Monday, December 31, 2012

For Such a Time as This

Author: Ginny Aiken
Publisher: FaithWords
August 2012
ISBN: 978-0-8929-6848-0
Genre: Historical

Olivia Moore’s family is in dire straights. The grasshoppers and draught have ruined any hope of a crop, and her father has been forced to mortgage the property. Hoping to relieve her strain on the family, Olivia offered her services as a nanny to the town’s banker after she witnesses his son running wild with the town’s hooligans.

Eli Whitman is leery of wives, and the past few nannies he’s hired has run off after being subjected to his children’s shenanigans. He’s impressed by Olivia’s handling of his children and how peaceful his home has become as a result.

But rumor is threatening to ruin Olivia’s good name, people are determined to think the worst of her for being a nanny, so she either has to lose her job or accept Eli’s offer of marriage of convenience. Olivia is torn. She doesn’t want to be a burden on her family, but she also wants love. When the railroad plans to come to town, Olivia is forced to make more difficult choices for her family’s welfare.

FOR SUCH A TIME AS THIS is the first historical romance I’ve ever read by Ms. Aiken and the first book in her Women of Hope series. (I have read some of her suspense.) I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know Olivia and Eli. This book is kind of a cross between The Sound of Music and the biblical story of Esther. It is an engaging tale of a nanny struggling to find her way in another’s home, and a man struggling to better his town, his job, and his home.

If you are looking for a good historical, then FOR SUCH A TIME AS THIS is a book to consider. It is a winner. The second book in the series is releasing in 2013 Remember Me When. $13.99. 384 pages. 

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Sandwich with a Side of Romance

Author: Krista Phillips
Publisher: Abingdon Press
September 2012
ISBN:  978-1-4267-4592-8
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Maddie Buckner has moved to Sandwich, Illinois, in hope for a new life for her and her eleven-year-old brother, off the streets of Chicago. But when Maddie gets fired from two jobs in one day, she fears she’s beat the Guiness Book of World Records for the quickest firings. But to be honest, it wasn’t her fault, it was the man who came in for a haircut and fell asleep in the chair that caused all the trouble—and she’s bound he’s going to pay for her humiliation.

Rueben is over his head. His girlfriend, Livy, is pushing him to propose and get married, he’s trying to open two new restaurants, he can’t find anything, and worse, the new waitress he hired dumps food all over everyone and when he tries to fire her, she hires herself on as his personal assistant. Okay, he needed one. But this really hurts his relationship with Livy.

Maddie’s life goes from bad to worse. Her brother’s foster family is threatening to adopt Kyle, the social worker gives Maddie little hope of winning custody, and with Livy on the warpath, how long can she really hope to keep the job as Rueben’s assistant?

SANDWICH WITH A SIDE OF ROMANCE is a cute, snarky romance with a heroine more at home on the streets than in a professional atmosphere. Reuben has too much on his plate, and he gets to be a jerk quite a lot, but if anyone has what it takes to sooth the savage male beast, then it’s Maddie. She’s quick with her witty comebacks, making this story a book that’s hard to put down.

If you are looking for a good contemporary with a side of snark, then you have to pick up SANDWICH WITH A SIDE OF ROMANCE. Totally cute romance, top-notch writing. Discussion questions included at the end of the book. $14.99. 320 pages. 

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Joy Takes Flight

Author: Bonnie Leon
Publisher: Revell
July 2012
ISBN: 978-0-8007-3361-2
Genre: historical

Kate Evans is finally marrying Paul Anderson. And even though the wedding is everything she dreamed of, and more, reality starts to intrude on the holidays. Kate wants to remain independent, to do what she did before marriage, live where she lived, and fly. She doesn’t want to be a submissive little wife with no life other than Mrs. Paul Anderson. And she begins to get irritated when people assume she’ll move to Paul’s remote cabin, or she’ll give up being an Alaskan bush pilot.

When Kate and Paul discover that they’re expecting their first baby, they are estatic. But then a disaster strikes, their lives begin to unravel, and Kate fears she might have lost Paul for good.

JOY TAKES FLIGHT is the exciting conclusion to Ms. Leon’s Alaskan Skies series. Readers will want to read Touching the Clouds and Wings of Promise first as this book doesn’t stand alone. Kate is a very independent woman, and fiercely protective of her personality, and Paul is more laid back, but he can be firm and expect obedience, which causes more personality clashes between him and Kate.

If you are looking for an adventure filled historical to read then JOY TAKES FLIGHT and any of the other books in this series are recommended. Almost as good as taking a trip to Alaska yourself. $14.99. 336 pages. 

Friday, December 28, 2012

Short-Straw Bride

Author: Karen Witemeyer
Publisher: Bethany House
June 2012
ISBN: 978-0-7642-0965-9
Genre: Historical

No one steps on Archer land. Not if they value their life. But one of the Archer boys was kind to Meredith twelve years ago when she got her foot stuck in a trap, and when she overhears a plan to burn them off their land, she feels she needs to warn them.

Travis Archer promised his pa he’d never leave Archer land. Yet, he did when he rescued a young girl from a trap and carried her home. Now, she’s back spouting nonsense about someone trying to burn their home/barn down in order to force them to sell out.

But the plan to warn the Archers backfire when first they are skeptical, then they don’t allow her to leave. And soon her reputation is in jeopardy. And soon she finds herself as nothing more than a SHORT-STRAW BRIDE.

