Wednesday, May 26, 2010

BLOG TOUR: "Highland Blessings" by Jennifer Hudson Taylor

BLOG TOUR: Godly Character Highlighted in “Highland Blessings” by Jennifer Hudson Taylor

JILTED, KIDNAPPED, FORCED TO MARRY!

New Releases

Highland warrior Bryce MacPhearson kidnaps Akira MacKenzie on her wedding day to honor a promise he made to his dying father. When he forces Akira to wed him, hoping to end a half-century feud between their clans, she struggles to overcome her anger and resentment…Yet her strength in the Lord becomes a witness to Bryce. But there is a traitor in their midst…and murder is the ultimate weapon.


Author: Jennifer Hudson Taylor
ISBN: 978-1-4267-0226-6/softcover/$13.99/May 2010
[Jenn-BehindTree.jpg]
Jennifer writes historical & contemporary inspirational fiction set in Europe and the Carolinas. Her debut novel, Highland Blessings, will be released May 2010 by Abingdon Press. All of her novels include elements of faith, history, drama, suspense and romance. She dedicates everything she writes to the glory of God, the one who truly inspires her. She lives in North Carolina.

My Review:

When I first agreed to read Highland Blessings by Jennifer Hudson Taylor, I was a little apprehensive about the book because of the country setting and brogue issues. I am so glad I chose to read it! It was engaging the whole way through the book, and the whole storyline flowed naturally, particularly for the time era and country setting and clan rules, keeping me intrigued.

Akira had been jilted at the altar, kidnapped on her wedding day, and forced to wed another man from an opposing clan, one that had been feuding with her side of the family for a half-century.

Akira’s character was humble and yet strong and steady when necessary, dealing with all the emotions of the circumstances. She relied on the Lord to help her through each situation, and there were many intense moments from beginning to end! Bryce’s character was just as compelling, with his deep loyalty to promises he made and his tenderness amidst the tenacity and decisiveness needed for his clan position and enemy threats and murders.

Upon reading the book, I found some similar analogies of Akira to Esther and Joseph from the Old Testament, with testings and trials to bring out Akira and Bryce’s characters. The storyline will impress you. Jennifer is one fine writer! I highly recommend her book!

This book was provided free by Mark Yeh at Abingdon Press for my honest, personal review. I consider it a privilege to recommend good novels for your reading delight.

Friday, May 21, 2010

"Refuge on Crescent Hill" by Melanie Dobson

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!


Today's Wild Card author is:


and the book:


Refuge on Crescent Hill

Kregel Publications (March 11, 2010)

***Special thanks to Cat Hoort, Trade Marketing Manager, Kregal Publications for sending me a review copy.***

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


Melanie Dobson is an author as well as the owner of the publicity firm Dobson Media. A former corporate publicity manager at Focus on the Family, Melanie has worked in the fields of journalism and publicity for more than twelve years. Her first book is Together for Good. Melanie lives in Oregon with her husband, Jon, and their two adopted daughters, Karly and Kinzel.


Visit the author's website.

Product Details:

List Price: $13.99
Paperback: 272 pages
Publisher: Kregel Publications (March 11, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0825425905
ISBN-13: 978-0825425905

AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER:


The glass door was locked, but that didn’t stop Camden Bristow from yanking on the handle. The imposing desk on the other side of the glass was vacant, and the receptionist who usually waved her inside had disappeared. Behind the desk, the Fount Magazine logo mocked her, whispering that the money she so desperately needed had disappeared as well.

She pounded on the glass one last time, but no one came to the door.

Turning, she moved to a row of windows on the far side of the elevator. Sixteen stories below, swarms of people bustled toward their next appointment. Someplace they needed to be. Not long ago, she’d been rushing too, up and down Park Avenue to attend meetings at ad agencies and various magazines . . . including the suite of offices behind her.

Human rights. Natural disasters. Labor disputes. Whenever the photo editor at Fount needed the most poignant pictures for news articles, he called her, and nothing had stopped her from capturing what he needed for the next edition. She’d dedicated the past five years to responding to Grant Haussen’s calls, but after she came back from Indonesia two months ago, he stopped calling her.

She’d e-mailed him the pictures of the earthquake’s aftermath along with her regular invoice of fees and expenses. He’d used the pictures in the next issue, but apparently discarded the invoice. She never received a check, and he didn’t return even one of her many calls.

A few years ago, she wouldn’t have worried as much about the money—those days her phone rang at all hours with freelance assignments to shoot pictures around the world—but her clients had slashed their budgets and were using stock photos or buying photographs from locals. The current results weren’t as compelling as sending a professional, but keeping the lights on—the rent paid—trumped paying for the best photography.

