Thursday, October 29, 2015

Free fiction ebook: "Solitary" by Travis Thrasher

Solitary - eBook

Free for download today on Amazon.com:





Free today: "The Stranger in Your House" by Gregory L. Jantz

The Stranger in Your House - eBook

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Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Another powerful novel: My review of "A.D. 33" by Ted Dekker

A.D. 33


about the book....


They call her the Queen of the Outcasts. Maviah, a woman whose fate was sealed on her birth by this world-unwanted, illegitimate, female, a slave-subject to the whims of all. But then she met a man named Yeshua who opened her eyes. She found strength in his words, peace from the brutal word around her. Because of what he taught her, she has gathered her own traveling kingdom of outcasts deep in the desert, wielding an authority few have seen. But when her growing power threatens the rulers around her, they set out to crush all she loves, leaving her reeling as a slave once more. She must find Yeshua to save her people, but when she does, she will be horrified to discover that he faces his own death. 

Enter a story full of intrigue, heart-wrenching defeat, uncompromising love and staggering victory-one that re-examines everything you thought you knew about the heart of Jesus's stunning message and the power that follows for those who follow his easily forgotten way


my review....


I was so captivated by Ted Dekker's prior book, A.D. 30, that I was worried that perhaps I wouldn't be able to enjoy his follow up, A.D.33, to quite the same extent. But I was certainly worried for nothing, as Dekker's latest read is every bit as good! Once again, from the first page I was swept up into Maviah's world among the Bedouin people, written was such realism that I could practically taste the grit of the sand between my teeth. My emotions followed hers as she was swept from peace to despair, from uncertainty to desperate hope that Jesus would rescue her in the way she thought she needed. I really enjoyed encountering Jesus through these non-Jewish characters, especially ones from such a mysterious land as Maviah and her people hail from. Dekker perfectly captures the despair that Jesus' followers felt as he was nailed to a cross and all seemed lost, with powerful writing that evokes deep emotion. Readers will experience the same hopelessness the characters feel, making the triumphant moments to come all the sweeter.

A.D. 33 is one wild ride after another, filled with drama and tension to the point that I simply couldn't put the book down. The characters are unique and larger than life, and the way they encounter Jesus had me longing to travel back in time so that I could witness what they do first hand. But easily my favourite part of the story is the last few chapters, written with such beauty that by the time I finished the last page I truly felt I'd entered into a spiritual moment while reading the book. Now how often can you say that about fiction?

Ted Dekker continues to astonish me with stories that he crafts, ones that not only capture my mind, but take hold of my heart as well. 5 out of 5 stars.

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

 about the author....

Dekker, Ted (1526019)

TED DEKKER is a New York Times bestselling author of more than twenty novels with a total of more than 3 million books in print. He is known for thrillers that combine adrenaline-laced plots with incredible confrontations between good and evil. - See more at: http://www.hachettebookgroup.com/authors/ted-dekker/#about





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Monday, October 26, 2015

Action-packed suspense: My review of Vendetta (The Nikki Boyd Files Book #1) by Lisa Harris


Cover Art


about the book....


No one needs to push Nikki Boyd to excel on the Tennessee Missing Persons Task Force. The case of her own missing sister, still unsolved after ten years, is the driving force in her work. When a Polaroid photo of a missing girl shows up at a crime scene, Nikki quickly recognizes similarities to the past. The closer she gets to the abductor, the more she feels this case has become personal, and she is not the hunter . . . but the hunted.

With this explosive first book in The Nikki Boyd Files, award-winning author Lisa Harris takes you on a fast-paced pursuit of justice that will have you holding your breath until the heart-stopping finish.



my review....


Vendetta explodes into action from the very beginning, and scarcely lets up its pace as it races to the conclusion. Harris has done a great job at creating two very likable characters in Nikki and Tyler, and throwing them into one harrowing scene after another. If you are anything like me, you will instantly feel empathy for them as they struggle to move on with their lives in the wake of pain and loss. And, as a reader who doesn't love over-the-top romance, I am happy to report that the author has employed just the right touch as these characters draw near each other and discover that perhaps there is more to their relationship than they expected.

The plot about missing teens who have been abducted and killed is a sobering reminder for parents of the dangers that the internet can pose to teens today by stealing their innocence and drawing them into precarious situations. As Nikki and Tyler race from clue to clue to discover who has abducted the latest victim, I shuddered to think of what evil that humans are capable of. I was a little disappointed that the characters weren't really able to discover the killer from any of their own efforts, but rather were led on a chase on a path that the killer carefully laid out for them. I think I prefer when my heroes are able to make at least some discovery on their own that helps them find out exactly who the perp is. That said, once the killer is revealed the tension ratchets up even further, and I found myself unable to step away from the novel until I could see how things concluded.

