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11.22.2014

Trading Secrets ~ Review

Trading Secrets
By Melody Carlson

Micah Knight has been keeping a secret for six years.  And the time for the truth has now come.  Her Amish pen-pal thinks she is a boy.  But it wasn't her fault that Zach Miller came to that conclusion. She just never cleared up his misunderstanding.

But when an opportunity to meet face-to-face presents itself Micah has to make a decision.  But does she admit the truth to the person who could very well be her best friend?  Or does she hide the truth yet again and avoid revealing her secret?

Micah's decision could make for one interesting spring break!

This is a book that is sweet and profound.  During life we have choices to make and those choices have an impact on not only our own future but on the futures of those around us.

So many books geared for teens are angst-filled gloom and doom tales of woe.  Trading Secrets won't leave you feeling depressed when you put it down.  This is a meeting of two worlds that create a deeper understanding and appreciation of what we have.  The majority of this book takes place over one week and it is a week which Micah won't soon forget.

If you've read Melody's previous English-meets-Amish books for teens (A Simple Song, My Amish Boyfriend, or Double Take) you know what to expect.  But if you haven't don't worry because these books can stand alone.  You'll take a glimpse into the Amish lifestyle from the view of someone who, like you, is not Amish.

I was provided a copy of this book by Revell through their blogger program in exchange for my honest review.


The truth may set you free--but it might also land you in some uncomfortably hot water.

Over the years, Micah Knight has exchanged many letters--and many secrets--with her longtime Amish pen pal, Zach. But Micah's kept quiet on the biggest secret of all--the fact that despite her name, she's a girl.

Now Micah finally has the chance to meet her pen pal face-to-face. She wants nothing more than to experience life on Zach's Amish farm, but she's more than a little anxious. Will he be angry at her for deceiving him all these years? And will she risk losing his friendship to find something more?



Melody Carlson is the award-winning author of more than two hundred books, including the Dating Games series, the Life at Kingston High series, Double TakeA Simple Song, and My Amish Boyfriend. She has received a Romantic Times Career Achievement Award for her many books, including the Diary of a Teenage Girl series and Finding Alice. Melody and her husband live in Oregon. Learn more at www.melodycarlson.com.

11.20.2014

Let There Be Light ~ Review

Let There Be Light
By Archbishop Desmond Tutu
Illustrated by Nancy Tillman

Share with your little one how God created the world around them out of His love.  Let There Be Light is a retelling of Creation that will engage and share the wonder with young readers (or listeners).  

Each day is beautifully illustrated so that each layer of Creation is visually expressed adding meaning to the actions that are portrayed by word.   

The beauty, perfection, and peaceful harmony of God's Creation is observed on the sixth day when animals and humans were spoken into existence. 

I love the joy that is expressed in God's reaction to His Creation and enjoyment He took in enjoying it on the seventh day.  This is sure to become a favorite book with the little one's in your life.  This would also be a welcome addition to a Children's Church/Nursery program.

With Christmas just around the corner this would be a lovely gift even for a little one who is soon to be expected or a special little someone who likes to cuddle up on your lap for a story before bed.  The illustrations are lovely and just add to the whole delightfully experience.

I was provided a copy of this book through the BookLook blogger program in exchange for my honest review.    


Book Description
A boardbook edition of the popular Let There Be Light, the story of Creation from Nobel Peace Prize winner, bestselling author, and cultural icon Archbishop Desmond Tutu paired with Nancy Tillman, the phenomenally successful New York Times bestselling children’s author/illustrator of On the Night You Were Born.
Now available as a board book, Let There Be Light combines the love and warmth of Nobel Peace Prize Winner Archbishop Desmond Tutu with the extraordinary talents of bestselling illustrator Nancy Tillman. This retelling of the biblical story of creation vividly portrays the wonder and beauty of God’s creation on each of the seven days. Using Archbishop Tutu’s lyrical text from the* Children of God Storybook Bible* and Tillman’s remarkable illustrations, this popular book brings the story of creation to life for readers young and old.
About the Authors
Archbishop Desmond Tutu was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984 for his lifelong struggle to bring equality, justice, and peace to his native country of South Africa. He is the author of numerous books including the Children of God Storybook BibleGod’s Dream, and Desmond and the Very Mean Word. From 2007 to 2013, Tutu was the founding Chair of the Elders, a group of global leaders who are working to promote the shared interests of humanity. In 2013, he received the Templeton Prize for advancing spiritual progress in the world. He lives in South Africa with his wife, Leah. They have four children and seven grandchildren.
Nancy Tillman is the author and illustrator of the bestselling picture book On the Night You Were Born; its companion journal, The Wonder of YouThe Spirit of Christmas; and the New York Times bestsellers Wherever You Are, My Love Will Find You and The Crown on Your Head. She also created the mischievous cat Tumford fromTumford the Terrible and Tumford’s Rude Noises, and illustrated It’s Time to Sleep, My Love, by Eric Metaxas.

