Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Holiday Shopping 2012 with RetailMeNot! With Upcoming Contest!

Well, with the holidays so quickly approaching, shopping is at an all time high. And we all know the big days for that shopping. But I have recently found out that most Americans are not waiting until those particular days to shop this year! No way are we waiting for Black Friday and Cyber Monday! This year Americans have started their shopping a lot earlier, and some of it is through the goodness of RetailMeNot.

RetailMeNot is a really nifty place that has deals, coupons, and other goodies for shopping this year. And you can get the drop on others and get your gifts ahead of time! They are unveiling a deal of the day every day until the end of the holiday season. This could be anything from 10% off your order store wide at Starbucks to 10% off your order at Overstock. And, these are RetailMeNot exclusive coupons, you will not find these anywhere else! 

Now, another fun idea that RetailMeNot has is the Pumpkin-Headed Turkey Clause. You can check out the fun videos through their page above. The pics in my post are some of the screenshots. You don't want to miss the videos:) They are hilarious!

Readers, I will be receiving a $25 gift card to giveaway soon. So, head over to RetailMeNot and check out the videos so you can be ready for my giveaway! Go take a look and be ready for a good laugh! But, don't forget to check out their daily deals. You can get a good buy in when you catch the right coupon. Get your gifts early!

According to FTC Disclosures, I will be receiving a gift card for my time. However, all thoughts are 100% mine

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Hot Air Balloons and Romance? Check out Flight of Fancy!

You sure have to enjoy a heroine like Cassandra. I know you are asking what she is like. Well, read my review below and you will find out:)

Her head is in the clouds. His feet are planted firmly on the ground. Can love cover the distance?
Cassandra Bainbridge may be a bit of a bluestocking, but when Geoffrey Giles is near, love seems a fine alternative to passion for Greek and the physics of flight. With his dashing good looks and undying devotion to her, the earl of Whittaker sets Cassandra's heart racing with his very presence. It seems his only flaw is his distaste for ballooning, the obsession that consumes so much of her thoughts.

When a terrible accident compels her to end her betrothal, Cassandra heads for the country to recover from both her injuries and her broken heart. With time on her hands and good friends to help her, she pursues her love for ballooning and envisions a future for herself as a daring aeronaut. But when Lord Whittaker slips back into her life, will she have to choose between him and her dream?

MY REVIEW-Seriously, I have never read about a heroine like Cassandra. You read about a heroine who likes to fly planes, rides horses, shoot guns or even be a sheriff. But hot air balloons? Definitely a different kind of woman:) But then again, Laurie Eakes knows how to write a heroine that intrigues you. And don't forget the hero! Not by any means should you forget Geoffrey! He is somewhat of a boring person at first. A man who is interested in Cassandra but doesn't want her interested in her balloons. 

Cassandra at times really irritated me as a heroine. There were certain parts I wanted to slap her. But at times I really understood where she was coming from. There are a couple parts that were close to being overboard for me as far as sensuality but I think Laurie did a good job being discreet. Cassandra and Geoffrey almost take things too far and you find out there is history with Geoffrey not being upright. But God's forgiveness and grace is well portrayed as well. 

Overall a good novel. This is the second in the series and it could be read as a stand alone novel but would be better read in order. Can't wait to read Honore's story next!

Available October 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.
I received a copy of this book for review purposes. I did not receive any monetary compensation. All thoughts are 100% mine. 

Monday, October 29, 2012

A Merry Little Christmas Blog Tour!

Today I have a blog tour for a cute christmas book entitled, A Merry Little Christmas. Check it out!

Fall in love with this cozy story about two people from different worlds.
Franny Martin is an Oklahoma farm girl who’s preparing to spend the holidays alone…again. Then Charlie Landau shows up one day, all wealth and polish, and offers to buy Franny’s farm. Franny has no money to speak of, but she is clever and spirited, and she’s more than happy to sell the farm and move to the city.
As Sinatra croons from the radio and Christmas descends upon her charming farm, Franny teaches Charlie the curious and sometimes comical ways of country life. In the process, they unearth some discoveries of the heart—that sometimes love comes when you’re least ready for it. Will the holidays bring their most impossible dreams within reach?


