20 April 2017

Teresa S. Mathews Reviews "BEHIND THE SCENES" by Jen Turano

Review by Teresa S. Mathews
5 Stars*****

Once again Jen Turano has penned a tale guaranteed to entertain and delight and I will go so far as to say, tickle your funny bone. This is book one in a new series titled Apart From the Crowd and it was filled with many interesting characters of whom are a part of New York's High Society. Our lovely main character Permilia Griswold had her debut later in life than most young ladies and the only place there seemed to be for her was with the wallflowers, and so the fun begins!

Wallflower,” most young ladies born into wealth would rue being called that but not strong-willed, independent Permilia. In fact it fit her purposes quite well, no one would ever think she was taking notes at all the balls and publishing them in the local paper under the pen-name Miss Quill. So, Permilia trying her best not to be noticed while taking notes, sees a terrible accident in the making, rushes to help and being the epitome of her usual gracefulness, is almost flattened by a falling object until she is rescued by Asher Rutherford.

Asher Rutherford, a well standing member of society despite being the owner of a department store. Most of his influential peers think it odd that a man of his family's wealth would stoop to running a business, thankfully no one knows the real reason and he would like to keep it that way. As Asher is making his way through the crowd at the latest ball his attention is caught by none other than the feisty, beautiful but somewhat awkward Permilia Griswold. That was the beginning of an interesting evening filled with all types of adventure, intrigue, and even an overheard murder plot. And if you were to believe the report published in the paper the next morning, Permilia and Asher were the talk of the ball, but not necessarily in a good way! 

If you haven't read one of Jen's books yet, let me encourage you to do so. From start to finish you will be thoroughly engrossed with her lively characters and their even livelier antics, and I promise you will find yourself laughing out loud on more than one occassion! I always finish up Jen's books feeling like I was a part of a grand adventure! 

***Thanks to Bethany House and NetGalley for a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion***

GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment and your email address and you could be the blessed winner of a signed copy of this exciting book that Ms. Turano has graciously offered. US RESIDENTS ONLY. 

***For those of you who have never read one of Jen Turano's books here is the links on Amazon to two of her free e-book novellas. ***

16 April 2017

I AM THE RESURRECTION by Teresa S. Mathews


Jesus cried “It is finished” the Son of GOD was gone.
Satan shouted out in glee; he thought that he had won!

They took Jesus' broken body and placed it in a tomb,
His family, his friends, his disciples, all were filled with gloom.

As hell was rejoicing, loudly celebrating Jesus death,
There was a sound that was heard that made them hold their breath.

Down the corridor of hell walked a man bright as day,
He was coming to claim the keys of death and take it's power away!

Death, hell and the grave had to bow to His decree,
"Every Saint held captive here is coming home with me!"

When Sunday morning began to dawn with the brightness of the day,
The angels descended and rolled the stone away!

The One who freely gave His life so that we might be saved,
Was the One that triumphed over death, hell and the grave.

The One who made the promise, "In three days I will Arise"
Is now the One Proclaimed THE RESURRECTION AND THE LIFE!

© Teresa S. Mathews 2017 

 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die... JOHN 11:25-26

Easter Blessings from Carrie, Bonnie and Teresa

13 April 2017

Audiobook of Renee Ryan's " Journey's End: Gilded Promises"

Renee Ryan's Journey's End: Gilded Promises
I listened to this as an Audible.com download.

Loved this Gilded Age story set in New York City.
Five Stars *****
Five Stars ***** for Narration, also -- the narration was stellar.  Loved this narrator - Karen Peake

This is my first book of Renee Ryan's that I have read and it was lovely and won't be the last. According to her website book page, she has over twenty books to choose from!  I ordered the second book in this series, through Audible, and am listening to the sequel so watch for an upcoming review! 

The narrator, for this novel, Karen Peakes, was fantastic. I loved her narration and it was perfect for enhancing this beautiful story. Renee and Karen should get an audiobook award, (they are called Audies) for this fantastic job they did. 

The story: Caroline St. James comes to New York to bring what she believes is justice to her grandfather, who she believes is responsible for abandoning her mother when she sought his aid.  Although from a  wealthy family, Caroline has grown up in a terrible section of London, always fighting for survival. 

Jackson Montgomery's life is going great. He's brought his family out of scandal, is successful in business, and hopes to soon be engage.  But then a young Englishwoman arrives and impacts his world. 

Sizzling romance and tension throughout  this story. Two alphas butting heads and growing in their spiritual arcs. A sigh-worthy story. But can Caroline disrupt her cousin Elizabeth's life by falling in love with the man everyone has thought would become Elizabeth's husband? You'll have to read to find out if they can get past their obstacles -- and will they be willing to face the consequences for all?

