31 August 2012

International Review of Christy Award Winning WOLFSBANE by Ronie Kendig

Wolfsbane
Wolfsbane by Ronie Kendig
Discarded Heroes #3
Barbour Publishing 2011

Reviewed by Marian Baay

5 stars~*****
AWESOME!

That one word describes the whole book: AWESOME!
Phew, what a great read! What an action, suspense, adrenaline filled read!
Everytime I read a new book by Ronie Kendig I'm convinced it was her best yet.


Canyon Metcalfe is a guy I could easily love. Maybe because he's a bit like my husband. :) None of his problems are related to my husband, but the way he handles things is alike, so that says a lot about Ronie's excellent imagination! 

Danielle Roark was captured, tortured and raped in Venezuela. She escaped with shocking proof that the cruel general that kept her for six months has secret weapons, but at home the American government doesn't believe her. She has to go back to that awful place to come up with more proof.

Canyon's brother rescued Danielle out of the ocean when she escaped Venezuela. He falls in love with Dani, but she's not interested in men
until she meets Canyon. Canyon likes her too, but because of a promise he made to his brother he can't pursue her. Things get complicated when Nightshade must escort Danielle back to Venezuela. Can Canyon live up to that promise?
Is Nightshade capable to find the proof and keep Danielle safe?

This book is so fast paced that you hardly have time to take a calming breath before the next action.
Action- adventure- military- suspense and romance lovers--this book is for you! 





Ronie's book can be purchased at CBDAmazonBarnes & Noble and other book stores.

Wolfsbane won Ronie the coveted Christy award (read story.)  Congrats to Ronie Kendig!

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

30 August 2012

Firethorn by Ronie Kendig reviewed by Marian Baay, Discarded Heroes #4

Firethorn

Firethorn by Ronie Kendig
Discarded Heroes #4
Barbour Publishing 2012

Reviewed by Marian Baay

5 stars~*****


Having read Digitalis, Wolfsbane and Firethorn in one month, I became very attached to the Nightshade team. I loved all the books in this series. Ronie Kendig's writing is full action. You can hardly find the right time to stop to go to bed. So be warned not to start reading any of her books shortly before bed time, or you will lose sleep!

Spoiler alert!!
The shack was attacked, the Nightshade team was captured and separated. Kazi is hired by Lambert to get the team members back from all corners of the world. First she frees Griffin from the prison and together they are trying to retrieve the other men. They face many dangers. Griffin is surprised in Kazi
this small lady is capable of great things.


Griffin "Legend" Riddell is a big guy with secrets he didn't tell his team members. Kazi wants to keep her past and identity to herself, because she doesn't trust anyone. Both Griffin and Kazi are hurting, because of the things they keep hidden. When they get to work together they must learn to trust each other.

Unlike the other books in this series we also read a lot about the other team members. T
hat's why I recommend to read the other books in this series first. It's great to see all the men back with their families. A perfect ending to this awesome series!


*I received a copy of this book from NetGalley and was not required to write a positive review.*






Ronie's books can be purchased at CBDAmazonBarnes & Noble 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 Ronie's books, choice of format*. Void where prohibited by law. *International winners only receive the book in ebook format, not as a paperback.

28 August 2012

Review of Ronie Kendig's new release Trinity by Marian Baay

Trinity: Military War Dog

Trinity by Ronie Kendig
Barbour Publishing, 2012

Reviewed by Marian Baay
5 stars *****

About two years ago Green Beret Heath "Ghost" Daniels' military war dog Trinity saved his life from a bomb. He got injured and now suffers from Traumatic Brain Injury. Heath will black out for seconds when stressed out. He's frustrated that he can't go back into the military.
Trinity refuses to work with another handler and so Heath can adopt her.

Now Heath and Trinity are part of A Breed Apart. Heath is starting to feel useful again. A Breed Apart is going on a mission to support soldiers in Afghanistan. Heath and Trinity are going to perform for them.
While they are on the military base, Heath meets Darci Kintz aka Jia. Heath find himself attracted to her and they share some time together. The next day Jia leaves on a mission with a geological survey team. When an attack is reported on the location where Jia last was, Heath finds himself in a lot of stress and worry about her well being.

Heath and Trinity are coming with a Special Forces team to the location of the attack. There begins the most dangerous mission Heath and Trinity ever had. They are going to track down Jia and find out she was captured by a very dangerous man.

