BOOK FUN MAGAZINE - FREE READ

THE VIGILANTE's BRIDE by YVONNE HARRIS


This week, the



Christian Fiction Blog Alliance



is introducing


The Vigilante's Bride
Bethany House (August 1, 2010)


by
Yvonne Harris


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Yvonne Harris earned a BS in Education from the University of Hartford and has taught throughout New England and the mid-Atlantic. Unofficially retired from teaching, she teaches writing at Burlington County College in southern New Jersey, where she resides. She is a winner and three-time finalist for the Golden Heart, once for The Vigilante's Bride, which is her debut novel.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Montana Territory, 1884...Is Her Kidnapper the Only Man Who Can Keep Her Safe?


Robbing a stagecoach on Christmas Eve and abducting a woman passenger is the last thing Luke Sullivan expected to do. He just wanted to reclaim the money stolen from his pa, but instead ended up rescuing a feisty copper-haired woman who was on her way to marry Sullivan's dangerous enemy. Emily McCarthy doesn't take kindly to her so-called rescue. Still, she's hoping Providence will turn her situation for good, especially when it seems Luke Sullivan may just be the man of her dreams. But Luke has crossed a vicious man, a powerful rancher not used to losing, and Emily is the prize he's unwilling to sacrifice.

If you would like to read the first chapter of The Vigilante's Bride, go HERE

23 QUESTIONS ABOUT HELL by BILL WIESE

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:

23 Questions About Hell (with DVD)

Charisma House; Har/DVD edition (July 6, 2010)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:



Bill Wiese is the New York Times best-selling author of 23 Minutes in Hell. A dedicated Christian since 1970, he has served in various capacities, including teaching and leading worship. He is an accomplished speaker and has appeared on numerous television and radio shows. He lives with his wife, Annette, in Southern California.


Visit the author's website.





Product Details:

List Price: $15.99
Hardcover: 160 pages
Publisher: Charisma House; Har/DVD edition (July 6, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1616380276
ISBN-13: 978-1616380274

AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER:


But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. —Romans 5:8



Would you say that the leaders of our country are mean for constructing prisons? No, it’s your choice; you don’t have to go there. (See Deuteronomy 30:19; Psalms 9:17; 86:5; 145:8–9; Proverbs 11:19, 21; John 3:16; Romans 5:8; 2 Peter 2:9; Revelation 20:13–15.)


Besides, hell was not prepared for man but for the devil and his angels (Matt. 25:41). God never intended for man to go there. Even now, He is preparing a place for us in heaven (John 14:2). It is only by man’s stubborn will that he rejects the provision God has made

for our access into heaven. It is arrogant of man to desire to go to heaven yet demand his own terms of access. If you want to live in God’s house, you come by His way and not your own (Luke 13:3; John 3:36; 14:6; Acts 4:12; Rom. 10:9–10; 1 Tim. 2:4–6).


Why is hell so horrific? Because God’s attributes are not present there. Many do not realize that the good we all enjoy is from God. Good doesn’t exist apart from Him. James 1:17 states, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights.”


The same word, hetoimazo, is used in Matthew 25:41, where God prepared hell for the devil, as is used in John 14:2, where Jesus says, “I go to prepare a place for you” (emphasis added). God prepared heaven as His eternal home, filled with all the attributes of His holiness and glory. But in God’s preparation of hell, He removed all of His attributes, or goodness, from that place of torment. Spiritual death means to be separated from God, and to be separated from Him is to be separated from all good. As a consequence, this is the result:


• Hell is dark because God is light (1 John 1:5).

• Hell is only death because God is life (John 1:4).

• Hell is hatred because God is love (1 John 4:16).

• Hell has no mercy because the mercy of the Lord is in the heavens (Ps. 36:5).

• Hell is only weakness because the Lord is the giver of strength (Ps. 18:32).

• Hell is loud because “My people will dwell in . . . quiet resting places” (Isa. 32:18).

• Hell has no water because water is the rain of heaven (Deut. 11:11).

• Hell has no peace because Christ is the Prince of Peace (Isa. 9:6).


The good we experience is because God allows us to enjoy it while we are here on the earth. Psalm 33:5 states, “The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.”


However, if you want nothing to do with God, then there is a place prepared that has nothing to do with His goodness. His presence is there (Job 26:6; Ps. 139:8; Prov. 15:11; Rev. 14:10–11), in that it is before His face. However, His goodness and influence are removed.






He looks down upon it from heaven (1 Kings 8:30; Job 22:12; Ps. 11:4; 33:13; 102:19; 123:1; Prov. 15:3; Eccles. 5:2). Of course, God is in all places and sees all. I am simply saying that He has withdrawn His goodness from hell.


Proverbs 15:29 says, “The Lord is far from the wicked.” In 2 Thessalonians 1:8–9 we read, “In flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power.”


Cast out from the presence of the Lord is the idea at the root of eternal death, the law of evil left to its unrestricted working, without one counteracting influence of the presence of God, who is the source of all light and holiness.1 —Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible



Essentially, hell is the place where all aspects of the presence of God will be completely withdrawn forever.2 —Henry M. Morris and Martin E. Clark


Dr. Robert Peterson said in his book Hell on Trial, “God is not present in hell in grace and blessing . . . He is present in hell, not in blessing, but in wrath.”3


However, there is one additional thing in hell. God’s wrath is present in the form of fire. The fires of hell are representative of His wrath (Deut. 32:22; Ps. 11:6; 21:8–9; Isa. 30:33; 33:14; 34:9; 66:24; Jer. 4:4; Mal. 4:1; Matt. 13:49–50; 18:8; Mark 9:43; John 15:6; Jude 7; Rev. 14:10–11; 20:10–15). The reason for this wrath is because sin must be punished (Rom. 6:23). God took out His anger on sin at the cross, as He poured out His wrath on Jesus (Ps. 22; Isa. 53; Matt. 17:12; Mark 9:12; Luke 9:22; 17:25; 24:26, 46; Heb. 9:26; 1 Pet. 2:24). However, if we don’t acknowledge Him and receive Him as our Lord, then we will take the punishment (2 Thess. 1:9–10; 2 Pet. 2:9; Rev. 14:10–11; 20:13–15). It is our choice.


