Friday, May 31, 2013

A splendid conclusion to a thrilling series: My review of "When A Secret Kills" by Lynette Eason

When a Secret Kills: A Novel


about the book....


She's come home to put a killer behind bars.
But the killer plans to put her six feet under.




Investigative reporter Jillian Carter knows it's time to put the past to rest. She's tired of looking over her shoulder, letting a killer go free. She's no longer the scared kid who changed her name and disappeared. Now, no matter what the cost, Jillian must do what she is trained to do-find the truth and expose it. And the truth is that Senator Frank Hoffman committed murder ten years ago-and Jillian watched it happen.

Didn't she?


my review....


Normally I don't love romantic suspense, but would prefer the romance be largely left out. Lynette Eason's "Deadly Reunions" series has convinced me otherwise, that a romantic suspense book can be a fantastic read! This final installment in the series, "When A Secret Kills", had my pulse accelerating only moments into the story, and the suspense level remained high from start to finish. The author has found a winning combination between developing realistic characters you can care about, with tense scenes and enough gunshots and explosions to satisfy the most committed fiction suspense fan. The romance isn't at all over the top but fits naturally into the story, and as such both male and female readers are likely to appreciate this book. Not only does the story entertain, but themes of forgiveness and reconciliation are likewise woven into the plot, giving readers the opportunity to examine their own faith and the way they respond to people in their lives who have hurt them in some way.

Romantic suspense novels don't get better than this, and the entire series is worth checking out if you haven't yet done so! 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.



 about the author....


Lynette Eason

Lynette Eason is the author of several romantic suspense novels, including Too Close to Home,Don't Look Back, A Killer Among Us, and When the Smoke Clears. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America. A homeschooling mother of two, she has a master's degree in education from Converse College. She lives in South Carolina.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

An absolute treasure for dads & daughters: My review of "Always Daddy's Princess" by Karen Kingsbury & Valeria Docampo


Always Daddy's Princess


about the book...


Blow the trumpet, sound the horn,
Daddy’s princess has been born!

The timeless journey of a daughter and father is poignantly captured in the story of a girl’s growth from childhood to motherhood. Playful, emotive prose, enriched by the whisper of God’s scripture on each beautifully illustrated page, invites girls and dads to see themselves reflected in this keepsake book and to be reminded of the blessings and the bonds between them. Throughout tea parties, soccer games, braces, and boys, a girl is her daddy’s princess every step of the way.


my review....

There is nothing better than cuddling up with a book with your daughters and hearing them exclaim, after the last page is read, "I absolutely LOVE this book!!" From the first page of Karen Kingsbury's "Always Daddy's Princess", my girls had large smiles on their faces as they poured over the colourful illustrations and listened to the story being read. The book is absolutely beautiful to look through, with pictures designed to capture the interest of young and old. I really enjoyed Kingsbury's writing style with this book, as she chooses to convey the story in rhyme. The book flows very lyrically, and is fun to read out loud.

Most of all, I absolutely love how this book celebrates the special relationship between a father and his daughter(s), displaying a playful side of fatherhood but also showing how a real dad is there for every special moment in his daughter's life, from birth to teenagehood to marriage to becoming a grandparent. That message alone makes this a book worth reading over and over again with your daughter. Simply reading it a few times with my own girls has opened up opportunities to talk about how I will be there for their special moments, how they will grow up and be parents one day themselves. The scriptures included on the pages also add an extra depth to the book.

If you are looking for a well-written children's book that is fun to read, has gorgeous pictures, and conveys powerful truths, then "Always Daddy's Princess" is just what you are looking for. 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Book has been provided courtesy of publicist Laura Wallar with HarperCollinsCanada, Ltd. Available from your favorite book retailer from Zondervan (Zonderkidz), a division of HarperCollins.



About the author and illustrator...


 New York Times bestselling author Karen Kingsbury is America’s favorite inspirational novelist, with over 20 million books in print. Her Life-Changing Fiction™ has produced multiple bestsellers, including Unlocked, Leaving, Take One, Between Sundays, Even Now, One Tuesday Morning, Beyond Tuesday Morning, and Ever After, which was named the 2007 Christian Book of the Year. An award-winning author and newly published songwriter, Karen has several movies optioned for production, and her novel Like Dandelion Dust was made into a major motion picture and is now available on DVD. Karen is also a nationally known speaker with several women’s groups including Women of Faith. She lives in Tennessee with her husband, Don, and their five sons, three of whom are adopted from Haiti. Their daughter Kelsey is married to Christian artist Kyle Kupecky.



