Director’s Cut by Janice Thompson…From Revell Publishers

The Director’s Cut

By Janice Thompson

About the Book and Praise for Janice Thompson

The one thing she can’t direct is her heart.

Tia Morales is used to calling the shots. She’s the director of the popular sitcom Stars Collide, and her life on the set is calculated and orderly. Well, most of the time. Life outside the studio is another matter. If only she could get other people to behave as well as her stars do! When she starts to have feelings for handsome cameraman Jason Harris–with whom she’s been butting heads for months–it’s enough to send a girl over the edge. Will she ever learn to let go and take life–and love–as it comes?

Full of the humor and crazy family dynamics Janice Thompson fans have come to love, this colorful story gives you an inside look at Hollywood and a healthy dose of romance.

If you want more of Bella, DJ, Brock Benson, and other favorite characters from Janice Thompson, you’ll love the Backstage Pass series.

MY THOUGHTS ON THIS BOOK!

This is a wonderful ending to a wonderful and fun series that I thoroughly enjoyed. Tia is a fun but determined young lady, well, she was just plain out a control freak. Being the director of the hit TV show Stars Collide wasn’t always easy and it wasn’t always easy to stay in control of things, which is what Tia thrived on.

Mia’s life took an interesting turn when she started falling for cameraman Jason. Does Jason have his work cut out for him trying to calm Tia down enough to enjoy life?

Knowing nothing about behind the scenes of a TV sitcom, I was fascinated buy the inside information I read in Director’s Cut. And I enjoyed getting to know both sides of the characters, the on and off screen. And Janice Thompson pulls the story together beautifully.

In the summertime it’s nice to find books that are a nice light, fast, fun and exciting read to take you away for a few days, and The Director’s Cut is just this read! Grab a copy to read and enjoy for yourself, or to take on vacation so you can have some nice ‘you’ time.

Available June 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group

This book was provided by Revel Publishers for me to read and review. I was not expected or required to write a positive review. The opinions in this review are mine only.

Praise for Janice Thompson

Hello, Hollywood!

“Thompson writes an enjoyable story that will make you want to adopt the Pappas family as your own.”–RT Book Reviews

“I love Janice’s writing and this book is no different. From start to finish, I enjoyed reading more about Athena and her life story. She is a character that I really connect with and enjoy.”– TheNearSightedBookworm.blogspot.com

“Janice provides an upbeat and engaging story and her readers will adore Hello, Hollywood!.”–RelzReviews.com

“Faith, romance, hilarious quotes about Greeks, Zeus the possessed dog, and an entertaining story will have you hungry for more Janice Thompson!”–FiveStarBooksandMore.blogspot.com

“This fun entry in Thompson’s comic Hollywood series (after Stars Collide) features humor, romance, and breezy dialog.”–Library Journal

 

Stars Collide

“An eclectic mix of the sort of zany characters Thompson is known for adds levity to this modern, star-studded romance. Glimpses into a Hollywood television studio and a series of lively comedic events make for a contemporary low-key inspirational romance that will appeal to readers who enjoyed the setting and humor of Rene Gutteridge’s Occupational Hazards series.”–Booklist

“A fun novel of love, paparazzi, and family, Stars Collide is a read that won’t easily be put down.”–Midwest Book Review

Advertisements

FIRST Wild Card Tours presents Shannon Deitz and “Exposed”

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:
Shannon Deitz
and the book:
Exposed
Hopeful Heart Ministries (May 18, 2012)
***Special thanks to Rick Roberson for sending me a review copy.***
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Shannon Deitz is a woman in love with God and excited about her faith. But it wasn’t always that way. While still a teen, her boyfriend was tragically killed in an auto accident, and she began to question a God who would claim a young man with so much life yet to be lived. At the fragile age of seventeen, she was raped and she began to distrust a God who would allow such a thing. Again, as a freshman in college, she was raped a second time, and she began to earnestly put as much distance between herself and God as she possibly could. At the age of 27, having run from God as far as she could go, she found herself at the bottom of a life that was no longer tolerable. Having no place to go but up, she looked to Heaven. And there was God, surrounding her with His peace. It was the beginning of a love story that has grown more beautiful with each passing day.

Shortly after her love affair with God began in earnest, Deitz felt a distinct calling to begin teaching the teens at her local church. Her work with teens led to a full-time youth ministry. Within the next four years, that ministry bloomed, allowing her to witness God’s amazing work in her church and her life. In 2007, her youth group was voted in the top five of EWTN’s Catholic Youth Groups in the United States, and in 2008 she was invited to speak on God’s unfailing love at the World Youth Day Festivities in Sydney, Australia. In 2011, she was again asked to speak at the WYD Festivities in Madrid, Spain.

Deitz has also served as a team speaker for the Franciscan University Steubenville Youth Conferences in Ohio, Louisiana, Florida, Minnesota, Rhode Island and Washington State, collectively reaching more than 40,000 teenagers. She also reaches out to her audiences through her popular blog, www.ShannonMDeitz.com .

Deitz has been a ‘featured columnist’ on CatholicLane.com. She and her husband, Neal, live in Kingwood, Texas, where they are active in their local church and community. The couple has two sons, Ryan and Seth, who provide them with endless joy and reason to continually count their blessings.

Information regarding her book and current speaking schedule may be found on the site, as well as specifics for engaging her as a speaker for an upcoming event.
Visit the author’s website.

SHORT BOOK DESCRIPTION:

We all yearn to be loved. It is our self-imposed litmus test for worthiness-our way of confirming we are special and knowing that we matter. Acclaimed author and speaker Shannon Deitz understands that yearning well. Raped at seventeen and then again as a freshman in college, she felt completely bypassed by love. Rebelling against the violent attacks on her body and struggling to quiet the pain through self-abuse, her feelings of worthlessness eventually became so palpable she could not fathom how anyone-most especially God-could love her. This only caused her to push deeper into her own torment.

Then, at the age of 27, unable to fight the battle raging inside her any longer, she gave it all up. Face down on her bedroom floor with her life in shambles all around her, Deitz surrendered every aspect of her being to God. She gave up the self-judgment, the condemnation, the need to be better. She let it all go. And, in that moment, every fear faded away and for the first time since childhood she experienced true peace.

Now, a dozen years later, having shared her remarkable story of transformation in her critically-acclaimed and award-winning book, Exposed: Inexcusable Me…Irreplaceable Him (Pleasant Word Publishing, 2010), Deitz is taking her message to audiences across the country and abroad. Passionately sharing her own story, she unabashedly offers new hope to the hopeless and rekindles flames in coals of faith grown cold.

 

My Thoughts On This Book

Sometimes books we read are awesome, but not at all easy to read, and thats the way “Exposed” was for me. Shannon Deitz shares her life, and the horrific things she had endured, leaving her with the reasoning that no one loves her. And anyone reading her story can’t blame her at all. I cried quite  bit while reading Shannon’s story because no one should have to go through being raped twice! I can’t imagine the heartwrenching times she faced, and feeling unloved and alone all the while.

But praise the Lord He stepped in and did a 180 degree change in the life of Shannon Deitz. After that one night on her bedroom floor, she stood up a changed woman. She was no longer alone, she had Jesus to take every step with her. That makes you want to shout doesn’t it! Shannon’s book will be one that I will keep on my beside table for a while. “Exposed” is truly a reminder that God can and will change lives when we let Him in. I appreciate Shannon’s willingness and bravery to tell her story. Imagine how many people will find peace because of Shannon’s testimony! I highly recommend this book to anyone, because we all need to be reminded of just how great our God really is.

This book was provided by B&B Media and First WildCard tours. I was not required or expected to write a positive review. The opinions in this review are mine only.

 

Product Details:

List Price: $14.99

Paperback: 304 pages

Publisher: Hopeful Heart Ministries (May 18, 2012)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0985250305

ISBN-13: 978-0985250300

AND NOW…THE FIRST CHAPTER:

PrefaceWhy me?

I have asked this question many times in my life. Growing up, I wondered why I felt so ugly and wanted so much attention, why my older sister told me secrets I never wanted to hear, why it felt like our family was falling apart and I couldn’t do anything to stop it, and why it felt like bad things kept happening to me and I never could catch a break.

The most common response would be that “it all happens for a reason.” Looking back, however, it is obvious to me that is not necessarily true. I cannot ignore the decisions that were made on my part, or my sister’s, friends’, family’s, or acquaintances’, and not recognize the course life took because of our decisions.

Some would argue that God is the reason. God is in the illnesses or forces of nature that strike hard and uproot your core existence, forcing your hand in strength and causing your tomorrows to change. Everything else? Well, that is due to an abuse of God’s gift of free will. I cannot look back at my life and ignore the fact that free will, on my part or the part of others in my life, led to life-altering circumstances.

What it comes down to is the reaction.

How do I respond? How do I move forward? What do I internalize? To whom do I turn?

When a stranger among the 1.2 million Catholic Young Adults that had gathered for the 2005 World Youth Day festivities in Köln, Germany called me by name, I didn’t have time to respond, react, or internalize. I only knew that I needed to go and listen.

Once I heard the message, I could no longer feel sorry for myself or throw out blame. I was called by name, and it was about time I reacted.

Why me? Why not?

The ‘Nothing’ Child

Amen, I say to you, whoever does not accept the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it (Mark 10:15)

In the beginning, under the watchful eye of an enormous thunderbird, wings outstretched, in the barren, blistering city of El Paso, outlined with white rock alongside Coronado Mountain, our family of six struggled against the clashing waves of good and evil. At the age of seven, far too young to comprehend the very real but incomprehensible battle, I was sucked into the undertow.

Perched like a vulture on the arm of the couch, with her bronze legs folded up to her chest, my thirteen year old sister Carrie smirked and said, “I’m not your sister.” My older brother, Kyle, who was only seventeen months younger than Carrie, sat beside her and laughed, “Yeah! We’re not your brother and sister!”

“Yes. You. Are!” I protested each word sharply and with great calculation. Carrie and Kyle were inclined to gang up on me, when all I longed for was to be accepted and involved in everything my siblings did and invited to every place they went.

“Nope,” Carrie said. “Daddy is not my daddy.”

My undeveloped mind could not grasp what she was trying to say. Of course Daddy was her daddy! We had the same sandy hair. My face was a little more round than theirs, but they were all I knew as family. No one was supposed to look alike anyway. In a flash of a moment, the world I knew to be predictable and safe was shaken and unrecognizable.

I ran to Mom, who was busy in the utility room sewing a dress for one of us girls, flung my arms around her waist, and wailed, “Carrie says she’s not my sister!” Carrie and Kyle, who had been running close behind me, stopped short and nearly toppled on top of us when they reached the door. My sobs were muffled in Mom’s lap, but I could still hear the disappointment in her voice.

“She is your sister, and that is not nice to say.”

My head shot up in a flash. “See! You’re lying!”

“No we’re not!” Kyle insisted. “Dad is not our dad, Mom.”

Mom sighed a long, slow, “the weight of the world had just been dumped on her shoulders” sigh. I looked into her green eyes, and for the first time I really saw her. She had jet black hair that was cropped and straight—completely the opposite of my waist-length, wavy mop– and a beautiful, small oval face with a smile that radiated warmth and love. We looked nothing alike.

Fear came alive within me. “Am I adopted?”

“No, Shannon,” she sighed again, “but your daddy did adopt Carrie and Kyle.”

“See,” Kyle said as he tapped my shoulder. “I told you so.” He and Carrie started to laugh, and I wailed louder.

Mom called for my father. “Tom!”

“What?” he shouted from the living room.

Mom pulled me up with her as she stood. “Let’s all go into the TV room. We need to have a family talk.”

Within the sanctity of my home, amidst those closest and dearest to me, who I knew to be my family, I was prematurely stripped of the honor young children have to be naïve and carefree.

Tears began to build at the corner of Mom’s serene eyes as she explained the details of her first marriage in a way that my young mind could comprehend. It wasn’t until I was in college, struggling through my own personal trials, that I finally understood the story and became privy to the rest of her secrets.

Mom’s first marriage was sad, abusive, and short-lived. It began soon after high school and ended when her husband returned home from Vietnam. The demise of her innocence, however, began much earlier.

Mom’s earliest memory goes back to when she was still in her crib, and it is the first of ten years of memories of a stolen childhood and loss of innocence. The eldest of five, she was the only one to claim the pink bow in her testosterone filled home. “Thank God,” she’d say. If her brothers had been girls, they, too, would have suffered at the perverted hands of her father.

Like many girls who suffer in silence, to the outside world my mother seemed to have it all. She was captain of the cheerleading squad, bubbly, bright, and envied by her friends. At home, she was envied by her mother. But my mother did not ask for the kind of attention she got from her father. Instead, she spent her teen years pushing every memory of him into a tiny black box in the corner of her mind, and began seeking after the love her young soul craved.

Pregnant too young and married too young, Mom entered into a new world of abuse, orchestrating a spiraling descent that eventually led her into recovery. The box was opened, and she wanted to heal, help, and forgive.

As a seven-year-old, I couldn’t help but wonder where this past marriage left me. Where did I fit in? Was this why Carrie and Kyle were always giving me a hard time, when all I wanted was to be with them?

My mind reeled as I realized the obvious gap that had formed between us as children. Carrie and Kyle were so close in age, and they were five and six years ahead of me. Morgan and I were three years apart. Morgan was the baby. She was cute and entertaining, and I felt like an annoyance. The divide between us created a festering knot of insecurity.

“I’m nothing!” I wailed, perched on Dad’s lap with my head tilted back dramatically.

Giggling, Dad mustered a serious tone. “You are too something. You’re my little girl.”

“No!” With great zeal, I shook my head and added, “Carrie’s the oldest, Kyle’s the only boy, and Morgan’s the youngest! What am I? Nothing!” For my young mind, this was the truth.

One afternoon, Carrie changed course with a simple gesture of kindness. Desperate for her acceptance, I jumped at the opportunity.

“Hey, Shannon, come here for a sec,” Carrie called as she walked past my room and into her own.

“Is this a trick?” I thought. Fueled by excitement and honor, I jumped up from the floor. She never asked me into her room, but, after hesitating, I stepped in.

“Hey, come here,” she said. “I want to show you something.” She was on her stomach with her legs fanned out on the bed.

Without hesitation, I hopped up onto her bed and sat Indian style beside her. Her profile was magnetic, and in that moment I couldn’t help but stare. As far as I knew, my time in her room and presence was limited. But the more I stared, the sadder I felt. Carrie was a classic beauty. Her eyes were a petite almond shape and tortoise green. Mine were round as quarters and mint blue. The slope of her nose finished into a defined and delicate tip, and mine formed a small but not so delicate round ball. Everything about Carrie was distinct and defined yet feminine at the same time, and, even though I was still a young girl, everything about me was unusual. I had big round eyes, full lips, and a widow’s peak that came to a dramatic point in the middle of my forehead.

She held a shiny piece of paper that looked like a small poster. I looked over her shoulder to see what held her attention. It was a list including photographs of pills in all shapes, sizes, and colors, with their names below them.

“I’ve done this one, and this one . . . and this one,” she said, smiling with a strange satisfaction as she pointed out the various medications she had taken. That was what I thought, at least—that they were just pills. Medicine. I never understood why she was pointing out pills, and giggled as she did so, but then again, I was in her room and she was paying attention to me. That was all that mattered.

Of course, I knew nothing about recreational drugs. I knew there was a big scare about not accepting stickers from strangers because there was some kind of poison called LSD on the backs of them. I knew not to talk to strangers or take anything from them. Carrie was not a stranger.

That wasn’t the last of the invites into her room. No longer was I nothing. Instead, I felt like something, because Carrie, the most beautiful, funny, and perfect girl was finally taking notice of me, her bratty half-sister.

For months I trailed behind Carrie and her new boyfriend, Jose. I sat in on their conversations and make-out sessions, being sure not to be seen but staying close enough to be there if she needed me for anything. It was fascinating to witness the same girl who would sometimes rant and practically spit bile at my parents become giddy when this boy was around, often to the point of being taken over by hysterical laughter. The medications she had pointed out in her room were never seen. I was unsure if she was taking anything. If anything, this boy was a cure for whatever had made her sad and angry.

I noticed that the more Jose was around, the more Mom and Dad would yell at night when I was supposed to be sleeping. I would hear the door to Carrie’s room slam, and I would press my ear up to the wall that separated us and listen to her muffled cries and curses. Sitting on the corner of my bed, I would pray to God, asking him to make my parents leave her alone. All I knew of God was that he was our protector and I needed him to protect her.

One night, I gathered up the courage to leave the safety of my room and enter Carrie’s without her permission. She was sitting in the corner, scratching on her desk with the tip of a ballpoint pen. “What do you want?” she grumbled.

“Are you okay?” I whispered, afraid that if my parents heard me in her room she would get in more trouble.

She shrugged her shoulders with little effort. “They don’t get it. They are so stupid.”

“Yeah,” I said in bogus agreement. I didn’t think my parents were stupid, but I was desperate for Carrie’s approval.

Her face softened when she turned to look at me, and she stopped tormenting her desk. I smiled because I knew I had said the right thing. I am not sure what she saw in me at that moment, or if she ever truly considered me a friend, but I was the only one around who was eager to listen. A sense of trust began to develop between us.

Weeks and months passed, and I became more knowledgeable about what Carrie was doing as I listened in on various conversations of her sexual prowess, hearing words that made no sense, and feeling the air around me thicken with sounds and moans that sounded as if she were being wounded. And during her last years in our home, I unintentionally witnessed these acts that were beyond my years and understanding.

When it came to Carrie, nothing ever felt right. She was like an injured animal that had lost trust in the ones who wanted to help her most. When I was sucked into this vortex, spinning uncontrollably as Carrie whirled around in the air above, battling the unfair tactics of parents and social propriety, I hadn’t even reached puberty. She was beyond reach, and although I had become so immersed in her teenage world, I was still a helpless child, looking up and desperately trying to save her.

