Tuesday, December 8, 2009

99 Ways to Increase Your Income by Frank Martin

This little book is full of wonderful ideas on how to jump start your income in the right direction. In seven chapters, Martin shares 99 simple ways to change your finances for the better. He also shares personal stories of how these things have worked for him and his family. These ideas range from writing a budget, learning how and where to shop, eating at home (and steer clear of junk food!), to taking a part-time or seasonal job.

If you find yourself in need of a finacial makeover, 99 Ways to Increase Your Income just might be a good place for you to start! This would also be a good stocking stuffer for anyone else in need of a boost.
Frank Martin is a successful entrepreneur and the author of more than sixteen books. Visit his web site at http://www.frankmmartin.com/.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


1. The gospel stories have existed for some two thousand years. Why put them chronologically together now?
Nine out of ten Americans own a Bible, but the people who most need to hear the message don’t often read the book. They believe Scripture is outdated and too difficult to understand. Would they read the story of Christ if it were presented as a single story that is easy to understand? Most of them say they would, so Eyewitness answers that need.

2. Why do the Gospels appear to have conflicting stories?
At a crime scene, eyewitnesses always have different testimonies about what happened. Because each gospel writer had his own point of view and spoke to a different audience, the information is actually complementary, not conflicting. The apparent conflicts disappear when we use each viewpoint to compile a complete and compelling story.

3. How was writing and recording events different two thousand years ago?
We now use a computer keyboard to rapidly type and edit text that prints on our laser printers. In the first century, writers had only their parchment scrolls in which every word was hand written, one character at a time. Cut-and-paste editing and simple rearrangement of details into chronological order didn’t exist. Writers naturally put down information as it came to mind, giving us a flow of thought that isn’t always in date sequence.

4. What is the significance of John’s gospel being the last one written?
If John were to introduce his book to us today, he might say, “Let me tell you the rest of the story.” There wasn’t much need to repeat what had already been written, so he gives us clarification of events that were already being told and retold, as well as eyewitness reports that are found nowhere else. Unlike the other writers, who were not always chronological, John unfolds most of his story in date sequence in relation to the Jewish feasts. This gives us a chronological guide for putting all the biblical information in order.

5. In what way do you think the readers of Eyewitness will have a clearer understanding of the nature of God?
Jesus said, “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father.” If we can see what Jesus is doing and hear what he is saying, we become eyewitness of God’s nature. Because the words in Eyewitness are more like what we would read in a novel, readers are able to visualize themselves as present at the gospel events. It’s the next best thing to actually being there, walking with the other disciples.

6. How many different Bible translations were necessary to complete this project?
Hundreds of scholars have invested countless hours in the production of good translations. In the development of an easy-to-read wording for Eyewitness, translators’ handbooks and more than fifteen popular translations, as well as the Greek and Hebrew texts, were considered.

7. Is the Bible flawed in presenting the life of Christ in four separate books?
No, not at all. Each author’s report has its own perspective and meets a different audience need. Matthew points to the fulfillment of ancient prophecies to prove Jesus was the Son of God. Mark, the shortest of the Gospels, is the quickest to read. Luke, being a physician, gives many important details. And John adds clarity, chronology, and new information. Eyewitness was written for those who don’t read the Bible and for people who are helped by seeing how the story unfolded, chronologically.

8. Why do you think Eyewitness appeals to people who seldom attend church?
Even professed atheists and agnostics have questions about the meaning of life and what happens after we die. Eyewitness isn’t a book of difficult-to-understand rules that threatens punishment if we don’t do everything exactly right. The life of Christ is presented in a way so people can easily understand the value of loving our enemies and helping people in need.

9. Where can we find out more or purchase a copy of Eyewitness?
Please feel free to visit my web site at http://www.eyewitnesstools.com/.

About the Book
Eyewitness: The Life of Christ Told in One Story by Frank Ball (WinePress Publishing)
Eyewitness reaches people who seldom go to church or read their Bibles.
Of the millions of Americans who don't go to church, 56 percent consider themselves Christian. If they knew what Jesus said and did, they would know the importance of networking and reaching out to help others. While Bibles sit on coffee tables and bookshelves at home, gathering dust, people pick up Eyewitness and don't want to put it down. Not only does it use language that is easily understood, it pulls readers into the story, almost like walking with Jesus in the first century.
The Bible has sold more copies than any other book and continues to sell year after year. Continuing in its footsteps is the Eyewitness series written for the average person.
Flash back to first century AD. One man appeared who shook up the world. Four men testified to what they saw and heard. The details of Jesus life were recorded by four of his closest followers. Each account is written from a different perspective and only one of the four tells the events in chronological order. Therefore, for centuries, the accounts have been told in out-of-sequence fragments.
Eyewitness compiles the information from the Gospels and hundreds of other Bible verses into one chronological story laid out like a story without reference or verse. The result is a seamless combination of the four gospel books that will appeal to customers across the board, even those who would not normally purchase a Bible.

About the Author
Frank Ball was the Pastor of Biblical Research and Writing at Anchor Church in Keller, Texas, for three years. After thirty years of research and teaching the life of Christ, he began a twelve-year project to analyze every gospel story about Christ and put the events into chronological order. Ball meticulously considered almost twenty resources, including the Greek and Hebrew texts, the opinions of other Bible writers, and different translations, to make sure his translation was correct. Using the gospel of John as the chronological backbone, he determined an appropriate time setting for every event.
Ball believes there is no greater role model than Jesus. The better we know him, the more we can be like him. “It’s impossible,” he says, “to love someone you don’t know. The Scripture arranged in this easy-to-understand order helps us to know Jesus. It allows us to be more of an ‘eyewitness’ to the events of Christ’s life, and in doing so, to be more like him.”
Ball has always been a great student, especially in math and the sciences, but hated English. He excelled in high school; however, because his family was impoverished, he was unable to attend college. After high school he took a menial job that supported his parents and siblings. In 1968 he married Kay and they had three sons. Kay passed away in 2005. Ball currently lives with his family in Fort Worth, Texas.
When personal computers became available, Ball embraced systems analysis and business administration. He devoured reading material on the high-tech industry and was a successful business executive until he made a commitment to full-time ministry in 2002.
In 1995, despite his dislike of English, Ball believed God was redirecting his life, and he devoted himself to writing—which has, ironically, become his passion. Knowing the challenges he faced without a secondary education, Ball became self-taught by voraciously reading books as if they were college texts. He studied as if he were preparing for tests.
Ball says that this project wasn’t his idea at all. He just had an unexplainable desire to do this chronology, and along the way he realized that God had a plan. Using his Eyewitness Stories version of the Gospels as a foundation, Ball assembled the gospel information, as well as more than two hundred other Bible verses from the Old and New Testaments, to create what he believes is the accurate order of events. Ball believes the combined stories resolve some of the discrepancies that some say exist in the Gospels.

God Gave Us Love/ God Gave Us Christmas by Lisa Tawn Bergren

I just read this sweet little book, God Gave Us Love, to my 3 year old daughter. She sat still and listened to the whole thing!! That says a lot about this book. If you have a 3 year old (or know one), then you know how busy and active they can be.
Lisa Tawn Bergren spins a sweetly innocent story about Love...loving others, mama and papa love and God's love. While I don't think that my 3 year old understand everything, I do think she enjoyed the story as well as the pictures. I really feel that some of the information given is several years too old for the 3-5 age group, but it does plant a seed that the child will come back to in the future.

As soon as I finished the first book about God's love, my little girl asked me to read God Gave Us Christmas by Lisa Tawn Bergren. That's really amazing! Usually, this little girl is up and moving constantly (except nap times!). Again, she sat through the reading and quietly listened. I love the way Mama Bear takes the time to show God to Little Cub... and the way she does. Then, she brings it all back to God Gave Us Christmas! It's a lovely story with a beautiful pictures and an even better meaning.

