Saturday, February 18, 2012

Movie: “Deadline” by Mark Ethridge, Produced by Curt Hahn

Uninvestigated, Unsolved, Unpunished…UNTIL NOW!

This movie is based on a true story from the book, Grievances, by Mark Ethridge.

Steve Talley and Academy Award nominee Eric Roberts star in Deadline, the story of the murder of an African American youth in rural Alabama that has gone uninvestigated, unsolved and unpunished for almost twenty years. But that changes when Nashville Times reporter Matt Harper meets an idealistic young blueblood bent on discovering the truth. Harper undertakes the investigation despite the opposition of his publisher, violent threats from mysterious forces, a break-up with his fiancĂ©e and his father’s cancer diagnosis. Deadline is a story of murder, family, race, and of redemption — for a small Southern town and for Matt Harper.

Inspired by a true story, Deadline is adapted from Mark Ethridge’s novel Grievances. Ethridge is a former managing editor of The Charlotte Observer. Deadline will be released in theaters nationwide in 2012.

**You can sign up for email updates on the website, here, for information about the special premiere tours and the movie’s release.**

Endorsements:

“Mark Ethridge has captured the South in a way that is every bit as evocative as Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil and he has told a story as riveting as the best Grisham courtroom thriller. But Grievances is no mere thriller. It is a story of the heart that will resonate with readers long after they have turned the final page.”
~ Pat Conroy, Author of My Losing Season, The Great Santini and The Prince of Tides

Deadline is an important, terrific movie, with the kind of compelling story and fascinating characters that made The Help so engaging. Beautifully acted and directed, with a fine attention to the details of the newspaper world.” ~ Dr. Linda Seger, Script Consultant on over 2,000 scripts and author of Making a Good Script Great.

My Review:

Amos, AL, 1993. A young black man, Wallace Simpson, was gunned down. It was never investigated until Police Chief Amos Perringer was murdered near the same spot almost 20 years later. Why would the Chief be murdered near the same place as Wallace? Or is it just a coincidence? Or retribution?

Young Trey Hall, who was raised by Wallace’s mother and bent on finding out the truth, came to Reporter Matt Harper of The Nashville Times, requesting his help in solving the Simpson murder. Having been made a scapegoat for his latest newspaper article, which caused a picket line outside the paper, Matt wanted a ‘go’ from the editor to investigate this case. It was granted, but only if he took (Ronnie) Bullock with him. Bullock was the last person Matt wanted to work with.

As the investigation gets started, Matt Harper and Bullock have an early contentious relationship that eventually works into a compatible, blended reporting team that bordered on hilarity at times. To complicate matters for Matt, Delana Calhoun broke off their engagement. However, bringing Trey Hall into the picture bumped up the tension between Matt and Delana, as her jealousy over seeing Matt working with Trey seemed more than she was able to handle.

Through all the scenarios of Matt and Bullock, and Matt, Delana and Trey, nothing took away from the seriousness of the murder investigation. Matt and Bullock were tenacious in seeking truth. Even jealous Delana became amenable to talking with the women involved, as they wouldn’t open up with the men. Truth and justice appeared to outweigh the relationship issues.

The investigative process was so apropos for the times and prejudices of the area and the type of crime. It was powerful and intensive, and seemingly unending at times. The climactic ending, based on the extensive investigating, was priceless.

I was profoundly affected by the heinous murder of Wallace Simpson. He’d just been with his girlfriend, Vanessa Brown, reading poems and saying goodnight. The gun blast came out of the blue, and is one I won’t soon forget. The fact that the murder became a non-issue because he was black made me angry, as I, too, wanted to see justice and resolution.

Racist comments become an issue of concern, though back in those days it seemed appropriate to some white people.

This being an election year, I felt the picture of the President, who is running for reelection, was inappropriate. It would also have been more uplifting to show a pastor who is able to vent his anger over the injustices, yet still be able to lift it to the Lord in faith, like Mary Pell Sampson was doing.

A vimeo view of Deadline was provided by Matt Slaughter of BuzzPlant in exchange for my honest review. No monetary compensation was exchanged.

Dannah Gresh Uses GOD’S INTENTION for Sexuality to Debunk Popular Myths in Today’s Culture (FOTF)

If you have children or grandchildren, you need to listen to these two day’s worth of tapes.


Focus on the Family

Part 1:
What have you taught your preteen or teen daughter about sexual purity or modesty?

Daily Broadcast 2-16-12: Popular author Dannah Gresh uses God’s intention for sexuality to debunk popular myths in today’s culture. (Part 1 of 2)

Click on Ffd 20120216 below. NOTE: If it clicks out and restarts, that’s ok. It’ll come to the right program.

fotf.cdnetworks.net

***********************************************************************

Part 2:
Do you agree with the way Dannah re-writes the “where’s the line” question?

Daily Broadcast 2-17-12: Popular author Dannah Gresh uses God’s intention for sexuality to debunk popular myths in today’s culture. (Part 2 of 2)

Click on Ffd 20120217 below. NOTE: If it clicks out and restarts, that’s ok. It’ll come to the right program.

fotf.cdnetworks.net

Source: Focus on the Family on Facebook.

No monetary compensation was exchanged in posting this blog.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

“When the Smoke Clears” by Lynette Eason (A Revell Tour)

Infinite Suspense! Welcome…to the edge of your seat!


About Lynette:

Lynette Eason is the author of several romantic suspense novels, including Too Close to Home, Don’t Look Back, and A Killer Among Us.

She is a member of American Fiction Christian Writers and Romance Writers of America.

A home schooling mother of two, she has a master’s degree in education from Converse College. She lives in South Carolina.


DEADLY REUNIONS–Book 1


Book Blurb:
As a member of the North Cascades Smokejumpers, Alexia Allen always takes care of the equipment that keeps her safe. So when she nearly dies in a fire due to equipment failure, she knows something is up. Ordered to take time off while the investigation continues, Alexia makes a last-minute decision to recuperate at her mother’s home and attend her high school reunion. Yet trouble seems to be following her, and within hours of arriving home she’s involved with murder, arson–and a handsome detective. But the conflicts ahead are nothing compared to the ghosts of her past. As she strives to remember and forgive her family history, she must also decide if the secret she’s been guarding for the last ten years must finally come to light.