Most of the other terrible things in hell are not experienced because of His wrath but because of His absence—the absence of His attributes and goodness (Prov. 15:29; 2 Thess. 1:9). We need to understand that good things are not just here by a series of coincidental random events but because they emanate from the presence of God (Ps. 90:2; Matt. 5:45; Luke 6:35; Col. 1:16; 1 Tim. 6:17). When some say that hell is only “separation from God,” as if that is no big deal, we can now grasp what that really means.


Many will look at the trees, the sky, the ocean, and so forth and comment, “Isn’t Mother Nature wonderful?” Well, it is not “Mother Nature,” but rather, “Father God” who provided all of the beauty we enjoy.


Just as prisons have been constructed to protect the innocent from those who are breakers of the law here on Earth, hell has been prepared for the offenders of God’s law. The simple solution is, don’t break God’s law. “Unless you repent you will all likewise perish” (Luke 13:3; see also John 3:36; Rom. 10:9–10). Proverbs 27:12 says:


A prudent man foresees evil and hides himself; the simple pass on and are punished.


Remember this point: Just as prisons were not the first thing in mind when men came to this country, so too hell wasn’t God’s first intent when He made the earth and man. Nevertheless, hell exists— and it will be your own fault if you go there.


Salvation is a free gift, but we must receive it in order to be saved. God loves you and is a good Father. He is trying to keep you out of hell and to divert you from your misguided course.


The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, Because the Lord has anointed Me To preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives, And the opening of the prison to those who are bound.


—Isaiah 61:1

THE CRIMSON CIPHER by SUSAN PAGE DAVIS

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

The Crimson Cipher
Summerside Press (July 1, 2010)

by
Susan Page Davis

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


From Susan: I've always loved reading, history, and horses. These things come together in several of my historical books. My young adult novel, Sarah's Long Ride, also spotlights horses and the rugged sport of endurance riding, as does the contemporary romance Trail to Justice. I took a vocational course in horseshoeing after earning a bachelor's degree in history. I don't shoe horses anymore, but the experience has come in handy in writing my books.

Another longtime hobby of mine is genealogy, which has led me down many fascinating paths. I'm proud to be a DAR member! Some of Jim's and my quirkier ancestors have inspired fictional characters.

For many years I worked for the Central Maine Morning Sentinel as a freelancer, covering local government, school board meetings, business news, fires, auto accidents, and other local events, including a murder trial. I've also written many profiles and features for the newspaper and its special sections. This experience was a great help in developing fictional characters and writing realistic scenes. I also published nonfiction articles in several magazines and had several short stories appear in Woman's World, Grit, and Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine.

My husband, Jim, and I moved to his birth state, Oregon, for a while after we were married, but decided to move back to Maine and be near my family. We're so glad we did. It allowed our six children to grow up feeling close to their cousins and grandparents, and some of Jim's family have even moved to Maine!

Our children are all home-schooled. The two youngest are still learning at home. Jim recently retired from his vocation as an editor at a daily newspaper, and we’ve moved from Maine to Kentucky.

ABOUT THE BOOK
IT'S 1915, AND EMMA SHUSTER HAS FAR TOO MUCH ON HER MIND TO ENTERTAIN NOTIONS OF ROMANCE...

A female Navy cryptographer seeks to save lives...and uncover her father’s killers.

In 1915, German sympathizers escalated acts of sabotage in the United States to keep the nation from joining in the war. With enemies lurking at every turn, whom can Emma trust? Is romance the true motive behind her tow suitors advances? Or could one-or both of them-have traitorous intentions in mind?

Following the mysterious murder of Emma Shuster’s father, Lt. John Patterson invites Emma to become a Navy cryptographer because of the expertise she gained in helping her father develop a cipher system.

Emma races to discover the nefarious plans of her country's foes and unmask their leader before others are killed. She finds new strength in her faith as she strives to outwit her adversary, known only as Kobold - German for goblin.

And yet, her greatest challenge may be deciphering the cryptic messages her heart sends whenever she encounters a certain navy lieutenant... Can Emma and John find love in the midst of turmoil as America plunges toward war?

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

THAT'S WHERE GOD IS by DAN & ALI MORROW
















REVIEW:
THAT’S WHERE GOD IS
By Dan and Ali Morrow
Published by:
ISBN#978-1-4347-6434-8
Picture Book


Back Cover: A small child discovers God’s presence in the world around him.

A boy’s simple question sparks a search for God. Prompted by his grandfather, he discovers God’s presence everywhere: in a powerful storm, in a friend’s help, and in his sister’s kindness. Then his grandfather shares another truth: God also can be found in our hearts, if we invite him in.

Filled with wonder, That’s Where God Is! teaches children ages 4 to 8 that God is always with them. Moving beyond simply telling about God, it gently guides children’s spiritual growth, showing them how to recognize God’s presence for themselves. With an introduction by Lee Strobel, it’s ideal for parents, grandparents, and teachers who want to deepen a young child’s walk with God.


Review: This is a precious picture book written to help parents talk to their child about God. Where is God and how can I find him? This story starts out with a young boy sitting on his Grandpa’s lap asking him about God.

His Grandpa discusses the topic of God and he challenges the boy to look for God this week and report back to him what he finds. The little boy is excited about this mission his Grandpa has him on. He’s earnestly starts his search of God. Where can he find him? Since his eyes have been opened to the possibilities through what his Grandpa says he finds the most amazing things.