SHORT-STRAW BRIDE is a book that sounded fun, entertaining, and a great historical. And it did have it’s moments.  At times Meredith is a very strong, courageous woman. And other times she gets a bit whiney. Just like real people, sometimes. Travis is a wounded hero, blaming himself for the past. He’s a true man, strong and courageous, yet a bit hard-headed sometimes.

If you are looking for a good historical romance, then SHORT-STRAW BRIDE is a book to consider. It is a different sort of forced marriage story. I hope there's more stories planned for this family. $14.99. 368 pages. 

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Two Destinies

Author: Elizabeth Musser
Publisher: David C. Cook
September 2012
ISBN: 978-0-7814-0501-1
Genre: historical

Forbidden Faith, Forbidden Love—a Family’s Rage

When Risléne Namani meets Eric Hoffmann in 1994 France, the spark between them ignites a firestorm of trouble. An Algerian Muslim, her attraction to him, a Christian, is forbidden. Yet he captures her heart. More than that, his faith captures her soul—a faith she comes to embrace. And it all stirs up a wasps’ nest of danger, mystery, and love that could cost her everything, even her life.

The risk is real, especially when Risléne’s staunchly Muslim family discovers her secret. Eric must save her from a forced marriage in Algeria. As the civil war in Algeria escalates in the midst of Ramadan, and poverty and social ills in France boil over, their lives become as tumultuous and uncertain as the world around them. Clinging to faith, they fight.

TWO DESTINIES is book three in the Secrets of the Cross series. Readers will want to read book one, Two Crosses, and book two, Two Testaments, first as this book doesn’t stand alone.

You will be drawn into the lives of these richly developed characters. This book is set in 1994 (still considered a historical) and centers around the terrorist activities in Algeria’s civil war as well as the homeless people in France, and those who are willing to help.

This book – and series – is a definite eye-opener. Full of details, you will be drawn in to the story, the plot, and the characters. $14.99. 340 pages. 

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Two Testaments

Author: Elizabeth Musser
Publisher: David C. Cook
June 2012
ISBN: 978-0-7814-0499-0
Genre: Historical

The slightest spark will ignite an explosion. The tinderbox of broken political and racial relations in France and Algeria provides plenty of kindling. And the growing friction, especially in Algeria, will soon combust. A tentative ceasefire offers little to cool the heat.

In the midst of the turmoil, Gabriella Madison guards the orphans in her care, while battling jealousy when Anne-Marie Duchemin, David’s former flame, arrives in Castelnau, France. As they protect the little ones in their care amid rising discomfort in the community with the multi-cultural orphanage, each wonders who David will choose.

Meanwhile, David is trapped in Algeria, caught in the turmoil of a country gone mad. He seeks a way to guard his life and, at the same time, protect the refugees he came to help. And escape seems impossible.

Unable to predict what lies ahead, Gabriella and David learn that in life, waiting is the hardest part.

The answers lie in two testaments.

TWO TESTAMENTS is rich in description of the European country side during war time. The story line is very detailed, and even though it was set in the 1960’s, it almost seems as though it might be current.

The characters have to make some tough choices amidst the unrest. They are very well developed. Readers will want to read book one in the Secrets of the Cross series, Two Crosses, first as these books do not stand alone. Book three, Two Destinies, released in September 2012 for those who like to read the complete series at one time. $14.99. 496 pages. 

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Westward Hearts

Author: Melody Carlson
Publisher: Harvest House Publishers
September 2012
ISBN: 978-0-7369-4871-5
Genre: Historical

Elizabeth Martin has lost her husband, leaving her a young widow with two young children. When her brother, Matthew, is dumped by his fiancé, the two talk about long dead plans to travel west to the Oregon Territory. Plans that first fell into place when Elizabeth’s husband was alive.

The South is in unrest, with talk of secession, and the possibility of war, it seems like it’d be a good time to go.  Especially when Elizabeth’s mother starts having warning dreams about an upcoming war and what it might mean to the family. She’s had dreams like this before which, when left alone had come true, so she is especially worried.

But with Elizabeth a widow, will she and her family even be allowed to travel west with a train? And if she does go, how will she handle the unexpected challenges?

WESTWARD HEARTS is book one in Ms. Carlson’s new series, Homeward on the Oregon TrailThe book is relatively slow moving, easily put down, but Elizabeth is engaging, and having a son the same age as Matthew in the story, I really felt for him. Written in Elizabeth’s point of view, readers will experience pioneer life in the face of war from a different perspective.

I enjoyed reading WESTWARD HEARTS and would recommend this to anyone who loves historical books as well as stories on the Oregon Trail. I’m looking forward to the other books in this series. $13.99. 304 pages. 

Monday, December 24, 2012

Inspired Designs

Authors: Roxanne Hughes Packham & Hannah Packham
Photographer: Mark Lohman
Publisher: Inspired Designs Publications, Inc.
May 2010
ISBN: 978-0984456307
Genre: Decorating 

Drawing from the highly-published designs she's created for hundreds of clients, Roxanne Hughes Packham will inspire you to create a home that touches the soul. Amid stunning photography, stories of treasured family traditions and poignant observations by daughter Hannah, she shares ideas that will help you create beauty, warmth and passion in your home, and make it an inspired design.

"Do not underestimate the power of your home, nor its ability to change lives," writes designer Roxanne Hughes Packham. "A cup of hot tea and an hour in a cozy nook spent listening to a friend can be life-altering. "Sending well-loved, cared for children into the world to contribute to our society in positive meaningful ways is one of the most significant contributions, if not the most significant contribution, you will ever make, and your home is a major part of this endeavor.

