Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Step Into Your Future

Title: STEP INTO YOUR FUTURE: A Business Woman’s Path to Profits
Author: Rosemary Hossenlopp
Publisher: Morgan James The Entrepreneurial Publisher
ISBN: 978-1-60037-214-8
Genre: Business/Small Business/Women and Business

Rosemary Hossenlopp MBA is a business owner, and she has learned, hands on, some secrets to true business success, and she is willing to share what she learned with you, so that you can realize your dream of owning your own successful business.

Ms. Hossenlopp will teach you Five Critical How To’s:

Ø How to unlock your money making system
Ø How to receive exponentially greater business results
Ø How to increase your influence by working on brand you
Ø How to attract the ideal clients for increased revenue
Ø How to realize big profits from tiny changes in thinking

Not only that, but Ms. Hossenlopp also shares four powerful tips from a fellow woman entrepreneur:

Ø The five must-do components of business planning
Ø A pop quiz to how you if you are getting the results you deserve from your actions
Ø An eleven-step checklist for creating your custom action plan
Ø Power planning strategy tips for increased results

I am not a business owner, but as I read through this book I could see where this book could be beneficial to anyone trying to make it in this economically unstable world, whether you are trying to sell Avon, Pampered Chef, MaryKay, or other products, or whether you own your own unique business trying to sell whatever you do best, whether it be making soaps, crafts, diapers, or rewriting resumes. Whatever your product, you want to make it succeed, so you owe it to yourself to educate yourself on what worked for another woman and might work for you. $16.95. 141 pages.

Monday, March 30, 2009

An Interview with Rosemary Regier-Hossenlopp

Rosemary Regier-Hossenlopp author of Step Into Your Future: A Businesswoman’s Path to Profits shows how to make success a process.

“What specific incident inspired you to gather together this information and put together a book?

à Rosemary Regier-Hossenlopp: Let’s face it, being a Small Business Owner is HARD. You don’t have time to focus. You’re stressed and you rush around. You’re all over the place; catching planes, picking up kids and completing proposals and contracts. And it seems like you’re doing this all at once. You’re lost in the trees and blind to the forest.

à Rosemary Regier-Hossenlopp: The heart of success is figuring out what gets you the best results. You hear about business planning techniques that can help you focus on getting the business results you want. But you procrastinate in implementing them. I know this because I have been there too. It is overwhelming when you need to be the plumber, the accountant, the salesman and the person who delivers the goods. It is hard to make the time to work “on” the business and not work “in” the business. More planning advice is available at www.StepIntoYourFuture.com/teleseminar/

“What’s the story behind the book’s title?”

à Rosemary Regier-Hossenlopp: I feel so good when I work with other business owners to help them understand how to tame the things that steal your time. The great thing is that when you focus and produce results, you get to share your story of your products and services with everybody. You meet people who help you connect with others. You play a bigger game. People will recognize your name. You enjoy life. Your sphere of influence grows. You get more opportunities to create alliances with people that you now only dream about.

“What’s specific inspiration changed your life … and why do you feel it had such a ‘mind-shifting’ impact on you?”

à Rosemary Regier-Hossenlopp: I believe in easy; an easy way to see what you need to do and came up with a quick process that allowed me to identify steps that accelerated my success. You can get more information at www.StepintoYourFuture.com/teleseminar/

Book Summary
As you read Step Into Your Future: Your Path to Profits you’ll discover a powerful map that will guide you on your road to business success. Here are some of things you get to take away from this business planning book:

Chapter One− What’s Your Dream Business?

è Identify your ideal life
è Improve your sales by understanding where you’re going
è Understand the showstoppers to success
è Turn off the voice of self-doubt and say, “Yes, this is what I was made for.”
è Don’t feel embarrassed because your business doesn’t make you money.

Chapter Two− Catch Your Business Vision on Paper

è Present the best “you” to the client to win more sales
è Understand that you are your business brand
è Actually take a vacation because you have the cash flow
è Don’t feel dumb at business events when you can’t communicate your product or service well.

Chapter Three− What Makes Your Business Stand Out from the Crowd?

è Discover personal and business values that attract clients
è Identify your business priorities
è Then you won’t worry about the supposedly urgent, but not critical, things on your to-do list

Chapter Four− Call Out Your Business Reason for Being on Paper

è Create a clear picture in clients’ minds of how you serve them
è You’ll feel ten pounds thinner and several inches taller when you know your plan of action
è You won’t wander off on less important things and give up the success that you would have had if you’d stayed on track

Chapter Five− The Truth About Your Time

è Identify key activities needed to increase revenue
è Understand the truth of how to get things done
è Don’t work on time-wasting activities that can be outsourced or delegated

Chapter Six− Create a Moneymaking System

è Increase your confidence in communicating the results you want
è Create a moneymaking model to understand your revenues and expenses
è Don’t get overwhelmed with math stuff like profit and loss statements

Chapter Seven− State What You Want

è Recognize activities that suck away all your profits
è Discover how to make key activities measurable
è Don’t be vague about the results you want

Chapter Eight− Plan Your Business Results

è Confidently share with your friends when you’ll own that new beach house you’ve been dreaming about
è Define key operational measures for your business
è Don’t lose your business or use up your savings and home equity loans

Chapter Nine− Key Steps to Constructing Your Moneymaking Plan

è Learn to go quickly from idea to cash generation
è Create the “bread crumbs” for the trail so your staff and vendors can duplicate and implement your best practices
è Follow proven steps in creating a plan for critical business activities
è You won’t get frustrated with this planning stuff that you aren’t good at

Chapter Ten. Remove Your Obstacles

è Transform your business through ongoing evaluation of your blind spots
è Your capacity to plan and implement your Personal Business Plan will directly lead to more business and profits


Most of our success is based on connecting your business with your purpose and passion. Many advisors are needed for the making of war according to Proverbs. Business is brutal. Get an advisor, visit Rosemary Regier-Hossenlopp at www.StepIntoYourFuture.com/teleseminar/ to start walking in your path to your future.

Rosemary Hossenlopp’s headshot graphic:


“Step Into Your Future” book cover graphic:


Video Trailer 1

Video trailer 2

Audio web url

Sunday, March 29, 2009

A Waterproof Bible!

A friend sent me this - you have to see it.

You have to see this to believe it… a Bible that is WATERPROOF!I first saw one of these Bibles this weekend at the Christian Book Expo in Dallas. Couldn’t figure why I needed an Outdoor Bible. That is until someome suggested it could be read while relaxing in the tub.

Yeah! I bought one and have increased my Bible reading time and love it! No more worries about dropping my nice leather cover, onion skin paper Bible in the water anymore!Be inspired. Anywhere. Now you can have a Bible that is durable, tear resistant...and WATERPROOF!

Use camping, outside devotions, kitchen, or in the tub?Also use on missions trips, watching your kids' sports games, school, church (imagine that), lounging in or by the pool, literally ANYWHERE. No fear of getting it wet!Pick up one for a gift -- birthday, graduation, anniversary, encouragement, just because...