I’m so excited about this series and how this topic is handled. This book is a great vehicle to have parents and children talk about big topics like God. Dan and Ali Morrow make is simple. I think that’s what I loved most about this book plus I enjoyed the pictures too. I can’t wait for the next book in this series. I'm so thankful to have received a review copy of this book.

Nora St.Laurent
The Book Club Network
www.bookfun.org

THE DEVIL IN PEW NUMBER SEVEN by REBECCA ALONZO - FIRST CHAPTER

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:


The Devil in Pew Number Seven

Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (July 2, 2010)


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


Rebecca Nichols Alonzo

Becky Alonzo never felt safe as a child. Although she lived next door to the church her father pastored, the devil lived across the street. This tormented man terrorized her family with rifle shots and ten bombings. When these violent acts didn't scare them away, he went even further. During dinner one evening, seven-year-old Becky and her younger brother watched as their parents were gunned down. Today Becky speaks about betrayal and the power of forgiveness. She is a graduate of Missouri State University and has been involved in ministry, including a church plant, youth outreach, and missions, for thirteen years. She and her husband, along with their two children, live in Franklin, Tennessee.




Product Details:

List Price: $14.99
Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (July 2, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1414326599
ISBN-13: 978-1414326597

AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER:


Walking, Crawling, Dead or Alive

I ran.

My bare feet pounding the pavement were burning from the sunbaked asphalt. Each contact between flesh and blacktop provoked bursts of pain as if I were stepping on broken glass. The deserted country road, stretching into the horizon, felt as if it were conspiring against me. No matter how hard I pushed myself, the safe place I was desperate to reach eluded me.

Still, I ran.

Had a thousand angry hornets been in pursuit, I couldn’t have run any faster. Daddy’s instructions had been simple: I had to be a big girl, run down the street as fast as my legs could carry me, and get help. There was nothing complicated about his request. Except for the fact that I’d have to abandon my hiding place under the kitchen table and risk being seen by the armed madman who had barricaded himself with two hostages in my bedroom down the hall. I knew, however, that ignoring Daddy’s plea was out of the question.

And so I ran.

Even though Daddy struggled to appear brave, the anguish in his eyes spoke volumes. Splotches of blood stained his shirt just below his right shoulder. The inky redness was as real as the fear gnawing at the edges of my heart. I wanted to be a big girl for the sake of my daddy. I really did. But the fear and chaos now clouding the air squeezed my lungs until my breathing burned within my chest.

My best intentions to get help were neutralized, at least at first. I remained hunkered down, unable to move, surrounded by the wooden legs of six kitchen chairs. I had no illusions that a flimsy 6 x 4 foot table would keep me safe, yet I was reluctant to leave what little protection it afforded me.

In that space of indecision, I wondered how I might open the storm door without drawing attention to myself. One squeak from those crusty hinges was sure to announce my departure plans. Closing the door without a bang against the frame was equally important. The stealth of a burglar was needed, only I wasn’t the bad guy.

Making no more sound than a leaf falling from a tree, I inched my way out from under the table. I stood and then scanned the room, left to right. I felt watched, although I had no way of knowing for sure whether or not hostile eyes were studying my movements. I inhaled the distinct yet unfamiliar smell of sulfur lingering in the air, a calling card left behind from the repeated blasts of a gun.

I willed myself to move.

My bare feet padded across the linoleum floor.

I was our family’s lifeline, our only connection to the outside world. While I hadn’t asked to be put in that position, I knew Daddy was depending on me. More than that, Daddy needed me to be strong. To act. To do what he was powerless to do. I could see that my daddy, a strong ex–Navy man, was incapable of the simplest movement. The man whom I loved more than life itself, whose massive arms daily swept me off my feet while swallowing me with an unmatched tenderness, couldn’t raise an arm to shoo a fly.

To see him so helpless frightened me.

Yes, Daddy was depending on me.

Conflicted at the sight of such vulnerability, I didn’t want to look at my daddy. Yet my love for him galvanized my resolve. I reached for the storm-door handle. Slow and steady, as if disarming a bomb, and allowing myself quick glances backward to monitor the threat level of a sudden ambush, I opened the storm door and stepped outside. With equal care, I nestled the metal door against its frame.

I had to run.

I shot out from under the carport, down the driveway, and turned right where concrete and asphalt met. The unthinkable events of the last five minutes replayed themselves like an endless-loop video in my mind. My eyes stung, painted with hot tears at the memory. Regardless of their age, no one should have to witness what I had just experienced in that house—let alone a seven-year-old girl. The fresh images of what had transpired moments ago mocked me with the fact that my worst fears had just come true.

I had to keep running.

Although I couldn’t see any activity through the curtains framing my bedroom window, that didn’t mean the gunman wasn’t keeping a sharp eye on the street. I hesitated, but only for a moment more. What might happen gave way to what had happened. I had to get help. Now, almost frantic to reach my destination, I redoubled my efforts.

I ran on.

To get help for Momma and Daddy. To escape the gunman. To get away from all the threatening letters, the sniper gunshots, the menacing midnight phone calls, the home invasions—and the devil who seemed to be behind so many of them.

But I’m getting ahead of the story.



MASQUERADE by NANCY MOSER - REVIEWED

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Masquerade
Bethany House (August 1, 2010)
by

Nancy Moser

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Nancy Moser is the award-winning author of over twenty inspirational novels. Her genres include contemporary stories including John 3:16 and Time Lottery, and historical novels of real women-of-history including Just Jane(Jane Austen) and Washington's Lady (Martha Washington). Her newest historical novel is Masquerade. Nancy and her husband Mark live in the Midwest. She’s earned a degree in architecture, traveled extensively in Europe, and has performed in numerous theaters, symphonies, and choirs. She gives Sister Circle Seminars around the country, helping women identify their gifts as they celebrate their sisterhood. She is a fan of anything antique—humans included. Find out more at
http://www.nancymoser.com/ and http://www.sistercircles.com/.
ABOUT THE BOOK
They risk it all for adventure and romance, but find that love only flourishes in truth...
1886, New York City: Charlotte Gleason, a rich heiress from England, escapes a family crisis by traveling to America in order to marry the even wealthier Conrad Tremaine.