This book is difficult to review, but I will say that the photography is top-notch. There are quotations by famous and not-so-famous people, thoughts by Hannah and Roxanne, and lots of inspiration.

100% of the profits of this book will go to charity.

Ms. Packham is the granddaughter of Allan Adler, noted American silversmith, and great granddaughter of Porter George Blanchard, also known as "silversmith to the stars", Packham's history and knowledge of silver and flair for table settings prove to be a winning combo.

Also included in the book are essays, ideas for parties, and special occassions for teenage girls, mothers and others. It could be a help in celebrating friends & friendship. Inspirational for incorporating family history, talents, and passions into the design of the family home.

If you are in the market for an inspiring book, a party guide, ways to design your home, or decorate for holidays, then INSPIRED DESIGN is for you. Some recipes are included. An amazingly beautiful book. $40.00 hardcover. 150 pages.:

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Here's to Friends

Author: Melody Carlson
Publisher: David C. Cook
September 2011
ISBN: 978-1-4347-6491-1
Genre: Women’s fiction

Once upon a time in a little town on the Oregon coast lived four Lindas—all in the same first-grade classroom. So they decided to go by their middle names. And form a club. And be friends forever.

Decades later, they're all back home in Clifden and reinventing their lives, but the holidays bring a whole new set of challenges. Abby’s new B&B is getting bad reviews and husband Paul is acting strange. Still grieving for her mom, Caroline is remodeling the family home, but boyfriend Mitch keeps pressuring her to go away with him. Artist Marley, distracted by a friend's family drama (and a touch of jealousy), can't find her creative groove. And Janie’s drug-addicted daughter has just appeared up on her doorstep! When a long-planned New Year's cruise turns into a bumpy ride, they learn once again that, in your fifties, friends aren’t just for fun—they're a necessity!

HERE’S TO FRIENDS is the fourth book in Ms. Carlson’s The Four Lindas Series. This book does not stand alone. Readers will want to read As Young As We Feel, Hometown Ties, and All for One first before starting this story, so they are not completely lost.

Ms. Carlson is a very prolific author, with the ability to write in many different genres. I like some of her books a lot more than others, and this series wasn’t one of my favorites. Maybe because the characters are so much older than I am, I just couldn’t completely relate.

The book is well written, and engaging, the characters facing realistic struggles. I probably could relate to Marley best, as sometimes real life does affect the creative groove. Fans of women’s fiction and women in their mid-fifties or older might enjoy HERE’S TO FRIENDS or this series. $14.99. 320 pages. 

Saturday, December 22, 2012

A Sweethaven Christmas

Author: Courtney Walsh
Publisher: Summerside Press/Guideposts
October 2012
ISBN: 978-0-8249-3182-7
Genre: Women’s fiction

The women of Sweethaven are reunited for a small-town Christmas!

It's holiday time in Sweethaven, but things don't go quite as planned for these scrapbookers. Lila is thrown for a loop when a woman claiming to be her sister arrives in town. As she begins digging into the woman's claims, Lila uncovers things about her family she may never be able to accept or forgive.

After the girls find an old scrapbook on Adele's bookshelf, she is reminded of her first love, a Sweethaven boy whose heart she broke so many years ago. With help from modern technology and the Sweethaven Circle, Adele arranges a reunion with this man.

And when Campbell sees Luke with a ring, she isn't sure whether to be happy or terrified. Are wedding bells in her future? For Jane and Meghan, Sweethaven is filled with the promise of something new -- as well as good friends, a new scrapbook, and a little holiday magic!

A SWEETHAVEN CHRISTMAS is the third book in The Sweethaven Circle series. Readers who fell in love with Adele, Jane, Meghan, Campbell, and Lila will want to read this book to see how it all plays out.  Readers will want to read A Sweethaven Summer and A Sweethaven Homecoming first as the stories are not stand alone.

Each chapter is written in a different character’s point of view, and readers will instantly be able to connect with each one. I have my favorite characters in the series, such as Adele. Some of the characters hurts are really painful, others more embarrassing, but they are all real. This is a great holiday read. Recommended. $13.99. 320 pages.

Friday, December 21, 2012

A Sweethaven Homecoming

Author: Courtney Walsh
Publisher: Guideposts/Summerside Press
August 2012
ISBN: 978-0-8249-3171-1
Genre: Women’s fiction

Meghan Rhodes has left backwoods Sweethaven, Michigan, for good. She is a famous country singer, in Nashville, Tennessee, and she doesn’t have time for anything that reminds her of her old life—not even her ex-husband, Nick, or her two twins.

At least not until Nick sues her for full-custody of the twins—at a time when Meghan had a big record deal releasing. About the same time, incriminating photographs surfaced, which threatened to ruin Meghan’s reputation—especially since she sang a hymn or two at every concert.

Meghan is furious—and so she returns to the one place she swears she’d never go. Sweethaven. But will she find forgiveness, hope, and love? Will she find the family she always wanted but who no longer want her? Or will pride force her back to Nashville, back to her life as a country music star?

A SWEETHAVEN HOMECOMING is book two in Ms. Walsh’s The Sweethaven Circle series. Readers will want to read book one, A Sweethaven Summer first to find out what happened previously as these books really don’t stand alone. The story is continued. It is a story of four childhood friends who vacationed in Sweethaven, but as years went by drifted apart. Secrets and hurts keep them separated. Meghan is not really a character I could identify easily with—she is judgmental and unforgiving, thanks to her upbringing. However, I felt her hurts, and wanted her to find peace with her past and with herself.