Lisa Tawn Bergren is the award-winning author of nearly thirty titles, totaling more than 1.5 million books in print. She writes in a broad range of genres, from adult fiction to devotional. God Gave Us Love follows in Lisa’s classic tradition of the best-selling God Gave Us You. She lives in Colorado, with her husband, Tim, and their children, Olivia, Emma, and Jack.

For more information on either of these books, please check out RandomHouse.com.
These books were provided for review by the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Treasured by Leigh McLeroy

What do you collect?
What do you treasure?

My 9 year old son collects STUFF. I was cleaning his room recently and opened the top drawer of his dresser to find his collection. I was not expecting to find it there. As I looked over his collection, I caught a glimpse of who he is. After pulling out the trash (candy wrappers-- he's a sugar addict with ADHD!), I found some really interesting stuff:

* 22 batteries (I don't know if they work)
* several pieces of yarn, different lengths and colors
* paper clips
* empty containers, put to new use
* pencils and post-its
* rocks
* a stapler (yeah, I bought this for him... I was frustrated with him constantly using mine!)
* miscellaneous other items....

When I finished looking through this drawer, I thought about tossing some of the stuff... quite a bit of it seemed like trash, refuse, just plain unusable. Then I thought about my son. He would notice it was gone and when he found out I tossed it, he would be hurt. He treasures this stuff. In a way, it defines him: he is inventive, curious, busy and brilliant. Everything in that drawer has a purpose for him.

In this same manner, God has treasures. This is what Leigh McLeroy describes in her book, Treasured: Knowing God by the things He Keeps. What are some of the things God treasures?

* a fig leaf
* a fresh olive sprig
* Abraham's Knife
* a scarlet cord
* one smooth stone

In 13 easy-to-read chapters, McLeroy opens our eyes to how and why God treasures this and other items... and that most of all, God treasures us. Included, at the end of the book, is a "personal reflection and group discussion guide" to help the reader figure out "What's in Your Box?".

Treasured would be a wonderful Book Club read or a great gift. It is encouraging and eye-opening... it a book for a fresh new start with God.

For more information visit : Random House or Leigh McLeroy

Leigh McLeroy is the author of The Beautiful Ache and The Sacred Ordinary. An avid collector and recorder of everyday moments, words, and wonders, Leigh’s keen eye for God’s presence in ordinary life infuses her writing and living with a deep, insistent joy. A frequent conference and event speaker, the author makes her home in Houston, Texas, and posts often on www.leighmcleroy.com and www.wednesdaywords.com.

Friday, November 13, 2009

(Atlanta, GA) Many ordinary people experience Christmas miracles-those special moments during the season of giving and receiving when Christmas becomes more than just a holiday. In Christmas Miracles (St. Martin's Press, October 2009), Cecil Murphey and Marley Gibson share the stories of those who have recognized the special moments that transcend daily experience and transform their lives.
In these stories, people overcome desperate situations through a miraculous twist of fate-all during the most wonderful time of the year. A young boy sits down to read a Christmas book and discovers that his learning disability has vanished. A woman stranded in a blizzard is rescued by a mysterious stranger who she suspects is an angel. And a woman living far from home gets an answer to her prayer in the form of an unexpected gift.

Bestselling author Cecil Murphey says, "We all face discouraging times, whether it's the lack of money, being stuck on a road in a snowstorm, feeling stress, or being hungry and homeless. But God's help is available. I want readers to see that miracles do happen-sometimes simple, unexpected blessings or those that involve the supernatural. We start by asking, and in strange and wonderful ways God tiptoes into our dark nights; we experience renewed joy in life and witness God in action through people and unexpected events."

Interview with Cecil "Cec" Murphey

by Marley Gibson

Co-authors of Christmas Miracles, from St. Martin's Press

I am extremely privileged to have the opportunity today to talk to my friend and co-author, Cecil "Cec" Murphey, and to chat about our upcoming book, Christmas Miracles.

Marley: Cec, thanks for spending some time with me today.

Marley, it's great that you could take time away from important things like making a living to spend a little time with me.

Marley: I'm so jazzed about our Christmas Miracles book that's coming out soon. I've had a lot of questions from folks wanting to know how we met, what brought us together, etc. So, I thought we'd do a back and forth on how it all came to be. Of course, I have to give props to our amazing agent and friend, Deidre Knight, for bringing us together. For those of you who don't know, Cec co-authored the runaway New York Times bestselling hit 90 Minutes in Heaven with Don Piper.

Cec: I have to say thanks to Deidre Knight as well. Between Deidre and my assistant, Twila Belk, I've been able to sell quite a few books. 90 Minutes in Heaven has been my big book. I'm also proud of a book I wrote in 1990 called Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story. The book has never been out of print and has hit close to four million in sales. Early this year, Cuba Gooding Jr. starred in the made-for-TV film version.

Marley: That's amazing! You are truly prophetic and definitely "the man behind the words." Now, people ask how we teamed up. Sadly, there was a personal tragedy that brought Cec and me together as friends.

Cec: True. In early 2007, our house burned and our son-in-law died. Aside from the grief over Alan, we lost everything. Deidre and Jan, my-then-assistant, sent the word out of our tragedy without telling me. I'm immensely grateful for every gift people sent, but I probably wouldn't have admitted I needed help and wouldn't have asked. They taught me how much we need other people.

Marley: Deidre put out a call to other clients of The Knight Agency, to help Cec and his family out in any way in their time of need. At the time, my company was moving and we were cleaning house. We had a ton of office supplies that we were either going to throw away or give to some of the charities the company worked with. I got my boss' permission to send a large care package to Cec.full of office supplies for him to re-stock his writer's office. You name it.post-its, staples, paper clips, pens, pencils, markers, white out, ruler, scissors, paper, notebooks, notepads, envelopes, a laptop case, tape, glue, folders, binder clips.etc. A veritable potpourri of office delights. I was hoping that it would help Cec have a sense of getting his office back so he could keep working.

Cec: Marley's gift was the most unexpected I received. We hadn't met, although Deidre Knight had spoken of her many times and kept telling me she was wonderful. I wonder if you can imagine what it was like for me to open that box from someone I didn't know. I saw all those practical things for my office and yelled for my wife. I felt as if I were reading a first-grade book. "Look! Look and see! Oh, look!" I was overwhelmed by the gift and even more to receive it from a stranger. Those supplies were the most practical gift anyone could have given me. I'm still using black paper clips and red folders from Marley.

Marley: Awww.thanks, Cec! I didn't have to think twice about doing it. Writing is such a solitary "sport," but the writing community always astounds me with how they help their own. Not long after that, over plates of spinach and Gouda omelets, Deidre introduced me to Cec in person and I was thrilled to finally meet the man behind the words. Deidre knew we needed to work on a project together and thus began our brainstorming. What did you think of that first meeting, Cec, and cooking up the idea to work together?

Cec: Deidre and I had already spoken about a Christmas book and I had some idea about what it should contain, but nothing had come together. One day Deidre told me that Marley was coming to visit her and she wanted us to work together on a Christmas project. Marley and I talked before we ate and again during the meal. Everything felt right to me. I knew my strengths and Marley knew hers (and Deidre knew both of us). Everything clicked. Marley, a far better networker than I am, immediately sent out the word for submissions. Within days she had almost four times more than we could use. (She read every one of them!)

Marley: I was truly impressed with the submissions we received and it was hard narrowing it down to the ones we chose for the book. We're fortunate to have such a go-getter agent in Deidre Knight. Cec, can you share how the whole idea of Christmas Miracles came about and what you thought of the project originally?

