Friday, February 5, 2016

A Son's Vow by Shelley Shepard Gray


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the LitFuse Publications book blogger campaign. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” 


About the book: 

A Son's Vow (Avon Inspire, January 2016)

Three months ago, everything changed for Darla Kurtz and her family.

Darla's father was responsible for a terrible fire at Charm's lumber mill which killed five Amish men. And though he, too, lost his life, the town of Charm hasn't looked at her family the same since. Even Lukas Kinsinger---with whom Darla used to have a close friendship.

Now her brother's anger at the town is spilling over onto Darla, and she has the bruises to prove it. The accident already cost five lives, but if something doesn't change soon, Darla fears it will cost her---and her family---even more.

Lukas Kinsinger wants to mourn the loss of his father, but he can hardly find the time to breathe. Suddenly the head of his father's lumber mill and responsible for taking care of his three siblings, he's feeling the pressure. He has also never felt more alone---especially with the new tension between he and Darla. But when he learns of her troubles at home, Lukas knows he can't simply stand by and watch. Someone has to help her before another tragedy occurs.

As Lukas and Darla attempt to repair their families, they discover something deeper than friendship growing between them. But will Lukas and Darla's love be accepted after so much loss? Or will the pain of the past overcome any chance of future happiness?

Shelley Shepard Gray's first book in her Charmed Amish Life series is set in the quaint Amish village of Charm, Ohio, and tells the stories of the Kinsinger siblings who are each struggling to find both forgiveness and love in the face of tragedy. 


Purchase a copy: http://bit.ly/1TnOt9W 



About the author:


Shelley Shepard Gray is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, a finalist for the American Christian Fiction Writers prestigious Carol Award, and a two-time HOLT Medallion winner. She lives in southern Ohio, where she writes full-time, bakes too much, and can often be found walking her dachshunds on her town's bike trail.

Connect with Shelley:  websiteTwitterFacebook,Pinterest





Dynamic Uno here: As I've mentioned before, I have always idealized the Amish as having less stress and generally being happy since they have less of society's "burdens" within their communities.  However, the more I read about the Amish through this author's eyes, the more I realize that they do have the same troubles and struggles as everyone else.  

In A Son's Vow, grief and resentment had built up so much inside one of the characters, that he was taking his anger/frustration out on other people both verbally and physically.  I was a little surprised at first, but when I thought about the loss of my grandmother last year, I could relate to the frustration and grief and anger that I felt over the circumstances of her death.

Another emotion I could relate to was that of being "unexpectedly happy."  In this instance, another character had moved beyond her grief and was starting to see that she didn't have to be sad and unhappy just because her loved one had passed away.  She hadn't realized that she had moved on until she was asked how she felt and "unexpectedly happy" was her response.  

Forgiveness was a huge theme throughout the book, as well as love.  (You knew there had to be a bit of romance in there somewhere, right?)  After several of the characters finally chose to forgive themselves and each other, they were finally able to move past their differences and difficulties, which allowed love to sweep in and start romance brewing among the community members.

I really enjoyed reading this first book of The Charmed Amish Life series and cannot wait to meet more of the characters in this cute little town.  If you enjoy reading uplifting inspirational romances with Amish characters, then you won't be disappointed.

Let me know what you think and Happy Reading!


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Thursday, January 21, 2016

If I Run by Terri Blackstock


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the LitFuse Publications book blogger campaign. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” 


About the book: 


If I Run (Zondervan, February 2016)

Casey knows the truth. But it won't set her free.

Casey Cox's DNA is all over the crime scene. There's no use talking to police; they have failed her abysmally before. She has to flee before she's arrested . . . or worse. The truth doesn't matter anymore.

But what is the truth? That's the question haunting Dylan Roberts, the war-weary veteran hired to find Casey. PTSD has marked him damaged goods, but bringing Casey back can redeem him. Though the crime scene seems to tell the whole story, details of the murder aren't adding up. Casey Cox doesn't fit the profile of a killer. But are Dylan's skewed perceptions keeping him from being objective? If she isn't guilty, why did she run?

Unraveling her past and the evidence that condemns her will take more time than he has, but as Dylan's damaged soul intersects with hers, he is faced with two choices. The girl who occupies his every thought is a psychopathic killer . . . or a selfless hero. And the truth could be the most deadly weapon yet.

Purchase a copy:
 http://bit.ly/1ZEF914



About the author: 


Terri Blackstock has sold over seven million books worldwide and is a New York Times bestselling author. She is the award-winning author of InterventionVicious Cycle, and Downfall, as well as such series as Cape Refuge, Newpointe 911, the SunCoast Chronicles, and the Restoration Series.

Connect with Terri: websiteTwitterFacebook




Dynamic Uno here:  I first want to give a HUGE THANK YOU to Christen Krumm from LitFuse Publicity for her quick response in making sure I was able to get a copy of the book in order to have it read in time to post my review.  (This is not the first time she's jumped in to save the day.)  So, THANK YOU CHRISTEN!!

All of that having been said,  I truly couldn't put the book down!  Page one grabbed me by the collar and wouldn't let go until my eyes gave out from exhaustion.  The twists and turns leave you feeling like you've been on a roller coaster without leaving your seat.  I was glued to the pages and couldn't read fast enough--the action was THAT intense!