Chock-full of the suspense and romantic tension readers have come to expect from Lynette Eason, When the Smoke Clears is the explosive first book in the Deadly Reunions series.

Excerpt:

“Get out, Alexia. Now!”
“Got to check the closet first, sir.”
“Get your tail outta there. Immediately!”

She needed air. How had her
oxygen run out? She should have had
at least another five minutes. Reaching
up, she disconnected the hose from
her tank and shoved it up under her
heavy turnout. The coat would protect
her as much as possible from smoke
inhalation. And she wanted to minimize
the blast of hot air that would fill her
lungs. She caught a breath.

The dizziness receded.

The countdown was on. The decision:
leave or check the closet?

She scanned the imaging device over
the door. Bingo. “I’ve got something.Definitely a child.”
“Alexia! Get out!”
“She’s here, sir. Can’t leave without her.”

Alexia went to the door and turned the
knob. A little girl. The child looked up at
her, eyes wide, stark terror stamped on her
tear-streaked features. Then she coughed
and her eyes rolled back. Alexia slung the
imager over her shoulder and leaned in to
pick up the little girl.

Alexia took another breath and coughed.

Dizziness returned full force and she
went to one knee. Vaguely, she felt the
sweat roll down her back. “I’m in trouble,”
she said into her radio, keeping her cool,
refusing to panic. Help was just a second
away. “Where’s RIT? No air.”

She pulled in a lungful of smoke this time.
Coughing, sputtering, she turned with the
child, frantic to get her out before the flames
caught up with the smoke.

And then the spots before her eyes
merged into one big black dot. Then nothing.

Source.

Endorsements:

“I love this book. It will keep you guessing until the very end.” Dee Henderson, best-selling author.

“The suspense is high; I was turning pages so fast I had to go back and re-read a time or two.”—Suspense Magazine on Don’t Look Back

“This plot-driven third entry in Eason’s series is sure to appeal to fans of romantic suspense as well as readers who like Joel C. Rosenberg and Ted Dekker.”—Library Journal on A Killer Among Us

• Readers will be on the edge of their seat as a female firefighter tries to keep a long-held secret in the face of threats on her life
• Readers of Brandilyn Collins will appreciate Eason’s intense style and Dee Henderson fans will love the romance
• Book 1 in an explosive new series from a bestselling author

Also available: Women of Justice
1 Too Close to Home
978-0-8007-3369-8
2 Don’t Look Back
978-0-8007-3370-4
3 A Killer Among Us
978-0-8007-3371-1

My Review:

After an unauthorized, calculated call to rescue to small child in a fire, where Alexia Allen almost lost her life due to equipment failure, she decides to attend her ten-year class reunion and to recuperate at her mother’s home while that incident is under investigation and her job is under consideration.

Ten years earlier, the night Alexia graduated from high school, her friend, Jillian Carter, came running into the graduation dance with a haunted look on her face, out of breath, and mumbling that she saw something she shouldn’t have. She immediately plunged through the back door, never to be heard from for almost ten years, leaving Alexia and Serena Hopkins aghast, wondering what Jillian saw. Alexia left that night also, estranged from her family.

Since Alexia’s return to her mother’s house, her life has been in danger and considered a possible suspect in a murder/arson case. She wonders if the equipment failure and the circumstances at home are possibly interrelated.

When the Smoke Clears, by Lynette Eason, is an explosive suspense that includes murder, fires, stalking, sniper gunshots, kidnapping, secretive complicities, and one very handsome detective, Hunter Graham. I consider Lynette’s book a thriller, with twists and plots that are forever being rearranged due to unknown, outside influences. Lynette makes us privy to some of those secretive complicities, but not enough to understand the full scope. Alexia and Hunter are unaware of these outside influences that are actually fueling their fears and anxieties, as there seems to be no safe place to hide her.

To ease the tension of the dangers that Alexia and Hunter find themselves in, Lynette throws in Graham Hunter’s mayoral candidacy dinner, Alexia’s attempts to reconcile with her mother, and a tensive romance trying to bud out from under the circumstances. The ease of Hunter and Selena’s faith puts Alexia on edge. What had God ever done for her? Where was He when she needed him? Surprises abound as the story evolves.

Lynette’s book had me pumped with all the action, suspense, and danger. The characters’ interactions and relationships were real. The tension was palpable during the high intense episodes. This author knows how to create a moving story of suspense as well as interspersing the tenderness of the Lord’s interventions in unsuspecting places and people. It’s natural and real.

My reaction at the end of the book: “I just can’t believe I have to wait for the next book!” When The Smoke Clears ends in an integrated fashion for a partial resolution, but it leaves you wanting more, more, and more, opening the door for a sequel! Fantastic ride for a great suspense/thriller. Fabulous writing from a superb author. Lynette is one powerful, plot-twisting, heart-pounding writer!!

This book was provided by Donna Hausler, Publicity Assistant at Baker Publishing Group, in exchange for my honest review. No monetary compensation was exchanged.

“Embraced by God” by Babbie Mason with a Nook Tablet Giveaway/Facebook Party~~(A Litfuse Blog Tour)

Embraced by God is a journey of discovering what it means to be unconditionally loved, approved, accepted, forgiven, blessed, cherished, treasured, and favored by God.

To celebrate the book’s release, Babbie is giving away a Nook Tablet and hosting the “Embrace” FB party on 3/6/12. All the details below.

Endorsements for Embraced by God:

Here’s what I love about Embraced by God: it’s as warm and caring, as biblical and wise, as Babbie Mason herself. Filled with passion and compassion, flavored with memorable stories and lyrical lessons, Babbie’s devotional invites you to spend twenty-one days basking in the truth of God’s love for you. A splendid new resource from a gifted sister.Liz Curtis Higgs, best-selling author of Bad Girls of the Bible

If you want to enjoy the peace of knowing ‘everything is all right’ because of who God thinks you are, then read…Embraced by God. - Jan Silvious (Speaker, Life Coach, Author, Big Girls Don’t Whine and Same Life New Story)

Are you longing for the truth of God’s love and tenderness for you? Read this book! Babbie Mason has authentically, passionately, purposefully, and powerfully written words of healing for you!Dr. Thelma Wells

{More about Embraced by God}

Have you ever wondered, “Does God really love me? Do I really matter to him?”HE LOVES YOU.As a matter of fact, God loves you just as much as he loves His own Son.