None of us were aware. My mother’s demons had entered into my sister’s world wreaking this havoc in our family. Carrie was only six when her innocence was stolen. Mom thought she could protect us by keeping a watchful eye and she took a chance by taking us with her to attend a family reunion. Unfortunately, my grandfather’s disease was never cured. Tainted by someone she loved and trusted, my sister did not know how to create that tiny black box in the corner of her mind to block the sickness of what he did to her. Instead, she retaliated against the pain she held inside never sharing her dark secret. Like my mother, she, too, sought after love and healing, but never through healthy means or relationships.

In many ways, he hurt me, too—not physically, but through Carrie’s retaliation and through her search for the love that his disease created. All I did was love my sister. All I wanted was to see her happy and be able to witness God’s protection. I wanted to finally rest inside, because I knew she would be OK. Instead, my hope faded with each passing day.

CFBA Presents …….Doctor’s Devotion by Cheryl Wyatt

This week, theChristian Fiction Blog Allianceis introducingDoctor’s DevotionLove Inspired (June 19, 2012)byCheryl WyattABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Born Valentine’s Day on a Navy base, Cheryl Wyatt writes military romance. Her Steeple Hill debuts earned RT Top Picks plus #1 and #4 on eHarlequin’s Top 10 Most-Blogged-About-Books, lists including NYT Bestsellers. Cheryl loves interacting with her readers and can be found almost daily on Facebook.

Word from the Author:

I do regular giveaways including a Kindle for every 250 people who join (aka “Like) my Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/CherylWyattAuthor and I’d LOVE for word to spread about that. We have a lot of fun there as I ask for frequent reader input on current books, with helpers being mentioned in the acknowledgements and fun stuff like that.
ABOUT THE BOOK

A Doctor’s Vow.

When he fled Eagle Point years ago, former air force trauma surgeon Mitch Wellington left only broken dreams behind. Now he’s back with a new dream—opening a trauma center in the rural area and saving lives. He hopes to hire the quick-thinking nurse who impressed him during an emergency. But Lauren Bates lost her faith and doesn’t believe she deserves to help anyone. Mitch knows firsthand what loss feels like. And it’ll take all his devotion to show Lauren that sometimes the best medicine is a combination of faith, community—and love.

Eagle Point Emergency: Saving lives—and losing their hearts—in a small Illinois town.

If you would like to read an excerpt of the first chapter of Doctor’s Devotion, go HERE.

My Thoughts on this book!

Wow I have a lot of thoughts, including the super nice handsome Doctor! But what I really like about Mitch is his sensitivity to his patients. The most touching part of the book is when Mitch leaned over and kissed the teen in a coma on the forehead. It brought tears to my eyes, just as it did Lauren. And I love, love Lem. He is the most precious grandfather, just like my own grandaddy and my dad as well. Brought back many memories of both, and I miss them so much.

This is a awesome summer read, the romance between Mitch and Lauren, or lack of it sometimes, will keep your nose in the book! Grandpa Lem was trying so very hard to spark interest between the two. He has two reasons for that, he wanted Lauren back in his life, and he wanted to make sure she was taken care of when he was gone. And what better man for her that the man that now calls Lem gramps, because Lem is like a grandad to Mitch and has been for a long time. Lem was alonely man, and Mitch made sure he was taken care of.

I highly recommend this book for your enjoyment. If you are a romance buff, you will love Doctor’s Devotion for sure. Cheryl Wyatt is a wonderful romance storyteller, and I will sure be looking for more of her books.

This book was provided by CFBA for me to read and review. The opinions in this review are mine only.

Five Miles South of Peculiar

Five Miles South of Peculiar

 

Five Miles South of Peculiar CoverDarlene Caldwell has spent a lifetime tending Sycamores, an estate located five miles south of a small town called Peculiar. She raised a family in the spacious home that was her grandfather’s legacy and she enjoys being a pillar of the community . . . until her limelight-stealing twin sister unexpectedly returns.

 

Carlene Caldwell, veteran of the Broadway stage, is devastated when she realizes that a botched throat surgery has spelled the end of her musical career. Searching for a new purpose in life, she retreats to Sycamores, her childhood home.

 

Haunted by a tragic romance, Magnolia Caldwell is the youngest of the Caldwell girls. Nolie spends her days caring for her dogs and the magnificent gardens she’s created, but when she meets a man haunted by tragedy, she must find the courage to either deny her heart or cut the apron strings that tie her to a dear and familiar place.

MY THOUGHTS ON THIS BOOK

Five Miles Sough of Peculiar is the Caldwell Estate. Darlene, almost fifty, a widow with her two children living far away rules the roost at the family estate. Living there with her is Magnolia, forty something and never been married, and loves her dogs and gardens. And then there is Carlene, almost fifty divorced, no children, and not to singing career, who left home after high school to pursue this singing career and never looked back. Then we meet Eric Payne, a divorced preacher who was kicked out of the church because his wife left him and never came back, living in the Caldwell estate working as a handyman. And now to forget the mayor, who also owns the Piggly Wiggly grocery story where his mayor office resides.

Mix these five main characters up and you have a story that is sure to make you smile. The three Caldwell girls are as different as can be, in looks and personality. All is going somewhat well, Darlene has the hooks on the mayor and wanting a proposal from him. But then the preacher comes by need room and board and a job and Nolia can’t seem to stay away from him, which irks Darlene. Of course everything and everyone irks Darlene. And we can’t forget Carlene the singer, who is not a singer anymore because of a botched medical procedure done on her throat. Then Carlene decided to come home for a visit, and to the birthday bash in honor of she and her twin sister Darlene’s fiftieth birthday and everything goes haywire.

I’ve only read a few of Angela Hunt’s books, and I don’t know why it’s just been a few. I will sure been on the lookout for all of them in the future. I love, love this one. I always love stories or people growing up in small hometowns, I guess it brings back memories of my own hometown where I grew up. Angela has been crying, smiling, and even laughing as I read this wonderful heartfelt book. We see how the choices Darlene and Carlene made caused hard feeling between the two, and there was clearly forgiveness that was needed. And Nolie shows us how we can be content and happy in even the smallest things.

I highly recommend this awesome contemporary read for your summer reading enjoyment.

This book was provided by Glass Road Public Relations for a review. I was not expected or required to write a positive review. The opinions in this review are mine only.!

About Angela Hunt

Angela Hunt PhotoWith nearly 4 million copies of her books sold worldwide, Angela Hunt is the bestselling author of more than one hundred books, including The Tale of Three Trees, Don’t Bet Against Me, The Note, and The Nativity Story. Her nonfiction book Don’t Bet Against Me, written with Deanna Favre, spent several weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. She and her husband make their home in Florida with their dogs. Learn more about Angela at AngelaElwellHunt.com.

 

 

 

CFBA Presents The Search by Shelley Shepard Gray

This week, theChristian Fiction Blog Allianceis introducingThe SearchAvon Inspire; Original edition (June 19, 2012)byShelley Shepard GrayABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Since 2000, Shelley Sabga has sold over thirty novels to numerous publishers, including HarperCollins, Harlequin, Abingdon Press, and Avon Inspire. She has been interviewed by NPR, and her books have been highlighted in numerous publications, including USA Today and The Wall Street Journal.

Under the name Shelley Shepard Gray, Shelley writes Amish romances for HarperCollins’ inspirational line, Avon Inspire. Her recent novel, The Protector, the final book in her “Families of Honor” series, hit the New York Times List, and her previous novel in the same series, The Survivor, appeared on the USA Today bestseller list. Shelley has won the prestigious Holt Medallion for her books, Forgiven and Grace, and her novels have been chosen as Alternate Selections for the Doubleday/Literary Guild Book Club. Her first novel with Avon Inspire, Hidden, was an Inspirational Reader’s Choice finalist.

Before writing romances, Shelley lived in Texas and Colorado, where she taught school and earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education. She now lives in southern Ohio and writes full time. Shelley is married, the mother of two children in college, and is an active member of her church. She serves on committees, volunteers in the church office, and currently leads a Bible study group, and she looks forward to the opportunity to continue to write novels that showcase her Christian ideals.

When she’s not writing, Shelley often attends conferences and reader retreats in order to give workshops and publicize her work. She’s attended RWA’s national conference six times, the ACFW conference and Romantic Times Magazine’s annual conference as well as traveled to New Jersey, Birmingham, and Tennessee to attend local conferences.

Check out Shelley’s Facebook Fan page
ABOUT THE BOOK

In the second book in her Secrets of Crittenden County series, New York Times bestselling author Shelley Shepard Gray delivers another page-turning romance set in Amish country

The serenity of the quiet Amish community of Crittenden, Kentucky is disrupted when Abby Anderson discovers the body of Perry Borntrager in an abandoned well. Perry had been missing for months. Everyone figured he had left the order during his rumspringa. As friends and family reel from this news, and are faced with the first death by mysterious circumstance to occur in their small town in over 20 years, a homicide detective arrives to help solve the crime

Before Perry disappeared, Frannie Eicher and Perry had been secretly courting. Now that it’s common knowledge that he was murdered, it’s up to Fannie to decide whether or not to tell everyone about the secrets he told her.

After much deliberation, she decides to tell Luke Reynolds, the visiting police officer, what she knows. At first, the two meet only on the context of discussing Perry’s death. Then, Luke begins to feel more and more at home, both with Frannie, and in Marion. The only problem is that he feels a romantic pull toward Frannie. Frannie feels that same attraction toward Luke, but is afraid to give her heart to him. After all, she doesn’t want to leave her faith.

As Luke uncovers more secrets about Perry and the case draws out, his time in Marion runs out. He has to decide whether to go back to his job with the Cincinnati Police Department…or stay in Marion.

MY THOUGHTS ON THIS BOOK

Ok I’ve been waiting on this book since I finished The Missing.

The Search continues the story of who killed Perry Borntrager and the handsome investigator called in to help with the case is still in town. And Frannie still finds him attractive, though she would tell anyone. But it’s after Frannie’s accident that Luke decides she needs his help. Luke starts setting with Frannie at the hospital, because its so lonely there, and she does need someone to keep her company, doesn’t she? Well her father is not so sure, neither is old Flame Micha, but then neither of these men are willing to forgo their work and sit with her themselves.

 

Then there is the investigation going on, and with Luke growing more attractive and close to the dead man Perry’s former flame, it kind of puts a bullet into his investigation, no pun intended! But Luke is just not sure Frannie is being completely honest with him. There’s just something about now known Perry Borntrager’s sudden death that doesn’t add up.

 

Again, Shelley Shepard Gray takes us on a mysterious journey in the secrets of Crittenden County that obviously no one wants to tell. And the characters are so real I keep thinking about them as some real neighbor! Of course I wish I had Amish neighbors like this! As I was doing my housework I would think, “wonder how Frannie is today, and is Luke with her, or is she all alone at the hospital.” Silly huh? Well that’s just what an awesome writer like Shelley does for her readers.

 

I highly recommend this book, and before you read The Search, you might as well grab The Missing too because you gotta read that one first!!

 

This book was provided by the publisher through CFBA. I was not expected or required to write a positive review. The opinions in the review are mine only.

 

If you would like to read the Prologue of The Search, go HERE.

Creston Mapes Trio…Dark Star Full Tilt Nobody

Wecome to Crest Mapes Blog Tour

Starting with

Dark Star

About the book

Can Fame, Wealth, and Power Buy Happiness?
Everett Lester and his band, DeathStroke, ride the crest of a wave to superstardom. But the deeper they become immersed in fame, wealth, and power, the more likely they are to be swallowed alive by the drugs, alcohol, and discontentment that have become their only friends. Everett is headed down a perilous road of no apparent return when he’s charged with the murder of his personal psychic. The only hope he can cling to comes from Topeka , Kansas , and the letters written by a prayerful young lady who lives there. Consistent and persistent, the notes cut straight to Everett ’s empty heart, offering a fulfillment he’s never grasped before. But what if he’s found guilty of murder? Will he recognize the spiritual battle that’s raging for his soul?
Endora Crystal was my rock…
As I staggered through the chaos of rock ’n’ roll fame—the drugs and alcohol, the selfishness and turmoil—Endora was the gentle voice in my ear telling me I was special. Telling me I was adored. She was my personal psychic, and she said I had a unique purpose, a calling to give my fans happiness. To be their god.
My band, DeathStroke, dominated the world of rock. Yet strife ruled our inner circle. My family didn’t know me. I loved no one but myself.
And yet Karen Bayliss was praying for me, that I would come to know the love of God and the lordship of Jesus Christ. She was not a fan. Didn’t care for my music. Karen just wanted me to know peace.
Now Endora is dead, and I’ve been charged with first-degree murder.
Everett Lester is headed down a perilous road of no apparent return. Will he recognize the spiritual battle that’s raging for his soul?

MY THOUGHTS ON THIS BOOK

Creston Mapes write a intruging story of Everett Lester, who is looking for happiness everywhere and in everything and anyone except for the One True place he can find it, and that is through Jesus Christ. Mapes takes us on a trail of event and stiuations in Everett’s life that will keep us guessing after ever page. The characters are well developed, and the story very well written.

And it is because of the prayers of Karen Bayliss, a wonderful lady that life changed for Everett. Karen saw him for who he really was, and believed that God could change him.

This would  be a wonderful book for teenagers and young adults to read. And if one person who is in the same situation that Everett is in gets their hands on this book, it will be worth it all!

A ecopy of this book was provided by Creston Mapes through Litfuse Publicity Group for me to read and review. The reviews here are my own.

Full Tilt

NOBODY

 About the Book

They said, “He’s a nobody.” They were dead wrong. When reporter Hudson Ambrose hears an early morning call on his police scanner about an injured person at a bus stop on Las Vegas Boulevard, he rushes to the scene to get the scoop. His world is blown off its axis when he discovers a murdered homeless man with a bankbook in his pocket showing a balance of almost one million dollars. Should he wait for the police, knowing the case will get lost in reams of red tape, or swipe the bankbook and take the investigation–and perhaps a chunk of the money–into his own hands?
With sirens bearing down on the scene, Hudson makes an impulse decision that whisks him on a frantic search for answers, not only about the mysterious dead man, but about the lost soul lurking within himself.
Uncovering bizarre links between a plane crash, a Las Vegas pit boss, a dirty cop, and a widowed Atlanta business mogul, Hudson is forced to find out: who was Chester Holte, what was he doing on the streets, and why are his homeless friends convinced he was an angel in disguise?
MY THOUGHTS
Creaston Mapes gives his readers another read that will stay with them for a while after the book is finish. With characters created and developed well, and mystery and suspense that will keep you on the edge of your seats, Nobody will grip you heart and keep it until you finish the last page.
You’ve read in other reviews all about the book, so I won’t bore you. But one thing about Creston Mapes is that is he a extremely professional writer. And I appreciate how he glorfies Christ in his writings. Some say Nobody has too much of Jesus? We can never have too much of Jesus. The more we have of Him, the more we want. His is the only way! Thank you Creston Mapes for three wonderful thrillers that I have added to my ebook collection!

A ecopy of this book was provided by Creston Mapes through Litfuse Publicity Group for me to read and review. The reviews here are my own.

About the Author

Best-selling author Creston Mapes grew up in northeast Ohio where he had a type-set printing press and his own neighborhood newspaper. A fair student, he excelled at expressing himself and being creative through the written word. In college he was mentored by a one-of-a-kind journalism professor who was a freelancer for National Geographic; she encouraged him to pursue a career in writing.

Graduating from Bowling Green State University in 1983 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in magazine journalism, Creston moved to the Gulf Coast of Florida where he began his career as a reporter at a bi-weekly newspaper. Two years later he transferred to a daily paper in central Ohio where he was a city hall reporter, feature writer, and photographer. When Creston received a call from Phoenix Communications of Atlanta in 1986, he and his wife made the move to Atlanta. For four years he served as a creative director for Phoenix, creating, writing & producing high-end marketing materials.

After discovering his need for Jesus Christ in the late 1980s, Creston became creative director for Dr. Bruce Wilkinson (Prayer of Jabez) and Walk Thru the Bible Ministries in Atlanta. It only took a year for him to discover “management” was the farthest thing from his forte–that’s when Creston began working out of his home as a freelance writer. For 21 years he has written marketing and magazine copy for clients such as Coca-Cola, Chick-fil-A, The Weather Channel, TNT Sports, Oracle Corporation, ABC TV, and others. Creston still writes for many of those fine organizations and is especially enjoying creating inspirational fiction.

His three suspense novels include: DARK STAR: CONFESSIONS OF A ROCK IDOL, FULL TILT, and NOBODY. He is currently at work on a new thriller series. Creston resides in Atlanta with his hometown sweetheart and four marvelous children. He loves reading, painting, family outings, watching hockey, baseball and basketball, and listening to all kinds of music, exploring old Atlanta with his wife, and being with friends.

First WildCard Tour Presents Lynn Dove and Shoot The Wounded

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:
Lynn Dove
and the book:
Shoot the Wounded
Word Alive Press (November 2, 2009)
***Special thanks to Lynn Dove for sending me a review copy.***
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Lynn Dove calls herself a Christ-follower, a wife, a mom, a grandmother, a teacher and a writer (in that order). Her debut novel, Shoot the Wounded , written for teens and young adults, was published in November 2009. Shoot the Wounded was a finalist in the 2010 Readers Favorite Book Awards. The second book in the “Wounded Trilogy“, Heal the Wounded was released on Oct. 18, 2010 and it won the Bronze Medal in the Young Adult – Coming of Age category in the 2011 Readers Favorite Book Awards. Love the Wounded, the final book in the trilogy is scheduled for release the summer of 2012.

Lynn’s personal blog, “Journey Thoughts” was the 2011 Winner of a Canadian Christian Writing Award in the blog series category. The Journey Thoughts blog is slightly quirky, sometimes off-beat, and inspirational to all readers. She also has a blog called “Word Salt” that is specifically for author interviews, writer’s tips, and book reviews for those called by God to write, and for those who love to read the Word.
Visit the author’s website.

SHORT BOOK DESCRIPTION:

Shoot the Wounded, the first book in the “Wounded Trilogy” written for youth and young adults, addresses how lies and gossip destroy a person’s spirit. It speaks to the heart of relevant themes such as bullying, teen pregnancy and family violence all the while pointing the characters and ultimately the reader, to hope in Jesus Christ.