Cec: For me, it actually started while I was on the rapid-rail train from the Atlanta airport when I listened to teens talk about Christmas and it was mostly about gifts. I had the idea then, but nothing really came together. Months later when Deidre I and had a meeting, she brought up the idea of a compilation and mentioned my working with Marley. I've been Deidre Knight's client since 1997 and I've learned to listen carefully when she comes up with an idea. I said yes before she gave me all the information.

Marley: That's the truth about Deidre! Getting back to those submissions, I want to say we got more than two hundred submissions for Christmas Miracles. So many wonderful stories to read through and select for the book. It was a challenge to pick and choose which ones were right for the book, but I loved every minute of it. After I chose the entries that would go into the book, Cec toiled long hours editing the works for a unified voice. What was the biggest challenge you found in the editing process, Cec?

Cec: I've been a ghostwriter and collaborator for twenty-plus years and this was a switch to give the book a unified voice-which was mine. It would have been easier to stay with each writer's voice, but the book-like many compilations-would have been uneven in tone and quality. When I discussed this via email with our delightful editor, Rose Hilliard, she was (to my surprise) familiar with my work. She told me she liked the warm tone of my writing and that I don't waste words. "That's the voice we want," she said. It still wasn't easy, but it was an exciting challenge. After Marley and I agreed on the stories and gave them that unified voice, our editor pulled six contributions. Although different, Rose felt they were too similar to other stories.

Marley: Can you give our readers a preview of the book? A favorite story perhaps.or one that moved you to tears? (I have to say the little boy who wished for nothing but to be able to read a book all the way through because of his stutter had me bawling when I read the submission.)

Cec: That's not fair! I liked them all. The one that touched me most, however, is the last story in the book, "Sean's Question." We had almost finished the book and I was teaching at a conference in Florida. I felt we needed one strong story at the end. Despite all the good ones, I didn't feel fully satisfied to conclude the book. On the last day of the conference, I met a conferee named Sara Zinn for a consultation. As we talked, I mentioned Christmas Miracles and that I still needed one more story. "I have a Christmas story," she said and told me about Sean. As I listened, tears filled my eyes-but, being the macho type I am, I was sure it was an allergy. Sara wrote the story, and it became the one I sought.

Marley: Oh yes.that one is an emotional one all right. It was meant to be in the book because of how you met at the conference. Now, you and I have both had challenges in our lives that others might have found too much to take, but we are both very strong in our faith and our relationship with God. How do you think Christmas Miracles is going to help others feel closer to God and experience His miracles in their own lives?

Cec: Awareness and appreciation are the two things I want readers to grasp. Awareness means for them to realize that they're never totally alone in life. Those unexpected, out-of-the-ordinary events remind us of that. Appreciation means to be thankful for what we already have. Too often, and especially at Christmas, we focus on what we'd like or what is supposed to make us happy. Christmas Miracles gently reminds readers of both.

Marley: In this day and age when our country is fighting two wars, unemployment is high, and a lot of people have a lack of hope and faith for their future, what do you want readers of the book to take away from Christmas Miracles and how can the stories in our book help provide comfort to those struggling?

Cec: I want readers to see that miracles do happen-sometimes simple, unexpected blessings or those that involve the supernatural (as in one of Marley's stories). I call myself a serious Christian. For me, the world's greatest miracle began with the birth of Jesus. Regardless of a person's religion, this book encourages readers to think about life during the Christmas season and see that life as more than gifts and celebrations. It's also a reminder that God loves us and hears our needy cries.

Marley: Beautifully put, Cec, and I couldn't agree with you more. Can we share what's next after Christmas Miracles? J

Why it's the Cec and Marley show, of course. Because of our go-getter agent and our enthusiastic editor, we've already received thumbs up for The Christmas Spirit. This will be stories of people who express the true spirit of Christmas by acts of love and kindness, for release in the fall of 2011.

Marley: And I can't wait to start working on that project! Thank you so much for your time, Cec, and answering my questions. It was a privilege and honor to work with you and I look forward to our future projects together. You've helped me along during a trying time and I appreciate your friendship and support.

Cec: I liked this project because Marley had to send out the word, collect submissions, read them, and discard the weaker ones. I get to see only the better-written stories. (Don't tell her that I have the better job.) Although I mentioned only one story, all of those in the book touched me because of the poignancy of their situations and the miraculous answers. I won't say the stories increased my faith, but they increased my appreciation for the delightful mix of human need and divine intervention.

Marley: Thanks again, Cec! God Bless! And to our readers, please be sure to pick up a copy of CHRISTMAS MIRACLES, out October 13, 2009 from St. Martin's Press. It's a great stocking stuffer or gift basket filler. We hope you, too, will discover your own Christmas Miracles in your life.

Award-winning writer Cecil Murphey is the author or co-author of 114 published books, including the NY Times bestseller 90 Minutes in Heaven (with Don Piper) and Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story (with Dr. Ben Carson). He's also the author of When Someone You Love Has Cancer and When God Turned Off the Lights, both 2009 releases. Murphey's books have sold millions and have given hope and encouragement to countless readers around the world. For more information, visit www.cecilmurphey.com.

Marley Gibson is a young adult author whose first published books in the Sorority 101 series were released by Penguin Group in 2008 under the pen name of Kate Harmon. She has a new Ghost Huntress series with Houghton Mifflin written under her own name. She can be found online at www.marleygibson.com.

Leave a comment for a chance to win the Christmas Miracles gift basket.
Wouldn't you love to take home this amazing basket filled with Christmas goodies galore? This amazing gift basket contains everything you'll need to make your Christmas holiday a success. Inside you'll find a stocking stuffed with hard candies, kitchen towels and oven mitts, seasonal potpourri, holiday-colored candles, stuffed animals that talk, snowman candle, nutcrackers, Christmas ornaments, gift bags, gift tags, gift bows, ornament hangers, Christmas cookie cutters, a Merry Christmas doorstopper, a picture frame, Christmas cards, Santa ear muffs, and not just one, but two copies of Cecil Murphey and Marley Gibson's Christmas Miracles - one to keep and one to give away to someone special.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

White Picket Fences by Susan Meissner

Well, somehow in the midst of a friend dying and me taking a fall and trying to pack to move, I am late posting this review. So, I am going to just post what was e-mailed to me... hopefully, you will pick up the book and enjoy!

Amanda Janvier’s idyllic home seems the perfect place for her niece Tally to stay while her vagabond brother is in Europe, but the white picket fence life Amanda wants to provide is a mere illusion. Amanda’s husband Neil refuses to admit their teenage son Chase, is haunted by the horrific fire he survived when he was four, and their marriage is crumbling while each looks the other way.

Tally and Chase bond as they interview two Holocaust survivors for a sociology project, and become startlingly aware that the whole family is grappling with hidden secrets, with the echoes of the past, and with the realization that ignoring tragic situations won’t make them go away.

Readers of emotional dramas that are willing to explore the lies that families tell each other for protection and comfort will love White Picket Fences. The novel is ideal for those who appreciate exploring questions like: what type of honesty do children need from their parents, or how can one move beyond a past that isn’t acknowledged or understood? Is there hope and forgiveness for the tragedies of our past and a way to abundant grace?

Author Bio:
Susan Meissner cannot remember a time when she wasn’t driven to put her thoughts down on paper. Her novel The Shape of Mercy was a Publishers Weekly pick for best religious fiction of 2008 and a Christian Book Award finalist. Susan and her husband live in Southern California, where he is a pastor and a chaplain in the Air Force Reserves. They are the parents of four grown children.

