30 June 2012

Persevering and Overcoming - Crown of Life


Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him.     
James 1:12

What a great verse to grab onto!  I have this on a sticky note in the back of one of my bibles.  
*****
Are you looking for a bible study this month?  Diana, Marian, Teresa and I had discussed pursuing a bible study and I think I have one that anyone with a bible can do.  My pastor, Larry Jones, is doing a month long study of Mark.  Would you join me, and others, in reading Mark this month?  My Saturday commentaries will focus on Mark.  Part of perseverance is outfitting ourselves to stand the test.  One way is to get into the Word on a consistent basis.  


No bible study planned already - no problem!!!  Come join us in the month of July as we study through the Book of Mark!  Blessings on the journey!

29 June 2012

7 Ways to Support Christian Authors

Our Julie Lessman mid-week bonanza has wrapped up and we will be drawing our final two winners on Saturday night (announcing Sunday.)   Here's a link to Julie's Friday Journal Jots (click here.)

Do you love Julie's and other's books?  Here are some ways you can support their writing:

1) Buy their books!
2) Read their books!
3) Write great reviews. Don't post a review that isn't good. Better to say nothing.
4) Post your reviews on Amazon, CBD, Barnes and Noble, Good Reads, and other review sites.
5) Pray for them!
6) "Like" their Facebook Page.
7) Leave an encouraging comment for them on Facebook or elsewhere.

How about you?  What is something you have done to encourage an author?  

Giveaway: We will be giving away a copy of one of Julie's books to either our 190th follower or one of our current followers (if we don't get to 190) who leaves a comment or has left a comment this week.

28 June 2012

Carrie Fancett Pagels Reviews A Passion Redeemed (Daughters of Boston) by Julie Lessman

A Passion Redeemed, The Daughters of Boston Series #2
Daughters of Boston, Book Two
(Revell, 2008)

Reviewed by Carrie Fancett Pagels

5 Stars *****

World War I has ended and Charity O’Connor determines that she will have Mitch for her husband. Except that because of his relationship with her sister, Faith, Mitch does not want Charity as a wife, because she does not have the Lord in her life. This is the second of the current five novels in this and the next series of the O’Connors, an Irish Catholic family, living in Boston and Ireland.
In some ways Charity represents we as sinners who act in the flesh, looking only for our own wants. While she uses her physical attributes to entice the man she wants to consider marriage she is also manipulating another, and dangerous, man. Her plan backfires with serious repercussions and Charity must leave Ireland and return to America. She lies and schemes but struggles, knowing on some level that what she is doing is wrong. 
Readers may love to hate Charity, but she makes the right choice, after being taken under the wing of the same strong Christian man, John Brady, who led her former beau, Collin, to the Lord.  The sisters have to learn how to renegotiate their relationships after  all Charity has done to destroy what she shared with her older sister. 
Julie Lessman’s books are full of “Passion with a Purpose” and this big book, so make room for time in your schedule because you will not want to put it down. 

Spoiler alert/bibliotherapy: There is a reason that Charity behaves so provocatively.  Part has to do with losing her older sister Hope to polio and losing her position as Daddy’s girl when her father sinks his energies into his relationship with the surviving twin – Faith. And something happened to Charity. In this current story there are two violent attacks that could trouble some readers.  Most of it is off the page, but not all. I still gave this book a five star review as it was extremely well done. It takes some savvy to take such topics and handle them well, and Julie has done so!

I love Julie's books and can hardly wait until her next release!!!  

Julie Lessman's books can be purchased on CBD, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Lifeway, and other book stores.

GIVEAWAY:  Leave a comment and your email to be entered in this week’s contest.  Drawing will be late Saturday.  Your choice of Julie's books, choice of format*. Void where prohibited by law. *International winners will only receive the book in ebook format not as a paperback. Three giveaways this week!

26 June 2012

Guest Review by Helen Wakefield: Julie Lessman's "A Passion Denied"

 A Passion Denied, Daughters of Boston Series #3
(Revell, 2009)
Review by Helen Wakefield

A Passion Denied is the third and final instalment in Julie Lessman’s The Daughters of Boston Series.  After the stories of Faith and Charity, it’s the quiet sister’s turn.   Lizzie O’Connor is all grown up and no longer sees John Brady as a brother figure.  But for some reason, this man refuses to return her love.

I read all three books in quick succession, drawn in by Julie’s dramatic and passionate writing.  But I have to admit, when I started reading A Passion Denied, I was a little blasé.   I wasn’t expecting anything new or earth shattering.  I figured Julie had packed all the drama she possibly could have in the first two books in the series.

