Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Promises to Keep by Ann Tatlock*A Review

Eleven-year-old Roz (Rosalind) Anthony and her family have just moved to Mills River, Illinois, to escape an abusive situation. Only days after settling into their new home, they are surprised to find the previous owner, Tillie Monroe, on their front porch reading the newspaper. Though her sons have sold the house and sent her to a facility for the aged, she is determined to die in the place she lived her life and somehow manages to find her way "home" day after day. Feeling sympathy for the elderly woman, Roz's mother allows Tillie to move back in.
Mara Nightingale becomes Roz's first friend in Mills River. In spite of their many differences, the girls discover they have something in common that binds them together--both are hiding secrets. So they make a promise--"cross my heart and hope to die"--never to tell anyone else.
When danger stalks the Anthonys, Tillie exhibits unimaginable courage and selfless love in her determination to protect the family she has adopted as her own.

Paperback: 348 pages
Publisher: Bethany House (February 1, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 9780764208096
ISBN-13: 978-0764208096
ASIN: 0764208098
Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.4 x 1.1 inches
Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces

About the author
Ann Tatlock is the author of the Christy Award-winning novel All the Way Home. She has also won the Midwest Independent Publishers Association "Book of the Year" in fiction for both All the Way Home and I'll Watch the Moon. Her novel Things We Once Held Dear received a starred review from Library Journal and Publishers Weekly calls her "one of Christian fiction's better wordsmiths, and her lovely prose reminds readers why it is a joy to savor her stories." Ann lives with her husband and daughter in Asheville, North Carolina.

This is the first book I’ve read written by Ann Tatlock and Promises to Keep is an amazing book. I was quite captivated from the first page until the end. For me reading a book in two days means it’s a fantastic read.
One reason I was amazed was because Promises to Keep is told by an eleven-year-old girl named Roz. If someone would have told me that it was told from this young girl’s perspective I wouldn’t have thought I would have liked it, but I love it and mean to keep this one on my bookshelf to reread. It also goes into my favorites of the year.
This story is about a family leaving the husband, because he was abusive among other things. In their new home an older lady shows up on their porch and acts like this is her home and it was until she broke her hip and her sons sold the house. So she wants her house back, but is willing to live with the new family. She is a great help to the family with taking care of the children as the mom goes off to work and does cooking and everything she did before, but for the family.
Roz {eleven-year-old daughter} makes a new friend and they both make a promise about their daddy’s and they both mean to keep it, but is this a wise move? Are promises and secrets trouble or something to keep no matter what.
This book has such a warm, homey feeling in it even though it talks about family problems, separation, divorce etc… It shows a family really trying to keep it all together and loving each other.
Ann gently puts God in the picture and eventually the family knows they can’t do anything without God.
I highly recommend this book to everyone. It is an excellent read and will make you happy you read it.

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Thank you to Bethany 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

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Hawaiian Crosswinds by Linda Lee Chaikin*A Review

Torn between family loyalty and their deep affection for one another, Rafe Easton and Eden Derrington strike an agreement that will bring them together after one final year of pursuing their dreams. For Eden, those dreams involve dangerous medical research with her father, and spending time with the mother she never knew - a leper on Moloka'i.

Rafe's dreams are equally noble - managing the family estates and serving in the Legislature - until both begin to unravel. Revolution threatens the fragile calm of Hawaii's sovereignty, and the man who murdered Rafe's father now threatens the lives of Rafe's mother and adopted son. With love, danger, and political upheaval demanding his attention, Rafe must commit to a course of action without second thoughts.

Love, beauty, and blessing - the perfect "happily ever after" to a Hawaiian romance - unravel in the Hawaiian Islands of 1892. What will this mean for Rafe and Eden, caught in the Hawaiian Crosswinds?

ISBN: 978-0-8024-3750-1
Publish date: May, 2011
Page Count: 352
Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.25
Format: Paperback
Weight: .87 LBS

LINDA LEE CHAIKIN has written over thirty top selling books, including The Silk House series and For Whom the Stars Shine, a finalist for the prestigious Christy Award. Two of her novels have been awarded the Silver Angel Award for excellence. Linda is a graduate of Multnomah Biblical Seminary in Portland, Oregon, and taught neighborhood Bible classes for many years. She and her husband make their home in Northern California where her favorite recreations are reading and taking vacations where the wind blows through lonely deserts and ghost towns.

MY REVIEWHawaiian crosswinds by Linda Lee Chaikin the second book in The Dawn of Hawaii series is such an excellent book with great substance. It isn’t one of those books that have only fluff and light-hearted content.
Hawaiian Crosswinds has many characters that aren’t fictional. Interlaced in this book of the Derrington and Easton families are real people who have been an important part of nineteen century history from Hawaii. I also love the family tree, maps and terms and words of Hawaii.
In Hawaiian Crosswinds you will read about two very powerful families and what they each want to get done politically to make Hawaii even better than it already is.
The main story is about Rafe and Eden who love each other, but both have their own interests that they want to pursuit first. Will doing their own pursuits make them draw apart or will they get closer?
In this gripping, page-turner that is full of political intrigue, murder, drugs turn out happily for all or will things happen that will bring great sadness?
I really love the way Linda writes; she has a wonderful way with words and paints such colorful pictures with her words. I’ve read many if not all of Linda’s books and plan on reading her next ones. Linda brings Christ and the salvation message into her stories so beautifully.
I recommend this book and will be keeping it for my bookshelf. It will be a great book to read again and again. I really love her work.

