Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Spiritual Renewal Study Bible

  • Hardcover: 1376 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan; Special edition (December 25, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310417376
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310417378

Experience New Growth and Transformation in Your Spiritual Walk
Are you experiencing a hunger to know God more completely in your life? Do you long for a deeper connection with him? If so, then the NIV Spiritual Renewal Bible—the recipient of the 1999 ECPA Gold Medallion Award—is for you. Using a time-tested process honed over decades of counseling and teaching, Stephen Arterburn employs 7 core principles of spiritual renewal and refreshment, connecting you more closely with God’s Spirit through his Word and helping you to develop the deep, satisfying change you desire in your spiritual life. 
• 66 book introductions focused on the thematic study and spiritual renewal aspects of each Bible book
• Text notes highlight renewal themes as they emerge from the text of the Bible
• Multi-feature character profiles assess how different personalities managed different challenges in their walk with God
• Spiritual keys devotional reading plan: Two cycles (OT and NT) of 49 devotions each lead the reader through 7 keys of spiritual renewal with 7 devotions for each key
• Spiritual disciplines essays that describe the various disciplines of the faith such as prayer, Scripture reading, and others
• Spiritual disciplines profiles: one-page articles that describe how certain characters of the Bible employed the various Spiritual disciplines in their lives

My take on this book:
The Spiritual Renewal Study Bible is perfect for someone needed to recharge their spirit. I really like the size of this Bible, it isn't overly thick or heavy. There isn't a presentation page with this one, which is something I always look for. I like that the font is a nice size which is easy on the eye, while I liked the brown print, on what I would consider a cream colored page  I wish the print had been a bit bolder, my copy looks a bit washed out. A great plus is God's words are written in red, something that I always appreciate. There are several useful features with this Bible such as plenty of study notes, as well as spiritual discipline profiles that are ten page articles that describe how certain Biblical characters employed various spiritual disciplines. The spiritual disciplines devotionals will help with spiritual renewal. Anyone who needs a plan on how to grow in your faith might find the Spiritual Renewal Study Bible useful, in my opinion it's the perfect Bible for starting your spiritual journey. A great gift for a new christian or anyone looking to grow in their spiritual walk with God.

A complimentary copy of this Bible was provided for review.

The Modern Life Study Bible

  • Hardcover: 1984 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (January 21, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 140167514X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401675141

As members of the modern age, we sometimes feel disconnected from the world of the Bible. But if we look closely, we can see that although cultures change, our basic challenges stay the same. We still struggle with issues like community, justice, economic stress, political tensions, and cultural and ethnic differences. We still wonder who God is, how to discern His will, and how we fit into His plan.
Using historical context and fresh insights backed by biblical scholars, The Modern Life Study Bible explores the timeless truths that connect the people and stories of the Bible to the opportunities and demands we face today. God is at work in our world, inviting us to experience His presence.
With innovative, full-color illustrations, maps, and diagrams, along with special information on occupations of the Bible, profiles of people and places, theme indexes, and inspirational biographies of believers who put their faith to work, The Modern Life Study Bible will draw you in, helping you to know and embrace what it means to follow Christ in today’s world.
Features include:
  • More than 2,400 concise articles and book introductions
  • More than 220 full-color maps
  • Hundreds of  diagrams, tables, and illustrations
  • 66 inspirational biographies
  • Indexes to aid navigation and study
My thoughts on The Modern Life Study Bible:
I have been using this Bible for  a few months and really like it. First of all I will say it is a bit of a chunkster but that's ok because it is filled with several study aides that I found quite useful. The first thing I always look for is a presentation page and this Bible has it! Next the print size always determines whether or not a Bible will be used by me, and with this one the print is easy on the eye. I also like the colorful pages, which allow the different study features to stand out. Some of my favorite features include the focus articles which explore various scripture passages, their significance and their relevance in modern life. Insight articles provide information about the text or cultural context of various Biblical passages, these insights lead to clearer understanding which allow the reader to better understand what they might be reading. Place and person profiles are interesting summaries of people and places in the scripture. The Life Studies are one page biographies of sixty-six followers of God from all over the world, from various walks of life, and various times periods. I also found the section titled Themes to Study really steered me toward a few Bible studies that hadn't occurred to me. Overall, if you're looking for a Study Bible that is easy to use and will allow you to dig a bit deeper into the word I think The Modern Life Study Bible might be for you. The NKJV makes it an easy Bible to read and understand, and the 9 point text is easy on the eye.