Valeria began to draw driven by the desire to capture the poetry of everyday things: the children and dogs' glance, the shape of the plants, the sound of the autumn dry leaves and the aroma of breakfast.  Since 2006 she has been dedicated to children book's illustration.
She is represented by the agency MB Artist in New York. She illustrates for publishers from 5 continents.






Buy the book

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Robert Liparulo again robs me of sleep! My review of "The Judgment Stone"


The Judgment Stone

Check out a preview and my review of the latest book from Robert Liparulo, courtesy of the publisher and CFBA:

........


This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
The Judgment Stone
Thomas Nelson (May 14, 2013)
by
Robert Liparulo


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Former journalist Robert Liparulo is the best-selling author of the thrillers Comes a Horseman, Germ, Deadfall, Deadlock, and The 13th Tribe, as well as The Dreamhouse Kings, an action-adventure series for young adults. He contributed a short story to James Patterson’s Thriller, and an essay about Thomas Perry’s The Butcher’s Boy to Thrillers: 100 Must Reads, edited by David Morrell and Hank Wagner. He is currently working on the sequel to The 13th Tribe, as well writing an original screenplay with director Andrew Davis (The Fugitive).

When not writing, Liparulo loves to read, watch (and analyze) movies, scuba dive, swim, hike, and travel. He lives in Monument, Colorado, with his wife Jodi and four children: Melanie, Matthew, Anthony, and Isabella.

 ABOUT THE BOOK

What if praying became a curse instead of a blessing?

Former Army Ranger Jagger Baird thought he had his hands full with the Tribe—the band of immortal vigilantes fighting to regain God’s grace by killing those opposed to Him. But that was before he encountered the ruthless group of immortals called the Clan. The Clan is after a prize that would give them unimaginable power—a piece of the Ten Commandments known as the Judgment Stone.

Those who touch the Stone can see into the spiritual world: angelic warriors, treacherous demons, and the blue threads of light that signal the presence of believers in communion with God.

By following the blue beam radiating from those closest to God, the Clan plans to locate His most passionate followers and destroy them.

Jagger quickly realizes his high-tech gadgetry and training are no match for these merciless immortals. But how can he defeat an enemy who hunts believers through their prayers . . . and won’t stop until they’ve annihilated all those close to Him?

In this high-action thriller, best-selling author Robert Liparulo examines the raging battle between good and evil on earth . . . and beyond.

If you would like to read the first chapter of The Judgment Stone, go HERE.



my review.....


Robert Liparulo has again succeeded at making me suffer through a sleepless night with his second addition to "The Immortal Files" series, entitled "The Judgment Stone". Exploding from one scene to the next, the book draws you into the action-packed drama and doesn't let up until the conclusion. There are no long, boring scenes here - every word counts and the pace is non-stop! As noted in my review of the first book in the series (The 13th Tribe) I thoroughly appreciate the underlying premise of the series, of a group of people cursed to suffer through immortality. Add in the mysterious Judgment Stone with its power to peel back the veil on the spiritual world around you, and you have one amazing read! Not only was I completely entertained by this well-written book, but I found myself pondering the impact that prayer has on our circumstances, and the way in which angels and demons interact in our lives and situations. The characters are well-rendered and unique (and some are utterly disturbing in the way they embrace evil), and the battle between good and evil is given a twist that makes for a thrilling ride.

If you enjoyed the first book in the series, you simply must plan on reading the Judgment Stone. And if you haven't yet picked up a book by Liparulo, well what are you waiting for? Here's a great series to begin your acquaintance with a top-notch suspense author. 4.5 out of 5 stars!

Book has been provided courtesy of the publisher and Christian Fiction Blog Alliance, for the purposes of this unbiased review.




Tuesday, May 28, 2013

“Afloat”! Win an iPad Mini from @ErinHealy!

Erin Healy is celebrating the release of her latest novel Afloat (Thomas Nelson) with an iPad Mini giveaway.
Afloat-Giveaway300
One winner will receive:
  • An iPad Mini 
  • iTunes gift card
  • Afloat by Erin Healy 
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on June 15th. Winner will be announced on Erin's blog on June 17th. Save the date and click HERE to see if YOU won the iPad Mini!