I enjoyed reading the back-stories of the characters and finding out their motivations for their actions.  I couldn't even imagine finding myself in that situation, and yet when I actually turn on the television these types of back-stories (sadly) dominate the headlines.

Part of me wonders if I could have even lasted as long as the main character, or if I would have just given up and hoped for the best with the police.  I'd like to think I have the street smarts to last and follow in her footsteps, but in reality, I would have just curled up in a little ball and cried until someone found me.

If you're looking for high action and suspense around every corner, you need to pick up this book!  Seriously--it's amazing!

Let me know what you think and Happy Reading!



Blackstock1

Monday, January 18, 2016

Book Blogger Appreciation Week



Ever since I started blogging I've joined with one community or another trying to make "friends" in the blogging world.  Over he years I've found "my people"--the book bloggers.

Most people who are book bloggers have been kind and extremely encouraging through the blogging process.  Needless to say, when I first heard about Book Blogger Appreciation Week (originally from My Friend Amy), I was thrilled!

Over the years, the celebration became too huge of an undertaking so #BBAW ended.  This morning as I perused my backlog of blogrolls, I was excited to see that Estella's Society has decided to resurrect the celebration this year!

Sign ups should be soon on their site.  I hope to see you there!

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

What Pro-Life Really Means | Evangelicals for Life

EFL Button

Even if you're not heading to Washington, D.C., January 21–22 for the March for Life event, block out some time those two days because you'll be able to attend some of the events in the comfort of your own home. Focus on the Family and The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission will host Evangelicals for Life, a major pro-life conference held in conjunction with the March for Life event.

The event will take place in Washington, D.C., at the Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill. Evangelicals from across the country will gather to hear from leading speakers, such as David Platt, Russell Moore, Jim Daly, Kelly Rosati, and others—to be equipped and encouraged to become a voice for life! The event will also be simulcast for FREE so individuals, churches, and organizations from coast-to-coast and around the world can take part.

Speakers will encourage evangelicals to engage the culture on issues of abortion and end-of-life decisions, and the event will affirm the evangelical belief in the sanctity of life, that every life matters to God and is created in His image.

For more information, visit http://evangelicals.life/.

Readers of this blog will receive 15% off their registration by using the code FocusLife.



What Pro-Life Really Means

By Daniel Darling

It was a flippant comment by the spokesmen for a presidential candidate: “It doesn’t matter. They’re just Muslims.” But it made shudder.

This is how societies begin to dehumanize a people group, and every generation of Christians is responsible to face this thinking and fight it. This is what it means to be a pro-life champion.

We are pro-life because we are pro-human dignity. It is the uniquely Christian message that sees in every soul a person created in the image of God.

When Planned Parenthood and their allies say, “That’s just a fetus,” we say, “No, that’s a baby, a human life, that deserves dignity and respect.”

When corrupt profiteers look at vulnerable young girls and boys and say, “They are just a commodity to be trafficked for money,” we say, “No, they are boys and girls created in the image of God and deserving of dignity and respect.”

When eugenicists look at the elderly and say, “They are just burdens to be managed,” we say, “No, human dignity is not defined by utility, but is a unique gift given by God.”

When politicians look at immigrants and say, “They are a drain on society,” we say, “No, they are created in the image of God and worthy of kindness, welcoming, and respect.”

When ISIS brutally dehumanizes its victims—Christians, Muslims, Jews, and anyone who doesn’t subscribe to their ideology—and they say, “They are just infidels,” we say, by our acts of justice, “No, they are people created in the image of God and worthy of life and respect.”

When the disabled are marginalized, we say, “No, each was created in the image of God and is worthy of our full love and acceptance.”

Even in our discourse, even when we look across the aisle, across the screen, across the table at someone who doesn’t share our beliefs, we say to ourselves, “This person is worthy of respect and dignity because they too were created in the image of God.”

Human dignity, the intrinsic worth of every human soul, is not just a once-every-four-years mantra for voter guides and political scorecards. We live out the imago de as a way of life, and we seek justice wherever human dignity is compromised.

This is why ERLC and Focus on the Family join hands to help raise up a new generation of evangelicals who are passionate about the sanctity of human life. This why you should come to Washington, D.C., this January to the Evangelicals for Life event or participate via the free simulcast at your church or on your computer.

You should join Evangelicals for Life, not simply to make a powerful stand in the nation’s capital. You should come, not simply to be stirred by the gifted speakers. You should come, not only to fellowship and strategize with other champions for life.

You should be a part of of Evangelicals for Life because God is calling you, in this time and in your sphere of influence, to be a voice for human dignity.

Answer for yourself what it means to have a pro-life, whole-life vision. Discover where your gifts and talents best serve the kingdom of God in this way, and send a message to the world that your Christianity compels you to look every human being in the eye and not see what everyone sees. You see in them the image of their Creator.

Daniel Darling is the Vice President for Communications for the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention (ERLC), the co-sponsor of the Evangelicals for Life conference. Dan holds a bachelor’s degree in pastoral ministry from Dayspring Bible College and has studied at  Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. He is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He and his wife Angela have four children and reside in the Nashville area. They attend Green Hill Church in Mt. Juliet, Tennessee, where Dan serves as Pastor of Teaching and Discipleship.