Thursday, December 15, 2016

Hazardous Holiday

Hazardous Holiday 

Men of Valor 

Mass Market Paperback, ebook

December 6, 2016

by Liz Johnson

  • Mass Market Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Love Inspired Suspense 
  • ISBN-13: 978-0373447862

Just in time for the holidays, navy SEAL Zach McCloud returns home from deployment—and discovers someone wants his family dead. When he married his cousin's struggling widow, he vowed to help her and her seriously ill son, and now he'll risk everything to protect them. Even if their arrangement is only temporary. Kristi's certain an unhappy client from the law firm where she works is determined to hunt her down. But when a sniper bullet wildly misses its target, they begin to question whether it's really her someone wants dead. Working together, can they figure out why they've been attacked…and keep little Cody from the nefarious forces dead set on making this Christmas their last?
My thoughts: First, the disclaimer.  "I was provided a free copy of this book off from the author. All opinions are my own." That done,

review coming soon

Liz Johnson is the director of marketing for a Christian radio network. She finds time to write late at night and is a two-time ACFW Carol Award finalist. Liz makes her home in Tucson, AZ, where she enjoys going to the theater and spending time with her nieces and nephews. She's happiest writing stories of true love with happy endings and shares about her adventures in writing at

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Scripture Doodle and Scripture Doodle God's Promises

Scripture Doodle and 
Scripture Doodle God's Promises

by April Knight  

Coloring Devotionals
David C. Cook

With inspiring exercises and prompts, this unique interactive guide introduces readers to a creative connection between Bible study, artistic expression, and worship.

Often, in the busyness of life, Christians forget that God created them to enjoy creativity. With guided instruction and completed examples, this beautiful book invites readers to draw closer to God through their own art.

More than a coloring book, ScriptureDoodle is a combination of Bible study, creative expression, and artistic community with artwork shared online at #scripturedoodle. Exploring topics such as being generous, finding rest, and facing grief, ScriptureDoodle gives the heart the creative space it needs. This book stimulates the reader's imagination and helps integrate God's Word into everyday life.

Purchase a copy:

ScriptureDoodle God's Promises refreshes believers who are feeling burned out or stuck in a rut in their relationship with God. Each of the creative worship prompts in this interactive guide includes biblical encouragement and ideas for worship through art. Artist April Knight includes creative lettering tips, color ideas, and completed examples to inspire readers to respond to promises in Scripture related to trust, faith, and the power of God's Word in all circumstances.

This unique blend of Bible study and creative expression provides the opportunity to connect with God as Creator in a new, life-changing way.

Purchase a copy:


First, the disclaimer.  "I was provided a free copy of these two books. All opinions are my own." That done, My daughters were greatly excited to get these books and considered them art class, so we have been working through them as a lesson in school each day. The first one showed different ways to write the alphabet letters so they can be fancy or plain, and taught how to draw certain things, taught about color usage and more. My daughter is using what she learns to decorate her algebra pages.  I like the way that they use scripture in the pictures, either having you write it in or doing it yourself, so you are focused on the word of God while you work through these books. 

These books are marketed as devotionals, though they are not the usual, expected style of devotional. But yet they are just that because as you write the verses out and decorate the words and draw art work to illustrate it, you are focusing on the word of God and that word is ingrained on your mind and heart for awhile.  Recommended.  

 Meet the Author
April Knight is a worship artist based in Asheville, North Carolina. Knight's work includes live worship painting and leading ScriptureDoodle workshops online and at conferences and retreats around the country and internationally. Her family of four is her greatest joy, along with serving alongside her husband at their local church.

 Blog Tour Schedule

Friday, December 9, 2016

Know the Word Study Bible NKJV

NKJV, Know The Word Study Bible, Paperback, Red Letter Edition: Gain a greater understanding of the Bible book by book, verse by verse, or topic by topic 

Paperback, hardcover

October 18, 2016

  • Paperback: 1920 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson; Red Letter ed edition
  • ISBN-13: 978-0718079475

Studying the Bible does not have to be an intimidating or overwhelming experience. The study of God’s Word can be easy and rewarding if you break down the Bible into easy-to-understand segments. The NKJV Know The Word Study Bible offers three easy ways to begin studying Scripture and helps individuals transition from being a casual reader of the Bible to becoming a regular student of the Bible. Whether you prefer to study the Bible book by book, verse by verse, or topic by topic; each starting point offers powerful learnings that will help you develop a daily routine of Bible study. The Book by Book series of notes leads you through the main points of each book of the Bible. The Verse by Verse studies help you to dig deeper into God’s Word. The Topic by Topic studies, which cover 21 theological topics, guide you through a series of insightful notes and give you a thorough Biblical understanding of each topic.
Features Include:
• New King James Version Bible text
• Three easy approaches to study the Bible: 1. Book by Book; 2. Verse by Verse; 3. Topic by Topic
• Book introductions
• Words of Jesus in red
• Two-color interior page design
• Index
• Concordance