Her clients may be making rent, but she hadn’t been able to pay hers for two months. Her savings account was depleted. The income from her Indonesia shoot was supposed to appease her landlord and credit card company. Even though she hadn’t heard from Grant Haussen, she held out hope that she might at least recoup the expenses for her trip so she could pay off the whopping flight and hotel charges on her credit card.

All hope shattered when she read the morning’s headline.

Fount Magazine Declares Bankruptcy

Others may have skimmed past this article, but the news stunned her. Three hours ago, she left her studio apartment and started walking until she found herself in Midtown, in the lobby of the Reinhold Building. A few staff members might remain at the Fount office, packing things up. Or if there were some sort of bankruptcy proceedings . . . maybe she could collect a few thousand dollars. Just enough to pay a portion of her bills while she tried to find more work.

It appeared that no one had stuck around to say goodbye.

The elevator dinged behind her, and she turned away from the windows and watched a skinny man in overalls push a mop and bucket into the hallway. He was at least two inches shorter than her five foot six.

She forced herself to smile, but he didn’t smile back. She pointed at the offices. “I need to find someone at the magazine.”

He grunted as he dipped his mop into the gray water and wrung it out. Shoving her fists into the pockets of her long jacket, she stepped toward him. “They owe me money.”

“You and half this dadgum town.”

“Yes, but—”

“They ran outta here so fast last night that the rubber on their shoes was smokin’.” He flopped the mop onto the tile floor and water spread toward his boots. “I’d bet good money that they ain’t comin’ back.”

Camden slumped against the window. Even if she were able to track down Grant, it wasn’t like he would personally write her a check for money the magazine owed. He was probably out hunting for a job already, or maybe he was stretched out on his couch watching Oprah, enjoying the luxury of not having to report for duty. He could collect unemployment while he slowly perused for a new gig.

Unfortunately, there was no unemployment for freelancers.

The janitor swabbed the mop across the tile in straight brushstrokes like he was painting instead of cleaning it, taking pride in his work.

She understood. At one time she had been proud of her work too. There was nothing more exhilarating than flying off to a country rocked by tragedy and immersing herself into an event that most people only read about. She was onsite to see the trauma, feel the aftershocks, though she never allowed herself to get personally involved. It was her job to record the crisis so others could help with the recovery. All she needed to do her job was her camera equipment and laptop.

Because of all her travels, she hadn’t accumulated much stuff over the years. Her landlord had furnished her flat before she moved in, but for almost five years, the apartment and everything in it had felt like hers. It was the longest she’d lived in one place her entire life.

But tonight, her landlord was changing the locks. Her home had been rented by someone else.

The man pushed his mop by her, ignoring her. She couldn’t blame him for his indifference. This city was full of people who needed a job—he was probably trying as hard as he could to keep his.

She would mop floors if she had to. Or scrub toilets. It wouldn’t pay enough for her to make rent, but maybe it would keep her from having to call her mom and beg for cash. If she called, her mother would pass the phone to her latest boyfriend—a retired executive living outside Madrid. Camden would rather sleep in a shelter than grovel to him.

She hopped over the wet trail left by the mop and stepped into the elevator.

Her landlord said she had until five o’clock to pack her stuff and vacate the building. The little credit she had left on her card wouldn’t pay for a week in a Manhattan hotel. And the few friends she’d made when she wasn’t traveling were struggling as much as she was. One of them might let her sleep on a couch, but she’d be expected to help with rent.

The elevator doors shut, and she punched the button for the lobby.

Where was she supposed to go from here?



The basement of the town hall smelled like burnt coffee and tobacco. The navy carpet had faded to a dull gray, and the dais at the front of the room was scuffed with shoe marks. Five men and two women sat behind a table on the platform—the bimonthly summit of Etherton’s City Council.

As the town mayor, Louise Danner presided over the city council from the middle chair. Her hoop earrings jangled below the signature Bic pen she propped behind her left ear. Copper-colored bangs veiled her smudged eyebrows.

Three steps below Louise’s chair, Alex Yates drummed his fingers on a stack of proposals and tried to listen as Evan Harper begged the councilors to let him tear down the barn on his property and replace it with a guesthouse.

In the eight months since he’d moved to Etherton, he learned that Louise Danner was almost as permanent a fixture in Etherton as the town hall. Within days of him taking this job, she told him exactly how she became mayor over the eleven thousand people in their town.

She had been born in a small house off Main Street and reigned as valedictorian over Etherton High’s Class of ’67. Armed with a degree from Marietta, she returned home after graduation and worked in several businesses across town until she secured the job of hospital administrator. Louise served on almost every town committee for the next thirty years, from historical preservation to the garden club, but when she landed the mayorship almost eight years ago, she dropped anchor.