Best-selling and award-winning author, Anita Higman, has over thirty books published (several coauthored) for adults and children. She’s been a Barnes & Noble “Author of the Month” for Houston and has a BA degree, combining speech communication, psychology, and art. Anita loves good movies, exotic teas, and brunch with her friends.

MY REVIEW-I personally love a good christmas story. There is just something about the holiday season that gets you in the mood to sit down with a cup of coffee and read a winter story. And this book just has that cover that brings a snowy smell and wintery wind breezing through the house:) 

This book was not one of my favorites. I am not sure whether it was the quirky characters or the almost mushy romance, but I could not get into the book. It was sweet and all but the romance is like love at first sight and they are dancing in the mud by the hog pen right after they first meet. Just not my type of book I guess:) But for those of who you like a sweet romance for those winter days, this is one I would pick up. And if you like music scattered throughout your books, this is one to get. I have enjoyed Anita's books and will read her next one, this one just wasn't for me. 

I received a copy of this book for my review purposes. I did not receive any monetary compensation. All thoughts are 100% mine.

Baby Bead Treasures Bracelet Review & Giveaway!

Alrighty ladies. Today this review and giveaway is all for you and your little ones. Baby Bead Treasures is a company I recently found online and I totally fell in love with their items! They carry the cutest bracelets for babies, children and adults. So you can imagine my enjoyment when I was offered to do a review and host a giveaway for my readers! Check out what I received below and then make sure to enter the giveaway. You won't want to miss this one!

For my review I chose the Sparkling All Bright Stardust Pearl Birthstone Name Bracelet. Now, for those of you who don't have real little ones, don't run away. These would make a great gift for the holidays and his site has a bunch of different bracelets, not only ones for the babies. And the giveaway is for a gift code, so don't take off yet:)

After I placed my order I anxiously awaited the arrival of my bracelet. I know sometimes these take time but I was amazed when I received my bracelet in a very timely manner. It was fast! I have to say, the packaging shows a lot about a company. I have received product for review before that had cheap labels, no wrapping, no consideration for the reviewer at all. And the problem with that is it sticks in your mind that this company doesn't care enough to treat you as a customer. And some people probably don't even think about it, but I have hundreds of people who read my blog in a day. That is a lot of people who could be buying your product! So when a company sends me product as if I was a customer, that shows me a lot. So, not to get off the subject but the packaging was nice! I felt like I was opening a present:)

The bracelet I chose is a name bracelet. This is made with perfect grade A cultured pearls and sterling silver letter beads. And, between each letter bead is a tiny birthstone crystal! This is absolutely adorable! It is the August birthstones, Periodot. And her name is Embry. But looks at how unique this bracelet is. There is such detail in each intricate piece. From the little clasp to the dangling heart charm. They also include an extender piece so you have a little more time to use it. It looks so delicate I was afraid it would be easy to break but no worries there.

So, anyone interested in one of these? Remember the holidays are coming up and these would make great gifts! Or for a birthday. You can get different designs, charms, etc. And even if you don't win the giveaway, these are well worth the money. I am VERY pleased with my bracelet and will be using this site in the future for any of my bracelet needs. I am not just saying this, but their work is outstanding. And you can't beat the price!

Readers, Deanna has been so gracious and offered a $45 code giveaway for my readers. This is enough to purchase a normal bracelet ($42) and pay for the shipping as well. You won't want to miss this opportunity! One winner will be very happy:) Now, this giveaway will run for two weeks. The owner of Baby Bead Treasures will not be back from vacation until Nov. 20th so your bracelet will not be done until after then. Please make sure this will not be a problem.

This giveaway will end 11/13. Winner will be chosen through and they will have 48 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Accidentally Amish CBFA Blog Tour

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Accidentally Amish

Barbour Books (October 1, 2012)


Olivia Newport


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.


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.