For more info: http://www.randomhouse.com/catalog/display.pperl?isbn=9781400074570&ref=externallink_wbp_whitepicketfences_sec_0916_01

**This book was provided for review by the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group.**

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Leaving Carolina by Tamara Leigh

"You can take the girl out of the South, but you can't take the South out of the girl!" Piper Wick of Los Angelos, would disagree... she left her hometown of Pickwick, North Carolina and did everything in her power to leave it behind. Not only did she changed her life by losing weight, buying new clothes and going to a diction coach. All of this to make herself a new person... which seems to be working until her uncles' lawyer calls saying there is an emergency and she should come right "home." She goes back to North Carolina to take care of simple business, but when family is involved nothing is simple!

Enter, Axel her uncles gardener, some misfit cousins that Piper doesn't trust and her silly old uncle who has "gotten religious" -- what a recipe for disaster. Can Piper help save the family name? Who cares, Can she save her own name so she can marry US Congressman Grant Spangler? And just where is this godson that was named after Uncle Obadiah.. he's the one that convinced Uncle Obie that he needed to make amends for the family's past wrongdoings?

Leaving Carolina is the first book I have read by Tamara Leigh and I really enjoyed it... of course, that's coming from a displaced Southern Girl.

For more information check out: Leaving Carolina

Disclaimer: This book was provided for review by the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group.

Monday, November 2, 2009

What Matters Most (book 3, Diary of a Teenage Girl series, Maya) by Melody Carlson

When I received What Matters Most by Melody Carson... I wasn't really sure if I would like it or not. Honestly, how many ways can you write a story for teens about teens that really reaches them?? BUT, having a teen daughter, I wanted to check this book out.

First, let me say that it would really help to have read books one and two of this series. There are many books in the Diary of a Teenage Girl series, but this is only the third in the Maya section.

Second, you don't have to read the other sets in the series to get Maya's story, but I believe they will all intermingle.

Third, for the review... I was pleasantly surprised by the story and the way it was all set up. Maya Stark is a 16 year old girl who is struggling to find some normalcy in her very chaotic, messed up life. Her mother is in prison and her father is touring with his music. Maya is just trying, and sometimes failing, to fit in at the local high school. She struggles with all the normal stuff: peer pressure, guy pressure, decisions about school and her future, but she turns to God and godly friends to guide her. Maya is also green, meaning is very much about recycling and saving the planet in small and big ways every day. Each chapter ends with a tip from Maya on ways the reader can help the environment.

All in all, I enjoyed the book and believe that my teen daughter will also! In fact, she is already trying to snatch it from me.

For more information about this book check out: What Matters Most

For more information about the auther check out: Melody Carlson

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Digital stamps...

Wow, I am amazed at the number of digital stamp companies that are coming out of the woodwork!! I have really fallen in love with Dustin Pike's Dragons! And I am sure there are others that are just great out there.

What I wanted to share today though, are some places to get FREE Digi-stamps, so here is a short list of some freebies:

It seems that every Tuesday, Digital Two for Tuesday puts out two free digi stamps. You can even go back and get stamps from past Tuesdays. Very COOL! Most of their stamps seem to be retro images.

Every Thursday, Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps has a new digi for you as well. Very cute! This week it's a cupcake with a cherry on top. These stamps are ONLY available on THURSDAYS. If you don't grab them on Thursday, they are gone.

Robyn's Fetish has a new digi-stamp on Wednesdays. This looks to be another blog than you can go through archives and find older freebies.

Dustin Pike also has some wonderful freebies on Wednesday and you can go back through his archives as well.

Another way to get free digi-stamps is to join the SplitCoast Stampers community and check out this forum: Digital Images

Enjoy! I know I do. :-)

Saturday, October 17, 2009

A BOOK Giveaway!

My friend Cindy is having a book giveaway at her blog: Cindy's Book Reviews. Please visit and leave a comment in order to get a chance to WIN!!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

STAMPERS: Joanne is offering BLOG CANDY!!

Hop on over to Mainly Flowers to sign up to win some wonderful Blog Candy!! While you are there, check out her beautiful site! Thanks Joanne for the chance to win!

PS... wanted to point you to this page ( click here )! I love these cards... and I am hoping to try them for Christmas.

Monday, October 12, 2009

The Sound of Sleigh Bells by Cindy Woodsmall

The Sound of Sleigh Bells is another wonderful story about a group of Amish by Cindy Woodsmall. This story is about Beth Hertzler and a past tragedy that seems to haunt her daily. To her friends and family, she seems to still be in mourning, but instead she holds on to guilt related to the loss of her fiancée.

Beth works with her Aunt Lizzy and is a very good businesswoman. When she is out trying to find stores to sell the Amish goods, she comes across a beautiful carving that touches something deep in her heart. Can she move past the hurts and pain of what’s behind her to find healing and hope in the future? With a little push from her Aunt Lizzy and understanding from an Amish carver… she just might!
Cindy Woodsmall has painted another lovely tale about the hurts we feel, whether self-inflicted or not, that we sometimes can’t seem to get past. With a little encouragement and guidance from the ones that love us and a lot of love from above, there is hope. If you enjoy books about the Amish, this is another good one!!

Author Bio:

Cindy Woodsmall is the author of When the Heart Cries, When the Morning Comes, and The New York Times Best-Seller When the Soul Mends. Her ability to authentically capture the heart of her characters comes from her real-life connections with Amish Mennonite and Old Order Amish families. A mother of three sons and two daughters-in-law, Cindy lives in Georgia with her husband of thirty-one years.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


Regarding any review written on this website: no payment was received, the only compensation, was the book which was used to write the review and was sent by the publisher, author, publicists or media groups.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Plain Promise by Beth Wiseman

Plain Promise by Beth Wiseman is a story of grief, confusion, hope, restoration and contentment set in the middle of Amish Country in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

Sadie Fisher is a young Amish widow who after 4 yrs is still grieving her dead husband… she’s grieving the life they would have had and the children they didn’t have. For the last two years, Sadie has been corresponding with Milo, an Amish man from Texas…. Is there hope for that family she missed out on with Ben?

Kade Saunders is a rich and famous Englischer who is confused about what’s missing or wrong in his life. He has everything money can buy, but still doesn’t have peace. Monica, his estranged wife, shows up out of the blue to say she is leaving their son, Tyler, with him and asking him to sign divorce papers so she can move on with her life.

Is there hope for Sadie? Will she have the family that she desires, or will she always be alone? Can Kade find the peace and contentment that he feels in the Amish Community? Can he be restored to Tyler and God?

~ ~ ~ ~

I enjoyed this book about the Amish life.. it left me wanting to go back and read the first two in the series. Beth has done a wodnerful job with the characters' inner thoughts, feelings and struggles-- she made them REAL!!

For more information check out: Beth Wiseman's website or Beth's Blog

Plain Promise

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Fearless by Max Lucado....

Unfortunately, I did not have the time I thought I would to finish this book. Having said that, I will finish it... I LOVE Max Lucado's writings. He is an amazing communicator that uses beautiful and heart-touching word pictures to get across what he wants to grasp.

So, until I can finish reading it and write a proper review, let me point you here for more information:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ih_L7w0-_p4 -- YouTube Video



Q&A about Fearless: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OVR0n4KiIyQ

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Thursday, September 3, 2009

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Read and Share Toddler Bible

The Read and Share Toddler Bible is a wonderful addition to any children's library, whether personal or public!! I received this little Bible and my 2 year old daughter and I sat down to partake. I read the first story to her, then played the video that went along with it-- she begged for more!

The pictures are darling and the words/story are easy for young children to understand. The video just draws children in and they don't want to stop watching or they want to watch it over and over again... I know, because I also took this Bible/video set to church with me. I teach the children's class on Sunday nights and have many young (2-6 yr olds)in the class. I put the video on and they just sat absorbed into it... and they wanted to look at the Bible while watching the video.