11.19.2014

The Christmas Cat ~ Review

The Christmas Cat
By Melody Carlson

When Garrison Brown's grandmother died, he had to find her beloved cats homes.  But finding homes for six cats is more difficult than one would think it would be.  Especially with the requirements his grandmother wanted followed.

But Garrison is determined to follow her instructions and hopefully have all the cats placed within a couple of weeks.  And with his severe allergies to cats the task is twice as daunting.  But a good home is a must.

The Christmas Cat is delightful story that will warm your heart as Garrison seeks to honor his grandmother and fulfill her last wishes.  Garrison also learns that some decisions can't be rushed.

Garrison is at a crossroads in his life, trying to discover where he belongs after years abroad.  And a young woman, a troubled young man, a grandmotherly neighbor and a household of cats are about to help him discover just who he really is.

If you love Christmas stories The Christmas Cat is one you want to read.  And what Christmas story would be complete without a heart-touching revelation that evokes a change for the better?  This is a feel-good book that will leave you with a smile and a warmth in your heart.

Do you someone in your life who loves kitties?  Or all animals for that matter?  Well, this is the perfect Christmas book to give them this Christmas season.

I was provided a copy of this book through Revell's blogger program in exchange for my honest review.

About the Book:

He felt his face flushing as Cara opened the door. Wearing a garnet-colored knit dress and with her dark hair pinned up, she looked even prettier than he remembered. Suddenly he wished he'd thought to bring a hostess gift. Like a cat.

After years abroad, Garrison Brown finds himself at the home of his beloved grandmother who has just passed away. He must sort out her belongings, including six cats who need new homes. While he hopes to dispense with the task quickly--especially since he is severely allergic to cats--his grandmother's instructions don't allow for speed. She has left some challenging requirements for the future homes of her furry friends.

Can he match the cats with the perfect new owners? And is it possible that he might meet his own match along the way?

Melody Carlson is the award-winning author of over two hundred books with sales of more than six million. She is the author of several Christmas books, including the bestselling The Christmas BusThe Christmas Dog, andChristmas at Harrington's, as well as The Christmas Pony and A Simple Christmas Wish. She received aRomantic Times Career Achievement Award in the inspirational market for her many books, including the Diary of a Teenage Girl series and Finding Alice. She and her husband live in central Oregon. Learn more atwww.melodycarlson.com.

11.16.2014

Safe Haven ~ Review


Safe Haven
The Peacemakers 3
By Anna Schmidt

Suzanne Randolph made a mistake and her career is the causality.  But she has a chance to resurrect both her career and her dream.  Just under 1000 displaced refugees are being brought to America as guests of the President.  But these guests are confined to a camp in Oswego, New York, and they will be sent back to wherever they came from when the war ends.

Suzanne needs to find the story.  The story that will make the difference in the lives of these people who have lost everything.  The story that will erase her mistake.  The story that will make her career. And meeting Theo Bridgewater just might be the story she's looking for - his aunt, uncle, and young cousin are three of these displaced people who have no future until the war's end.

But there is more to Oswego than Suzanne expected and she just might rediscover the Light that was once the focus and center of her life.  And maybe she'll find the peace she once had.

Safe Haven is the perfect conclusion to the Peacemakers series.  Unlike the first two books, this book is set entirely in America and not Europe.  The war in Europe is drawing to a close and we are able to discover the fate of Joseph and Beth; Ilse, Franz, and Liesl; and Detlef Buch.

Taking place over a little more than a year we discover little known facts about life in America for both the few displaced persons who managed to be allowed entry into the country and even the fate of POWs who were brought here.  This is Historical fiction that will touch you and leave with a thirst to discover more about this troubled and turbulent time that left a mark on the world.

I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher Shiloh Run Press through BookFun/TBCN in exchange for my honest review.

About the Book:

When journalist Suzanne Randolph hears about FDR’s plan to bring a boatload of displaced WWII refugees to America, she knows it may be her last chance to redeem her flagging career. Suzanne follows the story to Oswego, New York, where she meets Theo Bridgewater, a Quaker dairy farmer from Wisconsin who has come to reunite with his uncle and aunt and cousin. Theo’s fight to spare his relatives the return to Germany becomes Suzanne’s fight as she does everything that the “power of the pen” can muster to help win public sympathy for the cause.


