Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Pearl in the Sand by Tessa Afshar* A review

Can a Canaanite harlot who has made her livelihood by looking desirable to men make a fitting wife for one of the leaders of Israel? Shockingly, the Bible’s answer is yes. Pearl in the Sand tells Rahab’s untold story. Rahab lives in a wall; her house is built into the defensive walls of the City of Jericho. Other walls surround her as well—walls of fear, rejection, unworthiness. A woman with a wrecked past; a man of success, of faith …of pride; a marriage only God would conceive! Through the heartaches of a stormy relationship, Rahab and Salmone learn the true source of one another’s worth and find healing in God.

Paperback: 320 pages

Publisher: Moody Publishers;

Original edition (September 1, 2010)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0802458815

ISBN-13: 978-0802458810

Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.5 x 0.8 inches

Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces

TESSA AFSHAR was born in a nominally Muslim family in Iran and lived there for the first fourteen years of her life. She survived English boarding school for girls before moving to the United States permanently. Her conversion to Christianity in her mid-twenties changed the course of her life forever. Tessa holds an MDIV from Yale University where she served as co-Chair of the Evangelical Fellowship at the Divinity School. She has spent the last twelve years in full and part-time Christian work and currently serves as the leader of Women’s and Prayer ministries at a church in New England. http://www.tessaafshar.com/


Another new author for me whom I love. This book Pearl in the Sand is historical fiction and Tessa Afshar kept it close as she could to the account in the Bible. It is about Rahab with the spies and the capture of Jericho. Tessa really wrote a fantastic book, that is full of compassion, truth, heartaches and finding faith and hope. Historical fiction is really neat because most of the story you read is true, but with extras thrown in. Just reading this book helped me understand the life of the Israelites much better and how it must have been for Rahab. How she embraced a new kind of life in every aspect of her life and that wouldn‘t have been easy. I found it fascinating about the battles and how the Israelites when they prayed and stayed close to God that they always won, no matter the odds. I found the marriage and married life of Rahab and Salmone a very touching, precious thing. How Salmone was so caring and wanted to do the Lord’s will and save his marriage. I always look at the title of a book to see how it fits if it does with the story and Pearl in the Sand is so very, very important in this wonderful story. The author has such great insights about this story. It is such a fantastic book, that I really recommend it. I will be keeping Pearl in the Sand for my book shelf and would give it more than five stars if I could.

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Thank you to Moody Publishers for providing this book for review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255

Monday, March 28, 2011

Winner of McKenzie by Penny Zeller

go to our winner Casey at randomness.is.awesome She won the book McKenzie by Penny Zeller. You will love this book Casey. Thanks everyone for commenting and please stop by often. More giveaways coming very soon. Many blessings and thanks,

Friday, March 25, 2011

Gray Matter by David Levy, MD & Joel Kilpatrick*A review


A perfect blend of medical drama and spiritual insight, Gray Matter is a fascinating account of Dr. David Levy’s decision to begin asking his patients if he could pray for them before surgery. Some are thrilled. Some are skeptical. Some are hostile, and some are quite literally transformed by the request.
Each chapter focuses on a specific case, opening with a detailed description of the patient’s diagnosis and the procedure that will need to be performed, followed by the prayer “request.” From there, readers get to look over Dr. Levy’s shoulder as he performs the operation, and then we wait—right alongside Dr. Levy, the patients, and their families—to see the final results.
Dr. Levy’s musings on what successful and unsuccessful surgical results imply about God, faith, and the power of prayer are honest and insightful. As we watch him come to his ultimate conclusion that no matter what the results of the procedure are, “God is good,” we cannot help but be truly moved and inspired.

List Price: 14.99
ISBN: 978-1-4143-3975-7
Trim Size: 5 1/2 x 8 1/4
Binding: Softcover
Release: March 2011

David Levy, MD practices neurosurgery in San Diego, California. His articles have been published in a variety of neurosurgical journals, and he is an accomplished and engaging speaker and presenter. In his off time, David enjoys helping those less fortunate who live in California and in other parts of the world.

Joel Kilpatrick
His latest book is The Art of Being You (Zondervan, 2010), written with his father, singer/songwriter Bob Kilpatrick. Due out in 2011 is Gray Matter (Tyndale House), co-authored with brain surgeon David Levy, and Redemption (Thomas Nelson), co-authored with Olympic gold medalist Bryan Clay.
Kilpatrick earned an MS degree in journalism from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in New York in 1995. There he studied under the current administrator of the Pulitzer Prizes. Kilpatrick lives in southern California with his wife and five children.