Don't miss a moment of the fun; ENTER today. Tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Visit Erin's blog on the 17th!

Utterly honest and encouraging resource: My review of "Not Quite Healed": 40 Truths for Male Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse

Not Quite Healed: 40 Truths for Male Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse




Cecil Murphey and Gary Roe, two survivors of childhood sexual abuse, offer up an utterly honest and encouraging resource for males who have suffered abuse as children. The authors not only share their story, but the stories of dozens of others who have struggled with the after-effects of experiencing abuse. Alongside those stories, the authors examine the struggles and challenges survivors commonly face, such as questioning their sexual identity, dealing with the plague of pornography, or working to replace the complete lies they've believed.

Not Quite Healed is a wonderfully encouraging book, one that takes an honest look at the reality of being a sexual abuse survivor, and yet offers hope that change is possible and victory is attainable through the power of Jesus. Over and over while reading the book, I thought of how amazing these authors are to bare their hearts so fully, and in so doing allow readers to identify with their experiences and their struggles and know that they are normal and that they are going to be okay. Although I did not experience sexual abuse myself, I know others who have, and the stories and guidance that make up this book certainly ring true. I also found the list at the back of the book to be very helpful, a list of the truths and promises of who men are in Christ. The book is easy to read and very practical, and I am certain that countless men will find comfort and guidance in this book as they work to bring the darkness of their past out into the light of God's grace and forgiveness.

I strongly recommend this book and award it 4 out of 5 stars.

Book has been provided courtesy of the publisher, Kregel, for the purposes of this unbiased review.


 about the authors....

Cecil MurpheyCecil Murphey has written or coauthored more than one hundred books, including the autobiography of Franklin Graham, Rebel with a Cause and the New York Times best-seller 90 Minutes in Heaven. Cecil lives in Georgia.

Gary Roe has been in full-time ministry for thirty years, serving as a college minister, a church-planting missionary in Japan, and a pastor in Texas and Washington. He currently works as a hospice chaplain and interim pastor in Central Texas. He writes a weekly newspaper column and is the co-author (with Cecil Murphey) of Saying Goodbye: Facing the Loss of a Loved One. He has three adopted Colombian daughters who are also abuse survivors.






Monday, May 27, 2013

Win an IPAD & read my review of "The Offering" by Angela Hunt (warning: it made me cry!) @litfuse @Howard_Books @AngieHunt


Enter to win an IPAD
& read on for my review of Angela Hunt's latest, "The Offering"

The Offering: A Novel


about the book...

From bestselling author Angela Hunt, the heart-wrenching story of a young mother who unknowingly gave away her own child after serving as a surrogate for a childless couple.

Amanda Hocking is a typical young wife and mother struggling to make ends meet. She decides to help a childless family by becoming their gestational surrogate, hoping to achieve some financial stability of her own. After a few false starts, Amanda finally gets pregnant with another couple's embryo, but just as she is entering her final month of pregnancy, her soldier husband is killed. Devastated, Amanda goes through the motions trying to regain her equilibrium and raise her daughter alone.

Three years later, Amanda finally sees a photograph of the child she carried for the other family. He looks remarkably familiar; is it possible she gave birth to her own biological baby and unknowingly gave him away? When a DNA test confirms her mistake, Amanda must choose between the desires of her grieving heart and what is best for the child she has never truly known.



my review...


Angela Hunt has long impressed me with her ability to come up with plot ideas like I've never read before, and "The Offering" is no exception. I devoured this book in one day because I simply had to see how everything resolved, and I can tell you that I absolutely loved this book! I wasn't expecting to cry - but I did. I wasn't expecting to put down the book feeling deeply moved - but I did. I was, of course, expecting to be entertained - and I certainly was! The premise of the book is a fascinating one, and there were moments when I thought to myself that Amanda was simply crazy to even consider the idea of becoming a surrogate mom in order to achieve financial stability. Yet as I met all the different characters in the book, from Amanda willing to be a surrogate to the parents desperate for a child, I realized that this issue is not simply black and white, that there are no easy answers. I found myself considering what lengths I would go to if my wife and I had been unable to have children. I thought about how challenging it would be to carry a baby as a surrogate mom, and then have to walk away. And I cannot even imagine facing the decision Amanda must deal with at the end of the book!

