Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Jamestown













A Thousand Sleepless Nights

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
A Thousand Sleepless Nights
Realms (October 16, 2012)
by
Michael King


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

When Mike Dellosso won a one-year battle with colon cancer he set out to help readers of his books discover it before they had to go through what he experienced.

“I want others to avoid what I had to go through,” he says. “It was an experience that taught me a lot about myself, others, and God, but one I wouldn’t want to repeat. If I can help even one person battling this disease, it would have been worth it.”

Mike set about writing a novel quite different from what his fan base had come to expect from him. Not a thriller, but a character-driven novel, so he wrote it under a pen name, Michael King, and entitled it A Thousand Sleepless Nights. His publisher, Charisma Media, went for it and the first copies went on sale in October.

Mike’s next step was to determine whether a partnership between him, Charisma Media, and the Colon Cancer Alliance was possible. This month both announced their cooperative fundraising venture, with Charisma Media making a significant contribution to CCA and Mike committing a portion of the proceeds from the book through December to CCA.

Speaking about A Thousand Sleepless Nights Mike says, “I want people to see colon cancer (and all the other cancers) for the monster it is, but also to show it does not need to defeat us. There is hope, there is strength, and there is courage and love. And though cancer may rob us of our physical vitality, it has no power over our spirit.”

ABOUT THE BOOK

In the 1970s, escaping a home where he knew nothing but violence and hate, Jim Harding found work, and love, on the largest horse ranch in Virginia. The object of his affections, Nena St. Claire, is the daughter of the owner—a man who ruled his ranch with an iron fist and would do whatever it took to keep Nena and Jim apart.

Against the wishes of her family, Nena marries Jim, and after her father dies, she sacrifices everything—including her family—to keep the ranch alive. Now their three grown children have lives of their own and want nothing to do with Nena. She was never the mother they needed.

When cancer strikes and Nena is given a devastating diagnosis, can Jim reconcile the family before it is too late?

If you would like to read the first chapter of A Thousand Sleepless Nights, go HERE.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

More Tours of Williamsburg

Eventually we have to find a place for a small snack.    I don't know what the prices were in Colonial days, but they were steep when they were there.   We all enjoyed a simple cold drink and a fresh baked bread.    No matter how hungry we were none of us could stomach the thought of a $6.00 pb&j.



There was a home to tour very close to the tavern and we toured it.   I can't remember the name of the homeowner, but that is OK because he was a horrible man.   The more they told me about him the more furious I got.   We did find out he had a son the same size and age as Little Guy and they asked him to try on one of the coats they still had from him.






My guys better learn to listen better during these tours....







Monday, October 29, 2012

Beyond the Storm

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Beyond the Storm
Abingdon Press (October 2012)
by
Carolyn Zane


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Author of 35 books, wife, mother and yes…hot (flasher) lives with her fabulous husband, Matt and their 5 children and 3 dogs in the scenic Willamette Valley in Oregon. When asked to describe her family, Carolyn likens her crowd to the Brangelia Bunch saying modestly, “Only we’re better looking.” Right now,Carolyn is back in the saddle with her new title: Beyond The Storm, coming out in October 2012! In the mean time, be sure to catch her on the critically acclaimed TOOHOTMAMAS Blog where Carolyn and Wendy tackle Marriage, motherhood and menopause: How to do all three and stay out of prison! They are hilarious! You'll wet yourself, guaranteed! Visit them at: www.toohotmamas.wordpress.com.

ABOUT THE BOOK

After a tornado rips through her town, store owner Abigail comes across a piece of fabric from a wedding dress among the devastation. Abigail is moved to start collecting other swatches of fabric she finds – her neighbor’s kitchen curtains, a man’s necktie, a dog’s bed – which she stashes in shopping bags. As she pursues her seemingly absurd quest, horrible realities spark the question, “What kind of a God would allow such tragedy?”

As she struggles to reconcile her right to happiness amidst the destruction, Abigail begins piecing together a patchwork quilt from the salvaged fabric in hopes it will bring some peace. But a new relationship with Justin, a contractor, may require too much of her fragile heart. Will her pain and questions of faith give way to the courage to love?

If you would like to read the first chapter of Beyond the Storm, go HERE.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Hillsong: We Have A Savior (And GIVEAWAY!!)