I would defintely reccomend this Bible to anyone who has young children, works with them at church or just loves them!! It's a great gift idea as well!

The Rose House by Tina Ann Forkner


A vivid story of a private grief, a secret painting, and one woman’s search for hope.

Still mourning the loss of her family in a tragic accident, Lillian Diamon finds herself drawn back to the Rose House, a quiet cottage where four years earlier she had poured out her anguish among its fragrant blossoms.
She returns to the rolling hills and lush vineyards of the Sonoma Valley in search of something she can’t quite name. But then Lillian stumbles onto an unexpected discovery: displayed in the La Rosaleda Gallery is a painting that captures every detail of her most private moment of misery, from the sorrow etched across her face to the sandals on her feet.

What kind of artist would dare to intrude on such a personal scene, and how did he happen to witness Lillian’s pain? As the mystery surrounding the portrait becomes entangled with the accident that claimed the lives of her husband and children, Lillian is forced to rethink her assumptions about what really happened that day.
A captivating novel rich with detail, Rose House explores how the brushstrokes of pain can illuminate the true beauty of life.

Author Bio:

Tina Ann Forkner is the author of Ruby Among Us. Originally from Oklahoma, she now lives with her husband and three children in Wyoming, where she serves on the Laramie County Library Foundation’s board of directors.

The Sweetgum Ladies Knit for Love by Beth Patillo


Once a month, the six women of the Sweetgum Knit Lit Society gather to discuss books and share their knitting projects. Inspired by her recently-wedded bliss, group leader Eugenie chooses “Great Love Stories in Literature” as the theme for the year’s reading list–a risky selection for a group whose members span the spectrum of age and relationship status.

As the Knit Lit ladies read and discus classic romances like Romeo and Juliet, Wuthering Heights, and Pride and Prejudice, each member is confronted with her own perception about love. Camille’s unexpected reunion with an old crush forces her to confront conflicting desires. Newly widowed Esther finds her role in Sweetgum changing and is surprised by two unlikely friends. Hannah isn’t sure she’s ready for the trials of first love. Newcomer Maria finds her life turned upside-down by increasing family obligations and a handsome, arrogant lawyer, and Eugenie and Merry are both asked to make sacrifices for their husbands that challenge their principles.
Even in a sleepy, southern town like Sweetgum, Tennessee, love isn’t easy. The Knit Lit ladies learn they can find strength and guidance in the novels they read, the love of their family, their community–and especially in each other.

Author Bio:

RITA Award-winning Beth Patillo combines her love of knitting and books in her engaging Sweetgum series. Pattillo served churches in Missouri and Tennessee before founding Faith Leader, a spiritual leadership development program.

Monday, August 24, 2009

The Confidential Life of Eugenia Cooper by Kathleen Y'Barbo

The Confidential Life of Eugenia Cooper is a wonderfully humorous and romantic book by Kathleen Y’Barbo. The Confidential Life is about a young debutante woman who is desperate want of an adventure, preferably a Wild West Adventure like those had by her favorite dime novel heroine, Mae Winslow.

Y’Barbo does a wonderful job portraying this adventure of Gennie’s and the tough choices she has to make along the way. It s a fun, fast-moving story about how Gennie’s dream comes true and how love finds Gennie and she seems to find herself. Y'Barbo does an interesting thing of starting each chapter with a segment from the "latest" Mae Winslow dime novel. This allows the reader to get more in the mind of Gennie. The Confidential Life is not overly “Christian,” but God is a theme throughout. It is a clean and easy read for someone looking to relax for a bit. I honestly could not put it down!!

Author Bio:

Kathleen Y’Barbo is the best-selling, award-winning author of more than thirty novels, novellas, and young adult books, with more than a half-million in print. A graduate of Texas A&M University, she is currently a publicist with Books & Such literary agency.

For more information check out Random House Publishers.

Friday, August 21, 2009

North! or Be Eaten!! by Andrew Peterson


Readers thrilled to the phantasmagorical adventures in On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness, Book One of the Wingfeather Saga. Now in Book Two, Janner, Tink, and Leeli Igiby, mom Nia, ex-pirate grandfather Podo, Peet the Sock Man, and trusty dog Nugget flee north to rebel headquarters.

Their escape brings readers to the very brink of Fingap Falls, over the Stony Mountains, and across the Ice Prairies, while villains galore try to stop the Igibys permanently. Fearsome toothy cows and horned hounds return, along with new dangers: a mad man running a fork factory, a den of rockroaches, and majestic talking sea dragons.

Andrew Peterson’s lovable characters create what FantasyBookCritic.com says made Book One “one of the best fantasy novels in a very long time,” and Book Two contains even more thrills, exploring “themes universal in nature, ranging from the classic good versus evil, to the importance of family, and burdens of responsibility.”

Andrew Peterson is the author of On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness and The Ballad of Matthew’s Begats. He’s also the critically-acclaimed singer-songwriter and recording artist of ten albums, including Resurrection Letters II. He and his wife, Jamie, live with their two sons and one daughter in The Warren near Nashville, Tennessee. Visit Andrew’s websites: www.andrew-peterson.com and www.rabbitroom.com.

Friday, August 14, 2009

The Quest for Contentment: 40 Minute Bible Study from Kay Arthur


The 40 Minute Bible Study series from beloved Bible teacher Kay Arthur and the teaching staff of Precept Ministries tackles important issues in brief, easy-to-grasp lessons you can use personally or for small-group discussion. Each book in the series includes six 40-minute studies designed to draw you into God’s Word through basic inductive Bible study. There are 16 titles in the series, with topics ranging from fasting and forgiveness to prayer and worship. With no homework required, everyone in the group can work through the lesson together at the same time. Let these respected Bible teachers lead you in a study that will transform your thinking—and your life.

Titles Include:
•The Essentials of Effective Prayer •Being a Disciple: Counting the Cost
•Building a Marriage That Really Works •Discovering What the Future Holds
•Forgiveness: Breaking the Power of the Past •Having a Real Relationship with God
•How Do You Walk the Walk and Talk the Talk? •Living a Life of Real Worship
•How to Make Choices You Won’t Regret •Living Victoriously in Difficult Times
•Money & Possessions: The Quest for Contentment •Rising to the Call of Leadership
•How Do You Know God’s Your Father? •Key Principles of Biblical Fasting
•A Man’s Strategy for Conquering Temptation •What Does the Bible Say About Sex?

Author Bio:

Kay Arthur, executive vice president and cofounder of Precept Ministries International has worked with her teaching staff to create the powerful 40-Minute Bible Studies series. Kay is known around the world as a Bible teacher, author, conference speaker, and host of national radio and television programs.

The Friends We Keep by Sarah Zacharias Davis


During a particularly painful time in her life, Sarah Zacharias Davis learned how delightful–and wounding–women can be in friendship. She saw how some friendships end badly, others die slow deaths, and how a chance acquaintance can become that enduring friend you need.

The Friends We Keep is Sarah’s thoughtful account of her own story and the stories of other women about navigating friendship. Her revealing discoveries tackle the questions every woman asks:

• Why do we long so for women friends?
• Do we need friends like we need air or food or water?
• What causes cattiness, competition, and co-dependency in too many friendships?
• Why do some friendships last forever and others only a season?
• How do I foster friendship?
• When is it time to let a friend go, and how do I do so?

With heartfelt, intelligent writing, Sarah explores these questions and more with personal stories, cultural references and history, faith, and grace. In the process, she delivers wisdom for navigating the challenges, mysteries, and delights of friendship: why we need friendships with other women, what it means to be safe in relationship, and how to embrace what a friend has to offer, whether meager or generous.