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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

Saturday, June 25, 2011

K is for Kite God's Springtime Alphabet by Kathy-jo Wargin*A Review

“Hooray, it’s spring! We love April showers, blessing the earth to bring beautiful flowers.” From A to Z, children will bounce along the alphabet celebrating the newness of God’s springtime and all the beauty it brings. There are butterflies to catch and kites to fly, lambs to cuddle and tulips to gather!

As soft April showers make our hearts sing, let’s find the sweetness of God’s gentle spring.

Discover both God’s world and the alphabet through the refreshing newness of springtime experiences. Beautiful illustrations and playful poetry fill this book with everything spring from A to Z. From the first April shower to flying kites and playing in puddles, young readers will delight in the uplifting seasonal message and will grow in their appreciation of the spring season and the miracle of new beginnings.

Page Count: 40

Paper Edge Description: Plain
Size: 9.3 wide x 11.1 high x 0.4 deep in. | 236 wide x 282 high x deep 10 mm
Weight: 0.935 lb | 423 gms

Available: February 2010
Publisher: Zonderkidz

Kathy-jo Wargin
When Kathy-jo Wargin was a young girl, each night after dinner, her mother let her choose between washing the dishes or writing a poem. Before long, she decided that if she grew up to be a writer, she wouldn't have to do any dishes. She has since learned that even though she has published more than twenty award-winning books for children, she still has to wash the dishes. Kathy-jo lives in Minnesota with her husband and her son. Go to her website

Kim Gatto
Artist and designer Kim Gatto strives to create wonderful images that anyone of any age can enjoy. Illustrating is her passion and she savors every opportunity she gets to pursue her dream. "Regardless of what your specific goals and aspirations are, the pursuit of doing what you love for a living will likely be a challenge, however, getting there is priceless." Inspired by nature, animals, and children, Kim has worked on many educational projects, but "B is for Bunnies" will be her first Picture Book. Kim lives in New Jersey, with her husband Michael and three kitties: Choco, Skittle, and Charlie. In 2008, they are also expecting a new addition to their family, their first child.

Illustrator’s website

K is for Kite God’s Springtime Alphabet by Kathy-jo Wargin is such a wonderful, colorful book. I really love it. Alphabet books are fantastic for young children, but one that brings God into the picture is just priceless. It’s a really good size, over 9x11 and the pages are bright, colorful and the children, animals etc.. all have such sweet expressions and it is a hardcover book. The illustrator Kim Gatto does such a fantastic job. I would like to see more of her illustrations in the future.
Every letter of the alphabet tells about something special in Spring, like grass, Lambs, Pussy Willows, Sunshine.
One of my favorite pages in this book has these words, “We’ll stay Outdoors in the fresh springtime air. A walk in the woods shows God everywhere!” I feel that way exactly.
Another thing I love about this book K is for Kite is that the children and the adults {parents} are doing so many things together and just having a wonderful time.
I would highly recommend this Alphabet book for your favorite child. I certainly will be looking for more books written by Kathy-jo Wargin.

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Thank you to Zonderkidz 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, June 23, 2011


Hello everyone!
I have a friend who tried to leave a comment on Loree Lough's book Unbridled Hope. If you want to enter the giveaway, but blogger won't let you leave a comment please email me at wandaelaine at gmail dot com and I will add you to the list. I tried to leave a comment myself and wasn't able to.
So if you run into this problem, but want to join the giveaway just email me and you will be entered.
Thanks and have a fantastic day!
Move giveaways coming very soon.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Loree Lough-author interview & BOOK GIVEAWAY

Thanks to Loree Lough for the interview and for donating a book to one of you. Here is the link for my review of her book Unbridled Hope. I love this books beautiful cover, don't you?

Tell us about Unbridled Hope, the featured book.
Almost from page one (when a steamboat explosion kills Callie's parents, oldest brother, and fiance), there's action and adventure in this, the 3rd and final novel in the Lone Star Legends series. Like the first two books (Beautiful Bandit and Maverick Heart), the story focuses on truth, trust, family, and faith:

Micah, thinking the baby boy who's foisted on him by a female con artist, accepts responsibility for little Liam. Callie, who wrongly blames herself for the explosion, believes she doesn't deserve love, marriage, or a child of her own, volunteers to take care of the child. Soon, she's bonnet over boots in love with the baby and his "daddy."

Will they trust the Lord--and each other--with the secrets that have kept them apart, and discover a love like they could ever have imagined?

Can you tell us how many books you have in print in the Christian market?

At last count, there were 79 of my titles on the shelves. Unbridled Hope is #80.

Is there a particular book among those you've written that you would especially recommend to our readers? If so, why?

I'm really excited about the release of The First Responders series (Abingdon Press), partly because all of the novels pay tribute to those brave men and women who risked it all on 9/11...and those made the ultimate sacrifice to save others. All of the stories center around characters who were directly impacted by the tragedy, and show their struggles--emotional, physical, and spiritual--with the aftermath. Another reason I'm really excited to see this series succeed in a big way is because I've promised to donate a generous portion of my own proceeds to organizations that exist solely to assist and support first responders (police, firefighters, EMTs, soldiers, etc.).

The first novel, From Ashes to Honor, is scheduled for release in September, to coordinate with the 10th anniversary of the tragedy. (And yes, it's available for pre-order online, via, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc.! )

The Christian fiction field has rapidly expanded over the past few years. What would you like to see happen in this field in the years to come?

My most heartfelt prayer for Christian fiction is that one of the stories--mine, a writer pal's, an author I've yet to meet--will become a HUGE hit as a book and as a movie. Not only would our Father in heaven find "lost sheep" among the readers and movie-goers, but the message would provide a healing balm for our nation, which is hurting in innumerable ways.

