Thursday, June 30, 2016

Free ebook: "A Place Called Morning" by Ann Tatlock

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Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Every pastor & elder should read it! "The Shepherd as Leader: Guiding Others with Integrity and Conviction" by John MacArthur

about the book....

The very best training a pastor can receive comes from proven leaders with proven track records—leaders like John MacArthur, John Piper, Steven Lawson, RC Sproul, and Al Mohler.

You’ll find all of them and more in The Shepherd as Leader, a collection of the all-time best-ever messages on spiritual leadership from the popular Shepherds’ Conference held annually at Grace Community Church in Southern California. With longtime bestselling author John MacArthur as general editor and contributor, church leaders will find an abundance of guidance on…

  • the key essentials of effective ministry
  • the urgency of purity and integrity in a leader’s life
  • the value of prayer, both personal and public
  • the biblical responses to suffering and opposition
  • the necessity of complete reliance upon God’s grace and empowerment

The Shepherd as Leader is the second volume in the popular Shepherds’ Library series, a new line of resources designed to help pastors fulfill their calling with excellence. Also available is The Shepherd as Preacher.

my review....

"The Shepherd as Leader" is a wonderful resource for pastors, elders, and leaders in the church today. Each chapter, though written by a different author, is well-crafted and easy to understand, and provides a godly challenge for leaders to rise up and lead as Christ himself led. The book is infused with scripture and solid exegesis, and it would be impossible to put down this book without having come to a deeper understanding of how God wants his church to be led.

I particularly enjoyed two of the chapters contained within the book. The first is the chapter "Hallowed Be Your Name", which provides a call to leaders to first and foremost lead on their knees. The chapter opens with statistics that remind us that many pastors and leaders today admit to putting very little time and attention to praying, which is the exact opposite of the example Jesus left for us! While reading this chapter, I too found myself feeling convicted that I need to make prayer more of a priority in my own life, because it is through prayer that God first and foremost changes lives. I also enjoyed the chapter "Guarding the Gospel", particularly the challenge in the section "Who Will You Please?" which talks about the difficulty we all face in wrestling with the question of seeking the favor of men or of God. As the news headlines so often scream today, the truth of the gospel continues to run up against political correctness, and it is becoming ever more unpopular to share God's views on issues like human sexuality and marriage. A chapter like this one reminds us that, with love and grace, we need to stand on God's truth and guard the gospel, no matter the cost.

If you are a pastor or a leader of any kind in the church, I encourage you to pick up a copy of this book and allow yourself to be challenged in your role as leader. I award this book a solid 4 out of 5 stars.  

Book has been provided courtesy of the publisher, Harvest House. Available at your favourite bookseller!

 about the author....

John MacArthur
John MacArthur is the pastor-teacher of Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California; president of The Master’s College & Seminary; and featured teacher for the Grace to You media ministry, which reaches millions worldwide. John has also written many bestselling books, including The Gospel According to Jesus. He and his wife, Patricia, have 4 married children and 15 grandchildren.

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Monday, June 27, 2016

Kelli Stuart’s ‘Like a River from Its Course’ Blog Tour and Kindle Prize Pack

Travel back in time in Kelli Stuart's new novel, Like a River from Its Course, as the city of Kiev is bombed in Hitler's blitzkrieg across the Soviet Union. This sweeping historical saga takes the reader on a captivating journey into the little-known history of Ukraine's tragedies through the eyes of four compelling characters who experience the same story from different perspectives. Based on true stories gathered from fifteen years of research and interviews with Ukrainian World War II survivors, Like a River From Its Course is a story of love, war, heartache, forgiveness, and redemption.

Celebrate the release of Like a River from Its Course with Kelli by entering to win a Kindle Fire Prize Pack.

like a river - 400 

One grand prize winner will receive:
like a river - prize collage (1) 

Enter today by clicking the icon below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on July 18th. The winner will be announced July 19th on Kelli's blog.

