Friday, January 31, 2014

Called to Stay by Calb Breakey, with a giveaway

An Uncompromising Mission to Save Your Church

Will You Stay?

Caleb Breakey prays to God you do. 

In Called to Stay Breakey takes a refreshingly honest look at the church, the problem of Millennials leaving, and the stark reality of why the church desperately needs them. He holds nothing back as he unleashes an ambitious rallying cry to heal the church and inject his generation’s desire for truth, passion, and conviction into other believers.

Caleb knows that answering the challenge of his own generation leads to a transformed church.
And a changed church can change the world.

My review:
  Back when this book was in the works, the author ran a Kickstarter campaign to get the funds he needed to publish the book. I was out of work, but was intrigued, and gave the minimum amount, which assured me a copy of the book and DVD when they were published.

  After I received the book, I didn't read it for a while, as I had so many books in my review pile, but after hearing my best friend rave about it, I decided it was time to read it.

  The book is geared for a younger age group than I am part of, but after reading it, I would have to say it is for anyone. It is especially for people who are dissatisfied with their church and are eying the door, thinking about leaving and going elsewhere. Even if you're happy with your church, it would be a good book to read and get some ideas of what you can do to help your church be better and more than it is.

  The book is an enjoyable read. This is Caleb's first book, and he did an excellent job on it. It is easy to read, interesting, he makes some great points without belaboring them, and he writes with what comes across as humility. Some authors approach ideas like this with almost an arrogance, but he does not.

  In the book, Caleb talks about his own experiences of being unhappy with his church and as he prayed about leaving, he felt God wanted him to stay. So he started thinking and praying about what he could do to help the church instead of criticize. Not everything he says will work for everyone in every church, but there is some really good advice given and points made in the book for staying in a church.

  Each chapter is accompanied by some video you can watch online.

  This is a book I cannot say enough good about. I highly recommend it.

About the author:

Caleb Breakey is a former journalist and author of Called to Stay. Caleb is a frequent conference speaker with a sincere passion to lead, challenge, and inspire others in discussions about relationships, the church, and radically following Jesus. He lives in Washington State with his wife, Brittney. 
More about Caleb:

  I have two copies of Called to Stay, since the author mailed me an autographed copy also. Since I have two copies, I decided to give one away. This giveaway is for the copy that is not autographed.

 To enter to win, do one of the following, and comment on this blog post saying which you did:
1) "like" Caleb's Facebook page (link above)
2) Follow Caleb on Twitter (link above)
3) Watch the video below

I will pick a winner 10 days from now, on February 10, using

Unstoppable DVD by Kirk Cameron, with a giveaway

Inspired by the death of Cameron’s close friend who succumbed to cancer at the age of 15, Kirk Cameron takes viewers on an inspiring and hope-filled visual journey to better understand the biggest doubt-raising question in faith: “Where is God in the midst of tragedy and suffering?”

Going back to the beginning—literally—Kirk investigates the origins of good and evil and how they impact our lives … and our eternities. UNSTOPPABLE will prompt audiences to consider the role that pain and suffering has in our lives, as they affirm their personal views on faith, and encourage conversation starters about God, suffering, and hope.  

In theaters for only two weeknights (Sept 24th and Oct 3th, 2013), UNSTOPPABLE: A Live Event with Kirk Cameron sold a staggering 260,000 tickets and reached a theatrical gross of over $3.2 million dollars. In just two nights this independent project sent a loud message – audiences want thought-provoking and meaningful entertainment. 

My review:
   This DVD starts out with Cameron telling about a teenage boy he knew dying from cancer, and of his struggle to understand why God didn't heal him, but let him die. He then goes back and talks about God creating the world, Adam and Eve, and their fall. As he talks, there is scenery shown and actors playing out the parts of the Biblical characters he is talking about.

  To be honest, I wondered where he was going for a while. Adam and Eve and Cain and Abel seemed to be far from talking about his young friend dying. It was interesting, but what did they have to do with God not stopping suffering?

  Cameron did bring it together and using the story of the first sin and the first murder, used that as a basis to show why suffering exists in the first place.

  Also shown at different times during his talking, are scenes from the funeral for his young friend, which helped underscore the question he was addressing.

 Cameron offers no simple or easy answers, but does present a good Biblical response to why God allows suffering. This isn't a fast paced DVD that will have you on the edge of your seat, but it is interesting, well done, informative, and addresses an issue we all face at some point.

About the author:

Kirk Cameron is best known for his memorable role as “Mike Seaver,” a cultural icon of the 80's, with his mullet hairstyle, cool glasses, and wisecracking comebacks. More recently he enjoyed much success with the No. 1 grossing inspirational film of 2008, Fireproof, and his recent documentary, Monumental. Kirk and his wife, Chelsea, were on-screen sweethearts during their Growing Pains years and are the founders of Camp Firefly, where terminally and seriously ill children and their families are provided an all-expense paid retreat ( Together, Kirk and Chelsea live in California with their six children.