SHOOT THE WOUNDED is a contemporary Christian novel that deals with relevant social issues such as teen pregnancy and family violence. Set in the small fictional town of Maplewood, in southern Alberta, best friends Leigh and Ronnie find their friendship and faith challenged when Jake, a good looking Christian boy, moves into their neighborhood. Leigh is especially delighted that Jake is paying more attention to her than any other girl at school or church, but what she does not know is that despite his bold declaration of being a follower of Christ, he’s carrying a dark secret from his past that has the potential to destroy his integrity and have his friends question the legitimacy of his faith.

Product Details:

List Price: $15.99

Paperback: 160 pages

Publisher: Word Alive Press (November 2, 2009)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 1926676394

ISBN-13: 978-1926676395

AND NOW…THE FIRST CHAPTER:

“Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.”
PROVERBS 12:18
“The tongue that brings healing is a tree of life, but a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit.”
PROVERBS 15:4

CHAPTER 1

Leigh stared at the wild, varied assortment of flowers: marigolds, sunflowers, chrysanthemums, lilies, and roses. All of Ronnie’s favourite flowers spread out in a wild assortment of mixed bouquets all across the front of the church sanctuary. It may have been an attempt by someone to cheerily try to camouflage the cherry wood casket, but it was a bleak attempt at best. The church’s stained glass windows reflected beams of rainbow light through the flowers’ petals that further served to enhance the already impressive array of colour, but eyes were constantly drawn to the coffin more so than the flowers surrounding it. Ronnie would have liked the flowers, may even appreciated the deep, polished beauty of the casket’s wood, Leigh thought to herself, but not so the mournful groans of the old church organ played with sad conviction by Ronnie’s aged Aunt Edna.

The sanctuary was filled with family and friends, some openly weeping, others talking barely above a whisper. Hanging in the air was a feeling of sombre solemnity that dared not be interrupted by small talk. Leigh heard a giggle from somewhere in the back and, contrasted with the muted tones, her anger bristled against whoever had the audacity to think this occasion funny. She felt her mother touch her hand, and looked up to see her mother’s soft brown eyes damp with unshed tears.

Mom hurts for me, not Ronnie, Leigh thought. She doesn’t completely understand, but that doesn’t matter. I’m glad she’s here. Leigh squeezed her mother’s hand gratefully. Seated next to her mother was her father, stoic and protective in his blue business suit. Leigh wouldn’t even try to guess what he was thinking. He sat with his eyes focused ahead, his jaw firmly set and the little vein in his temple pulsing as it always did when he appeared upset.

Leigh had tried to approach her father and put into perspective the past actions of her best friend, Ronnie, but her father wouldn’t listen. “Don’t make excuses for her, Leigh. The past is past,” he said. “She had a future. How could this have happened?” He had shaken his head and fumed behind his dark eyes and expression all night. He couldn’t possibly understand why Ronnie had done the things she did. She didn’t even understand it all and Ronnie was… had… been her best friend!

There sat Ronnie’s parents at the front of the church. Mr. Webber’s hand hung limply over his wife’s shoulders and Mrs. Webber was weeping, her head bowed in prayer and misery. Ronnie’s two younger brothers were huddled together beside their dad, both quiet and subdued. And there sat Jake with his parents. He looked over at Leigh and smiled weakly at her. He was trying to get her attention, trying to make up for all the weeks they had been silent to one another. Leigh quickly looked away. She couldn’t bear to see his face. After all, he was partly to blame for this.

Her attention was drawn to the pulpit where the youth pastor, Scott Robinson, now stood. A young man in his late twenties, tall and handsome, with a heart for the young people in his congregation, he had been asked by the family to lead the service. Never in his experience had he spoken at a funeral before. He was nervous, especially under these tragic circumstances with the death of one so young, and a member of his youth group. He wanted the words he said to comfort, to focus attention not on the tragedy, but on God, Who was supposedly in control of all things, even in the midst of sorrow and heartache. Scott cleared his throat nervously and spoke to the people gathered.

“‘The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul…’” Scott led the congregation, reciting the Twenty-Third Psalm,“‘…surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.’”

Scott cleared his throat nervously a second time. “We are here to remember and celebrate the life that was Veronica Marie Webber. Ronnie, as she was known to all her friends and family, grew up in this community. She came to know the Lord at a youth rally when she was twelve and was an active member of our youth group. She served in our children’s ministries and was on the volleyball team at school. She loved music, swimming, camping, and she loved all of you here in this room.” He paused. Leigh squirmed uncomfortably in her chair.

The youth pastor faced the congregation and saw the faces of pain and grief on the family members. They had been through so much this past week—actually, these past several months. Asking God for courage to speak boldly, he sighed and continued. He glanced through the crowd of mourners and his eyes settled on Leigh’s face. He was well aware that the two girls had been close for years. Looking directly at her, he spoke with conviction.

“I know Veronica… Ronnie, loved all of you. She had a zest, a love of life that knew no boundaries. She made mistakes, true, but that did not negate the fact that she knew her friends and family supported her, encouraged her, and believed in her. Perhaps that is why we all ask ourselves today how it is we may have failed her at a time when she needed us the most. There are so many whys. God never promised that every question we asked would be answered. Some of us may even feel angry with God for allowing this to have happened…” He saw a slight nod of affirmation from Leigh, but continued, “Psalm 91 says that he who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. Ronnie is resting with God now…” And his voice broke with emotion.

Leigh did not hear more. She was aware of Scott referring back to different passages of scripture as he eulogized her friend. One of Ronnie’s uncles, a cousin, and one of the church’s deacons followed, sharing little snippets of stories they remembered of Ronnie’s childhood and teen years. Leigh didn’t recall the words, nor did she much care what was said. Only immediately following the service when Jake tried to stop her in the church foyer to give her a hug did she react with venom.

“Don’t, Jake!” she hissed. He stepped back in surprise. “You can’t make me feel better. You did this to her! I don’t want anything to do with you, ever!” With that, Leigh pushed away from him, leaving him bewildered and hurt.

*****

“It doesn’t make any sense,” Cindy said the next day.

Leigh’s group of friends had circled around her at school. Short, with chestnut-coloured hair, Cindy was the pragmatic one. She tried to find reason to all things. She tried to find a solution when none existed. She also tried to rely on herself for all the answers. Tina was the crier. Stout, with long hay-coloured hair, overly-sensitive, Tina was emotional to a fault. She wept in happiness and in despair. Auburn-haired, with dark hazel eyes and a creamy flawless complexion, Janelle was unforgiving. She held grudges the longest, and spent days in moodiness. Of all of Leigh’s friends, Leigh wondered why she even associated with Janelle. Some days Janelle was so unlikeble. Corey was the clown. Tall, gangly, with short, bleached-blonde streaks in her already lightened blonde hair, Corey tried to make light of everything. Sometimes it was therapeutic to have her as comic relief; sometimes she chose comedy inappropriately to relieve the tension. Today was such a day.

“Well, at least now I don’t have to pay Ronnie the twenty bucks I owed her.” Corey said without thinking.

“What?” The other girls reacted with disbelief.

“How could you say that?” Tina wailed and slapped Corey soundly on her arm. “You are heartless!”

Leigh walked away in disgust.

The remaining crowded around Corey, reprimanding her viciously for her insensitivity. Leigh knew it would do no good. Some kids would continue to say and do things over the next several weeks that would be totally inappropriate. Leigh knew that many of her friends couldn’t express grief, some honestly didn’t care, and others would just choose to forget or move on with life in an effort to pretend it had never happened. Leigh wasn’t sure which category she would eventually fall into. At present, she just felt angry and numb. She despised the fact that rumours were running rampant, everyone speculating, trying to piece together the puzzle on their own to determine what exactly had happened to Ronnie. Truth was not part of the equation, it seemed, just sensationalism and gossip. It made Leigh even angrier.

What bothered Leigh more than anything else was the feeling of unconnectedness with her friends, her family, her church, and God. She couldn’t remember a time when she had felt so alone. No one, not one person, seemed to understand the torment she was going through. She knew that she should pray, she knew she could journal her thoughts, and maybe feel a sense of release doing that, but there was such weariness in the idea. She couldn’t face it right now. Then, of course, there was Jake. How could she love him and hate him at the same time? She fumbled with the lock on her locker. The numbers blurred before her and her books tumbled with a loud splat on the floor at her feet. She cursed and immediately looked up with guilt. Swearing was considered inappropriate in her church circles.

“Crap!” she raged. I can’t even act like a normal human being! I want to swear! I want to yell and scream and kick in this… She stopped herself from using an expletive about her locker. That wasn’t the answer, either. She couldn’t just drop sixteen years of upbringing and forego all that she had been taught just to satisfy a need to vent her anger. There had to be a better way.

Janelle handed her a math book she had dropped, and bent to pick up the remaining books at Leigh’s feet.

“Corey is an idiot,” she calmly stated. “Don’t let her bug you.”

“I don’t know what’s the matter with me,” Leigh confided. She leaned wearily against the locker and gratefully allowed Janelle to retrieve all the books. “I’m not sure about anything anymore. I was so angry with Ronnie. I was yelling at her for getting herself in trouble. I wasn’t her friend; I didn’t do anything that showed to her that I was her best friend. I let her down.” Janelle put an arm around Leigh. “I had no idea that Ronnie was so messed up. I was mad at her. I don’t even know why I was mad at her. I mean, the only person she was hurting was herself, yet I was mad at her because somehow or another knowing she had messed up was hurting me!”

Janelle walked with Leigh to their homeroom. “Too bad Ronnie didn’t listen to you months ago. Seems to me, this is all her doing. You have nothing to feel guilty about.”

Leigh did not feel encouraged in any way as she entered the class. The seat up front that would have been Ronnie’s was so obviously vacant that she had to choke back a sob as she passed it. The whole day passed like a great heaviness was weighing on her. If someone had asked her what the teachers had said or what homework assignments were due, she wouldn’t have been able to respond. She sat on the bus alone, ever mindful of the seat across the aisle, Ronnie’s seat… vacant…just like the one in homeroom, and in English class, and the chair in Science right next to hers. This was supposed to have been the year for new beginnings and to put all their past mistakes behind them.

“Ronnie, how could you do this to me?” Leigh dropped her head into her hands and wept.


Copyright © 2009 Lynn Dove


All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means—electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording, or any other—except for brief quotations in printed reviews, without prior permission from the publisher. This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, businesses, companies, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.>

Praying God’s Word For Your Husband Kathi Lipp

Praying God’s Word For Your Husband

 

From the Back Cover

Place your husband in God’s hands Are you ready to see God move in big ways in your husband’s life, your life, and your marriage?
Many wives approach prayer as a checklist, something that has to be done in order to carry the “Good Girl Christian” card. But with this accessible guide, prayer can feel about as natural as breathing. The reason: the Word of God itself becomes your prayer.
With warmth and wit, Kathi Lipp shows you not only what a blessing it is to pray boldly for your husband but also the amazing differences you’ll see–in him and in yourself–as you pray in full confidence of seeing God-sized results. Kathi directs you to Scripture, showing you how to pray God’s Word in every part of your husband’s life, including his
career and finances parenting relationships with God and others emotional health safety future
She shows you how to establish a routine, pick a special spot for prayer, focus your mind, prepare your heart, and even partner with other women in prayer. With Kathi’s biblical direction, engaging personal stories, and encouragement, you can start making a difference in your husband’s life today.
“Most women feel a little overwhelmed, lost, or confused when it comes to just how to pray for their man. Kathi Lipp tackles this vital issue with practical tips and encouragement, as well as some easy-to-follow prayers, so that every wife can be a praying wife.”–Pam Farrel, author of the bestselling Men Are Like Waffles, Women Are Like Spaghetti and 52 Ways to Wow Your Husband
Kathi Lipp is a busy conference and retreat speaker who reaches thousands of wives each year. She is the author of four books and has been a guest on numerous national radio programs, including Focus on the Family. She and her husband have four children and live in California.
MY THOUGHTS ON THIS BOOK
In her new book, Kathi Lipp shows us the importance of why we should always pray for our husbands. I fail at that so often, and since my husband is not a Christian, I need to be praying for him more.
Kathi starts out showing us how to use her book, then she gives her readers an outlook on just what kind of things to pray as we pray for our husband. Things such as his work issues, finances, his feeling overwhelmed, his past mistakes, his health and safety and especially his relationship to God.
As I read this book, I realize more now than ever that I need to continue to pray, and never give up. I appreciate Kathi taking the time to write a book like this for wives to have. This is not only a book to read through from front to finish, it is one to keep and read just the parts you need to read at the moment you need them.
“Available June 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”
This book was provided by Revell Publishing. I was not expected or required to write a positive review. The opinions here in this review are mine only.
About the Author 

Kathi Lipp

Biography

Kathi Lipp is a full-time speaker and writer as well as being the parent of four young adults with her husband, Roger in San Jose, CA. When she is not doing laundry, she is speaking at retreats, conferences and women’s events across the US.
Kathi’s articles have appeared in Focus on the Family, Today’s Christian Woman and Christian Parenting Today. Her books, The Husband Project, The Marriage Project, The Me Project, The “What’s for Dinner?” Solution, The Get Yourself Organized Solution and 21 Ways to Connect with Your Kids are all published by Harvest House and now Praying God’s Word for Your Husband has been released by Revell. Find out more about Kathi at http://www.kathilipp.com

Mary Magdalene

Mary Magdalene

By Diana Wallis Taylor

 

One woman desperate for hope. One Savior with the power to heal.

A beautiful girl blossoming into womanhood, Mary has high hopes for a life filled with learning, family, and young love. In one dreadful night, all of that changes. The nightmares come first, then the waking visions of unspeakable terror, until Mary hardly remembers her dreams for the future.

Can the Most High deliver her from this torment? How long must she wait for healing?

This vivid portrait of the enigmatic Mary of Magdala comes to life in the hands of an imaginative master storyteller. Diana Wallis Taylor introduces you to a Mary who is both utterly original and respectful of the biblical account, opening your eyes to a redemption that knows no bounds.

 

MY THOUGHTS ON THIS BOOK!

After reading “Journey to the Well” I am hooked on Diana Taylor’s books! I look forward to new ones coming out, and I was excited to be able to read and review “Mary Magdalene.” And again, I was not disappointed! If you like Biblical Fiction, this book is a must for you!

Since Mary Magdalene is somewhat a mystery because there is not much written about her in the Bible, I really wanted to read this book to find out what Diana Taylor’s version of Mary was.  The book starts out with a young Mary, a daddy’s girl and love immensely by her mom.  I enjoyed getting to know this young Mary, and following her life to adulthood. The accounts of Mary being demon possessed was heartbreaking, and her family staying close to her, supporting her was so heartwarming. Coming from this life, and the miracle of her healing, I can clearly see why Mary Magdalene was so devoted to Jesus. She loved Him deeply because He changed her life forever.

I cringe when I think about some of the things people have to say about Mary and her devotion to the Lord. And I appreciate Diana Taylor for how she shows us the real deal of why Mary loved Jesus so much. It was very well known that no one anywhere had been able to help Mary. And then her husband Nathan, a man wisely chosen by Jared for his daughter, hears about the healer Jesus. It was Jesus who healed Mary and gave her a new life. Shouldn’t that make Mary, and anyone else that Jesus has healed in a situation such as this, devoted to Him for life?

Wow, I feel like I keep jumping all over the place in this story. Even though we don’t know what Mary’s life was like, I thoroughly enjoyed this fictional novel of how Diana Wallis Taylor thought it could have been. It is fun just being able to wonder and read about how it could have been. And I feel the Biblical accounts were accurate, so that’s all that really matters to me, the rest is fiction, and that’s where the fun is.

*****Available June 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.*****

I received this book from the publisher Revell to read and review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 55

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Diana Wallis Taylor is the author of Journey to the Well and Martha, and has published many articles, and has contributed stories to several books. Taylor lives in California. Find out more at http://dianawallistaylor.com/.

Reviews and Praise for Diana Wallis Taylor from others

Martha

“Taylor has crafted an exquisite love story about Martha, sister to Mary and Lazarus, in this absorbing biblical drama. Readers will embrace Taylor’s vision of Martha as a woman of imagination, dignity and grace. This book will enhance and further every woman’s spiritual journey.”–RT Book Review, 4 1/2 stars Top Pick

“Taylor pays great attention to detail in order to provide verdant descriptions of this world to create an eye-opening expedition into the past. Fans of increasingly popular biblical fiction centered around recognizable characters . . . may have found themselves another author who can write historical inspirational novels of strong, faithful women.”–Booklist

“Excellent historical detail and a respectful yet not cloying retelling of this story make Martha an outstanding choice for readers looking for inspirational biblical fiction.”–Historical Novel Review

 

Journey to the Well

“Diana Wallis Taylor, is another author I’ll be keeping an expectant eye on.”–TitleTrakk

“Taylor’s rich descriptions of the landscapes, lifestyles, and rituals mesh easily with the emotional and very personal story of one woman trying to make a life out of what fate seems to throw at her. This exciting and heart wrenching story will fascinate readers and lend new life to a familiar story.”–BookBargainsand Previews.com

“This imaginative retelling of the biblical story of the Samaritan woman who encountered Jesus at Jacob’s Well traces her path to that fateful meeting. Set in a vividly depicted first century, this absorbing debut novel is populated with charming characters.”–Library Journal

A Texas Honor by Shelley Gray…..Abingdon Press

 

A Texas Honor By Shelley

Publisher: Abingdon Press
Publication Date: 03/2012
Binding: Paperback
ISBN-13: 9781426714634
Retail Price: $14.99
                                                                Author: Shelley Gray

BOOK BLURB

Description

Texas, 1874. Years ago, Will McMillan had fought in the open, next to his Captain, Clayton Proffitt. Now, in book 2 of The Heart of a Hero series, he’s waging another war undercover, pretending to be a member of the notorious Walton Gang.

But when a hostage situation goes awry and an innocent woman is in the middle of the fray, Will knows he must protect her no matter what happens. Even if they risk being killed by his gang or by the lawmen on their trail. Even if the woman he’s risking everything for will never love him back. Even if all he’s left with is his faith.