A complimentary copy of this Bible was provided for review.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Seasons of Tomorrow~ Cindy Woodsmall

  • Series: Amish Vines and Orchards (Book 4)
  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: WaterBrook Press (April 15, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307729982
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307729989

This book is also available as an ebook.

As love restores Rhoda, a sudden tragedy is the test of faith she never saw coming.
More settled in her heart than ever before, Rhoda Byler feels a newfound confidence living in the Old Order Amish settlement she helped establish in Orchard Bend, Maine. Time has helped to heal the wounds of Rhoda’s recent severed relationship, and she finds that even her unusual gift of profound intuition is less of a burden as she continues to seek God’s wisdom for her future. She is happy to be working alongside the King family and the love of her life as they tend and nurture the settlement’s orchard.
Yet when Leah King’s involvement with Englischer Landon Olson becomes known outside of the Maine community, her disregard of the Ordnung could threaten all the Orchard Bend Amish are building. In the midst of addressing the discord, a shocking tragedy challenges the young settlement like never before, threatening to uproot Rhoda’s peace and the future of everything she holds dear.
When several members of Orchard Bend Farms are displaced, the estranged King brother is called upon to return. Can those who founded the new Amish community in Maine unite Or will the lingering pain of past hurts and present struggles result in the end of their dreams?

My take on this book:
I have been hooked on Cindy Woodsmall's writing for several years. There is something about the way she creates her characters allowing me to feel as if I become a part of their lives, but she doesn't make their lives perfect instead she makes them real, they have heartaches and triumphs. Seasons of Tomorrow is the fourth book in the Amish Vines and Orchards series and I really couldn't wait to reconnect with the characters, even though I was saddened because it is the final book in the series. This book begins right where the last one left off, which drew me right back to Maine into the lives of the characters. One is wondering whether she should remain Amish, Leah is really on the fence, but romance may help her decide which path to take. Samuel and Rhoda seem to be on the path to love while Jacob leaves in order to heal a broken heart. Reconnecting with familiar characters, while meeting a few new ones kept  the plot zipping along, and a few twists thrown in kept me guessing. Overall, this is a series that should really be read in order otherwise one would be lost as to the relationships between the characters. Anyone who enjoys an Amish read that just happens to have romance, life changing issues and leaves you feeling as if you are reading about real people will certainly enjoy this book and the entire series. 

A complimentary copy of this book was provided for review.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Under The Heavens ~ Amish Horses Series ~ Thomas Nye

  • Paperback: 412 pages
  • Publisher: CrossLink Publishing (December 3, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1936746794
  • ISBN-13: 978-1936746798

Lenny happened to notice his blurry reflection on the windowpane. He knew it was his image; nevertheless, he couldn't recognize his own face. Those almond-shaped eyes and dark-brown hair belonged to him, yet, inside, he felt disconnected from his past, having never known his own father. Grandpa had insisted, "Leonard, needs to come spend a summer at the home-place ..." A teenage boy, struggling with his identity, reluctantly leaves his modern, city-life behind and enters the slow-paced, mysterious world of the Amish. Grandpa teaches Lenny to farm with draft horses, a tranquil experience that seeps into his soul, changing his perspective. A neighbor girl appears while he is working in the fields, weaving a romance in the fabric of his summer. Lenny discovers that everyday on an Amish farm is an adventure. Thunderstorms rumble above, as a fragile relationship, between an Amish family and their non-Amish visitor, begins to unravel. Daybreak in a cow pasture, plowing with horses, enchanting moonlit buggy rides, and picturesque sunsets are all part of life, Under the Heavens.

My take on this book:
Lenny Gingerich can't help but wonder about who he really is. You see he never knew who his father was, so his step grandfather, who happens to be Amish thinks that he needs to come and spend the summer at his farm, so that he can teach him a bit about his heritage. When he arrives the first thing he sees is his grandfather's huge horses, and while Lenny loves horses feels a bit intimidated by them. He also feels a bit out of  place on the Amish farm, that is until his grandfather assigns him to a summer job of being the Horse Boy, he will be responsible for taking care of the horses, and will also learn how to drive and handle them. Lenny's summer is one of changes, as he learns to farm with horses he also learns several valuable life lessons as well.

