did a fantastic job with all the characters. Jackson was your classic good looking, ladies man, yet sweet and kind. Madeline is reserved, hiding under her baggy clothes and dark rim glasses, yet focused and knows what she wants.

Jackson’s situation with his daughter was unique and well played out. I loved the transformation of Madeline, and her story. In THE COWBOY’S HOLIDAY BLESSING, the characters will stay with you a long time as you wait anxiously for the next Cooper Creek story.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

DO YOU LIKE A FUN MYSTERY?



Title: THYME FOR LOVE
Author: PAMELA S MEYERS
Publisher: OakTara (November 14, 2011)
Pages: 216

THYME FOR LOVE by PAMELA S MEYERS is a fun, light mystery. Having never read this type of novel, I was initially confused by the casual, witty mystery. What later came to mind was Sherlock Holmes and the game Clue. Not more than a few pages later, MS. MEYERS mentioned that very thing. That's when it all clicked. Thoughts of who done it, in which room, with what, ran through my mind. I was pleasantly surprised with how much I enjoyed THYME FOR LOVE, not being the genre I typically read. A true testament to how well it's written.

April Love is in need of a job, and her Aunt Kitty has just the job for her. But what she fails to tell April is her ex fiancée, Marc Thorne, works there. Now she is faced with the decision to quit a job she desperately wants or face the man who hurt her years ago.

Marc Thorne is just as surprised as his ex fiancée, April when she walks into the Rescate. It doesn't take long for old feeling to stir. But Marc has a secret he fears will douse any hopes he has of renewing their love. Convincing April they were meant to be together isn't the only obstacle he faces. When he's accused of murder, will she believe he's guilty?

The mouth watering descriptions of the food April prepares, sent my stomach rumbling. MS. MEYERS delivered countless cute lines as well as kept me guessing as to "who did it". THYME FOR LOVE was hard to put down as I attempted to figure out who the killer was.

My favorite type of novel is those involving a cowboy and a ranch, so of course Karl had me sitting on the edge of my seat, hoping he wasn't the killer. I can't wait to read the next two books in this series...And I'm hoping to see a cowboy or two.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Monday, December 12, 2011

IF ONLY...

What’s really sad…it’s only money. A piece of paper. Something we make. If we weren’t so selfish and materialistic, no one would have to go hungry, be homeless, uneducated or without proper medical care.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

ACFW DECEMBER NEW RELEASES 2011

More in-depth descriptions of these books can be found on the ACFW FictionFinder website.



An Amish Wedding by Beth Wiseman -- Romance from Thomas Nelson; Pricilla's upcoming wedding is stirring up trouble - and romance - in Paradise.



Christmas Pearl by Robin L. Bayne -- Romance from White Rose Publishing (Pelican). Joe Gardner never expected to see Elizabeth again, not after the part she'd played in ruining his life. Refusing to believe she now shares his faith, Joe tosses aside her efforts to apologize. But when they are forced to work together in the midst of the Christmas season, Joe has to face the truth about Elizabeth, and himself.



Daddy’s Little Matchmakers by Kathleen Y'Barbo -- Romance from Love Inspired -- Wanted: Wife And Mother. Veterinarian Eric Wilson is confounded by the classified ad his three young daughters have placed. The handsome widower is not in the market for a bride!



Death in Dahlonega by Deborah Malone -- A Mystery from Lamp Post Inc.. A vacation with a friend should never include murder and mayhem.



Gold, Frankincense, and Murder by Barbara Early -- Romance/Mystery from White Rose Publishing (Pelican); A missing coworker. A brawny sidekick. Sometimes the holidays can be murder.



His Holiday Family by Margaret Daley, -- Romance from Love Inspired. In the aftermath of a hurricane, will Kathleen Hart and Gideon O'Brien, two scarred people, find hope and love?



Love Finds You in Annapolis, Maryland by Roseanna M. White -- Romance from Summerside Press. In 1784 peace has been declared, but war still rages in the heart of Lark Benton.



Polar Bear Plunge by Linda Glaz -- Romance from White Rose Publishing (Pelican). Aleni Callan can’t accept that God allowed her husband to die in Afghanistan while war hero, Brice Taylor, returns from Iraq to cheers and fame and feelings that he somehow failed. Neither can accept that one man lived and one man died.



Replication by Jill Williamson -- Young Adult from Zondervan; A girl discovers her biologist father is covering up multiple secrets—all of which are named Jason.



Savanna’s Gift by Camille Eide -- Romance from White Rose Publishing (Pelican); When Savanna gets a second chance at the love of her life, will her dream that once divided them get in the way?



Small-Town Sweethearts by Jean C. Gordon-- Romance from Love Inspired; With the help of God and the love of Drew Stacey, a down-sized Wall Street analyst turned church camp manager, NYC assistant art director and former town misfit Emily, ne Jinx, Hazard finds the thing she wants most in the place she least wants to be — Paradox Lake.



Smitten by Colleen Coble, Kristin Billerbeck, Denise Hunter, and Diann Hunt -- Romance from Thomas Nelson; When a failed logging company threatens their town's survival, four friends devise a plan to turn Smitten, Vermont, into the country's premier romantic getaway.



The Christmas Witness by Susan Sleeman-- Thriller Suspense from Love Inspired; Can a former FBI agent let go of the devastating loss of his wife to cancer in order to save a critically ill child and her mother from a ruthless criminal?



Tracks in the Snow by Sandra H. Esch-- General Fiction from Lamp Post Inc.; Jo Bremley feared losing her husband to World War II, but when a snowstorm rips apart her storybook world, how can she heal her broken heart, and move on?


Thursday, December 8, 2011

THE WINNER IS…



The winner of the drawing for THYME FOR LOVE is…Lynda Schab!

Congratulation! You’ll be receiving your autograph copy of PAMELA S MEYERS, THYME FOR LOVE, soon.

Blessing, and have a wonderful Holiday.

Kym

Thursday, December 1, 2011

WELCOME AUTHOR PAMELA S MEYERS

I’d like to welcome author Pamela S Meyers to my blog. Her debut novel THYME FOR LOVE, was released November 14th, 2011.



A native of Lake Geneva, Wisc., Pamela Meyers currently lives in Arlington Heights, Ill. She served on the Operating Board for ACFW 2005-2009, and is president of her local ACFW chapter. Her debut novel Thyme for Love releases November 14, 2011, and her historical that is set in her hometown, Love Finds You in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, will release in June 2012. She has published articles in Today’s Christian Woman, Christian Computing, Victory in Grace, and Ancestry. She is also a contributor in the compilation book, His Forever.



April Love has always dreamed of being a chef.
But she didn’t expect a former fiancé
or murder to be part of the recipe for her new job.

When April Love signs on to be an in-house chef at an old lakeshore mansion in Canoga Lake, Wisconsin, she comes face to face with her long-lost love, the drop-dead gorgeous Marc Thorne. It doesn’t take long for their old magnetism to recharge, but how can she trust the guy who left her nearly at the altar eight years earlier? Her gut tells her something happened to Marc in between—something he’s reluctant to reveal.

When April’s boss is murdered, Marc is accused of the crime. Unless April can find out who really killed Ramón Galvez, her chances for love will end up at the county jail. But someone else is just as determined she not solve the mystery…and will go to any length to stop her.

Q: Give us a little preview of Thyme for Love.

A: April Love has always dreamed of being a chef. When her Aunt Kitty hears of a in-house chef position for a non-profit organization housed in a lakeshore mansion next door, April returns to Canoga Lake, Wisconsin, where she’d spent many summers growing up, to apply for the job. When she discovers her former fiancé Marc Thorne working there, she wonders if this position was really God’s intention for her. After all, Marc all but left her standing at the altar to chase his own dreams in California. It doesn’t take long to realize Marc is hiding secrets and despite returning feelings for the man, April determines she will not make the same mistake as she did eight years earlier. But when their boss is found dead and Marc is framed for his murder, April has no choice but to turn sleuth to keep Marc from being accused of a murder he didn’t commit.

