Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Precisely Terminated by Amanda Davis

Amanda Davis is the award-winning teen author of The Cantral Chronicles, a dystopian trilogy. She enjoys reading and writing and comes up with new novel ideas while spinning yarn or running on the roads near her home. She was born and raised a Florida girl and loves the warmth of the South.

About the book:
With microchips implanted in their skulls at birth, the slaves of Cantral and Cillineese have labored under the tyrannical rule of the nobles and their computers for centuries. Monica, a noble who avoided the implanting and escaped a death sentence at the age of four, is now sixteen and is in hiding. She lives with the slaves inside the walls of the Cantral palace, pretending to be one of them while the slave council plots a way to use her chip-less state to destroy the all-powerful computers that strike down any hint of rebellion.

The fate of millions rides on Monica's shoulders. As the only chip-less person in the world, she must find a way to destroy the computers and free Cillineese from the nobles' iron fist before they strike with the ultimate punishment-death for everyone inside the city walls.

Watch the trailer:

Saturday, November 26, 2011


Lynn Austin is one of those authors that I wait in anticipation for a new book from. They are all different from one another and this one was so good that I let out a sigh of satisfaction when I finished reading it. It was simply perfect.

If you have a reader in your life and you want to give them a special gift for Christmas, I suggest this book.

Alice is a librarian outside of Chicago. Her life is made up of books. She has stronger feelings for the characters in the books she reads than in the people in her life. She's young and naive and finds nothing wrong with reading a book during a funeral. This faux pas leads to her boyfriend breaking up with her. She loses her job at the library because of depression-era cutbacks and thinks her life is over. Alice remembers the boxes of books that she's been saving to take to a struggling library in the hills of Kentucky so she packs up and flees town, catching a ride with her aunt and uncle. Two weeks away seems to be the perfect amount of time for her to escape the small town gossip of her break-up and job loss.

She arrives in Kentucky and is dropped off before she finds out that she wasn't expected. Alone and confused she discovers that the library is unlike any other she'd ever known of. Pack horse librarians. An aged woman who makes potions out of herbs and roots. A burly librarian. A town at odds with each other. People desperate for love and attention and no one to give it to them. This is everything Alice finds and her two weeks turns into much longer. Will she make it home? Will she find true love? Will she know who she can trust?

Get this book! It made me giggle. It melted my heart. It made me cry.

Thanks, Lynn, for this CLEAN READ.

This book was provided for review by Bethany House.

Buy a copy here.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Common English Bible

Aside from the fact that the cover of this Bible is beautiful and that it's easy to hold and is the perfect size for study and carrying to church, this is an amazing book.

The Psalms are written out in prose, the way you'd expect fine poetry to be on a page, and the language is fresh and alive.

This version will open your eyes and help you to see the Bible as not just a book, but as the life changing love story that God intended it to be.

Psalm 139 has long since been my favorite and this version of it is beautiful. Verse 16 says, "Your eyes saw my embryo, and on your scroll every day was written what was being formed for me, before any one of them had yet happened."

Celebrate National Bible Week and give yourself the gift of the Word of God in a fresh new language. Easy to understand and relevant. Perfect for young people or new believers.

Common English Bible Translation Background

Known for being “built on common ground,” the Common English Bible is a collaboration of 120 academic scholars and editors, 77 reading group leaders, and more than 500 average readers from around the world who joined together to clearly translate the Bible’s original Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek languages into 21st century English. More than half-a-million copies of the Bible are currently in print. It’s also available online and in 20 digital formats.

“When we say ‘built on common ground,’ we mean that the Common English Bible is the result of collaboration between opposites: scholars working with average readers; conservatives working with liberals; teens working with retirees; men working with women; many denominations and many ethnicities coming together around the common goal of creating a vibrant and clear translation for 21st century readers, with the ultimate objective of mutually accomplishing God’s overall work in the world; in essence, helping Bible readers live on common ground,” says Paul Franklyn, PhD, associate publisher for the Common English Bible.

The Common English Bible is written in contemporary idiom at the same reading level as the newspaper USA TODAY—using language that’s comfortable and accessible for today’s English readers. It’s available—with and without the Apocrypha—in multiple editions and bindings. Information about the Common English Bible is available on its website, Twitter stream, Facebook page, and video.

Combining scholarly accuracy with vivid language, the Common English Bible is the work of 120 biblical scholars from 24 denominations in American, African, Asian, European, and Latino communities, representing such academic institutions as Asbury Theological Seminary, Azusa Pacific University, Bethel Seminary, Denver Seminary, Princeton Theological Seminary, Seattle Pacific University, Wheaton College, Yale University, and many others.