Gray Matter by David Levy and Joel Kilpatrick is a true story of David Levy. He is a famous brain surgeon who prays with patients before and after surgery. I really found this interesting and will be keeping it for my own personal library. Dr. Levy isn’t perfect as he admits many times, but he loves the Lord and isn’t ashamed to pray and talk to others. At first it was hard for Dr. Levy to ask to pray for others as any time we witness to others, the first time is difficult.
After prayer the patients, their families and the surgeon and team all feel more calm, peaceful and ready to do the work and heal. When prayer is offered God is always there and willing to help and give us peace. Praying doesn’t mean every surgery will turn out perfect or all will be healed, but that peace and love are good to have.
I really like all of the true life drama of being a brain surgeon and keeping God at the head of it all. You will hear about the good and bad of the surgeon’s life. The many marvelous things surgeons can do these days. Gray Matter isn’t hard or complicated to read. Besides all of the success’ you will also read some of the failures and sad situations.
Here is a passage from the book that Dr. Levy feels he communicates to his patients when he asks to pray for them. “You may be looking to me for your outcome because of my skills, my confidence, and hopefully a glowing recommendation from other doctors, but I am willing to admit before you and your family that I am not God. I am good at what I do, but ultimately I cannot control the outcome of your surgery. We need God’s help, and I am not ashamed to ask for it.”
Besides praying for the patients, Dr. Levy also would talk to them asking them if they needed to forgive someone or themselves. He believes that holding bitterness or grudges in for years is horrible for your health and you won’t heal properly. He helped many people by just talking to them and praying with them.
This is a book you don’t want to miss. If you haven’t read any other book this year, this book should not be missed. I will recommend Gray Matter to each and everyone who talks to me. No better book will be found about the truth of prayer and praise. A must read.

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Thanks to Tyndale House Publishers for providing this book for review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Winner of See the Light Art Class DVD Lessons 1-4

Go to
Apple Blossom
She won again! I've never had this happen
before, that a winner won two things on my
blog in a few days time.
We are very happy for you Apple Blossom.
New See the Light giveaway for Easter up on my blog.
Leave a comment you might win this one!

The Crossmaker DVD review and GIVEAWAY

See the Light introduces The Crossmaker.
Meet Dominic, the son of a carpenter, who finds himself drawn into the unforgettable trial of the man called Jesus. Share in this amazing adventure that takes Dominic from Christ's crucifixion to a place of redemption, and a face-to-face meeting with the risen Christ!

Also included on The Crossmaker DVD:

Feed your need for worship! As kids watch and draw-along with renowned chalk-artist Gloria Kohlmann, you revel in the worship music performed by “Breathing Room” recording artists Jan Roper and Kevin Dukes.

Watch & hear the plan of salvation in a clear and creative presentation through the captivating expression of art.

Chalk artist Gloria Kohlmann provides commentary as you watch the Easter scene being created.

Run Time 150 mins.

The Crossmaker is one of the most beautiful Easter DVDs for children I have seen. The first 16 minutes is a fantastic story of a boy and how he came to be at the crucifixion. The pictures are chalk art and I must say it is so very moving and touching. The Crossmaker really holds the interest of anyone who watches, but gives the full Easter story and is very powerful. If this DVD didn’t have anything else, but this story I would highly recommend it, but there is so much more to watch and enjoy.
Next on the DVD are three art lessons and they are fantastic! The first one is Creative Lettering which is 28 minutes, by Heidi Shorts, and then the next is from the Art Teacher Pat Knepley. She shows a step-by-step lesson using chalk pastels, which is 32 minutes. The last art lesson is by Jim Pence. He does water colors and that lesson is 25 minutes. All of these lessons have a Bible theme with a short talk about Jesus and doing the right things.
The bonus features have lots of super things in it also. You will hear the artists Jan Roper and Kevin Dukes singing and performing songs to go along with the extras. The chalk artist Gloria Kohlmann draws a beautiful picture of the Easter story. It’s just amazing and you will be drawn into the music, picture and story.
Another part I really like is called Watch and Hear; it is a simple plan of salvation for children. It is so easy to understand and very creative.
The Easter Story-The Crossmaker can be enjoyed by anyone three and older and the art lessons will be enjoyed by anyone six and older.
I highly recommend this wonderful DVD for an Easter gift to be loved and enjoyed by you and your children/grandchildren for years to come.

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“Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Giveaway: The Crossmaker DVD.
Leave a comment with your name and email address. You will not be entered unless you leave a comment AND your email address.

Here are the ways to get extra entries:
~Be or become a follower +1
~Be or become an email subscriber +1
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Contest is only open in the U.S. and void where prohibited. Chances of winning are based on the number of entries and winner is draw from a non-biased third party- Random.org. ENTRY DEADLINE April 10, 2011

Monday, March 21, 2011

Patchwork Dreams winner

go to
Apple Blossom at abreading4fun
Winner of Patchwork Dreams by Laura V. Hilton
Thanks everyone for leaving comments and come back again,
more giveaways soon.
I enjoy each of your comments!

Shades of Blue by Karen Kingsbury* A review


Brad Cutler, twenty-eight, is a rising star at his New York ad agency, about to marry the girl of his dreams. Anyone would agree he has it all … a great career, a beautiful and loving fiancĂ©e, and a fairy tale life ahead of him—when memories of a high school girlfriend begin to torment him. Lost innocence and one very difficult choice flood his conscience, and he is no longer sure what the future will bring except for this: He must find his old love and make amends. Haunted by the past and confused about the future, he turns to God seeking forgiveness and redemption.

Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: Zondervan; 2 edition (October 16, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 9780310266228
ISBN-13: 978-0310266228
ASIN: 031026622X
Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 6.5 x 0.9 inches
Shipping Weight: 12 ounces

Karen is best known for her Life-Changing Fiction (TM) and for creating unforgettable characters. When speaking before women's groups - some with more than 10,000 in attendance - Karen makes audiences laugh and cry with her compelling story-telling. She likes to tell attendees they have, "One chance to write the story of their lives," and her talk focuses on reminding women to live every day loving well, laughing often, and finding true life in Jesus Christ. Karen routinely speaks before more than 100,000 women each year. Karen is also a public speaker, reaching more than 100,000 women annually through various national events. Karen and her husband, Don, live in the Pacific Northwest with their six children, three of whom are adopted from Haiti.