Author Bio:

Sarah Zacharias Davis is a senior advancement officer at Pepperdine University, having joined the university after working as vice president of marketing and development for Ravi Zacharias International Ministries and in strategic marketing for CNN. The daughter of best-selling writer Ravi Zacharias, Davis is the author of the critically-acclaimed Confessions from an Honest Wife and Transparent: Getting Honest About Who We are and Who We Want to Be. She graduated from Covenant College with a degree in education and lives in Los Angeles, California.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
In reading this book, I have found so much truth and honesty about the friendships of women. I believe these are some of the MOST difficult relationships in life!! I know I struggle in this area and have ever since I was a little girl. So, in this way of connecting I really enjoyed Davis' book.

On the other hand, I felt there was too much of quoting from other sources. If I wanted to see what those people had to say, I would read their books. Now, I realize that it's good to have some quotes to back up what is being said, but I just felt like there was too much. It bogged the book down for me and made it more difficult to read.

I do think that this is a great book to read for any woman... especially one that struggles in her female friendships.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Cindy Woodsmall on tour:

New York Times bestselling author Cindy Woodsmall is on tour, and she may be coming to a city near you! Don’t miss your opportunity to meet Cindy and have her sign her newest title The Hope of Refuge at one of the following events.

Tuesday, August 11 7 – 8:30pm
Barnes & Noble
5141 Peachtree Parkway, The Forum
Norcross, Georgia 30092
(770) 209-4244

Wednesday, August 12 7 – 8pm
Barnes & Noble Opry Mills
515 Opry Mills Drive
Nashville, Tennessee 37214
(615) 514-5000

Thursday, August 13 6 – 8pm
Barnes & Noble
2540 Futura Pkwy. #135
Plainfield, Indiana 46168
(317) 838-7941

Friday, August 14 6 – 8pm
Barnes & Noble
1550 West 75th
Downers Grove, Illinois 60516
(630) 663-0181

Saturday, August 15 1 – 3pm
Baker Books
2768 East Paris Ave SE
Grand Rapids, Michigan 49546-6139
(616) 957-3110

Sunday, August 16 2 – 4pm
Barnes & Noble Booksellers
3700 Rivertown Parkway Ste. 2058
Grandville, Michigan 49418
(616) 531-1825

Monday, August 17 7 – 8:00pm
Barnes & Noble Booksellers
1739 Olentangy River Road
Columbus, Ohio 43212
(614) 298-9516

Tuesday, August 18 7– 8:30pm
Joseph Beth Booksellers
2705 E. Carson Street
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15203
(412) 381-3600

Wednesday, August 19 6 – 8pm
Hackman’s Bible Book Store
1341 Mickley Road
Whitehall, Pennsylvania 18052-4610
(610) 264-8600

Thursday, August 20 1 – 3pm
Rachel’s Country Store (Amish dry goods store)
6352 McClays Mill Road
Newburg, Pennsylvania 17240
(717) 530-9452

Can’t make the tour? You can still follow Cindy’s adventures on Youtube, Facebook, and Twitter. See you there!

The Hope of Refuge: An Ada's House Novel by Cindy Woodsmall

Carrie Bradshaw -- in a Bonnet? - ABC News

The Hope of Refuge by Cindy Woodsmall is a wonderful story of a young, widow and mother who is orphaned as a young girl and must survive the hardships of life without family... until she comes across a message from her mother that leads her to the Amish Community. When she arrives there, she is thought to be a drunk and a thief, but will the community turn her away? Will anyone come to help her as she seeks a place of refuge for her daughter and herself? Will the connection to the past be good or bad and will anyone welcome her?

This story of hardships and help, fear and courage shows us that God can work all things for good even when it seems there is no hope. It also shows us that what may look one way on first glance, isn't always true... and even Christians can be mistaken.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Blue Like Play Dough by Tricia Gloyer

I am still reading this book, but so far it has resonated with this mother's heart. I keep thinking to myself, yes- that's how I feel!! I will plan on another blog for this book once I actually finish it... until then here's the summary:

In the everyday stretch and squeeze of motherhood, Tricia Goyer often feels smooshed by the demands of life. In Blue Like Play Dough, she shares her unlikely journey from rebellious, pregnant teen to busy wife and mom with big dreams of her own. As her story unfolds, Tricia realizes that God has more in store for her than she has ever imagined possible.

Sure, life is messy and beset by doubts. But God keeps showing up in the most unlikely places–in a bowl of carrot soup, the umpteenth reading of Goodnight Moon, a woe-is me teen drama, or play dough in the hands of a child.

In Tricia’s transparent account, you’ll find understanding, laughter, and strength for your own story. And in the daily push and pull, you’ll learn to recognizes the loving hands of God at work in your life… and know He has something beautiful in mind.

Author Bio:
Tricia Goyer is the author of numerous works of fiction and nonfiction, including Generation NeXt Parenting and the Gold Medallion finalist Life Interrupted. Goyer writes for publications such as Today’s Christian Woman and Focus on the Family, speaks to women’s groups nationwide and has been a presenter at the Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS) national convention. She and her husband, John, live with their family in Montana.

For more information:


Confessions of a Pastor's Wife... an interview

Kathryn, when and how did you first get the inspiration to write "Confessions Of A Pastor’s Wife"?

I write about this in the intro of the book. It was literally like a burning bush moment for me. In 2004 God gave me all of the chapter titles all at once. He was literally speaking this book into me! I never expected it! It’s one of the reasons the subtitle is “He Speaks, Can You Hear Him?” I literally ran into my office and grabbed my prayer journal and began writing all of the chapter titles down as fast as He was delivering them to me. They came in perfect speed – it was overwhelming and awesome! I stood there in amazement staring at each chapter title - knowing what would be in every single chapter! Of course, immediately thereafter began to have all of the feelings of being unable, unworthy, and unqualified to do this work. But it was God who gave it to me and He who made the way for it to be completed.

What was the process of writing this book work? Was this an all-at-once kind of epiphany or did this take years in the making, collecting thoughts and ultimately putting them together?

I mentioned before how God gave me the book to write in 2004, but it wasn't until 2006 that I really began to write it. He had to build my faith further, nudging me along. One of the ways in which He continued the prompting was that He provided me with a life coach to hold me accountable, to push me. Then once I finally surrendered all of the self-doubt, unworthiness and fears I began standing it this beautiful place of faith, with His power. He gave me a joy around it and then I began to write. It was like opening up a vein, it just began to flow. There were times when I couldn't pull myself away from the writing, that's when the writing is great! That's when you feel the power of God, the Holy Spirit moving through you, Him speaking. That's the gift He gives me in it. I am so thankful for this gift. It's all from Him, all of it. I love it.

One of the chapters in your book that is titled “Discovering God” you say that there are “moments when God speaks to you through your dreams” does God still speak to you in your dreams?

Oh yes, He sure does, and I hope He never stops! He also speaks to my husband in dreams. Dreams seem to be one of the ways He has revealed major transactions that are headed our way. He speaks profoundly to me through the dreams. It’s not every day, but when it happens it’s intense. In the book I write about some of the dreams He has given me that have come to pass. He’s also done so with Bruce.

You talk about the many ways in which God speaks to us, do you hear His voice as an audible voice or is it an inner sensing voice? Also can you share a few ways in which God speaks and reveals Himself to us, while backing this up through Scripture?

I don’t hear Him in an audible voice, it’s an inner voice that I hear Him, and I hear Him through His Word. Some Biblical references in which God speaks to us are: Exodus 3:14: God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I AM has sent me to you.’” ACTS 9:15: “But the Lord said to Ananias, ‘Go! This man is my chosen instrument to carry my name before the Gentiles and their kings and before the people of Israel.’” 2 Timothy 3:16-17: “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

The book frequently takes a humorous approach; I found the chapter titled “The Bug Truck to be deep and absolutely hilarious all at the same time. It has a kind of an intimate "ya ya sisters" kind of thing? Do you think of your book as something that will appeal more to women than to men? Why or why not?