She soon decides that an arranged marriage is not for her and persuades her maid, Dora, to take her place. She wants a chance at "real life," even if it means giving up financial security. For Charlotte, it's a risk she's willing to take. What begins as the whim of a spoiled rich girl wanting adventure becomes a test of survival amid poverty beyond Charlotte's blackest nightmares.

As for Dora, it's the chance of a lifetime. She lives a fairy tale complete with gowns, jewels, and lavish mansions--yet is tormented by guilt from the possibility of discovery and the presence of another love that will not die. Is this what her heart truly longs for?

Will their masquerade be discovered? Will one of them have second thoughts? There is no guarantee the switch will work. It's a risk. It's the chance of a lifetime.

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

View the book trailer:


REVIEW:
MASQUERADE
By Nancy Moser
Published by Bethany House
ISBN# 978-0-7642-0751-8
400 Pages

Back Cover: 1886, New York City: Charlotte Gleason, a rich heiress from England, escapes a family crisis by traveling to America in order to marry the even wealthier Conrad Tremaine. She soon decides that an arranged marriage is not for her and persuades her maid, Dora, to take her place. What begins as the whim of a spoiled rich girl wanting adventure, becomes a test of survival amid poverty beyond Charlotte's blackest nightmares. As for Dora, she lives a fairy tale complete with gowns, jewels, and lavish mansions--yet is tormented by guilt and the presence of another love that will not die. Will their masquerade be discovered? Will one of them have second thoughts? There is no guarantee the switch will work. It's a risk. It's the chance of a lifetime.

REVIEW: I’m very thankful for a review copy of this novel. Masquerade depicts pitfalls and promises of people in the 1800’s who are starting afresh in the land of milk and honey--America. Nancy Moser states that she had a blast writing this book and I had just as much fun reading it. She said this book could be a mixture of movies such as The Prince and The Pauper, Titanic, The Age of Innocence and Far and Away; I agree it was a combination of them all and a little more.

Similar to these movies, Nancy lets the reader experience every part of life in the late 1800's with just the right mix of the sights, sounds, smells, social structures and the hopes and dreams of so many on their way to the promised land. I felt as if I were experiencing America through their eyes for the very first time - up close and personal. So many people were heading to America to live the dream others talked about.

This novel is set in England in 1886. Charlotte Gleason is a wealthy spoiled young girl who wants to marry for love; period the end. She’s about to refuse to marry a man arranged for her by her parents, when she discovers this union is their one shot at saving them from being financially ruined. Suddenly her situation begins to look bleak, and taking a boat to America doesn’t sound so bad after all. While on the boat to America, Charlotte comes up with a plan that would involve her maid, Dora Connors. Dora Connors listens to Charlotte’s plan - they’ve been friends for years and Dora doesn’t think it’s the best idea. How could she think this would work? She would go along with the masquerade, against her better judgment. Charlotte was quite stubborn so Dora agrees. The adventure begins when they get off the boat and switch places in America.

Never in her wildest dreams did Charlotte Gleason think life could change so quickly. One day she is living in luxury and the next in ruins, expected to pay her own way for everything. Dora Connors never expected the fiancĂ©’s house to be so elegant and the man she was to wed so likable. Could she live like this the rest of her life? It wouldn’t take much convincing! Can Charlotte Gleason make her way in this foreign land? You’ll have to read this tale to find out. It was fun to read about America in it’s infancy and watch these two girls try to pull off the impossible! I also enjoyed the historical facts and dresses the author shares in the 'author notes' at the end. I now understand why wealthy women needed help with their clothes. By the looks of them, the young lady could hardly move around in them. I really enjoyed learning more about the late 1800's while reading this book.

Nora St.Laurent
The Book Club Network
www.bookfun.org

BLAZE OF GLORY - REVIEWED















BLAZE OF GLORY

By Major Jeff Struecker and Alton Gansky
Published By: B & H
ISBN# 978-08054-4854-2
379 Pages

Back Cover: United States Sgt. Major Eric Moyer and his Special Operations unit have been called in to track down a wealthy Egyptian terrorist who is believed to have sordid ties to a sudden increase in female suicide bombers. Chasing El-Sayyed through Italy, they soon gain interconnected details about a Mexican drug lord who is plotting to kill the U.S. and Mexican presidents.

Now Moyer and his team must stop not one, but two madmen on separate continents. And with a new member of the unit hiding his struggle with post-traumatic stress disorder, a third problem begins to boil.

Review: While reading Blaze of Glory, I developed a new appreciation for our military men. I’m thankful for the review copy, which gave me a glimpse into the hearts and minds of the men and women who risk their lives so that our country can be safe and free.

Blaze of Glory gives the reader a fascinating, suspenseful and realistic look at military operations from an insider’s point of view. I was clueless about the preparation for these top secret missions. Sergeant Major Eric Moyer is the leader of this six man Special Operations unit that heads off to try and stop suicide terrorists who want to blow up a hotel; the hotel where the United States and Mexican presidents, along with eighteen other world leaders, are staying.

Because of Major Jeff Struecker’s twenty years of military experience, the storyline is scary and believable. Some of his experience has been depicted in the movie Black Hawk Down. With Struecker’s trained eye and knowledge in the military operations and Alton’s writing experience, this team takes the reader places only a well-seasoned soldier could go. I really enjoyed the way these authors showed the human side of military life...the men, how they trusted one another, how they joked around and how they enjoyed each others laughter.

Soldiers,” They were a different breed of men, especially career warriors. They were complex beings that hid more than revealed.”, even with friends and family. I liked the beginning of this book; it starts off in a light-hearted atmosphere as the readers get to know the colorful cast of characters. I felt as if I were there watching the men give J.J. a hard time as he announces he’s engaged. They start ribbing him about dates and how he found someone. Engaged? How did that happen? “J.J. was used to exchanging ‘barb’s’ with the guys. It was one of the ways they dealt with the work they had to do!!” It also showed they cared for one another. Laughter was a gift they all cherished.