Watch the video, see the different versions available, purchase one today at: http://www.christianspeakerservices.com/CSS_onlinestore.htm#outdoorbible

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Navigating Route 20-Something

Title: NAVIGATING ROUTE 20-SOMETHING (A Lifemap for the Road Ahead)
Author: Erin Keeley Marshall
Publisher: Harvest House Publishers
ISNB: 978-0-7369-2192-3
Genre: Inspirational/devotional/young adult


When we are teenagers, we dream of a lifetime of adventure and potential. And sometimes, for the lucky ones, reality exceeds our hopes. But usually our life leaves us confused and disillusioned, and you wonder “Just how do you work this thing called adulthood?”

Ms. Marshall doesn’t claim to have all the answers, but she does have bits of advice, such as:

Ø Comparison is the death of contentment
Ø You or your fears—one will win. Make sure it’s you.
Ø When relying on God, waiting is not a waste of time.

Each chapter begins with a kind of friendly story, where the author casually talks about things with the reader. Then she goes into the devotional, where she talks about Biblical people and how they relate to the topic at hand. Several scripture references are given. And then the last section is “consider this” and several questions to ponder, discuss, or maybe even answer.

I enjoyed reading through the devotions in this book, and offered it to my older teen sons to read, but they didn’t seem too impressed by it. Maybe because they aren’t technically out on their own yet, so they don’t know how relevant it is. I would have liked to have seen lines in the book for recording thoughts and answers, but if you kept a notebook handy when reading through this book, that would work too.

I really like the Make it Matter section at the back of the book. It includes random suggestions for living abundantly. Some of them are rather dull, but some of the others are really good suggestions. Pick up a copy of this book for your graduating college senior, or high school senior. $10.99. 186 pages.

Friday, March 27, 2009

It's A Green Thing

Title: IT’S A GREEN THING (Diary of a Teenage Girl)
Author: Melody Carlson
Publisher: Multnomah
April 2009
ISBN: 978-1-80142-118-0
Genre: Inspirational/young adult

Maya Stark has moved in with her aunt, uncle, and cousin, and is attending public school like a normal teenager since her mother is in jail, and her pop-star father is touring overseas. Summer vacation is just beginning, and Maya has volunteered to help paint a mural on the community youth building. The only thing is that the only other person working with her is a girl who is only doing it because she has to serve time doing community service because she was caught in possession of alcohol.

Maya quickly calls for some church youth back-up, but the two girls who respond are convinced everything is “evil” and spend time running everyone else off by their “preaching”, and one quiet boy, who is a good worker. But even he doesn’t stay long, he found a real job.

When Maya finds a boyfriend, a job, and a car (hybrid, of course), she thinks things is looking up. But life doesn’t get any easier. Living green is not easy, and sometimes, dealing with other Christians are not exactly easy…

IT’S A GREEN THING is the sequel to A Not-So-Simple Life. Like the first book in the series, “green tips” are included at the end of each chapter, and some of them are very good. I have to be impressed by her dedication to preserving the world that God created. All of us can learn from her.

Maya is a character that most teens will be able to identify with. My thirteen-year-old daughter is anxious to read this book when I finish. Melody Carlson is one of her favorite authors. And the challenges and struggles that Maya has are common to most teens, no matter what their locale. $12.99. 248 pages.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Shepherd's Fall

Author: W. L. Dyson
Publisher: WaterBrook Press
April 2009
ISBN: 978-1-4000-7473-0
Genre: Inspirational/suspense

Nick Shepherd is a modern day bounty hunter. He chases down criminals who jump bail, and brings them in. He inherited the business, Prodigal Recovery Agency, from his father, and co-owns it with his brother, Stephen, and his sister, Marti. But the business is suffering and at risk of going under, his sister has vanished, and Nick’s marriage has ended in divorce. And now his teenage daughter, Krystal, is rebelling.

Prodigal Recovery Agency’s search for Zeena, a prostitute on the run, leads to a faulty arrest, which complicates issues, especially when he learns he’s arrested Zeena’s identical twin sister, a woman who is searching for Zeena for her own reasons. But Zeena is also wanted by some serious criminals for theft, and they will stop at nothing to get what they want and kill in the process.

With a mole somewhere in his business, Nick must risk everything, his business, his life, and his family to get to the bottom of this. But will it be enough?

I totally loved SHEPHERD’S FALL, am thrilled to know that it is the first book in a new series, Prodigal Recovery Agency . Bounty Hunters. The next book, Shepherd’s Run, will be coming soon.

I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know Nick and his family and friends, and could relate with his frustrations with his fifteen-year-old daughter. She was at the perfect rebellious age where parents don’t know what to do with them or how to handle them. I had received an advance reader’s copy of the book, and want to have a real copy for my personal library.

I couldn’t figure out who the mole was in the book until the very end of the book, when it was revealed. I think Ms. Dyson did a stellar job with this book, and I can’t wait to read the rest of the books in this series. It is extremely well down. Don’t miss SHEPHERD’S FALL. $9.99. 352 pages.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Until We Reach Home

Author: Lynn Austin
Publisher: Bethany House
October 2008
ISBN: 978-07642-0495-1
Genre: Inspirational/historical

Elin Carlson’s life in Sweden has become unbearable since her parents died. Now orphaned, Elin’s relatives have moved in to their family home to help care for the three girls, but Elin’s uncle has been taking advantage of Elin physically. When she sees him make moves on her sister, she knows she needs to move herself and her sisters away.

When Elin’s Uncle Lars sends the money for them to come to America, she is convinced this is the answer. But America turns out to be a huge disappointment. Nothing is as Elin imagined. One hardship follows another, until Elin and her sisters have a destroyed reputation and no prospects.

But sometimes the bottom has to be reached before the mountain can be climbed. Will Elin and her sisters find that America is the land of dreams and second chances after all?

UNTIL WE REACH HOME is only the second book that I’ve read by acclaimed author, Lynn Austin, but I’m certain it won’t be the last. I couldn’t help but feel for the three sisters as they are virtually forced from their home after their father died, but found that what they imagined would be waiting for them in America was vastly different. Some of the scenes were heartwarming, and others were completely heart wrenching.

Elin and her sisters were realistically developed and seemed real. I couldn’t help cheering for them as they struggled to find their way in America. I cried when I reached the end of the book. It is especially touching. I would love to see another book in this series by this author. $13.99. 432 pages.


Monday, March 23, 2009

Polly Dent Loses Grip

Author: S. Dionne Moore
Publisher: Heartsong Presents Mysteries
ISBN: 978-1-60260-261-8
Genre: Inspirational/cozy mystery

When helping her mother-in-law, Matilda, move into an assisted living apartment, LaTisha gets to meet some of the residents. One of them, Polly Dent, seems especially concerned about Matilda moving into the apartment, as she claims that the director promised that apartment to her.

When LaTisha’s husband, Hardy, goes off with the director and Ms. Polly Dent to discuss the problem and hopefully, resolve it, LaTisha helps her mother-in-law get settled into the apartment. She is stunned when Hardy comes rushing into the apartment, all upset because Polly Dent appears to have had an accident in the exercise room and is dead.