My thoughts: First, the disclaimer. "I was provided a free hardcover copy of this book. All opinions are my own." That done, the KNOW THE WORD STUDY BIBLE NKJV offers three different approaches to Bible study, as stated above. 1. Book by book, 2. Verse by verse, and 3. Topic by topic.  

I usually study topic by topic for my own study, though sometimes it is verse by verse and the adult Sunday School class I'm in studies Book by book so this will be invaluable in all different areas of my study.  

My preacher husband also expressed interest in this Bible. I found the study notes were good, but not as in-depth as some commentators, though that is to be expected since this is a Bible first and foremost. Book articles are scattered in the text and provide depth and insight to the topics included.  

I like that the words of Jesus are in red, and the font is readable, which is good for older adults.  Not tiny like in some Bibles. If you are looking for something that will replace Bibles and commentators and book study guides, this is not it.  However, it is excellent as a basic study Bible no matter which way you prefer to study. Pastors and professors will likely find it in adequate for sermon or lesson preparation.  Depending on the Sunday school teacher (and how deep they get) this might or might not be adequate.  Excellent gift idea. Recommended. 

My husband's review:  NKJV KNOW THE WORD STUDY BIBLE
1900 pages
$39.99 U.S., hardback, with jacket

This Bible was provided to me free of charge for my honest review.

Have you ever opened a study Bible, started flipping through it just to get an idea of the landscape – and realized you were holding a masterpiece?  A masterpiece – in any sphere of activity – is something that draws you in, effortlessly, and invites you to stay awhile.  And you do so, because you really don’t want to leave.

That’s how I felt when I opened the NKJV KNOW THE WORD Study Bible.  Replete with book introductions, Study the Book sidebars, scholarly footnotes that clear the cobwebs of confusion instead of exacerbating them, and in-text notes that transform this Bible into a veritable library.  Along with the concordance (not exhaustive, but more than adequate!) and the Bible maps, this is a study Bible that emphasizes STUDY.  In one volume one has a devotional Bible, a topical Bible, and a study Bible worthy of the name.

Whether you want to explore the Bible book by book, verse by verse, or topic by topic, this is the Bible that you will find yourself reaching for time and again.  I “cut my teeth” on the Thompson Chain Reference Bible, and still go to it regularly.  This Bible is going to be right beside it from this point on.

5 stars for a study Bible that lives up to its name!

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Marlo Schalesky’s ‘Waiting for Wonder’ Giveaway

Waiting for Wonder Marlo Schalesky

Book info
About the book: 

Waiting for Wonder: Learning to Live on God's Timeline(Abingdon Press, November 2016)

What if, in this waiting, God is calling us to more?

It's easy to believe God when a promise is new. It's hard when the years pass and nothing changes. It's even harder when desperation strikes, your plans backfire, and still God does not fill the emptiness. But what if, in this waiting, God is calling us to more?

Join author Marlo Schalesky on a unique, contemplative journey to reveal the wonder that is often missed when we find ourselves struggling to wait well. Walking through the life of the biblical character Sarah, one who knows what it means to wait, you will discover a glimpse of God's character that will give you strength to keep hoping and praying for the desires of your heart.

Waiting for Wonder is a journey into the heart of God where you will wrestle with personal questions, think deeply about God's true character, and learn to appreciate His divine work as you discover your own path to the promised land. Recapture your hope, restore your soul, and renew your vision of a wondrous Savior when you learn to live on God's time.

Leader guide also available.

Purchase a copy:
About the author:

Marlo Schalesky is an award-winning author of ten books, including "Wrestling with Wonder: A Transformational Journey Through the Life of Mary." A regular speaker and columnist, she has also published nearly 1,000 articles in various Christian magazines, including "Focus on the Family," "Today's Christian Woman," "In Touch," and "Marriage Partnership." Marlo lives with her husband, six young children, nine horses, two dogs, five cats, two parakeets, ten rabbits, two chinchillas, three hamsters, and a bunch of fish in a log home in Salinas, California.