Another Karen Kingsbury book that I absolutely love. Shades of blue is so full of true life situations and drama that there is never a boring part. Karen deals with many hard issues and the outcome isn’t always as we thought they would be. In this book you will find bad decisions, heartache, loss, loneliness, forgiveness, peace, happiness and finally joy. Shades of Blue deals with the abortion issue, which is very real in our world.
Ten years ago Brad and Emma made a horrible decision that will haunt them for the rest of their lives if they don’t do something about it. Sometimes when we are young we just don’t make the best decisions and if we don’t seek an older persons advice we make big mistakes. This book is about Emma, Brad, and Laura mainly. Brad and Emma were more than friends 10 years ago, and now Laura and Brad are getting married. Brad feels he can’t go ahead with a new life until he can finish the chapter in his old life. You will see how this impacts all three of them and changes everyone’s lives.
This book will have you crying and rejoicing all at once. Keep your tissues handy there isn’t a doubt you will need them. Some of the scenes are just heart wrenching and so very touching.
I highly recommend this book for you to love and enjoy many times and a great gift to a special friend.

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Thank you to Zondervan for providing this book for review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

God's Wisdom for Mothers*A review

God’s Wisdom for Mothers was created to give timeless wisdom and guidance for Scripture meditation and application with 11 categories (62 subjects) pertaining to motherhood. Topics include God’s Wisdom with Children, God Delights in Mothers Who . . . , God Walks with Mothers Through Heartache, Adversity, Worry, and many, many more. Included are pages at the back for prayer lists and personal study notes.
This book is a spiritual pathway to help every mother become all she can be in the eyes of God and her family.
Note: Must be ordered in multiples of 24. Self-shipping box can be used as counter display. To order shrink-wrapped bundles without display box, use ISBN 978-1-4041-8993-5.

Format: Softcover
Trim Size: 4 x 5.90 x 0.60
Page Count: 208
Retail Price: $4.99 ISBN: 1404189564
ISBN-13: 9781404189560
Style#: 9781404189560
Carton Qty: 24

Jack Countryman is the founder of J Countryman, a division of Thomas Nelson Publishers, and bestselling author. He created God’s Promises® line with over 9 million copies sold to date. He’s author of If My People, I Will Love You Forever, and God’s Promises for the Graduate. Jack and his beloved wife Marsha, who shares this journey with him, have 2 grown sons, Bret and Jason.

This is such a neat little book. Both in what’s inside and the trim size of 4 X 5. It was put together by Jack Counstryman. I love the cover of the tulips and the title God’s Wisdom for Mothers.
There are many sections: God’s Wisdom, The Crown of an Excellent Mother, God’s Wisdom with Children, God teaches a Mother to walk in His word, God delights in Mothers who, God walks with Mothers, God encourages each Mother to, God teaches a Mother how to, God gives a Mother. In each section are about five or more topics that emphasis the title.
It isn’t a book that tells a story, but has only Bible verses to explain the titles. Really inspiring and full of love from the Lord. You will just rejoice at all of the truth and compassion in these verses. This book will take you through joy, compassion, sorrow, peace and happiness. You will be taught all of the special things that God has for us as mothers.
I really, really recommend this book for yourself or your mom. I plan on sending this to my precious mom for Mothers Day.

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Disclosure of Material Connection: I receive books free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their Book Review Blogger program/BookSneeze. I am not required to write a positive review. The opinions I express are my own. This is true of any book I review for any publisher or author; I will not review books where a positive review is required and I will always express my own opinions of each book received and read.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Bathsheba Book 3 in the series The Wives of King David*A review


Can She Ever Find Redemption After One Night of Passion with the King?

“As the last word dried on the page, Bathsheba read the message through blurred vision. ‘I am with child’. She would not sign her name or address the message. He would know by the press of her husband’s seal on the wax...”

The conclusion of The Wives of King David series, Bathsheba
Bathsheba is a woman longing for love. With her devout husband, Uriah, away fighting the king's wars for many months at a time, discontent and loneliness dog her steps--and make it frighteningly easy to succumb to King David's charms. Though she immediately regrets her involvement with the powerful king, the pieces are set in motion that will destroy everything she holds dear. Can she find forgiveness at the feet of the Almighty? Or has her sin separated her from God--and David--forever?

Bathsheba reveals the depth of God’s grace and forgiveness. You will never read the story of David and Bathsheba in the same way again.
Paperback: 368 pages
Publisher: Revell (March 1, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0800733223
ISBN-13: 978-0800733223
Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.5 x 1 inches
Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces

Jill Eileen Smith has more than twenty years of writing experience, and her writing has garnered acclaim in several competitions. Her research into the lives of David's wives has taken her from the Bible to Israel, and she particularly enjoys learning how women lived in Old Testament times. Smith is the author of the bestselling Michal and Abigail and lives with her family in southeast Michigan.