She’d spent a boatload of money to retain her position during the last election, and with the state of the town’s economy, she would be fighting to keep her job when voters went to the polls in five months.

Alex rechecked his watch. It was almost lunchtime, and Evan Harper was still pleading his case. Alex saw the dilapidated barn every morning on the short drive to his office. Guesthouse or no guesthouse, he agreed with Evan—someone needed to put the structure out of its misery. A hearty gust of wind would end its life if the council wouldn’t approve demolition.

Alex stifled a yawn as Evan named all the people who could stay in the guesthouse including his wife’s elderly parents and his daughter’s college friends. Apparently, no one had told the man he couldn’t filibuster city council. If the mayor didn’t curtail Evan’s speech, he’d probably pull out the local phone book and read until the councilors adjourned for lunch. And once they walked out of the room, they may not reconvene in time.

Alex couldn’t wait for approval. He needed an answer today.

For the past month, he’d been quietly courting the owner of the ten-acre property at the edge of town—part of the old Truman farm. If the council concurred, the owner was ready to sell the land and farmhouse for a pittance. The town could buy it and use the property to help with their plans to revitalize the local economy.

Alex caught the mayor’s eye and tapped his watch.

“Thank you.” Louise interrupted Evan before he finished listing off every construction supply he’d purchased for the guesthouse. “I think that is all the information we need to make a decision.”

Evan plucked another piece of paper from his stack. “But I haven’t read the neighborhood petition.”

“We appreciate all the time and thought you’ve put into this, Evan.” Louise propped her chin up with her knuckles. “We’ll let you know if we have any other questions.”

Evan sat down on the wooden folding chair at the end of the row, and Alex leaned back as the council began discussing the hot issue of preservation versus progress.

Most of the councilors were successful business leaders and attorneys, passionate in either their pro-growth or anti-development stance. Today he needed to convince them that voting “yes” on his proposal would commemorate the town’s history and lay the foundation for their legacy while generating new revenue and development for the town.

Alex glanced at his watch and sighed. If it took the councilors forty minutes to decide the fate of a rickety barn, how long would it take them to make a decision on his proposal?

When he parted ways with corporate mania last year, he thought he’d left behind the constricting strands of red tape that kept him from doing his job, but he’d learned that Etherton’s residents, along with the city council, rode the high of debate until they were forced to vote. Sometimes the debate lasted weeks, or even months.

Edward Paxton led the charge against development. He didn’t want his town to change nor did he want Alex involved with any of the town’s business. Rumor had it that he wanted his grandson, Jake, to take the economic development position that Louise had created last spring to solicit new business. The only problem was that no one else on the council wanted Jake Paxton to be involved. Edward seemed to hold a personal vendetta against Alex for stealing his grandson’s job.

At least the mayor was on his team. She’d gambled when she hired him, but he assured her and the council that he’d deliver. On their terms.

After almost an hour of discussion, Louise called for a vote, and Evan smacked his knees when they approved his guesthouse with a 4–3 vote. He saluted the row of councilors as he rushed out, probably on his way to rent an excavator. Alex guessed the barn would be in a heap when he drove home tonight.

He sighed. If only getting the council to approve a project was always this easy . . .

Etherton needed the tax revenue from new businesses to fix its brick streets, increase the police force, and build a high school. The city’s officials expected Alex to find a way to merge their small town charm with big city business.

Blending these two ideals was no small feat. Not long after he moved to Etherton, he worked a deal to build a Wal-Mart Supercenter on a piece of farm property at the edge of town. Some towns didn’t want a Wal-Mart, but since their local economy had tanked, he thought most of the locals would welcome the store. After all, most of them drove forty-five minutes each week to visit the Wal-Mart in Mansfield, and this would bring discount clothes, groceries, car care, and—most importantly—jobs to their back door.

He was wrong.

When the council voted last December, residents of Etherton packed City Hall, a chorus of dissension over why their town couldn’t bear the weight of a conglomerate. The icy room turned hot as tempers flared. Small business owners threatened to overthrow the seats of every council member who supported the proposal.

In the end, the council rejected his plan. The town desperately needed the revenue and the jobs, but apparently not enough to put out the welcome mat for a mega store. A local farmer bought the field to plant corn, and Etherton missed out on the much-needed sales tax that would flood into Fredericktown when Wal-Mart opened its doors there this fall.

The council told him they wanted new business, but they wanted something quaint that would fit the town’s celebration of all things old. It was a hard task—but he’d found the perfect solution. If the residents were willing to risk a little, he was ready to deliver both quaint and classy . . . wrapped up in a pretty package and tied together with a sound financial bow.