Concerned, LaTisha and Hardy go down to discuss this accident with the director. But he seems rather uncaring about the whole event, even hesitating to call the police because it would alarm the residents when it was an obvious accident.

POLLY DENT LOSES GRIP is the first mystery I’ve ready by Ms. Moore and the second book in her A LaTisha Barnhart Mystery series. Her voice is different that most of the other mysteries I’ve read, but not in a bad way. I enjoyed getting to know LaTisha, though she was a different sort of heroine than I’ve encountered in my reading to date as well.

I did figure out who-dun-it fairly early on, as the murderer made several mistakes which gave it away. However, I still enjoyed reading the story, and even knowing who did it didn’t take away from it. $6.95. 253 pages.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

You're Next

In YOU'RE NEXT Greg Stier explains the core truths of Christianity in a relevant and fun way. Every chapter reveals one true story from his life. Mr. Stier came from a very violent background, so some of the stories are pretty intense. Stier knows that God used the insane things that happened to him to turn him into a "Jesus freak".

Throughout his youth, author, Greg Stier grappled with questions about God, angels, heaven and everything in between. God gave him answers through the Bible and through some very unusual circumstances he experienced while growing up.

Truth made Greg a man crazy for God, and then God began to control his goals in life.

YOU'RE NEXT is a very addictive book that works great as a devotional. I would encourage anyone to read it. I loved this book.

reviewed by Michael

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Love Finds You in Paradise, Pennsylvania

Author: Loree Lough
Publisher: Summerside Press
April 2009
ISBN: 978-1-934770-66-5
Genre: Inspirational/contemporary romance

Julia Spencer has always felt that Paradise has been home. Ever since her parents abandoned her to her elderly grandparents, then the state came in and removed her forcibly from the home of her loving grandparents, because they were too old to care for a young girl. Now as an adult, she is a successful lawyer, who has inherited her grandparents’ property and is struggling to make sense of her life.

Simon Thomas fell in love with Julia the moment he met her at the wolf preserve outside of Paradise. And knowing that she was good friends with the same Amish family as he, he didn’t hesitate to let his friends know how he feels. His relationship with Julia progresses rapidly, even though both try to warn themselves from a serious relationship.

Simon is ready to ask Julia to share his life when a tragic murder finds them on opposite sides of the courtroom. Will this highly-emotional legal battle rip their love apart?

I love the LOVE FINDS YOU series, and LOVE FINDS YOU IN PARADISE, PENNSYLVANIA has skyrocketed up into the top of my favorite list. This is a wonderful story, set in Amish country, and I loved that the main characters were English, or modern, but interacted very well with the Amish.

This story is a tear-jerker, so readers will need a box of tissues on hand for parts of the book. This is a wonderful, wonderful book, and I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a good book. Set in the real town of Paradise, Pennsylvania the book contains a page telling readers about the town of Paradise. Don’t miss LOVE FINDS YOU IN PARADISE, PENNSYLVANIA. $12.99. 316 pages.

In the Footsteps of Paul

Author and Photographer: Ken Duncan
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
ISBN: 978-1-4041-0482-2
Genre: Inspirational/general

Take a Walk with the Apostle Paul…(from the back cover)

The Apostle Paul left behind all he knew. He risked his life and livelihood, to advance the cause of Christ—a man convicted to die by the Jewish people.

When the Apostle Paul encountered Christ, his entire life was transformed. No longer was he the persecutor, but he was the preacher. And his transformation turned the world upside down.

Ken Duncan, internationally acclaimed photographer, has documented the transformation as well as Paul’s missionary journeys through his vivid photography.

This gift book is divided up into three sections:

Part 1, The Making of a Man – this section portrays Paul’s years in Tarsus and Caesarea and highlights his life-changing Damascus road experience.

Part 2, The Mission of a Man – this section depicts Paul’s tenacity in traveling and preaching throughout the Mediterranean.

Part 3, The Destiny of a Man – this section reflects on Paul’s final, fateful trip to Rome.

IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF PAUL will help the reader to view Paul’s life in a brand new way—through his/her own eyes. I was impressed by the beauty of the scenes that Paul must have seen, and it thoroughly brought to life the views that Paul must have enjoyed on his missionary journeys. The journeys became much more than just lines drawn on a map in the back of a Bible, but instead you will see the actual places where Paul worked, preached, and endured opposition.

I love this book, and feel that it would be an excellent addition to the library of any serious Bible scholar, as well as your minister. It is a unique book; I’ve never seen anything like it before, and I am really impressed by Mr. Duncan’s photography skills, and the whole book itself. Hardcover, it would make a wonderful gift for someone. $24.99 Hardback. 175 pages.


Friday, March 20, 2009

Where the Heart Leads

Author: Kim Vogel Sawyer
Publisher: Bethany House
September 2008
ISBN: 978-0-7642-0263-6
Genre: Inspirational/historical

Mennonite Thomas Ollenburger has accomplished what not many other Mennonites have. He has graduated from a Boston High School and College. Now he is facing decisions. Should he return home to his family in Kansas, or stay in Boston?

Whatever his ultimate decision, Thomas first plans to visit his family. But changes meet when he returns home. His family has abandoned the family farm and mill and now live in the city. His father seems to have placed unrealistic expectations on Thomas’s head. And finding a decent job in Kansas is proving difficult. Not only that but there is a girl in Boston…and a girl in Kansas…and Thomas is torn with matters of the heart too.

What will Thomas choose? Return to Boston and Daphne, or stay in Kansas with Belinda? Will his choices lead him away from him Mennonite background?

WHERE THE HEART LEADS is the long awaited sequel to Waiting for Summer’s Return. I enjoyed reconnecting with the characters in the first book, and getting to know Thomas as a young adult, as well as both of the young ladies involved.

Ms. Sawyer is a very talented author, and her works of fiction are gentle, easy-to-read stories of hope. I looked forward to seeing what choices Thomas would make, and hoped that he would make the best ones. Don’t miss WHERE THE HEART LEADS. It is a great story. $13.99. 347 pages.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Paper Roses

Author: Amanda Cabot
Publisher: Revell Books
ISBN: 978-0-8007-332407
Genre: Inspirational/historical

Sarah Dobbs is anxious to leave behind her Philadelphia life and start over as a mail-order bride in Texas. She has her young sister, Thea, to consider, and there is no way to earn a living for herself and Thea in Philadelphia. But her groom, Austin Canfield is late to arrive at the station and Sarah isn’t sure what she’ll do if he doesn’t come.

Clay Canfield is late arriving at the station. He’d hoped to arrive before the stage coach left, so Austin’s bride could just get back on and travel on. Instead, not only is he forced to break the news that Austin is dead, but he has to entertain Austin’s intended for several weeks, while they wait for the stage to return.

But Sarah has no intentions of going back to Philadelphia. She finds a job in their small town, working in a mercantile. She even finds a babysitter for her young sister, Thea. If only Clay’s plans to find his brother’s murderer would progress so smoothly. Could Clay find love instead?