About Provident Films: 
Provident Films, a division of Sony Music Entertainment, produces, markets, and distributes faith-based films. The company is part of Nashville-based Provident Music Group, which has been one of the world’s leading Christian entertainment companies for more than three decades.  Films from the company have included Courageous, October Baby, Fireproof, and Facing the Giants. More info is available at

The review copy and giveaway copy were provided by FlyBy Promotions Blogger Network.

FlyBy Promotions will mail one winner a copy of Unstoppable.

To enter, watch the DVD trailer, which is at the end of this blog post, and comment saying you watched it, or say something about it.

Ten days from today, on February 10, I will pick a winner using

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.
 Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Scraps of Evidence by Barbara Cameron

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Scraps of Evidence
Abingdon Press (January 21, 2014)
Barbara Cameron


A Word from the author:

CBD, CBA, and ECPA bestselling author of 35 books (including new series upcoming for Abingdon Press in 2011/2012) including fiction and non-fiction books for Abingdon Press, Thomas Nelson, Harlequin, and other publishers.

I sold three films to HBO/Cinemax and am the first winner of the Romance Writers of America Golden Heart Award.

My two novellas won the 2nd and 3rd place in the Inspirational Readers Choice Contest from the Faith, Love, and Hope chapter of RWA. Both were finalists for the novella category of the Carol Award of the American Christian Writers Award (ACFW).


Tess has taken some ribbing from her fellow officer, Logan, for her quilting hobby. He finds it hard to align the brisk professional officer he patrols with during the day with the one who quilts in her off-time. Besides, he’s been trying to get to know her better and he’d like to be seeing her during those few nights a week she spends with her quilting guild. Then one afternoon Tess and Logan visit her aunt in the nursing home, and the woman acts agitated when Tess covers her with the story quilt. Aunt Susan is attempting to communicate a message to them about Tess’s uncle. There’s a story behind this quilt, they realize, one that may lead them to a serial killer. Will they have a chance to have a future together, or will the killer choose Tess for his next victim before they find him?

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

My review:
  This was a new author for me, and from what I gather, she usually writes Amish fiction. If this is her first attempt at suspense, it was a good attempt.

  I really enjoyed the book, the setting, plot, and characters. It was well written, and although I figured out who the guilty party was fairly early in the book, it was still plenty suspenseful. I am used to reading longer suspense novels, so this one did seem a bit rushed with the police investigation and plot, but it was still a very enjoyable read.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

The Big Book of Laugh-Out-Loud Jokes by Rob Elliott

The gut-bustingest, knee-slappingest, guffaw-inducingest collection of clean jokes you can find!
All kids like to laugh, and The Big Book of Laugh-Out-Loud Jokes for Kids delivers! Combining his three bestselling joke books for kids, Rob Elliott will have you doubled over for days. You'll get jokes like

Q: Why did the invisible man turn down a job offer?
A: He just couldn't see himself doing it.

Q: What do you get if you mix a rabbit and a snake?
A: A jump rope.

Knock knock.Who's there?
Cook.Cook who?
Are you as crazy as you sound?

Great on car rides, at the dinner table, on the playground, and anywhere in between, this collection of wholesome hilarity will make you and those around you smile from ear to ear.

Book review:
  I love jokes, humor, and love to laugh, so even though this book is for kids, I figured I'd still enjoy it. And I did. Maybe there's still a lot of kid in me.

 This is actually three books in one. The author previously published them individually:
Laught-out-loud Jokes for Kids
Zoolarious Animal Jokes for Kids, and

Knock-knock Jokes for Kids

  This book brings all three books together, and it is separated into three parts, with each part being one of the previously stand alone titles.

  The title says "big book", which at 180 pages, it isn't that big of a book, but there are a lot of jokes in the book. And even though I am an adult, I found myself smiling at a lot of them. The jokes are clean, humorous - probably funnier to kids, and there is a big selection. I have three nephews who I could see really enjoying the book, and am going to pass it on to them.

  If you're an adult, you'll want to find something more on the adult level, but kids will love it, and parents don't need to worry about anything bad in this book. It is 100% clean.

About the author:

Rob Elliott is the author of Laugh-Out-Loud Jokes for Kids, Zoolarious Animal Jokes for Kids, and Knock-Knock Jokes for Kids, and has been a publishing professional for more than fifteen years. Rob lives in West Michigan, where in his spare time he enjoys laughing out loud with his wife and four children.