Bathsheba is the first book I’ve read of Jill Eileen Smith, and it’s the third in The Wives of King David series. It was a great book as a stand alone or the third in the series.
Knowing the Bible I wondered if Jill Eileen Smith would follow the story in the correct way and I found out they did. The main events all went along with the Bible beautifully. The story was well thought out and the pictures she put in my head were just fantastic.
Many scenes were touching especially when David and Bathsheba’s first child died. You could feel their grief and almost share it with them.
When reading the Bible sometimes we don’t think what really happens after someone does something. After the adultery of David and Bathsheba we don’t consider how Bathsheba could have been stoned or how others in David’s household or even her own viewed Bathsheba. I didn’t really think about if something happened to David that Bathsheba and her children would be in danger of death. Sometimes we don’t think very deeply of the things we read in the Bible. We don’t ask ourselves what if this happened or what if that happened. This book made me think of all of those questions and more.
Bathsheba is a very good book that I recommend highly. It was a very interesting book, even if I knew some of the what happens next parts. I plan on reading Jill’s other books as well.
I know you would really enjoy this book.

Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group, offers practical books that bring the Christian faith to everyday life. They publish resources from a variety of well-known brands and authors, including their partnership with MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) and Hungry Planet.

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“Available March 2011 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

I received my free copy from Donna Hausler from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group for my review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Grow Old With Me by Melinda Evaul*A review


A modern day Beauty and the Beast meet in their fifties when a disfigured carpenter becomes a guest at a bed and breakfast in the western-style tourist town of Love Valley, NC.
Benjamin Pruitt plans to repair the town’s buildings before retiring to a solitary life. Sarah Campbell longs for freedom since her long task as caregiver has ended.
Can Benjamin and Sarah piece the tattered remnants of their lives into a beautiful design to warm their waning years?

Melinda Evaul and her husband enjoy traveling the back roads of North Carolina and Tennessee where rural culture and history are preserved through a unique art form--Quilt Barn Squares.
Come follow her adventures along the Quilt Trails of America in this series of novels.
You may contribute to the preservation of quilting and rural American culture through your purchase of the note cards, post cards, and photographic prints available on her website.

Grow Old With Me is such a wonderful book, heartwarming, uplifting and touching. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and it will be one of my top ten for 2011. I felt like I was staying at this special Inn. The name of the Inn is just fantastic, it’s called Mosey Inn. Also all of the rooms in the Inn have names of quilts, and the description of the Inn and surrounding areas were so well done. The characters feel like old friends now and I hated to finish the book and leave my friends behind.
I always love book covers and titles of books and this one by Melinda Evaul is just perfect. You can just imagine the inside of the Inn after seeing what it looks like on the outside.
Benjamin and Sarah are an older couple who at first didn’t have any thoughts of doing anything but just living and surviving life. They didn’t have an easy life and didn’t expect things to change, but change they did.
It seemed like one disaster or hardship just got worked out and another popped up, but it wasn’t to much. You will never be bored with the happenings in this book. I just loved all of the sweet, loving people of this town, but you will also find a couple of mean-spirited people.
I really love stories about older couples and Grow Old With Me is about the best I’ve read.
I really recommend this book. It is one that you will love to read over and over again.

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This book was given to me by the author to read and review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Author interview~Penny Zeller~Book Giveaway

Here is the link of my review of McKenzie

Penny thanks for taking the time to visit us today! I appreciate you answering these few questions. It will be fun to get to know you better. Tell us a little about yourself.

Thank you so much for having me here, Wanda!

How long did you write before you were published?

In November 2000, I quit my fulltime job as a caseworker at a social services agency to stay home with my infant daughter. At that time, I dedicated my writing to the Lord and began writing numerous articles for national and regional publications and anthologies. My first article was published in June 2001.
My first book, “Hollyhocks,” was published in 2003. My second book, “Wyoming Treasures” was published in 2005; followed by “The Decision” (an ebook) in 2007; “77 Ways Your Family Can Make a Difference: Ideas and Activities for Serving Others” in 2008; “McKenzie” in September 2010; and “Kaydie” in March 2011.
Writing is my ministry and I pray God will use it to impact lives for Christ.

Tell us about “McKenzie,” the featured book.

I am so blessed about the release of “McKenzie,” the first book in my Montana Skies Series. Here is a short blurb:

Desperation to rescue her younger sister from an abusive husband prompts McKenzie Worthington to run away from her stately Boston home as a mail-order bride for a rancher in the rugged Montana Territory.

Desperation also prompted Zachary Sawyer to post the ad for a bride, and he eagerly awaits the woman God has chosen for his wife.

When they meet, McKenzie tries to keep her distance, but she can't help feeling attracted to Zach and his selfless ways. What will become of her plan to annul the marriage when she finds her sister?

I would love to share, too, Wanda, about the interesting testimony behind “McKenzie.” My family and I were in a car accident a couple years ago where I suffered neck and leg injuries. During that time period of seven months, I was also hit with back-to-back bacterial infections. Because of the injuries and illness, I was pretty much homebound and my active athletic lifestyle suddenly became limited. I look back now and praise God that He gave me McKenzie, as well as two other manuscripts (another historical and a contemporary) I wrote in that seven month period of pain and illness. God took what was a difficult time for me and turned it around to something positive that can be used for His Kingdom – taking the time to write the books that I had always wanted to write.

He has since healed me and I pray daily that the path I have chosen in life will glorify Him. I think that’s why Jeremiah 29:11, which says, “’For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future’” is so close to my heart.
Thanks for sharing that with us Penny!