How can readers and fans encourage you as you pursue what is sometimes a challenging and solitary job?

I love interacting with readers at Twitter, Facebook, Shoutlife, and through my email and snail mail addresses. When they tell me how they identified with what one or more of the characters were going through, or found hope by reading about how the character(s) coped with a particular problem, I'm always humbled...because the situations come straight from God...proof to me that He wanted those specific readers to "get the message" in a very personal and profound way. So what they can do to encourage me is to keep on writing to let me know which elements of every story touched them...and why!

Many writers are also avid readers. Do you have any favorite authors? If so, could you name a few?

I have always loved Steinbeck, Twain, and C.S. Lewis. But my all-time favorite author, right from the get-go, is Jack London. Of all the books and stories he wrote, White Fang is right up there at the top of my "favorites" list.

If you could only take five books with you on a journey of ten years, which ones would you take?

Well, the Bible, naturally, and its trusty companion, the concordance. Then I'd bring a dictionary and a thesaurus, and my collection of Jack London stories. Yep. That would keep me happy for a long, long time!

If you had 48 hours to hang out with any TWO people (besides Jesus), alive or dead in the history of the world who would you hang out with and what would you do?

Thomas Jefferson, definitely! I'd ask him to tell me about every one of his inventions--why he was inspired to create them, and how long it took to perfect each. And then I'd just sit back and enjoy all the witty and profound things he said (that I love to quote, every chance I get) to find out which has been inaccurately recorded by historians!

And my Italian grandpa would join us, to share the amazing stories from his childhood (being gored by a bull as a boy, becoming a proud citizen of the U.S. by fighting for our country in WWI, etc.). I think the two men would have so much in common that they'd spend the entire 48 hours laughing and talking!

What three things are you most thankful for in your life?

First, I'm thankful that, by the grace of God, I am saved.
Second, I'm thankful for my family. (And yes, that includes all you in-laws! )
Third, I'm thankful that the Lord chose me to write. And write. And write!

What is the most fun thing you have ever done?

Wow. That's a tough one! I guess I'd have to say my Ocean City, Maryland honeymoon, because as a Midwest girl, transplanted to the East coast, I'd never seen the Atlantic. Yes, Lake Michigan is expansive and turbulent, but it pales in comparison to the ocean. Especially at sunset, when--if you're very, very lucky--you can see the astounding "green flash."

What are you writing now?

I'm working on book #3 in the First Responders series, An Honorable Man. This one features a former NYC firefighter, scarred inside and out on 9/11, who becomes a big-hearted, tattooed, pony-tailed, Harley-riding youth pastor who puts the heroine's "don't judge a book by its cover" mindset to the ultimate test!

How can readers find you on the Internet?

Before I answer that, I want to thank you, Wanda, for inviting me to share your blogspace!. Your generosity and big-heartedness is a blessing! I'd also like to thank all of your regular readers/followers for slogging through my answers to your questions; those who are so inclined can find me at Facebook, Twitter and Shoutlife, and people can also find me at, http://www.loreeloughcom, and by reading my monthly column, "Loree's Lough Down" in the "Berzerk" secion of Christian Fiction Online Magazine.

One of you will win the book Unbridled Hope by Loree Lough. It is a fantastic book that I loved.
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- ENTRY DEADLINE July 8, 2011

Monday, June 20, 2011

The Brave Young Knight by Karen Kingsbury*A Review-children's book

In this picture book, Karen Kingsbury tells the story of a boy in competition with other young knights to become prince of all the land. In a series of contests and competitions, the king recognizes the brave young knight as the winner, not because he was the fastest or strongest, and not because he was smarter or more cunning than the other knights. Rather, the brave young knight is the winner because he doesn't follow the crowd, instead making decisions based on what is right and true and in accordance with his faith. The moral of the story is that the bravest young boys are those who exhibit the strongest character.

Reading level: Ages 4-8
Hardcover: 40 pages Publisher: Zonderkidz (April 12, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0310716454
ISBN-13: 978-0310716457
Product Dimensions: 11 x 9.1 x 0.6 inches
Shipping Weight: 1 pounds

About the Author
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.

About the Illustrator
Gabrielle Grimard has been drawing since she was a very young child. Born in Montreal, Canada, she studied Fine Arts at Concordia University. She began her career as a muralist, painting numerous walls in commercial buildings in the Montreal area. She now lives in the Eastern Townships with her chickens, two children, and husband, who is a wood boat builder. They share an old barn as their creative studio.

This colorful book The Brave Young Knight by Karen Kingsbury is a new, better approach to an age old story. Many different knights were trying to do different things to become the new Prince. The competition had events for speed, strength and intelligence. The young, brave knight knew others were better and him in these events, but he did his best. I really like this book, because you don’t have to be the strongest, fastest or smartest, just do your best and be honest. This book has a Christian theme and is a really great book for encouraging children. Another part of the book I really liked was how supportive the young knight’s father was. He was always there for the young knight and keeps encouraging him to try his best.
The illustrator Gabrielle Grimard is really excellent. The pages are so colorful and the faces on the people are so believable and kind looking. With Karen’s words and Gabrielle’s pictures this book is a winner. It is written for 4-8 year old children, but would be great for a couple of years younger or older.
I highly recommend this book and would love to give it more than 5 stars. It is a book that won’t gather dust on your bookshelf. It will be read again and again.