Thomas Nye certainly captures the heart with the story of Lenny Gingerich, a young man who feels like he doesn't really belong. As a stepson it seems that he has a good relationship with his father, but he still wonders who he really is. While he has visited the Amish farm before spending the summer there had him feeling homesick, but as the summer moves on, he finds himself adjusting. The author really brings farm life alive, I really felt like I was visiting the Gingerich farm, rich detail allowed me to envision the day to day going on that goes along with taking care of animals and having a farm. I have visited a few Amish farms so I could easily envision those big Percheron horses, and how intimidated Lenny must have felt in the beginning. As an avid Amish fiction reader Under The Heavens was a unique read,because it isn't the typical amish romance. Instead it feels like a coming of age story for young Lenny. Readers get an accurate look at the slower pace of Amish life, while also learning about farming and horses. A quick easy read, even though the book is 400 pages, I found myself zipping thru the pages to see what might develop next. Overall, a story that will appeal to anyone who enjoys a coming of age story that takes readers on a journey to an Amish farm.

A complimentary copy of this book was provided for review.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Murder Strikes a Pose ~ Tracy Weber ~ Review and Giveaway

Murder Strikes a Pose

by Tracy Weber

on Tour August 2014

Book Details:

Genre: Cozy Mystery
Published by: Midnight Ink
Publication Date: January 8, 2014
Number of Pages: 288
ISBN: 978-0738739687
Purchase Links:

When George and Bella—a homeless alcoholic and his intimidating German shepherd—disturb the peace outside her studio, yoga instructor Kate Davidson’s Zen-like calm is stretched to the breaking point. Kate tries to get rid of them before Bella scares the yoga pants off her students. Instead, the three form an unlikely friendship.
One night Kate finds George’s body behind her studio. The police dismiss his murder as a drug-related street crime, but she knows George wasn’t a dealer. So Kate starts digging into George’s past while also looking for someone to adopt Bella before she’s sent to the big dog park in the sky. With the murderer nipping at her heels, Kate has to work fast or her next Corpse Pose may be for real.

My take on this book:
If I had to describe the main character Kate Davidson in one word I think it would be quirky! Often funny, even when she really doesn't mean to be, the author's descriptions of several scenes really had me laughing out loud, but I think it was the way that she took Bella in and gave her a home, even though it was just until she could find a permanent home really cemented her character in my heart! The friendship that developed between her and George, along with Bella, propelled her tenacious spirit into action because she wanted justice for her friend, even though everyone else dissuaded her. The author provides a solid who dun it that really wasn't easy to solve because there were more than a few suspects, or at least Kate thought there was. I love that Bella wasn't just a secondary character that was mentioned occasionally, instead she plays a prominent role in the story. Cozy mystery readers are really going to enjoy Murder Strikes a Pose, but anyone who enjoys a fast paced, page turning, not so easy to solve murder that has plenty of laughs, a bit of romance, and very enjoyable characters will find this and more woven into the pages of this one. While the author does a great job of wrapping up the story, she left me hoping that this book might become a series, because I would love to see more from these characters.

Read an excerpt:

I laid my body on the cool wood floor, covered up with a blanket, and prepared to die.
Metaphorically, that is.
Corpse Pose’s ten-minute rest always soothed my stressed-out nerves, and for once I didn’t feel guilty about the indulgence. My to-do list was blank, Serenity Yoga’s phone was silent, and I had a whole blissful hour between clients to do my favorite activity: practice yoga.
Even my eclectic Greenwood neighborhood seemed uncharacteristically quiet, lulled by Seattle’s rare afternoon sun. The residents of the apartments above the yoga studio were off at their day jobs; the alcohol-addicted patrons of the block’s two dive bars slept off their Jim Beam breakfasts; the soccer moms shopping at next door’s upscale PhinneyWood Market purchased the day’s supplies in unusual silence.
I wiggled my toes under a Mexican blanket, covered my eyes with a blue satin eye pillow, and inhaled deeply. The ooey-gooey smell of Mocha Mia’s chocolate caramel cake wafted from across the street and filled my nostrils with sweet toffee-scented bliss—my all-time favorite aromatherapy.
Paradise. Simply paradise.
I released my weight into the earth and silently coached myself, exactly as I would one of my students. OK, Kate. Feel your body relax. Notice the random fluctuations of your mind and—
A vicious snarl ripped through the silence, startling me out of my catnap. I sat straight up, eye pillow falling to the floor with an undignified thump.
What the heck?
When had a dog fighting ring moved into the neighborhood?
A dog fight was the only plausible explanation for the commotion outside. Bursts of deep, frantic barking were followed by high-pitched yelping, all punctuated by the peace-shattering sounds of angry yelling. The phrases I could make out confirmed my suspicions. This had to be a dog fight, albeit one-sided.
“Control your dog!”
“Get that vicious beast out of here!”
And even a simple, “What the hell?”
I closed the door between the yoga room and the studio’s lobby, hoping to block out the intrusive sounds. Snarls, shouts, and an occasional ear-piercing shriek continued to reverberate right through the wall.
Undaunted, I imagined that the sounds were merely clouds floating across my mental horizon. Most of those clouds were dark and ominous, like the deep thunderclouds preceding a hailstorm. But every so often I heard a soft voice, more like the fluffy clouds of childhood summers. I couldn’t quite make out his words, but I could tell that the speaker was a man. From his tone, I assumed he was trying to calm beasts both human and animal.
It wasn’t working.
Neither, for that matter, was my attempted meditation.
I’d obviously have to shift tactics.
I tried drowning out the clamor with low, soft chanting. Then I increased the volume. But even as I belted out Om Santi, my favorite mantra for peace, I felt my jaw start to tighten. My fingernails bit deeply into my palms. My shoulders crept up to my ears.
An entirely different mantra began pounding through my head: Don’t get me angry; you wouldn’t like me when I’m angry.
A series of yelps and the words “I’m calling the cops!” zapped me like a cattle prod. I leapt from my mat and stormed across the floor, determined to put a stop to that infernal racket. I hurled open the door and came face-to-face, or rather face-to-snout, with the source of the commotion. Not more than five feet away from the studio’s entrance stood a paunchy, dark-haired man and the biggest, skinniest, meanest-looking German shepherd I had ever seen. Don’t get me wrong. I like dogs. I love them, in fact. It’s their human counterparts I could sometimes do without. But this frothing breast was no Rin Tin Tin. A long line of drool oozed from its mouth. Its sharp white teeth glinted in the sunlight, and its black wiry topcoat still stood on end from the prior scuffle. The dog was obviously rabid. I didn’t recognize the man standing next to the frightening creature, but I did recognize his activity. He worked as a vendor for Dollars for Change, a well-regarded local newspaper that published articles about homelessness and poverty while employing those same homeless individuals as salespeople. Ordinarily I would have welcomed one of their vendors outside my business. If nothing else, supporting the paper demonstrated yoga’s principles of kindness and compassion. But this was not an ordinary circumstance. I absolutely could not allow that disgusting dog to raise a ruckus outside my studio. The prenatal class would have a fit. Suffice it to say that pregnancy hormones didn’t always leave expecting moms in the best of moods. My moms-to-be liked their yoga practice. They needed their yoga practice. And they needed to be serene while doing it. If a noisy dog fight disturbed their peaceful experience, I’d be the one getting barked at.
Thinking less than yogic thoughts, I marched up to the pair, determined to put a stop to the chaos.
“What in the world’s going on out here?”
The human half of the dastardly duo held a leash in one hand, newspapers in the other. He smiled at me and said, “Sorry about all the noise. I’m George, and this here’s Bella. What’s your name?”
“Kate Davidson, but—”
“Well, nice to meet you, Kate. I’d shake your hand, but mine are full, so Bella will have to do it instead.”
The vicious beast walked up and calmly sniffed my hand. I prayed she wasn’t about to ingest my fingers.
“Bella, say hello!”
Upon hearing her owner’s command, the giant hairy monster-dog immediately went into a perfect sit and sweetly offered me her paw. Maybe she wasn’t rabid after all. Just huge and ill-mannered.
“Don’t mind Bella,” he continued. “She’s very friendly to people. She just doesn’t like other dogs much. She’d be fine if people kept their unruly mutts to themselves, but they think if their rude dog wants to play, Bella has to as well.” He shook his head in disgust. “I don’t understand some people!”
I tried to interrupt, to tell him that his dog was the problem, but he didn’t give me the chance.
“Bella and I are new to this neighborhood, and we’re supposed to sell papers near the market. I tried setting up by the north entrance, but there’s a pet store at that end. Pete’s Pets, I think it’s called? The owner was a nice enough guy and all, but selling there was a disaster with all those dogs going in and out. Bella wasn’t happy at all.” He shrugged. “So I guess we’re going to have to hang out here instead.”