Will they come in time to rescue Jia? What will happen when Heath finds out Jia's real identity?

A Breed Apart is Ronie Kendig's new series. Like her other books this is again a rapid-fire read that keeps the readers on the edge of their seat! Nicely done, Ronie!

*Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for my review copy. I was not required to write a positive review.*




You can buy Ronie's books at Amazon, CBD and other bookstores.

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

26 August 2012

Carrie Fancett Pagels Interviews Ronie Kendig

Ronie Kendig

RONIE KENDIG  is the author of Trinity: Military War Dog and of the four-book Discarded Heroes series, Dead Reckoning, and various novellas.
I met RONIE  through some online groups, including ACFW.
  
RONIE, welcome to Overcoming Through Time – With God’s Help.  We appreciate your willingness to share your testimony of overcoming with our readers.  Would you tell us about the most difficult thing in your life you have had to overcome, with God’s help?
Thank you so much! I am delighted to be here with you and your readers!
Probably the most challenging thing for me to overcome—and something I continually work on—is being a people pleaser. I just want “everyone” to be happy. This was born out of years of abuse as a child, and I believed that if I was just “good enough,” the abuse would stop. The Lord gave me strength that was not my own to stand up to my abuser—my father—but that tendency to try to keep the peace, keep everyone happy is a daily struggle. I believe that this nurturer-style tendency is also a part of my personality and gift, which is being sensitive toward others.

What is your favorite bible verse and why?
I suppose it’s not too ironic that my favorite verse is one that arose just in the last few years and, I’m sure, is tied to the years of abuse I suffered—Exodus 14:14: The Lord will fight for you; you need only be still. This verse came to be my favorite during an especially dark hour in my life, where I had really lost hope, was smothered in defeat, and didn’t know why I should go on. A friend prayed over me, and while she was praying, I noticed that she seemed really distracted by something behind me. Honestly, I started getting angry—“Why isn’t she listening to me? Nobody ever does. I shouldn’t be surprised.” But then she said something that stunned my angry, broken heart into silence: “I see flashes of light, like sparks from two swords clashing, over your head. The Lord is fighting for you.” I stared into the air and asked, “He’s fighting—for me?” I sobbed. Nobody had fought for me before. I’d always (going back to the days of being abused) had to do the fighting to keep myself “alive.”
Discarded Heroes Series
Disability friendliness: Is this latest release available in audio format or do you have any other works available on audio?  Do your e-books have audio capability? Do you have any in large print? 
To my knowledge and dismay, none of my publishers have secured agreements for my books to be available in audio or large print.
MB: Ronie's books are available in Kindle format which allows print size to be increased and also audio capability of text-to-speech.


What has been the most important thing you hope your readers will get from your books and why?
Through most books, there are two primary goals when I write: for readers to sense the Hope of Christ, and to open dialogue about the book’s theme or message. For instance, with the Discarded Heroes, my purpose/goal was for readers to gain an awareness of and greater respect for the things military heroes faced and dealt with on a daily basis.

As you researched your books, did you learn anything that particularly touched your heart?
While researching for the A Breed Apart series, one of the most touching and grievous things I learned was that in Vietnam, most working dogs were left behind. That meant these handlers who’d witnessed their canine best friends save countless lives (estimated to be tens of thousands in Vietnam alone) had to leave that four-legged hero in a war-torn country, most never knowing what came of that beloved dog. That broke my heart.
Trinity: Military War Dog
In this latest work, do you have any topics useful for bibliotherapy, or therapeutic influence through reading about a disorder or situation?  
Yes, there are several issues that my various books address and suggest help for. In the Discarded Heroes, combat-related post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is addressed, as well as the ways it presents. The soldiers learn that talking about the issues, seeking help, and sometimes certain methods (varies by book) can be beneficial and help them on the path toward healing and wholeness. In TALON: Combat Tracking Team, Talon—a yellow Labrador—has PTSD and there is a scene where they must work with him, helping both the handler and Talon overcome his fear through a series of training techniques.

Thank you RONIE  for agreeing to answer these questions.  Have a blessed day and keep on writing!!
Thank you so much, Carrie! It was a delight to talk with you! 


