Sunday, October 21, 2018

Q & A with Kim Vogel Sawyer


1.     Tell us about your new novel, Ours for a Season.
Ours for a Season probably combines the most incompatible list of themes Ive ever tried to meld into a single story: infertility, marital discord; questioning ones faith; life-long friendship; homelessness; a serious health challenge; rebuilding a ghost townBut if I were to encapsulate it all into one thematic idea, I would say this is a story about starting anew. Theres a wonderful old hymn with the phrase, Morning by morning new mercies I see…”That is what this story is about: Gods mercies blooming fresh in peoples lives.

2.    Most of the book takes place in a Kansas ghost town. What inspired you to create this setting?
Being from Kansas yourself, are there any real places that remind you of the ghost town? Several years ago, my critique partners and I visited a nearly abandoned Kansas town called Elgin. The crumbling buildings in the business district made my heart ache. One could imagine the once-thriving community and the pride the owners must have taken in operating their stores. One of my critique members commented that it was too bad we didnt have the money to bring everything back to life, and the idea of restoring the historical structures sort of got tangled with the idea of rebuilding broken spirits and emerged in this story.

3.    The book touches on human trafficking. How did you become interested in this topic?
Ive always had a soft spot for people who suffer from abuse, especially sexual abuse. The subject of trafficking became personal to me when the young teen daughter of one my daughters neighbors was missing for several months and eventually rescued from the man who was pimping her out (such an ugly thought). If a child from small-town Kansas can get caught up in this net, its far too prevalent. The effects of being used in such a vile way by people who claim to care about you are deep and agonizing, and we allevery single personneed to take a stand and do what we can to put this soul-stealing industry out of business.

4.    The book is in memory of your dear writing friend and author Diann Hunt. Can you tell us more about how she inspired this story?
Diann died in December of 2013 after a lengthy battle with ovarian cancer. Although the cancer ravaged her body, it never stole her faith or her infectious love for life. She wrote on Facebook on a day when she was feeling particularly low physically, Stop! Right where you are. What do you see? Taste? Feel? Smell? Hear? Root yourself in this very moment. Memorize it. Life is made up of these. Don't be so consumed by the past or with the future that you are blinded to your moment. Right now. The one you're given by Almighty God to make a difference. Go out and live for Jesus today, my friends! I mean REALLY live!! You can do it! Start now. Ready. Set. Go!She so loved Jesus (she glowed Jesus) and she so loved laughter (you couldnt help but laugh when in her presence) and so loved lifeShes been gone now for several years, but she lives in the hearts and memories of her family members and many who had the pleasure of calling her friend. Brooke and Marty were to each other what Diann was to many of ussteadfast, encouraging, and ever loving. She wanted to make a difference, just as Brooke wanted to make a difference. Brooke did, and so did Diann.

5.    What can you tell us about what youre working on next?

Next out of the chute is a historical story set at the Cotton States and International Exposition in Atlanta, Georgia, in 1895. Laurel Millard, youngest of seven children and expected to stay home and take care of Mama,becomes a silkworm weaver at the exposition in hopes of snagging a beau wealthy enough to support both her and her mother so she can have her own home and family while still honoring her siblingsexpectations. Of course, what we want isnt always what God deems best for us. The story is calledA Silken Thread and will release in early April of next year.

6.     Where can readers find more information about Ours for a Season?



Award-winning, bestselling author Kim Vogel Sawyer told her kindergarten teacher that someday people would check out her book in the library. The little-girl dream came true in 2006 with the release of Waiting for Summer's Return. Kim's titles now exceed 1.5 million copies and are available in six different language. A former elementary school teacher, she now enjoys a full-time writing and speaking ministry. Kim's passion lies in writing stories that point the reader to a deeper, more intimate relationship with God. When Kim isn't writing, you'll find her traveling with her retired military hubby, spoiling her granddarlings, petting the cats, quilting, or--as time allows--participating in community theater. You can learn more about Kim's writing and speaking ministries at her website, KimVogelSawyer.com.











Saturday, October 20, 2018

Jax's Tail Twitches



Jax's Tail Twitches: When You Are Angry

(Good News for Little Hearts #2)


Everyone gets frustrated when something important to them goes wrong. In Jax’s Tail Twitches, the whole Squirrel family ends up out of sorts when acorn gathering doesn’t go according to plan. Although Papa, Mama, Jax, and Caspian Squirrel all get angry, they also learn about the power of saying sorry, seeking forgiveness, remembering God’s words, and praying together. Edited by David Powlison, Jax’s Tail Twitches ends with a special section that guides parents in teaching children how the gospel of Jesus Christ changes how we respond when life goes wrong. Also included is a tear-out page of Back Pocket Bible Verses that will help children and adults remember to turn to God for help when they are angry. 