Additionally, more than 500 readers in 77 groups field-tested the translation. Every verse was read aloud in the reading groups, where potentially confusing passages were identified. The translators considered the groups' responses and, where necessary, reworked those passages to clarify in modern English their meaning from the original languages. In total, more than 700 people worked jointly to bring the Common English Bible to fruition; and because of the Internet and today’s technology it was completed in less than four years.

The Common English Bible is sponsored by the Common English Bible Committee, an alliance of five publishers that serve the general market, as well as the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) (Chalice Press), Presbyterian Church (USA) (Westminster John Knox Press), Episcopal Church (Church Publishing, Inc.), United Church of Christ (The Pilgrim Press), and The United Methodist Church (Abingdon Press).

This Bible was provided for review by the B&B Media Group.

You can win a free copy of The Common English Bible. Just leave a comment and I'll choose a winner next week.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Departures by Robin Jones Gunn

These two recently discovered stories by Robin Jones Gunn take her fans back into the lives of Christy Miller and Sierra Jensen one last time. Packaged together under the title Departures, Christy's story, Now Boarding at Gate Ten and Sierra's story, In The Event of a Water Landing will be fun for readers to reconnect with their favorite characters.

Both are sweet stories of life as a teenage girl but I enjoyed Sierra's story much more than Christy's. Christy's story seemed hastily written and not believable. Her thirteen year old brother was treated (and acted) like he was eight or nine and not thirteen. An old friend of Christy's is getting ready to go to college, he's deciding between two schools, one in California and the other in, "North Carolina...or is it South Carolina? I can't remember," his mother says. What mother is going to forget which state her son is thinking about going to college in?

Sierra's story centers around a trip she's taking with some of her friends. After a small detour to the Mall of America, the wind up in Montana. At first it seems like the foursome will be coupling off but then teenage angst and fickleness kicks in and they all just end up having a fun time as friends.

This is an easy read for your teen reader, just under 200 pages. Clean and sweet.

This book was provided for review by Waterbrook Multnomah.

Friday, November 4, 2011

House of Secrets by Tracie Peterson

House of Secrets by Tracie Peterson follows the Cooper sisters through the eyes of eldest, Bailee Cooper. The girls meet at the family vacation home in Washington state, at the request of their father, after having not been there for fifteen years. The ghosts of the past hit Bailee head on as she struggles to remember missing pieces of her past. All three girls decide to ambush their father about the death of their mother the last time they were there, but is what they remember the truth?

So many truths are packed into this work of fiction by the talented Tracie Peterson. The three sisters have been living their lives and trying to avoid thinking back to the days of their youth. They've put walls up around them, haven't had serious relationships and have worried about mental illness among other things.

When they confront their father the truth begins to unravel and life will never be the same for any of them.

A deep novel that shows how easy it is to grow up and believe lies that were sometimes just your own imagination. An excellent story of redemption and love. Don't miss this one!

You can purchase it here:http://www.amazon.com/House-Secrets-Tracie-Peterson/dp/0764206184/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1320796682&sr=8-1

This book was provided for review by Bethany House. All opinions are my own.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

The Baker's Wife by Erin Healy

The Baker's Wife is Erin Healy's third solo novel and my favorite of the three. Her first two were full of symbolism that my brain couldn't quite figure out. This one was straight story and I loved it! I could not put this book down and devoured it in one day.

I won this copy in a contest that the author had earlier this year and I liked the book so much that I thought I'd share it with you.

About the book (from the back cover):
Before Audrey was the baker's wife she was the pastor's wife. Then a scandalous lie cost her husband a pastoral career. Now the two work side by side running a bakery, serving coffee and baking fresh bread. But the hurt still pulls at Audrey.

Driving early one morning to the bakery, Audrey's car strikes something--or someone--at a fog-shrouded intersection. She finds a motor scooter belonging to a local teacher. Blood is everywhere, but there's no trace of a body.

Both the scooter and the blood belong to Jack Mansfield's wife and he's certain that Audrey is behind Julie's disappearance.

But the case dead-ends and the detective spirals into madness. When he takes her family and some patrons hostage at the bakery, Audrey is left with a soul-damaged ex-con and a cynical teen to solve the mystery. And she'll never manage that unless she taps into something she would rather leave behind--her excruciating ability to feel other's pain.

Erin Healy is a critically acclaimed, best selling novelist and and award winning editor for numerous best-selling authors. Visit her website here.

Purchase this fantastic book here:http://www.amazon.com/Bakers-Wife-Erin-Healy/dp/1595547525/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1320362462&sr=8-1

Letters to a Young Pastor by Calvin Miller

I'd hoped for a little more from Letters to a Young Pastor by Calvin Miller than what I got. I actually had hoped it would be in a letter format, but instead it was in sections that I sometimes found difficult to keep focus on. While the content is good and the advice is solid, the style that it's written in didn't captivate me. I'd recommend this book to guys who are just beginning their ministry or even those who are still in Bible college.