Ronie's book can be purchased at CBDAmazonBarnes & 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 Ronie's books and choice of format*. Void where prohibited by law. *International winners will only receive the book in ebook format, not as a paperback.

25 August 2012

Worthy of Praise by Teresa Mathews



Worthy of Praise

When you come into His house, what goes through your mind?
Do you think of all your troubles? Or do you leave them all behind?

Do you want to sit there quietly and just enjoy the view?
Do you hope no one notices you aren’t praising too?

The reason that we’ve come is to be in one accord,
Lifting up our hands, shouting praises to our Lord.

The God of love, the God of power, the One who made us all,
He’s the one we’re praising and He’s the one upon whom we call.

He’s given us our life, He’s given us power over sin,
He’s given us His Spirit that dwells down deep within.

Why not praise him in His house, praise Him in your pew?
Why NOT lift up holy hands and shout God I love you?!

Is it really such a burden, such a hard cross to bear?
Just to lift your voice and put your hands in the air?

Jesus didn’t seem to mind what he did for me and you
He was lifted in the air and on a cross he hung there too.
                       
Doesn’t that mean anything? Doesn’t that touch your soul?
Doesn’t that make you want to shout and let the praises roll?

One day soon when Jesus comes and takes us all away,
I’m sure that there will be praises going up on that day.

But why wait for that day and time to lift up His Holy Name?
Why would you wait for the Rocks to Cry out and put you to shame?

Start today, start right now, lifting up those hands above.
Tell how much He Means to you and say His name with love.

Let the praises flow from deep within, let His Name be raised,
For He is good and He is mighty, and Worthy of all Praise.

Teresa S Mathews ©
08-21-2012


                       

24 August 2012

Happy Birthday Teresa Mathews!!!

Cake by Christy Zumbrun of Williamsburg, VA.
Very happy birthday to Teresa!!! And her youngest son Joshua, too!  

We're celebrating Teresa's birthday with an extra giveaway this week.  It is a secret but will be of one of our favorite author's books.  Leave Teresa a birthday wish to enter for the extra giveaway!

23 August 2012

Nora St.Laurent Guest post - Her Son's Overcoming of V.A.C.T.E.R.A.L.


My son Isaac, now 14-years-old, was born with a few more challenges to overcome than most. He is a bright spot in my life and is and an encouragement in more ways that I can count. I want to share about his first year in middle school when he went to Band Try-outs!


Isaac is brave, my bundle of joy, an encourager and my hero. I hope his story will encourage you as well. 

Today was a hard but good. I went with my youngest son Isaac to watch him try out for band. I’d never been to a band function before and didn’t know what to expect. There were rooms set up with different instruments you could try out with, and instructors inside each room to test you. They had a clarinet, flute, trumpet, etc. I was overwhelmed but I saw Isaac’s eyes twinkle with excitement at the challenge before him.

This was the first time in his life he wanted and/or was physically able to try out for something at his school. My son has V.A.C.T.E.R.A.L. Association. Isaac has had thirty nine surgeries at this point, has four fingers on each hand and a clubbed left hand that’s shorter than the other. Most of the time people don’t even see Isaac as different when they first meet him. He has not let his physical challenges stop him from doing anything.

Isaac made sure we were out of the house at record time so that we would be early. He wanted to give himself plenty of time to check out all the instruments. He wasn’t quite sure which one he wanted to play.

We arrived at the first room and Isaac sat down with the teacher who was going to show him how to play the flute. He would do this in front of a room full of other kids and their parents waiting their turn to try out. The teacher instructed Isaac on how to position his lips just right to make the instrument sing. He tried several times. She was patient as she watched Isaac try to blow into the mouth piece and make noise come out. After a little while she put the mouth piece onto the rest of the instrument and handed it to Isaac.

He told her he couldn't hold it like she wanted him to because he only had 4 fingers on each hand. I watched her face contort as she noticed Isaac didn’t have enough fingers to play the flute. She smiled and said,"Oh, I didn't know."

My son took it all in stride and went skipping to the next room ready to tackle another instrument. We went from room to room trying to play one instrument after another. He either couldn't do the finger placement, couldn't blow into the mouth piece which was the case with the trumpet, or he physically couldn’t hold the instrument up with his left shorter arm.

We got all excited when the teacher handed him a clarinet mouth piece and he made a sound. Isaac’s eyes lit up and were filled with excitement at the fact it was so easy for him to make it sing. It was the best he had done at anything so far.