Is there any person who has been a strong influence in your writing journey?

When I was in second grade, my teacher, Mrs. Vernon, encouraged me to never stop writing stories about Jesus (I began my writing career rewriting Bible stories and publishing them in homemade cardboard books).
In addition, my husband and children have been strong supporters of my writing. As far as influencers or mentors, I would have to say authors Sharlene MacLaren and Amanda Cabot have been wonderful mentors to me.

What message do you want to be clear to your readers?

I hope my readers will get from “McKenzie”- and all of my novels- the power of God’s love, redemption, hope, and forgiveness. I want them to catch a glimpse inside my characters’ lives and see that God can and does change hearts.

What are some of your likes and dislikes? Your hobbies, interests? Where do you like to vacation?

I love spending time with my family and hiking, camping, canoeing, playing volleyball, reading, and gardening. My family and I love to camp in the summers and often head to the mountains in our travel trailer. I dislike mean people and asparagus.

Tell us a little-known fact about yourself that readers may not know.

What a fun question to answer! *grins* Let’s see, I think one of the most interesting things would be how I met my husband, Lon, of almost 19 years. I met him through a prank phone call when my sister, cousin, and I found his football picture in the newspaper and decided to call him one day. I thought he was just the cutest! (He went to a neighboring school and was a state champion football player, while I was a cheerleader at my school). We met in person for the first time the following week at the local gas station where I told him my real name. (Having an overactive imagination allowed me to come up with just the perfect name when I prank phone-called him). Lon rode up on his motorcycle and I drove up in my old-fashioned high school clunker. Our eyes met…and the rest, as they say, is history!
That is so sweet!
How do you spend your writing days? Do you set goals to reach a certain number of words per day? Can you give us a general idea of how long it takes you to write a novel?
I pray each morning that I would get accomplished only what the Lord would have me accomplish that day. I then make it a priority to work on my writing, which is about 35 hours a week. My novels vary in how long they take me to write. I’ve written one in as little as two months; and I have one novel I’m still working on years later because of the immense detail and the emotional intertwining of lives.

What are you currently reading?

I am reading a fantastic love story by Christian Author Melinda Evaul titled “Grow Old With Me.” I’m also reading and studying Acts in the Bible.
I just finished the same book today. Wow!

Do you grow flowers or vegetables? What are your favorite flowers?

I absolutely love flowers! Each Mother’s Day, my husband and children take me to the local nursery and I go crazy buying flowers (flowers are such an addiction for me and one of the most beautiful of God’s creations!) I come home and we, as a family, plant them in numerous pots. Then, because we live in a cold climate with short summers, I put all of the pots in the garage during the evenings until the nights are warmer. My most favorite flower is the daisy, but I also love petunias and pansies. J We also plant a small vegetable garden each summer.

What are you writing now?

The second book in my Montana Skies Series, Kaydie, just released this month, and I just finished the third book in the series, Hailee, which is scheduled for release in September. I'm also working on a historical romance series that takes place in the Post-Civil War Era. I recently finished book one in the series and have started writing book two.

How can readers find you on the Internet?

I love to connect with my readers at
my website www.pennyzeller.com,
my humor blog, A Day in the Life of a Wife, Mom, and Author: www.pennyzeller.wordpress.com, on Twitter at http://twitter.com/pennyzeller, and
on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Penny-A-Zeller/96391560959?ref=ts
And thanks for spending this time with us, Penny.

Thank you so much for allowing me the privilege of being a guest on your blog, Wanda. God’s blessings to you and your family.
We wish you much success.

Penny Zeller will give away this wonderful book (McKenzie) to one of you!
Leave a comment with your name and email address. You will not be entered unless you leave a comment AND your email address.

Here are the ways to get extra entries:
~Be or become a follower +1
~Be or become an email subscriber +1
~Be or become a networked blog follower +1

Contest is only open in the U.S. and void where prohibited. Chances of winning are based on the number of entries and winner is draw from a non-biased third party- Random.org. ENTRY DEADLINE March 27, 2011

Monday, March 7, 2011

See The Light's- ART CLASS- DVD Giveaway

Bring an art teacher into your home with See The Light's ART CLASS (Volumes 1-9; 36 lessons)! Every lesson provides kids with progressive, hands-on tools to learn everything from basic art skills to advanced techniques. **Step-By-Step Tutoring ** Progressive Skill Building ** Integrated Art History & Biblical Truth ** No Workbooks Ever - Only Basic Supplies //
Volume 1: The Basics (Lessons 1-4);
Volume 2: Shape & Space (Lessons 5-8);
Volume 3: Value & Color (Lessons 9-12);
Volume 4: Color Blending Techniques (Lessons 13-16);
Volume 5: Proportions For Composition (Lessons 17-20);
Volume 6: Texture & Form (Lessons 21-24);
Volume 7: Perspective For The Landscape (Lessons 25-28);
Volume 8: Balance & Foreshortening (Lessons 29-32);
Volume 9: The Portrait (Lessons 33-36)
//Individual DVDs of the 9 Volumes are also available for $14.99/DVD for consumers interested in purchasing directly from See The Light Shine website.
See The Light Curriculum resources provide materials that are Biblically based, age appropriate, God honoring and Christ centered. These materials motivate, challenge, and
demonstrate how the eternal truth of God’s Word can be practically applied to every situation in life. What makes our curriculum different from other curriculum is that it uniquely encourages children to explore the Bible through interactive art, memory verse games, plays, puppet stories, object lessons and even more. It’s fun, effective and easy to use, requiring very little preparation and setup time! Plus, through our engaging
online resources, families can re-experience these lessons at home.