To my knowledge PAPER ROSES is the first book I’ve read by Amanda Cabot, though I may be wrong, because the book says she’s an accomplished author writing under various pen names. Historicals usually are not my favorite genre, but I thoroughly enjoyed reading PAPER ROSES. I expected Sarah to arrive and find her groom dead, but there was enough surprising twists included in this book to take and over-done scenario and give it a new and engaging life.

I enjoyed getting to know Sarah, and her young sister, Thea, and even angry Clay found his way into my heart. I enjoyed how Sarah referred to her letters as “paper roses” giving the book its title. PAPER ROSES is the first book in the Texas Dreams series, and if Ms. Cabot is the author of all of them, I hope I can have to opportunity to read the others in this series. I didn’t even begin to guess who the murderer was until the very end of the book. $13.99. 375 pages.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Faces in the Crowd

Title: FACES IN THE CROWD: Reaching Your International Neighbor for Christ
Author: Donna S. Thomas
Publisher: New Hope Publishers
ISBN: 978-1-59669-205-3
Genre: Inspirational/evangelism/Christian living

In the busyness of life in the United States, people rarely get to know their neighbors anymore. Everyone is one the move—from city to city, state to state, country to country. The towns and cities we occupy are becoming more culturally diverse. And now we, as Christians, have a greater responsibility.

When Jesus gave us the Great Commission, He told us to spread the good news to people in all nations. But the different nationalities are coming to us. How will we seize this opportunity?

In FACES IN THE CROWD, Ms. Thomas shows us how she reaches past the obstacles that prevent us from sharing our faith. In this book, she will show you the art of conversation starting, relationship building, and how to work faith into conversations. Learn how to overcome your fears, hone your evangelism skills, and reach your international neighbors for Christ.

FACES IN THE CROWD is a great book. It will help readers to learn about evangelism that will work not only with international people, but also with other Americans. She shows you how to take an interest in people, to reach beyond yourself, and out of your comfort zone to reach out to people and show that you care for them.

If you are serious about reaching others for Christ, then you need to read FACES IN THE CROWD. This is a book that is relevant to today’s society, whether you attend a mega church in Detroit, New York City, or Los Angeles, or a small country church miles from civilization. $12.99. 204 pages.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Candy-Coated Secrets

Author: Cynthia Hickey
Publisher: Heartsong Presents Mysteries
ISBN: 978-1-60260185-7
Genre: Inspirational/cozy mystery

The circus is coming to town! Who wouldn’t be thrilled with this? But Summer Meadow doesn’t exactly expect part of the caravan to break down right in front of her house. The scene is chaotic at best, with wild animals wandering lose. When the trainers finally get them rounded up, Summer is quick to volunteer to walk the elephant down the Highway to the circus grounds. After all, who wouldn’t want to lead an elephant through town!

But the trainer seems to have vanished by the time Summer reaches the site where the carnival will be held. Going in search of him, Summer wanders in to one of the trailers that the circus employees reside in. Instead of finding the trainer though, Summer finds a body. And once again, Summer finds herself in the thick of another mystery. Even though her cousin, Joe, warns her to stay out of things, Summer is quick to get involved. But a slew of mishaps and misadventures follow when Summer and her new fiancé, Ethan, sets out to solve the mystery.

I enjoy Heartsong Presents Mysteries, and A Summer Meadows Mystery is one of the funniest. Ms. Hickey definitely has a knack for putting her heroine in humorous situations, and keeping them there, while the danger builds. While the situation isn’t exactly realistic the story line will be sure to tickle funny-bones even while the reader has to keep reading to find out what will go wrong next.

Summer is a fun, quirky and adventurous heroine, and she can’t seem to stay out of trouble. Opposites do attract, and Ethan is as stable as they come, but even he can’t control Summer. I absolutely adore Summer’s aunt, she’s a breath of fresh air, and as quirky as Summer.

Don’t miss CANDY-COATED SECRETS or Ms. Hickey’s first book, Fudge-laced Felonies. They are sure to keep you laughing as you attempt to solve the mystery. $6.95. 247 pages.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Love Finds You in Valentine, Nebraska

Author: Irene Brand
Publisher: Summerside Press
ISBN: 978-1-934770-38-2
Genre: Inspirational/contemporary romance

Kennedy Blaine has just inherited a ranch in Nebraska. Kennedy has lived in California all her life, and her father was quite wealthy, so her plans are to sell this piece of land in Valentine, Nebraska. But she wanted to see her ancestral home before she puts it up on the market. When she arrives she meets the ranch’s manager, Derek Sterling, a man who seems more inclined to run her off the ranch than to welcome her as it’s rightful owner.

Derek quickly warms up to Kennedy, and he and his mother go all out to make her welcome. But Kennedy insists on being independent, and wants to live in her ancestral home, even though its been abandoned for years. But soon, Kennedy discovers that she isn’t exactly welcome in Valentine, Nebraska. Someone obviously wants her to leave town. Is it because of a long standing family feud that her parents’ marriage helped fuel? Or is there a more sinister reason behind the attacks?

I’ve read all the Love Finds You books so far, and really enjoy this new line of inspirational fiction. The stories are, so far, not at all rote. I also enjoy reading about the real towns used as settings in these novels.

In LOVE FINDS YOU IN VALENTINE, NEBRASKA, Kennedy might have been born with the proverbial silver spoon in her mouth, but she’s as realistic as you and me, and didn’t behave like one would expect a rich heiress to act like. Derek had a lot of hurts in his life, but he grew up into a strong and capable man, ideal to manage a ranch. I loved Derek’s mother. She was a real sweetheart, and a true country woman at heart.

Don’t miss LOVE FINDS YOU IN VALENTINE, NEBRASKA, or any of the other books in the Love Finds You series.
They are a true delight to read and are expertly written. 303 pages.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

An Interview with Eileen Rife

Welcome, Eileen. Give us a one-sentence elevator pitch about your most recent novel.

One brother’s dark secret. Another brother’s scorn. Will family ties be strong enough to bind two wounded hearts, once the secret is revealed?

Sounds fascinating. What’s your latest novel’s title, publisher, and release date?

Restored Hearts
OakTara Publishing
February, 2009

Give us a back-cover bio about you. (150 words or so)

Eileen Hinkle Rife is a veteran homeschool mom and author of several nonfiction books. Her byline has appeared in numerous magazines, including Marriage Partnership, Light & Life, Mature Living, On Mission, and Christian Home & School. She is a frequent contributor to Discipleship Journal who first published her article, “When God Calls Your Child into Full-time Missions.” Her first novel, Journey to Judah, is based on her oldest daughter’s love story. All three of her daughters are involved in mission work around the world. She and her husband, Chuck, conduct marriage seminars and speak on a variety of topics for church groups and organizations in the States, as well as overseas. Eileen is currently working on Book Three, Chosen Ones, in the Born for India trilogy.

Now tell us a bit more about the novel’s plot. (150 words or so)

Newlyweds, Gavin and Maggie Munsfield, return to care for the sick and needy at the Oasis Compound in Chennai, India, which is suffering from the effects of the recent tsunami. Gavin’s brother, Tim, a landscape artist from Boston, joins the couple for the clean-up and rebuilding of the Compound. However, Tim harbors a dark past that threatens to destroy his relationship with his brother . . . and a promising new love.
Which character in your novel most interested you while you wrote? Why?