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EXCELLENT free ebook: Things We Once Held Dear (2016 Book Club Selection) by Ann Tatlock

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Saturday, June 25, 2016

An excellent collection of stories for your emerging reader: "Heroes Of The Bible Treasury" By David Miles

9780310750963, Heroes of the Bible Treasury, David Miles

Bringing together six engaging stories into one excellent collection, "Heroes of the Bible Treasury" is a valuable addition to the "I Can Read" series of books. From the story of Queen Esther to Joseph, to Noah to Elijah, to Moses and Paul, there is something here for everyone. Each story is written at level 2 of the I Can Read stage of reading, and so introduces longer sentences and language play for your young reader. Each story begins with a pertinent verse and ends with a character snapshot of the main character of the story along with a "Did you Know?" section providing more information about Bible times. The stories are based on the "Adventure Bible" text and do an excellent job at bringing each story to vivid life.

My son, who just finished grade 1, was able to read through each story with minimal assistance, and he loved pouring over the colourful pictures that simply exploded with action! Probably his favourite story in the collection was the one of Moses leading the people out of Egypt after the plagues descend on the country. However, he really did enjoy each and every addition in this book, because while I've had to do a lot of convincing to get him to read other books, I had no problem getting him to sit down and read each of these as he enjoyed the stories so much. Each story is full of adventure, and showcases God's amazing power to act on behalf of his people. I am confident that we will be reading through this collection again and again as time goes on. As a parent, I love the great value you get in this book, as the book is sturdy and well put together, and because there are 6 stories you feel like you are definitely getting what you paid for. I am always on the lookout for good books to help my son grow in his reading, and I continue to be impressed by Zonderkidz products such as this one!

Not only will this book help your children continue to develop their reading skills, they will learn Biblical truths and be entertained, all at the same time! My son and I award this book a high rating of 5 out of 5 stars.

A review copy was received from the publisher via the Booklook Bloggers program, for the purposes of this unbiased review.

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Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Contemporary fiction at its best! "Fading Starlight" by Kathryn Cushman

Cover Art

about the book....

When Her Big Shot Blows Up on Her, 

How Far Will One Woman Go to Regain Her Dream?

Lauren Summers is in hiding. Her fashion house internship was supposed to launch her career, but a red carpet accident has left her blackballed. The only job she can find comes with little pay, but at least it offers a free place to live--a rundown cottage in the shadow of a cliff-side mansion. Planning to live on savings until she figures out what's next, she's unprepared to be contacted by a reporter.

Kendall Joiner is researching Charlotte Montgomery, a former Hollywood ingénue who lives a reclusive life in the cliff-side mansion. Rumors have swirled for decades about Charlotte, and now Kendall wants to find the real story. In return, she may just have the key to getting Lauren back into the fashion world. Desperate to get her life back on track, Lauren's not sure she can turn down the offer--but as she and Miss Montgomery get to know more about each other, Lauren realizes nothing is quite as it seems.

my review....

Kathryn Cushman continues to be one of my favourite authors of contemporary fiction, with "Fading Starlight" providing another solid addition to her repertoire of novels. Lauren Summers is a remarkable character, and I was immediately caught up in her story as her fashion house internship mishap destroys her career dreams and she has to forge a new path. Lauren is a compelling character with deep strength, and I loved watching her tackle a new adventure in redefining her dreams. The unlikely friendship she ends up striking with the reclusive elderly Charlotte makes for some highly entertaining reading, and one that ends up being all the more sweeter for the bumps they experience along with the way. As secrets begin to come to light, I found myself racing through the pages of this well-plotted novel to see how everything would resolve. I especially appreciate the sure hand Cushman uses in developing Lauren's relationship with Cody, as she deftly draws them closer together without any over-the-top romance. Rather than Lauren being a character who needs rescuing from a man, Lauren finds her strength and healing in a place of surrender in her relationship with God, and then is able to discover the love that Cody offers from the place of wholeness she has started towards. I greatly enjoyed how Cushman effortlessly wove spiritual themes into this story and challenged me in my own walk with God. And I must say that, though I usually have no interest in fashion of any kind, I greatly enjoyed watching Lauren use the gifts God had given her to bring beauty and blessing into the lives of others.

"Fading Starlight" is, quite simply, contemporary fiction at its best. Fans of Kathryn Cushman are going to love her latest novel, and will be eagerly waiting for what she will offer up next! I award this novel 4.5 out of 5 novels.
Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

 about the author....

Kathryn Cushman

Kathryn Cushman is a graduate of Samford University with a degree in pharmacy. She is the acclaimed author of over a half-dozen novels, including  Leaving Yesterday and A Promise to Remember, which were both finalists for the Carol Award in Women's Fiction. Kathryn and her family make their home in Santa Barbara, California.