Q: What made you want to write this book?

A: I’ve always loved romance and mysteries, and decided to write a story that married the two elements together. I grew up in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin and have always been fascinated by the many 20th Century mansions that dot the lake’s shoreline. I toyed with the idea of setting the story in one of those homes, but decided to create a smaller lake and village just to the east of Lake Geneva to gain more freedom with some of the details of the story and its characters. I loved having the area located close enough to Lake Geneva that April and Marc could go there for a meal at one of the actual restaurants there. I also gave them backgrounds that involve working on Geneva Lake as many college students do during the summer months.

Q: Have you always wanted to be a writer?

A: In one way or another I’ve always written almost since I could hold a pencil. When I was eight years old I asked for a diary for Christmas and I wrote in it at different times of my childhood. I still have that little book and it contains bits and pieces of my life from age eight until sometime in high school. Even into my adult years I’d journal from time to time, but never thought of turning that “need” to put words to paper into a career until years later. While completing my bachelor’s through an accelerated adult program, one of my professors suggested I could make a living writing. I published several magazine articles, but as the hankering to write stories grew stronger, I began taking fiction writing classes. At a local writer’s conference a multipublished author suggested I could turn one of my short stories into a novel. That was all I needed to hear. I soon joined American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) while the organization was in its infancy and through their writing courses and conferences I continued to grow in the craft.

Q: Have you written other novels besides Thyme for Love?

A.Oh yes. My first novel which I would classify as a women’s fiction languishes in my computer at the moment. Authors very seldom publish their first written work as that often turns out to be a practice project. The storyline still resonates with me and I’d love to one day pull it out and rework it. There are a couple other stories that will probably never see the light of day. I’m very excited to have a novel set in my hometown of Lake Geneva, Love Finds You in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, coming out in June 2012 from Summerside Press. It’s a 1933 historical romance, and I had a blast researching for the story.

Q. Do you have any plans for a sequel to Thyme for Love?

A. I’m so glad you asked. Thyme for Love is part of a three-book series called “On the Road to Love.” Books 2 and 3 involved April and Marc, and both are set in Canoga Lake. In Book 2, Love Will Find a Way, April moves into an old Victorian home with plans to turn it into a restaurant and catering business. It isn’t long before a discovery made while they are renovating the home threatens to hijack plans for the grand opening. In Book three, Love’s Reward, April and Marc’s wedding plans are in full swing, until it becomes apparent there is someone who doesn’t want them to marry.

Q. How do you get your story ideas?

A. There’s an old adage to write what you know. I might add to that, to always keep your eyes and ears open for a possible story line. That first novel I wrote was sparked by something someone said to me when she showed me a picture of my great-grandfather’s grave. My Love Finds You in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin story grew out of wanting to know the history behind the beautiful lakeshore recreational building that has become an icon of the area. Just today a newspaper article sparked an idea I’d like to develop into a proposal.

Q. What is your daily writing routine?

A. My best writing time is morning, but I’ve had to make myself work outside the box at times when that kind of schedule doesn’t work. Since I am a morning person, I find it best to set my alarm as if I’m going to work. I get up at 5:30 and spend at least an hour in my Quiet Time with God. Then I try to walk daily for exercise before settling down in my home office to write. I recently converted unused space in my dining are into an office and that has helped tremendously with getting the sense of “going to work.” This helps me stay on task. Too many years actually working Monday through Friday probably contributes to that. On days I have an obligation away from home in the morning, I have had to force myself to be creative in the afternoon and early evening. I think as I start working on deadlines more and more that’s going to be essential.

Q. What advice do you have for new authors?

A. Persevere, persevere, and persevere. I started out aspiring to be published in novel writing more than ten years ago. I had the raw ability and desire to write, but that skill had to be trained and honed, much like a young colt has to be trained. I have learned that writers need to develop what we jokingly refer to as rhino skin and also we need a positive teachable attitude. Join critique groups, take writing courses, attend writing conferences where great teaching occurs and you’ll have opportunities to meet with industry professionals and pitch to editors and agents. ACFW has a great yearly conference ever September that is for fiction writers only. I cannot tout ACFW enough. It is a must organization to join for anyone who writes fiction from a Christian point of view.

Q. When you aren’t writing, what fills your days?

A. I volunteer at my church in the multicultural ministry, helping Japanese women learn to speak English and lead a women’s small group Bible study. I’m also chapter president of my local ACFW chapter which meets monthly. Also, I enjoy reading (surprise, surprise) and movies. Love to cook and find new ways of making things. You’ll find an adaptation of a recipe someone gave me called Chicken George at the back of Thyme for Love. I loved having April prepare it in the novel, and look forward to experimenting with more recipes for the sequels.


You can visit Pamela at,
http://www.pamelasmeyers.com/

You also purchase her book through Amazon.

For a chance to win an autograph copy of THYME FOR LOVE:

1) Leave a comment with your email address. If you don't like leaving your email address, check back on the 8th to see if you won.
2) Become a follower on this blog.
3) Leave a comment on my Youtube video.
4) Leave a comment on my other Youtube video.

For each one your name will be entered into the drawing. So up your odds and have fun.

I can only ship in the US. Drawing will be done on December 8th. Please check back to see if you've won if you didn't leave your email address. If I don't have your email address and haven't heard from you by the 15th, I'll draw another name.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

CAN'T SEEM TO GET ENOUGH OF THOSE DARN COWBOYS



Title: CHRISTMAS GIFTS: SMALL TOWN CHRISTMAS and HER CHRISTMAS COWBOY
Author: GAIL GAYMER MARTIN and BRENDA MINTON
Publisher: Love Inspired (October 18, 2011)
Pages: 224

CHRISTMAS GIFTS is two stories in one:

SMALL TOWN CHRISTMAS by GAIL GAYMER MARTIN is a sweet romance.

When Amy Carroll is laid off from her teaching job, she opts for a temporary position near her grandmother’s home in Harrisville, Michigan. While checking in with the school, she’s introduced to Mike Russet, the father of twin girls. The twin’s antics have Amy concerned. Discovering their mother passed away some time ago gives her reason for more concern.

As Christmas nears, Amy discovers her teaching position could be permanent, but will she trust God enough to make the move from the city of Chicago, to a little town in Michigan?

HER CHRISTMAS COWBOY BY BRENDA MINTON

Elizabeth Harden had several reasons not to trust the handsome cowboy, Travis Cooper, who literally swept her off her feet during a bull-riding event.

1) Her ex fiancée abandoned her a week before their wedding.
2) She was only in town for the bull-riding event her father’s business sponsored.
3) Travis Cooped was a ladies’ man, no better than her ex fiancée.

There is no thought process needed to purchasing a book when BRENDA MINTON’s name is sprawled across it. MRS. MINTON is one author I don’t have to think twice if I’m going to enjoy the book. I could care less about the title or the blurb on back cover. I know what lies between the covers will transform me into another world. One that involves cowboy hats and boots.

From the first book I ever read of BRENDA MINTON’s, to the latest, I’ve not been disappointed. Her ability to capture my heart through the characters is amazing. It’s writing like hers that I aspire to mimic. I can’t help but fall in love with the characters, as well as the storyline.

What I found unique about HER CHRISTMAS COWOY is Travis’ ADHA. How wonderful to have such a common problem in today’s society brought out in a handsome, productive, God-fearing cowboy! MRS. MINTON was able to bring to light Travis’ “weakness”, yet hold on to his appeal as a rugged, sensitive, loving, caring, cowboy.