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Thank you to Zonderkidz 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

Double Take by Melody Carlson

It's spring break of her senior year and Madison Van Buren is fed up. Stressed over Ivy League pressure, her parents' marital problems, and her boyfriend's neglect, Madison gets in her car and drives west. Meanwhile, eighteen-year-old Anna Bronner wants to escape the so-called simple life--which for her consists of caring for younger siblings, sewing, cooking, and gardening--and she's well aware that her future will simply be more of the same with a man she doesn't love. Suddenly, worlds collide when Madison and Anna meet in a small town, realize they look uncannily similar, and decide the grass is definitely greener on the other side.

Readers will love this funny and provocative tale of switching places from bestselling author Melody Carlson. As they get a glimpse into two very different worlds, they may find themselves happy to be just who they are, where they are.

Reading level: Young Adult
Paperback: 273 pages
Publisher: Revell; Original edition (June 1, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0800719646
ISBN-13: 978-0800719647
Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.5 x 0.8 inches
Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces

Melody Carlson is the award-winning author of over two hundred books, several of them Christmas novellas from Revell, including her much-loved and bestselling book, The Christmas Bus. She also writes many teen books, including Just Another Girl, Anything but Normal, the Diary of a Teenage Girl series, the TrueColors series, and the Carter House Girls series. Melody was nominated for a Romantic Times Career Achievement Award in the inspirational market for her books, including the Notes from a Spinning Planet series and Finding Alice, which is in production as a Lifetime Television movie. She and her husband serve on the Young Life adult committee in central Oregon. Visit Melody's website at

Double Take by Melody Carlson is a fantastic, fun read. I love the switching that the girls did and thought it would be a dream come true for both of the girls, but then problems arise and they miss their own lives, but each of the girls have learned so very much. This book reminds me of the story of The Prince and The Pauper. You always think the grass is greener in the other person’s life until you get there and live their life for a few days.
This book is intended for the young adult, but can be enjoyed by all.
You will see what happens for the Amish girl switches and lives in one of the richest, best parts of New York. How will she fit in? Will she change and want the English life now that she has tasted all that it can offer? What of the rich girl who goes to live with the Amish? Will she hate the primitive living and all of the hard work? Will she think the Amish are simple and not very intellent?
I like Double Take for the lessons it teaches and how you can be a Christian in any life, if you put God first. Just because you’re rich doesn’t mean you can’t follow the Lord. In the same vein just because you’re Amish doesn’t mean you are closer to the Lord and are living the right life.
I think this is a really sweet book that will keep you interested and you won’t be able to put it down until the end. You just can’t wait to find out what happens to Madison and Anna. I highly recommend Double Take.

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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, June 16, 2011

A Harvest of Hearts by Laura V. Hilton

A Harvest of Hearts
by Laura V. Hilton
Book Two in The Amish of Seymour Series

Ready to make a fresh start and leave Lancaster County and its dearth of farmland behind, Matthew Yoder moves to Seymour, Missouri, as part of a swap of Amish men. He is placed with the Stoltzfus family until he finds a place of his own.

Shanna Stoltzfus always dreamed of becoming a nurse, despite her father’s threats to shun her. Determined to
follow her heart, Shanna ran away and enrolled in college. But when her classmates embark on a medical mission trip that Shanna can’t afford, she must turn to the last place she wants to go: home.

Matthew is fascinated by the Stoltzfuses’ prodigal daughter, and a fast friendship blossoms between them, even though Shanna still flirts with the people and practices of her Englisch life. When the tension escalates between her and her father to the point where his health is in jeopardy, Shanna is forced to face some tough issues, including the question of where her true home is.

Whitaker House Frontlist – September 2011 Release
ISBN: 978-1-60374-256-6;
Trade $9.99; 240 pages

About the Author
Laura V. Hilton is a pastor’s wife, mother of five, author and book lover. Although for her formal education she studied marketplace issues -- she holds a degree in business -- reading is Laura’s lifelong passion, and writing a gift she’s developed to the delight of her growing fan base and to the glory of God. Prior to The Amish of Seymour Series for Whitaker House, Laura published two novels for Treble Heart Books: Shadows of the Past and Hot Chocolate. She’s also a contributor to the Zondervan’s It’s The Year Life Verse Devotional.

While she did not grow up in an Amish community, Laura has become an expert in Amish customs and traditions, learning from her Pennsylvania Amish grandparents. She’s a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) for whom she reviews primarily Amish fiction for the ezine, Afictionado, Laura is also on staff at the Christian Suspense Zone and a professional reviewer for the Christian book market. She’s written for a wide variety of Internet sites including Dancing Word, Faith Webbin, A Romance Review, and Christian Review of Books. At last count she’d published over 1,000 reviews.

A stay-at-home mom who home schools her children, Laura, her husband Steve, and their children live in Arkansas. To read her daily book reviews go to: For other Laura V. Hilton news:

Another winning book by Laura V. Hilton. I really like her fresh new look at the Amish. In her Amish stories it tells about some Amish that have went over to being English/thinking about it or have had babies out of wedlock {that was in book one of the Amish of Seymour series}.
In book two A Harvest of Hearts you read the story of Shannah {fantastic name by the way} how she ran away from the Amish to become a nurse and also about Matthew a very strict Amish man. How they meet and what becomes of their being together. I like how Laura doesn’t hold to such strict standards that some writers do when they are writing Amish stories. I believe she really tells it like it is. Even through the Amish live with very strict rules they are still human.
I enjoyed this book because Shannah and Matthew had some very tough decisions to make and how they had many obstacles in the way. In A Harvest of Hearts you will see that the decisions you make affect everyone around you, not just yourself.
A Harvest of Hearts has much adventure, romance and best of all people who love the Lord and follow Him. I recommend this book for all of you Amish lovers out there, but also for everyone who truly loves a fantastic story. Laura V. Hilton has out done herself again. This book doesn’t come out until September so put it on your to read list and you’ll be extremely happy you did.