Tim. I never dreamed that I could identify at all with Tim’s struggle, but I soon discovered that all bondage shares common characteristics. I found myself feeling compassion for Tim and his dilemma in a way that I had never experienced before when encountering folks struggling with homosexuality.

Why will readers enjoy your novel?

The novel continues where Book One, Journey to Judah, leaves off, weaving together romance, intense conflict between family members, and the human struggle to break a bondage, all in the exotic setting of India. It is a novel I believe everyone can identify with in some way.

What facet of the writing craft comes easiest to you? Explain.

Coming up with story ideas. My writing mentor says I’m an idea machine. I love brainstorming plot possibilities and dealing with difficult issues that our world faces today.

What do you struggle with in your writing?

Getting the story down in the first draft. I’m always tempted to stop and edit as I write.

A new writer is struggling to make her main character less “flat.” In three sentences or less, give her your advice.

The main character will come alive if you give him a compulsion, a desire, a fear, a motivation, and show him working through these things with action, dialogue, and description. A round character must go through a process of change as the story unfolds.

Choose an inanimate object to represent you. Explain what you have in common with that object.

My fuzzy, velour bathrobe. I spent a month in India this summer, and while I was gone, my two-year-old granddaughter immediately gravitated to my cozy robe hanging on my bedpost at home. She insisted her mother wear it so that she could snuggle up to it. I like to think that I’m a comforting, warm person who can wrap someone up in love and tenderness.

What is the last book you read that impacted you? How did it affect you?

The Debt by Angela Hunt. I will forever view ministry in a different way.

What are you working on now?

Book Three, Chosen Ones, in the Born for India series is in editing stage. Second Half is cooking on the shelf while I actively work on Fatal Distraction, a story about marital infidelity, its consequences, and the healing that can come when spouses seek help.

Where else can readers find you or your writing online? Please include the link for purchasing your book.


Restored Hearts is available at most online stores, but for the best price, check out the following:


Eileen Rife
Author of Restored Hearts
New release from OakTara

One brother's secret. Another brother's scorn. Will family ties be strong enough to bind two wounded hearts, once the secret is revealed?

Newly weds, Gavin and Maggie Munsfield, return to care for the sick and needy at The Oasis Compound in Chennai, India, which is suffering from the recent tsunami. Gavin's brother, Tim, a landscape artist from Boston, joins the couple for the clean-up and rebuilding of the Compound. But Tim harbors a dark past that threatens to destroy his relationship with his brother . . . and a promising new love.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Every Sunrise and contest information

Author: Tricia Goyer
Publisher: Guideposts Books
Genre: Inspirational/women’s fiction

Charlotte thought that life on the farm was settling down. Her grandchildren seemed to be well-adjusted, and life had changed to a comfortable pattern. But lately, her oldest grandson seemed to be more moody than ever. Even his friends are having trouble shaking him out of his unhappiness.

When Valentine rolls around, Charlotte secretly buys a flower for her granddaughter because she doesn’t want her to be depressed about not having a gift on that day. And the youngest grandson anxiously waits to discover whether he’s won the science fair competition or not.

When Sam disappears, Charlotte and Bob are both faced with memories of when their daughter, Sam’s mother, ran away. Will they be able to change the pattern this time? Or is it doomed to be a repeat of history?

EVERY SUNRISE is book seven in the Home to Heather Creek series published by Guideposts. One doesn’t need to have read all seven books in the series to understand what happens in this book, though it is a continuation of the story. Each of the books are written by a different author, and they all show a different season—both of the year, and in the lives of the characters.

I had the privilege of reading the first two books in the series, and then the seventh, and I had no trouble keeping up at all. I thoroughly enjoyed reading EVERY SUNRISE, and am looking forward to reading the books I missed in the series, as well as book eight, coming soon.

About Every Sunrise: The bleak winter days make February on Heather Creek Farm a test of endurance, and as winter wears on, Sam becomes more and more withdrawn and unhappy. Bob is busy planning a surprise for Charlotte, and Christopher is excited about a local writing competition, while a Valentine’s Day flower from a secret source lifts Emily’s spirits. But when Sam disappears from the farm one night, chasing a memory of the father who abandoned them all, Charlotte and Bob need all the help—and prayer—they can get to bring him home safely. This broken family needs God’s help like never before, but their trials remind them all that every sunrise brings a new beginning.

About the Home to Heather Creek series: Charlotte Stevenson's world is turned upside down when her daughter, Denise, dies in a tragic car accident. She ran away at eighteen and Charlotte has never forgiven herself. Now, Denise's children, abandoned by their father, are coming from California to live on Heather Creek Farm in Bedford, Nebraska.

Charlotte is uncertain about her ability to care for three grandchildren who are not thrilled to give up the beach and sunshine for snow and farm chores! But she sees a chance to make amends and will do whatever it takes to keep her fragile family together. Feel the courage, strength and commitment of this family as their lives unfold in the Home to Heather Creek series.

Link to buy book: http://www.guideposts.org/heathercreek/linked_pages/book7.html The books come in a series and you can order those at the link. However, if you just want to order Every Sunrise you must call the customer service number (1-800-431-2344).

About Tricia: Tricia Goyer is the author of eighteen fiction and non-fiction books, including Blue Like Play Dough. She won Historical Novel of the Year in 2005 and 2006 from ACFW, and was honored with the Writer of the Year award from Mt. Hermon Writer's Conference in 2003. Tricia's book Life Interrupted was a finalist for the Gold Medallion in 2005. Tricia writes magazine articles for publications like Today's Christian Woman and Focus on the Family. Tricia also enjoys speaking. She and her family makes their home in Montana .

Contest: Okay…this book is loaded with yummy food: strawberry cupcakes, cinnamon rolls, baked chicken with cornbread, chocolate cake, pancakes with homemade syrup, French onion soup, parmesan crusted chicken…well you get the idea! So the contest for this tour will be the EVERY FOODIE contest! Leave a comment on the blog tour post (http://triciagoyer.blogspot.com/2009/02/every-sunrise-blog-tour-and-contest.html) at Tricia’s site with your favorite meal and a recipe (feel free to post more than one recipe!)! She’ll choose the one that most tantalizes her taste buds to receive an entire set of the Home to Heather Creek series (books 1-7)! Five runner’s up will win a copy of Every Sunrise (or another Tricia Goyer book of their choice). Let the mouth-watering commence!

Schedule: http://www.litfusegroup.com/latest/current-blog-tours/72-every-sunrise-by-tricia-goyer-blog-tour)

Friday, March 13, 2009

Raising Boys to be Like Jesus

Author: Sharon Norris Elliott
Publisher: Judson Press
March 2009
ISBN: 978-0-8170-1541-1
Genre: Nonfiction/parenting/inspirational

If my sons were intent on pleasing God, I would automatically be pleased with them as well… What better example to point them to than Jesus Christ—the One whose total life involved pleasing God? (from the preface)

In today’s busy world parents need simple, yet profound, help in raising well-balanced, spiritually healthy boys who will eventually grow up to be tomorrows leaders. RAISING BOYS TO BE LIKE JESUS addresses that need, taking stories from Ms. Elliott’s own life, from raising her sons, to working as a teacher and vice-principal, to show parents how to point children to the ultimate role model for their sons—Jesus Christ.