Not only will you fall in love with Travis and Elizabeth, but the idea of a large family brought together by adoption and love. I wait with anticipation for her next book to be released, THE COWBOY’S HOLIDAY BLESSING. I can’t wait to read about another Cooper!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

BOOK GIVEAWAY - START SOMETHING THAT MATTERS

Want a chance to get a free copy of BLAKE MYCOSKIE'S book,
START SOMETHING THAT MATTERS?

First a little bit about the book.

Title: START SOMETHING THAT MATTERS
Author: BLAKE MYCOSKIE
Publisher: Spiegel & Grau (September 6, 2011)
Pages: 208



I have to be honest, I’d never heard of TOMS shoes until Blake Mycoskie spoke at my church, WILLOW CREEK COMMUNITY CHURCH. I was instantly intrigued by his story, as well as admired his morals. I’ve been serving, mainly in the prison and Jail ministers, since 2004. I know firsthand what it means for God to place in your heart a passion that blesses you as well as others.

After the service they were selling TOMS shoes, along with Blake’s book out in the lobby. I was tempted, but low on funds and needing to pick my kids up from their classes, had me opting out. I went home not purchasing anything, something I often don’t do when it comes to books, yet the story of TOMS and the book START SOMETHING THAT MATTERS was never far from my mind.

Within days I received my Amazon Vine Program picks. To my utter amazement, START SOMETHING THAT MATTERS was one of the choices I could choose from! Clearly a God thing. I didn’t hesitate. I immediately ordered the book.

Right from the first pages I was captivated. START SOMETHING THAT MATTERS is a quick and easy read. I wasn’t even twenty pages in and I was itching to write and post a review. But I held off. I wanted to make sure I captured every essence of the book from start to finish.

In my copy, that I will forever keep, it’s marked with many highlights and dog-eared pages. Before I was even finished with the book I was emailing TOMS, telling others about it, and started a new blog to START SOMETHING THAT MATTERS. http://jackscardsofhope.blogspot.com/

I certainly could have reservations on starting this endeavor, but as Blake’s book clearly states, don’t over think it. Don’t let worry and fear cancel out what you know in your heart to be true. And don’t be afraid to make mistakes.

I’m NOT letting this opportunity to serve the least of theses for the Lord, slip away due to fear, doubt, and lack of. I will push on and carry out what Jesus has placed in my heart to do.

I WILL START SOMETHING THAT MATTERS!

What about you?

START SOMETHING THAT MATTERS by BLAKE MYCOSKIE, is a must read for EVERYONE!

It will change your life.

A few key things I learned from START SOMETHING THAT MATTERS:

-Trust
-Simplicity
-Faith
-Give



For a chance to win a copy of START SOMETHING THAT MATTERS:

1) Leave a comment with you email address. If you don't like leaving your email, you can check back on the 23rd to see if you won.
2) Become a follower on this blog.
3) Leave a comment on my Youtube video.
4) Leave a comment on my other Youtube video.

For each one your name will be entered into the drawing. So up your odds, and have fun.

Winner will be announced Wednesday, November 23rd. If I don't hear from you in seven days, I'll pick another winner.

Can only ship in the US.

INSPIRATION FROM A WONDERFUL AUTHOR

Most writers need a lift me up, inspiration, motivation, and or encouragement at one time or another. In my eyes, Gina Holmes is an amazing writer, so this video is very inspiring to me.

Bless you Gina for sharing it with the world.

Friday, November 4, 2011

FAR FROM DRY


Title: DRY AS RAIN
Author: GINA HOLMES
Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (August 17, 2011)
Pages: 400

Eric Yoshida never imagined he’d be in the position he found himself in after his wife discovered an email from an attractive coworker at the car dealership he worked for. Though their marriage was far from perfect, he hadn’t done anything wrong. Eric’s wife thought differently and sent him packing.

All hope is lost, or so Eric believes. That’s until his wife, Kyra, is involved in an accident that erases part of her memory. Eric believes God has given him a second chance, but is plagued with worry that when Kyra’s memory returns, she’ll discover what he’s done? Or whether or not she’ll forgive him.

You’re taking a chance when you purchase a book by an author you’re not familiar with, especially when it’s a debut novel. GINA HOLMES first novel, CROSSING OCEANS, was recommended to me as a MUST read by a friend. I can’t say enough about how amazing it is. I’m forever grateful that I was introduced to this wonderfully talented writer.

When I received the chance to read MS. HOMLES second novel, DRY AS RAIN, I didn’t hesitate. I imaged it would be good, though I had to wonder if she could pull off another novel as amazing as CROSSING OCEANS.

As I began to read DRY AS RAIN, I soon realized I would be immersed in another fascinating story. One that I would lose track of time and feel as though I were living right in the mist of the characters lives.

Besides the exceptional writing, remarkable lines, three dimensional characters, and wonderful storyline, I’m forever changed by the uniqueness of how MRS. HOLMES plays out the plot. Most stories are predictable with a twist here and there. I have yet to be disappointed with how MRS. HOLMES carries out the story from the very first word to the very last. It will leave you fully satisfied, with no desire to change a thing.

DRY AS RAIN is a realistic, wonderfully amazing love story. One that will illustrate the reality of so many marriages, entwined with fears, trials and tribulations, as well as hope, grace, forgiveness, and second chances.

DRY AS RAIN has a special place in my heart with characters what will last a lifetime.

So impacted by this story, I plan on purchasing a Beta fish as a reminder that love is worth working for, and with God’s grace, there’s always hope.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

A NOVEL EVERYONE SHOULD READ

Title: THE SHACK
Author: WM PAUL YOUNG
Publisher: Windblown Media; Reprint edition (June 1, 2011)
Pages: 304


How would you feel if your child was abducted right from under your nose? And how would it change your life and your relationship with God?

When Mackenzie Philip’s daughter is abducted, he’s forever changed for the worse…or at least until “Papa” summons him to the exact spot that has haunted him for the past three years. Reluctantly, Mack does as God calls him to do. At the shack Mack faces one of several questions plaguing him. “Where is God in a world so filled with unspeakable pain?”

For those that are mature Christians, the answer to Mack’s question may not be a new concept, but will confirm what they already know. For those that aren’t close to God, or have drifted from Him, it will give light to unanswered questions and disappointments.

When I first heard talk about a number one bestseller about a man meeting a black, female God in a shack, I was a bit put off by the premise. I really didn’t know what to make of it, though I wrestled with whether or not to read THE SHACK, by WM. PAUL YOUNG.

Over the years THE SHACK resurfaced in my life when others asked if I’d read it or I came across it on Amazon, or at the store. But still I wasn’t ready to read it.

But God has a way of not letting up when He wants us to experience something. If you would have asked me few years back, I wouldn’t have imagined I would have read THE SHACK because of an inmate. But that’s exactly how I came to being blessed to read such a magnificent book.

I’ve been serving in the prison and jail ministry since 2004, and I’m forever amazed at God’s blessings through this ministry. Because of one inmates request through my church to receive a specific faith based book, a friendship grew. Eventually he received the book he requested and in return I received THE SHACK. If not for my promise I’d made to him to read it, I may never have done so.

I don’t recall ever having dog-eared and or highlighted a fiction book in the way I have THE SHACK. The story was amazing. The characters were three dimensional. The writing superb, and the insight to the trinity outstanding.

I’m so impressed by THE SHACK and its ability to depict Christ, forgiveness, and how to live one’s life; I intend to purchase several copies to share this remarkable book with others. I highly recommend it for everyone, no matter where they are spiritually. From those that are very far from God, to those that are mature Christians.