Pat has been drawing and painting since she was able to hold a crayon and loves sharing her passion for Art with kids! Pat graduated with a degree and teaching credential in Art Education from Penn State. Currently Pat serves as the Director of Children’s Ministries at a large non-denominational church in Southern California, where she combines her love for the Lord and His word with her passion for teaching kids.

This is a really neat DVD for home schoolers or any family who wants to teach children about Art. It was made for elementary-aged children/classrooms. I received the first Volume-Art Lessons 1-4. The titles of the lessons are: Lesson 1-Tools of the Trade, Lesson 2-It all starts with a line, Lesson 3-Contours & Composition. The lessons are about 10 minutes each with a very nice part where a Bible passage is read and a little explaination. These are short enough to keep the attention of any child. The instructor Pat Knepley is very clear in her teaching and has a very sweet disposition. When my children first started school we home schooled them and we never had anything this wonderful. I believe your home school would really benefit from such wonderful, clear teaching. Also as a bonus on this DVD shows a Chalk Artist and she instructs children on how to do a chalk drawing. That was really amazing to me, because I love Chalk Artist. Also her instructions were very clear and easy to follow.
I highly recommend this set of Art Lessons. It would be a great gift for yourself, your children or grandchildren.
I will tell you what each lesson is called. In volume 2 they are:
Shape up (part 1)
Shape up (part 2)
All about space
Putting it all together-Line, Shape & Space
Volume 3
It’s not just black and white
Tone, Shade & Shadow
Color, Color, Color
Complements & Intermediates
Volume 4
Blending with colored pencils
Practice Makes Perfect
Blending with chalk pastels
Putting it all together
Volume 5
Stand your Ground
Keep things in proportion
Point of View
Volume 6
The element of Texture
Choosing the right tool
Make it 3D
One shape, three results
Volume 7
Put it in perspective (one-point perspective)
Put it in perspective (two-point perspective)
The landscape (part 1)
The landscape (part 2)
Volume 8
Balance & Symmetry
Circles & Ellipses
Whoa! That was close
The bug jar
Volume 9
Drawing People
A Different View
It starts with a stick figure
The human figure

Giveaway: one official copy of the Art Class DVD (Volume 1 : Art Lessons 1-4)
Leave a comment with your name and email address. You will not be entered unless you leave a comment AND your email address.

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~Be or become a follower +1
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Contest is only open in the U.S. and void where prohibited. Chances of winning are based on the number of entries and winner is draw from a non-biased third party- Random.org.
ENTRY DEADLINE March 23, 2011

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“Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Laura V. Hilton-author interview and book giveaway

Laura thanks for taking the time to visit us today! I appreciate you answering these few questions. It will be fun to get to know you better. Tell us a little about yourself.

Thank you, it’s nice to be here. I am a wife of almost 25 years to Steve, a homeschool Mom to five blessings, a book reviewer, a pastor’s wife, a breast cancer survivor, and an author.

How long did you write before you were published?

I was born writing, I think. I remember stories in kindergarten, and writing and writing and writing a long misplaced story when I was in elementary school. I had two books published about six years ago with a small press, but then I landed an agent and she felt I should focus on the bigger houses, rather than small press, and I wrote another 4 years before they started taking notice.

Tell us about “Patchwork Dreams,” the featured book.

- Becky Troyer has committed the ultimate sin, and finds herself on the edge of her Amish community. Jacob Miller believes he was sent to the Old Order Community in Missouri to help out a distant cousin. Instead, he discovers he was part of an arranged swap--sending men from his Pennsylvania district to the Missouri district to bring new blood into the Amish community. Becky dreams of marriage, but doesn't dare hope that anyone would choose her--not with her history. Can God use the lies that have affected Becky and Jacob to bring them together? Or will Jacob rebel and head home to his first love?

Is there any person who has been a strong influence in your writing journey?

Well, my agent has been very encouraging to me. She has talked me out of giving up I don’t know how many times. I really don’t have a mentor, I’ve wanted one, but didn’t know how to get one, but I do have my critique groups with helped me greatly, especially with expanding the story (where we need more information) and with verb/tense agreement issues—my weakness. My husband is probably my biggest cheerleader, he reads my books as I write it—chapter by chapter. And ACFW has really taught me a lot about the craft of writing. It’s really not as simple as just writing something. You have to know something about story, where it begins, point of view, motives, and other stuff.

What message do you want to be clear to your readers?

That God loves you where you are at, that He is the God of second chances.

What are some of your likes and dislikes? Your hobbies, interests? Where do you like to vacation?

I enjoy minivacations in the area in which I live. Right now I’m near an Amish community, I’m near caves, springs, state parks, and civil war monuments. If I have an opportunity for a longer vacation, I like to go to Michigan. It is my “home” and I love the beach on Lake Michigan, all the water falls, the lighthouses, etc. My hobbies are at this point mostly reading. As a book reviewer I have little time for handcrafts, if I have a spare moment I have to read something. If I have time away from reading, then I enjoy researching, learning something new. I also love to bake, and spend time with my family. I dislike spiders … LOL, my son wrote a poem (and it was published on-line) about my fear of spiders.