This writing team has the perfect blend of humor, suspense and action. The humor gave the characters in the story, and the reader, a welcome relief in some very dramatic action scenes! The reader is right in the middle of a military mission that could have been taken from headlines, “Concern today—the work of suicide terrorists’ – people willing to martyr themselves by driving a bomb-laden car or truck into a crowd. Or strapping on an explosive vest, or carrying an explosive stashed into a crowd.”

A new twist the increase in women suicide terrorists’ – even woman who are pregnant! What would make a woman do such a thing-especially when pregnant?

Captain Moyer gets his men ready and introduces them to a new member of their team. A member everyone knows- a war hero! They all know of Jerry Zinsser and are glad to have him aboard. Jerry’s a little embarrassed—likes to keep to himself for several reasons. The war hero has a few secrets he can’t tell his team or anyone else for that matter; he struggles with post traumatic stress disorder—PTSD. This was Jerry’s secret battle. The one he was slowly losing. Jerry dreaded sleep or anything that would trigger a flashback. Yet, he felt in his heart he could control mind for one last mission.

Zinsser's team leader, Eric Moyer, and the others were watching Jerry and wondered if they could rely on him in the thick of the battle. Captain Moyer shares what he felt about fear. “Moyer’s fear morphed into annoyance. There was not shame in fear. No soldier denied being afraid. Instead they took pride in conquering fear!”

Interesting way of looking at fear, don’t you think? Blaze of Glory is not just another war novel; these authors did a great job of having the reader instantly care about the men and their families. The reader gets to know the men on a very personal level, and saw how being a soldier 24/7 affects everything they do and every relationship they have - even with one another.

J.J. is a Christian and walks out his faith in the middle of the battle; he’s not preachy but honest. Jerry tries to avoid him because he’s afraid he’ll beat him over the head with a bible, but that’s not J.J. He says he preached once and no one listened, so now he just lives out his faith. When someone wants to talk, he’s there to listen. His team knows he’s a Christian and respects him; they even ask for prayer every now and again.

I highly recommend this book!! These authors take the reader on an exciting action adventure while maintaining there realistic nature of the story. This novel made my hair stand on end because I knew that most of the military drama, both on the field and off, and the scenes depicting how soldiers struggle with PTSD, are real; either Major Jeff Struecker experienced them or someone he knows did. This is the second book in a series...Certain Jeopardy was the first. I’ll have to read that one next.

Nora St.Laurent
The Book Club Network
http://www.bookfun.org/

MONSTER INSIDE MY DAUGHTER


MONSTER INSIDE MY DAUGHTER

“I feel a pulse,” one of the medics said.

The paramedics worked feverishly on Manisha to make sure she was still alive. My beautiful seven-year-old daughter from Nepal lay on the floor unconscious at the O’Connell Center of the University of Florida.

"Has she ever had a seizure?” another one asked.

“No, no,” I said in bewilderment. Manisha rolled over and vomited.

One emotion consumed me: Fear. The enormity of single parenting hit me like lightening.

I cried out, “Where are you, God? I feel so alone.”

After hooking up stabilizing IVs, Manisha was whisked off in an ambulance to Shands Teaching Hospital. I found a pay phone and called my mother. Her first comment was, “Do you know what day this is?”

I remembered—September 19. Four years to the day and almost to the hour, my father had died of a brain tumor. It was about 5:00 p.m. My shattered world continued to close in on me. A short time later my worst fears were confirmed.

“There is something on the CAT scan. We have a called a neurologist,” I heard the nurse say.

“No, no, no,” every cell in my body cried out. “God, you can’t let this happen. Not again!”

But God was silent. The next nine days of hospitalization were filled with tests—MRI, gallium scan, spinal tap, TB test, HIV test, numerous blood draws, and too many questions and not enough answers by doctors doing their daily rounds with medical students in tow. Manisha had what in medical parlance is called a “zebra.”

As the days passed in the hospital, I asked God for two things that humanly speaking seemed impossible. I prayed first that the doctors would not have to do surgery. I couldn’t bear the thought of seeing Manisha’s beautiful thick, curly black hair shaved off. The ugly scars of surgery still lingered in my mind from my dad’s brain surgery. And I prayed that whatever was in Manisha’s head would not be cancerous. I had asked God to heal my father of a brain tumor and he died. Could I trust God for Manisha’s healing?

It was critical that the doctor’s make the correct diagnosis. The wrong treatment could kill her. Did she have a malignant brain tumor or a worm inside her head? Manisha had been adopted by me from Nepal at the age of three—old enough to be exposed to the extreme poverty of Nepal and lack of clean drinking water. 57.1 percent of the water in Nepal is considered unsatisfactory for human consumption, contaminated with feces.

Manisha’s condition turned out to be caused by a tapeworm infection of the brain—the most common parasitic infection of the nervous system. The larvae can travel anywhere in the body—the muscles, brain, eye, and other structures. The condition, known as neurocysticercosis, is still relatively rare in this country, but is appearing more on the radar as part of the differential diagnosis for seizures.

Thankfully, twelve years later, Manisha is a healthy, well-adjusted 19-year-old finishing her A.A. degree at Santa Fe College—six months ahead of schedule.

Why did God allow this nightmare to happen? I don’t know why God allows the hard things in our lives, but I do know God never wastes anything. I hope writing about neurocysticercosis today will bring awareness to this very preventable disease. International adoptive parents and travelers to the developing world should seek appropriate medical care upon returning to the U.S. if they have been exposed to poor sanitary conditions or contaminated water.