Suddenly, a new character arrives on the scene and in an instant I sat up and took notice.  Now  I was utterly intrigued.  Where was this story going? My mind went wild with possibilities as I read on.  But there was no way I could have guessed where the story went – plot twists, after all, are a Julie Lessman specialty!

I was shocked at Mr-Goody-Two-Shoes Brady’s past, but I admire the fact Julie isn’t afraid to touch on controversial issues.  The truth is, the world sees these issues on a daily basis, and just because we’re Christian doesn’t mean we’re sheltered from them.

Julie deals with the issue of guilt, and the importance of obtaining forgiveness not only from God,  but from ourselves and one another.  One of the messages I got from this novel is that nothing is beyond God’s forgiveness.

A Passion Denied is full of the unexpected – Julie has the drama dial turned all the way up.    There’s plenty of eye popping deception and manipulation to keep you flicking pages in a hurry.   Fans of Faith and Charity will be happy to know they still get an insight into their lives.  Their present struggles make for entertaining subplots, and Marcy and Patrick have their own set of troubles.  Everything is sewn up nicely in the end and I was left with that warm O’Connor family feeling, and a few tears of joy as well J


Helen Wakefield runs the book review blog, Book Review Sisters, with her sister, Jessica.  They review Christian historical fiction, women's fiction and young adult fiction, usually with strong romantic elements.  Helen is currently working on her first book, a Christian young adult novel set in her home country, Australia.


Here is the link for Julie Lessman books available for purchase through Amazon (click here.)


GIVEAWAY:  Leave a comment and your email to be entered in this week’s contest.  Drawing will be late Saturday.  Your choice of Julie's books, choice of format*. Void where prohibited by law. *International winners will only receive the book in ebook format not as a paperback. Three giveaways this week!

A Hope Undaunted by Julie Lessman Reviewed by Teresa Matthews

A HOPE UNDAUNTED
By Julie Lessman
(Revell Publishing, 2009)
reviewed by Teresa Matthews

5 Stars! *****

In this first book in the Winds of Change series Julie Lessman once again takes us back to Boston to join the O’Connor family. If you have read any of Julie’s Daughters of Boston series you know what a treat they are, this one is no different. Going back to visit the O’Connor family is like going home. If you haven’t had the pleasure of meeting them yet I promise you will love them.
  
The year is 1929 and the spirited Miss Katie O’Connor has her life all planned out. She is going to study to be a lawyer and maybe on to be a congresswoman. As for right now she has a wonderful boyfriend, Jack Worthington, whom she has wrapped around her little finger and life is good.
  
One night while out late with Jack and some friends they stop for a quick bite to eat at a nice little dinner, the gorgeous young man Luke, working there tells them it’s almost closing time and all he can serve them is a soda or ice cream. Jack becomes angry when Katie wants a burger and Luke refuses, so Jack decides to teach the “soda jerk” a lesson. They dart out without paying for their sodas and shakes only to find out that he is right behind them. After going a few rounds in the street with Jack and his friends, Katie steps in to stop the fighting and throws enough money to pay the bill at Luke’s feet. As she is getting into the car, he grabs her arm and whispers “nice girls don’t run with riffraff”.

When Katie arrives home late once again, she tiptoes up the stairs hoping to avoid her father but has to stop when she hears him calling her name, after a nice conversation he informs Katie that he has had enough of her disregard of his rules, and that he and her mom have decided that she needs to do something worthwhile for the summer so they have made arrangements for Katie to volunteer to work for the Boston Children’s Aid Society. Little does she know this will be a life changing decision, little does she know she will be working for the pesky Cluny McGee, her nemesis from childhood.

Luke “Cluny” McGee hasn’t been to the O’Connor house since he was a young teen hanging around Brady,(husband of Lizzie O’Connor). Cluny was the name he had been known as back then, Cluny the runt of a boy that lived to pester Katie O’Conner baby of the family. Now that he was a lawyer he had dropped “Cluny” and taken up using the name Luke. He couldn’t wait to eat the delicious food the O’Connor’s women were known for, but truth be known he couldn’t wait to see little Katie. When Luke walks in and sees the girl from the night before and realizes that it’s Katie, he is very surprised, but no more than Katie is to see the”soda jerk”. Poor Katie is in for a lot of surprises this summer, the biggest of all is that maybe the life she planned for herself is not the life that God has in store for her.