If you are looking for a great women’s fiction series to read, then pick up The Sweethaven Circle series. The third book A Sweethaven Christmas is out – and next in my to-read pile.  Great series so far. $13:99. 320 pages. 

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Come to the Table

Author: Neta Jackson 
Publisher: Thomas Nelson 
December 2012
ISBN: 978-1595548658
Genre: Women's fiction 

Kat Davies is suddenly wondering if her good deed was a bad idea.

Kat may be new in her faith, but she’s embraced the more radical implications of Christianity with reckless abandon. She invited Rochelle—a homeless mother—and her son to move in the apartment she shares with two other housemates. And she’s finally found a practical way to channel her passion for healthy eating by starting a food pantry at the church.

Her feelings for Nick are getting harder to ignore. The fact that he’s the interning pastor at SouledOut Community Church and one of her housemates makes it complicated enough. But with Rochelle showing interest in Nick as a father-figure for her son, their apartment is feeling way too small.

But not everyone thinks the food pantry is a good idea. When the woman she thought would be her biggest supporter just wants to “pray about it,” Kat is forced to look deeper at her own motives. Only when she begins to look past the surface does she see people who are hungry and thirsty for more than just food and drink and realizes the deeper significance of inviting them to “come to the table.”

COME TO THE TABLE is the second book in Ms. Jackson's SouledOut Sisters series. Readers will want to read book one, Stand By Me, first as readers are introduced to Kat in that book and of course, her ongoing personality class with Avis whom readers will recognize from Ms. Jackson's first series, The Yada Yada Prayer Group.

I love Ms. Jackson's books, and this story is no exception. I couldn't wait to read it and thoroughly enjoyed it.  I've read some great women's fiction recently, and COME TO THE TABLE was one of the best. A reading group guide is included at the end of the book. $15.99. 400 pages. 

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Necessary Deception

Author: Laurie Alice Eakes
Publisher: Revell
October 2011
ISBN: 978-0-8007-3466-4
Genre: Historical romance

When young widow Lydia Gale helps a French prisoner obtain parole, she never dreams she will see him again. But just as the London Season gets under way, the man presents himself in her parlor. While she should be focused on getting her headstrong younger sister prepared for her entrée into Society, Lady Gale finds herself preoccupied with the mysterious Frenchman. Is he a spy or a suitor? Can she trust him? Or is she putting herself and her family in danger?

A NECESSARY DECEPTION by Laurie Alice Eakes is the first book in The Daughters of Bainbridge House. It is a Regency Romance/Mystery which makes for an interesting story line. A NECESSARY DECEPTION has elements of espionage, intrigue, and romance.

I found it difficult to care about or keep track of the characters. I also found the language a bit stilted. However, I’m not a regency fan so it may be just me.  The story is well-researched and the relationships are believable. Fans of both historical mystery and historical romance novels should enjoy this novel. $14.99. 352 pages. 

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Badge of Honor

Author: Susan K. Marlow
Publisher: Kregel Publications
November 2012
ISBN: 978-0-8254-4294-0
Genre: Young adult/western

Jem Coulter loves prospecting, and even though most of the ones who came for the gold rush are gone, Jem still finds enough specks of gold to keep his dream alive of striking it rich. Most of the miners are now working underground, hoping to find the mother lode. But while Jem dreams of striking it rich, he also sells frog legs and firewood. The first day of Spring, Jem and his sister Ellie skip school and head for the creek for frog legs—and maybe some gold hunting.

The day goes south quickly. Pa marches out to the creek, announces he’s the new sheriff and starts to escort his truant kids back to the school. But on the way, the stage coach arrives, carrying an unknown aunt and cousin. Pa sends Jem back to the ranch for the wagon when he’s summoned away to break up a dangerous fight among miners.

When things get even worse, Jem is convinced that outlaws will use Pa’s badge as target practice—but when Jem is plunged into danger—as well as his sister. Will it convince Jem that it truly is a badge of honor?

BADGE OF HONOR is the first book in Ms. Marlow’s new series Goldtown Adventures. I fell in love with Jem as well as his quick witted, tomboyish sister, and am anxious to read more about their adventures.

Jem is a character that will appeal to boys (since he is a boy) as well as girls, since there’s a sister involved. Written in Jem’s point of view, we see the rough and tumble mining town through the eyes of a twelve-year-old. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and highly recommend it for the tweener in your life. $7.99. 144 pages. 

Monday, December 17, 2012

Interview with James L. Rubart

James L. Rubart entertains and challenges audiences with his new thriller, Soul’s Gate

James L. Rubart’s novels entertain readers while challenging them to reexamine their own lives. Soul’s Gate(Thomas Nelson/November 6, 2012/ISBN: 978-1-4016-8605-5/$15.99) explores healing from our deepest wounds and embracing God’s calling for our lives — challenges that often have a strong hold over us.

Soul’s Gate poses the question: what if you could travel inside another person’s soul? What if you could battle for them and be a part of Jesus healing their deepest wounds? Thirty years ago, that’s exactly what Reece Roth did—until tragedy shattered his life and ripped away his destiny. Now God has drawn Reece out of the shadows to fulfill a decades-old prophecy about four warriors with the potential to change the world. In order to fulfill God’s plan, Reece will have to face his deepest regret in order to train them.

 An interview with James L. Rubart, Author of Soul’s Gate

Q: What drew you to write supernatural fiction?