In spite of the trials of single parenting, the years following that dreadful day of September 19, 1994, have been filled with life and joy. Manisha soon will be leaving home to make her own way in the world and I reflect on her middle name Hope—with God, there is always hope, and for that I am thankful.

For more on Manisha’s story, be sure to watch Animal Planet’s “Monsters Inside Me” on August 25, 10-11pm EST. The book, Children of Dreams tells the complete story, available at Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, and your local bookstores.



Lorilyn Roberts graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Alabama and is currently working on her Master of Arts in Creative Writing from Perelandra College. As a Certified Court Reporter, Lorilyn has made contributions to the National Court Reporters Association Journal. She provides real-time broadcast captioning for television. Lorilyn’s first book, The Donkey and the King, is a beautifully illustrated children's book. She also co-leads Word Weavers in Gainesville, FL. When not writing, taking graduate classes, or closed captioning for television/web, Lorilyn homeschools her younger daughter, Joy.

Lorilyn is offering a drawing for a free copy of Children of Dreams on her website and blog. The drawing will be on September 1, 2010. Go to the website for details.

Website address: http://www.lorilynroberts.com/blog.html

Blog address: http://lorilynroberts.blogspot.com/

GIVEAWAY AMISH PROVERBS & KINDLE - BY SUZANNE WOODS FISHER

Suzanne's Amish Proverbs just hit the shelves. To celebrate she's giving away a KINDLE and throwing a party! Let the fun begin. See below for info and links.

Find out more about the book, Suzanne and the blog tour here.

Enter Suzanne Woods Fisher's Simple Wisdom KINDLE Giveaway!

Simple Wisdom giveaway=

One Grand Prize winner will receive a Kindle preloaded with Suzanne Woods Fisher titles. The Prize Pack (valued at over $205.00) includes:

* A brand new KINDLE, Free 3G, 6", Latest Generation
* Amish Peace by Suzanne Woods Fisher
* The Choice by Suzanne Woods Fisher


To enter, simply click on the icons below to fill out the entry form, then tell 5 or more friends about the contest.

Oh, and enter soon! Winner will be announced on September 1st.

Sweet Kindle Giveaway 
Join Suzanne for a Wrap-up Party on September 1st!

She’ll be announcing the winner of the Simple Wisdom KINDLE Giveaway, chatting with readers, and giving away copies of Amish Proverbs and The Choice! Be sure to join us on Wednesday , September 1st at 8PM EST at Suzanne’s Author Page

Be sure to check out the blog tour here or purchase a copy of Amish Proverbs: Words of Wisdom from the Simple Life!



I WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU!! To win the book please tell me of your own family proverb, or wise family advice, or tradition. Leaving a comment is MANDATORY to be entered! :D

Be sure to leave your email address so that if you win I can contact you.

DRAWING WILL BE - SEPT 3rd.

For EXTRA CHANCES to win this book you can
1. Become a FOLLOWER of my blog (1) entry - please make a separate comment
2. Follow me on Twitter http://twitter.com/NoraStlaurent (1) entry - please make a separate comment
3. Twitter about this interview and give away!! (1) entry - please make a separate comment
4. If you want to join The Book Club Network here is the link for your extra chance
http://www.bookfun.org/ (1) entry - please make a separate comment
5. If you are a member of The Book Club Network you get an extra chance (2) entry - please make a separate comment
6. Grab my button on my site and add it to yours (1)entry - please make a separate comment for each entry
7. Make a post on your blog about this contest (2) entries - please make a separate comment for each entry

Contest will SEPT 3rd -- PLEASE REMEMBER to leave your email address so that I can contact you (Use (At) and (dot) so that peole won't be able to spam your email address)

ALL THE BEST TO YOU

Blessings
Nora :D

********DISCLAIMER: Entering the give away is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws. Void where prohibited; open only to U.S. residents, odds of winning depend on number of entrants *****

GIVEAWAY & INTERVIEW WITH DAN & ALI MORROW


























Q) Where do you find the inspiration for this series?

A) This series began as an image of a boy sitting on his grandfather’s lap and grew from there. We were pregnant at the time with our first child, and the notion of passing on our faith was already on our minds.




Q) Can you give us a sneak peak into future books in the series?

A) There is currently at least one more book on the way. It’s called, That’s When I Talk to God, and will be available next Spring (2011). Whereas That’s Where God Is addresses the omnipresence of God, the next book will be about prayer and talking to God. We are just now starting to see some of the illustrations and cover art and we are very excited. Be sure to keep an eye on our website, http://www.danandalimorrow.com/  for more information. Beyond that, we have at least a couple more ideas we are very excited about, but more on that another time.


Q) Why do you feel it is vital to introduce the foundation of spiritual truths at such an early age?

A) First and foremost, because Scripture says it is vital. Consider the following passages:

Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it. (Proverbs 22.6)

But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. (2 Timothy 3:14-15, emphasis added)

You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. (Deuteronomy 6:7)

Whether the scriptures as a whole which lead to salvation in Christ, the Law of God which guides us in our sanctification and righteousness, or biblical teachings in general, we are called to bring our children up with the Lord.

Some people object that such teachings are beyond what children can grasp. In response to that, I think that most people underestimate what children are capable of grasping. Children do not need to be able to completely understand something before it is profitable to teach them. Adults will immerse themselves in a new language not because they understand it, but because they know that by doing so it will lead to understanding.


Parents talk to their babies in the womb and play Bach in the background not because they expect their children to carry on a conversation with them or come out humming Minuet in G, but because they believe it will help provide a foundation for years to come. Similarly, a parent’s steady hand and patient guidance from a young age will, over time, help children to grow in faith and Christ.

Q) What is your favorite “sighting” of God in the book? Why?
A)[Dan]: That’s a tough one. It would probably come down to either the lions at the zoo or the lightning in the sky. These are the first two scenes I came up with for the book and each represent a something meaningful to me. I have always loved a good storm in the night -- the sound of the rain, the rolls of thunder, the flashes of lightning. Also, thanks especially to Scripture and C.S. Lewis, I have always loved the image of the lion as representing the power and majesty of Christ.