But then it was time for the finger placement again and he definitely needed all 5 fingers and two long arms to play the instrument. The instructor was kind—said he might be able to do it and let him try to make it work. After Isaac could see for himself that it wasn’t a fit the teacher recommended that he might want to consider another instrument. He was disappointed but not crushed.

Isaac was determined to play something that night. After consulting the band director and telling him all the instruments he attempted to play the director had an idea. He went into the back room and brought out a special instrument. It looked like a very small tuba with a large mouth piece, Isaac’s face lit up with great joy. This was a manly instrument he might just be able to play.

He didn't have to hold this instrument up but could lay it on his lap. It also only had three keys to push so he was covered there in the finger department. Isaac could use the mouth piece just fine and made the instrument sing easily - just like he had done with the clarinet. Isaac beamed as he played the instrument. He was triumphant. He never gave up and the best news was the school had one that they could let him borrow. Praise the Lord!

My son Isaac is the bravest person I know. His outlook on life chokes me up as you can see how he faced the band try-outs. I was terrified and felt bad for him but Isaac found joy in the challenge. As a Mom who has watched him overcome many things he’s faced in life,  I’m inspired by him and how he faces things head on and never gives up on a task until it’s done. I watched him do that as he went from room to room with a smile on his face trying the next instrument to discover where he could fit in and make beautiful music!! I'm choked up even now as I write this I’ve learned so much from Isaac and his attitude toward challenges. He lives life to the fullest and doesn’t let things get him down like I do.
Thanks for sharing with us, Nora, and we will keep Isaac in prayer. He has a wonderful mom and dad!

Great giveaways all month long at TBCN! Leave a comment here, too, for a special OTT-WGH giveaway this week in honor of Nora and Fred!

21 August 2012

Nora St.Laurent The Book Club Network



As you went about setting up your book clubs and The Book Club Network what challenges did you encounter and what did you learn that particularly touched your heart?
When my boss called me into the office and asked me to sit down because he wanted to talk to me about a few changes being made in the office, I didn’t have warm fuzzy feelings inside! He then told me,” We want to start a book club at our store, and we want you to run it!”

This was the second person within six months to ask me to start a book club. Was this a conspiracy? Didn’t these people know I didn’t read unless I had to? Reading wasn’t fun for me; isn’t that a requirement for being a book club leader – having fun reading?

I was terrified at the prospect of getting up in front of people and discussing a book. Just the thought of reading out loud to the group brought up bad memories of when I was in school and got made fun of every time I tried to do this because I never read the words that were on the page correctly. I’m dyslexic and didn’t get diagnosed until I was 26 years old.

I had my heart to heart talk with God. I felt like Moses going before God and telling him he couldn’t do what he asked because he didn’t talk so well. I pleaded with God: “You know I’m dyslexic. You made me this way. Reading and I don’t get along…remember? This is not funny, God.”

I heard Him say to me gently, “Nora, don’t be afraid. Let me ask you this: Can you love the people I put in your life the way I have loved you?”

What did I just hear? Love people He puts in my life the way He’s loved me? Is that what this is all about? It’s not about how many books I can or didn’t read? What a relief!

“Yes, I can do that. If this whole book club thing is about relationships, then I’m all about it whole heartedly.”

I felt a tremendous weight lifted off my shoulders. I told my boss what was on my heart and what I experienced. He wanted the book club to be a way of giving back to the community. I started on a book club journey what would later lead to me becoming the ACFW On-Line Book Club Coordinator and creating The Book Club Network www.bookfun.org with my husband, Fred. I’m not sure what the future holds but I do know who holds my future. All things are possible with Christ who strengthens me!


Great giveaways all month long at TBCN!  Leave a comment here, too, for a special surprise OTT-WGN giveaway this week in honor of Nora and Fred!

19 August 2012

Carrie Fancett Pagels interviews Nora St.Laurent, TBCN ANNIVERSARY


NORA ST.LAURENT – CEO of THE BOOK CLUB NETWORK

Nora is a column writer for Book Club Corner in the Christian-Fiction On-Line Magazine, also Book Club Talk for Novel Rocket and is featured in the Christian Retailers Magazine in a column she writes with her husband Fred St.Laurent called Join the Club, which featured book pick favorites that have been voted on through TBCN community and the book won the vote for Fiction or Non-fiction.