MY THOUGHTS ON THIS BOOK

When Jamie Ellis boarded the train to go live with her aunts, she never dreamed of the detour her journey would take. Being held hostage on a train holdup? Never in a million years did she think this would happen to her.

When Will McMillan joined the Walton Gang, he never intended to hold a woman hostage. This throws danger signals and threatens secrets Will wanted to keep secrets. But Will had to do everything he could to protect Jamie from the other men on the train manhandling her so he takes her to another car for protection. The only one he trusted with Jamie was Scott Proffitt.

Wow, another awesome read from Shelley Gray! Shelley creates a cast of characters, puts them in the setting of a train robbery with the horrific Walton Gang, and writes a story that will make your head spin! I really felt so sorry for Jamie, but I enjoyed seeing the tender side of Will, and Scott. Being he hard-hearted men they were, never caring about anyone’s feelings, I was in tears as I read the different situations with Will and Jamie, and with Scott and the girl he removed from the saloon and her abusive family.

This book is so very well written and intense, I couldn’t put it down. I wanted to keep reading to find out what was going to happen to Jamie. And I loved the tease of romance throughout the book, which was another draw to keep reading the book, because I had to find out how things would turn out!

Overall, this is an incredibly amazing book that I thoroughly enjoyed reading. One I will keep on my bookshelf so I can read all of the series at one time!  And I can’t wait for the next book in this series.

I appreciate Abingdon Press for sending me a copy of this book to read and review. I was not required or expected to write a postitve review. The opinions in this review are mine only.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Shelley Gray’s first Amish novel, Hidden, was nominated for the Inspirational Readers Choice award. Her book Simple Gifts won the Reviewers Choice Award. Shelley’s novel, The Protector, recently made the New York Times bestseller list. A native of Texas, she earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Colorado, and taught school for ten years. She lives in southern Ohio where she writes full time.

Litfuse Tour…..LUCY COME HOME….By: Dave and Neta Jackson

LUCY COME HOME

By: Dave and Neta Jackson

About the book:
Lucy Come Home

Dave and Neta Jackson
Fifteen-year-old Cindy worked long days beside her migrant worker family in Michigan’s sugar beet fields in the early 1940s — the “war years” — until she met a dashing young man from a traveling carnival, bringing some joy and fun into her hard-scrabble life. But a tragic twist of fate — and a dead field boss– sent the two young people on the run, leaving behind family and everything she’d ever known.
Lucy Tucker, the crotchety old bag lady from the popular Yada Yada House of Hope series, is a veteran of Chicago streets and not about to give up her independence, even as she approaches her 80th birthday.
Until, that is, a young displaced woman with her gentle aging mother and a dog named Dandy seem to need her — unsettling the secretive Lucy, who doesn’t let anyone get too close. But just when it seems her past is catching up with her to bring her in out of the cold… Lucy disappears again. How these two tales intersect and intertwine between past and present gradually shines light into the dark corners of Lucy’s murky past. But… why won’t Lucy come home?

MY THOUGHTS ON THIS BOOK

Lucy Comes Home by Dave and Neta Jackson

Wow, what a wonderful heartwarming story about Lucy Tucker.  We learn about Lucy’s life by the flashbacks she has of her life starting in the 1940’s and her life as it is now. We see how she handled the very difficult situations she was forced to be in, and how she is handling life today and a homeless woman. Her live was definitely not the best life from the beginning. Lucy lives in the Manna House Shelter, and seems to like it there just fine. I really grew to love Lucy as I read her story. She is a unique lady, even though living in a Shelter, no home of her own, she was always helping others. What it would be like to have a friend like Lucy!

I have heard of the Yada Yada books but never read any of them, but if they are anything like this one, that have to be wonderful! Dave and Neta Jackson created a cast of characters that the readers that grip your heart, and especially Lucy and Cindy. I enjoyed the trip back to the 1940’s even though times were rough just after the Great Depression. I think part of my interest here was that both my parents were teenagers during this time, and heard them talk about the tough times their families went through. This made me reconnect with both of them and the flashbacks I have of the stories they told.

I highly recommend this book for anyone wanting a wonderful, good ole read! You will not be disappointed!

This book was provided by LitFuse Publicity. I was not required or expected to write a positive review. The opinions her in this review are mine only.

 

About Dave and Neta:

Litfuse

Dave and Neta Jackson are award-winning authors living in the Chicago area where their parallel novels from the Yada Yada House of Hope and Harry Bentley series are set.
As a husband/wife writing team, Dave and Neta Jackson are enthusiastic about books, kids, walking with God, gospel music, and each other! Together they are the authors or coauthors of over 100 books.
Visit http://www.daveneta.com for more info.

CFBA Rebel by Linda Windsor

This week, theChristian Fiction Blog Allianceis introducingRebelDavid C. Cook; New edition (June 1, 2012)byLinda WindsorABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Linda Windsor makes her home at a restored and “growing” late 18th century home on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. Above the Windsor front door hangs a sign saying “Fort Necke, assigned 1684, established 1830,” which means the land grant is older than the current building. She purposely left off the ageing brought on by the restoration to her mind and body – not enough space to accommodate the number. Chronologically, she admits to celebrating another birthday, just like the rest of us, each year on July 8th — which also happens to be the anniversary of the day the Liberty Bell cracked.

Amid the often chaotic “country inn” atmosphere, Windsor has written quite a collection of historical and contemporary romances as both Linda Windsor and Linda Covington. Windsor’s historical novels are known for her distinctive voice and flair for incorporating history with romance and adventure, while her contemporary romantic comedies are guaranteed to warm the heart, lift the spirit, and tickle the funny bone. Windsor insists that nothing is more entertaining than life itself, be it past or present.

With a degree in education from her local university, one of the greatest rewards to the innate teacher in Linda was hearing from readers that her Irish Gleannmara series was approved for some middle school English book reports as well as being used in home-schooling. To Windsor, entertaining, or keeping the pages turning, while educating is as much as any historical novelist can ask for.

ABOUT THE BOOK

With Merlin dead, the succession undecided, and the Celtic church on the defensive from Rome, intrigue sweeps the court of the High King Arthur. But it’s battlefield news that consumes Queen Gwenhyfar’s young scribe, Kella O’Toole: her fiancé is dead and her father gone missing.

Determined to find him at all costs, Kella defies the queen’s orders and sets out for Pictish territory. Her foster brother Alyn, a disillusioned priest who questions his calling, agrees to help her. The journey itself is perilous. But it’s their secrets that land Kella and Alyn in a viper’s nest of treachery that threatens both their lives and the future of Albion.

Can they summon the love and faith they need to find their way not only out of danger, but into happiness? Brilliantly researched, vividly imagined, and movingly written—a memorable climax to the Brides of Alba series.

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

MY THOUGHTS ON THIS BOOK

Ok, I didn’t read the other books in this series making this more difficult to understand…so it took me a good while to figure out what was going on. Linda Windsor is a really good writer though, and by the end, I was enjoying this book. This is really for those who like  more of the fantasy type books, and for those people, this would be a wonderful read. But read the others books in the series first!!

FIRST Wild Card Tour Presents…..The Telling by Mike Duran

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:
Mike Duran
and the book:
The Telling
Realms (May 15, 2012)

***Special thanks to Althea Thompson | Publicity Coordinator, Charisma House | Charisma Media for sending me a review copy.***

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Mike Duran was a finalist in Faith in Fiction’s inaugural short story contest and was chosen as one of ten authors to be published in Infuze Magazine’s 2005 print anthology. He is author of the short story “En Route to Inferno,” which appeared in Coach’s Midnight Diner: Back from the Dead edition, and received the Editor’s Choice award for his creative nonfiction essay titled “The Ark,” published in the Summer 2.3 Issue of Relief Journal. In between blogs, he also writes a monthly column for Novel Journey and has served as editor on the Midnight Diner’s editorial team. Duran is an ordained minister and lives with his wife and four grown children in Southern California.

Visit the author’s website.

SHORT BOOK DESCRIPTION:

A prophet never loses his calling, only his way.

Disfigured with a hideous scar from his stepmother, Zeph Walker lives his life in seclusion, cloistering himself in a ramshackle bookstore on the outskirts of town. But Zeph is also blessed with a gift—an uncanny ability to foresee the future,to know peoples’ deepest sins and secrets. He calls it the Telling, but he has abandoned this gift to a life of solitude, unbelief, and despair—until two detectives escort him to the county morgue where he finds his own body lying on the gurney.

On the northern fringes of Death Valley, the city of Endurance is home to llama ranches, abandoned mines, roadside attractions…and the mythical ninth gate of hell. Now, forced to investigate his own murder, Zeph discovers something even more insidious behind the urban legends and small-town eccentricities. Early miners unearthed a megalith—asacred site where spiritual and physical forces converge and where an ancient subterranean presence broods. And only Zeph can stop it.

But the scar on Zeph’s face is nothing compared to the wound on his soul. For not only has he abandoned his gift and renounced heaven, but it was his own silence that spawned the evil. Can he overcome his own despair in time to seal the ninth gate of hell?

His words unlocked something deadly,

And now the silence is killing them.

MY THOUGHTS ON THIS BOOK

What an amazing story from Mike Duran. With a host of incredible characters that are so very believable and interesting, with a sticking to your ribs type plot that just won’t let you put the book down.

This is usually not my favorite type genre, but this on blew me away. I have to say Mike Duran is a unique and special storyteller, and an author you want to keep up with. I highly recommend this book to those liking a somewhat scary ride, but an interesting ride you will be glad you took. Why not grab a copy an read it for your own enjoyment!

This book was provided by FIRST WildCard tours and B&B Media. I was not expected or required to write a positive review. The review here is my opinion only.


Product Details:

List Price: $13.99

Paperback: 304 pages

Publisher: Realms (May 15, 2012)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 1616386940

ISBN-13: 978-1616386948

AND NOW…THE FIRST CHAPTER:

He used to believe everyone was born with the magic, an innate hotline to heaven. Some called it intuition, a sixth sense; others called it the voice of God. Zeph Walker called it the Telling. It was not something you could teach or, even worse, sell- people just had it. Of course, by the time their parents, teachers, and society got through with them, whatever connection they had with the Infinite pretty much vanished. So it was, when Zeph reached his twenty-sixth birthday, the Telling was just an echo.

That’s when destiny came knocking for him.

It arrived in the form of two wind-burnt detectives packing heat and a mystery for the ages. They flashed their badges, said he was needed for questioning. Before he could object or ask for details, they loaded him into the backseat of a mud-splattered Crown Victoria and drove across town to the county morgue. The ride was barely ten minutes, just long enough for Zeph Walker to conclude that, maybe, the magic was alive and well.

“You live alone?” The driver glanced at him in the rearview mirror.

Zeph adjusted his sunglasses. “Yes, sir.”

“I don’t blame you.” The detective looked at his partner, who smirked in response.

Zeph returned his gaze to the passing landscape.

Late summers in Endurance were as beautiful as a watercolor and as hot as the devil’s kitchen. The aspens on the ridge showed gold, and the dogwoods along the creeks had already begun to thin. Yet the arid breeze rising from Death Valley served as an ever-present reminder that beauty always lives in close proximity to hell.

They came to a hard stop in front of a white plaster building. The detectives exited the car, and Zeph followed their cue. A ceramic iguana positioned under a sprawling blue sage grinned mockingly at him. Such was the landscape decor of the county coroner’s building. The structure doubled as a morgue. It occupied a tiny plot of red earth, surrounded by a manicured cactus garden complete with
2 | Mike Duran
indigenous flora, bison skulls, and birdbaths. Without previous knowledge, one could easily mistake the building for a cultural center or art gallery. Yet Zeph knew that something other than pottery and Picassos awaited him inside.

The bigger of the two detectives, a vaquero with a nifty turquoise belt buckle and matching bolo tie, pulled the door open and motioned for Zeph to enter. The man had all the charm of a cage fighter.

Zeph wiped perspiration off his forehead and stepped into a small vestibule.

“This way.” The cowboy clomped past, leaving the smell of sweat and cheap cologne.

They led him past an unoccupied desk into a corridor. Bland southwestern prints adorned sterile white walls. The stench of form- aldehyde and decay lingered here, and Zeph’s stomach flip-flopped in response. The hallway intersected another where two lab technicians stood in whispered conversation. They straightened as the detectives approached. After a brief nod from one of the white-jacketed men, Zeph’s escorts proceeded to an unmarked room.

“We got someone fer you to ID.” The cowboy placed his hand on the door and studied Zeph. “You don’t get sick easy, do ya?”

He swallowed. “Depends.”

“Well, if you’re gonna puke, don’t do it on these.” He pointed to a set of well-polished eel-skin boots. “Comprende?”

“No, sir. I mean—yes! Yes, sir.”

The detective scowled, then pushed the door open, waiting. Zeph’s heart was doing double-time. Whose body was he about to

see? What condition was it in? His mind raced with the possibilities. Maybe a friend had suffered a car accident. Although he didn’t have many friends to die in one. Perhaps the Hitcher, that mythical appari- tion who stalked the highway in his childhood, had claimed another victim. More likely Zeph’s old man had finally keeled over. However, he was convinced that his father had stopped living a long time ago.

Zeph drew a deep breath, took two steps into the room, perched his sunglasses on the top his head . . . and froze. In the center, framed under a single oval swath of light, lay a body on a autopsy table—a body that looked strangely familiar.

“Take a good look, Mr. Walker.” The detective’s boots clicked with precision on the yellowed linoleum. He circled the rolling metal
th e te ll i n g | 3
cart, remaining just outside the reach of the fluorescent light. “And maybe you can help us figger this out.”

Zeph remained near the door, hesitant to take another step.

“Go ahead.” The second detective sauntered around the opposite side, gesturing to the body. “He ain’t gonna bite.”

The detectives positioned themselves on either end of the table. They watched him.

A black marble countertop, its surface dulled by a thin blanket of dust, ran the length of one wall. In front of it sat a single wooden stool. The low-hanging lamp bleached the body monochrome. Zeph had seen enough procedurals and CSI knock-offs to know this was not an autopsy room. Perhaps it was used for viewings, maybe occa- sional poker games. But as the detectives studied him, he was starting to wonder if this was an interrogation room. Scalpels, pincers, saws. Oh, what exotic torture devices one might assemble from a morgue! Nevertheless, this particular room appeared to have not been used in a long time. And by the fevered sparkle in their eyes, these men seemed inspired about the possibility of doing so.

Zeph glanced from one man to the other, and then he edged toward the corpse.

Its flesh appeared dull, and the closer he got, the less it actu- ally looked like skin. Perhaps the body had been drained of blood or bleached by the desert sun. He inched closer. Sunken pockets appeared along the torso, and he found himself wondering what could have possibly happened to this person.

The head lay tilted back, its bony jaw upturned, cords of muscle taut across a gangly neck. A white sheet draped the body at the chest, and just above it a single bloodless hole about the size of a nickel notched the sternum. He crept forward, trying to distin- guish the person’s face. First he glimpsed nostrils, then teeth, and then . . . something else.

That something else brought Zeph to a standstill.

How could it be? Build. Facial features. Hair color. This person looked exactly like him. There was even a Star of David tattooed on the right arm, above the bicep—the same as Zeph’s.

What were the chances, the mathematical probabilities, that one human being could look so identical to another? Especially in a town the size of Endurance.
4 | Mike Duran
“Is this . . . ” Zeph’s tone was detached, his eyes fixed on the body. “Is this some kinda joke?”

The detectives hunkered back into the shadows without responding.

Goose bumps rose on Zeph’s forearms as the overhead vent rattled to life, sluicing cool air into the room. He took another step closer to the cadaver until his thigh nudged the table, jolting the stiff and bringing Zeph to a sudden stop. He peered at the bizarre figure.

Their similarities were unmistakable. The lanky torso and append- ages. The tousled sandy hair. Thick brows over deep-set eyes. This guy looks exactly like me!

However, it was one feature—the most defining feature of Zeph Walker’s existence—that left him teetering in disbelief: the four-inch scar that sheared the corpse’s mouth.

Zeph stumbled back, lungs frozen, hand clasped over the ugly scar on his own face.

“Darnedest thing, ain’t it?” The cowboy sounded humored by

Zeph’s astonishment. “Guy’s a spittin’ image of you, Mr. Walker.” Zeph slowly lowered his hand and glanced sideways at the man.

“Yeah. Except I don’t have a bullet hole in my chest.”

The detective’s grin soured, and he squinted warily at Zeph. “Indeed you don’t.” The second man stepped into the light. “But

the real question, young man, is why someone would want to put one there.”

CFBA….Lena Nelson and Mary’s Blessings

This week, theChristian Fiction Blog Allianceis introducingMary’s BlessingRealms (May 15, 2012)byLena NelsonABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Award-winning author, Lena Nelson Dooley, has more than 675,000 books in print. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers http://www.acfw.com/ and president of the local chapter, DFW Ready Writers. She’s also a member of Christian Authors Network, CROWN Fiction Marketing, and Gateway Church in Southlake, Texas.

Lena loves James, her children, grandchildren, and great grandson. She loves chocolate, cherries, chocolate-covered cherries, and spending time with friends. Travel is always on her horizon. Cruising, Galveston, the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas, Mexico. One day it will be Hawaii and Australia, but probably not the same year. Helping other authors become published really floats her boat, with fifteen signing their first book contract after her mentoring. Three of her books have been awarded the Carol Award silver pins from American Christian Fiction Writers and she has received the ACFW Mentor of the Year award at their national conference. The high point of her day is receiving feedback from her readers, especially people whose lives have been changed by her books. And she loves chocolate, especially dark chocolate.

ABOUT THE BOOK

When her mother dies, Mary Lenora must grow up quickly to take care of her brothers and sisters. Can love help her to shoulder the burden?

Mary Lenora Caine knows she is adopted. As she was growing up, her mother called her “God’s blessing.” But now that she’s gone, Mary no longer feels like any kind of blessing. Her father, in his grief, has cut himself off from the family, leaving the running of the home entirely in Mary’s hands.