Fans of clean, gripping romantic suspense novels should definitely consider adding this one to their shelves. I award it a solid rating of 3 out of 5 stars.

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. 



 about the author....


Lisa Harris


Lisa Harris is a bestselling author, a Christy Award winner, and the winner of the Best Inspirational Suspense Novel for 2011 fromRomantic Times. She has sold over thirty novels and novella collections. Along with her husband, she and her three children have spent over ten years living as missionaries in Africa where she homeschools, leads a women's group, and runs a nonprofit organization that works alongside their church-planting ministry. The ECHO Project works in southern Africa promoting Education, Compassion, Health, and Opportunity and is a way for her to "speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves . . . the poor and helpless, and see that they get justice" (Proverbs 31:8).
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Free ebook: "God's Love: How the Infinite God Cares for His Children" by R. C. Sproul

God's Love: How the Infinite God Cares for His Children - eBook

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Friday, October 23, 2015

Leaves me speechless: "Forgiven" by Terri Roberts with Jeanette Windle


Cover Art


about the book....


After a son does the unthinkable, how can a mother go on?

On October 2, 2006, a gunman entered an Amish one-room schoolhouse, shooting ten girls, killing five, then finally taking his own life. This is his mother's story. Not only did she lose her precious son through suicide, but she also lost her understanding of him as an honorable man. It was a trauma that none should ever have to face.

But the biggest headlines came when her Amish neighbors did the unimaginable, reaching out to the family of the shooter with comfort and forgiveness. Today Terri lives in harmony with the Amish and has built lasting relationships beyond what anyone could have thought possible. From the grace that the Amish showed Terri's family from day one, to the visits and ongoing care Terri has given to the victims and their families, no one could have foreseen the love and friendship that have been forged from the fires of tragedy.


my review....


I would definitely recommend reading this book with a box of tissues nearby, because there are many moments that will leave you battling tears. The story of the shooting that occurs in the Amish one-room schoolhouse is one that will break your heart, a trauma that any parent hates to even imagine occurring. And yet the real story is the forgiveness that comes in the face of that shooting, a story that seems unbelievable, especially for those who don't hold to the ways of Christ.

"Forgiven" is definitely different than anything else I've ever read, as the book is written from the perspective of the mother to the gunman. The ways that the Amish neighbours reach out to Terri and her family in forgiveness and love is simply other-worldly, something that could never happen apart from God's provision. I found myself considering what it would be like to be Terri and have a child do such a horrific action. I also found myself wondering if I could respond as the parents of the deceased Amish children do, making the choice to forgive even in the face of their pain and their anger and their questioning. The story of Terri and her Amish neighbours and friends flies in the face of everything our culture preaches about our rights and about doing what feels right for ourselves, even if it means taking revenge and holding onto bitterness. Instead, the Amish show that forgiveness is a choice that really benefits you as the one who needs to forgive, so that you no longer have to hold onto hatred and bitterness and let it eat away at your soul. The book itself is very well-written, and Roberts and Windle make a fine writing team, as the story was very difficult to put down. And that's not something I often say about non-fiction books!

Forgiven is such a powerful book that I can't even really rate it. Quite simply, this a book that you must read. The story may just change your life.

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. 



 about the author....


Terri Roberts


Terri Roberts travels the United States and the world speaking about the Nickel Mines Amish school shooting, forgiveness, and hope. She has been interviewed by CBS News, the Associated Press, and Reuters. Terri is a mother of four sons and a grandmother of eleven, including two step-grandchildren. She and her husband, Chuck, live just south of Strasburg, Pennsylvania. Learn more at JoyThroughAdversity.com.








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Last day to enter Bible GIVEAWAY!!!

9780310749691

There are 24 hours left to enter the giveaway for this great Bible!



Wednesday, October 21, 2015

A tremendously moving conclusion: "On This Foundation" by Lynn Austin


Cover Art


about the book....


Stone by Stone, the Wall Will Rise Once More Around God's City
When news reaches him that Jerusalem's wall is shattered and its gates burned with fire, a distraught Nehemiah seeks God's guidance in fasting and prayer. Granted an unexpected leave from his duty as cupbearer to the Persian king Artaxerxes, Nehemiah sets out for Jerusalem to rebuild the city wall--never anticipating all the dangers that await him on his arrival.

The leaders of the surrounding nations become his fierce enemies, plotting to assassinate him and stop the wall's reconstruction forever. A drought, meanwhile, has left the country impoverished, with many families resorting to selling their children as bondservants just to keep from starving. 