I bit the inside of my lip and considered my options. Up close, George wasn’t exactly the paragon of health I wanted standing outside my business. His friendly smile exposed yellowed teeth in need of significant dental care, and if the sharp, ammonia-like smell was any indication, neither he nor Bella had taken a bath in quite some time. At three-thirty in the afternoon, I could smell whiskey on his breath, and I suspected this most recent drink hadn’t been his first of the day. It would also likely be far from his last. I only knew one thing for certain: if George didn’t frighten my students away, his loud, intimidating, fur-covered companion would.
I needed them to leave, but honestly, I didn’t want to say it out loud. After all, I taught yoga for a living. People expected me to be calm and collected at all times. I wasn’t allowed to be mean, or even irritated, for that matter. I hesitated as I tried to come up with the perfect words to make him want to move, if not out of the neighborhood, then at least across the street.
Fortunately (or perhaps unfortunately), one of my favorite students picked that very moment to walk up with her five-month-old Lab pup, Coalie. “Hey, Kate!” she said. “I hoped I’d run into you! Do you still have space in your Core Strength class tonight?” Coalie was as rude and friendly as Labs everywhere. She couldn’t stop herself if she tried. She ran up to Bella, wiggling her entire body with glee, and covered Bella’s muzzle in sloppy wet puppy kisses.
Bella wasted no time. Faster than a 747 and stronger than a freight train, Bella pinned Coalie to the ground between her front legs, snarling and air-snapping on either side of Coalie’s neck. I heard the sound of canine teeth chomping together and imagined soft puppy bones shattering between them. My student screamed. Coalie yelped. George grabbed Bella’s collar while I reached in between razor-sharp teeth to pull Coalie from the jaws of death. The three of us wrestled the two dogs apart, but not before my student almost died of heart failure.
“What’s wrong with you?” she yelled. “Keep that vicious monster away from my baby!”
George quickly apologized, but said, “No damage done. Bella was just teaching that pup some manners.” He pointed at Coalie. “See, it’s all good!”
Coalie, oblivious with joy, seemed unscathed and ready to dive in again. Tail wagging and butt wiggling, she pulled with all her might, trying desperately to get back to Bella.
Bella had other plans. She sat next to George, glaring directly at that pup with a patented Clint Eastwood stare. Go ahead, she seemed to say. Make my day. My soon-to-be-former student ran off as quickly as her legs would move, dragging the still-happy puppy behind her.
“See you in class tonight!” I yelled to her rapidly retreating back. I doubted I’d be seeing her any time soon.
Yoga reputation be damned. I had to get rid of this guy.
I put my hands on my hips and stood nice and tall, taking full advantage of my five-foot-three-inch frame. “Look. I can’t let you stay here with the dog. She’s obviously frightening people. You have to leave.” I paused a moment for emphasis, then added, “Now.”
George stood a little taller, too. “Look yourself, lady. The last time I checked, I’m standing on city property. I have every right to be here. You don’t own this sidewalk, and you can’t stop me from making a living on it.” He glared at me, sharp eyes unblinking. “We Dollars for Change vendors are licensed, and no matter how much you don’t like us, the city says we can be here.”
“There’s no ‘us’ I don’t like,” I replied, frustrated. “It’s your dog. And you may have every right to be here, but the dog is another story. What do you think Animal Control will do if I report a vicious dog attacking people outside my store?”
George stepped back, pulling Bella closer. Seattle had the toughest dangerous dog laws in the nation. We both knew what would happen if I made that call. “You wouldn’t do that!” he said. “Bella’s never hurt anyone.”
I planted my feet stubbornly. “Try me.”
George gave me a wounded look and gathered his papers, shoulders slumped in depressed resignation. “OK, we’ll go. But I thought you yoga people were supposed to be kind.” He shuffled away, shaking his head and mumbling under his breath. Bella followed close by his side.
“Crap,” I muttered, watching their slow departure. “Crap, crap, crap, crap, crap.” He was right. Like all good yoga teachers, I had extensively studied yoga philosophy and tried to live by it. The teachings were clear: A yogi should respond to suffering with active compassion. And George was clearly suffering, whether he realized that fact or not.
Threatening to call the cops on George’s dog may have been active, but it wasn’t all that compassionate, to him or to Bella. I felt like a cad. My solution probably wasn’t what the teachings had in mind, but it was the best I could come up with on short notice. “Hang on there a minute!” I yelled as I ran to catch up with him. Out of breath, I said, “You’re right. I overreacted, and I’m sorry. How many papers do you have left to sell today?”
George stopped walking. When he turned to look back at me, his eyes sparkled with an unexpected hint of wry humor. “About thirty.”
The calculations weren’t difficult. I wasn’t completely broke—yet—but thirty dollars wasn’t a drop in the bucket. On the other hand, my Monday evening classes were popular, and I had to get this guy away from the front door. Mentally crossing my fingers that the toilet wouldn’t break again, I said, “Wait here. I’ll be right back.” I hurried back to the studio and grabbed thirty dollars from the cash box.
“If I buy all of your papers, will you be done for the day?”
“Yes ma’am, and that would be very kind of you.” He gave me a broad, yellow-toothed smile. “Bella and I appreciate it very much.” He took the money, left the papers, and wandered off, whistling. Bella happily trotted behind him.
“Well, that wasn’t so difficult,” I said, patting myself on the back. “I should follow the teachings more often!” I went back inside and finished my considerably shortened practice. I chose to ignore the quiet voice in my head telling me I’d just made a huge mistake.