As she nears her eighteenth birthday, Mary can’t see anything in her future but drudgery. Then her childhood friend Daniel begins to court her, promising her a life of riches and ease. But her fairy-tale dreams turn to dust when her family becomes too much for Daniel, and he abandons her in her time of deepest need.

Will Daniel come to grips with God’s plan for him? And if he does return, can Mary trust that this time he will really follow through?

If you would like to read the first chapter of Mary’s Blessing, go HERE.

 

My Thoughts on this Book

Being adopted made is difficult for Mary to sometimes know who she really was,  and many times there was difficulty in the family that adopted her. But this family always seem to work through their problems, and not be afraid to tackle them, instead of letting the go and not doing anything like so many families do.

Mary’s wishes have been to have a family and be out on her own, but maybe not as soon as she might be. As readers follow this story along the Oregon Trail, we are drawn into the story as Mary seeks to find answers to what she wants in life, and just who Daniel really is.

This was another really enjoyable book my Lena Dooley….and I highly recommend it for your reading pleasure.

 

First Wild Card Tour….Martha Rogers and her book Spring Hope!

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:
Martha Rogers
and the book:
Spring Hope
(Seasons of the Heart (Book 4))
Realms (May 15, 2012)

***Special thanks to Althea Thompson | Publicity Coordinator, Charisma House | Charisma Media for sending me a review copy.***

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Martha Rogers’ novel Not on the Menu debuted on May 1, 2007, as a part of Sugar and Grits, a novella collection with DiAnn Mills, Janice Thompson, and Kathleen Y’Barbo. Her series Winds Across the Prairie debuted in 2010 with Becoming Lucy, Morning for Dove, Finding Becky, and Caroline’s Choice. Her other credits include stories in anthologies with Wayne Holmes, Karen Holmes, and Debra White Smith; several articles in Christian magazines; devotionals in six books of devotions; and eight Bible studies. Martha served as editor of a monthly newsletter for the writer’s organization Inspirational Writers Alive! for six years and is the state president. She is also the director for the annual Texas Christian Writer’s Conference and is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, for whom she writes a weekly devotional. Martha and her husband are active members of First Baptist Church.
Visit the author’s website.

SHORT BOOK DESCRIPTION:

Can runaway Libby Cantrell finally get a new start?

Libby Cantrell’s life has gone from bad to worse since her mother’s death. After working in a brothel to support her abusive father, she sees no hope for her future until one cold winter night when she finds the courage to escape.

When she collapses in Portersfield, Texas, exhausted, ill, and hungry, Sheriff Cory Muldoon finds her and takes her to the doctor. Against Cory’s better judgment, Seth and Erin Winston take her in and offer her a job as a nanny for their young son. As a minister, Seth sees it as his duty to take care of her. As a deputy, Cory needs to know the truth about her even as he is attracted to the waif of a young woman.

As Cory’s feelings for her grow and winter becomes spring, will he be able to accept her as she is now and truly forget and forgive her sordid past?

Product Details:

List Price: $13.99

Paperback: 304 pages

Publisher: Realms (May 15, 2012)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 1616386185

ISBN-13: 978-1616386184

AND NOW…THE FIRST CHAPTER:

Porterfield, Texas

February 1891
THE COLDEST NIG!IT of winter thus far chilled Deputy Sheriff Cory Muldoon to the bone as he made his rounds in the alleyways of Porterfield. Cold wind howled around the corners of the buildings now closed up for the night. Most everyone in Porterfield had gone home to their families and warm homes. This was all the winter he cared to experience, and even this would be only a few days, as the weather in Texas could change in a heartbeat, summer or winter.

Lights and music from the saloon rang out and mocked the dark silence of its neighboring buildings. Friday nights found cowboys and lumberjacks both squandering their hard-earned money on liquor and women. Tonight would be no different
despite the cold, near freezing temperatures. Most likely at least one or two of them would end up in the jail for a spell.

Cory turned up the collar of his sheepskin-lined jacket and shoved his hat farther down on his head. When he rounded the corner of the livery, the gentle nickering and snorts of the horses boarded there broke the quietness of the night.

A cat skittered out from behind the general store, and a dog barked in the distance. Ever since the bank robbery last fall, he or the sheriff had roamed the alleys behind the main businesses every night to make sure everything remained locked tight and secure. So far he’d seen only a typical Friday night, with everything as routine as Aunt Mae’s boarding- house meal schedule. Of course, being Friday the thirteenth, anything could happen.

They already had two men put up for the night back at the jail. Sheriff Rutherford took the night duty to keep the jail cells warm so Cory could have Saturday off for his Aunt Mae’s wedding. Ole Cooter probably got drunk and disorderly just so he’d have a warm place to sleep tonight and not have to go out to his shack. Cory held no blame on the man for that. Durand, the saloon owner, caught the other man cheating at cards and had him arrested. Maybe the card shark would move his game on to some other town.

He shivered despite the warm coat and hoped Abigail and Rachel would have dinner waiting for him back at the board- inghouse. What with Aunt Mae’s wedding tomorrow, those two women had taken over mealtimes until his aunt returned from her wedding trip.

What appeared to be a pile of trash sat outside the back

door of Grayson’s mercantile. Ordinarily the store owner
wouldn’t leave a heap out in the open like that. Cory hesitated in making an investigation, but the snuffling and nickering of a horse grabbed his attention. His hand caressed the handle of his gun. No one and no animal should be here this time of night.

The horse, a palomino, stood off to one side. He wore a saddle, but the reins dangled to the ground. Cory went on alert, his eyes darting about the alley in search of a rider. He reached for the reins and patted the horse’s mane, then ran his hand down its flank. “Whoa, boy, what are you doing out wan- dering around?” No brand on his hindquarters meant he didn’t belong to a ranch around here, and Cory didn’t recognize the horse as belonging to any of the townspeople.

Then the pile by the back door moved, and along with the movement, a moan sounded. With his hand on his gun, Cory approached the mound. An arm flung out from the heap, and another cry. This was no animal. He knelt down to pull back what looked like an old quilt.

When the form of a young woman appeared, Cory jumped as though he’d been shot. Every nerve in his body stood at attention as he reached out to remove more of the cover. A woman lay huddled under the quilt, and her body shook from the cold while a cough wracked through her chest, followed by another cry.

On closer inspection he realized she was younger than he first thought. Her smooth, unlined face and tangled hair were that of a young woman. She couldn’t be more than twenty, the same age as his sister Erin.

He bent over her to pick her up, and she started to scream,

but another coughing spell prevented it. When her blue eyes
peered up at him, they were so full of fear that they sent dag- gers of alarm straight to his soul. This girl was in trouble.

“Don’t be afraid. I’m the deputy sheriff. I won’t hurt you, but tell me your name and let me take you to the doctor.” He pointed to his badge in hope of reassuring her.

Instead her gaze darted back and forth as she pulled the blanket up under her chin. Her ungloved hands trembled with the cold. He removed his glove and reached out a hand to touch her forehead then yanked it back. She burned with fever. “You’re sick. We need you to get you to Doc Jensen’s right away.” He slid his hands beneath her to scoop her up into his arms. He almost lost his footing as he rose, thinking she’d be a heavier burden than she was. Light as a feather meant she was

probably malnourished too.

She moaned against his chest. “I’m so cold.”

Her voice, weak and hesitant, touched a nerve in him. He had to get her warm. Cory made sure the blanket covered her then grasped the horse’s reins. A low whistle brought his own horse closer. “Follow us, Blaze. We’re going to the infirmary.”

He held the girl tight to his chest to transfer some of his warmth to her. The quicker he could get her to the doctor, the quicker Doc could warm her up and treat that cough.

No time to worry about drunken cowboys or lumberjacks tonight.
The man who called himself a deputy carried her in his arms. With his gentle touch and voice, this man wasn’t like others she had known. Her body burned with heat then turned ice
cold with shivers. So much pain racked her body that she didn’t have the strength to resist him anyway.

The man cradled her to his chest. “We’ll be at Doc Jensen’s in just a few minutes. Hang on, little lady.”

Little lady? Little, maybe, but certainly no lady by his stan- dards. Another cough wracked her chest and set her throat afire with pain. Her thin jacket and the quilt had been no match for the cold, especially after she’d crossed the river. Not enough heat in the day to dry her clothes before chilling her to the bone and causing this cough. She’d lost count of the days since she left home and had no idea how far she’d come. She’d avoided towns as much as possible, only entering long enough to pick up food at a mercantile.

Pa had to be on her trail by now, or he’d have others searching for her. Either way, she didn’t plan to get caught and be dragged back to Louisiana. Even now the memory of all that she had endured because of Pa made her stomach retch. She’d die before she let anyone take her back to that.

The man called for someone named Clem to go get the doc, and he’d meet him at the infirmary. Maybe he was a sheriff after all since he was sending for help. She didn’t dare open her eyes, lest he’d see her fears again. Until she could be absolutely certain he meant her no harm, she’d stay still and quiet.

She inhaled the masculine scent of horses, sweat, and leather. He smelled like hard work and not a trace of alcohol. Unusual for a man, even a lawman. In the background raucous music came from a saloon. She’d recognize the tinny sound of saloon piano anywhere. It disappeared in the distance, and they proceeded down the street and up what felt like stairs or

steps onto what must be a boardwalk or porch.
He set her on her feet, and she peeped with one eye while he fumbled in his pocket then pulled out a ring of keys. In the next minute he had the door open and strode through it, car- rying her once again.

Antiseptics, alcohol, and carbolic acid greeted her nose. This must be the doctor’s office. Not until he laid her on a hard surface did she open her eyes, half expecting him to be leering over her. Instead he had walked away to light a lamp, which filled the room with flickering shadows dancing on the walls. A glass door cabinet stood against the wall, and another bed sat a few feet away from where she lay.

He returned to stand beside her, and she almost shrank in fear at his size. Well over six feet tall, he’d removed his hat to reveal a mass of dark red hair curling about his forehead. His hand caressed her forehead, but she did not flinch, even though every inch of her wanted to. No need for him to know her fears.

“I see you’re awake. The doc will be here in a minute. He’ll fix you right up.”

Instead of resisting, her body relaxed at the gentle tone of his voice. He certainly didn’t fit her idea of a lawman or a cowboy. No one but her ma had ever treated her so kindly. Most people treated her like trash under their feet and didn’t care whether she was well or sick. Still, he was a man. She had to be careful.

A woman’s voice sounded, along with another man’s. She turned her head to find a beautiful red-haired woman and an older man entering the room.

The one who must be the doctor stepped to her side.
“Well, Cory, what have we here?” His eyes held only concern and kindness behind his wire-rimmed glasses.

“I found her in the alley behind the general store. She must have come in on horseback and fallen there.”

The woman brushed hair from Libby’s face. “Can you tell us your name?”

Her heart thumped. What if Pa came looking for her? But if she lied and stayed here, she’d have to keep lying. Another fit of coughing had the woman holding her upright and rubbing her back. When the spell ended, Libby whispered her name. “Elizabeth Bradley.”

The woman helped her lie back down. “Hello, Elizabeth. I’m Kate Monroe, the doc’s nurse, and this fellow who brought you in is my brother, Cory. He’s deputy sheriff in town.”

Just having her there gave Libby a sense of safety she needed with two men in the room. Her kind eyes, a green color that reminded Libby of the fake emeralds some of the saloon girls wore, had a tender look to them.

The doctor listened to her chest with a funny-looking bell on something hanging from his ears. He frowned then pulled the contraption down around his neck. “I hear a lot of conges- tion in your lungs, young lady. How long have you been out in the cold?”

“I don’t know. I think it’s been several days. I left home in the middle of the night on Tuesday.” The days and nights had run together as she lost all track of time.

The doctor shook his head. “This is Friday night, so you’ve been out at least three days. No wonder your lungs are so con- gested.” He turned to the one called Kate. “Get a bed ready for

her. She’s staying the night and maybe longer.”
Libby tried to sit up but began coughing again. She couldn’t stay here. Pa would find her. Her plan had been to head west then south, where the winter temperatures were not as severe. She’d lost all sense of direction after the first night and had no idea which way she’d come.

Kate’s warm hands pushed her back down gently but firmly. “Lie still, Elizabeth. The doctor is right; you have to stay here.”

Tears welled in Libby’s eyes, and she squeezed them tight to keep the tears from falling. Though hard, this bed was so much better than the ground where she’d slept the past nights. Hospitals and doctors cost money. That’s why Pa wouldn’t go for the doctor until Ma was too sick to recover.

The doctor gave her something that tasted bitter, but she swallowed it and then lay back against the pillow Kate had placed beneath her head. The low murmur of voices ran together in a blur. One of the men said he’d stay, but the other one said something about a wedding. Who was getting mar- ried? Maybe they’d forget about her.

The tension ebbed from her body as the medication took over. Someone, most likely the deputy since the doctor was an old man, picked her up and took her into another room, where he laid her on the bed. She almost sighed at the cotton softness of the mattress beneath her. So much better than pine straw and hard-packed dirt.

Kate’s voice followed behind then shooed the man from the room. “I’m going to help her get settled for the night, so she doesn’t need you. Go on back to the boardinghouse. I’m sure you’ll find Abigail has something for you to eat.”

A few minutes later Kate had removed Libby’s still damp

and dirty clothes and slipped a warm gown over her head.
When Libby slid her arms into the sleeves, she realized it was her own gown. “How did you get this? It’s mine.”

“Cory brought in the satchel you carried on your horse, and I found the gown in it. I warmed it by the wood stove in the other room.”

That warmth, along with the medication earlier, eased away the pain, and Libby let her eyes drift closed. Perhaps this was the place she should stay after all. She pulled up the covers and turned on her side. She’d think about that tomorrow. Tonight she’d sleep warm and dry for the first time in too many days

to count.

First Wild Card Tour Annie’s Truth by Beth Shriver

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:
Beth Shriver
and the book:
Annie’s Truth
Realms (May 15, 2012)

***Special thanks to Althea Thompson | Publicity Coordinator, Charisma House | Charisma Media for sending me a review copy.***

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Beth Shriver received a degree in social work and psychology from the University of Nebraska. She worked as a caseworker for Boulder County Department of Social Services before starting a family. Beth and her husband of twenty years and her two children live in Texas after moving from their first home in Colorado. She freelances for the local papers in her area and writes columns, devotionals for magazines, and novels in a variety of genres in both fiction and nonfiction.

Visit the author’s website.

SHORT BOOK DESCRIPTION:


Annie Bieler sets out on a journey of the spirit when she discovers she was adopted after being found as an abandoned newborn. Her father is strongly against her decision to go as it could mean Meidung, or excommunication from the community and even her family. But Annie knows she must find “the path that has her heart.” Her search also takes her away from John, the young man who is courting her.

Product Details:

List Price: $13.99

Paperback: 304 pages

Publisher: Realms (May 15, 2012)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 161638607X

ISBN-13: 978-1616386078
AND NOW…THE FIRST CHAPTER:

The dinner Bell rang just as one of the milk cows slapped Annie’s kapp with its tail. Now she was late for the evening meal. She pulled the black kapp off her head. When Maggie swatted Annie, the pins were knocked loose. She wiped off the dirt and cow manure then hastily twisted up her hair into a bun and pulled the kapp over her mess of hair.

“Need some help?” John Yoder’s dark eyes smiled at her.

She jumped at the sight of him looking down at her with a

grin. “Nee, I can finish up.”

Her mamm would scold her for her tardiness and her unruly hair, so she quickly grabbed two containers of milk, clutching them to her chest. When she turned around, John was removing the cups from the Guernsey’s udders.

“Danke. The boys must have missed a couple.” The cover of one of the containers lifted, causing milk to spill out onto her black dress. Annie wiped her hand on her white apron. Frustration bubbled up and burst out in an irritated groan.

“Now what?” John opened the barn door and shut it behind them.

Annie pointed to the milk stain and slowed her walk so he could catch up. Her mamm wouldn’t be as upset with her if she saw Annie with John.

“I spilled on myself, my hair’s a mess, and I’m late.” She jug- gled the containers to keep them in place as she walked.

John’s smile never left, just tipped to the side while she listed her worries. “You’re never late.”

“You will be too if you keep talking to me.” The milk sloshed
3
Beth Shriver
around in the containers as she adjusted them again. “Taking the long way home?”

“Jah, thought I’d come by to say hallo.” He took one from her then reached for the other.

She turned slightly so he couldn’t reach the second bottle. “I’ve got this one.”

“Suit yourself.” He shrugged as his grin widened.

They walked together toward their houses, which were down the path from one another, divided by a dozen trees. John was three the day Annie was born and had been a part of her life more than her own brothers were at times. His brown hair brushed his collar as he walked with her, holding back to keep in step with Annie.

“Aren’t you late to help with cooking?” He nodded toward her white clapboard house. A birdfeeder was hung at the far end of the porch, which had a peaked black roof, and daisies filled her mamm’s flower garden in front of the house. Mamm created a colorful greeting of flora for every season.

She shook her head. “Nee, Eli’s helping the Lapps, so I’m helping the boys with milking. What were you doing, cutting tobacco?”

He nodded. “Nice day for it too. The sun was bright, but there was a breeze that kept us cool.” He lifted his strong, handsome face toward the sunshine and took in a deep breath.

He was just trying to irritate her, so she ignored his jab. John knew she preferred being outdoors and that she would trade places with him in an instant. When the time was right she would help with the tobacco harvesting and, along with many others, would then prepare the meal after the task was done.

“It looked warm outside to me.” She took the milk from him and kept walking. The last of the warm summer days were coming to an end, and soon it would be time for fall harvesting.

They reached the trail that led to John’s home on the far side

of a stand of tall oak trees. “Not as hot as in the kitchen.” He
4
Annie’s Truth

snapped his suspenders and turned onto the trail leading away from her.

“John Yoder . . . ” was all she could say this close to her daed’s ears. She watched him continue on down the roughed-out dirt lane thinking of what she would have said if she could. Her gaze took in the many acres of barley, corn, and oat crops and then moved to the Virginia mountainside beyond, where the promise of fall peeked out between the sea of green.