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Well-written, engaging book: "Anchor in the Storm" (Waves of Freedom Book #2) by Sarah Sundin

Cover Art

about the book....

In a time of sacrifice, what price can one put on true love?

Nothing slows Lillian Avery down--not her personal challenges and certainly not America's entry into World War II. She finally has a chance to prove herself as a pharmacist in Boston. The demands of her new job energize her. But society boy Ensign Archer Vandenberg's attentions only annoy--even if he is her brother's best friend.

During the darkest days of the war, Arch's destroyer hunts German U-boats in vain as the submarines sink dozens of merchant ships along the East Coast. Still shaken by battles at sea, Arch notices his men also struggle with their nerves--and with drowsiness. Could there be a link to the large prescriptions Lillian has been filling? 

As the danger rises on both land and sea, the two must work together to answer that question. But can Arch ever earn Lillian's trust and affection?

my review....

Sundin's second novel in the "Waves of Freedom" series is a well-written, engaging book that I quite enjoyed from start to finish. The author is a wonderful story teller, and "Anchor in the Storm" has a solid plot and likeable characters, with Lillian Avery easily stealing the show. Her physical handicap adds an interesting element to the story made the story all the richer. As someone who has worked with people with disabilities, I found her determination to be thoroughly inspiring as she refuses to let someone else decide what she can and cannot do. Arch's experience with post traumatic stress disorder was also interesting to consider in light of the historical understanding (or lack thereof) of this disorder back at that time. Indeed, the level of historical detail that the author weaves into the story in general adds a definite depth to the book as well as an air of authenticity.

I will say that the relationship that develops between Lillian and Arch threw me a bit for a loop when Arch ends up acting towards Lillian in a manner that is disappointing indeed. Up until that point I was enjoying the often light-hearted nature of their relationship, and this twist in the story jarred me a bit. However, his actions certainly bring to the light the fact that each of us have past hurts that impact our choices today, whether they are right or wrong. Their love story definitely has a sense of realism to it! And I will say that the way things resolve in this story was just what I was hoping for.

The Waves of Freedom series continues to show that Sundin excels at historical romance novels. "Anchor in the Storm" is certainly another winner, with its solid characterization, mystery and intrigue, and a romance sure to leave you smiling. I award this book a very solid rating of 4 out of 5 stars. 
Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

 about the author....

Sarah Sundin

Sarah Sundin is the author of Through Waters Deep and Anchor in the Storm, as well as Wings of the Nightingale and the Wings of Glory series. A graduate of UC San Francisco School of Pharmacy, she works on-call as a hospital pharmacist. During WWII, her grandfather served as a pharmacist's mate (medic) in the Navy and her great-uncle flew with the US Eighth Air Force. Sarah lives in California. Visit for more information.

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Free ebook: "Murder Mezzo Forte - A Preston Barclay Mystery" by Donn Taylor

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Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Timely & Relevant: "Teaching Your Children Healthy Sexuality: A Biblical Approach to Preparing Them for Life" by Jim Burns

Cover Art

about the book....

Real Help for the Toughest Talks 

Nervous about talking to your kids about sex? Anxiety over having "the talk" often means we avoid it as long as we can. While we're waiting, our kids are getting their questions answered and their perceptions of sex and sexuality formed elsewhere--through online searches and a daily diet of mainstream and social media that may shock you.

In this immensely practical and well-researched book, Anne Marie Miller equips parents to take control of the narrative their children are receiving about sex. She shows how to have meaningful and age-appropriate conversations about sex, pornography, and sexual abuse. She also shows how to keep the lines of communication open so that your kids know they can trust you with their fears, struggles, and mistakes. Most important, she offers hope that your children can grow up with a healthy biblical view of sex as a gift from God.

my review....