The Big Book of Laugh-Out-Loud Jokes is available from Revell Publishing, a division of Baker Book House Publishing Company.

Thanks to Revell for the review copy.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Eyes Wide Open by Ted Dekker

My name is Christy Snow. I'm seventeen and I'm about to die. I'm buried in a coffin under tons of concrete. No one knows where I am. My heart sounds like a monster with clobber feet, running straight toward me. I'm lying on my back, soaked with sweat from the hair on my head to the soles of my feet. My hands and feet won't stop shaking. Some will say that I'm not really here. Some will say I'm delusional. Some will say that I don't even exist. But who are they? I'm the one buried in a grave. My name is Christy Snow. I'm seventeen and I'm about to die.

First in the newest series from Ted Dekker, a master of suspense, whose books have sold 9 million copies, Eyes Wide Open is a raw adrenaline rush from the first page to the last.

My review:
   It has been a while since I read a Ted Dekker book, so when I was offered this one to review, I figured it was about time I read another one of his books.

 The book starts out with quite the gripping scene, then goes back in time a little bit before the main character ends up in a coffin.

 I found myself thinking at different times while I was reading the book, "this book is weird!" And after reading it, I still say it was weird, but in a good way. It is one of  those books that would probably be better understood and enjoyed reading through it again. There was a lot that happened in the book that didn't make sense, and I found myself feeling bad for the two main characters in their very bad situation, wondering all along what was going to happen and what the idea of the book was.

 Here is the scoop: The book is what I guess you would call allegorical. When I got close the end of the book, I got what the idea of the book was, and it made more sense. It is about our identity, and seeing ourselves the way God sees us. That if we believe the devil's lies about ourselves, we are basically trapped, and cannot go on to live our lives the way we should, the way God wants us to.

 The book is definitely worth reading, and has a great message, one that many people need to hear. Yes, it is on the weird side, but it doesn't seem as weird after completing the book.

About the author:

  Ted Dekker is a New York Times best-selling author of over thirty novels. Heralded as a "master of Library Journal, Dekker has sold millions worldwide, establishing himself as one of the most widely recognized author brands. Dekker was born to missionaries and grew up among cannibals of Indonesia, and his peculiar upbringing gives him a unique perspective outside the cultural bubble, allowing him the freedom to share provocative insights in his fiction. He resides in Austin, Texas with his wife and children.
suspense" by

You can find him at and

Eyes Wide Open is available from Worthy Publishing.

Thanks to Worthy for the review copy.

For the Love of Pete by Debbty Mayne

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
For the Love of Pete
B&H Books (January 15, 2014)
Debby Mayne


Debby Mayne is a best-selling author who has published more than 25 books and novellas, 400 short stories and articles, and devotions for women. She has also worked as managing editor of a national health magazine, product information writer for HSN, a creative writing instructor, and a copy editor and proofreader. Her novel, Love Finds You in Treasure Island, Florida received 4-1/2 stars from RT Book Review, and was named a Top Pick for the month of July. She and her husband Wally have two grown daughters, and live in Palm Harbor, Florida.


Widow Bethany Hanahan is trying in vain to fill an empty heart and an empty nest. The result is a home filled to the brim, but something is still missing. That’s when her new gardening club friends come to the rescue, encouraging her to let go of the past as well as the present clutter –emotional, spiritual, and physical. It’s not long before Bethany is finding friends, not bargains, to fill her days. But has her life become too full for someone like Pete Sprockett, a childhood friend, for whom her romantic feelings are beginning to bloom? Join the quirky, loving community of Bloomfield as they do what they do best – poke their well-meaning noses in and intervene in times of need –in author Debby Mayne’s second novel in what has become a five book series about a community where life is simple and love is real.

If you'd like to read the first chapter of For the Love of Pete, go HERE.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

The Blood That Cries In the Ground by Gregory Bellarmine

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 author is:

and the book:

Christian Books Today Ltd (October 22, 2013)

***Special thanks to Jason Richardson for sending me a review copy.***


Gregory Bellarmine is the author of the bestselling Monthly Roman Breviary. He lives a
happy though sometimes sleepless life in the UK with his wife, two children and rather
cheeky Parson Russell Terrier.:

Visit the author's website.


The Greatest Myth ever dispelled. Italy. A tough master of novices, Father Dante encounters the bold young priest Antonio who challenges his identity and accuses him of being the Saint Nicholas. But despite the Father faking his death, a determined Antonio discovers a rather alive Dante arrayed in kilt and armor.
In return for Antonio’s silence—and to protect the town from attracting all manner of darkness—Dante agrees to tell his life story. Without explanation, Dante orders Antonio to meet him at night in the abandoned Cathedral, the site of a former battle that the Church has kept secret for a generation.

Until today.