Louise slid the pen out from behind her ear and tapped it on the table. She dismissed the few people in the audience, explaining that the rest of the meeting was a closed session, and then she pointed at him. “You’re up, Alex.”

He straightened his tie and stood to face the councilors. It was about to get hot again.



My review:

I found Melanie’s book, Refuge on Crescent Hill, to be relevant to today’s society. Camden Bristow, easy to relate to and personable, is like some of today’s young women who want to have a career, with no desire to get married or to marry later in life. Her mother had died and her father remarried, so she had little family roots. Hers was an exciting life as top photographer for Front Magazine, traveling all over the world to capture the intricacies of human life in the throws of tragedy: human rights, famines, labor disputes, earthquakes, etc., until they filed bankruptcy, leaving her pretty much broke.

Camden heads out to the only roots she does know, Grandma Rosalie at Crescent Hill, the Bristow family mansion, although she hasn’t seen her in years. She finds herself late for her Grandma’s funeral by a couple days, and finds she has inherited the mansion, albeit in disrepair and no money to repair it, leaving her half-sister with little. Alex Yates, who’s been hired by the town of Etherton to help build revenue for the city, offers Camden help with her situation.

Across the states, another family is researching the whereabouts of a previous slave, and the reason for why he never returned for his family.

Melanie weaves a unique storyline between the two histories, while adding a kick of suspense and drama surrounding the mansion itself, which has a claim to be ghost inhabited, along with some family secrets and a touch of romance. Being a mystery buff, I found the book a little slow for me, but a definite good read.

This book was provided by Cat, Trade Marketing Manager at Kregel Publications, for my honest review. My thanks to Cat and Kregel Publications for this great opportunity to present another good read to you, the readers!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

“CHOSEN: The Lost Diaries of Queen Esther” by Ginger Garrett

Don’t Just Study the Story of Esther—-Live it!

Ginger Garrett’s retelling of this classic story gives new perspective to one of Scripture’s most beloved figures.


CHOSEN:   The Lost Diaries of Queen Esther Cover ArtBased on the historical account of Queen Esther of Persia, Chosen, by Ginger Garrett, is a contemporary account of this beloved and ancient story. Uniquely written in first-person diary format, renderings of Esther’s thoughts and experiences are interspersed with current-time news excerpts, which show how Esther’s tale is woven into our own lives.

Chosen tells the story of Queen Esther, the young woman with the future of her nation in her hands. Wrenched from a simple life for her beauty, Esther finds herself at the mercy of King Xerxes. Leaving behind her only relative, her cousin Mordecai, and her first true love, Cyrus, she is thrown headlong into the unrestrained extravagance of palace living. Quick of mind and strong in spirit, she refuses to suffer the fate of her harem sisters and boldly challenges Xerxes to give of his heart before taking his pleasure, thus sealing her place beside him as queen. While conspiracy spins its diabolical web, Esther’s mind and spirit waver, and she is forced to confront the past in order to save her future—and that of an entire nation.

Click here to watch the book trailer for Chosen!

An interview with Ginger Garrett

Q: Why did you include Chosen: The Lost Diaries of Queen Esther in the David C. Cook series Lost Loves of the Bible?

A: I chose these diaries for the Lost Loves series because of the potential for love that Esther lost.

The moment Esther was chosen for the harem, whatever hopes she had for her future, her heart, and her family were lost. She became one wife among thousands. She lost freedom and many days, she lost her dignity in the treatment she received.

However, Esther is foreshadowing the story of Christ, who tells us that to surrender our own desires and plans will lead to blessings unimaginable, and overflow goodness into the lives of others. Esther’s loss, and her submission to a cruel turn of events, resulted in the saving of a nation. Millions of Jews were saved throughout history by her sacrifices.

Q: What are the other books in the Lost Loves series?

A: I’ll be adding two novels: the stories of Jezebel and Delilah. Both women have been sorely overlooked by history, painted as cardboard villains without any understanding of who they were and why they acted as they did. Their stories are more poignant, and disturbing, than what we’ve ever imagined.

Q: Will you ever complete the Serpent Moon series?

A: Since I get this question every day on email from readers, I thought I’d answer it here, too!

Dark Hour began what was to be a trilogy of evil women from the Bible. However, due to circumstances well beyond my control, I had to stop work on the series, while certain events sorted themselves out.

While I won’t be returning to the trilogy, I will be returning to my desire to tell the stories of two epic women from biblical history: Jezebel and Delilah. Their stories, their passions, and the loves they lost compel me to finish the work.