 Blog Tour Schedule

Landing page:

Because God’s timing is so rarely our own and we lose the wonder in the waiting of life, desperation strikes, plans backfire, and we begin to wonder why God does not fill the emptiness. Be encouraged to find strength and hope in Marlo Schalesky's new book, Waiting for Wonder. Journey into the heart of God where you will wrestle with personal questions, think deeply about God’s true character, and learn to appreciate His divine work as you discover your own path to the promised land. Recapture your hope, restore your soul, and renew your vision of a wondrous Savior when you learn to live on God’s time.

Learn the true purpose of waiting on God and living on His timeline and enter to win Marlo's giveaway.


One grand prize winner will receive:

  • Two copies of Waiting for Wonder (one for you and one to give to a friend)

  • A KEEP Collective watch set (with a band and watch)

  • waiting-for-wonder-collage 

    Enter today by clicking the icon below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on December 23. The winner will be announced December 27 on Marlo's blog.


    Wednesday, December 7, 2016

    Rookie K-9 Unit Christmas

    Rookie K-9 Unit Christmas: Surviving Christmas\Holiday High Alert

    Mass Market Paperback, ebook

    December 6, 2016

    by Valerie Hansen and Lenora Worth 

    • Series: Rookie K-9 Unit
    • Mass Market Paperback: 224 pages
    • Publisher: Love Inspired Suspense
    • ISBN-13: 978-0373447824


    First, the disclaimer.  "I was provided a free copy of this book off Netgalley. All opinions are my own." That done, we'll get to the book information and my thoughts
    Surviving Christmas by Valerie Hansen 
    When single dad Sean Murray returns from a war zone and discovers someone is following him, he turns to his old friend K-9 officer Zoe Trent for help. But as the threat escalates, can Zoe and her police dog find whoever is menacing Sean and his son…and make sure this Christmas isn't their last? 

    My thoughts: Surviving Christmas is a real sweet romantic suspense. Sean and Zoe used to be friends, and he is the only one he can think of to turn to when invaders break into his St. Louis apartment and attempt to kill him. He heads off to Arizona to hangout with Zoe and perhaps get matched with a service dog for his PTSD or for his son's disabilities due to lack of oxygen after a near drowning. But as per normal with these stories, the assassins follow Sean to Arizona and make more attempts on his life, even dragging kidnapping the boy into it. 

    I loved reading about the service dogs and might have learned a trip or two about handling hyper dogs (I'll have to try it on ours to see if it works).  I enjoyed reading Surviving Christmas and loved the way Ms. Hansen wrapped the story up. 
    Holiday High Alert by Lenora Worth 
    After a cryptic note appears in the playground at Josie Callahan's daycare center, rookie K-9 officer Dalton West vows to protect Josie and the kids she loves—especially his daughter, Maisy. And with a stalker closing in, the widower and his four-legged partner are all that stand between Josie and a deadly Christmas.

    My thoughts: I enjoyed reading Holiday High Alert by Ms. Worth. It was nice to read a story centered around characters that appeared in the first story in this collection and seeing how they tied together. 

    There was a little *unfinished* feel about this story, I would've liked to see it continue a little longer and have some relationship differences resolved.  However, the suspense was great and I didn't guess whodunit until "he" was revealed. This story was a little less stressful than most of the romantic suspense I've read recently, but still very good. 

    Overall thoughts...   I enjoyed this collection and recommend it for fans of romantic suspense.  A great Christmassy read.       4 stars. 

    Tuesday, December 6, 2016

    Candy Cane Kisses

    Candy Cane Kisses

    Print Length: 876 pages
    • Publisher: Georgia Press LLC 
    • Publication Date: September 27, 2016
    • ASIN: B01HPP4Q34

    From eight USA Today bestselling Christian authors come eight brand new contemporary Christian romance and romantic suspense stories to warm your heart this Christmas. This anthology debuted at #95 on the USA Today bestselling list!

    First, the disclaimer.  "I bought this collection on Amazon. All opinions are my own." That done, we get to the stories and the books... 

    Oh the Weather Outside is Frightful by Susan May Warren

    They kept each other alive…

    CJ St. John never dreamed his epic summer as a smokejumper would end with a harrowing plane crash and turn him into an invalid. He wouldn’t have survived without brave fellow smokejumper Hannah Butcher. In fact, he probably fell in love with her that night. Hannah Butcher knows that without CJ, she would have failed her rookie summer. She admired him long before the crash, but lost her heart to him during their terrifying survival.

    A winter storm awakens their memories—and fears…

    Six months later, a mutual friend’s wedding throws Hannah and CJ together again, and their romance is stirred to life. But when a blizzard detours them, and they run off the road, they’ll have to face their darkest fears to survive. A Christmas story about the miracles that happen when the weather outside becomes frightful.