Ms. Lessman has once again created a story that will hold you spellbound until the very end. I love how she brings you up to date on the others in the family that you have met in the earlier books. Like Faith and Collin who were in A Passion Most Pure, the first book in the Daughter of Boston series. In this book Collin and Faith will face a situation that could bring an end to their beautiful marriage. There are a lot of pages in this but if you haven’t read one of Julie’s books I know you will be pleased at how fast you will be able to read it. To me it was like a taking a drink of cold water on a hot summer day--you just can’t get enough.


GIVEAWAY:  Leave a comment and your email to be entered in this week’s contest.  Drawing will be late Saturday.  Your choice of Julie's books, choice of format*. Void where prohibited by law. *International winners will only receive the book in ebook format not as a paperback. Three giveaways this week!!!
                                                                                                                                                         


24 June 2012

Friendships and Winners by Carrie Fancett Pagels

 Have you ever had a friend, who every time you talk with them makes you feel like a winner?  Diana is such a friend. God is the ultimate friend and His light shines through the godly women who serve on this blog.  I am so blessed to be in their company.  When you come here, when you visit with us, we want you to FEEL God's love manifested through our interactions with you.  If not, hey--send me an email and tell me about it. We ask God's annointing on this blog for yet another year with Diana as our Senior Contributor.  Will you pray for us?  Thank you!!!


Winners:  
Joyce Meyer devotional "Ending Your Day Right": Rachelle Rea.  CONGRATS!!!
Love's Reckoning: A Novel (The Ballantyne Legacy)
Pre-order of Laura Frantz's new release, "Love's Reckoning" is:  Katelyn Whitley.  CONGRATS!!!

23 June 2012

Saturday Commentary - "Stories of Value" by Larry Jones


I want to recommend an amazing daily devotional that you can have delivered directly to your email in box.  "Stories of Value" is written by my pastor, who is also a writer and participates in our local Tidewater Area Christian Writers group. 

This is Reverend Larry Jones' website:
http://storiesofvalue.wordpress.com/


About the Author:  Larry Jones is a Christian minister who enjoys writing parabolic stories.  His stories are written to engage and entertain children and youth, while convicting adults of timeless Biblical truths.  Every Story of Value focuses on a specific truth which calls the reader to action.

Larry has also written  Morning Devotions for several years and loves sharing his thoughts with others. To receive an electronic copy of Morning Devotions, subscribe through the link to the right of his home page.


In addition, Larry invites you to meet his church family, the Northside Christian Church, Yorktown, Virginia.  For directions, times and other information about Northside visit www.northsidecc.org.


Giveaway:  Leave a comment for a chance to win the Joyce Meyer devotional we are giving away in honor of Diana's one year anniversary on "Overcoming Through Time--With God's Help."


Our final giveaways for "Diana week" will be announced on Sunday!  Leave a comment on any or all of the posts since last Saturday to enter.

22 June 2012

Marian Baay reviews The Colonel's Lady by Laura Frantz


The Colonel's Lady
by Laura Frantz
Revell, 2011


Reviewed by Marian Baay


I've been impatiently waiting for the release of The Colonel's Lady. As I became to love Laura's previous books I was sure that I would not be disappointed with this book!

Roxanna Rowan is traveling from Virginia to Kentucke to visit her father who serves as an officer under Colonel McLinn. When she arrives at Fort Endeavor she learns that her father was recently killed. She can't return and has no other options than to stay in her father's cabin. Colonel Cassius McLinn was with Roxanna's father when he died and promised him to take care of Roxie.

While reading how their lives come together I imagined living in the Fort with them. I could smell the odors, hear the people talking and shouting, hear the bullets whistling, feel the winter cold and... feel the chemistry between the colonel and his lady *sigh*. I was really there and witnessed it all. Few authors can make me feel like I'm actually in the story.


This was a great read! Very well done, Laura!

Laura's books can be purchased at CBD, Amazon and other bookstores.


GIVEAWAY:  A paperback copy of this book will be going home with one of our commenters today.  International visitors not included for this giveaway (sorry!) but are eligible for the pre-order giveaway of Laura's upcoming new release in ebook format (our second giveaway.)