Capturing the rebuilding of the wall through the eyes of a number of characters, On This Foundationis the powerful conclusion to The Restoration Chronicles. This exploration of faith in the midst of oppression offers hope that, in spite of appearances, the gracious hand of God is upon those who believe.

my review....




I'm not sure why, but every time I pick up a Biblical fiction book I somehow expect that I am going to be heading into a slower-paced read. But such is not the case with "On This Foundation" which I honestly found to be so completely absorbing that I read the entire thing in one day (including late into the evening of course!) Lynn Austin has skillfully woven together the story of Nehemiah with a number of supporting characters to create a spell-binding tale that has given me a new appreciation for how the Jews rebuilt the wall around Jerusalem following their exile from the land. The hardship the people endured, the difficult lessons they learned as they turned aside from worldly ways to follow God - all comes to mmarvelous life in this final book of The Restoration Chronicles. The characterization is fantastic, and the plot zooms along with plenty of surprises thrown in. The best part is that the writing is absolutely faithful to the story of Scripture, with some extra sub-plots thrown in to add even more tension and drama to the story. "On This Foundation" is very well written, and though it is over 450 pages in length, not for a moment did I feel that the story was dragging under the weight of its longevity. Rather, I was sad to see the story end, as I wanted to peer further into the lives of these Biblical characters and watch them grow and learn and make the same sort of mistakes that we all do - all while seeking to give God the glory for their lives and his calling upon them.

Lynn Austin continues to be one of my favourite authors to watch, and as this series draws to an end, I am greatly anticipating what tale will next emerge from her fertile imagination. If it's anything like this latest offering, it will be wonderful indeed. 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..


Lynn Austin

Lynn Austin has sold more than one and a half million copies of her books worldwide. A former teacher who now writes and speaks full-time, she has won eight Christy Awards for her historical fiction. One of those novels, Hidden Places, has also been made into an Original Hallmark Channel movie. Lynn and her husband have raised three children and make their home in western Michigan. Learn more at www.lynnaustin.org.






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Sunday, October 18, 2015

NIV Bible GIVEAWAY! Your teen girl will love it! #NIVBibleforTeenGirls #FLYBY

9780310749691


about the Bible....

The NIV Bible for Teen Girls, designed specifically for girls ages 13 to 18, is for real teenage girls with real lives. Packed with daily readings, highlighted promises of God, challenging insights, smart advice, and open discussion about the realities of life, this Bible is designed to help teen girls grow in faith, hope, and love. The NIV Bible for Teen Girls is as sincere about your walk with God as you are, helping you discover his will for all areas of your life, including relating to your family, dealing with friends, work, sports, guys, and so much more.

Features include:

Daily readings for teen girls by popular Christian female authors (Annie Downs, Bekah Hamrick Martin, Christine Caine, Crystal Kirgiss, Bethany Hamilton, Nicole Weider, Elsa Kok Colopy, Denise Van Eck and more)
Character profiles of women in the Bible
Book introductions for each book of the Bible
Highlighted promises of God: verses worth remembering
A concordance for help in finding verses
The complete text of the bestselling New International Version (NIV) of the Bible

my review....


One of my fervent hopes as a parent is that my children, from a young age, will develop a love for God's word - especially during those difficult teen years! So any time I see a Bible that is geared towards sparking my children's interest and getting them interacting with the Word in a new way, I pay particular notice. The latest "NIV Bible for Teen Girls" is a well-crafted version of the Bible that is sure to have your daughter (or other special teen girl in your life) cracking open the cover of their Bible on a regular basis. Not only does it include the best-selling NIV version, a favourite in my own household, but there are lots of neat features to get girls digging deeper into what God wants to say to them. Each book of the Bible has a simple overview of that book, including specifying when the Book was written, who is in the book, and what it's about. And I really like the concordance provided at the end of the Bible. But I think one of my favourite features is the highlighted verses (highlighted in pink of course) pointing out the amazing promises of God or other key verses. You have not truly appreciated the "Roman Road" until you see it in pink! Any teen girl who would truly hide these verses in her heart would be so richly blessed indeed. And my own daughter was most interested in the readings that are provided throughout the book, such as one of the readings provided by Bethany Hamilton (think Soul Surfer). These readings will have girls pondering the truths they are reading in a new way and applying them to their own lives.

Parents of teen girls should plan on checking out this latest version of the Bible. The readings will speak to the issues they are struggling with today, while serving to capture their interest in God's Word and getting them to think about how it applies to their own life.

I highly recommend this Bible and award it 4.5 out of 5 stars.

"Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising"): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.


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NIV Bible for Teen Girls: Growing in Faith, Hope, and Love

 
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