If you are a parent of a child of any age, then I'm sure you have experienced that slightly panicky feeling of, "how on earth am I going to talk to my kids about THAT?". To the rescue comes Anne Marie Miller with her timely book, "Teaching Your Children Healthy Sexuality". Miller has done a wonderful job at unpacking a topic that can be uncomfortable for some, and writing it in a way that is accessible and easy to digest. The information she provides is wonderfully practical and is desperately needed in a world that seems drenched in unhealthy sexual messages. Parents will be relieved to see she's unafraid to tackle difficult subjects like masturbation, pornography and homosexuality, and she does so in a thoroughly Biblical manner. The author doesn't pretend that every child that grows up in a Christian home is going to make perfect choices about their sexuality. But she does offer a way for parents to help their children wade through the often confusing messages that they will encounter and, hopefully, make choices that are both pleasing to God and healthy for themselves. She celebrates that sex is a gift, a good gift, and that there is no need to stay silent on the topic and treat it as taboo, or even worse to give your children the message that sex is bad. I particularly like some of the practical tips that Miller gives, such as the idea of having a family meeting to discuss pornography, in an age appropriate manner, and offer guidelines to the family. She also reminds parents to give kids permission to fail, something that as parents we desperately hope won't happen, but know that as humans our kids will do, and we need to be ready to respond with grace, love and truth.

All in all, I found this book to be a very helpful and informative book, and I encourage parents to grab a copy for themselves. It is never too late to begin talking to your children about sex, and this book will help you do so in a healthy, age-appropriate, and God-honouring manner. 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 Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

 about the author....

Anne Marie Miller

Anne Marie Miller is the author of five books. She has been featured in numerous publications, including CosmopolitanRelevant Magazine, Leadership JournalChristianity Today, and Youth Worker Journal. Miller speaks frequently at colleges, conferences, and churches in the United States and internationally. She and her husband, Tim, live in Iowa. Learn more at

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Free ebook: "Love Is a Battlefield (A Walk in the Park Book 1)" by Annalisa Daughety

Love Is a Battlefield - eBook

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Free fiction ebook: "Bandit's Hope (Backwoods Brides Book 2)" by Marcia Gruver

Bandit's Hope - eBook

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Thursday, June 9, 2016

Unforgettable Biblical fiction: "Delilah (A Dangerous Beauty Novel Book #3): Treacherous Beauty" by Angela Hunt

Cover Art

about the book....

A Complex and Compelling Glimpse at One of the Bible's Most Notorious Women

Life is not easy in Philistia, especially not for a woman and child alone. When beautiful, wounded Delilah finds herself begging for food to survive, she resolves that she will find a way to defeat all the men who have taken advantage of her. She will overcome the roadblocks life has set before her, and she will find riches and victory for herself. 

When she meets a legendary man called Samson, she senses that in him lies the means for her victory. By winning, seducing, and betraying the hero of the Hebrews, she will attain a position of national prominence. After all, she is beautiful, she is charming, and she is smart. No man, not even a supernaturally gifted strongman, can best her in a war of wits.

my review....

Once again, Angela Hunt proves herself to be an absolutely gifted story teller as she brings to life the Biblical tale of Samson and Delilah. Rich historical details lend an authentic air to Delilah's life and, though I have never before felt any empathy for her as a person, I certainly do after reading this fictional account! In the past it has been all too easy for me to simply view Delilah as basically an evil villain. But when I stop to think about what sort of past she may have had and why Samson was so in love with her that he made the choices he did, Hunt's take on her character as a deeply wounded soul who made the choices she did for valid (if misguided and wrong) reasons, makes much more sense. Although of course Hunt has taken some liberties in embellishing Samson and Delilah's stories to make for an entertaining plot, she has clearly striven to remain faithful to the Biblical account. After reading this book I went back to re-read the Biblical account itself and was pleased to find that she definitely honours scripture in her retelling of this intriguing story. I have often wondered why God would use such a misguided and faulty man as Samson, and yet while reading this book I simply appreciated that God has a grander purpose for using broken and sinful people. And I am so glad he does, because that means he can use me too!

Of the three Dangerous Beauty novels that Angela Hunt has written, I must say that "Delilah" has become my favourite. It is very well written and I have found that I simply can't stop thinking about it and about who God chooses to carry out his plans and why. Hunt has done a wonderful job at not only creating interesting characters, but at looking at their story in a totally different light than I've ever read about them before. I award this book a very solid rating of 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 Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

 about the author....

Angela Hunt

The author of more than 100 published books and with nearly 5 million copies of her books sold worldwide, Angela Hunt is the New York Times bestselling author of The Note, The Nativity Story, and Esther: Royal Beauty.Romantic Times Book Club presented Angela with a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006. In 2008, Angela completed her PhD in Biblical Studies in Theology. She and her husband live in Florida with their mastiffs. She can be found online at