In the pages of this heartwarming, thoughtful and life-affirming 21-day journey, award-winning gospel singer, songwriter, and teacher Babbie Mason reminds you, when you know you are loved by God and that you are in His eternal plan, you’ll never again wonder if your life matters.

Click for more info.


{More about Babbie}

Babbie Mason is a Dove Award-winning and Grammy nominated gospel singer, songwriter, author, creator of the Embrace: A Worship Event for Women ministry, professor of songwriting at Atlanta Christian College and Lee University, and a television talk-show host. She was inducted into the Christian Music Hall of Fame in 2010 and has appeared on numerous national television and radio programs. Babbie has been honored perform for Presidents Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, George H. W. Bush, George W. Bush, Lady Margaret Thatcher, Colin Powell, Steve Forbes among many others. Babbie performs a holiday special at Carnegie Hall every year. Babbie lives near Atlanta on a farm with her husband Charles.


{More about the Embraced by God Giveaway}

Embraced by God is a 21-day encounter that shares the unconditional love of God. “If you watch what the media says as to where we should find our identity–” says Babbie, “–money, beauty, power and technology–you’ll just be confused about who you are and what your purpose is. As a culture we are trying to buy or sell what can only be administered to the soul by Jesus.”

The Blog Tour sites are here.

Celebrate with Babbie by entering her Nook Tablet Giveaway!

One beloved winner will receive:

  • A Brand new Nook Tablet with Wi-Fi
  • Embraced by God by Babbie Mason
  • Babbie’s Embraced by God Music CD
  • Babbie’s Embraced by God Notecards

Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends 3/5/12. Winner will be announced at Babbie’s “Embraced” Facebook Party on 3/6. Babbie will be hosting an evening of chat, music, laughter, and encouragement – bring your friends! She’ll also be giving away some GREAT prizes: gift certificates, books, Embraced by God music CDs and Notecards, and a book club prize pack! (Ten copies of the book for your small group or book club.)

So grab your copy of Embraced by God and join Babbie and friends on the evening of March 6th for an evening of fun.



Don’t miss a moment of the fun. RSVP TODAY and tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 6th!

Source.

My review will follow towards the end of the month. A book was provided by Amy Lathrop of the Litfuse Publicity Group in exchange for my honest review. No monetary compensation was exchanged.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

“Indemnity” by Paula Wiseman (Book Two: Covenant of Trust Series)

JUST WHEN BOBBI THINKS CHUCK’S AFFAIR IS BEHIND THEM…


A SHATTERED CHILDHOOD.

A MENDED MARRIAGE.

BOUND TOGETHER BY ONE LITTLE BOY.

After years of believing Chuck’s affair is behind them, Bobbi’s marriage is tested again when Tracy Ravenna resurfaces. Tracy’s not alone, though. Jackson Charles Ravenna is the newest student in Bobbi’s first grade class and the spitting image of her husband. When Chuck decides to pursue joint custody, they discover Jack isn’t the only secret Tracy’s been hiding.

As Tracy’s past begins to threaten their future with Jack, Bobbi is forced to face the unsettling truth about God’s grace. But this time, what will it cost to forgive the unforgivable?

Excerpt.

Bio:


I was born during the Summer of Love in Ashland, KY. I’m wife and mom of three, and a former chemist. I home school, I run a little, I’m a huge football and basketball fan, a hopeless nerd with a little techie geek thrown in. I teach Sunday school, I’m the Science Lady at Washington Elementary and I am so left-handed. I have a little dog, and a hateful cat.

Well, truth be told, I’ve been writing since I was a kid. I modeled my favorite stories, or wrote sequels to them. I wrote a full length novel while I was in college, and it currently resides in a dusty folder under my desk.

After a writing exercise, a plot began to form and a story began to nag at me, so in July 2005, I started work on the book that became Contingency.

In December 2010, Contingency, Book One of Covenant of Trust Series released. Indemnity followed in April 2011, building on the success and popularity of Contingency. The highly anticipated Book Three, Precedent released in October 2011.

My Review:

Paula has attained another peak with her book, Indemnity, the second in her Covenant of Trust Series. In Contingency, Chuck Molinsky has committed adultery with Tracy Ravenna, with the subsequent fallout of Chuck and Bobbi’s marriage and roller-coaster ride of emotional upheavals that befell the whole family, hitting Bobbi the hardest. Trust almost became an obscene word to Bobbi, let alone forgiveness of her husband.

After seven years of a quiet marital reconciliation, Tracy and her son, Jackson Charles Ravenna, arrive back in town. The bombshell explodes as Bobbi finds out about Chuck’s son from his adulterous affair when she finds Tracy has enrolled Jack in her first grade class. Emotional upheavals plow through Bobbi’s mind and heart, uprooting their family system with the news of a half-brother. Trust in her husband’s fidelity, attraction to Tracy, and honesty is revisited, while she wonders if Tracy’s manipulations and Jack’s appearance will destroy their marriage. Chuck filing for joint custody is an unconscionable act in Bobbi’s mind. Will Bobbi be able to trust and forgive once again?

What makes Paula’s book so pertinent and relevant is the absolute reality and pain of the circumstances, emotions, interventions, resolutions, and family reactions. You are pulled into the family dynamics once again. It’s intimate and personal. You hurt when they hurt. The fact that Paula has Bobbi trusting in Chuck’s re-commitment to the Lord and his marriage through their months of Godly counseling shows the strength of hope, faith and forgiveness in a very personal and meaningful way. Prayer is an integral part of the story, as should be in a Christian marriage.

An added dimension of tragedy in Tracy’s life is added to the story, which tugs on your heartstrings even deeper. Paula weaves this suspense throughout the story, keeping you on edge. The shocking end brings tears to your eyes.

I am thoroughly grateful for the way that Paula shows how God can work out any circumstance if we commit everything to prayer and trust in Him. It’s what gives me hope.

