Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Echo Within

The Echo Within
Finding Your True Calling

The Echo Within by Robert Benson is a delightful little book. The first half had me nearly in tears as Mr. Benson encourages the reader to search within for the clues for the answer to "What do you want to be when you grow up?" He instructs us to listen to the words that people speak into our lives because sometimes it's God speaking through them. He shows us how little things can be what makes the lightbulb go off when we finally get it right. 

The second half of the book more or less tells how Robert came into his own calling as a writer. It wasn't as inspiring as the beginning of the book but was still interesting.

This book can help you figure out what your calling is, especially if you've ever tossed around the idea of being a writer. You'll learn that whatever it is that you find your hearts desire in and IF you do it then you'll be a something, just like the author.

I think I'll pass this one on to my teenager. Maybe saving him from years of wondering what to do with his life.

You can purchase it here: 

Monday, February 23, 2009

Favorite Authors

I've had several people ask me lately for book recommendations. I've decided to put together a list of my favorite Christian fiction books and authors. In no particular order:

Mindy Starns Clark. Mindy is a fellow Pennsylvanian (that's always a plus!) Her Million Dollar Mystery series is my favorite of her writings. Check out her website here

Laura Jensen Walker is a breast-cancer survivor who wrote a great book on the subject called Reconstructing Natalie.  She endeared herself to me with Dreaming in Black & White and Dreaming in Technicolor with the first line uttered by Phoebe Grant complaining about her thighs rubbing together. I love an author who can make me laugh out loud! Check out her website at

Angela Hunt. Angie has been one of my favorites for years. Her books have never let me down and one of them, The Debt, is at the top of my favorites list. This book actually changed my thinking. You can get to know Angie here:

Roxanne Henke. Roxanee blew me away with After Anne, the first in her Brewster series. I really didn't think she'd be able to top that one. I read several of her others but After Anne remained my favorite until I read Learning to Fly. Every parent needs to read Learning to Fly. What an amazing look at parenting. So very true. Check out Roxanne and her books here:

Denise Hunter. Denise offered up what I considered in an earlier post to be the best book of 2008. If you haven't read The Convenient Groom then I suggest you go out and buy it. AMAZING. This book will make you a forever-fan of Denise.

Diann Hunt. Diann write with such humor that all of her books have me laughing. Out loud laughs where people turn and look at me like I'm strange (because my head is buried in a book and I'm just laughing away...) Hot Flashes and Cold Cream is a great place to start. You need to read Diann Hunt. NEED. TO.

Tamara Leigh. Big thick books that are truly entertaining. If you haven't heard of Tamara let me introduce you! Stealing Adda, Perfecting Kate, Splitting Harriet and Faking Grace are her four stand-alone titles in the Christian market (Leaving Carolina is to be released later this year! I can hardly wait) If I had to choose a favorite of her titles it would be Stealing Adda. It taught me a lot about the publishing industry and the writing process.

Kristin Billerbeck. Kristin is the queen of Christian chick-lit. She pretty much set the industry standard with her Ashley Stockingdale series & What A Girl Wants (currently being made into a TV movie starring Rebecca St James!) She also wrote the three title Spa Girls Series and several stand alone novels. Kristin is currently at work on a young adult novel.

Colleen Coble. Colleen write romantic suspense. And she's very good at it. She laughs about trying to find new ways to kill people (in her books! don't worry, she's a harmless grandma who lives in the Midwest) Her Rock Harbor series is so popular that she recently added to it with Cry in the Night. Her books always feature a lovable animal as part of the story line.

Lynn Austin. Lynn is the most underrated of my list so far. Every book of hers that I've read has blown me away. One of the best is A Proper Pursuit. Start with that one, you'll be hooked.

Ann Tatlock. Ann is another underrated author. Her books are always satisfying. She's won many awards for her writing. You can check out her titles here:

Nicole Young. Nicole's books are new on the scene. Her first novel (first in a series actually) is Love Me if you Must and it's about a house flipper who has to solve a mystery when she finds a body buried in the basement of her flip. Very good first novel.

More to come....

Friday, February 13, 2009

For Couples Only

The last in my week-long tribute to Valentine's Day, but perhaps the best!