RAISING BOYS TO BE LIKE JESUS addresses questions such as:

● How can we raise boys in the image of Jesus?

● How can single mothers in particular use Jesus as the male model?

● What can be learned from Jesus’ life that could be applied to:

Ø facing temptation
Ø choosing to be a leader
Ø developing and maintiaining healthy friendships
Ø relating to and respecting women
Ø handling money

In addition to this, RAISING BOYS TO BE LIKE JESUS also has lessons to be learned from Jesus’ life, practical and do-able Scripture-based principles for raising sons, a look at Jesus’ life from infancy through ministry, applying these principles to your own personal life.

I laid my hands on this book a little late – as my sons are in their late teens and ready to go out on their own and this book starts at the beginning, from the moment you first hole your newborn son in your arms, and goes through toddlerhood, preschool, on up. There are some segments in there for parents of teenagers, at which point the book is good as a resource manual, where the principles are applied as crisis arise, although, Ms. Elliott maintains, that even those of us with a son only under our care for a year still has hope.

RAISING BOYS TO BE LIKE JESUS is geared toward Christian mothers of sons, ages 0 – 18; as well as single mothers. In addition, the book is also invaluable for pastors, counselors, and teachers. If you are a parent of one or more boys then you will want a copy of RAISING BOYS TO BE LIKE JESUS. There are spaces included for the reader to write their thoughts about some of the things taught in this book. $16.00. 192 pages.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Daisy Chain

Author: Mary E. DeMuth
Publisher: Zondervan
ISBN: 978-0-27836-8
Genre: Inspirational/contemporary

Defiance, Texas is picture perfect. Nothing exciting ever happens there. Fourteen year old Jed Pepper is the preacher’s son, and lives in the perfect American family. A dad, a mom, and a little sister. His best friend is thirteen year old, Daisy Chance.

That day everything changed. Jed and Daisy met at the old church, where they talked. But Jed was running late, and even though his father was a preacher, he was also abusive. So, Jed left Daisy to run home, so he wouldn’t be late, and cause problems. But Daisy never went home. Instead, Jed later found her shoe…and then her sock…but no Daisy.

Was a kidnapper living in their town? Or did Daisy run away from home to look for her father? Or had something terrible happened to the girl? Jed is determined to find out. Can this mystery somehow point to God?

DAISY CHAIN is a heartbreakingly real story to read. Filled with three dimensional characters, with believable quirks, it is hard to believe that anyone might be harboring a secret. I hated Jed’s father, and was so upset that he was the pastor in that town supposed to minister to others when he obviously had serious issues he needed to deal with. But then, none of the community was perfect. They all had faults, and quirks that made them more than just flat people on the page.

DAISY CHAIN is an emotion-packed story that will stay with the reader long after the last page is closed. Discussion questions are included at the end of the book. $15.99. 361 pages.

Daisy Chain on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0310278368
Mary DeMuth’s Website: http://blog.myfamilysecrets.org/
Mary DeMuth’s Blog: http://relevantblog.blogspot.com
Daisy Chain Book Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v6-xT69_mlA
Mary DeMuth’s Facebook Profile: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Mary-DeMuth/33200616570
Follow Mary DeMuth on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/mdemuth
Book Trailer on YouTube: Coming Soon!
List of all participating bloggers: http://blogtourspot.com/daisy-blog-tour/daisy-blog-tour-stops

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Read and Share DVD Bible

13 Stories from the Old and New Testaments
Thomas Nelson

Help the joy and wonder of God's word come alive for the favorite preschoolers in your life.

This DVD (READ AND SHARE DVD BIBLE) uses animation to help kids to understand some of the Bible stories. These 3-minute bite-size vignettes are perfect for the attention span of the littlest ones.

The stories included are:

1. The Beginning
2. Adam and Eve
3. The Flood
4. Abram
5. Isaac and Rebekah
6. Jacob and Esau
7. Rachel
8. Home Again
9. John the Baptist
10. Jesus is Born
11. Jesus Loves Children
12. Jesus Tempted by Satan
13. One Lost Sheep

My four-year-old and my seven-year-old were both fascinated by this DVD and enjoyed watching it over and over. My teenagers weren't as impressed (and pointed out where they misquoted Scripture) but the DVD isn't designed for teenagers, and the language is simplified to be more appropriate for younger minds.

I think the READ AND SHARE DVD BIBLE would be a great addition to every church library, and even personal library. It includes some bonus material, such as interviews with "real kids", behind the scenes footage, coloring pages, and other assets. 60 minutes.

Thomas Nelson product page for The Read & Share DVD Bible - Volume 1:http://www.thomasnelson.com/consumer/product_detail.asp?sku=1400313031

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Making it Real

Author: T. Suzanne Eller
Publisher: Kregel Publications
ISBN: 978-0-8254-2543-1
Genre: Inspirational/teens/nonfiction

Have you ever asked yourself questions like: Why can’t I feel God? What do I really believe? Is there more to my faith than this? (from back cover)

If you grew up in church, or call yourself a Christian, odds are that you’ve heard every Bible story and know everything you are supposed to believe. But when you go out in the world, do YOU know what you really believe? Or are you relying on a “hand-me-down” faith and the rules clanging around in your head?

MAKING IT REAL helps you to answer these questions and will help grow your faith into a dynamic relationship with God.

Inside the pages of MAKING IT REAL, you will find answers to questions such as:

Ø Is my faith more than a habit?
Ø Who is God to me?
Ø Do I trust God when life is unfair?
Ø Does God choose me?
Ø Am I ready to trust?

MAKING IT REAL is packed full of stories written by real teens, practical Bible teaching, five days of devotions for each chapter and plenty of space for journaling your thoughts. Ms. Eller will show you what it means to walk with Christ as a modern-day disciple. Your faith will be kick-started into an alive, intimate relationship with God. And you will scrape away the outer layers of your belief, to discover the four D’s: Direction, Decision, Dilemma, and Destiny.

Written for older teens getting ready to leave the nest and venture out on their own (to college, military, or career) MAKING IT REAL is the perfect gift to add to their graduation gift, or to lay on their end table for their personal devotions. And by the time your favorite teen (or you) finishes MAKING IT REAL, they will know Whose Faith is it Anyway?. 160 pages.

Monday, March 9, 2009

All Through the Night

Author: Davis Bunn
Publisher: Bethany House
ISBN: 978-0-7642-0542-2
Genre: Inspirational/suspense/contemporary

Wayne is an ex-cop, recovering from a messy divorce, and not really sure he wants to come out of hiding to face the world again. But his sister, a pastor, forces him into interviewing to do accounting work for a bunch of seniors. What he discovers less than a month into the job is that these seniors have been scammed out of their life-savings.

Wayne wants to help these older people, so he breaches the con-man’s high-security estate to recover the stolen money. That was a piece of cake. But becoming a part of a community, or even learning to love again? Not happening.