A)[Ali]: My favorite isn’t actually part of the story—it’s the “sighting” that the boy makes on the cover. The image of the light bursting through the clouds and the boy reaching out to it as though God himself will pick him up off Grandpa’s shoulders—it gives me chills every time I see it!





Q) What is the most puzzling or difficult question you have been asked by your children? What was your answer?

A)[Alison] We’re lucky—our girls aren’t quite old enough to be asking those really difficult questions yet! But we’re definitely preparing for those days.  I do have to say, though—the other day Abby asked me why Jesus had to die, and while I know the answer, I was stumped as to how to encapsulate it all for a 4-year-old’s mind. Dan happened to be right there, and he jumped in with a really amazing answer that wasn’t trite but wasn’t too long, either. It was definitely a lot more comprehensive than anything I would have come up with. I should have him write it out and put it on our website!

QUESTIONS I JUST HAD TO ASK!!

Q) Name three of your favorite children’s books you read over and over.











A) [Alison] The only picture book I can remember really loving was “Pancakes, Pancakes” by Eric Carle (of “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” fame). Legend has it my mom yanked it from a shelf and gave it to me to keep me from screaming through her entire grocery shopping excursion one day, and I refused to let her have it back at the end, so she bought it along with the groceries. I made her read it over and over for days on end, and my mother couldn’t stand the story (“This poor boy just wants breakfast! What kind of mother would make her child do all that work before he’s even eaten!?”), so she actually threw it away and told me it was lost! Fast forward about 27 years to when Abby was born—she and my dad bought me a hardcover version of the book, and it turns out I still love it! (And so does Abby. I’ve read it so often I can do almost the whole thing from memory.)


The books I can really remember reading over and over are the Ramona Quimby books by Beverly Cleary. Gosh, how I loved those stories! I cannot wait for my girls to be old enough for me to read them to them.









Q) What are your kid’s favorite children’s books so far? Please name three.












A) Sandra Boynton books are big here—right now PJ is in love with “Pajama Time!” and can say much of it from memory while flipping through it. “Goodnight Moon” and “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” (and “Pancakes, Pancakes’!) are favorites, too.

Abby also loves “The Jesus Storybook Bible.” We aren’t big fans of reading isolated Bible stories to kids (read “The Long of It” on the Mission page of our website to learn more), but we do like how this Bible shows how the stories of Jesus and redemption are woven throughout the Bible from page 1.

Q) Did you read them your book? What was their reaction to it? Were you surprised?

A)[Dan] Having been in the works for over five years, our girls have heard bits and pieces of the story many times over. Of course, finally seeing it come to fruition and receiving our first published copies of it was exciting for us, the girls included. Sitting down and reading it to them was like putting in the last piece of a puzzle. Reactions included plenty of “oohs” and “ahhs” and “look-at-thats,” particularly thanks to our illustrator, Cory Godbey. We wanted the scenes to be distinct, familiar and memorable and I think Cory managed that perfectly. Every page has something on it that our kids love to point out or comment on, from lions and lightning to dinosaur toys and butterflies. Also, Cory did an amazing job conveying through his illustrations the impressions we tried to convey through our words.

Were we surprised? I don’t think so. Relieved is probably more like it. We wanted to give children something that would trigger their imagination and keep their attention while providing parents with the opportunity to take the next step. I think we managed it. I compared our first reading to putting in the last piece of a puzzle. I was not suggesting that the story was over. With that last piece in place, now we get to step back and enjoy the big picture. Our hope is that parents will take advantage of the story, the situations, and the included Scripture, as they teach their children all about God, His world and His Word.

Q) What do you enjoy doing most as a family?

A)We’re big “let’s get in the car and see where we end up” people. We love to put the radio on and just start driving. We live in a beautiful part of Colorado, so there are lots of routes that take us through beautiful countryside, into the mountains, and through picturesque farmland. (These trips typically end with a treat of some kind, so that makes them even more enjoyable!)




AMAZON LINK CLICK HERE to purchase this moving and special book.



MANDATORY - PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT About the interview for your name to be entered in the drawing for That's Where God Is by Dan & Ali Morrow.

Be sure to leave your email address so that if you win I can contact you.

DRAWING WILL BE August 25th- EXTENDED to SEPT 2nd!!


For EXTRA CHANCES to win this book you can
1. Become a FOLLOWER of my blog (1) entry - please make a separate comment
2. Follow me on Twitter http://twitter.com/NoraStlaurent (1) entry - please make a separate comment
3. Twitter about this interview and give away!! (1) entry - please make a separate comment
4. If you want to join The Book Club Network here is the link for your extra chance
http://www.bookfun.org/ (2) entry - please make a separate comment
5. If you are a member of The Book Club Network you get an extra chance (2) entry - please make a separate comment
6. Grab my button on my site and add it to yours (1)entry - please make a separate comment for each entry
7. Make a post on your blog about this contest (2) entries - please make a separate comment for each entry

Contest will end    -- PLEASE REMEMBER to leave your email address so that I can contact you (Use (At) and (dot) so that peole won't be able to spam your email address)

ALL THE BEST TO YOU

Blessings
Nora :D

********DISCLAIMER: Entering the give away is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws. Void where prohibited; open only to U.S. residents, odds of winning depend on number of entrants *****



BOOK COVER OF WK & REVIEW - THE HEALER'S APPRENTICE by MELANIE DICKERSON


HOW DID I DISCOVER THIS BOOK? Funny you should ask!
I am the ACFW On-Line Book Club Coordinator and this book first came to my attention when it was submitted to the club to be voted on under the Youth Fiction category. Melanie Dickerson was the ACFW book Coordinator for a few years and did well at teaching me what I needed to know to walk in her foot steps.