Tell us a little-known fact about yourself that readers may not know.

Well, they might now know I’m afraid of spiders! Seriously, I love winter squash, my favorite fruit would be blueberries or raspberries, fresh, of course, and I drink a lot of unsweetened tea, all kinds, white, black, red, or green.

How do you spend your writing days? Do you set goals to reach a certain number of words per day? Can you give us a general idea of how long it takes you to write a novel?

I set a goal for a month. Like this month I am starting the third book in my Amish series, so I wrote in my journal start – 0, goal 15,000. I don’t have an office, so I have to write with the family, and it is interrupted a lot with homeschooling, phone calls, errands, family stuff. I like to write at least a 1,000 words a day, but that isn’t always possible, life does happen, so I try to set a reasonable monthly goal for me, so I don’t feel so bad if I only get 500 words, or if I can’t write at all. I wrote Patchwork Dreams from start 0 words – to the final edited version that I submitted in four months. And that includes the rough draft and the final copy. The second book – A Harvest of Hearts, coming in September, I wrote in four and a half months.

What are you currently reading?

I just finished reading An Amish Midwife by Mindy Starns Clark, and I’ll be starting Bake Until Golden by Linda Evans Shepherd and Eva Marie Everson tonight.

Do you grow flowers or vegetables?

Yes, both. The price of fresh produce is horrific, so I try to grow our own vegetables. I had tulips in my garden that I transplanted from Michigan but the deer eat them, so right now I have irises, wild violets, and jonquils in the garden.

What are your favorite flowers?

I love tulips, roses, jonquils, and violets. Well, any flower really. I enjoy a fresh bouquet in the middle of the dining room table.

What are you writing now?

I’m starting the third book in the Amish of Seymour series. It’s the story of Annie, an Amish school teacher, and Joshua, an Amish man transferred in a man swap from Pennsylvania to Missouri.

How can readers find you on the Internet?

I’m on facebook – Laura Vernet Price Hilton (I need to start a fan page, I’m almost at my limit for friends) and my blogs, http://lauravhilton.blogspot.com or my book review blog – http://lighthouse-academy.blogspot.com. I’m also on shoutlife.

And thanks for spending this time with us, Laura.

Thank you for having me. It was a pleasure to be here.
We wish you much success.

Book Giveaway-Patchwork Dreams

Leave a comment with your name and email address. You will not be entered unless you leave a comment AND your email address.

Here are the ways to get extra entries:

For extra entries:
~Be or become a follower +1
~Be or become an email subscriber +1
~Join/or be a follower on Networked Blogs +1

Contest is only open in the U.S. and void where prohibited. Chances of winning are based on the number of entries and winner is draw from a non-biased third party- Random.org.
ENTRY DEADLINE March 19, 2011

Friday, March 4, 2011

Evidence of Grace by Teresa Slack* A Review


A murder conviction sent Sally Blake’s killer to prison. Nearly thirty years after that fateful night, a phone call from a potential eyewitness may prove the wrong person is serving time for the crime. But what would drive someone to plead guilty to another man’s crime? Noel Wyatt enlists the help of a young attorney, and David Davis, the retired judge who once prosecuted the case, to put all the pieces of the puzzle together. If an eyewitness exists, where has he been for the last thirty years? Is it possible the killer did not act alone? Is that person covering up for the real killer? What evidence does the eyewitness have that might overthrow a murder conviction? Will justice come too late for the person convicted of Sally’s murder?

Paperback: 340 pages
Publisher: Tsaba House (May 9, 2007)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1933853484
ISBN-13: 978-1933853482
Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6 x 0.8 inches
Shipping Weight: 1 pounds

Teresa D. Slack is a member of Christian Writers Fellowship Intl., Faith Christian Writers, and American Fiction Christian Writers, and is a highly sought after guest speaker at writers conferences. Evidence of Grace is her fifth novel. She lives in Southern Ohio with her husband.

Evidence of Grace is book 3 in the Jenna’s Creek series. I didn’t read the first two but it didn’t hinder me in reading this one. Evidence of Grace is a good stand alone book. This book has a lot of characters but it was easy to follow along with each one.
I really love murder mysteries and this one was a winner for me. It meant even more to me because it is set in Ohio, my home. I knew all of the towns and cities mentioned.
Evidence of Grace is many stories that wound themselves together in some way. It was neat these stories were completely stories by themselves but all came together in the end.
Evidence of Grace is a riveting story with many twists and turns and an unbelievable ending.
I recommend this as a very good mystery that is fast and easy to read. Very enjoyable.

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Thursday, March 3, 2011

Patchwork Dreams by Laura V. Hilton*A Review

Ever since returning from her rumspringa pregnant and unwed, Becky Troyer has been a pariah in her Amish community in Missouri. Even after the young mother confesses her sin and rejoins the church, her peers continue to shun her, and she despairs the unlikelihood of marrying for love. It seems that her only hope is to eventually marry a widower with a family of his own.

Becky’s world changes when Jacob Miller arrives at her family’s farm with the understanding that he will help with chores during the summer and then return to Pennsylvania. What Jacob does not know is that his father, who disapproves of Jacob’s sweetheart, Susie, sent him away as part of a plan to introduce new blood into the Amish community of Seymour. In addition to his work around the farm, Jacob undertakes the task of cheering up the lovely yet listless Becky, inviting her to various youth gatherings and offering her the only unconditional friendship she’s known.