I met Nora through some online groups, including ACFW as she was the book club assistant for 2 ½ years and then became the ACFW On-Line Book Club Coordinator for 2 ½ years. She recently resigned her position as the Coordinator in March of this year as The Book Club Network has exploded book club giveaways and has over 2, 200 members.

Nora, welcome.  Can you share a way God has worked in your life?
I know God has a plan for us. We are wonderfully made. No part of us is a mistake. In our weakness He is strong. He’s made us to fit in a place where we can make beautiful music and sing His praises. I have to remember that as I face my own challenges in doing what the Lord has called me to do. He’s called me to run book clubs. Not hard you say? True, a piece of cake if you’re a reader and aren’t dyslexic.

I remember the first time someone asked me to run a small book club at church. I couldn’t believe my ears. Did I give this person the impression that I read? This person said I needed to pray about the calling. She felt I was the one for the task.  I went to the Lord. I got the strangest peace about leading this small group. I did work at a book store. It seemed a natural challenge to take on.

It was natural until my boss sat me down one day and said the whole staff was talking about me and that they wanted me to run a book club at the Christian book store I work at. I was petrified. I was reminded of Moses. God had asked him to go to Pharaoh and talk to him about His people. Moses didn’t speak well. He was asking me to run a book club and I didn’t read.

I was reminded of how God asks us to come to Him as small children. I was reminded of Isaac and his joy of facing the challenges before him. He knew God was with him so he ran on full steam ahead at the challenges in life. I on the other hand I reminded God that I was dyslexic and didn’t have much need for reading in my life. I had spent most of my life avoiding it. I read what I had to, but for me watching movies was a lot more fun.

The Lord told me to Fear Not He would be with me. He asked me this, “Nora can you love the ladies I put in your life the way I have loved you?”

“Is that was this is about God? If that’s the case and it had nothing to do with what I’ve read or haven’t read then count me in.”

“Yes, that’s all I’m asking you to do. I’m asking you to show the love of Jesus to the people I bring in your life.”

I went to my boss and shared the message I felt God was telling me. My boss affirmed me. He said that he saw it as an outreach to the community and a way of giving back to the customers. It was then that a book club was born.

Currently I’m running two face-to-face book clubs one at the Christian store where I work and one at my church. My husband and I also started The Book Club Network www.bookfun.org on line, connecting authors with book clubs and leaders.

We want The Book Club Network to be the place to find Christian Book events, book signings and other book fun. I’d never thought in my wildest dreams I’d be mixed up in all this. But I can see that if we walk in what He’s called us to do. He does far more than we could imagine. I’m still dyslexic and still face challenges like my son. But God has restored the bad memories of my past and brought amazing fun to reading and writing. I’ve learned that in my weakness He is strong and gets all the Glory!

What is your favorite bible verse and why?
"He said to me, "'My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.'

"Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong."
2 Corinthians 12:9-10

Nehemiah 8:10
Then he said to them, “…….do not be grieved, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.”


Thank you Nora for agreeing to this interview and sharing your writing experience with us.  

It’s been a Pleasure being here Carrie!! Thanks for asking me to share. I’m excited about The Book Club Network’s second year Birthday party in August where we’ll be giving away 10 books a day. Thanks for letting your readers know about this!!

Blessings

Nora St.Laurent
The Book Club Netowork

Great giveaways all month long at TBCN! Leave a comment here, too, for a special OTT-WGH giveaway this week in honor of Nora and Fred!

18 August 2012

My Journey by Teresa S Mathews




Teresa 

My Journey



About six hundred twelve months ago I started this life,
I was born to the best daddy and his very strict wife.

I was the smallest and youngest of the four children there,

I was the baby and that place I did not want to share.

My brother Stevie had been the babe nine years before me. 
But he was generous and gave up that place easily.

My sister Miriam said she asked God to send me
But was disappointed when I came as a cryin’ baby.

My big brother Larry, who I know loved me so
Carried me with him every place he would go.

At the age of maybe two or perhaps maybe three
I asked for a piano to be bought for me.

I was way too little to learn how to play
And the age of five seemed so far away.

When five finally came and to the teacher I went
I proudly took lessons and it was time well spent.

Those lessons for twelve long years dragged on.
“Sit up straight” “Watch your timing” the teachers did drone.