When a lawyer approaches Wayne and asks him to take on another unusual case. Here wealthy employer believes he’s been visited by an angel. Did a messenger from God in a pinstriped suit really bring a divine warning, or could it be another hoax?

ALL THROUGH THE NIGHT is the only book I’ve read by Mr. Bunn that he’d written solo (The others were co-written with Janette Oke, or Isabella Bunn). It did take me awhile to get into the story. The writing is stellar, there is no double about that, but maybe the book was just too masculine, at first, and it took me awhile to get into that mind-set. My husband on the other hand, picked it up and read it through in a matter of hours, he thought this book was great.

Once I got into the story, I found how Wayne’s mind worked intriguing. I enjoyed reading about how he risked prison time to help his senior citizen friends. I felt sorry for him being so badly hurt that he was afraid to get close to people, and I hoped that he would heal from his wounds. $13.99. 360 pages.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

"Mom's" Authors Take On Octuplet Debate

"Moms" Authors Take On Octuplet Debate

An ethical debate erupted recently as news reached the world that a single mother of six children used a fertility specialist to give birth to eight more children. We'll leave the debate of ethics for others to discuss, and will focus instead on the importance of offering life to these new innocents. Author Kathi Macias (How Can I Run a Tight Ship When I'm Surrounded by Loose Cannons? and Mothers of the Bible Speak to Mothers of Today) says:"I believe the bottom-line issue is that we as Christians don't compromise our strong pro-life stand. This story will be used to push abortion, not only as a viable option but as a moral one. Suddenly it will be IMMORAL not to have an abortion. Whatever we may think about this woman, once those children were conceived they were lives precious to God. If we aren't careful, we will forget that we as Christians believe in absolutes, rather than situational ethics. Situational ethics says the woman should have aborted some of them. Absolutes say life is sacred--period. The real issue here is sanctity of life. This is a watershed event, and we as Christians must take a firm stand for life, regardless of the circumstances surrounding the story."

Author: Marla Taviano Expecting Praying for Your Child's Development Body and Soul Hardcover: 208 pages Publisher: Howard Books Release Date: January 6, 2009 ISBN-10: 1416572007 ISBN-13: 978-1416572008 Retail: $14.99

Author Marla Taviano (Expecting: Praying for Your Child's Development--Body and Soul) says: "Regardless of how any of these children got here, the reality is they're here. Each one is a living, breathing human being with intrinsic value. God created them, and loves them deeply. They entered this world with the odds already stacked against them. They didn't ask for this. We can debate until we're blue in the face about whose 'fault' it is and whose responsibility they are, but that's not really the point. If you want to get technical--better yet, biblical--they're our responsibility. We're commanded to love our neighbor and care for the poor and needy, to share Christ with the lost, and to seek justice for the oppressed. Maybe we don't have to dash off a check tomorrow, but at the very least, we can pray for these innocents. As you take time to pray for your own little ones, why not take a moment to pray for one or more of these octuplets--by name? Your prayers might be the only chance at hope these tiny children have."

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Intentional Walk: More Devotionals for Baseball Fans

Title: INTENTIONAL WALK: More Devotions for Baseball Fans
Author: Hugh Poland
Publisher: Judson Press
March 2009
ISBN: 978-0-8170-1543-5
Genre: Inspirational/devotional

Hugh Poland, author of Judson Press’ best seller Steal Away: Devotions for Baseball Fans returns with a highly anticipated follow up: INTENTIONAL WALK: More Devotions for Baseball Fans.

Mr. Poland has a wonderful knowledge of baseball, and he gives the game a whole new twist: What can be learned about Christian living from the sport of baseball? The answers to this question might surprise you!

This devotional offers:

> Parables from the great game of baseball that can inspire us to read God’s word and incorporate it into our lives
> Stories and statistics about players including Branch Rickey, Frank Pastore, Rube Waddel, and Ty Cobb, as well as many others.
> Chapters beginning with a short Scripture passage, a sidebar quote from a baseball player or coach, and a daily application

Although I enjoy baseball, I not what anyone would consider a fan of the sport, yet I enjoyed reading the baseball stories, and how they applied to Scripture and life. It was perfect for my own private devotional time in the morning, and sometimes I wanted to read more than one section.

The book is divided up into sections entitled “First”, “Second”, “Third”, and “Home”. The devotionals are also well titled for the sections they fit under. Don’t miss INTENTIONAL WALK: More Devotions for Baseball Fans. It is a book sure to delight Christian fans of all ages and will make a perfect gift. $14.00. 160 pages.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Dear God, It's Me And It's Urgent

Author: Marion Stroud
Publisher: Discovery House Publishers
October 2008
ISBN: 978-1572932722
Genre: Inspirational/poetry/women

Dear Lord, I want to thank you for the privilege of prayer. Thank you that I can come to you at any time, day or night. (from the back cover)

Take a break, grab a cup of coffee or tea and sit down for a few minutes, focusing your thoughts and your heart on one of the prayers in DEAR GOD, IT’S ME AND IT’S URGENT.

The prayers are great for your own private devotions as well as for sharing with other women. The book contains poems that will minister to every aspect of a woman’s life. Including:

Ø A Woman Within
Ø A Woman and Marriage
Ø A Woman and Her Children
Ø A Woman at Work
Ø A Woman Who Cares
Ø A Woman Growing Older

The topics range from A Bride’s Prayer to Feeling Unwanted and even addresses concerns such as Blue Monday, Mid-Life Crisis, After Chemotherapy, and Bereavement, making it truly a book for every woman. Singleness, marriage, parenting, careers, being a caregiver, and growing older are all addressed in this one small book.

I enjoyed reading the poems are part of my daily devotions, and found that they truly did minister to me where I am in life – where I have been – and even where I am going. Some of the poems are so poignant they made me cry. The one entitled After Chemotherapy for instance, even though not written by a woman going through it, still conveys all the heartfelt feelings of someone who has knows and understands.

DEAR GOD, IT’S ME AND IT’S URGENT caught my attention the moment it arrived in the mail. I laughed about the title, but wondered if it would really convey the urgency that a woman faces in day-to-day life. I was pleasantly surprised to find that it not only captures that, but it also ministers in the process. Pick up a copy of DEAR GOD, IT’S ME AND IT’S URGENT for yourself, and any other woman you know that may of need of it’s comforting poems someday. Hardcover making it beautiful for gift-giving. 217 pages.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Andrea Carter and the San Francisco Smugglers

Author: Susan K. Marlow
Publisher: Kregel Publications
ISBN: 978-0-8254-3446-4
Genre: Inspirational/youth

Andi Carter is sitting in church when the news comes—a winter flood is threatening their town. The town is saved, but the school is so badly damaged that classes are cancelled for the next two months. Andi’s plans are to spend her unexpected holiday riding her mare, Taffy. But instead, she finds herself shipped off to San Francisco to attend Miss Whitaker’s Academy for Young Ladies.

Andi doesn’t know how she’ll endure two months of this torture. No horse back riding, except on Sundays, and then they ride side-saddle. No associating with the servants or workers at the academy. Andi does make friends, but it with another misfit.