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

RELEASE DATE September 2011

Farewell to a friend and author Stephen Bly

Stephen Arthur Bly, 66, of Winchester, Idaho, passed away June 9, 2011, at St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center in Lewiston, after a five year battle with prostate cancer.
One of my favorite authors passed away and I do miss him and his kind heart, but so happy to have his books to read and reread. Books are so much better to remember a person with than anything else I can think of.
I came upon Stephen and Janet Bly’s yahoo group years ago and have felt like family ever since. Whenever I had a question or comment about anything Steve or Janet would always answer me and be a great help to me. I thank God that He brought me and the Bly’s together. They have been a blessing to me.
I love all of his books, but my favorite series is The Hidden West Series, that he and Janet wrote together.
I miss Steve very much, but look forward to meeting him and Janet in Heaven.

Steve was born August 17, 1944, to Arthur Worthington Bly and Alice Wilson Bly, at Visalia, California. He had one sibling, sister Judith Bly Walston who lives at the family homestead in Ivanhoe, California. He was raised on the family farm in Ivanhoe and worked for many years with both his father and for a time with his uncle M. J. ‘Buster’ Allen of Allen Farms in Coalinga, California.

He met his wife, Janet Chester, at Redwood High School, Visalia, California, both in Class of 1962. They married June 14, 1963, and raised three sons, Russell Stuart, Michael Stephen and Aaron Timothy.

Steve authored and co-authored with his wife, Janet, numerous articles, short stories and cowboy poetry, plus more than 100 nonfiction and both contemporary and historical fiction for adults, teens and kids (8 to 17 years). Many of his novels have been recorded in audio form, as well as translated into languages such as Spanish, French, German, Chinese and Portuguese. In May his most recent historical western was released, Throw The Devil Off The Train. He was a winner and finalist for the prestigious Christy Award for Christian Western Novels, for his books The Long Trail Home, Last of the Texas Camp, The Outlaw’s Twin Sister and Picture Rock.

A few days before his passing, he was dictating scenes for Stuart Brannon’s Final Shot. His wife and sons hope to finish this book for him, for 2012 release.
{That is one book I can’t wait to read.}

He has received national positive reviews for his books, including in Library Journal and Publisher’s Weekly. Little Jimmy Dickens of the Grand Ole Opry once wrote Steve a personal note: “Your book (One Step Over The Border) is as good or better than Louis L’Amour’s.” He was an Active Member of the Western Writers of America.

His hobbies included playing golf and he was an avid collector of antique Winchesters with his partner, Jim Grueter, of Winchester. He and Jim wrote regular articles for The Big Show Journal, a magazine for gun collectors. A popular tourist and fan site has been the false front town he built at his Winchester home called Broken Arrow Crossing, named after his first Stuart Brannon novel, Hard Winter At Broken Crossing.