MY REVIEW-I pretty much tried this book because I enjoyed the last book from this author. I am not a big fan of Amish books but I liked Olivia's book, The Pursuit of Lucy Banning. Accidentally Amish was good and I finished the book, but it was not one of my favorites. Part of it is my dislike of Amish books so those of you who like Amish books will still want to read this one. I enjoyed the parts of going back and forth where Annalise, or Annie, finds out her ancestry and how she shares this with Rufus but I just couldn't get into the book. Annie is so driven with her technology that I couldn't like her. Rufus was nice and I loved him. Again, I couldn't get into it but that is personal opinion. Someone else will probably love this!

I received a copy of this book for my review purposes. I did not receive any monetary compensation. All thoughts are 100% mine.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Farm Rich Snacks Review + Giveaway!

How many of you enjoy a good snack? We often have family night on Friday and we like to have a snack along with our games or whatever else we plan that night. So we were very happy to get some coupons in the mail from Farm Rich! I was able to review two products and I also have two coupons to giveaway to two readers. Check out the pics below!

We have always loved Farm Rich snacks and we purchase them often. But we tend to always stick with the ones we know and have tried before. So when I went in to get my free ones, I tried a new one, the Philly Cheese Steaks! I also got our tried and true favorite, Mozzarella Sticks. With all the others we have tried they have stuck out as our favorite:) But I was very excited to try the Philly Cheese Steaks!

The Philly Cheese Steaks are little pockets of dough filled with steak, white american cheese and onions. This all blends to make a delicious flavor you can't beat! Now you can microwave them or put them in the oven and the first time we opted to do them in the microwave. Because of this they were somewhat soggy when they came out. I think the microwave doesn't crisp them the way the oven does. So the next time I did them in the oven and guess what? They came out perfectly! Nice flaky crust and the insides just make your mouth water.

The Mozzarella Sticks are an old time favorite. They have a nice crisp outside and then you bite into it and oodles of mozzarella cheese comes out. These don't come with marinara sauce so we got out some pasta sauce and heated it up in the microwave. You can't eat a mozzarella stick without marinara:) These are really delicious and believe me, the kids love them but the adults do as well! They are fast to heat up in the oven and they make for a great snack anytime of the day!

So, is your mouth watering yet? Well I sure hope so:) Because then you will be sure to enter the giveaway I have for you all! Two of my readers will be winning one coupon each for a free package of any Farm Rich product. You gotta love it!!

This giveaway will end 11/7. Winner will be chosen through and will have 48 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen. USA only as I am shipping.

According to FTC Regulations, I received coupons for free product to do my review. I did not receive any monetary compensation. All thoughts are 100% mine.

CFBA Tour for No Safe Harbor by Elizabeth Ludwig

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

No Safe Harbor

Bethany House Publishers (October 1, 2012)


Elizabeth Ludwig


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.


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.

MY THOUGHTS-I am a lover of anything Irish. So I have read up on a lot of the history of Ireland and it's people. And let me tell you, this was a wonderful eye opening story about the Irish immigrants. It is amazing what they went through and the courage that Cara shows. Sure I know this is a fictional story, but a lot of the  background is correct.

On a story level, this was very good. I enjoyed Cara and her struggle of having to know who to trust. Roarke made a good hero and I loved how even he had his struggles. He is not the perfect hero who has everything under control. I love a realistic man! Good suspense and some romance thrown in makes this a perfect blend and a nice read. Will definitely be looking out for more in the future! Keep them coming Elizabeth!!

According to FTC Regulations, I received a copy of this book for my review purposes. I did not receive any monetary compensation. All thoughts are 100% mine.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

FIRST WildCard How to Share Christ with Your Friends of Another Faith

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books.  A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured.  The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between!  Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Today's Wild Card author is:

Dr. Jeff Brawner

and the book:

How to Share Christ with Your Friends of Another Faith

Hannibal Books (August 21, 2012)

***Special thanks to Jennifer Nelson for sending me a review copy.***

MY REVIEW-I personally love to witness. But do you know how many times you can't get a conversation started? Or you freeze when someone asks a question? Well, it is often hard to know exactly what to say and how to even start the talking. Especially when it is a friend. You feel uncomfortable witnessing to them because you know them and they know you. Well, I am not having as much of that uncomfortable feeling anymore. After reading this book it gives a lot of answers and helpful hints. It is amazing how this book has a ton of information. Check it out if you ever feel uncomfortable sharing Christ with your friends.