The Criskindl. Ice Steeds. The Unborn. Saint.

From the Dark Ages’ when Poet-Sorcerers ruled kings, to the Holy Land when a new civilization was rising, to Revolutionary France where love is lost and gained, Father Dante pursues the one responsible for both his master and his mother’s deaths: Black Peter, his brother.

Product Details:
List Price: $14,99
Series: the Father Dante Journals
Paperback: 218 pages
Publisher: Christian Books Today Ltd (October 22, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1907436472
ISBN-13: 978-1907436475


Please go here and press 'Look Inside' to see the chapter.
I started reading this book and couldn't get into it. It was just too weird for me, but it might appeal to other people

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Death of a Modern Superhero by Chris Lautsbaugh

Have you ever felt like you were just not good enough for God?

We are told we must be a good Christian, a loving spouse, a caring and involved parent, active in your community, and so much more.  Can we ever make it? When are we good enough? Do we feel like we cannot succeed in this life unless we are a superhero with superpowers?

Grace takes these expectations of culture and society and turns them upside down.  God gives us gifts at salvation that tell us we do measure up to God’s standard.  We are pleasing to Him.  No longer do we strive and work to prove ourselves, only to collapse in frustration and failure.  now we can live in grace, bringing a new life of confidence and peace.

Death of the Modern SuperHero explores these dilemmas and give practical solutions to change our thinking to line up with the reality of God’s truth.  If you enjoy authors such as Philip Yancey, Jerry Bridges, and Brennan Manning; you will enjoy this book.

The book is currently being used in Bible schools, small groups, counseling ministries, seeker groups within JP Morgan Chase, and to disciple converts from other religions.

My review:
   First off, I won a copy of this book and am doing the review on my own.

   This book was actually published in 2011, but I don't remember ever running across it until I entered to win a copy in a Facebook group I am in. I was happy to win it, and it came today in the mail on my day off, so I decided to start reading it, as it is about one of my favorite topics: grace.

  I don't often read non-fiction books in one sitting. A good suspense novel, definitely. However, I did read this one in one sitting. Granted, it is only 200 pages, but it is still rare for me to read a non-fiction book in one sitting. So since I did, that must mean it was interesting and was one I didn't want to put down. Yes, and yes.

 I love the author's writing style. With the title being what it was, I wasn't surprised he has a humorous way of writing. I didn't agree with him on everything, as I am not a Calvinist, and he leans more that way, but he raised some interesting points and had some new things for me to think about in relation to God's grace.

 The book was an interesting read, and more importantly, a helpful read. I found myself crying at different times while reading as the message of God's grace was opened to me in a different way. He answered a lot of questions I have, and I could see myself in the wrong views he mentioned. God has helped me a lot, and has been using books like these to help me get a better grasp on grace, and that I don't have to do more to measure up to God.

  Every year I make a list of the top books I read for the year. This year has just begun, but I have a feeling this book will be on my list of the best books I read for 2014 when I make it in December.

  If you struggle to believe God really loves you and question His grace, this book is for you. If you have a rule oriented religion, this book is for you. And if you just need a refresher course on God's grace, this book is for you. I highly recommend it, and believe God will use it to help me even more than He already has.

About the author:

Chris has been in ministry and missions for over twenty years, teaching and ministering in over 35
countries. He is currently living and serving in South Africa with Youth With a Mission. He has spent years training student from around the world in discipleship and Biblical training as they prepare to be missionaries.

As a young man, God led him to a Bible school where they studied every single book of the Bible, book by book. The only school that does this, he was captivated by how much God saturated His story and people with His grace. This never left Chris, as he personally wrestled with it in his own life.

Being personally transformed by God’s overwhelming Grace, he began to communicate it to others like him. This is his life’s calling. Whether you seemingly “have it together” or feel like a mess, Chris communicates Grace in a way that makes every one who hears, desperate in the same way. Desperate for a Grace that is real and liberating.

Together with his wife Lindsey, and two sons, Garett and Thabo, they formed Project Grace. This is a non profit ministry designed to help train and equip African nationals to reach into the world. He has also published a series of 24 discipleship devotionals in La Biblia del Discipulado (The Discipleship Bible).

His first book, Death of the Modern Superhero:How Grace Breaks our Rules was first published in 2011.

Chris enjoys coffee, sports, and exploring new corners of the globe. He lives in Cape Town, South Africa with his wife and two sons. You can follow him and this book on the Facebook group “NoSuperHeroes” or on Twitter.

Check out his websites:
No Superheroes

Redeemed by Mike Weaver

The song Redeemed by the popular Christian group Big Daddy Weave has inspired millions. This collection of 30 devotions by songwriter Mike Weaver focuses on redemption, grace, and the healing power of Christ's love. For fans of Big Daddy Weave who have been touched by Redeemed, this book is more than an impulse purchase; it's a must-read.