But trouble seems to find Andi even in San Francisco. A servant girl runs away, and when Andi and her friend finds the girl, they discover a dreadful secret and themselves in a dangerous situation.

ANDREA CARTER AND THE SAN FRANCISCO SMUGGLERS is a wonderful adventure story for young ladies to read. I think it was Ms. Marlow’s best Andrea Carter book yet (and I’ve read all of them.) I couldn’t wait to see what happened next, and yet I felt sorry for Andi being forced into a life that would do nothing to further her academically, instead she is forced to learn things that young ladies of influence are expected to know.

I highly recommend ANDREA CARTER AND THE SAN FRANCISCO SMUGGLERS. My thirteen year old daughter enjoyed it, and my seven year old is anxiously waiting for me to finish the review so she can read the book. Based on true historical facts, this book is also invaluable as a short history lesson too. Don’t miss ANDREA CARTER AND THE SAN FRANCISCO SMUGGLERS or any of the other books in the Andrea Carter series. Be sure to check out www.homeschoolblogger.com/CircleCRanch/ to find out more about Andi and her horse, Taffy, and to get your questions answered. 136 pages.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009


Author: Patricia Hochstetler
Publisher: Baker Trittin Press
ISBN: 978-0-9787316-6-3
Genre: Inspirational/cult

Patricia has now been removed from the Amish-Jewish Cult she grew up in and is living at her grandmother’s house in Indiana. But taking a child out of a cult and taking the cult out of the child are two different things. Patricia is uncomfortable in her new home, and has to be taught how to do everything, from using an indoor toilet to taking a shower. Her only friend is her dog, but even the dog is taken from her.

When Patricia’s mother, brother, and sister seem to adapt easily to their new life, Patricia spends most of her time hiding in her room dressed in her cult clothes. Soon she decides she wants to return to Mississippi, and stay with the family they left behind here. Patricia’s mother seems willing to let her, but when Patricia gets to Mississippi she discovers that she is no longer welcomed there. With no choice but to return to Indiana, Patricia goes home. But how can she ever adapt to this new, foreign, “sinful” life that is forced on her?

DELIVERANCE is not the easy-out that readers might be expecting as the final story in this trilogy. This book, in many ways, was one of the most difficult ones in the set to read, as I wanted a “quick fix” for Patricia and her family, but it isn’t that at all. I wanted to tell Patricia to get on with life, but when one is taught that normal life is a sin, and she didn’t want to be condemned to Hell for being forced into the American lifestyle, it isn’t exactly as easy as that. The story does have a happy ending.

I recommend DELIVERANCE and the entire series, as we all need to know about the lure of cults and the ramifications of living in them, and then trying to come out. This book is available for $12.95 from www.bakertrittinpress.com.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Skeeter and the Mystery of the Lost Mosquito Treasure DVD

Max Lucado’s Hermie and Friends
Thomas Nelson

Skeeter isn’t overly excited when he learns that his big brother Sinclair is returning to the garden for a visit. After all, Sinclair is a world famous adventurer, and he is practically perfect. Skeeter, on the other hand, has a crooked stinger, and he feels that everyone makes fun of him because he is far from perfect.

When the garden gang is in awe of Sinclair and fawn all over him, Skeeter isn’t sure what to think. But then he learns that Sinclair has returned in search of a treasure that he believes is hidden somewhere in their garden.

Sinclair can’t find it anywhere, and he needs Skeeter to help him.

SKEETER AND THE MYSTERY OF THE LOST MOSQUITO TREASURE is about being unique, and it really presents this message in a way that is sure to appeal to young kids. My three-year-old and six-year-old sat enthralled by the story line, though it didn’t have the same reaction on my teenagers! They found the whole concept stupid and irritating!

While this DVD may not appeal to teens (and adults) it does appeal to the littler set, and teaches them a valuable lesson as well. This DVD includes special bonus materials. Approximate running time is 60 minutes. Pick up a copy of SKEETER AND THE MYSTERY OF THE LOST MOSQUITO TREASURE DVD for your favorite preschooler today.


Monday, March 2, 2009


Author: Patricia Hochstetler
Publisher: Baker Trittin Press
ISBN: 978-0-9787316-5-6
Genre: Inspirational/cults/memoir

DECEPTION is the second book in Ms. Hochstetler’s trilogy about growing up in an Amish-Jewish Cult. The story begins with Delusion, where Patricia Hochstetler’s parents and grandparents decided to follow a charismatic leader into the wilderness of Tennessee, and obeyed all his orders without question.

In DECEPTION, the group has decided to leave Tennessee and go to Mississippi where they worked on a cotton plantation in the delta. In this book, Patricia grows from age six, when her name was changed by the Elder to Lois, until she was sixteen, when the Elder excommunicated her mother, her father had a nervous breakdown, and the Elder changes her name back to Patricia.

The story really isn’t written as it happens, as events that happen later in the story are referred to earlier, and it tends to jump around in time-line somewhat, but nevertheless, the story is engaging, and teaches us a lot about how the Elder schmoozed his way into an Amish community, and lured over 75% of them away from their faith to follow him, and his rules which seemed to change at whim.

DECEPTION is followed by book three Deliverance which is waiting in my to-be-read pile. I recommend reading these books in order to be able to get the full benefit from them. As most people know someone who had been in a cult, these books are excellent resources for everyone. $12.95. 182 pages.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

A Promise to Believe In

Author: Tracie Peterson
Publisher: Bethany House
September 2008
ISBN: 978-0-7642-0148-6
Genre: Inspirational/historical

Gwen Gallatin and her sisters, Lacy and Beth, are stunned when an extremely rude traveler storms into their stage house, demanding to know which one of the “hussies” had married and murdered his younger brother. Gwen had been previously married, but her husband contracted measles on their wedding night and the marriage had never been consummated before her husband’s untimely death.

Hank Bishop has been trailing his brother for sometime, because Harvey stole important papers and jewelry that his mother needs to be able to afford to live after their step-father’s death. But Gwen Gallatin, while admitting to having married Harvey, insists that she has never seen the papers. Hank believes she is lying at first, but as time goes on and no papers show up, he begins to believe that maybe she doesn’t know anything about them.

Beth and Lacy are not overly thrilled with the rude stranger in their midst and go out of their way to cause trouble for Hank hoping to drive him off. Will they succeed in running Hank out of town, or will he be successful in finding out what really happened to his brother and the documents?

A PROMISE TO BELIEVE IN is the first book in Ms. Peterson’s Brides of Gallatin County series, based on the lives of three sisters. I enjoyed getting to know the characters of this fictional town and the issues that surrounded it. I especially enjoyed getting to know the Gallatin sisters and some of the pranks they pulled were absolutely hilarious.

Gwen and Hank both struggled with some very strong issues. I hoped that they would be able to work them out and to find what they were looking for. I see the hints of romance beginning in the other two Gallatin sisters’ lives, plus in one of the secondary characters. I’m looking forward to reading the other books in this series to see what happens next, especially as there is the hint of a very strong conflict beginning in the next book. $13.99. 364 pages.

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