If you are looking for a very well-written contemporary novel that will engage your emotions and leave you thinking at the same time, then look no further than Angela Hunt's "The Offering". You will find it to be time well spent! 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Book has been provided courtesy of the publisher, Howard Books (a division of Simon & Schuster) and the Litfuse Publicity Group, for the purposes of this unbiased review.


about the author...


Angela Hunt
With nearly four million copies of her books sold worldwide, Angela Hunt is the bestselling author of more than one hundred books, including The Tale of Three Trees, Don't Bet Against Me, and The Nativity Story. Her biggest bestseller, The Note, sold over 141,000 copies. Hunt is one of the most sought-after collaborators in the publishing industry. Her nonfiction book Don't Bet Against Me, written with Deanna Favre, spent several weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. Angela's novel The Note (with sales of over 141,000) was filmed as the Hallmark Channel's Christmas movie for 2007 and proved to be the highest rated television movie in the channel's history. Angela's novels have won or been nominated for several prestigious industry awards, including the RITA, the Christy Award, the ECPA Christian Book Award, and the Holt Medallion. She often travels to teach writing workshops at schools and writers' conferences, and she served as the keynote speaker at the 2008 American Christian Fiction Writers' national conference. She and her husband make their home in Florida with mastiffs. In 2001, one of her dogs was featured on Live with Regis and Kelly as the second-largest dog in America.







 

Check out what other people are saying as part of the Litfuse tour at:

http://litfusegroup.com/author/AHunt

Buy the book from Amazon:




Angela Hunt is celebrating the release of The Offering with a Nook HD Giveaway and an Author Chat Party on Facebook {6/5}.
The-offering300

  One winner will receive:
  • A Nook HD
  • The Offering by Angela Hunt 
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on June 4th. Winner will be announced at the "The Offering" Facebook Author Chat Party on June 5th. Connect with Angela for an evening of book chat, trivia, laughter, and more! Angela will also share an exclusive look at her next book and give away books and other fun prizes throughout the evening.

So grab your copy of The Offering and join Angela on the evening of June 5th for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book, don't let that stop you from coming!)

Don't miss a moment of the fun; RSVP todayTell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 5th!

Free historical fiction ebook: Claim by Lisa T. Bergren

Free for download today from Barnes&Noble.com & Amazon.com:


Friday, May 24, 2013

A book worth savouring: My review of "Sweet Dreams" by Carla Stewart



about the book....

It's 1962, and Dusty Fairchild, daughter of a self-made millionaire and oilman, wants to go to college. Instead she is sent to a private finishing school in East Texas. Although she's never wanted for material possessions, Dusty longs for independence and adventure. The only upside to attending Miss Fontaine's is having her cousin and best childhood friend, Paisley, join her. Paisley has traveled the country with her bohemian mother, but she dreams of putting down roots and living a settled life. At Miss Fontaine's, their loyalty to each other binds them, but when they fall in love with the same handsome young man, their relationship teeters on shaky ground. Only after a tragic accident do they learn where their true hearts-and dreams-lie.


my review....


Carla Stewart's latest offering is a tender story crafted with splendid prose. Dusty Fairchild and her cousin, Paisley, are wonderfully unique characters who sparkle with life, making me laugh, smile, and experience heart-ache as they leave childhood behind and enter the sometimes murky waters of adulthood. I greatly enjoyed the time period that this novel is set in, the early 1960's, providing a great backdrop not only for the main story, but also for the other characters that grace the pages. Carla Stewart's novel explores themes of racism and classism, of young girls learning to embrace their God-given gifts and talents rather than letting society dictate what they can and cannot do. The faith elements of the story were a bit lighter than I expected; instead the author offers a more subtle message about grace and forgiveness that points to the giver of grace Himself. All in all, I found the story to be enjoyable from start to finish despite a couple of slower moments to the story. I leave the story reminded that the way things appear on the surface are often so very different than reality, and that we should never judge someone without knowing all that they have experienced in their life. This is a valuable lesson indeed.

I am certainly looking forward to what Stewart has next up her sleeve! I strongly recommend this fiction novel and award it 4 out of 5 stars.

Book has been provided courtesy of Faithwords, a division of Hachette Book Group, for the purposes of this unbiased review.



 about the author....