 Dr. Jeff Brawner is chairman of the Department of Missions at Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary, Cordova, TN. In his ministry he has experience as an overseas missionary, pastor, and youth minister. He and his wife, Christy, have two daughters—Anna and Elizabeth.


Around the world people are becoming more multi-cultural and have more interaction with people of different faiths. In whatever neighborhood you live, someone likely has a Muslim, Hindu, or Buddhist person living nearby. Many Christians desperately want to get to know someone of another faith,
but they don’t know how.

How to Share Christ with Your Friends of Another Faith gives the reader practical, specific advice on how to form relationships with adherents of another religion. This book contains interviews with missionaries and pastors who work with Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, atheists, Mormons, animists, Catholics, and Protestants throughout the world. Each chapter gives a thorough, practical, step-by-step guide about a specific religion in how to: a) form friendships; b) build conversational bridges to presenting the gospel; c) share the Good News of Jesus; and d) respond to questions that might arise during a gospel witness.

Missions leader Dr. Jeff Brawner has not written a volume of theory but a how-to book that covers every base in how to work in our multi-cultural world.

Product Details:
List Price: $14.95
Paperback: 224 pages
Publisher: Hannibal Books (August 21, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1613150245
ISBN-13: 978-1613150245


Why Share Your Faith?

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6).

No matter how “open-minded” and inclusive my culture tells me to be, I just can’t get around John 14:6. My bet is that most sincere believers, deep in their hearts, can’t get around this verse either. I’m not sure Christ could have stated His case more clearly. He is the “way” to the Father. No other “way”  is available, no matter how fervently one practices his or her beliefs.

• What if someone sincerely worships a Hindu god? In John 14:6 sincerity, while admirable, never is mentioned.

• What if someone fervently follows the five pillars of Islam? In this verse obedience, while difficult and honorable, isn’t mentioned either.

• What if you take away all desire and reach Nirvana as Buddhism teaches? In this verse self-control, while fruitful, also is not discussed.

Truly the beginning and the end of this verse have a common theme—Jesus. John 14:6 starts with “I” and ends with “Me”. If I start and end a proclamation about myself, I border on being narcissistic. However, when Christ refers to Himself, no ego is involved. He simply is stating a fact, or as this verse references, He is stating Truth. Christ is the only One in all eternity Who is worthy to speak of self as the Solution to our problems.

The exclusivity of Christ threatens commonly held notions we have in the United States. For example, our government runs on pluralistic ideals. We are a hodgepodge of diverse people with different ideas—people who join together to hammer out compromise for the good of all. Our government, the representative body of our nation, runs on this principle. Pluralism starts in the government and filters down into all aspects of life. Just as most Americans, when asked, will claim to avoid being on the fringes politically, they also want to be viewed as open-minded and compromising in all aspects of life—even in their religion.

However, Christ’s dictates do not function in the same manner. When you and I get together on the political stage, regardless of education, creed, economic conditions, or ethnicity, we are peers. We must hammer out compromise, because none of us ultimately has all the answers. Christ, with His proclamations, works differently. Christ knows what is best—in all situations, at all times. He doesn’t need to compromise what He says, because our input does not balance His. He knows best. The best is . . . Him.

Consequently, Jesus has stated that the plan for our salvation is only through Him. In a world of compromise this is an uncompromising position. If we want to be popular in all social circles, we cannot hold to this truth. Christ already warns us when He states, “In the world you will have tribulation . . .” (John 16:33). Holding to Christ’s exclusivity will be a position that costs us.