21 June 2012

Diana Flowers Reviews Veil of Pearls by MaryLu Tyndall

A Gem Of A Novel!
From the pen of MaryLu Tyndall comes a sweeping saga set in the early 1800s in Charleston, South Carolina; a bustling seaport city, plenteous in ships, beautiful, lush plantations, aristocrats in their gorgeous silk gowns, lavish soirees, and the sweet smell of yellow jessamine permeating the air. But underneath the social season and affluence, and the guise of gaiety, laughter, and parties, lies another world...the dark world of slavery, malice, and deceit.

At the passing of Adalia Winston's parents at the age of twelve, she becomes a slave to Sir Walter Miles at his sugar plantation in Barbados. Adalia soon realizes she has not only lost her parents, but her innocence as well. Although Adalia is only one quarter black, she is still considered a slave, and Sir Walter uses and abuses her as such. After many years of careful planning, Adalia escapes to Charleston, South Carolina, with nothing much--save her mother's black pearls, and another item that ends up becoming a terrible mistake to have brought with her. She secures a position with a kindly doctor, and since she appears white, she captures the eye of the heir of Rutledge Plantation, Morgan, who loves her for her beauty, honesty, and plucky spirit.

Morgan Rutledge, in spite of his vast wealth, is discontented and bored with his life; the soirees, the shallow women, and doing what society expects of him. His longing is to sail the wild seas into faraway lands. He realizes Adalia is more than just a passing fancy, but is also aware of the fact that his father will never approve of him marrying a commoner.

Adalia, in spite of herself, loves the attention of this handsome man and slave owner; the parties, the plays, etc., and feeling a part of the social crowd for the first time in her life. There are those, however, who are jealous of her, and will stop at nothing to bring her down. Will Morgan find out the truth...that she is naught but a runaway slave? If so, will he still want to marry her? What did she bring along with her from Barbados, that could be her total undoing, and who wants to see her destroyed and why? Will Morgan and Adalia learn to commit their ways to the Lord?...and find healing for their wounded hearts?

In my opinion, this book shows MaryLu's versatility as an author, and is her best book to date! This is a lovely, haunting, romantic story, and I ran the whole gamut of emotions while reading it; joy, fear, heartbreak---you name it. 


I'm proud at how far America has come since those horrible days of slavery, and saddened for those who had to endure it. With a strong spiritual thread throughout, many twists and turns (and wondering how things could EVER work out), this is a book I will not soon forget. What a masterpiece, MaryLu Tyndall!

I received this ARC from Barbour Publishing in exchange for my honest opinion.


Here is the link to the CBD page for more info about this book and for ordering: Click here.  Here is the Amazon order page for VoP Click here.


Giveaway:  Leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of MaryLu's upcoming release.

20 June 2012

Diana Reviews The Merchant's Daughter By Melanie Dickerson


(Zondervan, 2011)
5 stars~*****
Enchanting Read!
In The Merchant's Daughter, Melanie Dickerson has crafted a hauntingly beautiful, medieval tale, reminiscent of the timeless classic, The Beauty and the Beast. The setting is 14th century England, a time in which lords and castles, servants and comely lasses, and superstitious townsfolk abound! Our heroine, Annabel Chapman of Glynval, England, was once the daughter of a wealthy merchant, who died and left his family penniless. To avoid marrying bailiff Tom, a lecher who stalks and terrifies her, Annabel agrees to become a servant to Lord le Wyse, who is equally terrifying, but will not mistreat his servants.

Lord le Wyse is formidable; a man with one eye and numerous scars covering his body, and a disposition that leaves Annabel quaking in his presence. She has heard terrible rumors that the lord turns into a howling wolf and roams the woods at night, and actually sees him in the forest one evening on all fours, emitting a gut-wrenching howl from deep within. What has caused the young lord such anguish of soul and disfigurement in his features?

Annabel wishes only to become a nun and learn the Word of God, and is given an opportunity to read and discuss the Bible with Lord le Wyse, every evening before retiring. In those moments she sees a vulnerable, kind man, filled with torment and feelings of rejection because of his frightening looks, and a secret he has buried deep within. Just as Annabel is learning to trust God and let go of her fear, she is violently attacked in the woods one night, and a seemingly endless nightmare ensues. Can the beauty and the beast save one another, by the grace of God, or is it too late for both of them?

This book was amazing! I was tossed between wanting to savor it, or burn the midnight oil to see what happens next, so I chose a happy medium. The storyline was unpredictable, as it was filled with twists and turns, and unending excitement. I especiallly loved seeing the main characters grow and evolve after reading and discussing the Bible. Lord le Wyse is absolutely intriguing, and ladies, I can assure you, though beastly, he WILL look good in your eyes!:) I was impressed that the author kept a strong spiritual thread throughout, and what a climactic ending! I am so looking forward to Ms. Dickerson's next novel...it appears she gets better with each one!