Seems like all I can see was the struggle
Haunted by ghosts that lived in my past
Bound up in shackles of all my failures
Wondering how long is this gonna last
Then You look at this prisoner and say to me"son
stop fighting a fight that's already been won"
I am redeemed, You set me free
So I'll shake off theses heavy chains
Wipe away every stain now I'm not who I used to be
I am redeemed
All my life I have been called unworthy
Named by the voice of my shame and regret
But when I hear You whisper, "Child lift up your head"
I remember oh God, You're not done with me yet
I don't have to be the old man inside of me
Cause his day is long dead and gone
I've got a new name, a new life I'm not the same
And a hope that will carry me home.

My review:
   I don't listen to a lot of Christian Contemporary music, as I lean towards more Southern Gospel, but I do listen to some. This is one CCM song I have heard several times and has really meant a lot to me. If you have never heard it, you should listen to it.

  The devotional is a thirty day devotional based on the song. Each day talks about being redeemed from or for something. Redeemed from regret, redeemed from the tears, redeemed to serve, redeemed by grace, etc.

  Each devotional takes up six pages. On the first page is the actual devotional, followed by a page of Scripture verses that apply to the devotional. The third page has quotes from different people that fit with the devotional, the fourth page has one quote, and is followed by a page with a timely tip and a prayer. The day ends with a page for your own thoughts on the subject dealt with.

  I prefer 365 day devotionals that I can read all year long, and am currently reading one in the morning and one in the evening, but I incorporated the Redeemed devotional into my devotional time and not only enjoyed reading it, but found it very helpful. Even though the actual devotional is very short, they are good and combined with the Scripture and quotes, it makes for a great devotional to use for a month, and maybe go back to a few months later.

  And not everyone wants a yearly devotional. If not, this would be a great one to read once a week or every few days or just when you want to add more to your time with God. Or do as I did, and even if you're already reading a yearly devotional, incorporate it in with your devotional time. It will add more and you'll be encouraged by it.

About the author:

Mike Weaver is the lead singer for the hugely popular contemporary Christian band Big Daddy Weave. The band has received numerous awards, including a Dove Award in 2010. Weaver co-wrote the band's hit song Redeemed, which spent eight weeks at No. 1 on the National Christian Audience Chart and nine weeks at No. 1 on the AC Monitored Chart. The video for Redeemed has also proven to be immensely popular, with almost 2 million views on YouTube.

Redeemed is available from Worthy Publishing.

Thanks to Worthy Publishing for the review copy.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Snapshot by Lis Wiehl

Two little girls, frozen in black and white. One picture worth killing for.

Federal prosecutor Lisa Waldren’s estranged father wants her to investigate a cold case from his FBI days. Lisa nearly refuses, even though a wrongly convicted man faces execution for murder. Then her father reveals a photograph: a little white girl playing alongside a little black girl at a rally in 1965 where the shooting of a civil rights leader took place. She recognizes herself in the photo.

She was there.

Lisa agrees to help, resolved to boldly seek answers she’s skirted for decades. What she discovers are layers of deception, both personal and professional, reaching as high as the head of the FBI. Possibly even the president.

And though Lisa and the other girl may have escaped the 1965 shooting physically unharmed, her little friend, now grown, bears the scars of it. All because of the color of her skin. As Lisa and her father get closer to the truth, the real killer turns the hunt around.

My review:
   Lis Wiehl is an author who seems to get a little better with each book, and this is the first one she did completely solo, and she has done a great job on this one.

  The book goes back and covers the civil rights movement, and the murder of a civil rights leader (fictitious) from the sixties. A retired FBI agent believes they have had the wrong man jailed for close to four decades for the crime and enlist his daughter to help uncover the truth.

  I enjoyed the book. There wasn't a lot of fast-paced action, but the book was well written and interesting. There was a lot of back and forth between the characters on how to solve a four decade old crime, but I was never bored and found the book a fast read.

  I also learned a little more about the civil rights movement and what it was like for black people living at that time.

 The book isn't necessarily Christian, and other than a woman minister in the book, no one seemed to be a Christian and it was inferred that the main character might spend the night with a man interested in her. I would have liked to have had a little more Christian content, but the book was clean and didn't have any bad language.

About the author:

  Lis Wiehl is a New York Times best-selling author, Harvard Law School graduate, and former
federal prosecutor. A popular legal analyst and commentator for the Fox News Channel, Wiehl appears on The O'Reilly Factor and Imus in the Morning, and was co-host with Bill O'Reilly on the radio for seven years.