Monday, October 31, 2011

ACFW NEW BOOK RELEASES OCTOBER 31st 2011

More in-depth descriptions of these books can be found on the ACFW FictionFinder website.



A Lasting Impression by Tamera Alexander -- Historical Romance from Bethany House; To create something that will last is Claire Laurent's most fervent desire as an artist. It's also her greatest weakness. All that Sutton Monroe holds dear lies in ruin. He's determined to reclaim his heritage and to make the men who murdered his father pay. But what he discovers on his quest for vengeance reveals a truth that may cost him more than he ever imagined.



Bound by Grace by Amber Stockton -- Historical Romance from Barbour. When Charlotte Pringle’s father disrupts her idyllic relationship with Richard Baxton by announcing he’s been working on a marriage arrangement to secure her future, Richard despairs over the loss of the woman he’s come to love, until his niece persuades him to fight.



Fatal Reality by Jonathan Wakefield -- A Thriller/Suspense from OakTara -- In this race only the winner will be allowed to live.



Gateway Weddings; Romancing America by Myra Johnson -- A Romance from Barbour. Three Missouri women enter the gateway to life, love, and longing.



Hope and a Future by Betty Arrigotti -- Romance from OakTara; Will Marjorie Gloriam overcome her fear and trust God to be a Friend with plans to give her Hope and a Future?



I Can Do Better All By Myself by E. N. Joy, --Biblical Fiction from Urban Fiction (Kensington). The singles ministry at New Day Temple of Faith is beginning to unravel, and the pastor is considering dissolving the ministry. Some members believe the only way to hold it together is by getting their pastor to join. And why shouldn't their leader show support by joining, considering the pastor's own single status?



Katie’s Way by Marta Perry -- Romance from Praise (Penguin). A quilt shop brings Amish and Englisch together, and trouble follows...



Lonestar Angel by Colleen Coble -- Romance from Thomas Nelson. Five years ago Eden and Clay Larson's baby was stolen and never found. Eden blamed herself, Clay lost himself in work. Their young and rocky marriage ended. Or so Eden thought.



Mind Over Madi by Lynda Lee Schab -- General Fiction from OakTara; All men cheat. At least, that's what Madi's mother has always told her.



Peril by Suzanne Hartmann -- Thriller/Suspense from OakTara; A top-secret agent must trust God to protect her many secrets when she accepts high-profile assignments but can she trust Him when He leads her to reveal her secrets and takes her to death's doorstep?



Promise Brides by S. Dionne Moore-- Historical Romance from Barbour; Love is the same, no matter when, no matter where-it never comes without sacrifice.



Protection for Hire by Camy Tang-- Thriller/Suspense from Zondervan; Tessa Lancaster’s skills first earned her a position as an enforcer in her uncle’s Japanese Mafia gang. Then they landed her in prison for a crime she didn’t commit. Now, three months after her release, her abilities have gained her a job as bodyguard for a wealthy socialite and her three-year-old son. But there’s a problem or two … or three ….



The Land of Darkness; The Gates of Heaven Series by C.S. Lakin-- Speculative Fiction from Living Ink (AMG); Jadiel is twelve and things couldn’t get much worse—or could they?



The Long Trail Home by Vickie McDonough-- Historical Romance from Moody Publishers; When Riley Morgan returns home after fighting in the War Between the States, he is excited to see his parents and fiancée again. But when he arrives he learns his life will never be the same again.



The Merchant’s Daughter by Melanie Dickerson-- Historical from Zondervan; An unthinkable danger. An unexpected choice. Annabel, once the daughter of a wealthy merchant, is trapped in indentured servitude a recluse. She must decide whether to follow the plans she has cherished or the calling God has placed on her heart.



The Rancher’s Courtship by Laurie Kingery-- Romance from Love Inspired; Though Caroline Wallace can’t have a family, she can still have a purpose. Becoming Simpson Creek’s new schoolmarm helps heal the heartache of losing Pete, her fiancé, to influenza. Then Pete’s brother arrives, trailing a herd of cattle and twin six-year-old girls.



Thyme for Love by Pamela S. Meyers--Romance & Mystery from OakTara; April Love has always dreamed of being a chef. But she didn’t expect a former fiancé or murder to be part of the recipe for her new job.



Turnabout’s Fair Play by Kaye Dacus-- Romance from Barbour; When Maureen O’Connor begins scheming to match her grandson Jamie with Flannery McNeill, the last thing she has in mind is a romance of her own.





Friday, October 21, 2011

I'M STARTING SOMETHING THAT MATTERS...WHAT ABOUT YOU

Title: START SOMETHING THAT MATTERS
Author: BLAKE MYCOSKI
Publisher: Spiegel & Grau (September 6, 2011)
Pages: 208



I have to be honest, I’d never heard of TOMS shoes until Blake Mycoski spoke at my church, WILLOW CREEK COMMUNITY CHURCH. I was instantly intrigued by his story, as well as admired his morals. I’ve been serving, mainly in the prison and Jail ministers, since 2004. I know firsthand what it means for God to place in your heart a passion that blesses you as well as others.

After the service they were selling TOMS shoes, along with Blake’s book out in the lobby. I was tempted, but low on funds and needing to pick my kids up from their classes, had me opting out. I went home not purchasing anything, something I often don’t do when it comes to books, yet the story of TOMS and the book START SOMETHING THAT MATTERS was never far from my mind.

Within days I received my Amazon Vine Program picks. To my utter amazement, START SOMETHING THAT MATTERS was one of the choices I could choose from! Clearly a God thing. I didn’t hesitate. I immediately ordered the book.

Right from the first pages I was captivated. START SOMETHING THAT MATTERS is a quick and easy read. I wasn’t even twenty pages in and I was itching to write and post a review. But I held off. I wanted to make sure I captured every essence of the book from start to finish.

In my copy, that I will forever keep, it’s marked with many highlights and dog-eared pages. Before I was even finished with the book I was emailing TOMS, telling others about it, and started a new blog to START SOMETHING THAT MATTERS. http://jackscardsofhope.blogspot.com/

I certainly could have reservations on starting this endeavor, but as Blake’s book clearly states, don’t over think it. Don’t let worry and fear cancel out what you know in your heart to be true. And don’t be afraid to make mistakes.

I’m NOT letting this opportunity to serve the least of theses for the Lord, slip away due to fear, doubt, and lack of. I will push on and carry out what Jesus has placed in my heart to do.

I WILL START SOMETHING THAT MATTERS!

What about you?

START SOMETHING THAT MATTERS by BLAKE MYCOSKI, is a must read for EVERYONE!

It will change your life.

A few key things I learned from START SOMETHING THAT MATTERS:

-Trust
-Simplicity
-Faith
-Give

ONE FOR ONE...START SOMETHING THAT MATTERS

ONE FOR ONE?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

A SHOCKING SAD REALITY

A sad reality that needs to change. Don't be afraid to watch this. It isn't what it appears...yet it is.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

MY CURRENT THREE

My current three reads, which by the way are all great books.

I always read the Bible, a non-fiction, usually inspirational/faith based, about the craft of writing, or the prison ministry. The third book I read is fiction, something for pure pleasure. In more cases then not, it’s inspirational and often there’s a cowboy or two involved.

DEVOTIONAL:












The Bible - I’ve been reading the Bible every morning for years now from cover to cover. This I believe my fourth time, each different Bibles. After this one I plan to read THE PURPOSE DRIVE LIFE, again. I haven’t read it in years and was inspired by it beyond words. That and the movie THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST. Both life changing for me.

NON-FICTION:








Start Something That Matters, by Blake Mycoskie - Blake spoke at my church several weeks ago, Willow Creek Community Church. Before that I hadn’t heard of him. I was blessed to receive his book a week later, which I’m convinced God orchestrated. I’m about 100 pages into it and WOW! This is a must read. Not just for those wanting to start a business, but for a better way to live one’s life.