Then the book cover became available. Melanie shared it with the ACFW book club loop. Wow! It's striking and draws the reader in to the mystery. The girl is beautiful yet there is something unsettling about her.  I have the book trailer after my review, you must check it out. I was disappointed when it ended because I was ready for the rest of the movie. This trailer and the book cover made me want to discover what this book was about. By the cover my guess was that this fair maiden was locked inside this castle waiting for someone to save her, that she was helpless.

As you will soon discover this book is not about any of this at all. It's so much MORE!! Yes, it does have a castle, and handsome princes and a fair maiden and a strong believable spiritual thread. I'm thrilled to have read and a reviewed this book. I'm looking forward to discussing this book for your November ACFW book club pick. All are welcome to join us. The discussion for this book starts November 21st. Go to the ACFW website to join us. http://www.acfw.com/ Look to the left side bar under book club. Melanie's book will soon be released to the public on September first. Mark your calendars.

Want to MEET MELANIE? Get s signed copy of her book? If you would like to meet this very talented author she will be doing a book signing September 4, 2010 Book Signing at Lifeway Store, 6274 University Drive,Huntsville, Alabama 12:00 - 2:00 p.m.



The Healers Apprentice
By Melanie Dickerson
Published By: Zondervan
ISBN# 978-0-310-72143-7
257 Pages

Back Cover: Two Hearts. One Hope. Rose has been appointed as a healer's apprentice at Hagenheim Castle, a rare opportunity for a woodcutter's daughter like her. While she often feels uneasy at the sight of blood, Rose is determined to prove herself capable. Failure will mean returning home to marry the aging bachelor her mother has chosen for her---a bloated, disgusting merchant who makes Rose feel ill. When Lord Hamlin, the future duke, is injured, it is Rose who must tend to him. As she works to heal his wound, she begins to understand emotions she's never felt before and wonders if he feels the same. But falling in love is forbidden, as Lord Hamlin is betrothed to a mysterious young woman in hiding. As Rose's life spins toward confusion, she must take the first steps on a journey to discover her own destiny.

Review: I’m thankful for the review copy of this wonderful, enchanting novel. It is written for a youthful audience, and I thoroughly enjoyed the story. I haven’t had this much fun reading a youth book since experiencing Beauty and the Beast with my kids. Rose, the main character in The Healers Apprentice, reminds me a little of Beauty and the Beast’s, Belle. She is well-educated, an avid reader, loyal, passionate, poor and opinionated.

“The townspeople of Hagenheim craned their necks as they peered down the cobble stone street, hoping to catch a glimpse of the Duke of Hagenheim’s two handsome sons.” I was quickly drawn into this great fairy tale from the beginning. Can you see the ladies pushing through the crowd to catch a look at these most handsome men?

The author’s characters are likeable and promptly draw on your heart strings as their situations quickly unfold. It’s April 1386, in the heart of the middle ages. Lord Wilhelm and Lord Rupert have returned from studying abroad. Rose and Hildy, her best friend, were in the crowd along with everyone else trying to see these men. Hildy, a romantic at heart, yells to her friend Rose to try to catch these men’s attention. Rose is level-headed and practical, and she quickly reminds Hildy that Lord Wilhelm is betrothed and Lord Rupert must marry an heiress since he’s the second born son.

Lord Wilhelm had been betrothed since an early age. He had always guarded his heart and his eyes and was in control of his situation. But since he’d met Rose, his world had been rocked. A lot was expected from him. He couldn’t let a beautiful poor woodcutter’s daughter get the better of him. But he had to be honest with himself, “For the first time in his life he wished he was an ordinary man, instead of Wilhelm Gerstenberg, Earl of Hamlin, the future duke of Hagenheim.”

Lord Wilhelm had been in wild adventures most of his life trying to capture Moncore, who was set on killing his bride, the one he’s never met. Her parents had kept Lord Wilhelm’s bride safe from this evil doer.

Lord Wilhelm was exasperated, “Moncore had eluded him before. The fact that one man had continued threatening lady Salomea’s safety despite Wilhelm’s best efforts, was a frustration like he’d never known, a splinter he couldn’t gouge out no matter how hard he tried.”

Rose knew her status as well as what was expected of her, yet struggled to find her way, her gifts and how to be loyal to God and her family. Rose was the eldest child of a poor woodcutter. She wouldn’t be in the running for either of these men’s affections. Rose prayed, “O God, make me like Frau Geruscha, (the healer)…because one day she would be expected to take over as healer. If Rose returned home a failure, her mother would torment her until she accepted one of her suitors-a desperate widower with nine children, an old man with no teeth…and her newest Peter Brunckhorst, his greasy black-and-white hair plastered to his head.”…her mother had told her this was her best offer…”why was he the best she could hope to get? Because she thought she was stupid? Mean? Lazy? Unworthy of being loved? ...She’d never experienced love. Most married people didn’t either.” Could she hope for more and marry for love or not marry at all?

Melanie Dickerson had the reader in the middle of the action, which I adored. The author also had the right mix of romance, adventure, battles and a mix of scenery, which all added to the mystery and fun of the story. I liked the depth and complexity of these characters as their spiritual fight was revealed. It was refreshing to see characters struggling as they attempted to live out what they read in the bible. Rose and Wilhelm had a personal relationship with God. Both struggled with their emotions and how not to be taken over by them. Melanie had several supporting characters I grew fond of and was drawn into their dilemmas, as well. This story was suspenseful in parts; I found myself holding my breathe until the situation was resolved. I wasn’t sure how it would turn out. I anticipated the story going in one direction, then something would happen and I doubted where I thought this would end up. The author kept me guessing all the way through.

I was totally taken into this fairy-tale and read it in one day; my family gave me grace so I could keep reading. I had to find out how this ended. This is Melanie Dickerson’s debut novel, wow!! I can’t wait to see what she writes next. I definitely can’t wait to read it.

Nora St.Laurent
The Book Club Network
http://www.bookfun.org/