If you’ve read Contingency, be sure to pick up Indemnity. It will bless your heart in ways you wouldn’t expect. I would highly suggest you read Contingency first.

This book was provided by Paula Wiseman in exchange for my honest review. No monetary compensation was exchanged.

Review of Contingency.

Posted on February 12, 2012, and tagged , , , , , , , .

“Burning Hearts” by Nike Chillemi~Crime Fictionista


Book Blurb: Can a young seamstress with an independent streak escape an arsonist/murderer while deciding if she trusts the dashing US Army veteran and WWII hero some claim is the killer?

Erica Brogna tries to rescue her friend and mentor when her home and dress shop is set on fire, but the smoke and heat beat her back, making her run for help.

In comes hero, Lorne Kincaid, on his Harley. He rushes into the inferno and gets Erica’s friend out, injuring himself in the process. However, she dies at the hospital. Soon he finds himself framed for this crime.

Bio:



Like so many other writers, I started writing at a very young age. I still have the Crayola, fully illustrated book I penned (penciled might be more accurate) as a little girl about my then off-the-chart love of horses. In high school I wrote the requisite poems full of angst.Today, you might call me a crime fictionista. My passion is crime fiction.

I was a 2010 Inspy Awards judge, a 2011 Carol Awards judge, and write book reviews for The Christian Pulse on-line magazine. Mostly I review serious crime fiction novels or other types of edgy Christian titles. I’m the founding board member of the Grace Awards, a reader-driven inspirational fiction awards. I’m a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), where I serve as a small critique group leader. I’m also a member of Edgy Christian Fiction Lovers on Ning, where I’ve coordinated a group summer blog tour and have taught a workshop on proposal writing.

I’m a wife, mother, animal lover, living in a coastal metro New York City, a short distance from the Atlantic Ocean. I’m crazy about the ocean.

My website is Nike Chillemi ~ Crime Fictionista… http://http://www.nike-chillemi.com/

I can be found on Twitter. http://twitter.com/#!/NikeChillemi

Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/home.php?sk=group_124248046980&id=10150173847766981#!/profile.php?id=1408995495&sk=info

BURNING HEARTS can be purchased:

At the Desert Breeze Publishing site. http://stores.desertbreezepublishing.com/StoreFront.bok

Amazon. http://www.amazon.com/Sanctuary-Point-Book-One-ebook/dp/B0050PJSTY/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2&s=books&qid=1305423605&sr=1-1

Barnes & Noble. http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Sanctuary-Point-Book-One/Nike-Chillemi/e/2940012411747/?itm=1&USRI=nike+chillemi

Christianbooks.com. http://www.christianbook.com/burning-hearts-ebook-nike-chillemi/9781612520421/pd/18913EB?product_redirect=1&Ntt=18913EB&item_code=&Ntk=keywords&event=ESRCP

Sony Reader. http://ebookstore.sony.com/search?keyword=Burning+Hearts%2C+Nike+Chillemi

(Source)

My Review:

Erica Brogna arrives at Ada’s Fabric Shoppe, only to find it on fire. She attempts to save Ada, but finding herself unable to accomplish the goal, she runs outside to wave down help.

Lorne Kinkade was out cruising on his Harley when he smelled smoke and saw a young woman frantically waving for help. Upon arriving, Erica informs Lorne that Ada is still in the house. He goes in to rescue her and is successful, though she is badly burned on her face and arm.

Erica, Lorne and Ada end up at the Memorial Hospital, where Erica and Lorne are treated and released. Ada was in surgery, but subsequently did not survive her injuries.

Nike Chillemi, in Burning Hearts, creates a genuine story line of a senseless arson/murder, with characters that are personal, personable, cruel, and real.
Nike Chillemi, in Burning Hearts, creates a genuine story line of a senseless, selfish arson/murder, with characters that are personal, personable, cruel, and real. The conversations seemed so natural and true for the circumstances, the delightful romance was respectful for the time era (1946), the police action/non-action seemed appropriate in the days of family powers ruling, and the suspense and mystery, though slow compared to today’s action, was timely and kept my attention. Nike kept me guessing who the killer/arsonist was throughout the whole book, down to the last few pages. And even then the action was powerful, dangerous and alarming. Emotions were palpable! Definitely moved me.

For her first novel, Nike did an outstanding job of keeping the storyline moving with all the different characters, crimes, and social and daily activities. Her descriptive language gave you a sense of the era, surrounding scenery, scenarios, area, and emotions. This aspect made for a very intimate read. Powerfully written with a sense of gentility mixed in. Definitely a 1946-era book. I loved it! Looking forward to her next book!

Nike’s inclusion of the dilemmas of Lorne and Erica’s faith, their anger at God, and their spiritual growth is applicable for people everywhere. We all struggle, but we have a God who is there for us.

I received this e-book through Debra Gaynor of Readers Favorite in exchange for my honest review. No monetary compensation was exchanged.

Posted on February 12, 2012, and tagged , , , , , , , , , , .

“Contingency” by Paula Wiseman

They Never Planned for Adultery


Bobbi Molinsky’s comfortable life is shattered when a forwarded email from her husband’s account lands in her inbox. The email teases, “My whole evening is free again.” After an angry confrontation with Chuck, she is left with the broken remains of an eighteen year marriage. Bobbi agrees forgiving Chuck is the right thing, the God-honoring thing to do, but it leaves her empty and isolated. Teaching her second-graders is a burden. Taking care of her boys saps all her energy. It seems God Himself has walked away, leaving her to struggle alone. Bobbi can’t deny the transformation in Chuck, but genuine forgiveness requires trust, and trust is a risk she’s not willing to take. Can she let go of her deepest, most primal fears and save her marriage?

Excerpt: http://www.paulawiseman.com/contingency1/

In addition to buying Paula’s book on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, etc., it’s available on unabridged audio here. (Thanks to Jeffrey K.)


BIO:
I was born during the Summer of Love in Ashland, KY, but I moved to Pedro, OH after I married Jon, and now we live in Robinson, IL. I graduated from Eastern Kentucky University with a bachelor’s degree in Chemistry. I had a teaching certificate, but went to work for Ashland Petroleum Company as a chemist in the R&D department until my firstborn came along. I write about real-world faith. Faith that isn’t perfect, but is willing to struggle, to ask questions, and ultimately to answer the call to live beyond our limits.