Snapshot is available from Thomas Nelson

Thanks to Booksneeze for the review copy.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Everyday Confetti by Karen Ehman and Glyniss Whitwer

When a busy woman looks at her calendar and sees a birthday, holiday, or special occasion, she has the best intentions for bringing joy to her family and creating lasting memories. Then reality hits. Amidst demanding responsibilities and an overloaded schedule, when is she ever going to have time to plan the perfect celebration or find the creativity to make it special?

In this go-to guide, Karen Ehman and Glynnis Whitwer give women the ideas and the motivation they need to make such occasions less daunting. They provide creative ideas and menu plans for
· Holidays
· Birthdays
· Special Events
· Everyday Occasions
Readers will even find suggestions for reaching out to others throughout the year through celebrations that are simple, doable, and stress-free.

My review:
   This is a neat book, and though I am reviewing it, it is definitely geared for women. The book is separated out by seasons and every day celebrations. There is even a section for days like book lovers day.

  There are suggestions for things to do on most of the days and events, along with suggested things to make, along with the recipe for the food. There is a cupcake pictured on the cover of the book, but there are all kinds of foods in the book from chili to fruit kabobs and pie.

  The book isn't all about food. There are all kinds of ideas given throughout the book on how to make holidays more special and things to do with your kids, such as 13th birthday activities, and things for kids to do for their parents on special days.

  If you're wanting a book to help you spice up holidays, special events, and even every day events, this is a great book to have. The authors have come up with some really neat ideas, along with some great recipes.

About the authors:

Karen Ehman is the director of speaker development and an online devotion writer for Proverbs 31 Ministries whose passion is to help women live their priorities and love their lives. Her latest book is entitled Let. It. Go. How to Stop Running the Show and Start Walking in Faith. Karen has been a guest on media outlets such as Focus on the Family, Moody Mid-day Connection, and The 700 Club. She is the wife of Todd, the mother of three, and resides in central Michigan. Connect with her at

Glynnis Whitwer, executive director of communications for Proverbs 31 Ministries, is one of the writers of Encouragement for Today, the Proverbs 31 email devotional. She is the author of I Used to Be So Organized, When Your Child Hurts, and Work@home: A Practical Guide for Women Who Want to Work from Home. Glynnis, her husband, Tod, and their five children live in Arizona. She blogs regularly at

Everyday Confetti is available from Revell Publishing, a division of Baker Book Publishing Group.

Thanks to Revell for the review copy.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Songs of the Shenandoah by Michael Reynolds

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Songs of the Shenandoah
B&H Books (January 1, 2014)
Michael Reynolds

Michael K. Reynolds is a writer with more than two decades of experience in crafting fiction, non-fiction, journalism, copywriting and documentary production. He is the author of a series of Irish historical novels published by B&H Publishing Group. These highly acclaimed books are available in bookstores and libraries across the nation and beyond.

Michael is the writer and producer of an Emmy and Telly award-winning series of documentaries titled, Crystal Darkness. These thirty minute anti-meth films have been heavily promoted and broadcast in cities and states throughout the United States and Mexico. They have been viewed collectedly by more than 10 million people and the message has reached more than 30 million to date.

He also has wide experience as a speaker and on-air personality and has been interviewed on a variety of newspapers, radio stations and televisions networks throughout the nation. Michael earned his B.A. in Creative Writing from the University of California, San Diego and lives in Reno with his wife and three children. He is active in marketplace, marriage, small group and men’s ministries as a leader and speaker.


At the onset of the Civil War, Seamus heeds his wife’s wishes to return to her beloved family farm in the South, where he takes a post as chaplain for General Stonewall Jackson’s brigade. As Seamus ministers to the troops, his sister Clare ministers in a different way—by being a powerful voice in the Northern cause toward freeing the slaves. All this while their youngest brother Davin, who became wealthy during the Gold Rush, struggles to find love and identity in a fallen world. It’s a clash of loyalties and beliefs that threaten the entire family, each of them trying to hear God’s encouragement in the midst of the tragedy of war. The dramatic conclusion to the acclaimed Heirs of Ireland Series.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Songs of the Shenandoah, go HERE.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Beowulf: Explosives Detection Dog by Ronie Kendig

Beowulf—a hulky, brindle-coated bullmastiff—is the only “boy” for Timbrel Hogan. And she has a history to remind her why. But when Timbrel, a handler at A Breed Apart, embarks on a mission to detect WMDs in Afghanistan, she reunites with Tony “Candyman” VanAllen and her no-other-man philosophy is challenged. While tension mounts between Timbrel and Tony, the team comes under fire after Beowulf gets a “hit.” When tragedy threatens Tony’s career and Timbrel’s courage, they must maneuver through an intricate plot and a mission like no other. . . .