Annie walked up the wooden stairs and into the kitchen. The room was simple and white, uncluttered. A long table and chairs took over the middle of the large room, and rag rugs of blue and emerald added color and softness. For a unique moment it was silent.

“Annie?” Her mamm’s voice made her worry again about being late, with a soiled dress and unkempt hair.

Her tall, slender mamm stopped picking up the biscuits from a baking pan and placed both hands on the counter. She let out a breath when Annie came into the kitchen. “Ach, good, you brought the milk.” Mamm’s tired gaze fell on Annie.

“I was talking with John.” She opened the cooler door and placed the milk on the shelf.

Her mamm’s smile told Annie she wasn’t late after all, so she continued. “He said it was a good day for baling.”

Hanna and her brother strolled in, and he grabbed a biscuit, creating a distraction that allowed Annie time to twist her hair up and curl it into a tight bun. A tap from their mamm’s hand made her son drop the biscuit back into the basket with the rest. “I’m so hungry.” Thomas’s dark freckles on his pudgy face con- trasted to his light hair and skin, so unlike Annie’s olive-colored

complexion, which was more like their daed’s.

She tousled his hair. “You are always the first one to dinner

and the last one to leave.”

“I’m a growing child. Right, Mamm?” Thomas took the basket of biscuits to the table and set them next to his plate.

“That you are. Now go sit down and wait for the others.”
5
Beth Shriver
Mamm placed a handful of biscuits in the breadbox and brushed her hands off on her white apron.

While they waited for the others to wash up, she addressed

Annie. “John walked you out this morning and walked you home?” “Like he has most every day of my life.” Annie’s voice almost

reached the edge into sarcasm, but she smiled to make light of it. Didn’t her mamm know that her obvious nudging turned Annie away from John, not toward him?

Hanna had been quiet, listening, and walked over to Annie. “Should we ask Mamm if we can look in our chests in the attic?” Annie peered over Hanna’s shoulder at Mamm. “Jah, but let’s

wait until after supper.”

Her mamm’s brow lifted just as the buzz of her family coming into the room sidetracked her attention from Annie and Hanna. The younger ones were restless with hunger, and the older sib- lings talked amongst themselves. Frieda, Hanna, Augustus, Eli, Thomas, and Samuel all sat in the same chairs they were always in, and Annie took her assigned seat with the rest.

Her daed sat at the head of the table and waited with watchful eyes until everyone was quiet. When Amos folded his hands, all followed suit, and they all said silent grace.

Geef ons heden ons dagelijks brood. Give us this day our daily bread. Amen. Annie thought the words then kept her eyes closed until she heard movement from the others.

Amos passed the food to his right until it made a full circle back to him.

“We’ve almost finished with the Lapps’s tobacco field,” Annie’s oldest brother, Eli, informed Amos. He and Hanna had Mamm’s silky blond hair and blue eyes, but Hanna didn’t have her disposition.

Amos nodded and lifted a bite of chicken to his mouth.

Eli leaned toward Amos. “I can then tend to our barley day after tomorrow.”

Amos spoke without looking at his son. “You will work the

Lapps’s land until they say you are finished. Not before.”
6
Annie’s Truth

The gleam in Eli’s dark eyes faded as he took up his fork. “Jah, Daed.”

Mamm spoke then. “It’s an honor you are able to help them while their daed recovers.” She shifted her attention to her hus- band. “Have you heard how Ephraim is healing?”

Amos continued to eat as he spoke to her mamm. “His back is mending. It’s his worrisome wife that keeps him laid up.”

“Ach, I’d probably do the same if it were you.” Mamm waited a moment until Daed’s mouth lifted into a half smile.

He gave the table a smack to stop Frieda from tempting Thomas with another biscuit. “The boy can help himself without your teasing him.”

She set their hands in her lap. “Jah, Daed.”

He nodded for them to eat again. Conversation was uncommon during meals, so Annie let her mind wander. Harvest season was approaching, and the excitement of upcoming weddings was on everyone’s mind. Although the courtship was to be kept quiet, most knew which couples would most likely be married in the coming months.

Annie’s mind went to John, the one she knew her parents, as well as his, would expect her to be with. Although she had feel- ings for him, she wished her spouse would not be chosen for her. It had changed her relationship with him just knowing what their expectations were. He had been her best friend, but she now kept him at bay, hoping for more time before the pressure became too great and they were forced to marry.

She put the palm of her hand to her forehead, resting there with thoughts of who else she could possibly be with from their community. Names went through her mind, but not one appealed to her in the same way John did.

Hanna nudged Annie as everyone began to clear the table. Annie’s mind rushed back to the present. She knew why Hanna wanted her attention. She was thinking about the upcoming nup- tials too. Their wedding chests gave them promise for their own

special day.
7
Beth Shriver
“Let’s ask Mamm.” Hanna’s eyes shone with excitement. Annie felt a lift in her spirits at the thought of having the privi- lege to rummage through their special treasures. She looked at her mamm laughing at her brother’s story of his britches getting caught on the Lapps’s fence. Her smile faded when he showed her the hole the wire made, which she would be mending that evening.

“You ask her,” Annie urged.

Hanna was the closest to Annie’s age and her confidante, as she was Hanna’s. “After dinner.” Hanna got up from her chair to help.

Frieda started the hand pump as the others gathered the dishes and put away the extra food. Once the dishes were cleaned and dried, Hanna and Annie went to their mamm, who stacked plates in the cupboard as the girls walked over to her.

“What do you want to ask me?” Mamm continued with the dishes until the last plate was put away.

Hanna and Annie looked at one another. Annie furrowed her brows to make Hanna talk.

“We’d like to see our hope chests.”

“It’s a long while from any weddings being published.” Mamm placed a hand on the counter and studied them. “Okay, then. But after your lessons are done.”

Hanna grabbed Annie’s hand, and they walked quickly from the kitchen. “Jah, Mamm,” they said in unison. Annie hadn’t looked through her chest since she’d given up the doll her mamm had made for her. Since it was her first, Annie had chosen to store it after receiving another from her aunt.

Hanna urged Annie to stop doing homework after she com- pleted hers, but Annie wouldn’t go until she’d finished her story. Finally the girls ran up the wooden stairs to the attic. Hanna grabbed the metal doorknob and pushed on the door to open it. The door creaked in the darkness, and Annie held the kerosene lamp up to examine the room before entering. It looked exactly

the same as the last time she’d been there.
8
Annie’s Truth

A chest of drawers held baby clothes, and beside it stood a cabinet full of documents and paperwork Daed kept but never seemed to use. Special dresses and a bonnet hung on the far side of the room alongside a box of old toys her daed and Eli had made.

The girls spotted the chests lined up next to one another, where they would remain until their owners were married. Amos had made each of his girls one in which to keep their sentimental belongings. One day, when they had their own homes, they would have a memory of their daed and the things they held dear during their childhood.

Annie ran to the last one. Amos had lined them up according to age, so Hanna’s was right next to Annie’s. “You first,” Annie told Hanna.

“Nee, you.” Hanna moved closer to Annie and watched her lift the heavy wooden lid. “I can’t wait.” Hanna went to her chest and opened it as well. “Ach, I’d forgotten.” Hanna reached for the doll Mamm had made for her.

Annie grabbed hers, and they examined them together, just alike and equally worn. “I loved this doll! I had forgotten how much I played with it when I was a child.” The black bonnet was torn around the back, and the hay stuffing peeked out the back of the doll’s dress.

“Mine is tattered as well. I’m glad we put them away when we did, or there would be nothing left of them.” Hanna glanced at Annie’s doll.

Annie placed the doll in her lap and pulled out her wedding quilt, the one of many colors. Hanna’s was a box design, and Annie’s was circles within circles, resembling the circle of life. She ran her hand across the beautifully stitched material and admired her mamm’s handiwork. When she looked up, Hanna was doing the same.

Their eyes met. “Hold yours up so I can see.” Hanna’s voice was soft and breathy. “It’s beautiful, Annie. You’re lucky to be

closer to marrying than me.”
9
Beth Shriver
Annie tilted her head and turned the quilt to face her. “I don’t feel ready.”

Hanna’s brows drew together in question. “Why? You’ve always known you’ll be with John. And he is a handsome one.” She grinned. “I’ll take him off your hands.”

Annie tried to force a smile. “Why has everyone chosen my spouse for me?”

Hanna put her quilt back into the chest. “Don’t let your mind wander. Just be happy with the way things are.”

Annie fell silent, in thought. “Questioning is how we find the

truth.”

“The truth has already been found.” Hanna reached for her family Bible as she spoke.

Annie nodded, humbled, and looked for her special Bible. She moved a carved toy Eli had made for her and a book her mamm had given to her. Finally, at the very bottom, she found a Bible the minister gave her. As she opened it up, she skimmed through the flimsy pages. She went to the very front of the book and smiled when she saw how she had written her name as a young girl. The letters were varied sizes and uneven.

Her mamm’s and daed’s names were both written under hers, their dates of birth, and a list of her brothers and sisters under that. Births and other dates of additional relatives proceeded on to the next page, including the dates of their marriages. Annie flipped back to the first page and noticed the day of her birth was missing. Only the year was written; the day did not precede it, only the month.

“Hanna, come look.” Annie handed her the Bible and searched her sister’s face for some sign that she knew the reason for the omission. Annie thought back to the days her family recognized her birthday—one in particular.

Birthdays were often celebrated after church service on Sundays when everyone was already together and they wouldn’t take time away from daily chores during the week. This being

tradition, Annie didn’t think much of the exact date of her birth.
10
Annie’s Truth

Thoughts of self were discouraged. Everyone was treated equally so as to prevent pride.

On Annie’s thirteenth birthday she had been surprised by her family and friends with a party. A cake with thirteen candles was brought out, and gifts were given. Her brother had made her a handmade wooden box, and her sister, a picture of flowers. Other useful gifts such as nonperishable food and fancy soaps made by her aunt in the shape of animals piled up on the picnic table next to a half-eaten cake.

The best gift was from John. He had taken an orange crate and decorated it with his wood-burning tools. It was filled with small, flat wooden figures of every significant person in her life. The time and care he had put into the gift had touched Annie. She treated the present with such care she had thought it wise to store it in her hope chest. Now Annie wished she had enjoyed the box more.

She searched for it now and found the pieces scattered throughout the bottom of the chest. She picked up the wooden figures one by one, examined them, and put them in the box. Although they all looked alike, as no graven images were per- mitted, she used her imagination to pick out each person. Frieda, Hanna, Augustus, Eli, Thomas, and Samuel were all accounted for, then Mamm and her daed, her mammi and dawdi—grandparents—then John and her. All of the boy fig- ures looked the same as well except for their height, facial hair, and a hat her dawdi always wore.

She’d envision John’s figure to be the exception. He had a thick head of black hair and always wore it a bit longer than he should. He could always get away with such things due to his charismatic personality. That was something not encouraged, so not often seen in their community.

Annie ran a finger along the small wooden likeness of John and wondered if she shouldn’t dismiss him so readily. As a friend she adored him, but the thought of marrying him annoyed her.

But did that feeling come because of him, or was it her?
11
Beth Shriver
Hanna’s sigh brought Annie back to the moment. Hanna looked from her Bible to Annie’s. “That’s odd, isn’t it?”

Annie turned a crisp page and stared at the words again. “I

wonder if Mamm simply didn’t remember to fill in the day.”

Hanna frowned. “It’s not like Mamm to forget to do anything like this.”

Annie didn’t want to believe that Mamm forgot, and Hanna was right in that their mamm never left anything undone, espe- cially when it came to her children. “I’m sure there’s a reason.”

“The only thing left to do is ask.” Hanna closed the Bible and handed it to Annie.

Annie took the black book, its pages edged with light gold. “Don’t you want to?” Hanna grasped her hands together and

set them on her knees.

“Jah, I do.” Annie stroked the top of the golden pages with her

finger. “And then I don’t.”

Hanna grunted. “Well, that’s silly.”

Annie stopped and took the Bible in both hands. “But I have a strange feeling.” Annie squeezed the Good Book. “Maybe it’s better if I don’t know.”

First Wild Card Tour…..Cameleon by Jillian Kent

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:
Jillian Kent
and the book:
Chameleon
Realms (May 15, 2012)

***Special thanks to Althea Thompson | Publicity Coordinator, Charisma House | Charisma Media for sending me a review copy.***

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Jillian Kent has been a member of American Christian Fiction Writers for several years. She has also been a member of Romance Writers of America for 20 years and a member of The Beau Monde, Kiss of Death, and Faith, Hope, and Love specialty chapters of RWA. With a master’s degree in social work, Jillian is employed as a counselor for nursing students, which reflects within the pages of her first novel, Secrets of the Heart, which won the 2009 Inspiration for Writers contest and was a finalist in the Daphne du Maurier; the Noble Theme; and Faith, Hope, and Love’s Touched by Love contests.
Visit the author’s website.

SHORT BOOK DESCRIPTION:

Lady Victoria Grayson has always considered herself a keen observer of human behavior, but when she finds herself involved in a sinister plot targeting the lords of Parliament she is forced to question how much anyone can really know about another human being.

Product Details:

List Price: $13.99

Paperback: 304 pages

Publisher: Realms (May 15, 2012)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 1616384964

ISBN-13: 978-1616384968

AND NOW…THE FIRST CHAPTER:

We should come home from adventures, and perils, and discoveries every day with new experience and character.

-HENRY DAVID THOREAULondon, 29 March 1818

ST. JAMES PARK loomed in front of them, shrouded in a heavy mist that created difficulty for horse and driver as the coach and four maneuvered its way into the park.

Inside the vehicle Victoria leaned toward the window, straining to see the outline of trees. “Such a disappointment,” she sighed. “This is not what I expected my very first morning in London. I’d so hoped to see more on the ride through the park, something exciting to tell Devlin when we get to his home.”

“Don’t despair, my lady.” Nora, her maid, pulled a heavy shawl tighter about her shoulders. “‘Tis sure to be the same mist that abounds in Yorkshire. This nuisance will lift eventually. It always does.”

Victoria patted the sleek head of her dog. “Even Lazarus grows bored.” She marveled at her best friend, a behemoth of a mastiff, as he lowered his bulk to the floor of the coach with a loud groan and laid his head across her slipper-covered feet, creating a comfortable warmth. He’d been with her for years, and she couldn’t leave him behind. The poor dear would cry himself to sleep every night.
Victoria allowed the clip-clop of the horses’ hooves and Nora’s penchant for humming songs to lull her into a light sleep. Nora’s humming had comforted her all those years she’d been sick at Ravensmoore. While everyone else lived their busy lives out around her, she’d done little but survive, taking comfort in the small things that brought her joy.

A sudden crash caused the coach door to vibrate. Victoria screamed and bolted upright as Lazarus pressed his nose and giant paws against the carriage window. A low growl rumbled in his throat.

She grabbed the dog by the collar. Heart pounding, she turned to

Nora. “What was that?”

“Highwaymen!” Nora’s hand crept to her neck, and fear filled her eyes.

The coachman drew the horses to a halt and opened the top hatch. “I fear I may have run someone down, my lady, but in this fog I can’t tell.”

“We must find out at once. Someone may be hurt.” Victoria threw open the door, and Lazarus bounded into the mist. “Lazarus! Find!” She called after him, but he was already well on his way. She stepped from the coach, nearly tripping in her haste.

“Wait, my lady,” Nora cried. “’Tis not safe. Come back!”

The driver’s voice echoed through the mist. “You’ll lose your way, my lady. Stop where you are.”

But the warning wasn’t necessary. Victoria could hear Lazarus snuffling the ground someplace nearby. She bit her lip and told her- self to be brave, even as her heart slammed against her chest.

At the same time Lazarus let out a warning bark, the mist shifted. Victoria’s hand clamped over her mouth.

A man lay on his side only a few feet in front of her.

She shouted back to the coach. “I’ve found him! I need help.” She dropped to her knees and touched his shoulder. He didn’t move.
2
She touched his arm and gently shook it. “Sir, are you conscious? Are you injured?” But before she could investigate further, strong arms lifted her and turned her away from the sight. She assumed it was Mr. Smythe, the carriage driver.

“This is not something a lady should see,” the man said.

But as he turned her from the body, she caught a glimpse of the man’s head. She gasped. There was just enough light to see streaks of blood upon one deathly pale cheek.

“We hit him,” she cried. “The coach—” She lifted her head expecting to see the kind eyes of Mr. Smythe and met the warm, brilliant, gray eyes of a stranger. “Who . . . who are you? Who is he? Did we kill him?” She buried her face in her rescuer’s shoulder to rid her mind of the sight.

“It does not appear so, my lady,” he said, his voice low and comforting.

He deposited her inside the coach. Before she could speak, Lazarus bounded in next to her, rocking the vehicle precariously. She patted his head to calm him, and when she looked up at the man again, she saw only icy gray eyes and a rigid jaw line.

She studied those eyes momentarily and heard Nora say, “You poor dear. What is it that you saw?”

“Not the sight any young woman should witness, miss,” the stranger said. “But I believe I prevented her from viewing the worst of the man’s injuries.” He hesitated, then added, “This was no fault of the driver. Take care of this young woman. I’ll get help for the gentleman. Carlton House is nearby.”

“Nonsense,” Victoria whispered. “Use the coach. Our driver will take you.”

He nodded and bowed. “You’re very kind.”

She wondered if it had been her imagination or if his eyes fre- quently switched from an icy gray coolness to a warm molten gray
3
in only moments.. She wondered what this meeting might have been like under different circumstances.

“Be still,” Nora said. “You’ve had a shock.”

She heard the stranger and Mr. Smythe lifting the injured man to the driver’s seat. “God have mercy,” the driver said.

“I’ll show you to Carlton House through this heavy fog. He can get the help he needs there. Who am I indebted to?”

“I’m taking Lady Victoria Grayson and her maid to the lady’s brother.”

“And that would be?” “Lord Ravensmoore, sir.”

They approached Carlton House a few minutes later. Victoria clutched the edge of the seat, attempting to recover from what had happened and what she’d witnessed. As if he understood, Lazarus licked her hand. The coach came to a halt.