This Christmas, our friends from down under, Hillsong, bring us an album full of inspiring and festive songs soon to become Christmas classics. The seasons may be flipped with December falling in the middle of summer for Australia and there may not be snow, sleigh rides or “chestnuts roasting by an open fire”, but there is a common love for a baby born in a manger over 2,000 years ago. God incarnate. God amongst us. The greatest reason to sing this year and every year – sun or snow.  The first Christmas album from Hillsong in over 7 years features last year’s popular radio single “Born Is The King”, new arrangements to classic Christmas hymns as well as brand new songs to help keep our minds and hearts focused on the true reason for the season.



Music Review

Every year I have one Christmas CD that I want to play over and over again until the boys say, "No more!"   I have found the one for this year and definitely for years to come.   Hillsong's new Christmas album We Need A Savior is destined to become a classic among the many Christmas albums.     I love their amazing new twists on many of our favorite Christmas favorites.   They also slipped in some great songs which will definitely quickly become favorites.    


I think I listened to "Born is the King" three times in a row I loved it so much.   "Emmanuel"... what a way to enter into worship.    And "The First Noel"?  I will admit it.   That is not my favorite Christmas song so I wasn't thrilled to see it on their list; however, their arrangement is one of the first times I have heard it and like it.  I really, really liked it!  

My heart is full of the reason for the season after listening to this Christmas album full of worship that I am ready for CHRISTmas!

Special thanks to Merge Publishing for providing a complimentary copy for review!

GIVEAWAY!   Would you like to enjoy this album as much as I have?   Simply leave a comment below and you are entered to win!   Winner will be selected November 1st!!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Accidentally Amish

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Accidentally Amish
Barbour Books (October 1, 2012)
by
Olivia Newport


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

A Word From The Author:

I’m imagining you. You walk past as I water my front flowerbeds and we wave. You check the time as we both stand in a long line at the grocery store. You sit in front of me in church. I’m at my table in the coffee shop and you’re at yours.

We may smile politely and move on with our separate lives. Or one of us may speak, a simple invitation to conversation, and the words flow between us.

Here the adventure begins. When we meet someone new, we never know where it might lead.

I’ve been married for over thirty years and have two twenty-something kids. We live in stunning Colorado at the foot of the Rockies, where the day lilies in my back yard grow as tall as I am. (No short jokes, please.)

Not every piece of my life is pretty, though. Some days I want to throw out whole chunks. But I am living each day looking for the grace of God to me, in me, and through me. Having your companionship along the way will help uncover a lot of great stories.

Thanks for stopping by my site, where conversations and adventures begin with a click. I hope we’ll run into each other often.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Escape the helter-skelter of the modern culture and join software creator Annie Friesen, hiding at the home of an Amishman. With her high-tech career in jeopardy, Annie runs from fast-paced Colorado Springs—and straight into the hospitality of San Luis Valley’s Amish community. There she meets cabinetmaker Rufus Beiler, and the more time she spends with him, the more attracted she becomes. When Annie finds she shares a common ancestor with Rufus, she feels both cultures colliding within her. But is her love for Rufus strong enough for her to give up the only life she’s ever known?

If you would like to read the first chapter of Accidentally Amish, go HERE.

1 Message


1 Message DVD

 
Becca had it all: beauty, a successful fiancĂ©, and the job of her dreams. Everything was going according to her plan until the day she was diagnosed with breast cancer. In the blink of an eye, her entire life came crashing down around her. The fiancĂ© ran off with some new fling. The dream job wouldn’t wait for her to get better. The toll cancer took on her body made her feel like less than a woman. Broken and alone, she refused to leave the house. She wanted cancer to finish what it started. But in her darkest hour, she found a mysterious ray of hope in the most unlikely of places. From independent studio Kelly’s Filmworks, a new film based on the novel by Mary T. Lennox.









Movie Review

With October being breast cancer awareness month, this was a very appropriate movie to review.   Becca is a young woman whose life falls to shreds when she is diagnosed with breast cancer.    It was hard to watch her be so mistreated by her fiance', her mom and others during what was the hardest time of her life.   It was also not difficult to see that she hardened her heart and decided to hide away.


Her brother reaches out to her by buying her a computer to try to reach through her shell.   He encourages her to try to try one of her former loves: genealogy.   When she does she finds a link to hope that she thought was completely lost.

While the plot and ending of this movie were very predictable, it was still an enjoyable movie to watch.