    My thoughts:  OH, THE WEATHER OUTSIDE IS FRIGHTFUL was a cute story. I liked Hannah, and remembered the scenes (from reading Ms. Warren's three other books in this series) about Hannah and CJ being stranded together. But CJ seemed a bit whiny and a big jerk in this story, and I was glad he manned up a bit to try and get help. And I'm glad he realized he was a jerk. Hannah is strong - as CJ tells her. There are some unfinished threads in this novella, but I understand Ms. Warren rewrote it and doubled the length, so she may have connected all the dots. 

    Deadly Night, Silent Night  by Margaret Daley

    Revenge. Sabotage. Second Chances. Widow Rebecca Howard runs a successful store chain that is being targeted during the holiday season. Detective Alex Kincaid, best friends with Rebecca’s twin brother, is investigating the hacking of the store’s computer system. When the attacks become personal, Alex must find the assailant before Rebecca, the woman he’s falling in love with, is murdered.

    My thoughts: DEADLY NIGHT, SILENT NIGHT is book eight in this series, but it stands alone. Rebecca is a business woman and fighting to save her business and her life. I had plenty of suspects and some valid guesses, but Ms. Daley surprised me by whodunit. I thoroughly enjoyed this story but about froze to death as the hero and heroine tracked through subzero frozen tundra in Alaska when I read this. 

    The Wonder of His Love by Kimberly Rae Jordan

    Noella Crawford knows exactly what she wants in a man, and it’s not Finlay Kinnaird. But in spite of Noella’s best efforts to keep Finn at arm’s length, the man is determined to prove he’s the one she needs. As the Christmas season approaches, will Noella let her heart lead the way? Or will past hurts keep her from experiencing the wonder of love?

    My thoughts:   Meh.   I liked Finn okay, but Noella was a piece of work.  I get that she was abandoned by an irresponsible mother, and she shared her birthday with Christmas but she needed counseling and drove me nuts. She wanted a rich man and Finn is not he because he is a mechanic and lives in a trailer.  Well, I get that appearances are deceiving but talk about convenient when his true story opens up.  Then Noella was all lovely dovey and all talks of a prenup ended.    

    Calm and Bright by Autumn Macarthur

    Maddie Hughes knows her charming but unreliable ex-husband will once again disappoint their son with broken promises this Christmas. But Brad’s changed. He’ll do whatever it takes to win her back. Even working in her grandmother’s quirky Huckleberry Lake gift shop. Can they allow God to heal their broken marriage and broken hearts before his career tears them apart?

    My thoughts:  These types of stories always start out depressing me (divorce, kids, and fighting out their  marital problems in the pages of the book) and I ended up asking my poor husband "Do you love me?" I know he does, but I need the extra reassurance.  Calm and Bright is well written and engaging. I understood why Maddie wanted to live where she did and didn't want to live where Brad needed to be for work. I also understood why Brad's job wasn't conducive to her wants. Neither were prepared to give. The ending was a bit rushed and predictable, but overall it was a good story. 

    Heavenly Peace by Lesley Ann McDaniel

    Christmas is just around the corner, but widowed mom Valerie is too stressed to enjoy it. When the tag her son picks off a Giving Tree leads her to a handsome stranger named Jake, a request for a miracle might be just what they both need to restore their joy. 

    My thoughts: Oh, this is a lovely story!  I loved Valerie and Jake and Valerie's sweet dad and son.  I loved the theme running through it.  I didn't like that interfering woman who tried to convince Valerie she'd lose her salvation if she remarried even though her husband died, but Jake was sweet and kind and unassuming, accepting the tentative friendship Valerie offered and withdrawing when Val pulled away. Great story!   

    Wish You Joy by Jan Thompson

    Christmastown USA has a new CEO. But owning a majority share of the holiday-decorating company makes no difference for Cyrus Theroux if the other 49 percent hates Christmas. Cyrus prays for a miracle to get through Christmas with his reluctant business partner…

    My thoughts: This one stars with the hero and heroine fighting like cats and dogs when they met and then wham they are boyfriend and girlfriend.  I didn't like either one of the main characters at all, but I did love the idea of a year-round Christmas store. The heroine had a lot to deal with that she didn't know that might have contributed to her curtness.  

    A Husband for Holly by Marion Ueckermann

    Holly Blume loves decorating people’s homes, but that doesn’t mean she’s ready to play house. Believing a house is not a home without a woman’s touch, there’s nothing Reverend Christopher Stewart would like more than a wife. But what woman would consider him marriage material, with an aging widowed father suffering from Alzheimer’s to look after? Can Christopher reform Holly’s heart while she redesigns his home?