Carla Stewart's writing reflects her passion for times gone by. She launched her writing career in 2002 when she earned the coveted honor of being invited to attend Guidepost's Writers Workshop in Rye, New York. Since then, her articles have appeared in Guideposts, Angels on Earth, and several regional magazines and anthologies. 

Stewart, Carla (1531131)
Carla received two American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) Genesis awards for unpublished authors. The novel that won in 2007 went on to become her first published novel, Chasing Lilacs, which has garnered many rave reviews including a Starred Review from Publishers Weekly and 4 ? stars from RT Book Reviews.

Carla graduated from the University of Oklahoma and worked as a registered nurse for a number of years. She and her engineer husband are the parents of four married sons and relish the adventures of their six grandchildren. She enjoys a good cup of coffee, great books, and weekend getaways with her husband. Learn more about Carla at www.carlastewart.com.



Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Menno boys can cook too! (Well, thanks to the Mennonite Girls anyway) - My review of "Mennonite Girls Can Cook Celebrations"



I like to pretend I can cook. I faithfully follow recipes. I slide the masterpiece into the oven. And I often stare forlornly at the product.

Unfortunately, I am that man who tries hard but....the end result isn't always pretty! It doesn't help when I do things like add salt instead of sugar (who knew cookie dough could turn GREEN?).

To the rescue come the ladies with Mennonite Girls Can Cook, bringing recipes that anyone (even me) can follow to produce fantastic looking and tasting food. Read on for my review!


Mennonite Girls Can Cook Celebrations


about the book....


Life is a gift from God, so why not celebrate?

The bestselling authors of Mennonite Girls Can Cook return with a second course in their new Celebrations cookbook. From mouthwatering mini-muffins and succulent soufflé to campers' stew and lattice-topped grilled apples, the Mennonite Girls share recipes to honor all of life. Join the girls for brunch celebrating a child's birth, campfire cooking with family, and even the more somber celebrations of a life well-lived. Filled from cover to cover with devotional reflections, personal stories, and beautiful photos, this book contains much more than recipes--it will soon become your kitchen companion for life's celebrations.

Like their first book, Mennonite Girls Can Cook: Celebrations includes many gluten free adaptations!


my review....


I can honestly say that out of all of the cookbooks I have reviewed over the years, "Mennonite Girls Can Cook Celebrations" easily tops the list. A common complaint I've had with other cookbooks is the lack of pictures and visual appeal - but such is definitely not the case with this cookbook! Featuring gorgeous pictures, endearing stories and anecdotes, and easy-to-follow recipes that produce food that not only tastes great but looks good too, this cookbook is an absolute gem. My wife absolutely loves her copy, and greatly enjoys pouring over the pages learning more about the art of cooking while being inspired about stories of life and family and the gift of sharing mealtimes together with those God has placed in our lives. Reading through this book will not only lighten your heart and bless your faith, but will give you practical suggestions and cooking and decorating ideas for how to celebrate every moment of life, no matter how simple or grand an occasion. I myself have so many good memories sitting around a table laughing and talking, and this book is designed to make the most of those opportunities to have food and fellowship with family and friends. What I most love about this book is that readers get a chance to glimpse into the very real lives of the authors, women who live for God through times of joy and also times of pain. The personal touch in this cookbook makes it so much more than a treasury of recipes, though it is indeed that. Instead, it is a book that will be read through again and again. It has earned a permanent place on our shelves not only as a source of excellent recipes, but as a source of inspiration as well.

My only concern about this cookbook is that we can't seem to keep it in our house! Everyone seems to want to borrow our copy to look through! Definitely plan on adding this one to your collection and giving away a few copies yourself. 5 out of 5 stars.

Book has been provided courtesy of MennoMedia and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Herald Press, a publishing imprint of MennoMedia.


 about the authors....



Mennonite Girls Can Cook is a blog about recipes, hospitality, relationships, encouragement and helping the hungry. The first cookbook, Mennonite Girls Can Cook has been a smashing success and has sold over 30,000 copies so far, with all author royalties going to feed hungry children.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Gina Holmes just gets better and better: My review of "Wings of Glass" by Gina Holmes

Wings of Glass


about the book....


From the best-selling author of Crossing Oceans comes a heartrending yet uplifting story of friendship and redemption. On the cusp of adulthood, eighteen-year-old Penny Carson is swept off her feet by a handsome farmhand with a confident swagger. Though Trent Taylor seems like Prince Charming and offers an escape from her one-stop-sign town, Penny’s happily-ever-after lasts no longer than their breakneck courtship. Before the ink even dries on their marriage certificate, he hits her for the first time. It isn’t the last, yet the bruises that can’t be seen are the most painful of all.