The fog still lay heavy on the ground. Victoria could barely make out the two figures moving toward the door and into the palace. But even as their images faded, her thoughts returned to the stranger who’d lifted her away from the bleeding man and carried her back to the coach. The stranger with strong arms and fascinating gray eyes.

Victoria found her strength as the fog lifted and patches of sun- light appeared through the trees, dappling the ground with their shadows. London came alive. Though her curiosity remained keen, she turned her thoughts to her brother and kept her mind on the joy it would be to see him again. He’d only been absent from their home at Ravensmoore for two months, but it seemed far longer.

She stared in unabashed awe at the sea of activity that sur- rounded them as their coach merged with others, making its way through the muddy, rutted streets. The crowded sidewalks teemed with people of all classes. Women in brilliant gowns of color swirled
4
past street urchins and beggars, meshing into an ever-shifting tap- estry of humanity.

She’d stepped into a world bigger than York, a world she’d only dreamed about. Victoria leaned back against the banquette and sighed. “Now that I can see it properly, London is magnificent.”

“I think it best if you have your brother examine you when we arrive, my lady Victoria. You know how he worries. You know how I worry. ’Tis a blessing to have a brother who is both a lord and physician.”

Victoria turned away from the window and assessed her maid. “I am no longer an invalid, Nora, and well you know it.” She lifted her chin a notch. “I’m stronger than either you or my brother realize.” Nora met her gaze, her brow furrowed with worry. Victoria lifted her hand to dismiss the words of warning she knew were sure to come. But Nora, having been her constant companion the past eleven years and knowing her so well, caught Victoria’s hand.

“Child, you’re pale and weary from our travels and that horrid incident in the park. ’Tis a good thing we’ve made this journey, but I think your brother will agree with me that you need to rest.”

“I’ve been resting my entire life. It’s time to live and catch up on the adventures that God has in store for me. How many times did you read Jeremiah twenty-nine, eleven to me throughout the years? Did you not believe those words yourself?”

Nora nodded, keeping her lips firmly pressed together in an obvious effort to curb her tongue. A difficult feat, Victoria under- stood and appreciated.

As if sensing the tension and hoping to break up an ensuing argument, Lazarus nuzzled and nudged Victoria’s attention away from her maid and back toward the window to watch a group of young boys chasing each other down the street. He barked and strained against the coach door. Victoria couldn’t move him from his place of entertainment if she’d tried.
5
“Such a window hound you are, Lazarus.” Victoria rubbed her hand over his big, sleek head, ruffling his ears. “If you wanted my attention, you would more readily share your window.” She smiled and turned her gaze toward the window on the opposite side. Men and women hawked their wares and called to them in hopes of making a profit. “You can do no wrong in my eyes, Lazarus. If you hadn’t been with us earlier, that poor man might still be lying in the park.” She tried to shake off the sense of dread that seeped through her pores. She refused to allow the upset of the morning to ruin her reunion with her brother.

“I’m sorry, Nora.” She studied the dark-haired, blue-eyed woman who was eleven years her senior. Nora had always seemed more of an aunt to her than a maid and companion.

“You’re forgiven.” A smile quirked the corners of her mouth. “You really are too pretty to continue caring for me much longer.

Why is it you haven’t yet married?”

Now Nora chose to gaze out the window to escape further inquiry. “I will when the time and the suitor are right.”

Victoria ended that line of questioning, and they rode in com- panionable silence the rest of the way, each lost in thought.

The busy streets gave way to quieter and more prestigious ave- nues as they made their way to Grosvenor Square and her brother’s London townhome. The quality of the air improved as they moved farther from the central streets and into the areas of the upper crust. The coach slowed and then pulled to a halt in front of number three, Devlin’s home.

“I cannot wait another moment.” Grabbing the handle of the coach door, Victoria stepped out onto the curb. Lazarus bounded out after her and onto the street.

“Good heavens! It’s a bear,” an elderly woman said, clinging to her husband.

Victoria smothered a grin. “He’s quite harmless.”
6
The couple hurried away from the dog.

Nora bolted from the coach and grabbed Lazarus by the collar, holding him fast as he strained to make chase.

“Thank you, Nora. Just in time.”

Victoria gathered her blue velvet traveling skirts and ran up the five steps to the entrance. She reached for the gilded knocker, hesi- tated, and then, after adjusting her gloves, started to grab the handle instead. But the door opened before her hand reached it.

Devlin’s butler appeared. A smile lit his face when he saw Victoria. “Lady Victoria,” he said, and then executed a most noble bow. When he straightened, his pleasure at seeing her was still apparent. “Welcome to London.”

“Henry!” Victoria said. “It is good to see you. Do you mind taking Lazarus? He adores you almost as much as I do.”

“For you I would take Lazarus on a walk to the ends of the earth,”

he said with cheerful amiability.

“Who is it that you are taking for a walk, Henry?” Devlin appeared in the doorway, tall and handsome with that brotherly smile of his and assessing green-eyed gaze. “Ah, there she is. My favorite imp. What took you so long? I expected you yesterday.” He held out his arms. “Are you well?”

“I believe so. We stopped at a nearby inn last evening. The rain made travel a bit difficult.” Victoria burrowed deep into her brother’s warm, comforting embrace. “I’ve missed you, Dev,” she whispered into his chest and squeezed him tight. “I’ve missed you so much.”

“And I, you.” Devlin held her at arm’s length. “It’s good to see you. Now, come in and tell me all about your journey and how my wife is doing at home without me.” He looked up at Nora. “Has she behaved herself on this trip, Nora?”

Her companion grinned. “Nothing out of the ordinary for Lady

Victoria, yer lordship.”
7
“That speaks volumes.” Devlin gently pinched his sister’s cheek. “Henry, I believe Nora would love to hear about town.”

“Of course, yer lordship. Welcome to London, Nora. Would you care to accompany me? And allow me to take Lazarus off your hands.”

“Bless you for that, Henry. He wears me down too quickly.” “Come along, Lazarus.” He accepted the leash from Nora and

quickly fastened it to the dog’s collar.

Nora nodded. “It will help me find my balance again after a long, bumpy, and perilous ride in the coach. I’ll catch you up with all that’s happened back at Ravensmoore.”

Devlin started to enter the house with Victoria and then turned back to Henry. “And Henry,” he called, “don’t forget to feed the beast before you return him to Victoria.”

“Feed him, sir? And just who should be the sacrifice? Lazarus has a shine to his eyes, and I’m thinking it is for me.”

“Get creative, man. Start with Cook.”

“Now, there’s a right smart answer,” Henry said and laughed. “Mrs. Miller will faint dead away.”

Devlin grinned, a wicked glint in his green eyes. “If Cook has the nerve to faint, let Lazarus nibble at her.”

“Devlin!” Victoria feigned horror. “What an outlandish thing to say.” She covered a grin. “That would bring her around faster than smelling salts.”

She turned to watch Lazarus leading Henry and Nora down the street. Her thoughts fled to what might be happening at Carlton House. A shudder crept up her spine. She decided to wait to tell Devlin of her experience in the park. Guilt niggled, but she just wasn’t ready to divulge that bit of information. After all, her freedom was at stake. One thought of her in danger, and Devlin would ship her back to York before she got settled in. No doubt
8
Nora would reveal all if she didn’t stop her maid when she returned from the walk.

“Are you cold?” Devlin asked, assessing her carefully. “Come in. You must be exhausted.”

“Not really. The ride was but a couple of hours.” “No adventures during your journey, Snoop?”

She loved his pet name for her. She was more than a bit curious about everything life had to offer, and Devlin used her nickname more often than her given name. “Adventures? What could possibly happen on a two-hour ride into town?” She swallowed hard, hoping her expression didn’t give her away. She would tell him when the time was right.

“Knowing you, just about anything.”

“I promise to give you a full report.” Eventually. And as she stepped into her brother’s townhome, she wondered how she could discover more about her gray-eyed stranger and the bloodied man he’d taken to Carlton House.

Jonathon Denning, Lord Witt, nearly collided with the guard on duty while carrying Lord Stone into Carlton House.

“Send for the regent and his physician immediately,” he ordered. “There’s been an accident. I need a place where Lord Stone can be treated, and privacy is a must. Not a word of this leaves your lips. Do you understand?”

The guard nodded and headed toward one of the pages standing nearby. “You heard Lord Witt. Be off with you, and hurry, Thomas.”

Witt watched as the page fled down a long corridor.

“Follow me, Lord Witt. We’ll take him upstairs to the guest lodg- ings. Allow me to carry him.”

“I can manage,” Witt muttered. “Go, man. Lead the way, and make sure you choose a room that is not easily found.”
9
The guard wasted no time, and after climbing to the second floor, Witt lay Stone on a four-poster bed surrounded by green drapes. Out of breath, Witt collapsed into a chair, mentally taking stock of all that had happened in the period of a mere half hour.

The guard paled when he saw the severity of Lord Stone’s wounds. “Not a word. Remember that, or I’ll have your post. Now draw those drapes and leave. Send a decanter of brandy. I need a drink.

Better yet, send two.”

Witt sat in a chair near the bed and tried to think about what to do next, as the regent was sure to ask his opinion. He’d been a valued spy during the war, and the regent frequently asked his advice. He sat forward and rested his head in his hands. He’d simply gone out for an early morning walk before Parliament, heard the coach approaching, and scrambled to get out of the way before he was run down.

The muffled sounds of an obviously disturbed dog had fired him to action. He ran a short distance through the mist and then had come upon a well-dressed lady, her massive dog, and Lord Stone. One look at the huge dog had almost caused him to retreat, but he couldn’t leave a young woman to deal with what he’d seen of Stone’s face.

The driver had said the woman was Ravensmoore’s sister. Ironic, since he’d been keeping an eye on the “Lord Doctor” at Prinny’s request.

Prinny, as the regent was known amongst the ton, didn’t know if he liked the idea of one of his lords working as a physician. A nobleman working a trade drew suspicion. What was the point? Although Ravensmoore’s reputation had been spotless when he’d come into his title, it was anticipated that he would leave the study of medicine to manage his estate. Instead he’d pursued this obses- sion that he referred to as a calling and allowed his man of affairs
10
to run his estate when he was forced to be absent. Prinny wanted to know if there was more to it or if Ravensmoore was simply eccentric.

He heard the unhappy growling of the regent and his doctor as they neared the suite of rooms. Witt steeled himself.

“What in the name of all that is reasonable has caused this incon- venience?” roared Prinny when he burst through the outer sitting room. He was still steaming as he entered the bedroom with his physician in tow.

Witt stood. “Your Royal Highness.” He bowed. “Lord Stone has been attacked. I found him in the park. He needs your physician’s immediate attention.”

The overstuffed physician huffed. “I’ll decide what necessitates immediate attention, Lord Witt.”

“Then I suggest you make the determination.” Witt nodded toward the bed. The physician hesitated.

The regent said, “Get on with it. I’m busy today. For the love of good food, Parliament reconvenes this afternoon.”

The physician huffed again and went to the bed, grabbing the drapes and pulling them back. “Great heavens. What’s happened to the man?” He opened the black bag he carried with him. “I’ll need a nursemaid.”

Prinny then stepped closer to evaluate Stone’s condition himself. He sucked in a breath. “The poor devil! Get on with it, doctor. Do everything you can to save him.” The regent, visibly shaken, looked at Witt. “Tell me everything. What happened? We must find out who did this to Stone.”

“Your Majesty.” The physician turned from the bed with a bloody missive in his shaking hand. “I found this pinned to his waistcoat. A warning.”

“Who dares?” He snatched the paper away and read it. “Lord

Witt, today’s session of Parliament must be canceled.” Witt arched a brow.
11
Prinny handed him the blood-stained parchment.

Witt read the note aloud. “‘You have been found guilty of con- spiring with sinful men for sinful purposes. I will now handle the situation as I see fit. Stone is only the first. Repent, you lords of par- liament.’ And it’s signed, ‘Lord Talon.’”

“Curse this Lord Talon.” Prinny looked to Witt for direction. “We must decide the best course of action, and soon. No one has dared attack a member of Parliament since Bellingham assassinated our prime minister, and that was six years ago.”

Ravensmoore came to mind, but Witt faltered for just a moment. No doubt the man was the best there was, and his skills badly needed. But his sister had only just arrived in London, and this sit- uation could put her and her brother in danger. An edge of uneasi- ness rippled down his back.

“Witt,” the regent said. “What is your recommendation?”

Witt took charge. “We must proceed with caution. Tell no one about the note. Not yet. And don’t say anything to anyone about the signature of this Lord Talon. I suggest we ask Lord Ravensmoore to join us immediately. Having a physician who is a peer can prove most helpful.”

The regent paced and mumbled to himself, seemingly in a struggle to make a decision. Finally he said, “Send for him.”
12

Waiting for Sunrise By Eva Marie Everson

Waiting for Sunrise

By Eva Marie Everson

978-0-8007-3437-4

$14.99

Paperback

400 pages

Pub Date: June 2012

Book Blurb

A rising voice in Southern fiction, award-winning author Eva Marie Everson writes with a large helping of Florida charm. Waiting for Sunrise is a touching story of family, young love and the need for forgiveness. Everson expertly draws out the bittersweet moments of life, weaving them into a tale that envelops the soul.

Life sometimes gets the best of us. For some it’s the daily pressures, for others it’s the shadows of the past. For Patsy Milstrap, it’s both. When she travels to beautiful Cedar Key on Florida’s Gulf Coast in search of healing, she never dreams her past will be waiting for her there.

MY THOUGHTS ON THIS BOOK

Waiting for Sunrise by Eva Marie Everson

After Reading Chasing Sunsets, the first book in this series, I was excited and waiting to read “Waiting for Sunrise.” The main character in this second book is Patsy Milstrap, whom we met in Chasing Sunsets. Patsy and her husband Gil are on the way to Cedar Key for a vacation, but what Gil is really doing is trying to get Patsy away in order to find help with dealing with her past. Even though Patsy is married to a wonderful man with

Again, Eva Marie Everson writes a wonderful story with characters that readers grow to love and believe as though they are real. She writes Patsy’s story in a way that seems so real, I was wanting to pray for Patsy daily as I read this book! I love the beach setting, and Cedar Key sounds just like the place anyone needs to go for healing. And Gil is adorable, and his love for Patsy is so very heartwarming, he was willing to do anything to get help for his wife. And Patsy knew he was trying so hard, it must have hurt her so to know he loved her and was trying to help her. One thought I had as I was reading was that wouldn’t it be wonderful if all husbands and wives had that unconditional love for each other, just as God has for us. Marriages would be able to survive if this were true. This book truly shows the true real love in a marriage that could have easily fallen apart. A love that grows through the difficult times, not one that is torn down. The author had be crying a lot during this book, but I had to smile and even laugh at times as well. Eva Marie Everson is truly a gifted and talented author that will always be a favorite on my reading list.

I highly recommend this wonderful book for anyone to read and enjoy, and especially someone going through difficult situations such as someone trying to deal with their difficult past. Patsy’s story is sure to give you hope as you follow her journey.

 “Available June 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

I received this book from the publisher Revell to read and review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 55

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Eva Marie Eversonis a successful speaker and the award-winning author of Things Left Unspoken, This Fine Life and Chasing Sunsets. She is coauthor of the Potluck Club books and the Potluck Catering Club series. She lives in Florida.

Praise for Eva Marie Everson

Chasing Sunsets

“Everson’s work is neatly done and her fans will find value in her presentation of life’s lack of tidiness, which reads both realistically and convincingly.”–Publishers Weekly

“Everson’s evocative writing puts the reader in the midst of the gorgeous seaside setting.”–RT Book Reviews

Chasing Sunsets moves quickly and captures any romantic’s attention. Everson knows how to create a well-crafted tale.”–Alice Wisler, author of A Wedding Invitation

“Eva Marie Everson charms her readers with characters you’d love to have as friends. Then she places them in a setting where you’d love to be.”–Novel Reviews

“Eva Marie Everson’s latest story shows her versatility as a writer as she pens a contemporary romance with women’s fiction undertones.”–Relz Reviews

Choose Joy Because Happiness Isn’t Enough

Choose Joy

Because Happiness is Not Enough 

by Kay Warren

 

Synopsis:  Between tough economic times and everyday “life” struggles sometimes it may feel as if things are hopeless. Happiness doesn’t just seem fleeting, it often seems unattainable.

Kay Warren is no stranger to sorrow and difficulties. Though she lives in the public life as the co-founder of Saddleback Church – one of the nation’s largest and most influential churches in America – with her husband Rick, the circumstances in Kay’s life have not always been perfect. She has personally experienced emotional and physical abuse, two bouts with cancer and various other hardships along with witnessing women and children worldwide who are hurting from HIV/AIDS, hunger and poverty.

While very difficult, these circumstances have taught Kay valuable lessons about the true meaning of joy. Realizing that many other women struggle with living in joy – if they even know what it is – Kay decided the lessons she has learned needed to be shared.

In “Choose Joy: Because Happiness Isn’t Enough,” Kay draws from biblical principles and her own life experience to illustrate what joy really is, where to find it, and how to choose it in the good times and the bad.

 

 

MY THOUGHTS ON THIS BOOK

The very first page of “Choose Joy” caught my attention because the author and I seem to have a lot in common. First of all, like Kay Warren, I don’t always have it all together. And even though my name is Joy, the joy Kay is talking about doesn’t always come easily to me, and one reason is, I’ve struggled with depression as well for a long time. Therefore this book captured my interest and kept it until the last page, because I really wanted to see just what Kay Warren has to say about this ‘Joy’ she is talking about.

A few of the statements Kay made that jumped out at me are:

Joy is a choice.

The foundational truth that each of us needs to remember is that ‘God is the Only True Source of Joy.’

Joy is the gift of the Holy Spirit intended for all personalities at all times.

Because God’s will is good, we can embrace joy rather than fear. When we truly believe God’s will is good, we have no reason to fear.

The walls we build around us to keep sadness out also keeps out the joy.