*I received an ARC of this novel and was not required to write a favorable review.



Melanie's books are available for purchase through Amazon, CBD, and other book stores.


Giveaway: One commenter will receive a copy of this book as we celebrate Diana's anniversary on the blog!  Leave your email address.  (*international readers, ebook win only)

19 June 2012

Diana Flowers Reviews A Heart Revealed by Julie Lessman


5 stars~*****
Another Jewel by Julie!
In A Heart Revealed, Julie Lessman has crafted another wonderfully humorous, poignant, heartrending, angst-filled tale involving all of the characters we so fell in love with in The Daughters of Boston and Winds of Change Series-the O'Connor family. Emma Malloy, Charity O'Connor Dennehy's "friend of the heart" is now living in Boston, having fled an abusive marriage to Rory Malloy, a man who has left Emma scarred both inside and out. Emma's gentle, godly spirit is loved by all, and she feels a part of the O'Connor family, but carries a deep secret-a secret born out of a need for love and acceptance.

Sean O'Connor, Charity's brother, is also a man burdened down with long festering secrets, and resigns himself to the single life because of them. Although he finds himself drawn to the beautiful Emma, and she to him, the fact that she is married keeps them apart, as well as the deceitfulness and dark secrets that hover between them.

Will Sean learn to accept the love of his Heavenly Father, and find peace for his soul?...and will Emma learn to love herself as God loves her, and realize she is beautiful, both inside and out? Is there a chance for these two wounded souls to ever find love together, or will the arrival of another man in Emma's life, take her out of Sean's forever?

Julie Lessman has done it again! I loved this story full of rich humor, raw human emotions, love, and forgiveness! I enjoyed the subplots involving the beloved members of the O'Connor family, and didn't realize how much I had missed them. 


I went through a whole gamut of emotions while reading this book; heartache, sadness, joy, shock---nobody can tell a story quite like Julie! A truly wonderful masterpiece from the pen of Julie Lessman...again.


Julie's books are available for purchase through Amazon, CBD, and other book sellers.


GIVEAWAY: We are celebrating DIANA WEEK!!! We will be giving away a Julie Lessman book this week.  Leave a comment for a chance to win!  You can even pick Julie's upcoming release as a pre-order if you win!

18 June 2012

Diana Reviews "The Maid of Fairbourne Hall"



Maid of Fairbourne Hall
(Bethany, 2012)
5 stars~ *****
Appearances Can Be Deceiving!
In Maid of Fairbourne Hall, Julie Klassen sweeps us away to 19th century London, in a delightful tale reminiscent of the timeless classics of the beloved Jane Austen. It is a tale of the very wealthy, and their loyal servants, beautiful gowns and masquerade balls, deceit and unrequited love. Our heroine, self-centered Margaret Macy, who stands to inherit a fortune on her next birthday, is forced to leave her home by her money hungry stepfather and his conniving nephew. Not knowing exactly where she is going, Margaret finds herself hired as a servant at Fairbourne Hall, owned by none other than two of her past suitors...Nathaniel Upchurch and his brother, Lewis!

Desperate not to be discovered, the beautiful, blonde Margaret, dons a brunette wig from one of her masquerade balls, and becomes a servant in every sense of the word...even lowering herself to emptying the disgusting chamber pots. Infatuated at one time with Lewis Upchurch, Margaret turned down his brother, Nathaniel's marriage proposal...much to her chagrine, for Nathaniel has turned into one swoonworthy male, and she finds Lewis to be very shallow and selfish.

Will Margaret be able to keep up the charade without being discovered, and what valuable lessons does she learn as a housemaid...of sacrifice, forgiveness, and loving those who are beneath her station in life? And who has a vendetta against the Upchurch family and why?...and seriously wounds one of the Upchurch brothers? Will he live?---especially with a traitor in the mansion determined to make that an impossibility? Will Nathaniel forgive Margaret's rejection of him years earlier, should he discover her identity, and will she ever be able return home to her mother and siblings again?

I love Julie Klassen's books, but in my opinion this is the best novel she has ever written! Interlaced with humor, suspense, and romance, this novel will have you laughing one moment and eyes brimming with tears the next. I loved her characters (though somewhat fanciful at times), and how our heroine evolves from being a selfish lady to a real LADY in every sense of the word! Julie's use of imagery is extraordinary, her storyline fascinating, her writing exquisite; what more can I say than you must read this book?