How to Fulfill Your Calling While Maintaining Your Sanity

A beloved pastor shares well-earned wisdom for

the next generation of leaders.

Getting out of bed on Monday is a grumpy chore, and overcoming the cloudy-headed daze that almost always characterizes the second day of the week requires a lot of coffee and even more determination. Mondays are hard for us all, but they are particularly difficult for pastors because they have to come down from the “Sunday high.” It’s something few can identify with, but for most pastors it’s a haunting reality that accompanies a litany of stressors like dealing with divisive people, balancing the budget and leading difficult staff members. As a result, a lot of young pastors are desperately hungry for someone older and wiser to walk with them over the mountains and through the valleys of church ministry.

For decades, as an author, poet, pastor and educator Calvin Miller has been a lively and creative voice in the church. Having survived some of the most tumultuous decades of evangelicalism, his latest book, Letters to a Young Pastor (David C Cook), shares his wisdom and experience, his successes and his scars, to help today’s young pastors fulfill their calling…and maintain their sanity. In this humorously authentic collection of letters, he encourages young pastors to fight the good fight, stay the course and keep their eye on the Author and Finisher of the faith—no matter how frustrated they may feel.

Letters to a Young Pastor offers every young pastor an invaluable mentor with a heart for sharing his hard-won insights with those who enjoy the victories and carry the burdens of the pastorate. Dr. Miller’s appeal to young pastors lies not in his overwhelming successes, but simply in the fact that he’s been there and done that. As Dr. Miller says, “The all-time great reason that you should listen to me is that much of what I write about in this book is written from the edge. Ministry is not for sissies, and the requirement of the tough times brings us to the edge of our commitment.”

Regardless of the situation, Dr. Miller’s creative and cordial counsel poetically prods pastors along the path of ministry. To the young pastor struggling with the validity of his calling, Dr. Miller advises, “Young minister of God, keep that little sparkle in your eyes, and then write down how your call came to you, and when you’ve written it down in fire, defend it that way.” For those wrestling with conflict, Calvin challengingly suggests, “Cowards are never good at teaching courage.” Even the pastor who’s not sure whether he’s promoting God’s vision or his own image finds these wise words from Dr. Miller: “This is the foundation of significance: Settle on your vision, and your image will be authentic. But pursue image, and you may miss your vision altogether.”

Many things have changed over Dr. Miller’s pastoral years, from switchboards to smartphones and big-haired evangelists to cigar-smoking emergents. But two things remain the same—God is love and people are broken. Letters to a Young Pastor is a warm, honest and often humorous collection of letters to young pastors and leaders, encouraging them to love Sundays, fight through Mondays and look forward to the day when they’ll hear that great “Well done.”

About the Author: Dr. Calvin Miller’s first full-time pastorate was at Plattsmouth Baptist Church in Plattsmouth, Nebraska, from 1961-1966. He went to Westside Church in Omaha, Nebraska, in January 1966, where he served as senior pastor for 25 years. During his pastorate the congregation grew from ten members to more than 2500 members. From 1991-1998, Miller served as Professor of Communication and Ministry Studies and Writer-in-Residence at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Ft. Worth, Texas. In January 1999, he joined the faculty of Samford University’s Beeson Divinity School in Birmingham, Alabama, where he is currently Professor of Preaching and Pastoral Ministry.

He is the author of more than forty books of popular theology and inspiration. His poems and free-lance articles have appeared in various journals and magazines such as Christianity Today, Campus Life, Leadership and His. He has served as an inspirational speaker in various assemblies and religious convocations, both in his own denomination and other Christian gatherings.

This book was provided for review by the B&B Media Group

A Lasting Impression

A Lasting Impression by Tamera Alexander is an adventure filled novel set in Nashville's Belmont Mansion in the mid 1800s. Claire Laurent is new to Nashville. She was born in France and grew up in Louisiana. She's spent the last several years making copies of famous paintings for her father's art gallery. Only thing is that he forced her to make these copies and sign the original artists name. Claire is an accomplished artist herself but is never allowed to paint what she wants to. After her mother dies it's up to Claire to keep the business going by continuing to make these forgeries. A late night robbery at the gallery forces Claire to flee to Nashville and once there she decides to take her life into her own hands and change her future. No more forgeries for her as she becomes the personal assistant to Adelicia Acklen, owner of the Belmont Mansion. Life has never been better for Claire as she experiences all kinds of new luxuries, but is she able to keep up the facade for long? And when her path crosses with attorney Sutton Monroe will she be able to keep her past a secret?

Tamera Alexander has written a lovely story of grace, forgiveness and following one's heart. At over 400 pages my only complaint was that it was a little long. Beautifully written and endearing.

Thanks, Tamera, for this CLEAN READ.
Enter to win one of Tamera's fabulous prizes and RSVP for Facebook Party on 11/15!