From the moment I read The Chronicles of Narnia in 7th grade I’ve been enthralled by supernatural and fantastic stories. Toni Morrison says, "If there's a book that you want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it." That’s what I’ve done and why I’m writing supernatural fiction.

I love been swept away by a story that goes beyond ordinary, everyday life, and gives me hope and opens my mind to ideas I’d never dreamed possible, and that’s what I desire to do for readers.

Q: For those who may be asking, “What is supernatural fiction?” how would you explain the genre?

The term “Supernatural fiction” is a huge umbrella covering multiple sub-genres, so let me answer the question for my particular brand of fiction: For me it’s taking ordinary contemporary settings and interjecting the extraordinary into them. If you look at the Bible, it’s full of science fiction, fantasy, and speculative type stories. The difference is the tales in the Bible are true. What I do is take those fantastic things in the Bible and turn them into a story in our modern world.

Q: Where do your ideas come from?

Everywhere and anywhere. From headlines, other books, a line spoken by a friend, movies, and a hundred other ways. And most of the time I’ll hear or read something and the story pops into my head unannounced. I never go looking for an idea, they always seem to find me.

Q: Is Reece a human with special God-given powers or is he an angel?

Great question because he’s neither. At first glance he does seem to have extraordinary powers no one else has, but Reece believes anyone can have these powers, and he’s wants to teach them to others so they can use them too.

Q: What is the main “take away” you hope readers will hold on to after reading Soul’s Gate?

Freedom, freedom, freedom. I think if you look at an author’s work as a whole you’ll see a repeating theme in all their novels. My core theme is seeing people set free. Freedom from their past, freedom from their brokenness, freedom to step into their God designed destiny. I want people to finish Soul’s Gate and be more free than when they picked it up.

Q: What can readers look forward to in the rest of the Well Spring series?

You won’t tell anyone, right? Jesus came to heal the brokenhearted and set the captives free (Isaiah 61:1). And yet we have an enemy that has come to kill, steal, and destroy (John 10:10). In the next two books of the Well Spring series, that battle intensifies as Reece and the others fight to fulfill a prophecy that puts them at the forefront of a war that will either bring incredible freedom, or destroy everything they and everyone around them cares about.

For more information on James L. Rubart and his books, visit  Click here to watch the Soul’s Gate book trailer. You can also become a fan on Facebook or follow him on Twitter.

Bestselling author James L. Rubart challenges readers to go deep with his latest novel, Soul’s Gate

Ever since reading The Chronicles of Narnia in seventh grade, author James L. Rubart has been enthralled with supernatural and fantastic stories. He loves being swept away by a tale that goes beyond the ordinary and explores ideas he never dreamed possible. It’s what he tries to do with his own stories. This desire is clearly evident in his latest release, Soul’s Gate (Thomas Nelson/November 6, 2012/ISBN: 978-1-4016-8605-5/$15.99).

“Toni Morrison says, ‘If there's a book that you want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it.’ That’s what I’ve done and why I’m writing my particular brand of supernatural fiction even though I knew it wasn’t mainstream,” says Rubart. All the major publishers rejected Rubart’s first novel, ROOMS because they didn’t know what to do with it. But once ROOMS was finally published, it took off immediately allowing Rubart to effectively create his own genre. 

“I love to take ordinary, contemporary settings and interject the extraordinary into them. If you look at the Bible, it’s full of science fiction, fantasy, and speculative type stories. The difference is the tales in the Bible are true. What I do is take those fantastic things in the Bible and turn them into a story set in our modern world.”

Rubart’s novels entertain, but they also make readers think. Deeply. For example, Soul’s Gate explores the idea of facing and healing our deepest wounds and restoration of lost parts of our lives, themes Rubart not only writes about but also speaks about as well all over the country. Ultimately, as with all of Rubart’s previous releases, the core theme of Soul’s Gate is freedom. “I want people to finish Soul’s Gate or any of my other novels and be freer than when they picked it up. Freedom from their past, freedom from their brokenness, freedom to step into their God designed destiny.”

There’s no question Rubart is making a significant impact with his novels. In addition to a rabid following of readers, his previous releases have garnered critical acclaim, awards, and have risen to the top of best-seller lists. His first novel, Rooms (2010), won a Best Books 2011 award from USA Book News, as well as RT Book Reviews Inspirational Novel of the Year.  His second novel, Book of Days was nominated as a RT Book Reviews Inspirational Novel of the Year, and his third, The Chair was Christian Retailing’s TOP PICK in September 2011, a Christy Award finalist, and is an ACFW Carol Award nominee.

About Soul’s Gate

What if you could send your spirit inside other people’s souls to fight for their freedom?

Thirty years ago, Reece Roth traveled into the souls of others to heal them of their darkest wounds—until tragedy shattered his life and ripped away his destiny. Now God has drawn Reece out of the shadows to fulfill a decades-old prophecy about four warriors with the potential to change the world. But it will mean facing his darkest hour.

Reece stood and faced the group. “Every now and then we get a break from reality. A glimpse into the other world that is more real than the reality we live in 99 percent of our days. The Bible is about a world of demons and angels and great evil and even greater glory. A world the prophets saw; the world Enoch, and Elijah, and Paul, and John the apostle all saw. A world that is all around us in every moment if we would have eyes to see and ears to hear.”

The group gathers at a secluded and mysterious ranch deep in the mountains of Colorado where they will learn to see the spiritual world around them with stunning clarity and how to step into the supernatural as powerfully as anyone in the Bible did.  The four have a destiny to battle for a freedom even Reece doesn’t fully fathom. However, they have an enemy determined to destroy them — one who will stop at nothing to keep them from their quest for true freedom and the coming battle of souls.