Author Bio:

My writing is an expression of the things I love best: yoga, dogs, and murder mysteries.

I'm a certified yoga teacher and the founder of Whole Life Yoga, an award-winning yoga studio in Seattle, WA. I enjoy sharing my passion for yoga and animals in any form possible.

My husband and I live with our challenging yet amazing German shepherd Tasha and our bonito flake-loving cat Maggie. When I'm not writing, I spend my time teaching yoga, walking Tasha, and sipping Blackthorn cider at my favorite local ale house.

I am a member of Sisters in Crime, The Pacific Northwest Writers Association, and the Dog Writers Association of America.

Catch Up With the Author:


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Traitor's Legacy by Beth Trissel ~ Book Blast with giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Beth will be awarding a $35 Amazon gift card to a randomly drawn winner via the rafflecopter at the end of this post.

1781. On opposite sides of the War of Independence, British Captain Jacob Vaughan and Claire Monroe find themselves thrust together by chance and expediency.

Captain Vaughan comes to a stately North Carolina manor to catch a spy. Instead, he finds himself in bedlam: the head of the household is an old man ravaged by madness, the one sane male of the family is the very man he is hunting, and the household is overseen by his beguiling sister Claire.

Torn between duty, love, and allegiances, yearning desperately for peace, will Captain Vaughan and Claire Monroe forge a peace of their own against the vagaries of war and the betrayal of false friends?

Now enjoy an excerpt:

She fixed those wonderful eyes on him, more lethal than a backwoods rifleman. “Shall I lead the way, Captain?”

“Certainly.” He’d be tempted to follow her anywhere. A most unsettling thought.

Nothing about this fetching young lady struck Vaughan as calculating, but for the sake of her adored brother and sacred revolution he strongly suspected she’d try to deceive him. He’d hate to have to make her arrest. In fact, he should loathe it to his core. And he’d only just met her.

Why did she have such a potent effect on him, and why did it seem his fate to encounter beguiling females on the wrong side of this infernal conflict? If they weren’t Rebels to begin with, they inevitably adopted the cause.

Could he persuade Miss Monroe of her duty to the king, to him, and win her allegiance? Perhaps. She’d conducted herself splendidly thus far, and for such a prize he was willing to give his all.

Married to my high school sweetheart, I live on a farm in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia surrounded by my children, grandbabies, and assorted animals. An avid gardener, my love of herbs and heirloom plants figures into my work. The rich history of Virginia, the Native Americans and the people who journeyed here from far beyond her borders are at the heart of my inspiration. In addition to American settings, I also write historical and time travel romances set in the British Isles, and nonfiction about gardening, herbal lore, and country life.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Author-Beth-Trissel/276061290666

My Blog: http://bethtrissel.wordpress.com/

Twitter: http://twitter.com/BethTrissel

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Beth-Trissel/e/B002BLLAJ6/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1404073285&sr=1-2-ent

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/beth-trissel?store=allproducts&keyword=beth+trissel

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Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Luck Of The Draw by Cheri Allan ~ Book blast with giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Cheri will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble gift card to a randomly drawn winner and a $15 Amazon or Barnes and Noble gift card to another randomly drawn winner via the rafflecopter at the end of this post.

If only life had a refresh button...

Kate Mitchell never planned to be a 31 year-old widowed single mom, but when her soon-to-be-EX husband up and dies, her dreams of finishing college and starting over are thrown in the air like a game of 52 pick-up. When she’s given a leave of absence from work and told to “quit or recommit,” Kate retreats to idyllic Sugar Falls, New Hampshire, to figure out whether she can discover her passion and pay the bills. Cue the fresh air, summer sunshine and one sexy local contractor.

Tall, dark, and handy…

Volunteer fireman and all-around hunky guy in a toolbelt, Jim Pearson has sworn off complicated women with messy baggage. They cling to his nice-guy stability and skills with a power saw just long enough to straighten out their lives and move on… but then he meets the cute single mom staying at Grams’ lake house for the summer.

While a sizzling attraction draws them together, Jim's distrust of complicated women and Kate's incredibly complicated life threaten to pull them apart. But forces beyond their control--match-making grandmothers, the lazy backdrop of summer, and their own reckoning with the past--conspire to make them risk it all... and bet on love.