But now when I look back at those years I can see
The person that God was molding that little girl to be.

The timid young girl, only fourteen years old
Too scared to play in Church and really not bold.

She knew even as a young tiny tot
That God had a plan and she had a spot. 

Playing for Him in His house…oh what pleasure!
The talent He gave me..oh what a treasure!

Now many long years have past since that day
            And in many churches I’ve sat and pianos I’ve played.

It always been for God and for His glory,
                     And now I’m at the end of my STORY! J

For the one's that don't know me, I wanted to tell you a little about myself and my journey. God has been the mainstay of my life since I was a little girl, I was five years old when I asked Jesus into my heart. I was blessed to have been born in a Christian home, my dad was a wonderful man of God who would go out of his way to bless others. There have been times he would give his last penny to someone God told him to bless and we wouldn't have groceries at home or lunch money for school. But he was a man of great faith and he knew that God would supply our needs, and God always did. Dad's favorite saying was "When you shovel it out, God shovels it in and His shovel is a whole lot bigger." He wasn't teaching you should give to get..he was teaching that if God tells you to give something even if you feel you don't have it, He will bless you more than you could ever imagine. We were never rich but God always supplied what we needed, when we needed it. He Truly Is An On Time God.

In my poem I jokingly said my mom was very strict, and that was NOT a joke! LOL I have a wonderful mother and she looked out for her children like no mother I've ever known. She didn't let us run through the neighborhood like the other kids...she KNEW where we were at all times. Every morning before school she would have devotion with us and some mornings she would pray on and on and almost make us late for school! But she was praying for God's protection over her children and it paid off. All of mom and dad's children are still living for God.

Teresa and Carlton Mathews and sons
The Lord has really blessed me through the years, he sent me a wonderful husband that was in need of a piano player because he was a singer and a worship leader. We have been married 25 years and we have two wonderful sons. We have served in several churches as worship leaders through the years and we have never regretted one minute we have given to God. He is the best Father a child could ever have!

I also would love to say a huge Praise the Lord for all my friends here at the Overcoming Through Time - With God's Help Blog. I was so blessed when I was asked to join. Isn't it wonderful when God surprises us with good things in our lives?




17 August 2012

Teresa Mathews' Review of A Bride's Flight From Virginia City, Montana by Murray Pura

A Bride’s Flight From Virginia City, Montana
By Murray Pura
(Barbour Publishing, January 2012)

5 Stars*****
Reviewed by Teresa Mathews

In this exciting tale Murray Pura takes us on an adventurous although perilous journey that starts in February 1875 in Virginia City, Montana and goes all the way to Bird-In-Hand, Pennsylvania. During this time we are introduced to Charlotte Spence, and Zephaniah Parker, both ranchers in Montana.

The day Zephaniah is out riding the range and stumbles upon two very frightened young children, will be the day that will forever change his life. The boy and girl are both too frightened to tell their names so Zeph calls them Cheyenne and Cody Wyoming. Little does he know they have just witnessed the horrendous slaughter of their parents and friends. They are the lone survivors of “The Angel of Death’s” visit.

Charlotte Spence is the sole owner of the Sweet Blue Meadows Ranch now that her brother Ricky has passed away, another delayed casualty of the war. Charlotte is a strong, brave woman running a ranch with ten men that obey her every command, which is a tad out of the ordinary in 1875. To anyone looking at the outside all they see is the beauty of Charlotte but if they could look on the inside they would see the secrets she harbors and she is so afraid no one would like what they find out.

When Zephaniah talks with his brother Matt, the local lawman, and finds out why the children are frightened, both men realize they need to get the children to safety because the Angel of Death will never let them live as soon as he hears they are alive. Matt suggests to Zeph that the children might do well staying at Charlotte’s ranch. Charlotte is delighted to take the children in; she wants to ease the pain they are going through.

When Matt receives a telegram from the Angel saying he is coming to kill the children and the woman hiding them, Zeph and Matt insist that Charlotte take the kids by train to their relatives in Pennsylvania. But the only way Charlotte agrees to the plan is for Zephaniah to accompany them as her husband! Charlotte explains that they will blend in better if they travel under the guise of a man and his wife with their children. Zephaniah could see the wisdom of the plan and he really didn’t like the idea of her and the children traveling alone, so he agrees. Will they make it safely? Or will they have an untimely appointment with "death"?