About the book:

A fake. A forger. More than anything, Claire Laurent longs for the chance to live an authentic life, to become the woman she wants to be. And she'll be given that choice. But will it come at too costly a price?

Claire Laurent's greatest aspiration is to paint something that will bring her acclaim. Yet her father insists she work as a copyist. A forger. When she's forced to flee from New Orleans to Nashville only a year after the War Between the States has ended, her path collides with attorney Sutton Monroe. She considers him a godsend for not turning her in to the authorities. But after he later refuses to come to her aid, Claire fears she's sorely misjudged the man. Finding herself among the elite of Nashville's society, Claire believes her dream to create a lasting impression in the world of art is within reach--but only if her fraudulent past remains hidden.

The Federal Army has destroyed Sutton's home and confiscated his land, and threatens to destroy his family's honor. His determination to reclaim what belongs to him and to right a grievous wrong reveals a truth that may cost him more than he ever imagined--as well as the woman he loves.Set at Nashville's historic Belmont Mansion, a stunning antebellum manor built by Mrs. Adelicia Acklen, A Lasting Impression is a sweeping love story about a nation mending after war, the redemption of those wounded, and the courage of a man and woman to see themselves--and each other--for who they really are.

About Tamera:

Tamera Alexander is a best-selling novelist whose deeply drawn characters, thought-provoking plots, and poignant prose resonate with readers. Having lived in Colorado for seventeen years, she and her husband now make their home in Nashville Tennessee, along with their two adult children who live near by. And don't forget Jack, their precious--and precocious--silky terrier.

For more information please visit www.tameraalexander.com

Link to buy the book:


This book was provided for review by LitFuse.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Love on the Line by Deanne Gist

Deeanne Gist is quickly becoming a leader in historical fiction. With characters who are quirky and fun, Gist captures your attention and pulls you into the story and immerses you in another world. In Love on the Line we're taken back to a time where train robbers were dreaded and their reputations preceded them. Georgie Gail finds herself in the middle of a train robbery on her trip home. She's sure she looked into the eyes of the famous outlaw before the Texas Ranger with the same fame came to rescue the people board her train. Only problem is that they didn't want to be rescued. The outlaw seems to have a growing fan base and the Ranger is quickly becoming the bad guy. To change this the Ranger goes undercover in Georgie's town. In her own home office where she's the town switchboard operator. Working this closely with the undercover Ranger gives Georgie feelings she's never had before and she worries what the townspeople will think. Couple this with her efforts to save the area birds from being turned in to ornaments on hats and this girl has her work cut out for her.

Kudos to Gist for writing a book that is clean and fun to read. I recommend this book and give it a full 5 stars.

Love on the Line iPad2 Giveaway and Facebook Party!

Deeanne is thrilled to introduce Georgie and Luke to the word in her latest novel. To celebrate Deeanne's publisher, Bethany House, is hosting the Love on the Line iPad2 giveaway an Author Chat on Facebook! Enter today and follow the link below to RSVP for Deeanne's rip-roarin' Facebook Party!

Enter to win an iPad2 & RSVP for Facebook Party on 11/8!

DG iPad Campaign

One fortunate winner will receive:

* A Brand New iPad2
* An Autographed Hardback Copy of Love on the Line by Deeanne Gist

Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on November 7th. Winner will be announced at Deeanne’s Author Chat Facebook Party. Deeanne will be wrapping up the Love on the Line celebration by chatting with friends new and old! So grab your copy of Love on the Line (it’s okay if you don’t have one yet- you might could win one!) and join Deeanne on the evening of November 8th for a rip roaring book chat, a little trivia and lots of giveaways (books, and Amazon, iTunes & Starbucks gift certificates)!

Don't miss a moment of the fun. RSVP today and tell your friends. Hope to see you on the 8th!

About the book:

It's a Battle of Wills ... and Love Is on the Line!

Rural switchboard operator Georgie Gail is proud of her independence in a man's world . . . which makes it twice as vexing when the telephone company sends a man to look over her shoulder.

Dashing Luke Palmer is more than he appears though. He's a Texas Ranger working undercover to infiltrate a notorious gang of train robbers. Repairing telephones and tangling with this tempestuous woman is the last thing he wants to do. But when his stakeout puts Georgie in peril, he realizes more than his job is on the line.

About Deeanne:

Deeanne Gist--known to her family, friends, and fans as Dee--has rocketed up the bestseller lists and captured readers everywhere with her very original, very fun historical & contemporary romances. Add to this three RITA nominations, two consecutive Christy Awards, rave reviews, and a growing loyal fan base, and you've got one recipe for success.

She has a very active online community on her website at IWantHerBook.com and at Facebook.com/DeesFriends.

Buy the book here.
This book was provided for review by LitFuse.