Women love it, and they laugh as they fly through the pages and then they cry as they land on the very next sentence. It’s been very soul stirring. You know, at first I thought that it would have an appeal mainly to women; however, I am getting incredible feedback and actual responses from men. Men are really able to relate to this book on numerous levels. They have shared how parts of it have essentially moved them emotionally as well. This book is about marriage, talks about becoming a blended family, and talks a lot about Bruce and his approach to our marriage, speaks to raising our children, financial concerns, and being a supportive partnership in marriage. So it has been speaking volumes to men, which I am glad to hear... God is good.

How did your husband Bruce support your efforts with the book?

Bruce was totally supportive. He was an encourager to me. He prayed for me, he knew that this was something new for me and he enjoyed the process along with me. I think he was rather fascinated with the way that God had spoken this book into me.

Was he at all curious of just how much "confessing" appears in the book?

I'm sure he was a bit, but interestingly enough he wasn't asking to read it, he wasn't asking me what I was writing. I found that interesting, because if it were him writing a book, I know that my curiosity would get to me, I'd want to read each page as it was written. He didn't do that at all. He just watched me as I wrote, sat back and smiled at it all.

What do you think is the essence of what you felt compelled to say?

Oh wow, that feels like a loaded question! There are so many things regarding faith, family, how God moves and so much more. I think the two main things that I want people to recognize is how God uses each of us, and the other thing would be the most beautiful and profound ways He speaks to us. He uses you to speak into my life, into my heart, to hear Him. This book is a portion of my life story, (not all of it certainly and there are more books to come). In this non-fiction faith story, you will find pieces of your very own faith story as you turn the pages, you will hear the quiet whispers being spoken lovingly straight into your very own ears. God has a way of speaking; He has a desire to be heard, and to be trusted by us. He has such wonderful and glorious things to reveal to us, not only through His powerful Word, but also through all of His people. I am compelled by God to share the ways in which HE SPEAKS to us, all of the many and wondrous ways… through Dreams, through Wise Counsel, through the Stillness of Meditation Alone in our Closets, through The Whisper of the Wind, through a Bumper Sticker, through Children, through the Clouds, and in so many other ways! None of them are farfetched at all! I want it to be known how the Holy Spirit works, in the holy and mysterious ways. He wants us to hear Him so He uses the multifaceted ways to grab us, ways that He knows we will hear. The Bible reveals to all of us many of the ways He speaks. Through Clouds, through Donkeys, through Burning bushes and the list goes on and on. Our lives are a walk of faith, struggle, joy, and more struggles and more faith, but we are never alone, never without El Roi – Our God who sees us.

How has the book been received so far by those who have read it?

It's been really cool for me. My sister called after she read it and said "Wow, I'm so surprised, pleasantly surprised!" She didn't realize the writing ability that I had; I laughed and said that I had no idea either. My mom and dad love it, and of course they would. My mother-in-law raves about it and says I should be on Oprah, which makes me laugh. Bruce loves it, of course. My kids adore it; my sons-in-law enjoy it and are proud of me, Of course each of my family members would respond that way. What has been wonderful to see though is all the reader responses on Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble, all give it 5 Star ratings, even men have made comments on it. The other blessings are the emails and calls and notes that I have received telling me how the book has moved them, how it’s spoken to them, increased their faith walk, made sense in areas of their lives where they needed that exact Word from God. Others, tell me that there are so many places that they can relate, and still others tell me that they feel like they know me better, and understand the way that God Speaks because of it. This is the essence of the book, and speaks directly to the subtitle “HE SPEAKS CAN YOU HEAR HIM?”

What, in your opinion, will readers find most surprising about the life of a pastor's wife?

That we are just as human as they are, we make mistakes. I will make more mistakes, certainly not intentionally, just because I am human. I am very honest and candid in sharing my truth, my life, and my confessions of when and how I have messed up, done things the wrong way and what I’ve learned from it. I think that they can have certain expectations of who we are as a “Pastor’s Wife” or who we should be, that in reality we just aren't. And yet, they may also find that to be refreshing. I am a leader among women, and enjoy that role, and I am a woman who loves the Lord with every inch of myself and want so badly for the world to love Him as much as I do. I hope that they find me to be normal, very real, and see that I am trying to walk out my faith the best I can. They may be surprised to note that in my daily living I am a bit ditsy, (OK, maybe that won't really be surprising! :)

What are your plans for the future in the publishing world? Think you have any more books in you?

Oh yes, there are at least four more to come. I have also written a Bible Study Companion to this book, it’s in the first stages of completion. I have written a guided Biblical Meditation titled “In The Potters Hand” which is derived from Jeremiah 18:1-5, and it is beautiful, and profound and straight from God. It can be found on www.AwakeningsLifeCoaching.com. I am also in the beginning stages of the second book now. This is truly a calling the Lord has placed right in the middle of my heart.

What else does God have you doing these days Kathryn, and how can our readers connect with you?

I am in the process of writing more books, and just finished the Bible Study Companion to this book. I am a Life Purpose Coach, and I do two day 1-1 individual retreats facilitating Life Plans for women, the part I love is which is an amazing thing to witness, is when a women discovers her purpose and passion. My husband also does Life Plans for men. We do couples’ Life Plans as well. I am an instructor through LPCCI for those who are interested in becoming a Life Coach. I am an international speaker and enjoy traveling to the various parts of the world encouraging and sharing the wonders of God! My websites are www.AwakeningsLifeCoaching.com (based on Isaiah 50:5 “He awakens me morning by morning…) and www.KathrynBonner.com I am putting together Writers Retreat in September for Christian Women. They can register for this retreat and find out more about this opportunity by going to my website www.WomenOfPassionatePurpose.com.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The I Believe Bunny by Tish Rabe

The I Believe Bunny is a beautifully written and illustrated book about a bunny who believes in God and is thankful for all the wonderful things God has given him, especially "his home in a flower-filled glen where the sun shined a lot." But on this certain day, the sun is not shining and Bunny's "whiskers got droopy, and his ears lost their fluff." Bunny thinks that's quite enough rain, but when invited to play by a bright butterfly, he says no in hopes that the rain will soon stop. Then, Bunny hears a voice calling for help... a little mouse who didn't know how to swim is caught in the quick-flowing river. Bunny knows he doesn't have it in himself to save the little mouse. The Bunny calls out for help, but no one is near. Then Bunny gets a branch from a nearby tree, but it's not long enough to reach the mouse without him falling in. Then Bunny prays for God to help him and it seems at first that God doesn't hear, but the Bunny prays again. All of a sudden three friends come running... Squirrel, Skunk and Raccoon come and help rescue the mouse. Bunny learned something that day.."Have faith in God's love, and you'll find when you do, nothing you try will be impossible for you."

This sweet little book helps small children that even someone their size is capable of "big things" when God is on their side!

When I first received this book, I sat down with my 2.5 yr old daughter and started to read it. She is a very active child and I have not been able to get her to sit and listen.. until this book!! She sat and listened to the WHOLE book -- I was so excited!! Afterward, we went back and looked at the pictures and talked about the story, she loved it! I believe this book is GREAT for preschoolers up to 1st grade maybe. It's a wonderfully written and illustrated book that teaches about God's love and faithfulness. How can it get any better than that?

For more information click here: The I Believe Bunny

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Oh my Goodness!!

You won't believe it!! But today, I was in the Springs and asked my husband if he would mind us stopping by Mardel's. He said, no problem, so we stopped over and lo and behold... who was there???