Books by Steve and Janet
Radical Discipleship Moody Publishers,1981)
God's Angry Side (Moody,1982)
Quality Living in a Complicated Age (Here’s Life,1984)
How To Be a Good Dad (Moody,1986)
Just Because They've Left Doesn't Mean They're Gone (FOF,1993)
Once a Parent, Always a Parent Tyndale House,1993)
Help! My Adult Child Won’t Leave Home (Tyndale,2006)
The Surprising Side of Grace (Discovery House,1994)
Fiction Series:
Rivers of Arizona Series
Rivers in Arizona (Back to Bible,1991)
Rock of Ages (Back to Bible,1991)
Stuart Brannon Western Series
Hard Winter at Broken Arrow Crossing (Crossway,1991)
False Claims at the Little Stephen Mine (Crossway,1992)
Last Hanging at Paradise Meadow (Crossway,1992)
Standoff at Sunrise Creek (Crossway,1993)
Final Justice at Adobe Wells (Crossway,1993)
Son of an Arizona Legend (Crossway,1993)
Nathan T. Riggins Western Adventure Series
The Dog Who Would Not Smile (Crossway,1992)
Coyote True (Crossway,1992)
You Can Always Trust a Spotted Horse (Crossway,1993)
The Last Stubborn Buffalo in Nevada (Crossway,1993)
Never Dance With a Bobcat (Crossway,1993)
Hawks Don't Say Goodbye (Crossway,1994)
The Adventures of Nathan T. Riggins, Vol. 1 (Crossway,2001)
The Adventures of Nathan T. Riggins, Vol. 2 (Crossway,2001)
Code of the West Western Series
It's Your Misfortune & None of My Own (Crossway,1994)
One Went To Denver & The Other Went Wrong (Crossway,1995)
Where The Deer & The Antelope Play (Crossway,1995)
Stay Away From That City They Call It Cheyenne (Crossway,1996)
My Foot's In The Stirrup & My Pony Won't Stand (Crossway,1996)
I'm Off To Montana For To Throw The Hoolihan (Crossway,1997)
The Austin-Stoner Files Series
The Lost Manuscript of Martin Taylor Harrison (Crossway,1995)
The Final Chapter of Chance McCall (Crossway,1996)
The Kill Fee of Cindy LaCoste (Crossway,1997)
The Lewis and Clark Squad Series
Intrigue at the Rafter B Ranch (Crossway,1997)
The Secret of the Old Rifle (Crossway,1997)
Treachery at the River Canyon (Crossway,1997)
Revenge on Eagle Island (Crossway,1998)
Danger at Deception Pass (Crossway,1998)
Hazards of the Half-Court Press (Crossway,1998)
The Heroines of the Golden West Series
Sweet Carolina (Crossway,1998)
The Marquessa (Crossway,1998)
Miss Fontenot (Crossway,1999)
Old California Series
Red Dove of Monterey (Crossway,1998)
Last Swan In Sacramento (Crossway,1999)
Proud Quail of the San Joaquin (Crossway,2000)
Fortunes of the Black Hills Series
Beneath a Dakota Cross (B&H,1999)
Shadow of Legends (B&H,2000)
Long Trail Home (B&H,2001)
Friends and Enemies (B&H,2002)
Last of the Texas Camp (B&H,2002)
The Next Roundup (B&H,2003)
The Skinners of Goldfield Series
Fool's Gold (Crossway,2000)
Hidden Treasure (Crossway,2000)
Picture Rock (Crossway,2001)
The Belles of Lordsburg Series
The Senator's Other Daughters (Crossway,2001)
The General's Notorious Widow (Crossway,2001)
The Outlaw's Twin Sister (Crossway,2002)
The Retta Barre Oregon Trail Series
The Lost Wagon Train (Crossway,2002)
The Buffalo's Last Stand (Crossway,2002)
The Plain Prairie Princess (Crossway,2002)
The Homestead Series
Strangers & Pilgrims (Crossway,2002)
Courage & Compromise (Crossway,2003)
Reason & Riots (Crossway,2003)
Adventures on the Western Frontier Series
Daring Rescue at Sonora Pass (Crossway,2003)
Dangerous Ride Across Humboldt Flats (Crossway,2003)
Mysterious Robbery on the Utah
Plains (Crossway,2003)
The Horse Dreams Series
Memories of a Dirt Road Town (B&H,2005)
The Mustang Breaker (B&H,2006)
Wish I'd Known You Tears Ago (B&H,2006)
Fiction Stand-Alone:
The President's Stuck in the Mud (Chariot/Cook,1982)
Trouble in Quartz Mountain Tunnel (Chariot/Cook,1985)
The Land Tamers (Tyndale,1987)(Center Point,2009)
Time Warp Tunnel (Chariot/Cook,1985)
Paperback Writer (B&H,2003)
One Step Over The Border Center Street,2007)
Creede of Old Montana (Center Point,2009)
Cowboy For A Rainy Afternoon (Center Point,2010)
Throw The Devil Off The Train (2011)
===STEPHEN & JANET BLY (co-authored)===
Fiction Series:
The Crystal Blake Series
Crystal's Perilous Ride (Chariot/Cook,1986)
Crystal's Solid Gold Discovery (Chariot/Cook,1986)
Crystal's Rodeo Debut (Chariot/Cook,1986)
Crystal's Mill Town Mystery (Chariot/Cook,1986)
Crystal's Blizzard Trek (Chariot/Cook,1986)
Crystal's Grand Entry (Chariot/Cook,1986)
The Hidden West Series
Fox Island (Servant,1996)
Copper Hill (Servant,1997)
Columbia Falls (Servant,1998)
The Carson City Chronicles Series
Judith and the Judge (Servant,2000)
Marthellen and the Major (Servant,2000)
Roberta and the Renegade (Servant,2000)
Questions I'd Like to Ask (Moody,1982)
Devotions With a Difference (Moody,1982)
How To Be a Good Mom (Moody,1988)
Be Your Mate's Best Friend (Moody,1989)
How To Be a Good Grandparent (Moody,1990)
Winners & Losers (Moody,1982,1993)
The Power of a Godly Grandparent (Beacon Hill,2003)

Friday, June 10, 2011

Leaving by Karen Kingsbury* A Review


Series: Bailey Flanigan Series Volume: 1

By: Karen Kingsbury

The Bailey Flanigan series begins with Bailey leaving Bloomington for the adventure of a lifetime. She has won an audition for the ensemble of a Broadway musical in New York City.

She’s determined to take advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, but is she really ready to leave family and friends for the loneliness of the city? And what of Cody? His disappearance has her worried about their future and praying that their love can survive. In order to be closer to his mother in jail, Cody takes a coaching job in a small community outside Indianapolis. New friends, distance, and circumstances expose cracks in his relationship with Bailey Flanigan. Love, loneliness, big opportunities, and even bigger decisions highlight the first book in the new Bailey Flanigan series that features members of the popular Baxter family and finally completes the Bailey Flanigan/Cody Coleman story.

Book  Cover Size: Medium
Page Count: 336
Paper Edge Description: Plain
Size: 5.5 wide x 8.5 high x 1 deep in. | 139 wide x 216 high x deep 25 mm
Weight: 0.795 lb | 360 gms
Available: March 2011
Publisher: Zondervan

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.

I love Karen Kingsbury’s books, but wish the Bailey and Cody story would have ended in the last book. I feel it has gone on to long. Each book has a plot and at least one subplot. I feel the subplot in this book was much better than the main one. It was about Landon and Ashley and it was a real tear jerker. I just love how Landon and Ashley love each other and how she struggles when he isn‘t around.
There are more books in the Bailey and Cody series and even though I wish the series didn’t start I will defineatly read the other ones that are coming out.
I love Karen’s style of writing and her books always keep me interested and would love to read each one of them straight through. I really love her books and Leaving is another fantastic book.
I know why Karen sells so many books and why she has so many followers, because her work is just perfect and everyone of her books has always brought tears to my eyes. She knows how to capture the heart of her readers.
I guess the reason I don’t like another whole series about Bailey and Cody is because I want them to be together already. They are such a perfect couple.
I highly recommend books by Karen Kingsbury and this one is another great one. Her books are one of the few books that I keep to reread later.