I have three wonderful kids, a little dog, and a hateful cat.

You can email her at paula@paulawiseman.com

My Review:

Bobbi Molinsky’s life as she knew it plummeted when a forwarded email from her husband (Chuck’s) account, hinting at a secret rendezvous, lands in her inbox while he is out of town. Upon confronting Chuck with the email, he doesn’t deny anything, claims it would have been better not to have come home, turns around, and leaves, after eighteen years of marriage!

Paula Wiseman, in Contingency, doesn’t hold back on any of the emotions that occur from the fallout due to marital infidelity. It’s raw, emotional, heart-breaking, destructive, brutal, and honest. Bobbi’s emotional roller coaster tears at your heart. The destruction of the family is heart breaking. The repercussions reverberate at work, with friends, church, and family. Trust has been violated and crushed. Paula did an excellent job of portraying the character’s feelings and issues.

Forgiveness and trust are paramount to the possibility of reconciliation, but the turmoil of the broken relationship seems never-ending. Reminders pop up unexpectedly. Bobbi knows forgiveness is what God requires, but can she let down her guard, trusting that Chuck will not re-offend?

The counsel that both Chuck and Bobbi receive is Godly and full of wisdom. Paula’s book will validate the feelings of the party that was betrayed, yet doesn’t let him/her sit there in a pity party. It is Godly tough-love advice, the kind necessary to beat the enemy of our souls, who is trying to destroy marriages. It’s a great book for counselors to share with clients. In fact, this is a book that every couple, including engaged couples, should read just for the wise marital advice and warning signals that could lead to adultery.

Contingency is not an easy read, but a vital one. The situations are real, emotional, devastating, and encouraging. It’s about forgiveness. Is forgiveness easy? No, but it’s what God requires, just as He did on our behalf. Forgive and you shall be forgiven; forgive not and you will not be forgiven. But this kind of forgiveness comes only through the Holy Spirit’s power. Although scary, it’s letting go and trusting God to bring you through to the other side, trusting once again.

This book opened my eyes to the numerous repercussions of adultery, the devastating emotional upheaval, and the hard work it takes to bring reconciliation. But it’s worth it all.

This book was provided by the author, Paula Wiseman, in exchange for my honest review. No monetary compensation was exchanged.


Posted on February 12, 2012, and tagged , , , , , .

“That’s My Girl” by Rick Johnson (A Revell Blog Tour)

How a Father’s Love Protects and Empowers His Daughter


A father impacts every aspect of his daughter’s life–for her entire life. Fathers model for their daughters how women should be treated, how men should act, and how a man shows healthy love and affection toward a woman. And, perhaps most importantly, he sets the standard for how his daughter feels she deserves to be treated by men. It’s plain to see that this is a big responsibility and one that is not always easy to carry out.

In That’s My Girl, parenting expert Rick Johnson shows men how to develop the close relationships with their daughters that they both crave. Rick’s plainspoken common sense, wisdom, and humor meets dads right where they are with stories and advice that will change their relationships with their daughters for life.

Any man who wants to be the best dad possible to his daughter, as well as mothers and adult daughters seeking to understand the men in their lives, will love this hope-filled book.


Bio: Rick Johnson is the founder of Better Dads, a fathering skills program designed to inspire and equip men to be more engaged in the lives of their children. He develops and delivers inspirational training workshops and presentations across the country for organizations including businesses, churches, civic groups, social service agencies, hospitals, prisons, and schools.

He speaks at many large conferences across the US and Canada including MOPS International conventions, Promise Keepers Canada events, Design 4 Living women’s conferences, and Iron Sharpens Iron men’s conferences. Rick is a popular keynote speaker at men’s and women’s retreats and conferences on parenting and marriage. He is a nationally recognized expert in several areas having been asked to deliver papers at venues such as the 2007 County of Los Angeles Child Abuse Prevention Conference and the 2008 State of New York Fatherhood Conference.Prior to becoming a bestselling author and speaker, Rick was a small business owner for 16 years, owning and operating an environmental engineering firm. He attended George Fox University receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree in Management and Organizational Leadership, and has a Masters in Education from Concordia University. He is a veteran of the United States Navy, has served on the Board of Directors for several community and business associations, and coaches high school basketball in his spare time. Rick has been featured in many national publications such as New Man Magazine, Crosswalk.com, Christianity.com, Christianity Today’s Men of Integrity, and Proverbs 31 Ministries Magazine.Rick has appeared on over 200 radio programs and television shows around the United States. He is the former co-host of a live, weekly radio show called, “An Hour of Honesty and Common Sense.”Rick and his wife Suzanne have two (nearly) adult children and live in Gresham, Oregon.
Connect with Rick: http://www.betterdads.net/ and purchase his books here: http://www.betterdads.net/store.

My Review:

That’s My Girl by Rick Johnson is one of the most comprehensive books on father/daughter relationships and how that relationship affects a daughter’s life forever. Though Rick did not become a Christian until his children were eight and ten, God has used this man to encourage dads to become deeply involved with their daughters. An earthly father’s love displays the love of God the Father to girls. This is imperative for a girl to develop confidence and empower them to become the daughter of God that she was meant to become.

Does that mean every dad should be perfect? No! It means for them to seek God and His Word to guide their daughters in Godly virtues.

The chapter titles include:

  • What are little girls made of–biological and psychological make-up
  • Her father’s influence–the power of a father words
  • Communicating with the female species–how to listen
  • Bonding with girls–time and healthy affection
  • What a girl needs from her father–unconditional love and truth
  • Danger, Will Robinson!–emotional health
  • Protecting her–physically, emotionally, mentally, and sexually
  • Uh-Oh! She’s becoming a woman–her virtue and your views on dating issues
  • Character training–character traits all girls need
  • The Father Blessing–spiritual development and the father blessing

All these titles may seem familiar, but Rick’s comments and examples address the issues much more deeply than I even expected. His book is personal and profound. This is a must-read for all men and fathers.