How exciting... I was beside myself!! My husband had to remind me that we could get a picture of the two of us together!! :-) Thanks honey!

You can see my post about her newest book here: Vanishing Sculptor

Monday, July 13, 2009

Holly Roller by Julie Lyons

Julie Lyons was working as a crime reporter when she followed a hunch into the South Dallas ghetto. She wasn’t hunting drug dealers, but drug addicts who had been supernaturally healed of their addictions. Was there a church in the most violent part of the city that prayed for addicts and got results?
At The Body of Christ Assembly, a rundown church on an out-of-the-way street, Lyons found the story she was looking for. The minister welcomed criminals, prostitutes, and street people–anyone who needed God. He prayed for the sick, the addicted, and the demon-possessed, and people were supernaturally healed.
Lyons’s story landed on the front page of the Dallas Times Herald. But she got much more than just a great story, she found an unlikely spiritual home. Though the parishioners at The Body of Christ Assembly are black and Pentecostal, and Lyons is white and from a traditional church background, she embraced their spirituality–that of “the Holy Ghost and fire.”
It’s all here in Holy Roller–the stories of people desperate for God’s help. And the actions of a God who doesn’t forget the people who need His power.

Author Bio:

Julie Lyons is an award-winning writer, editor and investigative reporter who for more than 11 years served as editor-in-chief of the Dallas Observer, an alternative weekly newspaper owned by Village Voice Media. She holds a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University and a B.A. in English from Seattle Pacific University. She and her husband, Larry Lyons Jr., live in Dallas with their son.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Maire by Linda Windsor

Maire by Linda Windsor is a wonderful Celtic story! It's about a young woman, Maire of Gleanmara, who is coming into her own during the fifth century, as a warrior queen. During this time, Christianity is spreading quickly among all levels of people: scholars, peasants and kings alike.

Rowan of Emrys is a warrior turned scholar when on his deathbed he meets God. After he is healed, he becomes a student of a Christian priest who teaches him the ways of God... he swears off fighting with a sword. Then, Maire and her men land on Rowan's island and he must pick up his sword to protect his home and family. Maire takes Rowan as her hostage and her husband in exchange for sparing the lives of his family. Thus, begins the salvation of Gleanmara, Maire and the Celtic people.

Can they win the battle between what is expected and what seems to be growing? Can they join together and defeat the evil druid Morlach?

This book along with seven other full-length, historical novels by beloved Christian authors will be available this summer for $5.99 through Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing Group.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Under the Distant Sky by Al and JoAnna Lacy

Solomon and Hannah Cooper are the proprietors of the General Store in Independence, Missouri, but Solomon has the bug to go west. Weekly, he helps families that are traveling west stock up on supplies they might need for the long, arduous trip and the more he helps, the more he gets a yearning to travel west himself.
This is the story of one family’s dreams, struggles and triumphs as they trust in the Lord to be their Provider and Comfort. They leave behind security, family and friends in order to go where He leads them. Along the way, they face Indians, storms, and criminals, but God blesses them with new friends and the chance to lead others to Him.

I struggled at first with the language… I think that sometimes the dialogue between the Christians in the Lacy’s books is forced and too filled with amens, praise the Lords and hallelujahs. I am a Christian, and yes, I do often use those three phrases and others like them, but I think there is an over-abundance of them in the dialogue. Other than that, it is a well-written and enjoyable novel that leaves you wondering what happens next with Hannah and her family.

For more information check out Waterbrook Press.


Al Lacy has written more than ninety novels, including the Angel of Mercy, Battles of Destiny, and Journeys of the Stranger series. He and his wife, JoAnna Lacy, are coauthors of the Mail Order Bride, Hannah of Fort Bridger, and Shadow of Liberty series. The Lacys make their home in the Colorado Rockies.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Vanishing Sculptor by Donita K. Paul

Donita K. Paul's The Vanishing Sculptor is a wonderful book that takes you to the land of the DragonKeepers!

Donita K. Paul’s 250,000-plus-selling DragonKeeper Chronicles series has attracted a wide spectrum of dedicated fans–and they’re sure to fall in love with the new characters and adventures in her latest superbly crafted fiction novel for all ages. It’s a mind-boggling fantasy that inhabits the same world as the DragonKeeper Chronicles, but in a different country and an earlier time, where the people know little of Wulder and nothing of Paladin.

In The Vanishing Sculptor, readers will meet Tipper, a young emerlindian who’s responsible for the upkeep of her family’s estate during her sculptor father’s absence. Tipper soon discovers that her actions have unbalanced the whole foundation of her world, and she must act quickly to undo the calamitous threat. But how can she save her father and her world on her own? The task is too huge for one person, so she gathers the help of some unlikely companions–including the nearly five-foot tall parrot Beccaroon–and eventually witnesses the loving care and miraculous resources of Wulder. Through Tipper’s breathtaking story, readers will discover the beauty of knowing and serving God.

Author Bio:
Donita K. Paul is a retired teacher and author of numerous novellas, short stories, and eight novels, including the best-selling DragonKeeper Chronicles, a series which has sold more than a quarter million books to date. The winner of multiple awards, she lives in Colorado Springs, Colorado, where she spends time mentoring and encouraging young writers. Visit her online at donitakpaul.com.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Wildest, Wackiest, Weirdest Animals in the World....

If you enjoy watching little animal shows, you will enjoy Jack Hanna’s The Wackiest, Wildest, Weirdest Animals in the World. It is a fun and amazing books of some of God’s most interesting creatures!

This book is a colorful, fun introduction to 30 of the “wackiest, wildest and weirdest animals in the world!” It is full of fun, interesting facts about all kinds of animals like the blue-footed booby and the great white shark. Did you know: that rhinoceros horns are made of Keratin—the same thing your fingernails and hair are made of?? Or that in the elephant’s trunk alone, there are about 40,000 muscles? Humans only have about 600-800 muscles in their entire body! WOW.
Included with the book is a DVD of bloopers from the Emmy-winning show Jack Hanna’s Into the Wild. This includes about 30 minutes of outtakes with some of the animals in the wild that didn’t act the way the show needed them to act, which makes for some really good laughs!

I really enjoyed this book and DVD. I loved the fact that Jack attributes these amazing creatures to God their creator. I also enjoyed that his daughter and family were part of his show (and part of the outtakes). If you enjoyed Jack Hanna as a child, you will enjoy sharing this book with your children and looking through it yourself!

For more information check out Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Sister Chicks in Wooden Shoes... by Robin Jones Gunn

Sister Chicks in Wooden Shoes by Robin Jones Gunn is a sweet and compelling story of hope, healing and faith.

Pen pals since the fourth grade, Summer and Noelle have always been there for eachother, but they have never met in person. After an abnormal medical test result, Summer decides it's now or never!! She books a flight to the Netherlands to meet her best friend in person. Summer believes this is her chance to deny the test and fulfill a dream -- meeting her best friend face to face!

Noelle is excited about Summer's visit and they spend time doing the touristy stuff of visiting tulips and windmills and Amsterdam canals, but they also take a trip to Corrie ten Boom's Hiding Place. With each new adventure, they come closer to eachother, closer to God and closer to healing. As their week ends together, they find out that the trip was God-ordained so both could have healing and learn to trust God better than ever before.

Author Bio: Robin Jones Gunn is the best-selling and award-winning author of over seventy books, including the Glenbrooke, Christy Miller, Sierra Jensen, Katie Weldon, and Christy and Todd: The College Years teen series. The Sisterchicks® series has sold more than 300,000 units, bringing her total sales to more than 3.5 million books worldwide. A Christy Award winner, Robin is a popular speaker, both at home and abroad, and is frequently interviewed on radio and on television. www.robingunn.com www.sisterchicks.com