FICTION:








The Shack, by William P Young – I can’t wait to finish this book and write a review. I’d heard of it for years, and what I heard had me questioning whether or not it was for me. One of my pen pals sent it to me a few months back. Now on page 120, I’m sure glad he did.




What are you currently reading?

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

BOOKS, BOOKS, AND MORE BOOKS



So many books, and so little time. I have several books on my “favorites list” that I would love to one day reread. But before that can happen, I have a ton of books waiting to be read. Not only on my bookshelf’s at home, but also on my Shelfari wish list.

A handful of favorite books I’d like to reread:

-All of Debra Clopton’s books.
-All of Karen Witemeyer’s books.
-I Called Him Dancer, by G Edward Snipes
-Give the Lady a Ride, by Linda Yezak
-Crossing Ocean’s, by Gina Holmes
-All of Tina Radcliffe books.
-Exposed, by Ashley Weis
-The Promise Remains, and The Watermark, by Travis Thrasher

Well that’s crazy. I could go on with many more of my favorites, but I guess you’ll have to check out my Shelfari shelf for the rest.

A handful of books I have on my shelf waiting to be read:

-Peace Like a River, by Leif Enger
-The God Hater, by Bill Myers
-The Narrow Path, by Gail Sattler
-Dry as Rain, by Gina Holmes
-The Help, by Kathryn Stockett
-Cayman Summer, by Angela Morrison

A handful of books on my wish list:

-Loving God, by Charles Colson
-All of the Brenda Minton books I don’t have.
-Stand in Groom, by Kaye Dacus
-Into Thin Air, by Jon Krakauer
-The Rodeo Rider, by Roxann Delaney

My Shelfari shelf for a list of books I have, read, and wish for. http://www.shelfari.com/o1518271606

What are your favorite books?
What books do you have at home waiting to be read?
What books are you excitedly waiting to one day own?

Monday, October 3, 2011

A TRULY AMAZING STORY BY AN AMAZING MAN

Title: Mentor: The Kid and the CEO
Author: Tom Pace with Walter Jenkins
Publisher: MentorHope Publishing; 1st edition (August 1, 2007)
Pages: 175



I had the honor of meeting a truly remarkable man recently, Tom Pace. I’d read his book MENTOR THE KIDS AND THE CEO, back in March of 2010, and was inspired by his story. Tom has blessed many through donations of THE PURPOSE DRIVE LIFE and MENTOR THE KIDS AND THE CEO, and continues to bless others.

The MENTOR: The Kid & The CEO, is a must read for all. It's well written and reads like a great novel. Positivity, optimistic, perseverance. This is the attitude and way of life everyone one should be striving for. This book will bring hope and encouragement to those down on their luck, thinking life has nothing to offer them. It really cements the idea that our own thinking and actions can either make or break us. In the end it is up to you. To have mentors throughout your life is vital, and having God as the center of your life is a must.

I found myself continually saying, "Yes, yes." I loved how Malcolm made it a point to teach both Tony and Gary what is needed to be a good person as well as successful in life...in all areas of their life. We can all learn something from this book whether it be from Tony's perspective, that with the right attitude, good morals and hard work, you can do anything. Or from Malcolm whom we witness the importance of looking beyond ourselves and doing for others. After all, isn't that what God has called us to do, and in doing so we end up being a winner as well.

You reap what you sow, so sow well.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

ACFW NEW RELEASES

More in-depth descriptions of these books can be found on the ACFW FictionFinder website.



A Wedding Invitation by Alice Wisler -- General Fiction from Bethany House; When Samantha Bravencourt receives an invitation to a wedding in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, she looks forward to reconnecting with her college friend. Instead her life collides with Carson, a fellow teacher and the man who broke her heart.



Attracted by Fire by DiAnn Mills -- A Thriller/Suspense from Tyndale. When a Secret Service Agent is assigned to the Vice President's rebellious daughter, danger lurks in every corner - and her heart.



Deeply Devoted: A Novel; The Blue Willow Brides Series by Maggie Brendan -- A Historical from Revell -- She is staking her future on a man she's never met. Can she learn to love him?



Freezing Point by Beth Goddard -- A Thriller/Suspense from Love Inspired. Casey Wilkes didn't realize her simple human-interest story would put her life at risk—again.



Lethal Remedy by Richard L. Mabry M.D. -- A Thriller/Suspense from Abingdon; A doctor discovers that the experimental "wonder drug" that offers the only hope of cure for a universally fatal infection can be attacking more than just bacteria.



Love on the Line by Deeanne Gist, -- Historical Romance from Bethany House. Rural switchboard operator Georgie Gail is proud of her independence in a man's world ... which makes it twice as vexing when the telephone company sends a man to look over her shoulder.



Maggie's Journey by Lena Nelson Dooley -- A Historical from Realms (Charisma Media). Near her eighteenth birthday, Margaret Lenora Caine finds a chest hidden in the attic containing proof that she's adopted and her journey begins.



Recipe for Deceit by S. Dionne Moore -- Mystery from Barbour. The third LaTisha Barnhart mystery finds the sassy diner owner trying to figure out who put the hit on a hitman.



Rodeo Dust by Shannon Vanatter -- Romance from Barbour Heartsong; Can they rely on God to find their common ground or will they draw a line in the rodeo dust that neither will cross?



Southern Fried Sushi: A Novel by Jennifer Rogers Spinola -- General Fiction from Barbour; Ride the roller coaster of Shiloh Jacobs’s life as her dreams derail, sending her on a downward spiral from the heights of an AP job in Tokyo to penniless in rural Virginia.



Ten Plagues by Mary Nealy-- Thriller/Suspense from Barbour; A demon possessed serial killer pits himself against a former ego driven cop, who's found peace as a mission pastor and a tough lady cop with the spiritual gift of discerning spirits.



The Baker's Wife by Erin Healy-- Thriller/Suspense from Thomas Nelson; To save her husband and son, Audrey Bofinger must rescue her enemy.



The Chair by James Rubart-- Thriller/Suspense from B and H Publishing; If you were given an ancient looking chair and told Jesus Christ made it, would you believe them?



The Christmas Child by Linda Goodnight-- Romance from Love Inspired; When a battle weary cop and a Christmas crazy teacher join forces to care for an abandoned, mute boy in a small town, neither is prepared for the shocking revelations waiting...just in time for Christmas.



The Lady's Maid by Susan Page Davis-- Romance from Barbour; As a lady's maid, Elise will follow her mistress anywhere, even into the Wild West.



The Wishing Pearl by Nicole O'Dell-- Young Adult from Barbour; Join conflicted sixteen-year-old Olivia Mansfield on her journey to hope and healing as she leaves her messed-up life behind and moves into home for troubled teens



There You'll Find Me by Jenny B. Jones-- Young Adult from Thomas Nelson; Grief brought Finley to Ireland. Love will lead her home.



When Love Gets in the Way by Janelle Mowery-- A Historical from Harvest House; Straight from the heart of the Old West, the Colorado Runaway series is full of adventure, humor, and romance.



When Two Hearts Meet by Janelle Mowery-- A Historical from Harvest House; Rachel Garrett finds that attaining her dream of becoming a nurse is fraught with peril, and a deputy sheriff with a wall around his heart doesn’t help matters,


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Friday, September 23, 2011

BLOWN AWAY

Title: My One and Only
Author: Kristan Higgins
Publisher: HQN Books; 384 edition (March 29, 2011)
Pages: 384


Reading MY ONE AND ONLY BY KRISTAN HIGGINS was an unexpected shocker. Never having read any of her writing, I'd spotted ALL I EVER WANTED on Amazon, and decided to order it. It's always a risk when you decide to read a book by an unfamiliar author. Before I had a chance to read it, I did what you should never do...I purchased another book by the same author.