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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

Thursday, June 9, 2011

VeggieTales Veggie Values 4 board books

A collection of beloved VeggieTales board books that playfully convey the importance of sharing, listening, helping others, and having good manners!

Join Larry, Bob, and all the other VeggieTales® characters as they learn how to help others in these four exciting adventures Each story in this collection uses humor and heart to convey important lessons about having good manners, helping others, listening, and sharing. This handy case with a sturdy handle includes the 4 books shown here.

Paper Edge Description: Plain
Reading level: Ages 4-8
Size: 6.5 wide x 7.9 high x 1.5 deep in. | 165 wide x 201 high x deep 38 mm
Weight: 1.44 lb | 652 gms

Available: August 2010
Publisher: Zonderkidz

These four board books are such good stories and lessons for all children and adults alike.
They also come in a handy carrying case that your children will simply love. Here are the titles and authors of the books.
Larry Learns to Listen (Big Idea Books / VeggieTales) by Karen Poth
Bob Lends a Helping . . . Hand? by Mike Nawrocki and Cindy Kenney
Junior and Laura Share the Year Together (Big Idea Books® / VeggieTales®) by Lisa Vischer and Mary
Peas and Thank You! (Big Idea Books / VeggieTales) by Mike Nawrocki
I really like all of the books, but really like the one with Junior and Laura as they do stuff through the year. It is also a neat way to help children learn the months of the year. Also I can’t pass up talking about Peas and Thank You. It is so neat about how the Peas are such polite characters and the Bean characters are very rude. A nice way for children to learn to be polite. The book called Larry Learns to Listen is sweet because so many times children or even adults don’t want to read instructions on games etc.. and they end up not doing it right. So this book teaches us to listen to others. The last one in this collection Bob Leans a Helping Hand just shows us by just doing simple work around the house we are a big help.
I love anything to do with VeggieTales and books are some of the nicer things there is. These books are a really nice size and have the most colorful pictures. Really something any child would love to have. I highly recommend them for your children/grandchildren or any one of your friends. Fantastic books!

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Thank you to Zonderkidz 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

The Legend of the Christmas Stocking by Rick Osborne*A Review

This wonderful Christmas tale, set in the late 1800s, shares the touching story of a young boy named Peter. He sells newspapers to help his family while his father is away at sea, and he's been saving a bit of his earnings to buy a model schooner in the woodworker's shop. But after The pastor, tells him the story of St. Nicholas, Peter discovers the meaning behind the hanging and filling of Christmas stockings and learns a heartfelt lesson in kindness and generosity. Filled with the rich, realistic illustrations of Jim Griffin, children ages 4 to 8 will discover the depth of God's love shown through others as they learn the Christian meaning revealed in The Legend of the Christmas Stocking. Through imaginative and innovative products, Zonderkidz is feeding young souls.

Reading level: Ages 4-8
Hardcover: 40 pages
Publisher: Zonderkidz (October 1, 2004)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0310708982
ISBN-13: 978-0310708988
Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 11.1 x 0.4 inches
Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds

Rick Osborne is a best-selling author and speaker committed to encouraging, helping and equipping Christian parents to raise their kids God's way.
For the last 20 years he's been teaching Christian parents how to get the job done through his books and seminars.
The parenting books that he has written or co written include Focus On The Family's Parent's Guide To The Spiritual Development of Children, which he co wrote with Dr. John Trent and Kurt Bruner. His parenting books have been well received!
Rick's approach has always been to not only teach parents but also to equip them. So he has also produced, written and/or co written many award winning and best selling tools that help parents teach God's Word to their kids. Each of these tools was designed specifically to help parents in a different aspect of their task.
He has written and/or co-written over 46 books and been part of the development of over 100 other church and parenting tools, books and programs, all dedicated to raising children God's way.
Rick has worked with Focus on The Family, Dr. John Trent, Larry Burkett, Josh McDowell, Campus Crusade For Christ and many others.
He, his programs and/or resources have been featured on pretty much every major Christian radio and television show and magazine that deals with parenting.
His Story of Jesus presentation book, The Most Important Story Ever Told, has had over 50 million copies distributed worldwide in 110 different languages.
Rick is currently working on Partnering With Parents, a Children's Church and Parenting program that puts home and church together in a Biblical partnership. He's also now online where he can encourage, help and equip more Christian parents everyday.

This book, The Legend of the Christmas Stocking, is amazing. I was just searching through children’s books and it sounded fantastic. For being a small book the story is really deep and inspiring. I love board books because they will last forever and many generations will be able to enjoy them.
In The Legend of the Christmas Stocking you will find out how the Christmas stocking came to be and also the main character, Peter learns the lesson that Christmas is about giving not getting and how he shared with all that he had.
I highly recommend this book to you because it is such an enjoyable read and the pictures are so beautiful. I also love a book that has a message to share and has something to teach us. This will make a lovely addition to your Christmas book collection. I really am glad I got it.