The only topic I would have liked to have seen included is homosexuality. It’s rampant today, and God has very strong commands on the matter.

I am also aware of another book by this author that would follow suit with this one, which I have not read yet, but will–That’s My Son. So if you need more guidance in raising your children, or your church is doing a class on parenting, I feel confident in recommending Rick’s books.

This book was provided by Donna Hausler, Publicity Assistant, Baker Publishing Group, in exchange for my honest review. No monetary compensation was exchanged.

Posted on February 12, 2012, and tagged , , , , , , , , , .

OctoberBaby: A Movie That Celebrates Life: Opening on March 23, 2012

A Movie that Celebrates Life!

If you believe that every life is beautiful and that a beautifully told story can touch hearts—and maybe even save lives—then get ready for OCTOBER BABY! Opening in theaters on March 23, OCTOBER BABY tells the story of Hannah, a young woman who learns that the story of her life is much different from what she’s known up until now.

Jon Erwin and Andrew Erwin directed the movie. The Erwin Brothers have won numerous awards as the directors of some of your favorite Christian music videos. Jon Erwin was the also the second unit director on COURAGEOUS, whose director Alex Kendrick says this about OCTOBER BABY: “A great film with a great message!”

» Watch the Trailer

October Baby Opens in Theaters March 23

As the curtain rises, Hannah hesitantly steps onto the stage for her theatrical debut in college. Yet before she can recite her first lines, she collapses. Countless medical tests all point to one underlying factor: Hannah’s difficult birth. This revelation is nothing compared to discovering that she was actually adopted … after a failed abortion attempt.

Bewildered, angered, and confused, Hannah embarks on a journey with Jason, her oldest friend. In the midst of her incredible journey to discover her hidden past and find hope for her unknown future, Hannah sees that life can be so much more than what you have planned.

» Visit OctoberBabyMovie.net

Sanctity of Life

On January 22, churches across the nation will celebrate Sanctity of Human Life Sunday. With the powerful theme of “Every Life Is Beautiful,” OCTOBER BABY naturally lends itself as a partner to churches in this important endeavor. Your church can access a number of FREE ministry tools at the OCTOBER BABY website, including videos, sermons, sermon illustrations, and more.

The producers of OCTOBER BABY have assigned 10% of the profits of the movie to the Every Life is Beautiful Fund, which will distribute funds to frontline organizations helping women facing crisis pregnancies, life-affirming adoption agencies, and those caring for orphans.

» Find Free Resources Now

What People Are Saying About October Baby

October Baby is a profoundly beautiful story and a powerful testament to the importance of every human life.” –Marjorie Dannenfelser, Founder and President, Susan B. Anthony List

“I am now an October Baby activist.” –Mark Hall, Casting Crowns


ImagestripFacebookTwitterYoutube

Credits



Posted on February 12, 2012, and tagged , , , , , , , , , .

My Review: “Not in the Heart” by Chris Fabry


NO GREATER LOVE…


Truman Wiley used to report news stories from around the world, but now the most troubling headlines are his own. He’s out of work, out of touch with his family, out of his home. But nothing dogs him more than his son’s failing heart.

With mounting hospital bills and Truman’s penchant for gambling his savings, the situation seems hopeless . . . until his estranged wife throws him a lifeline—the chance to write the story of a death row inmate, a man convicted of murder who wants to donate his heart to Truman’s son.

As the execution clock ticks down, Truman uncovers disturbing evidence that points to a different killer. For his son to live, must an innocent man die? Truman’s investigation draws him down a path that will change his life, his family, and the destinies of two men forever.

Not in the Heart will release on February 1, 2012. For a sneak preview, download the first chapter.


I was born in West Virginia in 1961 and grew up in a small town much like Dogwood. I was affected by my parents, my older brothers, the hills, and books. I was never a very fast reader, but the things I read really helped change me. Particularly novels. I vowed I would write if I ever got the chance.

I met Jerry Jenkins at Moody Bible Institute in the 1980s. He discovered I wanted to write and said, “I can help you do this if you want, but it will be painful.” Boy was it painful. Gloriously painful. In 1998, Jerry and Dr. Tim LaHaye hired me to write the Left Behind: The Kids series. I had published five books up to that point. I wrote 35 books in that series over the next six years, finishing in 2004. I later collaborated with Jerry on the Red Rock Mysteries series and The Wormling series, and in 2008 the NASCAR-based RPM series rounded out my work in the area of children’s fiction.

Dogwood was my first attempt at writing fiction for adults. It took more than six years to get to the page and to find a publisher. It received the 2009 Christy Award for Christian fiction in the Contemporary Standalone category, which surprised the Dogwood out of me! My next novel, June Bug, draws its themes from the classic Victor Hugo tale, Les Miserables. A nine-year-old girl walks into Walmart and sees herself on a missing children poster. Who is she? Who is her father who travels with her in the beat-up RV? Charles Martin wrote this about the story: “Anne Lamott said that ‘good writing is about telling the truth.’ Chris Fabry has done this. Beautifully. June Bug is masterful. An honest story that dove deep inside me and lingered long after I turned the last page.” June Bug was named a 2010 finalist for the Christy Award and the ECPA’s Christian Book Award.

My Review:

Truman Wiley is a man lost–out of work as a reporter; out of touch with his family; drowning in gambling, hospital and school debts; loss of his small house; car repossessed; neglectful father and husband; and most importantly, out of touch with God. His son, Aiden, is slowly dying from a heart ailment, and is desperately in need of a heart transplant to survive.

Truman’s estranged wife, Ellen, gets him a job writing a book about Terrence Conley, a death row inmate accused of murder, who is willing to donate his heart for Aiden, an impossible feat in itself without intervention. Terrence and his estranged wife, Oleta, are friends of Ellen from church, and they just want his side of the story told before his execution. As most death row inmates, he claims his innocence.

After receiving the retainer money on the book, Truman immediately goes and gambles it away instead of visiting his son and paying off bills. His daughter, Abigail (Abby) ends up finding him and working with him on the book, since he neglected to pay her college bills so she could graduate.