About the Author:

Anna Schmidt is a three-time finalist for the coveted RITA award presented annually by Romance Writers of America. Her novel A SISTER’S FORGIVENESS gives Anna her fourth finalist honor for the Reviewers’ Choice Awards from Romantic Times magazine. She has won that award twice before.

Anna is the author of over twenty-five works of historical and contemporary fiction including her most recent series—THE PEACEMAKERS – set in World War II.   All God’s Children was released last fall and tells the story of Beth—an American Quaker trapped in Nazi Germany where she finds herself fall in love with Josef—a young German medical student who is determined to save his beloved homeland from Hitler’s oppressive regime. Publisher’s Weekly had high praise for the novel noting that "The activities of the White Rose resistance group, as well as the prisoner uprising at the Sobibor concentration camp, are more than simple historical context. Schmidt seamlessly integrates these actual events, and the courageous real-life individuals who fought against Hitler’s regime, with her fictional characters and their story, to produce a strong tale of hope and love in the face of insurmountable obstacles."

In Book 2 Simple Faith, Anja--a young Danish woman and friend of Beth’s continues the fight against tyranny as she helps Peter, an American airman shot down over occupied Belgium, return to his base in England. The final book in the series—Safe Haven—was published in September, 2014 and is set in America—in the small upstate New York town of Oswego where a disgraced journalist tries to revive her career telling the story of the refugees from Europe who spent eighteen long months held in a fort there waiting for the war to end.

11.15.2014

Radically Normal ~ Review

Radically Normal
By Josh Kelley
You don't have to live crazy to follow Jesus...

Do you ever feel that you're just not good enough to call yourself a Christian?  Do you feel guilty when you attend church services because you aren't out on the mission field taking the Gospel to other countries?  Did you grow-up with the understanding that only those who were out actively preaching and pointing out the sins of others the only true believers?

Well, this isn't the message Jesus taught.  Jesus reached out to the sinner, but He didn't do it from a position of power.  He didn't try to draw attention to Himself - He even asked those He healed to speak not of this.

Living life with a 9 - 5 job is not a sin in God's eyes.  You can find joy in this life living the life God gave you.  How you live a normal life can be a witness to those around you.  You can get rid of the guilt and live with a hope to your future new life.

I really enjoyed reading chapter 17 This Life Matters we are the temple of the Holy Spirit (God) and how we treat our bodies can be a sign of how we honor God.  And our care for others, Christians or non-Christians, is an outward reflection of God's care for the least of these and our love for Him.

Normal is good and not something to be ashamed of, so be Radical by being you!

I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher though BookFun/TBCN in exchange for my honest review.

About the Book:

What if being a radical Christian didn’t have to mean selling everything and becoming a missionary to India? What if it could mean settling down and enjoying your normal, God-given life in extraordinary ways? It’s time to reexamine the Bible, put an end to the guilt, and get on with living the abundant life Jesus promised. Radically Normal: You Don't Have to Live Crazy to Follow Jesus is an invitation to do just that. Along the way it takes a new look at several old challenges:
How to be a good Christian (and witness) with out being weird
How to find greatness in your everyday life
Why spiritual stuff isn’t innately better or holier than earthly stuff.
How holiness leads to happiness and obedience is meant to increase joy.
Why selling all your possessions is not necessarily holier than keeping them.
How enjoying this life is meant to increase your desire for the next.

Read an excerpt.

About the Author:

Hi, my name is Josh. I grew up in western Washington in a loving Christian home. In 1999, I graduated from LIFE Pacific College in San Dimas, CA, with a BA in Biblical Studies and a minor in Biblical Languages. Later I did graduate work in Biblical Studies at Trinity Western University in Langley, Canada and was also an adjunct professor at Pacific Life Bible College in Surrey, Canada for one year. Marilyn and I met at college and got married in 1999. We have two daughters who are the joy of our life. Aside from my family and my God, my two greatest joys are reading a good book and enjoying the all the glories of this world God has made - from sunsets to good food and drink with friends.

Since 2007, I've been the the pastor of The Gathering Christian Church. Prior to that, I was an assistant pastor at His Place Community Church and continue to serve as their “Bible expert.” I'm also on the President of the Board of Directors for our local homeless shelter, The Friendship House.

11.14.2014

Seven Steps to Authorpreneurship ~ Review

Seven Steps to Authorpreneurship 
by Rochelle Carter

Have you ever wanted to write a book?  Well, writing a book is only the first step.  Publishing it is second.  And the most important part is letting the world know it is out there.

Getting the word out is a full time job in and of itself and Rochelle Carter shares various strategies on how to accomplish this goal.  Writing is your business and now is the time to learn how to do it well.