It’s fitting, really, that these women be allowed to tell their tales without the stigma of being in a series about evil women of the Bible. Until we get past that label, and see their hearts, we can’t begin to understand the lessons they would whisper to us across the generations that separate us.

image003.jpg

About the author: Ginger Garrett is the author of the Chronicles of the Scribes series (In the Shadow of Lions, In the Arms of Immortals, In the Eyes of Eternity), Dark Hour, and Beauty Secrets of the Bible. Focusing on ancient women’s history, Ginger creates novels and nonfiction resources that explore the lives of historical women. A frequent media guest and television host, Ginger has been interviewed by Fox News, Billy Graham’s The Hour of Decision, The Harvest Show, 104.7 The Fish Atlanta, and many other outlets. A graduate of Southern Methodist University with a degree in theater, she is passionate about creating art from history.

Chosen by Ginger Garrett

David C Cook/April 2010/ISBN: 978-1-4347-6801-8/304 pages/softcover/$14.99

www.davidccook.com www.gingergarrett.com

My review:

I asked to review Chosen by Ginger Garrett in order to compare it to Hadassah, One Night With The King by Tommy Tenney.

I found Ginger’s novel of exquisite taste. I thoroughly enjoyed the diary format. It gave me the feel of peeking into Esther’s long-lost diary. Ginger gave intimate details that would be sensitive to a woman’s perspective. The intense communications between all the characters are so believable and dramatic. The addition of information at the back of book was of great interest as well.

Tommy Tenney’s book was equally satisfying, and had great characterization and drama.

Both books have their place, and in reading both, you get a richer, fuller appreciation of Esther’s circumstances. You are privy to their dependence of praying and listening to God’s direction in each situation. I’d highly recommend both books. To accompany these two fine books, I would also recommend Finding Favor With The King by Tommy Tenney.

Both novels deal with the travesty of young girls’ abductions, but we are not to forget the young men who also were taken into captivity as well. Much like the human trafficking we see in today’s society.

I definitely look forward to reading Ginger’s next books on Jezebel and Delilah, which are part of the Lost Loves of the Bible series. Be prepared for great reading!

This book was provided by Audra at The B & B Media Group, Inc., for my honest review, and in this case to compare to another author. My thanks to Audra and B & B for the opportunity to bring your attention to another great novel.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Addictions/Obsessions drive the story line of “THE RIGHT CALL” by KATHY HERMAN

A DANGEROUS GAMBLE…

A TERRIBLE SECRET…

A DEADLY CHOICE…

The Right Call

Kathy Herman’s The Right Call, the third book in the Sophie Trace trilogy, has made the April ECPA Fiction bestseller list. All three titles in this trilogy are now bestselling books. Additionally in the Amazon Kindle store, The Real Enemy was listed the #1 bestseller in fiction, #1 in Literature and Fiction, #1 in Mystery, #1 in Genre Fiction, and #5 bestseller in all Kindle books.

In The Right Call, Herman looks at the topic of addictions and obsessions. Based on 2 Peter 2:19b: “For a man is a slave to whatever has mastered him,” The Right Call demonstrates how we’re all slaves to something—either to God and righteousness or to the flesh and its pitfalls. Filled with heart-pounding suspense that delivers heart-changing truth, The Right Call uses the perilous story of a young college student to reinforce the importance of walking closely with God, to be armed with wisdom and strength in order to face the toughest of circumstances.

Click here to watch the video trailer for The Right Call!

Kathy Herman

An interview with best-selling author Kathy Herman:

What is the underlying moral dilemma that you hope your readers will wrestle with as they read this book?

That all human beings are born slaves to sin, and until we lay claim to the power of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, we’ll never be set free from of our fleshly nature.

The Right Call is based on 2 Peter 2:19b. What truth in this passage drove you to write this book?

The fact that we’re all slaves to something—either to God and righteousness or to the flesh and its pitfalls. This is especially relevant in today’s world with so many addictions now being fed by the Internet. As long as we’re confined to these mortal bodies, the Enemy will fight to control us—body, mind, and spirit. Obviously, the vast majority of us will never experience the devastating effects of a gambling, drug, alcohol, or sex addiction, but how many of us fall victim to the more acceptable vices, such as overeating? Overspending? Overworking? Overindulging? It’s the flesh that gets us into trouble, and our only hope to overcome it is Jesus. But most of the time, we deny we have a problem until it already has a foothold. Then, rather than letting God’s Holy Spirit have the reins, we struggle to tame it in our own strength and realize we can’t—and that we’ve become slaves rather than masters, overdoers rather than overcomers. It doesn’t have to be that way.

Why were addictions/obsessions a topic you decided to write about?