When Trent is injured in a welding accident and his paycheck stops, he has no choice but to finally allow Penny to take a job cleaning houses. Here she meets two women from very different worlds who will teach her to live and laugh again, and lend her their backbones just long enough for her to find her own.


my review....

 
I hold Gina Holmes fully responsible for putting me in touch with my feminine side this week. I cracked open the covers of "Wings of Glass" and was immediately swept up into the world of Penny Carson, finding myself deeply moved by her story such that I even shed tears! Holmes has expertly captured the heart-break of domestic violence, and yet has also shown the power of God in bringing others alongside to support and love hurting women to places of freedom. The book is very well written and the words flow smoothly, with the story leaving me craving more. The characters are wonderfully developed and you will leave the story feeling like you've made new friends. As I myself have worked with many victims of domestic violence over the years in my job as a social worker, I can tell you that Gina's book contains an authentic flavor that rings all too true. As such, readers may find themselves disturbed by some of the things they read about, at the choices Penny makes. Yet they will also learn the importance of loving women in these situations in a non-judgmental manner, as readers will learn that no situation is black and white. Although I enjoyed the character of Penny, probably my favorite character is Fatimah, who does everything with her unique passion. The scene where Fatimah invites Penny to dinner over the phone literally had me laughing out loud, and I loved how she wasn't afraid to stand up to injustice!

You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll come away all the better for spending time with Penny and Fatimah. I highly recommend this novel and award it 5 out of 5 stars.

Book has been provided courtesy of the author for the purposes of this unbiased review.



 about the author....
Image of Gina HolmesGina Holmes is the President and founder of popular literary site, Novel Rocket, and award-winning author of Crossing Oceans, Dry as Rain, and Wings of Glass. She resides with her husband and children in southern Virginia. She works too hard, laughs too loud, and longs to see others heal from their past and discover their God-given purpose. To learn more about her, visit www.ginaholmes.com or www.novelrocket.com.








Friday, May 17, 2013

A beautiful Bible for women: My review of "The NIV Real Life Devotional Bible for Women"

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!



Today's Wild Card Insight Notes author is:


and the book:

Zondervan; Special edition (March 19, 2013)

***Special thanks to Rick Roberson for sending me a review copy.***

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


Lysa TerKeurst is a New York Times bestselling author and national speaker who helps everyday women live an adventure of faith. She is the president of Proverbs 31 Ministries, author of 15 books, and encourages nearly 500,000 women worldwide through a daily online devotional. Her remarkable life story has captured audiences across America, including appearances on Oprah and Good Morning America. She lives in North Carolina with her husband and five children.

Visit the author's website.


SHORT BOOK DESCRIPTION:

This Bible will help you live up to your God-given potential. Insightful daily devotions written by the women at Proverbs 31 Ministries help you maintain life's balance in spite of today's hectic pace. Dive into the beauty and clarity of the NIV Bible text paired with daily devotions crafted by women just like you---women who want to live authentically and fully grounded in the Word of God.





Product Details:
List Price: $34.99
Hardcover: 1536 pages
Publisher: Zondervan; Special edition (March 19, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0310439361
ISBN-13: 978-0310439363


AND NOW...SOME SAMPLE PAGES (CLICK ON PAGES TO ENLARGE):








my review....



The "NIV Real-Life Devotional Bible for Women" is an absolute gem, combining the long-loved NIV version of the Bible with 365 days of devotional readings from Lysa Terkeurst and the Proverbs 31 Ministries. I myself regularly use the NIV version, so the Bible itself is familiar to me and a version that I believe offers a lot in its faithful translation. But the devotions that have been included with this Bible are also very well written, seeming to fit well in terms of where they are placed in the scriptures, and truly challenging the reader to examine their walk with God and dig deep into the word. My wife kindly assisted me in reviewing the Bible, and loved reading through the devotions. Not only did she find them to be interesting and applicable, she appreciated the extra features like the section pointing readers to "more verses to explore", designed to get you digging into applicable passages to that day's reading. One of the devotional entries that stood out to us both is entitled "Heart Whispers" and is tucked into the book of Isaiah by chapter 29. The entry recounts how a woman felt prompted by the Holy Spirit to contact another woman struggling with cancer, but she got too busy to follow the prompting, and soon after learned the woman had passed away. We were challenged as we were left with the thought from the author that "I have made a commitment to God and to myself that I will never again ignore even the quietest whisper from the Holy Spirit. I will pray for discernment and courage to step out in faith and obedience, even if his reasons are unclear".