In his book, Not in the Heart, Chris Fabry methodically creates a real-to-life story that is heart-wrenching in terms of Truman’s estrangement from himself, God and his family. One sees into the disturbing devastation of gambling, a peek into the realms of evil, Godless men, and the anguish of his love-starved family. Truman’s circumstances, his attitude towards God, and his comments directly spoken to you, the reader, opens wide a space for him in your heart–what a great point of view insertion that gets your attention! You sense the futility of his life without God, stumbling around, trying to stay ahead of the loan sharks and bill collectors. Your heart is truly caught up in Truman’s life and relationships, and he seems to stay on your mind as someone you know. The book also touches on those on death row who maybe shouldn’t be there–a hot topic today.

The investigative, suspenseful part of the story is woven in amongst the continuing family issues. You’ll find this to be a book of superb suspense with multiple plots, and a sensitive, heart-warming book of hope for family relationships. Without the prayers of the those who knew the Lord, things wouldn’t have happened as they did.

This book was provided by Audra Jennings of The B&B Media Group, Inc, in exchange for my honest review. No monetary compensation was exchanged.


Posted on February 12, 2012, and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , .

“Addison Blakely: The Confessions of a PK” by Betsy St. Amant


THE CONFESSIONS OF A 16-YEAR-OLD PK

My name is Addison Blakely, and I’m a PK. Yeah, I know that sounds like a confession, and trust me, some days it feels like one, too.

Addison Blakely has never had much trouble pleasing her widowed, overprotective father. After all, he’s a pastor, and she knows her reputation is closely linked to his. But when the bad boy revs his motorcycle into town and into her heart, the cute but arrogant quarterback, and a charming new guy in class all vie for Addison’s attention, she begins to doubt her resolve. When motorcycle boy begins to challenge Addison’ faith, whether it’s her own or has been handed to her, she isn’t so sure what she really believes.

To make matters worse, Addison’s best friend suddenly seems to hate her, a talent show has the entire school at odds, and a foreign exchange student from Germany is shaking everyone up.

Join Addison Blakely as she attempts to separate love from lust, facts from faith, and keep her head above water in her murky, fishbowl existence.

Addison Blakely: Confessions of a PK/Barbour Books/Available: January 1st, 2012/368 Pages/ISBN-10: 1616265558/ISBN-13: 978-1616265557
Bio: Betsy St. Amant lives in Louisiana and is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers group. Betsy is multi-published through Steeple Hill and has been published in Christian Communicator magazine and Praise Reports: Inspiring Real Life Stories of How God Answers Prayer. One of her short stories, ‘Kickboxing or Chocolate’, appears in a Tyndale compilation book, and she is also multi-published through The Wild Rose Press. She has a BA in Christian Communications and regularly freelances for her local newspaper. Betsy is a fireman’s wife, a mommy to a busy toddler, a chocolate-loving author and an avid reader who enjoys sharing the wonders of God’s grace through her stories.Betsy is proud to be represented by Tamela Hancock Murray of The Steve Laube Agency. Visit www.tamelahancockmurray.com & www.stevelaube.com
You have to go here to visit more with Betsy!
My Review:

Addison Blakely’s life is about to unravel. The new boy, Wes Keegan, is continually standing outside her window with ‘Poodle Girl.’ Austin is hot after her, constantly kicking her chair in class. Luke stands up for her when Austin keeps acting like a jerk.

Addison’s best friend, Claire Pierson, starts to change for reasons unknown, and suddenly becomes Addison’s enemy. Marta, a German exchange student, steps in and becomes a close friend to her. In fact, because of Marta, she’s now in charge of the talent show.

Addison’s dad talks only mundane things with her, i.e., cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping, how’s school, etc. Nothing deep or personal. However, he has strict rules she must adhere to, though he’s not mean-spirited about it. Up until then, Addison never gave him any problems. Something else changes when her dad meets an old high-school flame.

Betsy St. Amant, in Addison Blakely: Confessions of a PK, takes you inside the mind and heart of Addison, the PK. She interweaves the wild thoughts and sneaky behaviors of Addison’s worldly ideas when she has three boys vying for her attention, while at the same time keeping cool with her dad. She normally is a not-going-to-date girl. Her foot-in-mouth disease is hilarious. Addison’s love affair with her chocolate mocha lattes with whipped cream and sprinkles at Got Beans also becomes her secret rendezvous place with Wes. The romantic tension with Wes is palpable. Is he really who he puts himself out to be? What’s behind his bad boy persona? Is he good for her?

I love Addison, but I also love the character of Marta. Being from Germany, she openly talks about sex and abortion, as well as the selfishness of American students. She asks in-your-face questions of Addison as only a close friend would dare. She challenges Addison’s way of thinking and brings out a side of her that one wouldn’t know was there.

With each rendezvous with Wes, he challenges Addison’s faith and current role as a PK, whether she wants to continue abide by the rules. While at the same time Addison is questioning her commitment to the Lord. Betsy did a wonderful job with the internal tension and pressure continually swirling within Addison’s mind.

This book brought back so many memories of high school and truly captures the distraught feelings of a teenager finding her way through high school as a PK. It’s an intimate read that pulls you into the emotions of Wes, Marta, and Addison, as well as the interactions and gossip that travel around, particularly with the other girls who are jealous. The personal decisions were sensitive and difficult, yet appropriate for the situations.

This was one of the best, perky, snappy YA read I’ve read in a very long time. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Betsy knows her way around the minds of young girls! It was real, painful, entertaining, and very informative of the issues girls go through in today’s world. You’ll fall in love with the characters, as they are so real. For a great read, pick up Betsy’s book! It’s an eye-opener and it’s entertaining.

This book was provided by the author in exchange for my honest review. No monetary compensation was exchanged.

Posted on February 12, 2012, and tagged , , , , , , , .

“Spyglass Lane Mysteries”--A New Line Of Mysteries for Your E-Reader


A NEW LINE OF MYSTERIES FOR YOUR E-READER

Spyglass Lane Mysteries

Susan Sleeman here. Do you have an e-reader or maybe an iPad? Then I’d like to tell you about a line of cozy mysteries that has recently released with most books retailing for only .99 for a limited time.