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Thank you to Zonderkidz 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

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Is The Bible Reliable-building the historical case* A Review

Product Description
Who is God, and how can we know Him? The Bible claims to be the direct revelation of our Creator. So if the biblical record is true, it is a primary means by which the God of the universe has revealed Himself to mankind. However, if it can be proved false, then the God of whom it speaks is simply one more pretender in the assembly of gods that man has created.
In Is the Bible Reliable? Dr. Stephen Meyer challenges you to examine the historical and archaeological evidence to determine for yourself the veracity and accuracy of biblical Scripture. Is the Bible true? You decide.
Includes two DVDs, each with five 30-minute lessons, and a 96-page, two-color discussion guide. Discussion guide also sold separately.
From the Author
When we were laying out the content for TrueU, we wanted to address the key issues that trip students up on campus and in the classroom. The first was the existence of God, which we dealt with in the first set. The second, just as critical, is the attack upon the reliability of the Scriptures. Many professors use old archaeological positions to cast great doubt upon the Bible. However, as you will find in this second set, new evidence is increasingly making those contrary positions untenable. This is a must, not only for college students, but for all of us. (Dr. Del Tackett )

. Focus on the Family
Focus on the Family came on the scene in 1977 through the vision of Dr. James Dobson, a licensed psychologist and author of numerous best-selling books on marriage, parenting, and family. Now an international organization, Focus on the Family is dedicated to helping families thrive through the life-changing message of Jesus Christ. Its radio broadcasts, books, videos, magazines, Web sites, audio dramas, and other resources reach millions of people daily.

Hardcover Publisher: Focus (June 1, 2011)
Language: English
ASIN: B004F69EC0
Shipping Weight: 0.5 ounces

This is just a fantastic tool to have in your library for yourself, your family and friends. I especially think it is a tremendous resource to have for your high school and college age children. In this age when people are trying to disprove the Bible you will have great evidence that proves that Jesus was a real man and his followers and different parts in the Bible can be proven. It’s just amazing the things you will learn.
This set Includes two DVDs, each with five 30-minute lessons, and a 96-page, two-color discussion guide. It tells of other places you can find proof that the Bible is true and believable.
The titles of the lessons are:
1. The Patriarchal Narratives and the Documentary Hypothesis
2. The Exodus: From Egypt to Canaan
3. The Israelite Conquest
4. The United Kingdom of David and Solomon
5. Historicity of the Old Testament
6. The Babylonian Conquest of Judah
7. Canons of Historicity: The New Testament
8. Early Composition of Luke and Acts
9. External Corraboration
10. The Trial of Jesus
This is a resource that needs to be in your library so you can give it to those that may wonder if the Bible is real or if they question how those things happened. Even non Christians can’t say these things haven’t happened because of all of the proof offered in these DVDs.

From the creators of Focus on the Family’s the Truth Project!

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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

Unbridled Hope (Lone Star Legends Book 3) by Loree Lough

Life is a dream come true for Callie Roberts—until her worst nightmare ruins the fairy tale. A steamboat boiler explosion kills her parents, her older brother, and her beloved fiancĂ©. It also deafens her younger brother and leaves Callie with a scar from cheek to chin, a haunting reminder of the tragedy for which she was partly responsible. To put the past behind her, she settles in Eagle Pass, Texas, and launches a business that takes off.

The same is hardly true for the Neville family, whose nearby Lazy N Ranch is struggling. Micah volunteers to go to Lubbock for fresh seed, but his offer is not without an ulterior motive. A letter he mistakenly intercepted leads him to believe that his cousin Dan is in trouble. And Micah intends to set things right.

It's a shock to everyone when Micah returns with not only the seed but also a baby boy in tow. But he'll do anything to protect Dan's honor, even if it means pretending to be the father. He can handle the gossip and glances just fine, until he meets Callie and learns the meaning of love at first sight. Will the misguided decisions these two have made keep them apart, or can they face the truth about each other–and themselves–and discover a love they never could have imagined?

Paperback: 350 pages
Publisher: Whitaker House (July 5, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1603742271
ISBN-13: 978-1603742276
Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.2 x 1 inches
Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces

A prolific writer, Loree Lough has more than seventy books, sixty short stories, and 2,500 articles in print. Her stories have earned dozens of industry and Reader's Choice awards. A frequent guest speaker for writers' organizations, book clubs, private and government institutions, corporations, college and high school writing programs, and more, Loree has encouraged thousands with her comedic approach to learned-the-hard-way lessons about the craft and industry.

For decades, Loree has been an avid wolf enthusiast, and she dedicates a portion of her income each year to efforts that benefit the magnificent animals. She splits her time between a home in the Baltimore suburbs and a cabin in the Allegheny Mountains, and she shares her life with a spoiled pointer named Cash and her patient, dedicated husband, who has supported her writing and teaching endeavors throughout the years.

Unbridled Hope by Loree Lough is the third book in the Lone Star Legends series and is a fantastic book. We follow another Neville man and his life on the ranch and finding someone to share his life.
I really like this book because Micah really loves the Lord. Callie is sweet also as she gives her whole life to help others. Especially her deaf brother and the baby Micah brings back to town. One of my favorite characters is Gus Applegate. He is an older man who was a Ranger turned to a Pinkerton agent. He was such a gentle, loving man, but some saw him as a rough, tough man. Even though Gus was a lesser character, he was tops in my book. I know you will want to read this book to find out why Micah left town and came back with a baby, Also why Callie doesn’t believe she deserves anyone to love.
What makes a great book? I think it is a little tragedy, sadness, forgiveness, peace, joy and love; this book has all of that and more. Unbridled Hope has a lot of adventure and fun mixed in with the tragedy and loss.
Loree is such a talented lady and has a fantatic sense of humor and it comes through in every one of her books. Even through this book is the third in the series it also makes a great stand alone book.
If you like a light hearted read with romance and adventure, this book needs to be on your to read list. I highly recommend Unbridled Hope by Loree Lough.

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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