Hesitant to read a new author, I finally started ALL I EVER WANTED, but was soon disappointed. Reading mainly inspirational fiction, the offensive language and contemporary life style of the main character had me putting the book down at page twenty. Despite my issues that lead me to stop reading, the great quality of writing, the author's distinct voice, and the potential for a good storyline was all there.

MY ONE AND ONLY sat waiting to be read. I knew sooner or later I'd have to get to it...I just preferred later, sure I would have the same reaction as I had with Kristan's other book. Finally I picked it up, took a deep breath, and began to read the first words.

Right away it had contemporary and sassy written all over it. Mind you I prefer LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRE days. But to be fair I would give it several pages before giving up. I was contemplating putting it down when the main characters boyfriend was revealed to be a firefighter (the same profession as my husband). Another factor that kept me reading, it had a considerably less amount of foul language in compassions to the previous book I had attempted to read of hers.

As I continued to read I wasn't taken by the firefighter, though she did an excellent job with his character. Then without warning, another man entered the scene...Now I was intrigued. From there it only got better!

I was hooked, and hooked in the worse way.

The book I thought I'd put down, I COULDN'T stop reading.

MY ONE AND ONLY is witty, fun, amazingly written with a storyline and characters with such remarkable personalities and growth, you'll be searching for time to read. I just can't say enough about this book. It held my interest, made me laugh, made me cry, and made me want to rush to my computer to write my very own novel of the same caliber.

Harper James is a divorce lawyer and she'll stop at nothing to help her clients. After all she was once married. But it wasn't just a failed marriage that had given her a bad taste of love and marriage. No, there were a whole lot more there below the surface.

Nick Lowery had loved Harper James from the instant he laid eyes on her. He was a man that knew what he wanted, and went after it. Their marriage may have ended in divorce, but that didn't stop Nick from loving Harper.

Can years of separation prevent Harper and Nick from having a future together?

I just loved the direction Kristan took in MY ONE AND ONLY. Not only would I have not changed a thing, she had me pleasantly surprised in the direction she took the story at several places...and had me crying towards the end.

If you're wondering if I'll be purchasing another of KRISTAN HIGGINS books, don't. If fact I may just have to go back and give ALL I EVER WANTED another try.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Thursday, September 15, 2011

BRADY FREAK

I admit it…I’m a Brady freak! Have been since I was young and always will be.

My favorite episodes were always the singing ones.

Do I dare admit I have their CD?

What shows do you remember from your childhood that you can’t seem to let go?


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

FAVOTIE MOVIE MOMENTS

Do you have a favorite movie moment that keeps you coming back for more?

There are several movies I’ve watched where one particular scene captivated me so much that it made the entire move for me. So much so that I replayed it again and again in my mind.

Books can have the same affect. One particular scene can boost a good book into something great.
,
This scene in THE HANNAH MONTANA movie did it for me. Overall it was an okay movie, BUT this part put it over the top, leaving that warm, want to watch again feeling.

Is there a movie with a particular scene that captured your heart?

Monday, September 12, 2011

AN EMOTIONAL READ


When I spotted THE BEGINNING OF AFTER by JENNIFER CASTLE, I was immediately drawn to the cover, and the title was intriguing. Upon reading the blurb on the back cover, I made the decision to read it.

When Laurel Meisner’s world suddenly changes, she’s left with a whirlwind of emotions, unsure of which direction to turn. In a blink of an eye, her family is taken from her, leaving Laurel’s grandmother, the only surviving family member, to care for Laurel. But Laurel isn’t the only one hurting. David Kaufman, an only child whose father remains on life support after the devastating accident that killed Laurel’s family and David’s mother, is going through his own pain. After all it was his father who had been driving the car at the time of the crash.

THE BEGINNING OF AFTER takes you on a journey through one teen’s life as she grieves the loss of her family. Along the way she discovers people who make that journey a little easier.

Despite the stories slow pace, you want to keep reading.

Sometimes there are songs that make you want to dance and shout to the world. Then there are other slow and mellow songs where the words penetrate your soul, causing you to rethink things you may not have otherwise. THE BEGINNING OF AFTER is like the latter.

This beautifully written story provoked emotions and deep thoughts within me about losing loved ones. I wept inside for every child that has lost their parents and for all the parents who have passed away, knowing how tangible their loss would be.

I’d love to see a second book to THE BEGINNING OF AFTER, maybe simply titled AFTER. I’d love to be a part of Laurel and David’s journey into the future.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

BEN

I think the moment I felt differently about rats was when I saw the movie with Michael Jackson, BEN. Love the song as well. My first ever rat I named, Ben.


BEN

Ben, the two of us need look no more
We both found what we were looking for
With a friend to call my own
I'll never be alone
And you, my friend, will see
You've got a friend in me
(you've got a friend in me)

Ben, you're always running here and there
You feel you're not wanted anywhere
If you ever look behind
And don't like what you find
There's one thing you should know
You've got a place to go
(you've got a place to go)

I used to say "I" and "me"
Now it's "us", now it's "we"
I used to say "I" and "me"
Now it's "us", now it's "we"
Ben, most people would turn you away
I don't listen to a word they say
They don't see you as I do
I wish they would try to
I'm sure they'd think again
If they had a friend like Ben
(a friend) Like Ben
(like Ben) Like Ben

Friday, September 9, 2011

A SAD DAY


This morning I discovered one of our rats passed away, Ralphy. He was such a great rat. Very sad.

Monday, September 5, 2011

POWERFUL WORDS


The Man I Wanna Be lyrics

God, I'm down here on my knees
Cause it's the last place left to fall
Beggin' for another chance
If there's any chance at all
That you might still be listenin'
Lovin' and forgivin' guys like me
I've spent my whole life gettin' it all wrong
And I sure could use your help cause from now on

I wanna be a good man
A "do like I should" man
I wanna be the kind of man the mirror likes to see
I wanna be a strong man
And admit that I was wrong man
God I'm asking you to come change me
into the man I wanna be

If there's anyway for her and me to make another start
could you see what you could doTo put some love back in her heart
Cuz' it's going to take a miracle
After all I've done to really make her see

That I wanna be a stay man
I wanna be a great man
I wanna be the kind of man she sees in her dreams
God, I wanna be your man
and I wanna be her man
God, I only hope she still believes
In the man I wanna be

Well, I know it's late at night, that talk is cheap
but Lord, don't give up on me

I wanna be a givin' man
I wanna really start livin' man
God, I'm asking you to come change me
Into the man I wanna be

Sunday, September 4, 2011

SO VERY POWERFUL

I know this is long but you won't regret watching the entire video. Wow! What an amazing story.

Friday, September 2, 2011

ACFW NEW RELEASES

What a great assortment to pick from. Check out the selections, make your purchase and enjoy.

And happy reading!

More in-depth descriptions of these books can be found on the ACFW FictionFinder website.



A Biltmore Christmas by Diane Ashley and Rhonda Gibson -- A Historical Romance from Barbour; Explore the luxuries of America’s largest home through the eyes of the fictional Bradford sisters



A Bride’s Portrait of Dodge City, Kansas by Erica Vetsch -- A Romance from Barbour. Hoping to leave the shadows of her shady yesteryears behind, Adeline Reid is focusing on her photography career. But when her ex-boyfriend’s compatriot in crime shows up in Dodge City her entire past is threatened by exposure.



A Harvest of Hearts by Laura V. Hilton -- Shanna Stoltzfus thought nothing could make her return home to her Amish family. She was wrong. But can anything make her give up her dreams and stay?