Click here to watch the Soul’s Gate book trailer.

For more about James L. Rubart and his books, visit, on  Facebook and on  Twitter.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Doctor to the Rescue / Her Holiday Fireman

Author: Cheryl Wyatt
Publisher: Love Inspired
January 2013
ISBN: 978-0373877904
Genre: Contemporary romance

Bri Landis is desperate to save her mother’s memory—and her mother’s favorite place on Earth, a lodge. But with her brother in combat and Bri all alone, the job seems overwhelming—especially since the lodge is being repossessed unless she can fix it up and rent out every available space in less than a month to earn the money to pay what is owed. The job is beyond impossible—especially when Bri falls from a nine foot ladder and breaks her arm bad enough to require surgery.

Ian Shupe is a former combat doctor, best friends with Bri’s brother, and in a nasty custody battle for his little girl. As the doctor on duty when Bri comes in, Ian goes above and beyond the call of duty to make her comfortable, and even offers to work without pay to help her fix up the lodge—if she’s willing to babysit his daughter while he works.

Rumor has it that Ian is attracted to Bri, which is why he is brusque. Coming out of a bad relationship with a brusque man, Bri is leery of letting Ian too close. But what will it take for two people with deep hurts and ongoing trauma find a lasting relation—especially when a troubled child is involved?

DOCTOR TO THE RESCUE is the second book in Ms. Wyatt’s Eagle Point Emergency series, but it easily stands alone.  I couldn’t help but feel for Bri and her problems, and Ian just reached out and wrapped himself around my heart strings and tugged. I felt for him deeply.

I enjoyed reading DOCTOR TO THE RESCUE and highly recommend it to anyone looking for a great contemporary romance. The action never slows down. Fast paced, and I had to keep reading to see what happens next. Discussion questions are included at the end of the book. $ 6.75. 224 pages.


Author: Kathleen Y’Barbo
Publisher: Love Inspired
November 2012
ISBN: 978-0-373-87779-9
Genre: Contemporary romance

Leah Berry’s father has recently been put into a nursing home. Leah is struggling to run her daddy’s restaurant and fend off developers who want to buy her family home. Well, the land. Ocean front property is pretty valuable, and since the pre-Civil War era house burned, Leah is living in a small shack beside the sea.

Ryan Owan has lost his wife. Now, on what would've been his one year anniversary, he’s sitting as far away from what he’d known as possible. Acting as fire chief in this new-to-him community on the sea, it would’ve been perfect—if his wife were by his side.

 From the moment Ryan met the beautiful redhead, Ryan knows he’s in trouble. He came to town to heal. Not looking for a new lover. When Ryan shuts down Leah’s Daddy’s restaurant due to fire code violations, Leah is infuriated. Will Ryan and Leah learn to let go—and let God?

HER HOLIDAY FIREMAN is Ms. Y’Barbo’s latest romance. My heart broke when I found out Ryan’s story.  Leah is kind to Ryan even without knowing his story, when he inconveniences her and her employees at the restaurant, and that won points with me. Both Ryan and Leah were struggling with loss, Leah with more material things (though with her daddy’s Alzheimers, there is definitely some physical loss) and Ryan with the loss of his wife. 

I couldn't help but fall for these two hurting characters and wanted them to find healing. But first they must learn to tolerate differences. A fun addition to the story was Ryan’s dog and Leah’s cat, because they too much learn to tolerate others. Discussion questions are included at the end of the book.  $5.75. 214 pages. 

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Love Finds You in Tombstone, Arizona

Author: Miralee Ferrell
Publisher: Summerside Press
February 2011
ISBN: 978-1611296259
Genre: Historical romance

Christy Grey is excited about a chance to start over. When her  brother contacts her saying he needs help caring for their sick mother, Christy is quick to jump to assistance. After all, it means she leaves behind her reputation as a salon girl in Last Chance, California. A new beginning. Just what she needed. So, she takes a stage to Tombstone, Arizona. However, the trip goes from bad to worse when the stage is held up by four masked men.

Nevada King has problems of his own. He’s been dodging bullets for years and wants nothing more than to settle down and get married. But he’s on the run from outlaws bent on revenge, and the one woman who captures his interest recognizes him from the stagecoach holdup.

Christy arrives in Tombstone to find her brother trapped in a life of gambling. He’s already spent all their mother’s money. Desperate for money to support her family, will Christy bow to pressure from the local saloon owners and return to the life she thought she’d given up for good? And will Christy turn Nevada in to the authorities, or will the outlaws on his trail catch him?

LOVE FINDS YOU IN TOMBSTONE, ARIZONA, is a sort of follow-up book to a secondary character who first appeared in Love Finds You in Last Chance, California. Even if you haven’t read that book, it’s okay, this book easily stands alone. I couldn’t help but care for Christy and for Nevada, and I cheered for them as they attempted to work through their difficulties.

I really enjoy the Love Finds You series, based in real towns across the United States. I’ve never been out west, but this town made me interested in what it might be like to visit, if I ever go to Arizona. I enjoyed reading about this rough and tumble western town.

If you enjoy reading Christian Westerns/historical romances, you will want to read LOVE FINDS YOU IN TOMBSTONE, ARIZONA. I especially enjoyed the author’s note at the end of the book. $12.99. 315 pages. 