Now enjoy and excerpt:

“But when I think about going back… to a job I know is safe and secure… I can’t breathe.” She felt her arms grow cold despite the sunshine. “It’s like my future is closing in and there’s no way out. And the more I think about it, the more I realize that going back would mean I’m giving up hoping for something better. And… and I can’t bring myself to give up on me quite yet.”

She stared at him in the silence that followed, her chest rising and falling, feeling brittle and defiant all at once.

But then he tugged her hand until she sat beside him on the porch steps. He blew out a breath. “No one’s asking you to give up on yourself.”

“You think I’m giving up,” she said. “But I’m not. I’m not throwing my hands up in despair. I’m not trying to quit. I’m trying to let go of the handlebars to see if I can do this without help.”

“I don’t understand what that—”

“I’m saying… I know you mean well, but you’ve got to let me figure this out on my own.”

After a long moment, he nodded. “Okay,” he said, and he turned, the corners of his eyes crinkling in that warm, lovely way that always turned Kate’s insides to jelly. “You may not believe it, but I do believe there’s something better waiting for you.”

“You’re talking to a practically unemployed widow,” she sighed. “It’d be hard not to go uphill from here.”

Cheri Allan lives in a charming fixer-upper in rural New Hampshire with her husband, two children, one dog, four cats and an excessive amount of optimism. She’s a firm believer in do-it-yourself, new beginnings and happily-ever-afters, so after years of wearing suits, she’s grateful to finally put her English degree to good use writing romance. When not writing, you might find her whizzing down the slopes of a nearby mountain or inadvertently killing perennials in her garden.

Cheri loves to hear from readers! E-mail her at cheri@cheriallan.com, friend her at facebook.com/cheriallanauthor, or visit her website and blog at www.cheriallan.com. Luck of the Draw, Book 1 in the ‘Betting on Romance’ series is available now from Amazon and Smashwords. Smashwords:  https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/448863




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Sunday, August 10, 2014

Surviving Henry ~Erin Taylor Young

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Revell (August 5, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0800723562
  • ISBN-13: 978-0800723569

Also available as an e-book.

You don't always know what you're getting into when you bring home a puppy. Enter Henry, a boxer who suffers from Supreme Dictator of the Universe Syndrome. He vandalizes his obedience school, leaps through windows, cheats death at every turn, and generally causes his long-suffering owner Erin Taylor Young to wonder what on earth she did that God would send this dog to derail her life.

Through his laugh-out-loud antics and escapades, Henry will steal readers' hearts. Anyone who has ever owned a dog, especially a canine catastrophe like Henry, will enjoy this lighthearted book about a dog who brings new meaning to the concept of unconditional love.

My take on this book:
As an animal lover, especially dogs there was no way that I could look at this cover and not read the book!  Henry is one of those dogs that just loves life, and well also one who seems to find his way into various situations that are often laugh out loud funny, and truly capture the essence of what it truly means to be owned by your dog. Such an easy to relate to story, this book had me reminiscing about my own canines and the puppy stage that caused more than a few mishaps in my own home. The author has a certain way with describing the antics of Henry that I  could honestly visualize his various escapades! Anyone who has ever owned a dog will find this a must read, but honestly if you enjoy laughing out loud while reading you are certainly going to want to read Surviving Henry!

A complimentary copy of this book was provided for review.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

True Accounts of Angels and Demons in People Pigs and Principalities

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Charisma House (May 6, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1621365301
  • ISBN-13: 978-1621365303

This book is also available as an ebook

Angels and demons are operating all around you.

Whether you believe it or not.

Whether you can see them or not.

In fact, the Bible tells us there is a battle going on. Demonic powers are at war against God’s children, opposing the work of God. Angels, as part of their creative purpose, minister for God’s people. They are on our side.

In People, Pigs, and Principalities Don Dickerman gives you insightful teachings and testimonies about this spirit realm and how it intersects with your everyday life. With powerful true stories—including the inspirational story of his youngest son’s contact with angels at the age of seven—Dickerman combines the miraculous events in his own life with support from scripture to empower you to successfully comprehend the spirit world and win your spiritual battles. 

Whether you realize it or not, every day you are involved in the activity of angels, demons, and the spirit realm. The true stories in this book will amaze and inspire you to explore God’s supernatural world for yourself.