If you are looking for a book that will ignite your prayer life by not only getting you into the Word, but seeking to truly apply it to your life and faithfully live out God's promises, then check out this latest Women's Bible from Zondervan. You'll likely want a copy not only for yourself, but your loved ones as well. 4.5 out of 5 stars.

A copy of the Bible has been provided courtesy of the publisher, Zondervan, along with FIRST Wildcard Blog Tours and Rick Roberson with the B&B Media Group.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

GIVEAWAY & review of the BEST Randy Singer book yet: My review of "Dead Lawyers Tell No Tales"


I am hosting a giveaway of, not one, but TWO copies of "Dead Lawyers Tell No Tales" by Randy Singer.

Check out my review, and then be sure to enter to win one of the copies, courtesy of the publisher.


Dead Lawyers Tell No Tales



about the book...



Landon Reed is an ex-quarterback convicted of organizing a points-shaving scheme. During his time in prison, he found forgiveness and faith and earned his law degree. Now he longs for an opportunity to prove his loyalty and worth. Be careful what you ask for.

Harry McNaughton is one of the founding partners of McNaughton & Clay—and the only lawyer willing to take a chance employing an ex-con-turned-lawyer. Though Landon initially questions Harry’s ethics and methods, it’s clear the crusty old lawyer has one of the most brilliant legal minds Landon has ever encountered. The two dive into preparing a defense for one of the highest-profile murder trials Virginia Beach has seen in decades when Harry is gunned down in what appears to be a random mugging. Then two more lawyers are killed when the firm’s private jet crashes. Authorities suspect someone has a vendetta against McNaughton & Clay, leaving Landon and the remaining partner as the final targets.

As Landon struggles to keep the firm together, he can’t help but wonder, is the plot related to a shady case from McNaughton & Clay’s past, or to the murder trial he’s neck-deep in now? And will he survive long enough to find out?


 
my review....


There is only one thing that I absolutely hate about a really good book - getting to the end! I can honestly say that Randy Singer's latest book is one of my absolutely favorites from him yet. It has everything you could hope for in a solid legal thriller - characters you can cheer for, ethical dilemmas, fun court room scenes, and the kind of suspense that keeps you flying from one scene to the next. Landon Reed is an absolutely unique character, with a shady past that causes the light of Christ to shine all the more clearly, and I loved watching him grow as a character. He is the very epitome of what it means to be a true man, not that he's perfect, but that he's able to admit his wrongs and rise up to be the man God has called him to be. His marriage is also one worth celebrating, as he and his wife remain true and devoted to each other despite the hurdles life throws their way. In the midst of getting to know these wonderful characters, Randy has woven an intricate plot of secrets and misdirection that made for a highly enjoyable read. Dead Lawyers Tell No Tales is written with Singer's typical sure hand, making for pleasurable prose that is simply a treat to read. The characters are likable, the story is deftly plotted, and you can't help but be attracted to the faith that shines through the pages.

I can confidently say that fans of Randy Singer novels are going to love this story, and I am sure that new fans are going to flock to the tale as well. I highly recommend this book and award it 5 out of 5 stars.

An advanced reader's copy of the book has been provided courtesy of the publisher, Tyndale, for the purposes of this unbiased review.


about the author...


Randy Singer
Randy Singer is a critically acclaimed, award-winning author and veteran trial attorney. He has penned more than 10 legal thrillers and was recently a finalist with John Grisham and Michael Connelly for the inaugural Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction sponsored by the University of Alabama School of Law and the ABA Journal. Randy runs his own law practice and has been named to Virginia Business magazine's select list of "Legal Elite" litigation attorneys. In addition to his law practice and writing, Randy serves as teaching pastor for Trinity Church in Virginia Beach, Virginia. He calls it his "Jekyll and Hyde thing"—part lawyer, part pastor. He also teaches classes in advocacy and civil litigation at Regent Law School and, through his church, is involved with ministry opportunities in India. He and his wife, Rhonda, live in Virginia Beach. They have two grown children.