And these are just a few things I wrote down while reading this book. As I read through “Choose Joy,” I was reminded that God’s desire for us is to have the full joy in our lives as we live for Him. Kay Warren gives us an outline in her book that is easy to read and follow, and will help us have joy in every area of our lives. It is not always easy, but it can happen if we truly trust the Lord. And that is what this book does for me, it shows me how I can truly trust God in all areas of my life, finding joy in Him.

I appreciate Kay Warren admitting to her readers that always finding Joy is difficult for her, because that made this book more real to me because she knows what she is talking about because of her experience. I tend to find a book more believable when the author talks about his or her own experiences, and that is true of “Choose Joy.” As I read the book, I could feel the love and encouragement Kay has for her readers.

I encourage all ladies to read this book, even if you think you don’t need it. And it wouldn’t hurt men at all to read it as well! And this would make a wonderful Bible Study for small groups and Sunday school classes as well as devotions. I highly recommend “Choose Joy” to anyone!

 “Available April 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

I received this book from the publisher Revell to read and review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 55

 

 

 

 About Kay Warren

Author: Kay Warren, author, speaker and international HIV/AIDS advocate. Kay and her husband, Rick, began Saddleback Church, now one of the largest churches in America, in the living room of their condominium in 1980. Since then, she has founded the HIV/AIDS Initiative at Saddleback Church in 2004 and spoken around the world as an advocate for the weak and vulnerable. She chronicles this in her first book “Dangerous Surrender,” originally released in 2007 and revised, expanded and published as “Say Yes to God” in 2010. A two-time cancer survivor, Kay knows firsthand how a life-threatening diagnosis alters one’s daily life. Her own bouts with suffering have motivated her to serve those who are sick. She is passionate about using her personal experiences to encourage others, which is why she wrote “Choose Joy: Because Happiness Isn’t Enough,” which releases in April 2012.

 

Publisher:  Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group

Release Date: April 12, 2012

ISBN:  978-0-8007-2172-5

MSRP:  $21.99 U.S.

Pages: 272

Size:  6” X 9”

Website:             http://www.KayWarren.com or http://bit.ly/yj3waz

Facebook:             http://www.Facebook.com/KayWarren

Twitter:             @KayWarren1

 

FIRST Wild Card Tours…….The Blood SUgar Solution by Mark Hayman, M. D.

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:
Mark Hyman, M.D.
and the book:
The Blood Sugar Solution: The UltraHealthy Program for Losing Weight, Preventing Disease, and Feeling Great Now!
Little, Brown and Company; 1 edition (February 28, 2012)
***Special thanks to Rick Roberson The B&B Media Group for sending me a review copy.***
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

An internationally respected physician, researcher, educator, activist, and five-time New York Times best-selling author, including The Blood Sugar Solution (also a PBS special), The UltraMind Solution (also a PBS special), The UltraSimple Diet, UltraMetabolism, and UltraPrevention (winner of the Books for a Better Life Award), Dr. Hyman has dedicated his life and career to ensuring optimal health – UltraWellness – for all individuals. His new book and PBS special, The Blood Sugar Solution, will be released March 2012 to address the global epidemic of obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular and other related diseases.

His revolutionary “secret” to achieving UltraWellness? Dr. Hyman is the world’s leading pioneer and practitioner of a ground-breaking and emerging approach to medicine that treats our system, not our symptoms. This new health paradigm is a systems-based, patient-centered method (called Functional Medicine) to preventing and treating disease and promoting health that works on two intertwined platforms: identifying and addressing the underlying causes of disease instead of just managing and masking symptoms and employing emerging trends in science and medicine, and integrative medicine.
Visit the author’s website.

SHORT BOOK DESCRIPTION:

In the new #1 New York Times bestseller, The Blood Sugar Solution (Little, Brown and Company February, 2012), Dr. Mark Hyman – Chairman of the Institute for Functional Medicine and founder and medical director of The UltraWellness Center – reveals the secret to losing weight and preventing diabesity. According to Dr. Hyman, a staggering one in two Americans suffers from diabesity, the condition of metabolic imbalance and disease that ranges from mild blood sugar imbalance to full-blown diabetes. Diabesity is one of the leading causes of chronic disease in the 21st century, including heart disease, stroke, dementia, and cancer, and the numbers of sick people keep growing. One in three children born today will have diabetes. We are now raising the first generation of Americans to live sicker and die younger than their parents.
Genre: Health & Fitness

Product Details:

List Price: $27.99

Hardcover: 448 pages

Publisher: Little, Brown and Company; 1 edition (February 28, 2012)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 031612737X

ISBN-13: 978-0316127370

MY THOUGHTS ON THIS BOOK

This book really couldn’t have come at a better time for me. I’m not diabetic, but I am pre-diabetic, so I really need the info here. After just going to the Dr recently, I was not suprised to find that I answered yes to more quiz questions that I wanted to.

In his new book, Dr. Hyman gives readers a way out of the life they now living and a way of helping prevent diseases, a program for losing weight, and a way to just feel great now. This is not a book you can skim though, its just too much information. But it is a great book to help you keep a healthy lifestyle.  And though I can’t aford the supplements that he recommends right now, I can still benefit greatly from this book. The information on Dairy and Gluten was helpful to me, since I know little about it! Also I am really enjoying the meal plans. One of my problems is planning healthy meals, and the author helps with this in one of the chapters. And even includes great recipes!

Overall, this is a book that should be in every household because of the wealth of information that is between this book cover. And don’t let the supplement cost stop you from getting this book. You don’t need them to read the information here. If you can afford them great, if you can’t, then grab the book and see all of the other much needed information written here.

 I rec’d this book from The B&B Media Group and First WildCard tours. I was not expected or required to write a positive review of this book. The opinions in this review are mine only.

AND NOW…THE FIRST CHAPTER:

Introduction
Diabesity: What You Don’t Know May Kill You
What’s in a name: insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, syndrome X, obesity, pre-diabetes, adult-onset diabetes, type 2 diabetes. These are all essentially one problem; some vary by severity but all can have deadly consequences. The diagnosis and treatment of the underlying causes that drive all these conditions are actually the same.
Diabesity is a more comprehensive term to describe the continuum from optimal blood sugar balance toward insulin resistance and full-blown diabetes. If you answered yes to any of the questions in the quiz on page xxi, you may already have diabesity.
Nearly all people who are overweight (over 70 percent of adult Americans) already have “pre-diabetes” and have significant risks of disease and death. They just don’t know it. Even worse, while the word “diabesity” is made up of the concepts of obesity and diabetes, even those who aren’t overweight can have this problem. These are the “skinny fat” people. They are “underlean” (not enough muscle) instead of “overweight” and have a little extra weight around the middle, or “belly fat.” Currently there are no national screening recommendations, no treatment guidelines, no approved medications, and no reimbursement to health care providers for diagnosing and treating anything other than full-blown diabetes. Think about that. Doctors are not expected, trained, or paid to diagnose and treat the single biggest chronic disease in America, which, along with smoking, causes nearly all the major health care burdens of the twenty-first century, including heart disease, stroke, dementia, and even cancer. But here is the good news–there is a scientifically proven solution that I have mapped out for you in this book.
Our current medical practice has not caught up with our knowledge. In 2008, the American College of Endocrinology and the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists gathered twenty-two experts and reviewed all the scientific data on pre-diabetes and diabetes. They heralded a wake-up clarion call for individuals, the health care community, and governments around the world.1 Their conclusions were as follows:
The diagnosis of pre-diabetes and diabetes is arbitrary. A fasting blood sugar over 100 mg/dl is considered pre-diabetes, and a blood sugar over 126 mg/dl is considered diabetes. However, they found these cutoffs don’t reflect the whole spectrum of risk– including heart disease, cancer, dementia, stroke, and even kidneyand nervedamage–whichstartsat much lower numbers, numbers most people consider normal.
The DECODE study of 22,000 people2 examined the continuum of risk measured not by fasting blood sugar, but by blood sugar after a big sugar drink (the best way to diagnose the problem). The study found that even starting at blood sugar levels that were perfectly normal (95 mg/dl), there was a steady and significant risk of heart disease and complications well below the accepted abnormal of less than 140 mg/dl for pre-diabetes and long before people reached the diabetic cutoff of 200 mg/dl.
Bottom line: Even if you have perfectly normal blood sugar, you may be sitting on a hidden time bomb of disease called diabesity, which prevents you from losing weight and living a long healthy life. Insulin resistance is the major cause of aging and death in the developed and most of the developing world. This book will help you identify and reverse this explosive situation for yourself. It also lays out a comprehensive action plan for greater collective action to solve this problem individually and collectively by getting healthy together.
Part I
Understanding The Modern Plague
For this we must make automatic and habitual, as early as possible, as many useful actions as we can, and guard against the growing into ways that are likely to be disadvantageous to us, as we should guard against the plague.
— William James,
“The Laws of Habit,” The Popular Science Monthly (February 1887)
It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.
— Mark Twain
1
a Hidden epidemic: The United States of Diabetes
Diabesity, the continuum of health problems ranging from mild insulin resistance and overweight to obesity and diabetes, is the single biggest global health epidemic of our time. It is one of the leading causes of heart disease, dementia, cancer, and premature death in the world and is almost entirely caused by environmental and lifestyle factors. This means that it is almost 100 percent preventable and curable.
Diabesity affects over 1.7 billion people worldwide. Scientists conservatively estimate it will affect 1 in 2 Americans by 2020, 90 percent of whom will not be diagnosed. I believe it already affects more than 1 in 2 Americans and up to 70-80 percent of some populations.
Obesity (almost always related to diabesity) is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States and around the world. Gaining just 11-16 pounds doubles the risk of type 2 diabetes, while gaining 17-24 pounds triples the risk. Despite this, there are no national recommendations from government or key organizations advising screening or treatment for pre-diabetes. We are becoming the United States of Diabetes.
The prevalence of type 2 diabetes in America has tripled since the 1980s. In 2010 there were 27 million Americans with diabetes (25 percent of whom were not diagnosed) and 67 million with pre-diabetes (90 percent of whom were not diagnosed). African-Americans, Latin Americans, and Asians have dramatically higher rates of diabesity than Caucasians do.1 By 2015, 2.3 billion people worldwide will be overweight and 700 million will be obese. The number of diabetics will increase from 1 in 10 Americans today to 1 in 3 by the middle of this century.
A Childhood Problem
Perhaps most disturbing, our children are increasingly affected by this epidemic. We are raising the first generation of Americans to live sicker and die younger than their parents. Life expectancy is actually declining for the first time in human history.
Here are some startling statistics:
One in three children is overweight in America.
Childhood obesity has tripled from 1980 to 2010.
There are now more than 2 million morbidly obese children above the 99th percentile in weight.
In New York City, 40 percent of the children are overweight or obese.
One in three children born today will have diabetes in their lifetime.
Childhood obesity will have more impact on the life expectancy of children than all childhood cancers combined.
A Global Problem
Diabetes is just as widespread in other parts of the world: In 2007, it was estimated that 240 million people worldwide had diabetes. It is projected to affect 380 million by the year 2030, about 10 times the number of people affected by HIV/AIDS.2 Sadly this is a gross underestimate. Estimates in 2011 put the worldwide total at 350 million. In China alone, rates of diabetes were almost zero 25 years ago. In 2007, there were 24 million diabetics in China, and scientists projected that by 2030 there would be 42 million diabetics in China. However, by 2010, there were 93 million diabetics and 148 million pre-diabetics in China,
Special Note: Childhood Obesity and Diabetes –The Blood Sugar Solution for Children
The biggest tragedy is the global spread of childhood obesity and “adult”onset or type 2 diabetes in little children. We are now seeing eight-year-old children with diabetes, fifteen-year-olds with strokes, and twenty-five-yearolds who need cardiac bypass. While The Blood Sugar Solution is a program mostly for adults, it is also powerful and effective for children. The whole family must be part of the solution, and we have to make our homes, communities, and schools safe for our children.
The Blood Sugar Solution includes many child-friendly recipes. And when it comes to supplements, there is something for everyone, even infants and children. In fact, any child over twelve years of age with diabesity can follow the basic Blood Sugar Solution plan. Children younger than twelve or those who qualify for the Advanced Plan should work with an experienced functional medicine practitioner. See www.bloodsugarsolution.com for how best to support your children’s health if they are overweight or have type 2 diabetes.
almost all of whom were previously undiagnosed. Imagine if we had 148 million new cases of AIDS overnight in one country.
Sixty percent of the world’s diabetics will eventually come from Asia because it is the world’s most populous region. The number of individuals with impaired glucose tolerance or pre-diabetes will increase substantially because of increased genetic susceptibility to the harmful effects of sugar and processed foods. Interestingly, people in this Asian population (who are uniquely susceptible to diabetes even though they may not be obese) are increasingly affected as they adopt a more Western diet. Weaker environmental laws and regulations also expose them to increasing levels of toxins, which, as we will see later, are a significant cause of diabesity.3
Ponder this: From 1983 to 2008, the number of people in the world with diabetes increased sevenfold, from 35 to 240 million. In just three years, from 2008 to 2011, we added another 110 million diabetics to our global population. Shouldn’t the main question we ask be why is this happening? instead of what new drug can we find to treat it? Our approach must be novel, innovative, and widely applicable at low cost across all borders. Billions and billions have been wasted trying to find the “drug cure,” while the solution lies right under our nose. This is a lifestyle and environmental disease and won’t be cured by a medication.
Diabesity: The major cause of chronic disease and decreased life expectancy.
Diabesity is one of the leading causes of chronic disease in the twenty-first century, including heart disease, stroke, dementia, and cancer.4
Consider the following:
One-third of all diabetics have documented heart disease.5
It is estimated that nearly everyone else with type 2 diabetes has undiagnosed cardiovascular disease.
People with diabetes are four times more likely to die from heart disease, and the rate of stroke is three to four times higher in this population.
Those with pre-diabetes are also four times more likely to die of heart disease.6 So having pre-diabetes isn’t really “pre” anything in terms of risk.
There is a fourfold increased risk for dementia in diabetics.7 And pre-diabetes is a leading cause of “pre-dementia,” also known as mild cognitive impairment.
The link between obesity and cancer is well documented and is driven by insulin resistance.8
Diabesity is the leading cause of high blood pressure in our society. Seventy-five percent of those with diabetes have high blood pressure.
Diabesity is also the leading cause of liver failure from NASH (nonalcoholic steatohepatitis), also known as fatty liver. It affects 30 percent of our general population (about 90 million) and 70-90 percent of those who have diabesity. Those with fatty liver are at much greater risk of heart attack and death.9
Diabesity is an important cause of depression and mood disorders. Women with diabetes are 29 percent more likely to develop depression, and women who took insulin are 53 percent more likely to develop depression.10
Nervous system damage affects 60-70 percent of people with diabetes, leading to a loss of sensation in the hands and feet, slow digestion, carpal tunnel syndrome, sexual dysfunction, and other problems. Almost 30 percent of people age forty or older with diabetes have impaired sensation in their feet, and this frequently leads to amputations.
Diabesity is also the leading cause of blindness among people ages twenty to seventy-four.
Diabesity is the leading cause of kidney failure –accounting for 44 percent of new cases each year.
People with poorly controlled diabetes are three times more likely to have periodontal or severe gum disease.
A recent remarkable study published in the New England Journal of Medicine examining 123,205 deaths in 820,900 people found that diabetics died an average of six years earlier than nondiabetics and 40 percent of those did not die from heart disease or the usual diabetes-related causes.11 They died from other complications not obviously related to diabetes, complications most wouldn’t necessarily correlate with the disease. Yet it makes perfect sense given that diabesity is the underlying cause that drives most chronic illnesses.
Diabesity: A major global threat to economic development.
Direct health care costs in the United States over the next decade attributable to diabetes and pre-diabetes will be $3.4 trillion, or one in every ten health care dollars spent. Obese citizens cost the U.S. health care system 40 percent more than normal-weight citizens. In a sample of 10 million commercial health plan members, those without diabetes cost $4,000 a year compared to $11,700 for those with diabetes, and $20,700 for those with complications from diabetes.
Diabesity places a large economic burden on our society. The direct and indirect costs of diabetes in America in 2007 amounted to $174 billion. The cost of obesity is also significant, and amounts to $113 billion every year. From 2000 to 2010, these two conditions have already cost us a total of $3 trillion. That’s three times the estimated cost of fixing our entire health care system!12
Are we getting our money’s worth? Is our current approach winning the battle against these completely preventable and curable diseases? Clearly the answer is no!
The Impact of Diabesity on Developing Nations
Diabetes is not just a problem for rich countries with too much food; it is also a disease of poverty13 that is increasing in developing countries as well.14 In India, diabetes carries a greater risk of death than infectious disease. In the Middle East, nearly 20-25 percent of the population is diabetic. When I helped in Haiti (the poorest country in the Western hemisphere) after the earthquake in 2010, I asked the director of Haiti’s main public hospital what the major medical problems were prior to the earthquake. His answer surprised me: heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes–all caused by diabesity.
By 2020, there will be fewer than 20 million deaths worldwide from infectious disease, but more than 50 million deaths from chronic preventable lifestyle diseases–heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. These are all fueled by the same preventable risk factors: high blood pressure, overweight, physical inactivity, high blood sugar, high cholesterol, and smoking. But strikingly, 95 percent of private and public efforts and funding focus almost exclusively on combating communicable or infectious disease.15
The Solution: Take Back Our Health
There is a solution available, one that is accessible and scalable, one that is available to everyone and prevents, treats, and reverses diabesity at a fraction of the cost. This book provides that solution for individuals, communities, and nations. It will require significant change at all levels, but each of us has the power to transform this problem.
In addition to curing diabesity on an individual level, we need a movement. I call it Take Back Our Health, and in Part V, I explain how we can all join this movement so we can get healthy together. It starts with the individual, but moves into families, communities, workplaces, schools, and faith-based organizations and filters through us to government and corporations.
In the next chapter, we will look at the true causes of diabesity, and why current treatments aren’t working.

Previous Older Entries

Goodreads Challenge

2011 Reading Challenge

2011 Reading Challenge
Ibjoy1953 has

completed a goal of reading 100 books in 2011!

hide

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1,318 other followers

Read Books!

Read the Printed Word!

DoorKeeper

reneeannsmith.com