My take on this book:

People, Pigs, and Principalities is an eye opening, informative book about the spiritual battle that is taking place all around us! This book is filled with stories that certainly opened my eyes to just how serious spiritual warfare truly is, but one of the most comforting chapters of this book had to be chapter six when the author's then seven year old son Robby asks his father if he had ever seen an Angel, and then proceeds to describe the Angels that he had been seeing in his bedroom. That chapter is such a blessing to read because it allows the reader a small glimpse of a world we aren't privy to see. I have read that chapter several times and actually have shared it with several friends because it is such a profoundly touching glimpse at what young Robby saw. The author does an amazing job of providing insight into the demonic realm. He shares how demons have specific jobs and areas of expertise, and what impresses me with the information that he shares is that he is able to provide scriptural verses that backs up his ideals. On the flip side the author devotes just as much time to Angelic beings and the jobs they do. I have read many books on the topic of spiritual warfare and this one seems to be the most thorough in balancing out the differences between angels and demons. Anyone who has ever thought about learning more on these subjects will find the information provided in this book will provide many answers to the questions they might have. A thought provoking book that I use often. One that every Christian should read.

A complimentary copy of this book was provided for review.

Through The Deep Waters~ Kim Vogel Sawyer

  • File Size: 2108 KB
  • Print Length: 354 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0307731294
  • Publisher: WaterBrook Press (May 6, 2014)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English

 May 6, 2014

A past filled with shame can be washed away with a love that conquers all 
Born to an unloving prostitute in a popular Chicago brothel, timid seventeen-year-old Dinah Hubley was raised amidst the secrets held in every dark, grimy room of her home. Anxious to escape, Dinah pursues her dream of becoming a Harvey Girl, waiting tables along the railroad in an upscale hotel. But when she finds out she isn’t old enough, her only option is to accept a job as a chambermaid at the Clifton Hotel in Florence, Kansas. Eager to put everything behind her, Dinah feels more worthless than ever, based on a single horrible decision she made to survive.

The Clifton offers a life Dinah has never known, but blinded to the love around her, Dinah remains buried in the shame of her past. When a handsome chicken farmer named Amos Ackerman starts to show interest, Dinah withdraws further, convinced no one could want a sullied woman like her.  Despite his self-consciousness about his handicapped leg and her strange behavior, Amos resolves to show Dinah Christ’s love. But can she ever accept a gift she so desperately needs?

My take on this book:
For some reason I kept putting this book off, I just couldn't seem to get interested in it. But after several chapters I found myself becoming hooked! Imagine after all being raised in a brothel, well thats just what Dinah Hubley's life was like. Her mother was a prostitute but Dinah wanted something more, so at the age of seventeen she decides to leave Chicago and move to Kansas with the hopes of becoming a Harvey Girl. Of course things don't often go as planned as Dinah quickly learns, and instead finds herself working as a chambermaid at a hotel. When she meets a local farmer he shows an interest in her, but she carries something from her past that makes her feel as if she is unworthy of anyone's love. 

Dinah was such an easy character to like, I found myself feeling sorry for her. Amos was such a nice guy, and while I sort of felt like I knew how the story would end, the story still held my interest anyway. The historical aspects certainly appealed to me, and the christian themes woven in were exactly what I expected. I am so glad that I finally finished reading this one.

A complimentary copy of this book was provided for review.

The Berenstain Bears~ God Shows The Way

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Series: I Can Read! / Berenstain Bears / Living Lights
  • Hardcover: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Zonderkidz (August 5, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310742110
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310742111

Now in a convenient 3 stories in one collection, young readers will learn from the Berenstain Bears just how important it is to serve and love one another. Written in level one of the I Can Read standards, this bind-up of stories from the Berenstain Bears Living Lights I Can Read series is sure to please young, emergent readers as well as parents and grandparents looking for good quality reading that will help practice early reading skills as well as teach lessons about serving and caring for others.
Included in this collection are the following titles:
 Faith Gets Us Through
Have No Fear, God Is Near
Piggy Bank Blessings
 My take on this book:
Three stories, each with a positive faith based message makes this a wonderful book for beginning readers. Faith Gets Us Through takes young readers imagination into the spooky cave where the bears get lost, but they know God will keep them safe! Do Not Fear, God is Near shares the story of Sister Bear and her many fears she had when she was little, but readers learn that God is always watching over them so there is nothing to fear. Piggy Bank Blessings shares the positive message about earning and saving money. Each story shares gentle reminders of what the Bible says. I found the illustrations really added to the story, and the easy to read words will have youngsters reading along and then reading on their own in no time at all. Three stories in one book makes for a great value but it's the positive spiritual messages that make this book well worth giving to that special youngster in your life.

A complimentary copy of this book was provided for review.