Friday, December 14, 2012

Interview with Rose Marie Miller

Missionary Rose Marie Miller shares her journey to discovering Nothing is Impossible with God

Nothing is impossible with God. That’s what Rose Marie Miller had always heard, but for a long time it didn’t seem to ring true to her. Even while serving in ministry, she kept God at a distance, building walls of self-protection and self-reliance. She wanted to avoid weakness and vulnerability at all costs. Then, God powerfully transformed her heart. In Nothing is Impossible with God: Reflections on Weakness, Faith, and Power(New Growth Press, October 2012, ISBN 978-1-936768-68-4, $ 15.99, also available in eBook), Miller shares how God revealed his grace and forgiveness, changing her life in ways she never thought were possible and welcoming her into new, missional life of discipleship.

The missional life has not slowed down for Miller. At age 88, Rose Marie actively ministers to Asian women living in London eight months out of the year, further proving that nothing is impossible.

An Interview with Rose Marie Miller, Author of Nothing is Impossible with God

Q: In Nothing Is Impossible, you speak quite candidly about your resistance to actively be a part of some of your husband’s ministry outreaches. Was he aware of how much you were struggling with your faith at that time?

Was Jack aware of my struggles? No, I do not think so. It was hard to be honest with him. I was successful in taking many troubled people into our home that I think he thought I would be happy with everything he wanted me to do. It wasn’t until coming out of Uganda and asking him why I couldn’t cope that he had a sense of my need. The next time I went, it was with such joy that it was a no brainer---then three years later when I told him I wasn’t returning, he was able to accept that. But then, of course, I did when I heard he had a heart attack. This was a watershed for me when I realized that God was with me. And that was all I needed to know.

Q: Tell us about some of the changes that God made in your life over time so that you were able to become a fulltime ministry partner with your husband.

It was always God coming into my heart with a big push. In Switzerland showing me my pride and arrogance, in Uganda showing me how helpless I was, and Jack telling me I act like an orphan. Then after his heart attack in Uganda God reminding me he would be with me as he was with Moses. God’s Spirit was always behind me to change my heart. He continues to do that today.

Q: What does it mean to live a lifestyle of forgiveness?

As an old black lady used to say about her sins, “I bunch them.” I believe I used to do that. Now when I say something I shouldn’t say, or think a thought I shouldn’t, or neglect speaking when I should---and of course there is much more—I try to confess them right away.  I realized during the years that sin is against God as David writes in Psalm 51, and this is where I go with my sin. To “bunch” them is to have a heart distant from God.

Q: What are some of the biggest lies that Satan tells us?

Satan’s biggest lie is that God has kept something from you. You deserve more than what you have. He is not creative. This is the same lie he told in the garden to Eve. Following that is the lie that you have no self-worth. This can lead to centering your life on career, relationships, marriage, children—expecting that your worth will come from what you do or what people think of you. 

Q: Many of us struggle with contentment. How can we work towards being truly content?

Contentment? I believe it goes back to the lie of the evil one that your circumstances or people are the cause of your discontent. The struggle is to accept God has sovereign control over your life and over all that is around you. I was a very discontented pastor’s wife, and one day the Spirit showed me that it was rooted in my not accepting God’s right to control my life. A good read through II Kings shows how sovereign God is. It is good to have a heart fixed on the steadfast love of the LORD. Also to know that you are a part of God’s plan to bring life to broken people.

Q: You devote a major portion of your book to learning to pray. Prayer seems like such a simple concept, but what are some of the things we so often misunderstand about praying?

First we miss how helpless we are to know how to pray without the Spirit teaching us (Romans 8). Second, we miss the kingdom aspect of praying. It isn’t about us; it is about God restoring a broken world and people. Third we lack persistence (Luke 11). Forth we forget we are in a battle. Our enemies are not flesh/blood, but principalities, powers, and rulers of this dark world. This is what we learned in praying for our daughter, Barbara. We forget how eager the Spirit is to hear our prayers and we lack the faith that our prayers are stored in heaven in a bowl to be thrown out when it is God’s time. We do not pray with expectancy.

Q: You sometimes tired of life in the mission field, and were ready to stay in the same place for a while when your husband died. What happened when you came home to America where you could stay in one place for a while?

There is no easy way to deal with grief, but in spite of losing a partner, I continued teaching in our Sonship weekends and women’s retreats. It gave focus to my life. At that time, I think I forgot I wanted to be in one place, because the next two to three years there was a lot of traveling. My desire to stay in one place was not thinking of what God wanted; it was about me.

Q: Did you ever think that God would give you your own mission work?

No, it was God’s call that brought me to London, but it was also the care of my sister that kept me from coming full time. Last November (2011), I was granted a full-time visa to stay in London for two years. We will see what will happen at the end of 2013.

Q: Where are you actively involved in ministry today? What groups of people are you reaching out to?

Our target group of people is Asians from India, Kenya, and Uganda. I am involved in teaching, praying, building friendships. I am part of a U.S. team that ministers in these areas.

Q: You share with the women that you minister to about the women of the Bible who faced the impossible. Who were some of those women, and what challenges did they face?

The Spirit has used Eve, Sarah, Hannah, and Mary in my life to teach me about myself and the ways of God.

Eve believed an impossible lie. If I had been the first woman, I would have eaten the fruit.

Sarah believed an impossible promise. I, like Sarah, tried to bring in the kingdom through much self-effort.

Hannah prayed an impossible prayer. Against all hope she prayed for a son and learned about God— truths I am still eager to learn.