09 April 2017

How Does She Do It? Beverly Lewis on Tour & Giveaway

How does she do it? Last year, I'd read a blog post that described how Beverly did her tours (I think maybe her agent posted it) and I was floored. They said Beverly Lewis had several book signings a day across multiple cities and states! WHAT?!!! I can barely manage a single book signing, one location, for a couple of hours! I figured she must have supernatural assistance from the Holy Spirit to manage this. I still do think that. Because -- guess what -- she had another tour this year that came through my area.

So when I checked out the new tour schedule, I asked my friend, Anne Payne, "How does she do it?" Because I just couldn't imagine.  We went to see Beverly Lewis at the Newport News Lifeway store. You can check out the schedule here: Click here.
Authors Carrie Fancett Pagels and Beverly Lewis

NINETEEN events across Virginia and North Carolina in ONE WEEK!!! When I got my chance to speak with Beverly, who was very kind and is even prettier in person, I didn't ask her about how she got her stamina. I feel pretty certain God alone, along with the Holy Spirit, and Jesus, keep her going.

God put a lovely Personal Assistant alongside her, who helped Beverly with the event. She even took our picture, left.  She took pictures for readers throughout the event. What a blessing!

The novel being promoted is The Ebb Tide. You still have a chance to catch Beverly on this booksigning tour, which will be going on through Good Friday, with the last event in Cary, North Carolina. You can purchase a copy of The Ebb Tide at Lifeway stores, at Barnes & Noble, Christian Book Distributors, at independent Christian bookstores, and online at Amazon. The Ebb Tide is available in multiple formats, including audiobook, as well as paperback, hardcover, large print, and ebook.

The Ebb Tide by Beverly Lewis
A new reader friend I met in the (long!) line, held my book for me -- see right. These book signing events are an encouragement to readers who love Beverly's books. And since what she writes, is God-honoring, should I be surprised that she can keep that schedule? Yes, I still am -- and I still think its amazing that she can do that. It's a God thing for sure!

Giveaway: For a chance to win a SIGNED copy of The Ebb Tide by Beverly Lewis answer this question: When has God given you supernatural energy or stamina to accomplish what He has planned for you to do?

06 April 2017

When Angels Cry by MaryLu Tyndall - Guest Review by Noela Nancarrow

Guest Review by Noela Nancarrow
Ransom Press (April 3, 2017)

5 Stars *****

Thrilling End-Time Drama!

If you were to read only one more book this year, then hands down this should be the one. For when a novel is so powerful and compelling that it has the potential to save and transform lives, all while delivering a fast-paced, unpredictable, suspenseful romance…then it is not a book to be missed!

Set in the not-too-distant future, the world as we know it is drawing near to a dramatic end. Biblically prophesied signs and wonders are shaking the world, and yet many continue to live in deception soaking up the lies of the world. Including the world-famous charismatic pastor Daniel Cain, who preaches a diluted gospel to thousands, unaware his own light has also drastically weakened. Daniel still cares deeply for ex-girlfriend Angelica, but he refuses to listen to her and her friends who illegally witness on the beach. He knows if he is not careful, she could bring his charmed life crashing down. So what will it take to bring him to his knees before the Almighty? 

Angelica knows God’s voice well, sees easily into the spiritual realm, and frequently receives visions. But when God tells her to speak warnings to Daniel, the man who broke her heart, she struggles to obey. Angelica has a strong faith, but like many of us she also has flaws and weaknesses. When dire threats and terrifying danger begin to overwhelm Angelica and she is fully tested by her greatest weakness—can she find the faith to overcome?

MaryLu Tyndall’s ‘When Angels Cry’, gripped my spirit and instilled within me a renewed passion to pray for the lost. It was also a much needed reminder of the principalities and powers in high places that persuade and deceive the masses. This battle of light and dark is so very real! The author of this book helps us to see the unseen. End-time scriptures scattered throughout and at the conclusion will have you devouring the Word anew. For all that I thank you, MaryLu Tyndall. This book has an exciting Peretti flavour and a chilling relevancy to current times! Highly recommended!!
Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author and was under no obligation to post a review.
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*Click on the link on the title or the book cover to be taken to Amazon to purchase your copy.

GIVEAWAY: MaryLu Tyndall is generously giving away TWO giveaways! Simply read the review and leave a comment for your chance to WIN one of two giveaways of either an AUDIO CD of MaryLu Tyndall’s last release, ‘She walks in Power’, OR an E-BOOK of ‘Charity's Cross’! Let me know your preference. And be sure to leave your email so that we can notify you should you win!

30 March 2017

Bonnie Roof Reviews "The Illusionist's Apprentice" by Kristy Cambron

The Illusionist's Apprentice by Kristy Cambron
Scroll down past the publisher's blurb to read Bonnie's review
Blurb: Harry Houdini's one-time apprentice holds fantastic secrets about the greatest illusionist in the world. But someone wants to claim them . . . or silence her before she can reveal them on her own.

Boston, 1926. Jenny "Wren" Lockhart is a bold eccentric--even for a female vaudevillian. As notorious for her inherited wealth and gentleman's dress as she is for her unsavory upbringing in the back halls of a vaudeville theater, Wren lives in a world that challenges all manner of conventions.