Offering tried and true methods and unique tricks others have employed you will soon be able to put these strategies to work for you.

From social media blasts to opening a One Book bookstore find the perfect fit for you and your book. And don't forget to use blogs and bloggers in your strategy, who knows you too may be featured here!

I was provided a copy of this book through BookFun/TBCN in exchange for my honest review.  

About the book:
Endorsed by bestselling authors and industry professionals, these 7 Steps are THE guide to approaching your writing career like a business.

Whether you are writing fiction or non-fiction, multi-published or aspiring to publication, independently published or contracted with a publishing house, you need The 7-Step Guide to Authorpreneurship. This how-to handbook will guide you through each phase of your writing career to create a business that generates regular income while allowing you to do what you love. Loaded with well-organized information, plus practical tips and strategies, this guide will become a trusted resource you consult again and again as your build your career.

In a market flooded with advice for writers, there are very few books merging the concept of being an author and an entrepreneur. This guide is the first to truly take authors from concept to execution. The end result is a blending of the entrepreneurial spirit with writing talent to create a successful business achieving the personal and professional goals writers aim for.

Authors, create your own success!

About the Author:
Rochelle Carter is the Publisher at Ellechor Media LLC, an award-winning publishing company with three imprints. She is the international bestselling author of The 7-Step Guide To Authorpreneurship, a book widely endorsed by bestselling authors and industry professionals that is designed to help authors have a successful career.

Carter has received national recognition for her leadership and professional achievements, including the 2014 Stiletto Woman in Business Award for Entrepreneur of the Year. Her imprints have published over 40 books in less than three years, 98% of which enjoy 4-star or higher Amazon ratings. Her titles include award winning novels and international best sellers.

Carter’s next venture will be focused on creating Independent, Innovative and Iconic 21st Century authors through The Authorpreneurship Project.

Surprised by Love ~ Review

Surprised by Love
The Heart of San Francisco 3
By Julie Lessman

Megan McClare has returned after a year in Paris.  And she looks nothing like the young woman who went away.  But Megan still has the same insecurities that she had a year ago.  And only when she's with Bram does she feel secure.  But Bram seems different somehow, yet he is still her best friend and able to give her the help she needs as she confronts the new world that is opening before.  And he encourages her as she finds herself having to work with Devin Caldwell - the bane of her childhood existence.

But someone is about to capture Megan's heart, but can she capture his?  With her new appearance, Megan's turning heads she can only hope and pray that she turns the right one.  With the love of her family surrounding her Megan tursts them to help her know her own heart.

Meanwhile the interesting and varying relationship between Caitlyn and Logan that has been at the heart of this series is again at work on their hearts.  Trust is at the center of their relationship, and Cait is still vulnerable to Logan's past betrayal. And then there is Andrew Turner a man vying for her heart.

As the two McClare women make choices of the heart they are setting in motion their futures.  But will they choose the love of their lives or will they settle for second best and make do?

Surprised by Love sees further change coming into the lives of the McClare family and in their efforts to improve the lives of those living on and around the Barbary Coast.  Take a step back in time to 1904 San Francisco.  Life may have been simpler as far as technological advances, but life is never simple when the heart is involved.

I was provided a copy of this book through Revell's blogger program in exchange for my honest review.


She can turn the head of the man who spurned her--but can she turn his heart?

When Megan McClare left San Francisco to study in Paris, no one would accuse her of being poised and pretty. But on the other side of the Atlantic, this wallflower blossomed into a beauty with big dreams. When she returns to California and accepts an internship at the district attorney's office, she's thrilled that her life is taking shape. But the exciting opportunity quickly loses its glow when she discovers she'll be working alongside Devin Caldwell, who mercilessly mocked her at school--and with whom she was hopelessly enamored.

Bram Hughes is the best friend to whom Megan has always turned for support and advice. But when she seeks his counsel about working with Devin Caldwell, Bram's vision is clouded by his sudden unwelcome attraction to a girl he had always thought of as a little sister. He advises forgiveness, but can he forgive himself for pushing the woman he loves into the arms of another man?

Author Julie Lessman draws a romantic triangle that will touch your heart in this glittering Gilded Age tale of transforming love.


Julie Lessman is an award-winning author of The Daughters of Boston series, the Winds of Change series, and The Heart of San Francisco series. The recipient of seventeen Romance Writers of America and other awards, Lessman was chosen as the #1 Romance Fiction Author of the Year in the Family Fiction magazine 2011 and 2012 Readers' Choice Awards. She resides in Missouri with her family. Learn more at
 www.julielessman.com.