My thoughts: JAX'S TAIL TWITCHES is a cute story about a squirrel family with greed and anger issues. Everyone in the family except the baby squirrel gets angry at someone and needs to apologize. The father preaches why it is wrong to lose your temper, but he's pretty much the worse of all of them, refusing to share with his neighbors but yet quick to accept when they want to share with him.
The illustrations are well down (except the angry squirrel is rather scary looking and may frighten sensitive children). The message is important and the squirrels do discuss truths and why they were wrong to react as they did. 
A great fall book for your favorite younger -- for Halloween treats or for a Thanksgiving gift or a just because your special to me gift.  Would be great for children's libraries at churches, Christian schools, preschools, etc.
I was given a copy free. All opinions are my own 


Friday, October 19, 2018

Jesus Calling for Christmas



Jesus Calling for Christmas 

Hardcover, ebook

September 25, 2018

by Sarah Young (Author)


  • Series: Jesus Calling®
  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson 
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400309184

Are your holidays too hectic? Take a few minutes to savor the season with this beautiful Christmas edition of Jesus Calling®devotions, a perfect gift that includes 50 short selections along with festive and breathtaking imagery.

Jesus Calling® for Christmas is a compilation of 50 seasonally appropriate devotions from Sarah Young's bestselling brand. In addition to the heartwarming devotions, enjoy the Christmas story from the Bible, Old Testament prophecies about the birth of Jesus, and exquisite images.

Whether a self-purchase to enhance your observation of Advent and the birth of the Christ child or a natural gift for friends and loved ones, Jesus Calling® for Christmas will prove an annual treasure for celebrating the season.
 

My thoughts: JESUS CALLING FOR CHRISTMAS is an absolutely beautifully done gift devotional (for you, a family member, or a friend) with 50 heartwarming devotions, beautiful pictures with verses, and encouragement.

In Ms. Young's trademark style, these devotions are written in first person as if Jesus Himself were writing them. The verses are in the NIV version, if you are a member of the KJV only crowd.  

I absolutely LOVE this devotional and will be putting it out for any and all to use as they visit our home during this holiday season and will likely use it for family devotions as well. Maybe even personal ones. This warms my heart.

A lovely gift for this upcoming holiday season.

I was given a copy free. All opinions are my own. 



Thursday, October 18, 2018

A Widow's Hope

A Widow's Hope 

(Indiana Amish Brides #1) 

Mass Market Paperback, ebook, paperback

July 17, 2018

by Vannetta Chapman  (Author)


  • Mass Market Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Love Inspired; Original edition 
  • ISBN-13: 978-1335509642

His scars are visible.
Hers are hidden…
An 
Indiana Amish Brides match

After tragedy claimed her husband’s life and her son’s ability to walk, Hannah King doesn’t want a new man. She has her family, a home and mounting debts. Scarred Amish bachelor Jacob Schrock offers Hannah the job she desperately needs. But while Hannah helps Jacob resolve his accounting issues, can she and her little boy also heal his wounded heart?

My thoughts: A WIDOW'S HOPE is Ms. Chapman;s first Love Inspired romance. I didn't know she'd written one until a friend mentioned it and gave me her copy to read.  Hannah is an overprotective mama (with good cause) of a disabled four year old boy. She needs a  job as her dad is supporting her and her son and the son's medical expenses are risking the farm as they can't make payments. 

Jacob Schrock used to like Hannah, but their first date ended disastrously when his horse went lame and Hannah lost her temper and walked off. He builds playhouses for disabled children now and has been commissioned to build a train shaped one for Hannah's son. He is being audited and needs an accountant. But Hannah is not desperate enough to work for him until everything else goes wrong.

Jacob had my heart. He was badly burned in a fire and disfigured and feels no one can love him. He's treated like a scary monster. Most author's cast these people as bad guys and I know a man personally who has been badly burned and he is the sweetest kindest man I've ever known. He's young enough to be my son, and is a Christian. I'm glad Ms. Chapman found it in her heart to write about a character such as Jacob.

I didn't like Hannah at all when I met her. She was outspoken, rude and pushy. The dialog was rather flat, but something about the story drew me (the hero, the son, something) and I had to keep reading. I was glad the way the story worked out and I recommend it for a good Amish read.  

I was given a copy free by a friend (not the author) and all opinions are my own. 


Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Hidden Peril



Hidden Peril 

(Code of Honor #2) 

Paperback, ebook, hardcover, audiobook

October 2, 2018

by Irene Hannon (Author)

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Revell 
  • ISBN-13: 978-0800727697

The most dangerous enemy is the one who has nothing to lose

As teenagers, Kristin Dane and her two best friends took a vow to make the world a better place. Twenty years later, she's fulfilling that pledge through her fair trade shop that features products from around the world. All is well until, one by one, people connected to the shop begin dying. 

Detective Luke Carter, new to the St. Louis PD, wants to know why. Before he can answer that question, however, the FBI weighs in and Kristin suddenly finds herself in the middle of international intrigue--and in the sights of the ruthless mastermind behind an ingenious and deadly, scheme. Can this cold-blooded killer be stopped before more people die . . . including Kristin?