Visit his website at www.randysinger.net.



Buy the Book




AND NOW FOR THE GIVEAWAY....

I am giving away 2 copies of "Dead Lawyers Tell No Tales" to readers from the U.S., courtesy of the publisher, Tyndale House.


You can get 1 entry into the giveaway for each task you perform:

1. Become a follower of my blog (through Google Followers or Networked Blogs) then leave a comment confirming you became a follower. If you are already a follower, just leave a comment that you already follow and I'll give you 1 entry for that.

2. "Like" my Facebook page, and let me know you did so in a comment. (The link is at the top of the webpage). Let me know if you've already liked it, and I'll give you an entry.

3. Post about the giveaway on your own blog or on twitter or facebook and leave me a comment. You get 1 entry for each method of spreading the word!

AND/OR

4. Leave a comment answering the following question: "What is the best legal thriller book you've ever read?"
++ Please include your email address in your comment so I can contact you to arrange to get the book to you.

That's all there is to it! Contest Ends May 31, 2013




Monday, May 13, 2013

Check out "Last Chance for Justice" by Kathi Macias!


Last Chance for Justice: A Bloomfield Novel

Check out a preview and my review of the latest book from Kathi Macias, courtesy of the publisher and CFBA:

........


This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Last Chance for Justice
B&H Books (May 1, 2013)
by
Kathi Macias


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Kathi Macias is a multi-award winning writer who has authored nearly 40 books and ghostwritten several others. A former newspaper columnist and string reporter, Kathi has taught creative and business writing in various venues and has been a guest on many radio and television programs. Kathi is a popular speaker at churches, women’s clubs and retreats, and writers’ conferences. She won the 2008 Member of the Year award from AWSA (Advanced Writers and Speakers Association) and was the 2011 Author of the Year from BooksandAuthors.net. Her novel set in China, Red Ink, was named Golden Scrolls 2011 Novel of the Year and was also a Carol Award Finalist; her October 2012 release, Unexpected Christmas Hero, was named 2012 Book of the Year by BookandAuthors.net. Kathi “Easy Writer” Macias lives in Homeland, CA, with her husband.

Kathi is passionate about The Voice of the Martyrs and Open Doors. To learn more about the persecuted church, please visit VOM’s website and Open Doors Website.



ABOUT THE BOOK

Welcome to Bloomfield, where life is simple, love is real, and stories are shared.

Lynn Myers is still reeling from losing her husband of thirty-five years when word comes that her only sibling, an older brother, has also died. With no one else to settle the estate, she must return to her small hometown of Bloomfield, however briefly, to settle his affairs.

Lynn’s daughter, Rachel, has just graduated from Bible college and with no other commitments comes along to sort through her uncle’s huge old home, right next to the local cemetery.

It isn't long before Rachel has two men -- a handsome CPA and the youth pastor -- seriously vying for her attention. At the same time, Lynn's attention is drawn to a set of journals her brother has left behind detailing a long-standing Bloomfield mystery.

As they pursue solving this mystery, Rachel must make some personal decisions about her future, while Lynn is forced to face unexpected issues from her own past.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Last Chance for Justice, go HERE.





my review.....


Kathi Macias excels at creating characters with heart, and her latest story features characters you will grow to care for. I enjoyed meeting Lynn Myers, who learns that God isn't done with her, and that he has a plan for her life that goes beyond her grief and simply trying to get through one day at a time. "Last Chance for Justice" is a story that many readers will no doubt be able to relate to, a story filled with emotion and moments of humor as well. I did find some of the writing in the first half of the book to be a bit more awkward than I've found with Kathi's past novels, and this slowed down the pace of the story for me. It wasn't until the middle of the story that I truly found that it grabbed my attention. Part of the problem is that I found myself comparing this book to her prior novels about females caught in sexual slavery. Those novels were intense and heart-breaking and chock full of swift-paced drama, while "Last Chance" moves at a slower pace. I am sure that many readers will no doubt enjoy the way in which this story is written, even if it wasn't my favourite novel from the author. I do appreciate the way she has woven faith into the story, and the mother-daughter relationship between Lynn and Rachel is definitely worth celebrating.

I award this story a mild recommendation and rating of 3 out of 5 stars.

Book has been provided courtesy of the publisher and Christian Fiction Blog Alliance, for the purposes of this unbiased review.