A Heart Revealed by Julie Lessman -- A Historical Romance from Revell. Her heart is tied to a youthful vow . . . but can true love set it free?



A Log Cabin Christmas Collection by Margaret Brownley, Wanda Brunstetter, Jane Kirkpatrick, Kelly Eileen Hake, Liz Johnson, Liz Tolsma, Michelle Ule, Debra Ullrick, and Erica Vetsch-- General Fiction Historical from Revell. In a time of peril, can they find the courage to confront their fears and embrace a love that lasts?



A Marriage for Meghan by Mary Ellis  -- Romance from Harvest House; An engaging story of one girl’s quest for independence and true love as social prejudice tests a community’s faith in a simpler world.



A Quaker Christmas by Laura Lee Bliss, Rachael Phillips Ramona Cecil, and Claire Sanders -- Romance from Barbour. Christmas is a simple matter among the Quakers of the historic Ohio River Valley, but can it be a a special time to welcome love into four households?



A Whisper of Peace by Kim Vogel Sawyer -- Historical Romance from Bethany House. Will Clay Selby be forced to choose between his desire to minister to the natives and the quiet nudging of his heart to spend his life with a quiet, independent Indian woman who is not a part of the tribe?



Ashes to Honor by Loree Lough -- General Fiction from Abingdon. If only he'd answered that last call from the World Trade Center....



Belonging; Where the Heart Lives Series by Robin Lee Hatcher  -- Historical Romance from Zondervan; Can two bitter pasts make one sweet future?.



Captive Trail by Susan Page Davis-- Historical General Fiction from Moody Publishers; A girl has become a woman while in captivity, and a stagecoach driver longs to take her to the home she barely remembers.



Christmas at Barncastle Inn by Lynette Sowell, Susan Page Davis, Darlene Franklin, and Janelle Mowery -- Romance from Barbour; Each Christmas the Barncastle family transforms its sprawling Victorian bed and breakfast into a fantasy world through time. Will its guests also discover that forgiveness is timeless?



Deadly Pursuit by Irene Hannon-- Thriller/Suspense from Revell; A woman who protects children. An ex-Navy SEAL turned police detective. A stalker with deadly intent.



Deep Cover by Sandra Orchard-- Romance from Love Inspired; Undercover Cops: Fighting for justice puts their lives--and hearts--on the line.



Dry As Rain by Gina Holmes-- General Fiction from Tyndale; Undercover Cops: Behind every broken vow lies a broken heart. A richly engaging story of betrayal and redemption, Dry as Rain illuminates with striking emotional intensity the surprising truth of what it means to forgive.



Falling to Pieces; A Quilt Shop Murder by Vanetta Chapman-- A Cozy Mystery from Zondervan; Not your usual Amish buggy ride!



Finding Angel by Kat Heckenbach-- Speculative Fiction from Splashdown Books; Angel doesn’t remember her magical heritage…but it remembers her.



From This Day Forward; American Tapestries by Margaret Daley-- Historical Romance from Summerside Press; Following the War of 1812, an Englishwoman, stranded in South Carolina, pregnant and recently widowed, struggles to make a life for herself. Can a disenchanted American physician heal her wounded heart?



Hailee by Penny Zeller-- Historical Romance from Whitaker House; Can this unlikely pair come to terms with their pasts and face the future together?



Hidden in the Everglades by Margaret Daley-- A Thriller/Suspense from Love Inspired; Michael Hunt needs Kyra Morgan's help to keep his sister safe. It will take everything they have to escape the Everglades alive.



Love Finds You on Christmas Morning by Debby Mayne and Trish Perry -- Romance from Summerside Press; Two women receive marriage proposals in the same house— 85 years apart. Love finds a home on Christmas morning in two heartwarming holiday stories.



Love Finds You in Sundance, Wyoming by Miralee Ferrell-- Romance from Summerside Press; While war rages in Europe, Rebekah Hendricks dreams of life far beyond the family farm in Oklahoma. And when a telegram arrives in October of 1918, she believes God has provided her way of escape.



Naomi’s Gift-An Amish Christmas Story by Amy Clipston-- Romance from Zondervan; Take a trip to Bird-in-Hand, Pennsylvania, where you'll meet the women of the Kauffman Amish Bakery in Lancaster County.



Pirate of My Heart by Jamie Carie-- Historical Fiction from B and H Publishing; Forced to flee the only home she's ever known, Lady Kendra Townsend risks everything for a chance at finding true love in the wilds of a new America.



Remembering Christmas: A Novel by Dan Walsh-- General Fiction from Revell; Can one Christmas change a person's life forever?



Shadowed in Silk by Christine Lindsay-- Historical Romance from Whitefire Publishing; Neglected by family, Abby travels to India after WWI with her small son, only to be abandoned by her husband, a cruel stranger, and to fall in love with a man who can never return her love without offending God.



Surrender the Dawn by Mary Lu Tyndall-- Historical Romance from Barbour; You’ll be swept away in this seafaring romance between a plucky damsel-in-distress and a nefarious rake who’s selling out his country amid the War of 1812.



The Aristocrat’s Lady by Mary Moore -- Historical from Love Inspired; She was resigned to a life without love-until she met him...



The Christmas Belles of Georgia by Debra Ullrick, Jeanie Smith Cash, Rose Allen McCauley, and Jeri Odell -- Romance from Barbour; They were sisters once—identical quadruplets—given up for adoption at birth. Now each receives a letter advising her to claim her inheritance and the family she never knew. . .at Christmas.



The Doctor's Lady by Jody Hedlund-- Historical Romance from Bethany House; Priscilla White knew God wanted her to be a missionary, not a wife. But the only way she can serve is to be married. Married in name only, her new journey will test her spirit. . . and the new longings of her heart.



The Healing; Kentucky Brothers Series by Wanda Brunstetter-- Romance from Barbour; Can Esther Beiler win Samuel Fisher’s heart, or has she already lost it to an English woman? How will God untangle star-crossed lovers when jealousies and misconceptions threaten to tear them apart?



The Wounded Heart; An Amish Quilt Novel by Adina Senft-- General Fiction from Faith Words (Hachette); When she's diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, a young Amish mother must choose between obedience or following her heart.



To Have and To Hold; Bridal Veil Island Series by Tracie Peterson and Judith Miller -- Historical Romance from Bethany House; Amid a time of growth and change for Bridal Veil, can Marshall and Audrey find a foundation on which to build a love to last forever?



Wings of a Dream by Anne Mateer-- General Fiction from Bethany House; While war rages in Europe, Rebekah Hendricks dreams of life far beyond the family farm in Oklahoma. And when a telegram arrives in October of 1918, she believes God has provided her way of escape.












Saturday, August 27, 2011

AN AMAZING READ FOR TEENS BY A TEEN


When I discovered I had the chance to read HADES by ALEXANDRA ADORNETTO, I grabbed the opportunity. My fourteen-year-old daughter read HALO, the first in the sequel, some months ago, and insisted that I read it as well. I was pleasantly surprised with HALO.

I found HALO to be a refreshingly different read from the typical romance I’m accustomed too. The writing was amazing, and I was pleasantly surprised at how well the faith and evil aspect was presented without being preachy. I appreciated the lack of foul language and inappropriate behavior.

I was shocked to discover the author ALEXANDRA ADORNETTO is just a teen herself. I don’t particularly care for a lot of detail, but I was in awe of Ms. Adornetto’s unique description as well as her distinct characters and accurate portrayal of teens.

Where HALO had many five and four star reviews on Amazon, HADES had only one. If the lack of stars wasn’t deterrent enough, the reviews were. But I’d already committed to reading HADES and after HALO, I needed to know the rest of the story.