I cannot begin to tell you how much I enjoyed this, from the first page right up until the last. It took me through a whole gamut of emotions, joy at the beautiful scenery that Murray described so well, excitement and fear knowing they are running from a man that seems subhuman with one goal in mind; killing them. And complete overwhelming satisfaction when it was all said and done. I will tell you that I’m sure you will find yourself reading late into the night like I did. Don’t be surprised if you are shocked into a wide awake state just when you think you might be getting a little sleepy, I know I was!! Had anyone else been awake in my house they would have seen my mouth hanging open because that is how shocked I was at one point!! Job Well Done, Mr. Pura!

Murray's books can be purchased through Amazon, at CBD,  also available through Barnes and Noble, and other bookstores.

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

16 August 2012

Marian's review of The Face of Heaven by Murray Pura

The Face of Heaven
The Face of Heaven by Murray Pura
Snapshots in History Series #2
Harvest House Publishers, 2012

Reviewed by Marian Baay
5 stars~*****

Truly A Masterpiece!

During the Civil War

The main characters Lyndel Keim and Nathaniel King are Amish. After they witnessed the brutal treatment of runaway slaves, their lives are changed forever. They are just starting to fall in love when Nathaniel joins the Army. Some time later Lyndel follows him as an Army nurse. After about a year they finally see each other again.

Now that both have become a part of the war effort, they are banished from their Amish community.
Despite of the war their love grows. And despite of they're being banished they still live up to their faith.

Nathaniel fights in several well known battles. It's nice to read about the camaraderie among Nathaniel's platoon. I almost felt a part of them and could imagine the bullets whistling around my head.

Lyndel cares for the many wounded soldiers. It's not always pleasant to read about the battle injuries, but it was reality back then.
When loved ones get seriously injured, will Lyndel be able to nurse them back to health?

This book truly is a page turner and a masterpiece! Awesome job, Murray!

*Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for my review copy. I was not required to write a positive review.*



Murray's books can be purchased through Amazon, CBD and other bookstores.

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

14 August 2012

Diana Flowers Reviews The Face of Heaven by Murray Pura

The Face of Heaven
The Face of Heaven by Murray Pura
Harvest House Publishers, 2012

Reviewed by Diana Flowers
5 stars~*****

                         Not Your Typical Amish Fiction!


In The Face of Heaven, Murray Pura has penned a powerful, literary masterpiece, set during one of the most tumultuous, heartbreaking times in our country's history--the Civil War. The whipping and hanging of an innocent man near an Amish farmhouse forever changes the course of three young Amish people's lives; Lyndel Keim, her brother Levi, and her beau, Nathaniel King. In spite of being pacifists, they remain haunted by what they have witnessed, and feel compelled to follow the call to join the Union forces.

Lyndel obtains permission to work in the midst of the battlefield, nursing the wounded before they are taken to the hospital, and finds herself serving both the fallen Union and Confederate soldiers. Nathaniel King serves in one of the most courageous regiments in the Union army, the 19th Indiana Brigade, and Lyndel finds her way to him which results in a bittersweet reunion for the two. Separated by the horrific battle of Gettysburg, Nathaniel is severely wounded, and Lyndel must call upon her faith in God; not knowing whether the love of her life is dead or alive. Will she have the strength and the courage to keep nursing the wounded?...when her beloved is lying out there somewhere; possibly dead?

Murray Pura has written a brilliant novel; destined to become a classic. This book evoked so many intense emotions in me-heartbreak, horror, elation, and most of all pride...pride in this great country of ours, and of the men and women who gave their lives to truly make it "the land of the free and the home of the brave." At times my emotions were at such a peak, I had to place the book down, only to find myself picking it right back up--truly a page turner. *WARNING* This novel relives the battles of the Civil War and may not be suitable for more genteel readers. War is not pretty, and there is a lot of carnage, violence, and the harsh realities of war in this book. Though an intense novel, the love story within its pages is timeless and beautiful, and with a strong, spiritual thread throughout this is a definite must read for history/romance lovers everywhere! Very nicely done, Mr. Pura!

I received a copy of this book from Net Galley and was not required to write a positive review.

Murray's books can be purchased through Amazon, CBD and other bookstores.


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

Google Analytics