All generations have struggled with addictions. That’s not new. But something this generation faces that others didn’t is EASY ACCESS. With the Internet, all it takes is a click of the mouse and kids can be exposed to every manner of evil, which makes them vulnerable at a much younger age—Often young people think they can have a foot in both worlds, but Satan plays for keeps. It’s easier to get sucked into the darkness than to walk in the light. Our best defense is to stay grounded in the Word so our conscience is tender. And to be in fellowship with trusted believers who will hold us accountable.

Why do you think humans tend to do things in excess? What are some ways we can fill our emptiness with God rather than other excesses?

We’re born slaves to sin. Our fallen nature has a propensity to do things in excess because we have an emptiness that resulted from the fall of humankind. So much of our overdoing is an effort to fill that emptiness, which ultimately can only be satisfied by God and a relationship with Him. Self-control is a fruit of the Spirit. The more we seek God, the closer our relationship with Him, the more that emptiness is filled with His love and the fruit of that love. But so often we don’t recognize the emptiness for what it is. Problems that come our way seem exaggerated when we’re dissatisfied with life. And we do whatever it takes to feel better. For example, how many of us tend to eat when we’re upset? We use “comfort food” as a temporary fix for a larger problem, which is an emptiness—a longing for home (paradise). This fallen world is not our home. As long as we’re here, there will be times when that emptiness cries to be filled. What we decide to fill it with is our choice. Many addictions and excesses start out small. But trying to satisfy that void inside us with anything other than God, His Word, and things that draw us closer to him can end up being a temporary fix that leaves us sorely wanting and vulnerable.

The Right Call by Kathy Herman

David C Cook/March 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-1-4347-6784-4/390 pages/softcover/$14.99

www.davidccook.com www.kathyherman.com

My Review:

Kathy Herman’s book, The Right Call, the third book of the Sophie Trace Trilogy, which also includes The Real Enemy and The Last Word, picks right up with another thrilling, dangerous episode that includes Police Chief Brill Jessup, which ultimately endangers her family and her daughter’s boyfriend, Ethan. If you have read the previous two books, you are well-acquainted with the well-rounded, in-depth issues and characters of the Jessup family.

The Right Call drives you right into the center of murder by hire, random shootings, greed, addiction, deeply held secrets, and poor choices made by some of her characters, affecting whole town of Sophie Trace.

Ethan learns of details behind the deaths of five people that could break open the case. However, his decision to disclose this information will affect the lives of others and maybe even himself. Even if he doesn’t disclose the information, other lives are still at stake. His walk with the Lord gives him insights and wisdom of what to do in this deadly situation.

Kathy’s novel will show you that we are all addicted to something, and what or Who we choose to follow will make all the difference in the world. Choices we make do not just affect just ourselves–there’s a ripple effect of consequences that incorporates others around us. The importance of a relationship with God, so that you can call on Him for wisdom and direction in making decisions in difficult situations, is one of the main insights gleaned from this book. I highly recommend the whole series.

This book was provided free by Audra of The B & B Media Group, Inc., for my honest review of the book. No monetary incentives were received to gain a positive review by myself. I review books for the pleasure of inviting readers to read good, wholesome books that are thrilling to read.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

At vesselproject.com: Book review and giveaway of "Crave: Wanting So Much More of God" by Chris Tomlinson

“From the heart of one seeking Christ, comes an exceptional book for the new believer as well as those who have walked with God for some time.”

In the fifteen chapters of Crave: Wanting So Much More of God by Chris Tomlinson, you will find provocative questions, humorous real-life stories, and perhaps even some answers to questions that have lingered in your mind about Christianity.

Popular icons anchor each topic to connect the question to reality. I especially enjoyed the Treasure Chest icon associated with the topic of Joy.

The writing style engaging. The tempo is quick and keeps your interest from Chapter One through to the end. Great illustrations and glimpses of a what a believer really asks about Christianity.

Sound teaching on truth with his own reflections about hard concepts like ‘God is good – but He is also just’ which addresses the issue of trust and justice. And the issue of suffering as instruction and eventually a blessing. And of pride, he speaks from a been-there done-that perspective, always key when connecting with others.