Julie's books can be purchased through Amazon, CBD, and other book stores.


Giveaway: Ebook of The Maid of Fairbourne Hall.  Leave a comment to enter.  We are celebrating DIANA WEEK!!!

17 June 2012

1 Year Anniversary with Diana Flowers

Diana L. Flowers in her living room.
It is our one year anniversary of Diana Flowers as a contributor on Overcoming Through Time - With God's Help.  So much has happened since then.  We had started up Colonial Quills, a group blog, and I did not see how I could continuing blogging on OTT.  Plus I sensed God's hand that this needed to be a ministry-oriented blog but was not sure in what direction to go.  When we went to South Carolina for my nephew's graduation, Diana and I agreed to meet and pray.  I had met her through Laura Frantz, a mutual friend. We both loved Laura's writing and Diana's reviews were so awesome.  She did several guest posts for OTT and I grew to love her before I even met her.  


So I went, by myself, to see Diana.  And it rained.  It poured. It came down in sheets.  The GPS on our new car took me in circles.  Then it took me to a dead end.  Diana's hubby Paul had to come out and find me and I followed him to their house.  Both Diana and I knew that satan was coming against us and spiritual warfare could be defeated.  We talked and prayed and had such a good time!  Before I went to leave I discovered we both read the same devotional every night!!!  That was so cool. I love knowing Diana and I are reading the same devotional every night before we go to sleep.  And we are on the same page.  Sometimes literally!


We changed our name from Overcoming Through Time to Overcoming Through Time--With God's Help.  Both Diana and I knew that was what I meant with the first name but we agreed we should clarity.  Thanking God he brought Diana into my life, and onto this blog, at just the right time!


Here is my review of the Joyce Meyer devotional copied from Amazon: Ending Your Day Right by Joyce Meyer I love this devotional and have read it faithfully for the past several years, since my BFF gave it to me as a gift.  Going to sleep with the devotional and associated scriptures on my mind has been such a blessing that I don't even want to turn off the light until I have read that night's post, despite having already read them before! I highly recommend this devotional.


Giveaway: One reader will win a copy of Joyce Meyer's devotional in celebration of our one year anniversary!


  

Happy Father's Day!

Commentary on Relationships
By Carrie Fancett Pagels


In our Dan Walsh week, Dan shared about broken relationships being one of the most difficult things he has overcome. That despite him having been horribly sick and hospitalized near Christmastime.  There are things that make us sick and situations that make us heart sick.  Being our of fellowship with each other, and particularly with our parents, is not biblical.  


I want to encourage any readers today who are harboring unforgiveness against their fathers to let that go.  Ask God to remove the hurt and pain.  Forgiving doesn't mean forgetting. An abusive parent, still living, may still be abusive.  Forgiving does not mean you need to be around them.  But you do need to follow biblical guidelines about how we are to treat our parents with respect.  You can be respectful in a way that doesn't allow the abuse to continue. (I am speaking of adults who no longer live with their parents.) Get in the Word and pray about what God would have you do to show your respect toward your father without being a target or a doormat.  


Many people who suffered insults from their fathers have married Christian men who are wonderful fathers to their own children. What a blessing! 


Dear Father God, our ultimate Father, we ask you to remove the hurts of earthly fathers.  And we thank you for the wonderful godly earthly fathers out there.  May you bless them and their families.  
In Jesus's name, Amen.


HAPPY FATHER'S DAY!!!

16 June 2012

Audiobook review of “The Homecoming” by Dan Walsh



(Revell, 2010)

I listened to this book as a download through audible.com where I have a platinum membership.  Like I said about “The Unfinished Gift” I consider these books as nostalgic fiction, i.e., not set long enough ago to be a historical nor recently enough to be a contemporary.  This second book in the series is a romance.  I believe I would have benefitted from having read the first book prior to listening to this one. 

WWII pilot, Shawn Collins, whose wife just died, is downed behind enemy lines. The story of his escape is a great start to the book. His son, Patrick, is stateside with his grandfather, Ian Collins.  While Shawn was struggling to survive, his father had his own epiphany and is working hard to provide a stable home for his grandson.

Meanwhile social worker, Katherine Townsend,  who is emotionally involved with Patrick, loses her job.  The Collinses need her help. The romance between Katherine and Shawn is handled very tastefully.  A tiny bit disconcerting to read this from a man’s perspective.