As I began to read HADES I was shocked to discover it not only to be good but better then HALO. The poor reviews baffled me, because it was just as well written as HALO and for me, the story itself was intriguing and captivating. For a period of time, HALO’s pace was slow, though wonderfully written, where HADES was packed full of action that didn’t cease until the last sentence.

In HALO, Bethany Church is sent to Earth with her siblings to keep dark forces at bay. Angels weren’t supposed to fall for human but that’s exactly what happened when Bethany met Xavier Woods, the High School good guy. Jake Thorn, a demon, has other plans for Beth.

In HADES, Jake tricks Beth into his underworld, a world no Angel has ever gone before. Beth is forced to make a decision that could quite possible destroy her, and threaten Xavier’s love for her.

I highly recommend HALO and HADES not only for preteens and teens, but for adults as well. As an aspiring writer I found myself wanting to reread these books to capture the author’s unique play on words.

And talk about a cliffhanger…

Saturday, August 6, 2011

WHAT'S IN A COLOR?

Glad to see a movie and book about this subject. It's so needed. It's too bad we have sight yet can't really see. Skin color is just that. A color. It's what's on the inside that matters.

THE HELP

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

A WONDERFUL TWIST


FAIRER THAN MORNING by Rosslyn Elliott threw me for a loop and took me by surprise. I felt as though I was taken back to the early 1800’s with Ms. Elliot’s amazing description and play on words. With three possible hero’s, I was kept guessing who would end up with the heroine, a unique twist from the stories I’m accustom to reading.

Ann Miller is pursued by Elie Bowen, a man any woman would be proud to marry. But there are lingering concerns, and when Ann travels with her father to Pittsburgh on business, she encounters two other men. Allan Burbridge, obviously smitten with her, but it’s Will Hanby that captures her curiosity.

Will, a saddle-maker’s apprentice, has suffered from loss of his family and abuse from his master. Upon his meeting Ann, the compassion he sees in her ignites in him hope that he long thought was dead. When Will is no longer able to endure the abuse of his master, he flees in hopes of finding Ann and her father.

The compassion of a few good Christians as well as Will’s growing faith was one to be admired. Ms. Elliott did a wonderful job conveying the hands and feet of Jesus in a natural and convincing way. I was truly humbled to read of their acts of Christianity as well as Will’s determination and faith despite his horrific circumstances.

As is often the case with me, I failed to read the back cover of FAIRER THAN MORNING, for if I had I would have realized the shocking information revealed in the final pages. I won’t give it away in case you’re like me, and love a good surprise.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

NEED AN IDEA FOR A STORY?



I have to shake my head when I read or hear of someone saying, “Would you like to learn how to create ideas for a story?”. Ah, NO! I have pages on pages of ideas. The problem I have is getting enough time to write.

I’m in a season of my life with young kids and a busy schedule that’s not my own. I sneak in a few hours here and there, continuing to learn the craft as I go.

I know God is preparing me for the future, when the time comes that I can dedicate more hours to writing, and one day receive my very first copy of my own novel.

His timing is always perfect.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

PRISON ART POST #1


The Prison Pen Pal Program has blessed me beyond anything I could have imagined or put into words. This is just one of the many blessings I’ve received from two remarkable inmates in Texas, Clifford and Bill.

Thanks guys!

May God bless you in all you do.

Kym

Sunday, July 24, 2011

A LETTER FROM AN INMATE TO A SUNDAY CLASS




I’ve been involved in the Prison Pen Pal Program since 2004. I write to several guys that are incarcerated. Through this amazing ministry, God has blessed me in countless ways. I also handled the miscellaneous mail that comes into Willow Creek Community Church from the prisons and jails. One of the letters I received had a heart shaped necklace with a cross in the middle of it, along with a request for a faith based non-fiction book.

One letter led to another and this particular one to a group of girls in a Sunday class at Willow, by an inmate in Texas named, Clifford. He made each of them necklaces which lead to many questions from the girls. They wanted to know his story, and he was gracious enough to write them this letter. It touched my soul and brought tears to my eyes.

Later each of the girls in the group wrote him a thank you, many accompanied by a hand drawn picture. Each heartfelt, filled with compassion. God truly blessed several lives in what started out as a simple request for a book to grow ones faith.



3/27/2011

To my young friends at Willow Creek Community Church. Hi from Clifford the cross maker in Liberty Texas. First let me say that I am very happy to hear that you like your crosses so much. I had fun making them for each of you. Let me know if you would like another one, okay.

I hear that you are about eight-years old, maybe nine. I guess you know that I’m in jail. The reason I’m in jail now at the age of fifty-two is because of decisions, mistakes, and wrong choices that I made when I was nine-years old, your age. Hard to believe that the choices we make at such a young age can have consequences that last a lifetime.

Are you working what I could have done at your age that could cause me to be in jail? I was warned by my mother and father not to do it. They had some special classes and films at school too. You are all very smart and I know that your parents and your teachers have told you the very same thing that mine told me when I was your exact age. Now you will all have to make a decision and a choice just like I did. I’m taking about drugs. I wish I could find just the right words to tell you how bad they are and not to ever try them. It’s even worse today than it was when I was your age. They are everywhere. I let an older friend of mine talk me into smoking marijuana. He said it wouldn’t hurt me. I wish I would have said no. I did at first but I was curious and it didn’t seem to be hurting him so I tried it. That was the biggest mistake of my entire life, a mistake I made when I was nine-years old. A mistake that has cost me everything, broke my mother’s heart and put me in prison.

It doesn’t happen all at once. At first it was fun. It didn’t seem as bad as they say. I lived in California back then and had a real nice family. I started playing guitar on Christmas day when I was seven-years old. I loved my guitar and still do. It was so much fun. I loved it. I hung around with older guys that played guitar and they would teach me. They were all using drugs so I did too so I would fit in. Little did I know. As I grew older I started playing in bands at different places and everywhere we went there were drugs and beer and alcohol. It took some time before all the bad stuff started happening. It tricked me. Before I made it to college to be a guitar major, several of my friends had died from drugs in car accidents, but that still didn’t stop me. In college there was even more drugs.

Suddenly I realized that I was addicted to different drugs and couldn’t quit. If I didn’t have them I would feel really bad. They made me do things I knew I shouldn’t do but I wanted the drugs so bad. That was a terrible feeling and I got scared and didn’t know what to do. I was afraid to tell anybody the truth. Afraid to stop and afraid to not stop. Before I knew it, drugs took control of my life. I had to quit school because I couldn’t think and do all my homework. I was failing. I quite school and joined the Navy. Thought if I moved and quit playing my guitar that would fix things but it didn’t.

I started playing guitar in the Navy band and made two trips to Europe, France, and Italy, all the while in the band. Everywhere I went there were still drugs. I got worse and worse. It was horrible.

I had two bad car wrecks and by a miracle, didn’t die. Then I woke up in a hospital and didn’t know what happened. They said I almost died from too many drugs. For some reason God had saved me. But He didn’t keep me from jail. I have to pay for my mistakes. He kept me alive though. Maybe it was just so I could write this letter and tell you about a bad choices I made when I was nine-years-old.

“God, I pray that you will let these special young people learn from my mistakes so none of them will ever go to jail or prison or die from using drugs.”

Thanks for letting me share a little of my story. I don’t want to leave you feeling bad or sad though. I’m doing really well here. I’m not on drugs anymore, have a job here and lots of friends. My mother is still alive and lives in Oklahoma. We write a lot and talk on the phone. We have been through a lot together. I told her all about ya’ll and that I got to make you some cross necklaces.

Thanks again. I would love to hear from you. I will be here for awhile so let me know if you want more Heart Crosses. Oh, I learned how to make them in jail.

God Bless all of you,

Clifford.