Mary was given an impossible task. She was human just like me, and I, too, was given an impossible task—to bring men/women to Christ.

Q: Is there ever a time where we can retire from doing God’s work?

I do not find retirement in the Bible. We are never off the hook to continue to learn about God, his ways, and his will, and to share with the truth with others.

New Growth Press Christian book store provides Gospel-centered Christian books, small group and kids Bible resources for discipleship, biblical counseling and missional ministry. For more information about Nothing is Impossible with God and other releases from New Growth Press, visit


Nothing is Impossible with God:
Reflections on Weakness, Faith, and Power

No one likes to feel weak. Just thinking about our inadequate resources can fill us with fear and hopelessness. But Rose Marie Miller has a different perspective. For her true weakness is a gift born out of a deep sense of need, it drives us to Christ and unleashes all the redeeming energy of God’s grace in our lives and others. Rose Marie Miller, a living example of God’s power in weakness, weaves together biblical insights and personal experience and shares a new, gospel-driven way of living where the way up is down, the weak become strong, and the dead receive life in her new book Nothing is Impossible with God: Reflections on Weakness, Faith, and Power (New Growth Press). God, for whom nothing is impossible, uses weak people to change the world—and that includes you!


An excerpt adapted from Nothing is Impossible with God:
©New Growth Press – used with permission

The God of the Impossible

On our first trip to Uganda, Jack and I stayed in a hotel in Kampala with many Asians who had survived the years under Amin. It wasn’t long before we were accepted by Hindus from India and Muslims from Pakistan. God used those experiences to help Jack see that the “nations”— particularly those from Asian cultures— had come to England. The result was that WHM began a work in the Southall area of London where many Asians live. In 1994 my daughter Keren, her husband Bob Heppe, and their four children moved to London to bring the gospel to Hindus, Sikhs, and Muslims.

A few years after Jack died, I sensed God’s call to join them. Many of the Asians come from Kenya and Uganda, fleeing persecution. My heart is stirred by the sorrows and heartaches of their lives. Over the years I have also listened to Bob talk about God’s passion to reach the nations as he sends us with good news into a world broken by sin. I am not here for myself!

So, when I was invited to India to speak at a conference, it seemed natural to say yes…

…The next year when another invitation came, I was eager to return. The organizer, put together a one-day event for about ninety women. We gathered for tea, a special meal and four talks about women from the Bible who were just like us, though they lived many years ago. It was moving to stand before these ladies and talk about the God for whom nothing is impossible. Ruth Batstone spoke about Eve, I spoke on Sarah and Hannah, and an Asian woman did a study on Mary.

The theme of our talks was “Nothing Is Impossible with God.” I chose the four women: Eve, Sarah, Hannah, and Mary, and interacted with the other speakers about the themes of their lives. Their stories are included in this section. Let me share why I chose these particular women.

Eve believed an impossible lie. In my life journey, I have realized that if I had been in the garden of Eden, I too would have chosen to eat the fruit rather than submit to God. The impossible lie that beguiled Eve was that God was withholding something from her. Satan knew how to seduce her and twist God’s word to his advantage: “Did God really say?” (Genesis 3:1 NIV). We need to know what God really said and we need to listen when he speaks. We especially need to listen when he says, “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5).

Sarah believed an impossible promise. Sarah was asked to believe God’s promise that she would have a son. Her problem was that she had been barren—infertile—for many years. This was a very important promise. God had told her husband Abraham that he would be the father of nations, so it was crucial for both Abraham and Sarah to believe that God would do the impossible. What did I learn from Sarah? I like to take matters into my own hands like Sarah did. I am impatient in waiting for God to work out his plans. Like Sarah, I need the laughter of faith for the impossibilities of life. Sarah’s laugh was a genuine laugh of faith when, at ninety years of age, she held little Isaac in her arms.

Hannah prayed an impossible prayer. We hear Hannah praying twice: once in desperation and once in faith regarding who God is and what he is doing in her life and in the nations. I was captured by her plea, “If you will only . . . give [me] a son” (1 Samuel 1:11 NIV). It reminded me of prayers I have prayed: “If only you had not taken Jack, I would not be so lonely.” It is too easy to live out of the “if onlys” of life and not come to the place of faith as Hannah did. God answered her prayer and gave her a son, whom God used to bring his people back to himself. Jesus’ mother Mary recited Hannah’s second prayer to her cousin Elizabeth after she found out she was pregnant with Jesus. I longed to be able to exalt God in prayer the way she did.

Mary was given an impossible task: giving birth to the Son of God and nurturing him into manhood. She humbly submitted to God’s plan for her life and brought forth the One who would save his people from their sins. But there was another side to Mary. She also needed a Savior, and I wonder if it all came together for her when she saw her son die that she might live. Scripture’s last mention of her has her praying in the upper room, waiting for the coming of the Spirit— the One Jesus promised while he was here on earth. Like Mary, God also has given me a task: bearing children, taking people into our home, going to places like Uganda, London, and India. Like Mary, I too am flawed, but I have the same Savior she did. She is truly a blessed woman, and I am blessed too.


About the author:
Rose Marie Miller, Bible teacher; conference speaker; missionary with World Harvest Mission; and author of From Fear to Freedom: Living as Sons and Daughters of God. Rose Marie and her late husband C. John “Jack” Miller worked together to plant the New Life Presbyterian Churches and begin World Harvest Mission. She has five children, twenty-four grandchildren, and twenty great-grandchildren and divides her time between London, England and Jenkintown, PA.

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