A very nice audiobook.  It is an easy listen. The plot struck me as rather simplistic.  It was still very well done. I kept thinking that perhaps the author, Dan Walsh, was deliberately keeping the wording simple to add to the nostalgic tone. But that very wondering pulled me from the story.  I think that is a fine balance to keep.  Tension in the story was good and the characters very engaging.  If I had listened to the first book prior, I would also not have wondered so much about what Katherine looked like, etc. 

I loved the whole twist about the USO tour--that was so neat!  The train scenes were awesome and I enjoyed the tension built in because Shawn's wife has died, he has gotten free, and now the military "thanks" him by sending him away from his family. Also super job with incorporating the romantic rival and making it believable. Very interesting reading a romance from a man's viewpoint but sometimes I just wanted Shawn to get a clue about Katherine.   Dan did a nice job of balancing out the grieving by the hero over his wife before allowing him to become emotionally involved with the heroine. 


There are so few Christian audiobooks out there and I am so glad I found this one. Very enjoyable.


Giveaway: Last day to leave a comment to be entered in the Dan Walsh giveaway. This week we are offering an ebook or paperback, maybe even CD, to our winner.  



15 June 2012

Guest Review by Nora St. Laurent of Dan Walsh's "Remembering Christmas"

Remembering Christmas
Published by Revell, 2011

This is reposted by permission. Review by Nora St. Laurent.

REVIEW: This is a warm, cuddly, feel-good novel sure to become your NEW family favorite. I'm thankful for the review copy of this book. It reminds the reader that God uses all things in our life for His Glory and our good. You may not see it at the time because of all the pain and drama but when you look back at the situation you can see the situation didn't take God by surprise. He used the event to change the course of our life. No easy task to get us to change the path we were headed down.

Rick Denton’s life is interrupted when his mom calls and asks him to fill in at the Book Nook. His stepfather is in the hospital. She needs to stay with him and can’t be at the book store.

Rick’s lived life on his own terms after his father abandoned him. He made a point to not get tangled up with his mother’s husband, so that he wouldn't get hurt again. Life was humming along nicely. He was climbing higher and higher on the corporate ladder; he didn’t have time for family, because he was on the pathway to greatness.

Now his mom tells him his stepfather has had an aneurysm and there was no one to run the store. His mom had never asked for much so when she tearfully asked for his help he reluctantly said he would. He got off the phone with her but hadn’t fully grasped what he just signed up for.

His parents went to church and read the books they sold at the Christian book store they ran--he didn’t! He gives his mom a week. He could only take a week away from his clients! That was as much as he could sacrifice. Then when Rick gets there and realizes all he’d have to do--maybe he should reconsider. This was going to take longer than he thought.

The people that show up at the Book Nook sure felt the need to talk to him about Art, his stepfather. All this talk was beyond him--he had work to do. There was No time for chit-chat, didn't they see he had a business to run?

“The Book Nook seems more like an enchanted cottage than a bookstore. It’s a harbor from the cares of life!” Rick was beginning to see why his parents loved their business so much.

Dan’s characters were endearing and I was drawn to them instantly. I enjoyed the fact that most of this novel took place inside a small sweet book store called the Book Nook, and last but not least I liked the way this author showed how only God can bring the miracle of Christmas to our lives. He’s the light in our heart that shines for the whole world to see! This is a novel that will get you in the Christmas Spirit on so many levels. I highly recommend it as a book that will get you ready for Christmas and as a Book Club Selection for your group.

Nora St.Laurent
The Book Club Network
www.bookfun.org

14 June 2012

Guest Review by Faye Oygard of Dan Walsh's "The Discovery"


The Discovery
By
Dan Walsh
(Revell, 2012)

5 Stars *****

Mr. Walsh's best book so far!
The Discovery is a one-of-a-kind, skillfully woven tale that has a timeless quality about it, set both in the present day, and during WWII. Michael Warner is an aspiring author, who has a famous writer as 
his grandfather. Michael's Grandfather leaves behind many 
unsolved mysteries about his younger days, and his family.

One day Michael stumbles upon an unpublished manuscript of his
grandfather's, hidden with care for Michael to find. Within the
manuscript's pages Michael might just find the answers his family 
has been searching for.

This book is Inspirational Fiction at its finest. The Discovery has 
it all--a heart warming, romantic love story, interwoven into a tale 
of suspense and sacrifice. It was a book that swallowed me up, to 
the point where I felt as if I was standing side by side with the
characters as they experienced a myriad of emotions, ranging 
fromones that will quirk up the corners of your mouth, to ones that 
will make your heart ache and pound in suspense.