Watching this email made me wonder how many Becca's surround us on a daily basis? 

Thank you to Echolight Studios for providing this DVD for review.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Bassett Hall



I have heard the name John Rockefeller, Jr. all my life, but after visiting this simple little home of he and his wife, Abby, I have developed an extreme respect for him.     They stayed in this home twice a year when they would come to oversee the restoration of Colonial Williamsburg.

John Rockefeller, Jr. believed that power was only good if you used it to serve others.   What an incredible concept.  








No Safe Harbor

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
No Safe Harbor
Bethany House Publishers (October 1, 2012)
by
Elizabeth Ludwig


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Elizabeth Ludwig is an award-winning author whose work has been featured on Novel Journey, the Christian Authors Network, and The Christian Pulse. Her first novel, Where the Truth Lies, which she co-authored with Janelle Mowery, earned her the 2008 IWA Writer of the Year honors. This book was followed in 2009 by “I’ll Be Home for Christmas,” part of a Christmas anthology collection called Christmas Homecoming, also from Barbour Publishing.

In 2010, her first full-length historical novel Love Finds You in Calico, California earned Four Stars from the Romantic Times. Books two and three of Elizabeth’s mystery series, Died in the Wool (Barbour Publishing) and Inn Plain Sight (Spyglass Lane), respectively, released in 2011.

Coming in 2012 is Elizabeth’s newest historical series from Bethany House Publishers. No Safe Harbor, the first book in the Edge of Freedom Series, will release in October, with two more books following in 2013 and 2014.

Elizabeth is an accomplished speaker and teacher, and often attends conferences and seminars, where she lectures on editing for fiction writers, crafting effective novel proposals, and conducting successful editor/agent interviews. Her popular literary blog, The Borrowed Book, enjoyed a wide readership in its first full year, with more than 17,000 visitors in 2011. Along with her husband and two children, Elizabeth makes her home in the great state of Texas.

ABOUT THE BOOK

The Thrill of Romantic Suspense Meets the Romance of 1800s America

Lured by a handful of scribbled words across a faded letter, Cara Hamilton sets off from 1896 Ireland on a quest to find the brother she'd thought dead. Her search lands her in America, amidst a houseful of strangers and one man who claims to be a friend--Rourke Walsh.

Despite her brother's warning, Cara decides to trust Rourke and reveals the truth about her purpose in America. But he is not who he claims to be, and as rumors begin to circulate about an underground group of dangerous revolutionaries, Cara's desperation grows. Her questions lead her ever closer to her brother, but they also bring her closer to destruction as Rourke's true intentions come to light.

If you would like to read the first chapter of No Safe Harbor, go HERE.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Christmas: God With Us (Jeremy Camp) and GIVEAWAY (ends November 1st)

Jeremy Camp presents...
Christmas: God With Us


GRAMMY-nominated and BEC Recordings’ artist Jeremy Camp will be releasing a Christmas project this holiday season titled Christmas: God With Us. This is Camp’s first full-length Christmas project in his 10-year career, and it will be available on September 25. The album is produced by Brown Bannister and Ben Shive along with Camp. Camp’s Christmas album is filled with holiday classics as well as the original title track “God With Us.” Fans will hear favorites such as “Jingle Bell Rock,” “Joy To The World,” and “Mary Did You Know.” Although these are traditional songs, Jeremy takes a fresh approach to the arrangements on his album.

Review

It was quite the contrast driving down the road with Jeremy Camp's Christmas music playing inside the car while pumpkins and scarecrows lined my neighborhood, but I can assure you that none of us minded.   As a tradition, our family buys a new Christmas CD each year so we are quite picky in our choices.  Whatever we choose is what we will likely listen to a lot over the season which means we must all agree and we must all like it.  I knew they would be the perfect audience for reviewing Jeremy's new album.   From the first notes of "Jingle Bell Rock" we were all hooked.  

Ten years was definitely worth the wait for Jeremy's Christmas project.   He took his time and made each song his own without taking away its own original virtue.   I love that. 

This is as close as you can get to sitting around a fire while Jeremy plays his guitar singing all of these songs.  As a matter of fact, I can't wait for it to be cold enough to build a fire, make some hot chocolate and turn up Jeremy's Christmas CD to enjoy every last note!