    My thoughts:  Great story. I was drawn into this one from the beginning and it didn't let loose until the end. I really loved Christopher and Holly and her sister Heather.  I loved the idea of a secret tunnel.  The father was a dear and I loved the way everyone acted with him and treated him. A very sweet, satisfying romance. Loved this.  

    Maid for Marriage by Susette Williams

    Her parents disinherited Zelina Zervos after she refused to honor their arranged marriage to a man she hadn’t seen since they were children. Drake Giannopoulos had his own reservations about marrying a virtual stranger, but his wounded ego isn’t about to let him take no for an answer.

    My thoughts:  Very short, but the author explained that. Too quick forming romance and based on looks. Ex he fell in love with her from her picture and loved her ever since. What if he looks fade?  Not my favorite in this collection.         

    Monday, December 5, 2016

    Pray A to Z and #giveaway

    Pray A to Z Amelia Rhodes

    Pray A to Z

    by Amelia Rhodes  

    Spiritual Growth
    Worthy Publishing

    Whether you are new to praying, or a seasoned prayer warrior, it's easy to get overwhelmed with the needs surrounding you every day.

    Pray A to Z: A Practical Guide to Praying for Your Community will help you topically organize your prayer requests and lay the burdens of your community at the feet of our Heavenly Father. Whether you are praying for a friend's adoption journey, a neighbor's bankruptcy, or a family member's cancer, this book will give you Bible verses, prayer prompts, and prayer starts to guide you through praying for even the most difficult issues that affect the people you know and love. Perfect for either individual or group prayer, Pray A-Z will help you experience the peace that comes from communicating with God.

    My thoughts: First, the disclaimer.  "I was provided a free copy of this book. All opinions are my own." That done, I'm not sure what I was expecting but PRAY A TO Z was not it. I guess maybe what I thought I would find was a prayer journal, that one could use for prayer meeting nights to write down requests as they come in. But instead it is a book of prayers, with five different prayers for each letter of the alphabet. So like A - you could have a written prayer to read for adoption, abuse, alcholism, abundance, and almighty.  All the way through the alphabet. I'm impressed with the amount of time the author took to think of words and write out prayers for each topic. 

    Each topic starts with a verse and a praise or prayer suggestion, and then goes on to a written prayer. 

    This book would be good IF you are the type who likes to read prayers and not say personal prayers, or if you just don't have a clue where to start praying about an issue. Or you want to pray but don't have any idea where to start. And it might be good as a jumping off point, when you want to pray for someone in the military, you could start with Ms. Rhodes prayer and go from there to more specifics for this person.  

    Purchase a copy:

     Meet the Author
    Amelia Rhodes is an author, speaker, and self-proclaimed recovering perfectionist. She has a passion for taking the everyday stories of life and connecting them with God's truths. Having been freed from the grip of perpetual anxiety, Rhodes has a growing speaking ministry through which she encourages women to discover who they are in Christ, and to deepen their relationships with one another.

    Rhodes has written for several publications including The Upper Room and four Chicken Soup for the Soul books. She is the author of Isn't It Time for a Coffee Break?, which offers a fresh perspective on women's relationships. Her latest release, Pray A to Z: A Practical Guide to Pray for Your Community, helps readers topically organize their prayer requests and lay the burdens of the community at the feet of our Heavenly Father. 

    Rhodes lives in Michigan with her husband and two children

     Blog Tour Schedule

    Landing page:

    Are you ready to change your community, one prayer at a time? Learn how to organize your prayer requests topically and lay the burdens of your community at the feet of our Heavenly Father with the help of Amelia Rhodes' new book, Pray A to Z. Whether you are praying for a friend’s adoption journey, a neighbor’s bankruptcy, or a family member’s cancer, this book will give you Bible verses, prayer prompts, and prayer starts to guide you through praying for even the most difficult issues that affect the people you know and love. Perfect for either individual or group prayer, Pray A to Z will help you experience the peace that comes from communicating with God.

    Learn more about Pray A to Z and how to pray for your community, and enter to win Amelia's Guide to Prayer Prize Pack to get you started.


    One grand prize winner will receive:

    • A copy of Pray A to Z

    • A set of Pray A to Z prayer cards

    • A custom wood sign (similar to this one) made by Amelia's friend

    • A prayer journal

    • Enter today by clicking the icon below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on December 20. The winner will be announced December 21 on Amelia's blog.