A Breed Apart Series
Book 1 - Trinity
Book 2 - Talon

My review:
  Ronie Kendig came on the Christian fiction scene in 2009 with her first book, Dead Reckoning. The book was right up my alley, suspense with a lot of intrigue, and I knew she was an author to keep up with. In 2010, she came out with the first book in her Discarded Heroes Series, and switched genre's to write what she seems to have been born to write: Military fiction. It didn't take many books for her to become one of my favorite authors, and I count down the months until her next release. And she keeps getting better.

  The Discarded Heroes Series was awesome, but A Breed Apart Series, her series about military war dogs, which ends with this book, has even been better, if possible.

  With each book in the series, I have learned more about military war dogs and their use, something I didn't know anything about before reading these books. The suspense has gotten better, the drama and action more intense, and the dogs have gotten uglier..... ;-)

  Beowulf focuses on a bull mastiff that is an explosive detection dog, and on her handler, Timbrel. The other main character is Tony, aka Candyman, who has been chasing Timbrel in all of the books. I loved all three books in this series, but this was the best one. It was full of suspense, romantic tension, drama, and a few surprises.

  Ronie recently wrote a great article on authors making their male characters actual men, and it is something she excels at, and perhaps no better than in this book. In Tony, she has created the ideal soldier and the kind of man anyone could aspire to be like. He has his share of problems, and I was at first taken aback and disappointed in what happened to him, yet through a fictional character, Ronie shows what we can come through with God's help.

  This was a book that I couldn't put down and read through in one setting, often re-reading certain passages. This is more than a book that entertains and keeps you on the edge of your seat. This is a great tribute to our military, and to the military war dogs, who thanks to this series, I know a lot more about.

 I've never been in the military, but this book seems to be a very realistic look at what goes on behind the scenes of special ops, and is a roller coaster ride through events in Afghanistan and here on our own soil. I enjoyed every page of the book, and though sad to see the series end, am thankful there are books like these out there to read. Books that are far above the average Christian fiction novel. A book that is definitely worth reading.

 I've said it before about Ronie's books, but will say it again: Even though these are military/special ops novels that any guy should enjoy, most women will enjoy them also.

About the author:

An Army brat, Ronie Kendig grew up in the classic military family, with her father often TDY and her mother holding down the proverbial fort. Their family moved often, which left Ronie attending six schools by the time she’d entered fourth grade. Her only respite and “friends” during this time were the characters she created.

 It was no surprise when she married a military veteran—her real-life hero—in June 1990. Married more than twenty years, Ronie and her husband, Brian, homeschool their four children, the first of whom graduated in 2011. Despite the craziness of life, Ronie finds balance and peace with her faith, family and their three dogs in Dallas, TX.

Ronie has a deep love and passion for people, especially hurting people, which is why she pursued and obtained a B.S. in Psychology from Liberty University. Ronie is an active member of the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and has volunteered extensively, serving in a variety of capacities from coordinator of a national contest to appointment assistant at the national annual conference.

Since launching onto the publishing scene in 2010, Ronie and her books have been gained critical acclaim and national attention, including:
    • 2012 Christy Award Winner – Wolfsbane (Contemporary Romance)
    • 2012 Carol Award Finalist – Wolfsbane (Romantic Suspense)
    • Finalist in Christian Retailing’s 2011 Readers’ Choice Awards (Nightshade)
    • RWA’s Faith, Hope, & Love’s 2011 Inspirational Readers’ Choice Awards in Romantic Suspense (Nightshade)
    • Named one of the Top 25 Christian Fiction Suspense, Mystery, and Thriller Writers by FamilyFiction (Sept 2011)
    • 2011 FamilyFiction Readers’ Choice Awards – 3rd place as New Favorite Author, 8th place with Nightshade for Novel of the Year.
    • INSPY Award Shortlist final in Mystery/Thriller (Dead Reckoning)
    • The Christian Manifesto’s 2010 Lime Award for Excellence in Christian Fiction (Nightshade)
Beowulf is available from Barbour Publishing.
Thanks to Ronie for  the review copy.

Book trailer:

No One to Trust by Lynette Eason

She doesn't know who she's running from--and the man she loves may be someone else entirely
Summer Abernathy wakes up one morning to find her husband missing, three men in her home intent on finding him, and the life she's been living based on a lie. Which Kyle Abernathy did she marry? The computer programmer she met in line at the bank? Or the one who was apparently using that image as a cover?

The search for her husband--and answers--takes Summer ever deeper into a world of organized crime where people are used one moment and discarded the next. And with her deepest relationship of trust already shattered, Summer doesn't know who to believe.

Always thrilling, bestselling author Lynette Eason outdoes herself in this taut, breakneck story of lies, loyalties, and love that will have you up all night to discover the truth hidden in the shadows.