Spyglass Lane Mysteries are published by a group of cozy mystery authors who have joined together to bring you a new cozy mystery every week. Currently, there are over 20 wonderful mysteries in this line. Stop by the website to view all of the available books and be sure to sign up for our email newsletter where we announce each new book that releases.

I’d also like to share a little bit about my Garden Gate Mystery Series that is releasing as part of this line. The first book, Nipped in the Bud has already released and book two, Read Between the Tines will release in February 23rd. Here’s a little bit about both books.

NIPPED IN THE BUD

Nipped in the Bud WHEN YOU FIND YOUR BOSS PUSHING UP DAISIES. . .

Life in full bloom, landscape designer, Paige Turner, scores her first landscaping contract to spruce up the park, her radio talk show shoots to number one, and her retail shop is simply blossoming. Yes, her life is a bed of roses. Until she finds the city manager served up on the blade of her favorite shovel mere hours after she’s threatened to have his head on a platter, then the thorns come out. And there is none thornier than the local police chief declaring Paige the one and only suspect and threatening to plow her under.

YOU’VE GOT TO FORMULATE A PLANT OF ATTACK . . .

Paige teams up with dashing attorney, Adam Hayes to weed through the list of suspects, and clear her soiled reputation. And along the way, discovers that Adam just may be the man of her dreams.

» Read an Excerpt » Order It Now


READ BETWEEN THE TINES

Read Between the TinesIF YOUR LIFE IS A BED OF ROSES. . .

Recovered from her near death at the hand of a killer, landscape designer Paige Turner is certain her life will soon be a bed of roses. That is, until her employee, Daisy Rose Plante, finds a dead body, and the thorny police chief looks no further than Daisy for a suspect. Paige digs in and weeds through the list of potential killers, and before long, her sweet smelling rose of a life is soundly trampled.

YOU’LL HAVE TO SURVIVE THE THORNS. . .

Paige would be much happier working over-thyme on her budding relationship with handsome attorney, Adam Hayes, but it soon becomes clear she’ll be in a hoe lot of trouble with him if she continues digging for the killer. Does Paige risk all and try to unearth the killer? Or does she settle down in peaceful bliss with the man of her dreams?

» Read an Excerpt


Susan SleemanSUSAN SLEEMAN is a best-selling author of inspirational romantic suspense and mystery novels. She grew up in a small Wisconsin town where she spent her summers reading Nancy Drew and developing a love of mystery and suspense books. Today, she channels this enthusiasm into writing romantic suspense and mystery novels and hosting the popular internet website TheSuspenseZone.com.

Susan currently lives in Florida, but has had the pleasure of living in nine states. Her husband is a church music director and they have two beautiful daughters, a very special son-in-law and an adorable grandson.

To learn more about Susan visit: Website, her Facebook page, or on Twitter

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Day #6 and 5 Facebook "Frantic" Giveaways, PLUS Additional "Frantic" Giveaways!

Happy release day, FRANTIC !!! (And wouldn’t you know it? Amazon doesn’t have it available yet!) Well, it’s available from other book selling sites and in stores today. Amazon’s loss.

Below are the final winners of my book-a-day giveaway and my Facebook page big giveaway since we reached and surpassed 700 likes! If you’re not one of the winners I do hope you’ll check the book out anyway.

Purchase at these sites:

Amazon . . . Kindle version is available
Barnes & Noble
Christianbook.com
Books-a-Million

Or check your local bookstore (B&N, BAM, Family Christian, Lifeway, and independents). Celebrate today by purchasing your copy of FRANTIC. And when you’re done reading it, I’d love to hear what your thoughts are.

Okay, wait no longer, here are the winners . . .

Sixth and final winner of the book-a-day giveaway: Claudia Leftwich. Congrats, Claudia!

Five winners of the Facebook page giveaway:

Cynthia Stang
Claudette Labrie-Paul
Harry Fouts
Joy Kieffer
Kristin Toney Campbell

Congratulations to all the winners! I’ll contact you all via Facebook for your mailing information.

*****************************

ADDITIONAL GIVEAWAYS ON PERSONAL BLOGS:

Into the Fire . . . guest post “Live Like You Mean It” (giveaway)
I am Believing God . . . “Mike Dellosso is Master of Suspense” (giveaway)
Examiner . . . “Mike Dellosso is Master of Suspense”
Window to My World . . . Interview (giveaway)
Nikole Hahn’s Journal . . . guest post “People Come First” (giveaway)

ON FEBRUARY 8 (tomorrow), FIND ANOTHER GIVEAWAY AT MY BLOG POST:

One Desert Rose... guest post "Being Intentional" (giveaway)

Source.


Saturday, February 4, 2012

GIVEAWAY: “Frantic” by Mike Dellosso

Check out the website below for a chance to win a copy of Frantic by Mike Dellosso:

http://mikedellosso.wordpress.com/2012/02/01/frantic-giveaways/

February 1-7

FRANTIC releases in six days and Mike plans to give away a book a day until February 7. If Mike’s author page on Facebook hits 700 “likes” by Feb. 7, he’ll give away an additional 5 copies. Only 22 'likes' away since 5:00 am Feb. 3. Please “like” it. Invite your friends!
(www.facebook.com/mikedellosso.
).

He’s also running another giveaway on his blog. Check it out . . . www.mikedellosso.wordpress.com.

FRANTIC is the story of three unlikely heroes fighting to survive in a world where every card seems stacked against them. The story moves at a lightning pace and leaves you feeling, well, frantic. But there’s also a message in there, an important word for all of us about faith and trust and what’s really important. You won’t want to miss this one.

Can a deranged serial killer be stopped before it’s too late?

For gas station attendant Marny Toogood it’s just another day on the job when an urgent message from a young girl in the backseat of a car draws him into a daring rescue attempt. Now on the run with the girl and her brother, Marny begins to realize he must conquer his own past and surrender all to Christ.

As they face kidnapping, underground cults, and other evils, can Marny trust the simple faith of a child and stand his ground against a power so twisted?

Mike Dellosso:


Mike Dellosso writes novels of suspense for both the mind and the soul. He writes to both entertain and challenge. In addition to his novels, Mike is also an adjunct professor at Lancaster Bible College and a faculty member at the Greater Philadelphia Christian Writer’s Conference.

Related Articles:

Source.