The Discovery grabbed me from the first page, and didn't let go 
until the very end, in all a completely satisfying read, of multiple 
layers.

The Discovery is not a book to be missed!
-- 
Bio: Faye is an avid young reader who reviews and blogs. 
                  ~Faye~
http://labornotinvain.blogspot.com




Disability friendliness: Dan's books are available in multiple 
formats - paperback, ebooks, large print hardcover, CD, and 
audiodownloads.

Dan Walsh books can be purchased on Amazon.    
Dan Walsh's book page on CBD. You can purchase his books at 
Barnes and Noble and other book stores, also.




GIVEAWAY:  Leave a comment and your email to be entered in this week’s contest.  Drawing will be late Saturday.  Your choice of this author’s books, choice of format*. Void where prohibited by law. *International winners will only receive the book in ebook format not as a paperback.

13 June 2012

Carrie Fancett Pagels Reviews Dan Walsh's "The Unfinished Gift"



Audio review of “The Unfinished Gift” 
by Dan Walsh
(Revell/Oasis, 2010)

5 Stars *****

Easy and Compelling Listen

I listened to this book as a download through audible.com where I have a platinum membership.  I was sick when I listened to over half of it and was I ever glad that I had it.  This is a nostalgia book, i.e., it is not set long enough ago to be a historical nor recently enough to be a contemporary.  I imagine most people would say I am wrong and that this is a historical. So be it.

Having listened to the second book in the series first, I was expecting some sort of romance. I am bad about listening to things out of order.  This was an instance where the first book probably should have been read first.
 
The story is almost a men’s fiction, as the three generations relationships were pivotal to the storyline.  We have an estranged WWII pilot, Shawn Collins, whose wife has just died leaving behind their young son, Patrick.  The paternal grandfather, Ian Collins,  is the closest living relative but he has never even seen his grandson.  He’s a bitter, grumpy old widower with few redeeming qualities.  Rigid is his middle name. He doesn’t deserve to have this sweet little boy in his home.

A social worker, Katherine Townsend, who is assisting with the Collins child, has become emotionally involved with the boy.  An orphan herself, Katherine finds the irascible elder Collins undeserving of having his grandson in his custody. When Patrick goes missing, near Christmas, they must pull together to bring the child home safely.

I felt Patrick Collins was the most engaging character in the story.  I wanted to know more about Katherine and I was dying to see Ian have some of his crustiness ripped away, which kept me listening. I don’t normally read this type of book. However, I think this is a great audiobook, especially for someone who is ailing.  It is an easy and compelling listen.


Roger Mueller, the narrator, was amazing. He was perfect for this book, capturing the nuances of each character's voice.


Note: The Unfinished Gift was Dan's debut book and won two prestigious Carol awards through ACFW.  

GIVEAWAY:  Leave a comment and your email to be entered in this week’s contest.  Drawing will be late Saturday.  Your choice of this author’s books, choice of format*. Void where prohibited by law. *International winners will only receive the book in ebook format not as a paperback.




12 June 2012

Guest Review by Jen Whitney of The Deepest Waters by Dan Walsh


The Deepest Waters 
by Dan Walsh
(Revell, 2011)


Review By Jen Whitney


4 Stars ****


It is 1857 and John and Laura Foster are celebrating their honeymoon by traveling by sea from San Francisco to New York tovisit John’s family whom he has not talked to in years. Things have been going smooth until their ship runs into a hurricane and John and Laura are separated and Laura believes John has drowned. 


Laura is not sure what she is going to do once she reaches New York and has to face her in-laws who do not even know she exists. In the end all she can hope for is a miracle that John is alive somewhere out there. Will Laura get her miracle? What does the future hold?


Dan Walsh weaves together a fantastic story fully of hope, suspense, unconditional love and miracles based loosely on true events.  I fell in love with this story, even though at many times it was heart wrenching but others so joyful even when things were rough. I loved Laura’s character and admired her courage to keep going on and her faith for never giving up. She is a lady full of love,strong morals and faith which is combination you can’t go wrong with.
  
This story proves that men can write just as powerful romances as women, great job Dan Walsh! 


Thanks Jen!  Here is a link to her beautiful website: http://bookreviewsfromabooklover.blogspot.com/


Giveaway this week: One of Dan's books. Void where prohibited by law.  International winners - ebook only.  

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