My review:
   I have yet to be disappointed in a Lynnette Eason book, and thought her best book was the one I read before this, When a Secret Kills. With this first book in her new Hidden Identity Series, she has far surpassed that book, and totally outdone herself. Awesome is a word thrown around too easily, but this book is awesome.

  I don't know why, but books that have to do with the Federal Witness Protection Agency really intrigue me. This isn't the first book to use that agency as a plot for a book, but it is the best one I have read. And in this one, the guy is married and his wife has no clue, until she finds out in a rather abrupt and scary way.

 I loved the plot, the characters, the action, suspense, drama... this book has it all, including a woman who has to make the decision to forgive her husband for his deception or forgive and love him. I fortunately read the book when I didn't have to put it down, for once I started reading it, I did not want to put it down, so I didn't.

 Amid all of the suspense and non-stop action, forgiveness does play a big part in the book, and the Christian message in the book is far from watered down. The part about the snakes was creepy, and though I could have done without it, it did add more suspense and more of a creepy factor to the book.

  This is one of the best Christian suspense novels I have ever read, and I cannot recommend it enough to people who enjoy suspense. It is awesome.

About the author:

Lynette Eason is the bestselling author of the Women of Justice series and the Deadly Reunions series. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America. She has a master's degree in education from Converse College and she lives in South Carolina. Find out more at

No One to Trust is available from Revell, a part of the Baker Publishing group.

Thanks to Revell for the review copy.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Tempest's Course by Lynette Sowell

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Tempest's Course
Abingdon Press (December 17, 2013)
Lynette Sowell


Lynette Sowell is an award-winning novelist. Her most recent novel, Tempest’s Course, is part of the Quilts of Love line from Abingdon Press. When Lynette’s not writing, she divides her time between editing medical reports and chasing down news stories for the Copperas Cove Leader-Press. Lynette was born and raised on the Eastern Shore of Maryland but makes her home in Coppress Cove, Texas, with her husband and a herd of cats who have them well-trained.


Kelly Frost, a textiles conservator, is invited to the Massachusetts coastal city of New Bedford to restore a 150-year-old Mariner's Compass quilt. But there is one stipulation: she must live and work in Gray House, a former whaling captain's home, where the quilt is stored. There she meets Army veteran Tom Pereira, the caretaker of Gray House, whose heart seems as hard as the rocky Massachusetts coastline. Over the long-lit months as Kelly works to restore the quilt, she and Tom grow closer. And as she reads stories in a daily journal penned by Mary Gray, she learns the secrets of the quilt and Mary's own sad tale of regret. Then Tom learns secrets of his own family's past, and both Tom and Kelly learn they are tied to Gray House in ways they never imagined.
If you would like to read the first chapter of Tempest's Course, go HERE.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Rest Not In Peace by Mel Starr

Master Hugh, surgeon and bailiff, is asked to provide a sleeping potion for Sir Henry Burley, a friend and guest of Lord Gilbert at Bampton Castle. Sir Henry--with his current wife, a daughter by a first wife, two knights, two squires, and assorted servants--has outstayed his welcome at Bampton.
The next morning, Sir Henry is found dead, eyes open, in his bed. Master Hugh, despite shrill accusations from the grieving widow, is asked by Lord Gilbert to determine the cause of death . . . which had nothing to do with the potion.
The sixth tale following Hugh de Singleton, Rest Not in Peace is sure to find its place among fans of detective and medieval historical fiction.
My review:
   This is a series of books I wouldn't have thought I'd like as well as I do, but I have enjoyed each and every one of them. I found this sixth book in the series to be the best so far.
  In most, or all of the other books, Hugh has to travel a lot to solve the crime, and in this book, the crimes happen right inside the castle walls. He does make one trip in his crime solving attempts, but most of the story takes place right in and around the castle.
  Some of the same characters are back that were in the other books, along with some new interesting people. In this book, Hugh has two murders to solve, and a handful of suspects.

  I found this book a more suspenseful and faster read than the others, though I have enjoyed all of the books.

About the author:

Mel Starr was born and grew up in Kalamazoo, Michigan. He graduated from Spring Arbor High School in 1960, and Greenville College (Illinois) in 1964. He received an MA in history from Western Michigan University in 1970. He taught history in Michigan public schools for thirty-nine years, thirty-five of those in Portage, MI, where he retired in 2003 as chairman of the social studies department of Portage Northern High School.

Mel married Susan Brock in 1965, and they have two daughters; Amy (Kevin) Kwilinski, of Naperville, IL, and Jennifer (Jeremy) Reivitt, of Portage, MI. Mel and Susan have seven grandchildren. 

Rest Not In Peace is available from Kregel Publishing.

Thanks to Kregel for the review copy.