Recommended highly, I suggest you grab a copy and settle down for some interesting reading that may even present some new questions for you to ask God yourself.
926935: Crave: Wanting So Much More of God Crave: Wanting So Much More of God
By Chris Tomlinson / Harvest House Publishers

# Paperback: 224 pages
# Publisher: Harvest House Publishers (January 1, 2010)
# Language: English
# ISBN-10: 0736926933
# ISBN-13: 978-0736926935

Disclaimer:
The review copy of this book was provided free of charge by Chris Tomlinson and donated to the library of Westwood Baptist Church.
- Book Giveaway -

Would you like to win a free copy of Crave: Wanting So Much More of God by Chris Tomlinson? Read the rules below and enter today to win.
Rules-

Contest is open to US residents only and will run from midnight May 5th – to midnight May 31st with the winners announced on or before June 5th. Winners names and websites will be linked on this site. (unless the winner chooses to remain anonymous).
How to Enter -
1. Post a Comment -

Leave a comment on this post.
2. Post a Tweet -

Post the contest on Twitter (one entry per day please). You can enter every day if you like, but please remember to add an additional comment with the tweet link as the winners are selected by comment number.

Just cut and past this tweet:
Book Review and Giveaway of ‘Crave′ by Chris Tomlinson Enter Here —> http://wp.me/pnpP1-1bV (@vesselproject)
3. Subscribe -

Sign up for RSS or Email updates. Please remember to add an additional comment that you have subscribed as the winners are selected by comment number.
4. Link or Post the Giveaway -

Post the giveaway on your blog for an additional entry. Please remember to add an additional comment with the post link as the winners are selected by comment number.

CLICK HERE:
"http://www.blogger.com/%20http://vesselproject.com/2010/05/05/book-review-and-giveaway-of-crave-wanting-so-much-more-of-god-by-chris-tomlinson/#comment-1079">

Monday, May 3, 2010

Review: "Fear to Freedom" by Rosemary Trible


FEAR TO FREEDOM

FROM VICTIM TO VICTORY!
Product Details

Fear to Freedom: What if you did not have to be so afraid?

Rosemary Trible

Biography/Inspiration

ISBN: 978-1-935265-09-2/240 pages/$1495/February 2010

VMI Publishers

Does fear hold you back from living with freedom and confidence? Does anxiety rob your joy?

Rosemary Trible was a successful young woman, a television talk-show host with a husband on his way to becoming a US Congressman, when she was savagely raped at gunpoint after her show on rape. Even though she recovered physically, she found that her attacker had not only brutally violated her, he had stolen her joy and her ability to live without terror and fear.

Fear to Freedom provides practical tools from Rosemary’s own life and the transformed lives of others and discusses sexual assault, terror, forgiveness, and healing. It’s about big dreams, the death of dreams, and becoming bold enough to dream again and make a difference in the world for good.

Rosemary’s story will elicit tears, but also laughter. It’s easy to read, passionate and real. It will appeal to people who are hungry for the presence of God. It also features the stories of young women Rosemary has mentored through eating disorders, sexual violation, depression and bitterness, encouraging readers to begin their own healing process.

Photo from: dailypressbooks.posterous.com

Rosemary, originally from Little Rock, Arkansas, has been married to Paul Trible since 1971. They have two children, Mary Katherine Peters, a marketing executive married to Barrett Peters, who is pursuing his degree in dentistry, and Paul III, who has completed his MBA at Oxford University and is starting his own business, Ledbury, custom men’s shirts. On top of the list of answered prayers is a new grandbaby on the way! Visit www.feartofreedomjourney.com for additional infomation.

My Review:

Other than some differences in theology, Fear to Freedom is one very personal biography of Rosemary Trible’s brutal rape which she allowed God to turn to healing, and then turns the rape incident around and decidedly reaches out to really help women turn their issues over to God. I enjoyed Rosemary’s transparency, her personal insights, steps to forgiveness, ‘journey to joy’ section, and her in-depth devotional guide. She hits all the steps of healing. I found her book very sensitive and personal. I can feel her heart for women throughout the whole book. For that, I give her book a very high rating and recommendation.

This book was provided by Paula Krapf, Chief Operating Officer, at Author Marketing Experts, Inc., for my honest review of Fear to Freedom. My thanks.

"Catherine's Gift" by John Little

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!


Today's Wild Card author is:


and the book:


Catherine's Gift: Stories of Hope from the Hospital

Monarch Books (March 4, 2010)

***Special thanks to Cat Hoort of Kregel Publications for sending me a review copy.***

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


John Little spent 25 years working as a reporter and producer in television current affairs before becoming a full-time author. He has written eight books, including The Hospital by the River (with Dr Catherine Hamlin); Down to the Sea; Jem, a Father’s Story; Christine’s Ark; and Maalika (with Valerie Browning). He lives with his wife, Anna, and son, Tim, on Sydney’s northern beaches.

(Picture taken from John's website.)

Visit the author's website.