I've been a fan of Shaunti & Jeff Feldhahn's writings for several years now. This latest release is a combination of both For Women Only and For Men Only. It is simply titled For Couples Only. It's a lovely little box set of two books that changed the way my husband and I relate to each other. I read For Women Only and was amazed at how much I didn't know about men. Then I went ahead and read For Men Only too because of my curious nature :) WOW! Did they hit head-on EXACTLY how women are. I watched as my husband read it and observed the "a-ha" looks on his face when he realized that I was not an abnormality, that ALL women are this way.

I recommend this box set for all married couples. I think it would make a wonderful wedding gift too. Or just a perfect Valentine's Gift to share with your spouse. Once you read these gems you'll realize that he/she is the way they are because that's how God made them to be. We are different from each other. That was His plan all along. These books open a world of understanding and will bring you closer together.

You can purchase them here:

Or leave me a comment. I'll draw a winner on Valentine's Day!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Love as a Way of Life Devotional

In his book Love As a Way of Life, best-selling author Gary Chapman shows readers how to cultivate a new lifestyle built around the seven characteristics of authentic love. Now in a companion devotional, he provides ninety inspirational readings to help Christians consistently live out the characteristics of love in every relationship. Each devotional entry showcases biblical truths that guide a life of love, offering fresh insight and practical guidance in how to make love a lasting habit. Over the course of three months, readers will learn to follow God’s lead as they practice the characteristics of a loving person: kindness, patience, forgiveness, courtesy, humility, generosity, and honesty.

The Love As a Way of Life Devotional makes an ideal gift for the holidays or for any special occasion. Couples, parents, new graduates, and anyone celebrating a milestone in life will welcome this inspiring daily guide to richer, more satisfying relationships.

Dr. Gary Chapman is the author of twenty-six books, including the New York Times bestseller The Five Love Languages, with more than 4 million copies in print. His daily radio program, A Love Language Minute, is broadcast on more than 100 stations nationwide. Dr. Chapman, a graduate of Moody Bible Institute, Wheaton College, Wake-Forest University, and Southwestern Seminary, serves on a church staff in North Carolina.

You can purchase this book here Or leave me a comment below. I have one to give away. Drawing will be on Valentines Day!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

I Do Again

Book #2 in Valentine's Week is I Do Again by Cheryl & Jeff Scruggs. If you have ever given divorce a moments thought then you need to read this book. This is the story of Chery & Jeff as told by them. The road of divorce they walked down, the years they spent apart and the miracle of their reunion and remarriage. God can heal your marriage. He can keep you together. He can even heal what's already been torn apart. He never promised us that any part of life would be easy, life takes work and making a lifelong marriage takes work. This book may be able to show you where the crevaces are in your relationship and help you mend them before they become too big to handle. This book is a must read! I absolutely loved it and highly recommend it to anyone in a troubled marriage.

Cheryl and Jeff Scruggs are the founders of Hope Matters Marriage Ministries, and for the past several years they have shared their incredible story of a marriage restored with audiences across the nation. Jeff is an account manager with OshKosh B’Gosh, and Cheryl has served as director of the Frisco, Texas, office of the Center for Christian Counseling. They live in Dallas, Texas with their two college-age daughters.

You can buy this book online here: or you can leave me a comment and enter to win one. I'll be drawing the winner on Valentine's Day!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Intimate Issues

I promised! Just in time for Valentine's Day I have a saucy little book to review and give away.

Intimate Issues by Linda Dillow and Lorraine Pintus is 21 questions Christian women ask about sex.

I've got to tell you that I've been married for 17 years and this book answered some questions that I didn't even know I had! It's tactfully written and is perfect for some alone-time reading. It will enlighten you and may even inspire you to make more of the private time that you share with your husband. It's got ideas, a Bible study, a what's-not-all right section and even a surprise at the end. This is truly a fantastic book for married women who want to know more about one of Gods greatest gifts to His children.

You can buy it at or leave me a comment and I'll give one away on Valentine's Day!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Stand-In Groom

New from Barbour is Stand-In Groom by author Kaye Dacus. Anne Hawthorne is a wedding planner who's been pretty unlucky in love herself. Her time is devoted to helping others plan the weddings of their dreams. Her newest client slowly steals her heart and she tries to get over the feelings she has for George because, well because he's engaged. What Anne doesn't know is that George is being payed (very well!) to stand in for the real groom because of publicity reasons. George shares Anne's feelings but must remain incognito until just before the big day. When Anne finds out who he really is will she be able to forgive him for being deceitful? When Anne finds out the identity of the real groom will she be able to continue planning the wedding?

This sweet story will remind you that true love really does exist and that dreams can come true.