Three-time RITA Award-winner and "queen of inspirational romantic suspense" (Library Journal) Irene Hannon doesn't disappoint in this edge-of-your-seat thriller that will have readers up late as they rush toward the explosive conclusion.

My thoughts: HIDDEN PERIL is the second book in this series but it easily stands alone. Fans will want to read the first book, Dangerous Illusions, to catch up on one of the other detectives.

Luke and Kristin won my heart from the beginning and I love the restitution that was made with extended members of their families as they came to grips with different aspects of love and commitment and the meaning of family. 

The suspense started in the beginning at the monastery, and kept up through out the book. I would like to say that the "bad guy" was immediately known to me, but I would be lying if I did. Instead I was about 300 pages in when the lightbulb went off and I *knew* who it was. Things are not as they seem. 

The faith message is weak and mainly consists of prayers over meals and an occasional other one. But the action and the suspense is great. The romance is great. 

I enjoyed this book and can't wait to read the next book in this series (coming next fall). 

I was given a copy free. All opinions are my own.   







Tuesday, October 16, 2018

A Sparkle of Silver


A Sparkle of Silver 

(Georgia Coast Romance #1) 

Paperback, ebook, hardcover, audio 

October 16, 2018

by: Liz Johnson

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Revell
  • ISBN-13: 978-0800729622

Uncovering the past can lead to an unexpected future . . . 



Ninety years ago, Millie Sullivan's great-grandmother was a guest at oil tycoon Howard Dawkins' palatial estate on the shore of St. Simons Island, Georgia. Now, Millie plays a 1920s-era guest during tours of the same manor. But when her grandmother suggests that there is a lost diary containing the location of a hidden treasure on the estate, along with the true identity of Millie's great-grandfather, Millie sets out to find the truth of her heritage--and the fortune that might be hers. When security guard Ben Thornton discovers her snooping in the estate's private library, he threatens to have her fired. But her story seems almost too ludicrous to be fiction, and her offer to split the treasure is too tempting to pass up . . .

Get ready for a romantic escapade through dark halls and dusty corners that will have you holding your breath and sighing with delight as two charming characters get caught up in the adventure of uncovering the past and finding their way to an unexpected future.


My thoughts: A SPARKLE OF SILVER is seriously a romance that lives up to it's (high) expectations.  I went into this with hopes that might've been a little dashed when someone told me their opinion of the book. Multiple time periods--I'm not even sure what that's called. But it turned that reader off. Okay, yes, there are sort of multiple time periods. The journal entries are in Millie's great grandmother's point of view, but they are journal entries. Not really point of view characters. 

I fell in love with Millie. And Ben. And Grandma Joy. And George. And even Ruth though I wanted to shake her a time or two. And I despised the uncaring nursing home administrator, but she is so true to form.

Seriously, A SPARKLE OF SILVER has:  a murder mystery, a journal, a chateau, the 1920s, two romances, buried treasure, and it's set on St. Simon's Island! Oh, and the faith messages. Wow. Just wow. 



This is what I imagine the estate might have looked like. 

Ms. Johnson has outdone herself once again. I absolutely *loved* this book and am eagerly waiting the next one in the series. 

Don't miss  A SPARKLE OF SILVER. This is a can't put down type of book.

I was given a copy free. All opinions are my own. 




Monday, October 15, 2018

God Made It: The Story of Creation Told in Rhyme


God Made It: The Story of Creation Told in Rhyme 

Paperback – 

May 1, 2018

by Rosalind Bennett (Author), 
Jonathan Barnhill (Illustrator)

  • Paperback: 36 pages
  • Publisher: It's GiGi's World Books
  • ISBN-13: 978-0999262412

"God Made It" is a fun way of helping children learn the story of God's creation in Genesis. This picture book is written in rhyme and brings the seven days to life, helping them to remember the sequence of creation. It ends with a focus on why God's Word is important. Vibrant illustrations accompany each day of creation which fosters parent/child interaction and discussion. This lyrical look at creation in "God Made It" will take on new meaning in your child's heart that will extend a lifetime. Introducing your child to God's Word at a young age is exciting and fun. At the end of the book you will find suggested way to use the book when teaching about creation.

My thoughts: GOD MADE IT is a children's book for toddlers, preschoolers, and maybe slightly older children about creation.  There are also tips to use this book with various age groups. 

The pictures are engaging and will generate discussion.

The story--it says above--are told in rhyme. And some pages are. Some are not, unless it depends on accent and where you live in the country.  For instance: five and multiply don't rhyme where I live. 

Nevertheless, it is an adorable story and perfect for the age limit its written for. Recommended for children's libraries, nurseries, daycares, and for parents and/or caregivers of toddlers 

I was given a copy free. All opinions are my own.