Product Details:

List Price: $14.99
Paperback: 280 pages
Publisher: Monarch Books (March 4, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 185424955X
ISBN-13: 978-1854249555

AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER:


From the PROLOGUE

It’s the rainy season in Addis Ababa. The day begins with a promise. At the hospital by the river, patients who are not confined to bed throw off their woolen shawls and gather in the sun to gossip. The girls groom one another’s hair, sew and bicker and joke. Some, perhaps speaking a rare tongue, sit by themselves on the low stone wall by the outpatients department, or squat on the ground watching the activity. In this self-contained little world, walled off from the chaos of the city, there’s always something to see – new patients arriving, mud-stained, stinking and weary after travelling on foot over flooded tracks, vehicles bringing medical supplies, ferenji visitors from another planet, gardeners tending the lawns and flower beds, workers regularly hosing away the puddles which gather under the waiting patients.


These are peasant women. The seasons rule their lives. They savor the morning warmth, for they know that by midday black clouds will begin to form over the hills which ring the city and the thunder will grumble like a cranky old man leaving a warm bed. At two-thirty the rain begins – they could set their watches by it if they owned such things – and it does not stop until late at night.


In the highlands where many of these women come from, the rains can cut off villages for weeks on end. When doctors Reg and Catherine Hamlin first began treating the women half a century ago they could always count on some respite at this time of year. But for the past few years the rainy season seems to have made no difference. Is it because there are more cases than ever? Or just because the hospital has become so well known? Whatever the reason, every day up to half a dozen women arrive seeking help.


Sometimes they are alone – bewildered and frightened by the brutal indifference of the city. Sometimes a friend or relative has come with them. A few, with injuries so severe they are unable to walk, are carried in. They come from the desert, from remote highland villages, from the plains and the rainforest. They speak 80 different languages. They are Orthodox Christians, Muslims, Animists, or sometimes a mixture of faiths. They all have one thing in common – they are suffering from the medical condition known as obstetric fistula.


It is a cruel affliction. Ethiopia has its lepers and cripples, as does any poor African country. The diseased and the lame and the mad are on any street corner for all to see. But if there is a scale of human misery, the fistula women are up near the top. They believe they are cursed by God. And you have to wonder what God had in mind when he allowed a woman’s most cherished act, childbirth, to produce this outcome. No matter where they live, 10 per cent of all women will experience some kind of problem, such as obstructed labor, during childbirth. In the west they simply go to hospital and have a caesarean section or a forceps delivery. For a peasant girl in a remote Ethiopian village it’s not so easy. She will squat in her circular hut, or tukul, sometimes for days, trying to force the baby out. After a couple of days the baby inevitably dies. The prolonged labor, with the baby stuck in the birth canal, may cut off the blood supply to parts of the mother’s body. The tissue dies, leaving a hole, or fistula, in the bladder. Because they are so offensive to be near, fistula sufferers are invariably divorced by their husbands and banished from their village. Theirs are lives of loneliness and despair, often in some ruined dwelling away from everyone else, or they may be forced to beg for a living in the town. We are not talking about some minor medical curiosity here. There are 200,000 fistula sufferers in Ethiopia; two million throughout the world.


Amid the comings and goings, some of the girls may notice a tall, slim, grey-haired woman wearing a white doctor’s coat, passing through the outpatients department into the main ward. Dr Catherine

Hamlin is 83 now. She was 35 when she and her husband, Reg, also an obstetrician/gynecologist, first came to Ethiopia and saw the plight of the fistula women. ‘Fistula pilgrims’, Reg called them, on account of the formidable journeys they made to seek help. Since then the hospital has restored more than 32,000 from wretched despair to joyous new life.


Reg died in 1993 but Catherine carries on, and at an age when most women are content just to reflect upon their memories, she is working as hard as ever. She is intimately involved with every aspect of the hospital, still doing rounds, still operating.


At the nurses’ station inside the ward she consults her colleagues about tomorrow’s list. There are seven cases of varying degrees of difficulty. She pores over the notes, contained in green cardboard folders. They give a brief history of the patient – how many days she was in labor, where she came from, how she got here, how many previous children she has borne, any medical information that will affect her management. The doctor who did the initial examination has drawn a diagram showing the location and size of the fistula. Catherine chooses her cases.


Let us meet them…



My Review:
Catherine's Gift by John Little was a complete eye-opener for me in regards to the plight of women in Ethiopia and surrounding countries. Living in the US, fistulas following obstructed labor, are basically unheard of due to pre-natal care and labor and delivery practices--something I have to admit that I have taken for granted. John Little's stories are his point of view as a reporter, but also as a concerned citizen who got emotionally involved with many of the women as he followed them over time. This is a book I would recommend to everyone to awaken their knowledge of the the lack of resources in these countries and get involved. For us here in America, you can visit www.fistulafoundation.com. See also the bestseller The Hospital by the River by John Little.