In the months following Houdini's death, Wren is drawn into a web of mystery surrounding a spiritualist by the name of Horace Stapleton, a man defamed by Houdini's ardent debunking of fraudulent mystics in the years leading up to his death. But in a public illusion that goes terribly wrong, one man is dead and another stands charged with his murder. Though he's known as one of her teacher's greatest critics, Wren must decide to become the one thing she never wanted to be: Stapleton's defender.

Forced to team up with the newly formed FBI, Wren races against time and an unknown enemy, all to prove the innocence of a hated man. In a world of illusion, of the vaudeville halls that showcase the flamboyant and the strange, Wren's carefully constructed world threatens to collapse around her. Layered with mystery, illusion, and the artistry of the Jazz Age's bygone vaudeville era, The Illusionist's Apprentice is a journey through love and loss and the underpinnings of faith on each life's stage.

BONNIE's Review
5 Stars *****

From time-to-time I read a novel which touches me to the extent I have a problem finding adequate words I feel will do it justice in a review. Such a book is 'The Illusionist's Apprentice' by Kristy Cambron.

It wasn't love at first "sight" for me and the eccentric Jenny "Wren" Lockhart. Changes were wrought when I realized the eccentricity was not only a part of her act as an illusionist, but a cover to hide her pain and protect she and her family. As her exterior layers were gently peeled away by F.B.I. agent Elliot Matthews - the true beauty, strength, and vulnerability of Wren was exposed; I found her to be very poignant as the story unraveled. In the process, Elliot was also captivated and forced to embrace some issues of his own, while allowing Wren to be true to herself.

The suspense, mystery, vengefulness, and plot twists in 'The Illusionist's Apprentice' kept me riveted to it's pages; being transported to the intriguing world and age of vaudeville and the story's magic versus illusion theme educated and mesmerized me; the tender romance, faith, and wittiness of various characters warmed my heart. However, it was the revelation of several life-lesson reminders that touched my soul: (1) In judging a person by his/her outward appearance, one may miss the depth and beauty hidden inside. (2) Each person encounters, endures, and is tested by trials - often unknown and invisible to peers. (3) The necessity of one's opening up and exposing vulnerability and reaching out in faith and trust to engage life fulfillment and happiness, both personally and spiritually.

I found the discussion guide and author's eloquent notes added even more depth to a story that gave me pause for reflection of it's characters long after I finished reading it. A beautiful, unique story that captured my heart and left me exclaiming "wow"!

(I was gifted a copy of this novel by it's publisher, and was not required to write a positive review of it. This review is my honest opinion of 'The Illusionist's Apprentice' by author Kristy Cambron.)
Bonnie Roof
GIVEAWAY: Comment on Bonnie's blog post, with a prayer for her health (Bonnie is terminally ill with cancer), for a chance to win a copy of this novel. Thank you to Kristy Cambron for offering a paperback to one of our readers!

26 March 2017

Praying for One -- Bo Chancey Visit by Carrie Fancett Pagels

Rev. Bo Chancey & daughter
Our pastor, Rev. Larry Jones, at Northside Christian, has been doing a church-wide commitment to "Praying for One," an evangelical concept written about by Rev. Bo Chancey in his book of the same name.  What I was really wanting to blog about for some time has been on the notion of reciprocity, and I may still blog on that later, but the thing is -- when you're praying for one and outreaching to the lost, that's when notions of reciprocal treatment are set aside. Yes, I believe that in friendships, in relationships among believers, that something asking you to "do a favor" (and I get these requests all the time as I am sure many of you to, too) yet that same favor-asker never or rarely returns the favor, then they really aren't in relationship with you -- they  are simply abusing your goodwill. And that is not a Love Thy Neighbor moment, is it?

But let's go with the concept of Praying for One, reaching out to the lost. This is evangelism as its simplistic best. Trying to draw the unsaved to the Lord via a relationship that reflects His love. And that means setting aside SELF. Yes, I capitalized it because we can make SELF our GOD.  Another blog post there brewing, about narcissism. In any event, Pastor Chancey spoke with us about the simple message of God. Jesus loves us! Jesus loves you! He wants to meet your needs through His children, which is us. This isn't a reciprocal relationship at all. This is a conduit of God's love, via you, to someone who needs the Lord.

As we were leaving today, I got to greet Rev. Chancey (and his darling daughter!) and I got to share with him the special person God put on my heart to pray for, in my Pray for One, and the difference it has made. Yes, I got a little tearful. I'm so grateful that in this simple "focus upon" a special person who needed to be drawn back to Jesus, that we had results and I pray that continues.

How about you? Do you have people who need to know about God's love? Can you Pray for One?

GIVEAWAY: A copy of Bo Chancey's Pray for One in ebook or paperback (paperback USA only).

Pray for One is available for purchase on Amazon.

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