GIVEAWAY!    I want you to have the chance to enjoy this as much as I do so I am giving one of my blogger friends a free copy of Christmas: God with Us!   A winner will be drawn on November 1st!    There are three ways earn entries:

1.  Leave a comment telling me your favorite Christmas song.
2.  Tweet this giveaway using the following (Leave me a comment letting me know you did so):   I just entered to win Jeremy Camp's Christmas CD!  You can too!    http://tinyurl.com/94kqa79
3.  Post this to facebook and leave me a comment letting me know you did so.



Undaunted: True Life Story of Josh McDowell

Undaunted: True Life Story of Josh McDowell
Run Time:  68 minutes





''Undaunted is a compelling and riveting story. This docu-drama is going to bring vision and hope to the most wounded generation in our nation's history'' --Dr. Dennis Rainey, President - FamilyLife

''I was moved from beginning to end. This film will open up the dialogue and doors that will allow the gospel to get to the harder places of our lives that are buried in shame and guilt.'' --Marc V. Rutter, U.S. National Director - Cru

Product Description

Josh McDowell grew up in a dysfunctional family with a violent, alcoholic father and a sexually abusive caregiver. These experiences left McDowell with a lifetime of scars that drove him away from God. Eager to deny the existence of a savior, McDowell sought out conflict with the Christians he encountered in college. He mocked their beliefs and scorned their faith until they issued him a challenge: prove God doesn't exist. Obsessively, McDowell traveled the world in search of evidence contradicting Christianity. What he found instead was faith a faith that led to grace and redeemed a broken man. Undaunted is a true-life docudrama depicting how Josh McDowell set out to prove Jesus Christ never existed but ended up an apostle. His work with the Campus Crusade for Christ has allowed him to spread the gospel to over ten million young people, and he's published over 70 books in the field of Christian Apologetics, including More Than a Carpenter and Evidence That Demands a Verdict. He is a true fisher of men.



Review

I was working with the youth of my church with the pastor approached me and said that another pastor had approached him about the possibility of several churches joining together for a Josh McDowell conference.   I had never heard about Josh McDowell at that point.    All the details were planned.   On the first night of the conference two things happened:  (1) I was so impressed by Josh McDowell and what he had to say and
 (2) I met my husband for the first time.   That has been 24 years ago now.    Although we have been admirers of Josh McDowell's books like More Than A Carpenter, Right from Wrong and Don't Check your Brains At the Door, I never had any clue of Josh's life before his ministry.

Opening scenes of this movie start with Josh's earliest memories.   His Dad has lost their farm and the entire town has turned out to mock them.   It was painful to watch the reenactment.   I hurt to think of what that was like for him as a child.    It hurt even more to hear him admit that was the point that he turned his back on God.   

Josh grew up with an alcoholic and extremely violent father.   His mother is a large woman and has difficulties getting around.    The family hires a live in housekeeper who sexually abuses Josh for years.    Because the movie is done as a docudrama with scenes in the movie with brief scenes of narration from Josh, you can see the pain on his face as he relives each of these moments of his childhood. 

Because of some of the mature subject matter I would not recommend this movie for anyone younger than middle school age; however, I highly recommend this movie.   It is a moving testimony.    Those who have read McDowell's books will truly come away with a greater appreciation for who Josh is.

Thank you to Echo Light Studios for their providing me with a copy to review.  

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Yankee Candle is more than candles!

Not too long after our visit to the Governor's palace, it started pouring rain.  We ran -- OK the boys ran and I tried to keep up -- back to the bus stop.   Because all of the buses were packed with people trying to escape the rain it took a little while to get back, but we had a good time visiting with a group of ladies who were retired and traveling together.

There was a HUGE Yankee Candle store not far from where we were staying and we decided to go check it out.   We saw an episode of Undercover Boss right before we left for vacation and they showed big stores like this and we were curious.  

Little Guy really wanted to get a wax mold of his hand made so he used some of his money to do just that....



Big Guy decided to make a jar candle...






While their projects were cooling off we decided to walk around this massive store and see what all they had besides hundreds of candles!     We all loved that it snowed inside every 15 minutes.









 The boys and I loved this.   The picture doesn't truly show just how HUGE and absolutely beautiful it really is.  However, the price tag will give you a hint:  $3,500.    It was awesomely beautiful and we all agreed that we would love to have had this sitting on our dining table.