As their friendship grows, the two find themselves inexplicably drawn to each other. Will Becky and Jacob overcome their insecurities and self-doubts so that their love can grow, or will Jacob keep his pledge to Susie and turn his back on Becky, as so many others have done?

Paperback: 144 pages
Publisher: Whitaker House (April 5, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1603742557
ISBN-13: 978-1603742559

Laura Hilton graduated with a business degree from Ozarka Technical College in Melbourne, Arkansas. A member of the American Christian Fiction Writers, she is a professional book reviewer for the Christian market, with more than a thousand reviews published on the Web. Prior to Patchwork Dreams, she published two novels with Treble Heart Books: Hot Chocolate and Shadows of the Past, as well as several devotionals. Laura and her husband, Steve, have five children, whom Laura homeschools. The family makes their home in Arkansas. To learn more about Laura, read her reviews, and find out about her upcoming releases, readers may visit her blog at

Coming soon, Patchwork Dreams ~ April 2011
A Harvest of Hearts ~September 2011

Patchwork Dreams is such an excellent book. I enjoyed it from the first page to the last.
Becky is paying for her past mistakes in a big way. During her running around time (rumspringa) in the Amish culture Becky has a baby and her peers keep shunning her, even after she has asked for forgiveness.
Then Jacob comes along. Jacob is sent to their farm(he thinks to only help out for the summer) but the others think he is sent here to bring new blood into the community. Only problem Jacob is already going to get married to a girl from his home.
So we follow these two. Jacob wants to get Becky to smile and that is the mission he sets out on. In Patchwork Dreams you will see many changes in both people and see how they grow up in different situations.
I don’t care for a lot of Amish stories, because the authors are usually judgmental of the English world and always put the Amish above them, but with Patchwork Dreams it isn’t like that at all. We see a story about everyone making mistakes, wrong choices and peace finally if we go in the right way.
The characters have a lot of love and commitment to the Lord, with a lot of touching scenes. This is the first of a new series about The Amish of Seymour by Laura Hilton
This is a book that I can feel good about recommending for all to read. It has everything a good novel should have from tenderness, sadness, forgiveness, peace and joy. So you need to buy this book if you love to read and Amish stories are some of your favorites. Even if you don’t like Amish stories this one is different and full of exciting happenings.

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Thank you to Whitaker House for providing this book for review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Heart of the Highriders

Imagine living in a fantasy world without magic, a world that knows nothing of sorcery nor of a wizard's quick solutions -- a world where one never encounters talking beasts, invincible swords, glowing rings or all-seeing eyes. What would it be like to behold such a world through the mind of those for whom the realm of the spirit is a closed book, and only that which meets the eye can be taken into account? In such a world powers of evil go unrecognized, and thus work their harm, until the spiritual Source of righteousness is revealed. Such is the world of Heart of the Highriders. Co-written by Richard C. Leonard and Charity R. Silkebakken, this Medieval-flavored 412-page epic adventure includes an Afterword, Glossary and Map.

Paperback: 412 pages
Publisher: Word Association (October 1, 2006)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1595711449
ISBN-13: 978-1595711441
Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.5 x 1.1 inches
Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds

Richard C. Leonard is a Congregational minister living in western Illinois. He holds the Ph.D. in Biblical Studies from Boston University and has taught at the college and graduate level. Dr. Leonard’s first novel, Silence of the Drums, was published by Xulon Press in 2005, and his third novel, New America, by Lampstand Books in 2009. Among other publishing credits he was the “ghost writer” of A Theological Miscellany (Thomas Nelson, 2005) under the pseudonym T. J. McTavish. Laudemont Ministries is Dr. Leonard’s teaching ministry. He is the publisher of WestWard Quarterly, a poetry magazine edited by his wife Shirley Anne Leonard.

Charity R. Silkebakken, Dr. Leonard’s daughter, and her husband Richard live in Santa Clara, California, where she runs Mission City Cakes. A graduate of Rice University, Mrs. Silkebakken suspended her career in computer technology to concentrate on being full-time mother of Miriam and Mark. This is the first joint novel by this father-daughter team.


This book is really different than most I read, but it was a good book. It’s about a fantasy world, but you won’t find any magic or sorcery in it, which is a relief to me. The use of different words for common things and the names of the people will convince you that you are in another world. The main character Bilgash is a true gentleman who looks out for the good of others. He doesn’t hesitate to help someone who is struggling or someone that is a slave. He is always there for people.
Go along with Bilgash as he finds the riddle of the stones.
In the back of the book you will find two maps of this fantasy world also many words that are used differently. A few I found interesting are flummox for surprise or shock, rowp for sell or auction and threap for suppose or think. Also are several pages about the people of this world, like Highriders and High Ladies, the Thworb, Merdels and other folk of Hax and Kaldunt.
So if you know anyone who loves books about fantasy lands or adventures full of turns and twists, this is the book for you. It's like going on a vacation to a new world full of strange and wonderful people and places.

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This book was given to me by the author for review purposes only.

Blogoversary winner

to the winner Debbie Jackson at
She wanted the books
Close to Home and Don't Look Back by Lynette Eason
Thanks to everyone for commenting the the giveaways.
More coming this month.