However, if what Christ states holds true, then you face a dilemma. By definition the only way to salvation is through Christ, but many of those moral, honorable people around you do not follow Christ. Many of them follow another “divine” entity. Other friends may pay lip-service to Christ, but by the fruit of their lives they exhibit no true life change. Other friends even might be NICER than a lot of Christians you know but are doctrinally incorrect about Christ. Your dilemma quickly becomes evident. Do you believe what Christ states about Himself? If so, do you actually care enough about your friend/acquaintance or co-worker to risk sharing your faith with him or her?

If our neighbors who are Muslims, Hindus, animists, Buddhists, Mormons, Catholics, Protestants, or atheists have not given their lives to Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, they do not have salvation.1 How moral, how pleasant, or what kind of solid citizens they are doesn’t matter. To fit into His plan they must surrender their lives to Christ.

This book is designed to help you share your exclusive faith in Christ. Your faith did not start with you, nor does it end with you. Your faith is about Jesus. You can share only what He commands you to share. And He certainly commands you to share:

“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you . . .” (Mt. 28:19-20a).

And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15).

“But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8b).

Christ’s message is readily apparent. Jesus always intended for His disciples to go into the entire world—among all peoples—and share HIM. You and I are to do the same.

This book was written to show you how to follow Christ’s command about sharing your faith. This book is purposely designed to be different from any other book on evangelism/world religions. The book assumes the following:

• You have an inward desire to share Christ with someone of a different faith but don’t know how.

• You are not looking for a treatise on every religion in the world. You need a brief summary of your friend’s religion so you can work with him or her.

• You need a STEP-BY-STEP plan in sharing your faith—a guide telling you exactly what to say from the moment you walk in the door until the time you might lead someone to pray to give his or her life to Christ.

• You lead a busy life. Time for pleasure-reading is a luxury you do not have. Consequently, the chapter on your religion of interest needs to be brief. You might not even have time to read this entire book. In fact, the book needs to be designed so that as you witness, you can read only the chapter about your friend’s particular belief system and do fine. You want this book to be as simple and hands-on as possible.

I think these four assumptions express the situation of many believers in Christ. After 16 years in the ministry as a youth minister, then a missionary, then a pastor, and now a professor at a seminary, I have observed that many good books about world religions have been written by very godly individuals. I strongly suggest supplementing this book with some of the titles listed at the conclusion of my book. However, I also have noted that when the time arrives for you to really describe how to share your faith, most books become disappointingly vague.

One of my mentors in the ministry once told me, “Most people have a difficult time going from the theoretical to the practical. You MUST make ministry practical.” I believe he’s right. Most people do not need general ideas about how to share their faith. They need a specific step-by-step plan. In light of this fact each chapter of the book will have three parts. Each chapter gives—

1) A brief overview of a particular belief system (religion).

2) A detailed summary of a plan(s) to witness to the individual. The plan will detail all necessary steps to a gospel witness. It will show how to start a conversation, how to find a bridge in conversation to the gospel, and how to use specific verses while you share the gospel. The idea of this section is to show you a STEP-BY-STEP conversation. Obviously you don’t have to follow these plans exactly, but this book gives you patterns to follow.

3) Questions an adherent to that faith might ask you.

I hope this book will give you a beginning step in the process of sharing your faith with someone involved in a religion or belief system. My prayer is that you will see your friend arrive at the point of accepting a saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Second Peter 3:9 says, The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance (NIV).

As believers, we often toil to learn God’s will for our lives. The truth is, we can KNOW one aspect of God’s will. He longs for your friend to repent. Sharing your faith most certainly will fall within His will.

In closing, some words of caution:

First, no presentation of the plan of salvation is guaranteed to provide success. If someone had designed the perfect approach to witness to Muslims or Hindus—a method that always brings someone to salvation—his or her plan by now would be a best-seller. We would have seen, in mass, Muslims or Hindus trust Christ. No evangelistic techniques in this world guarantee salvation. Why not? Maybe the Lord knows that if He gives us a step-by-step plan that guarantees that someone will trust Christ every time a person hears it, then we would start putting our trust in the plan rather than in Him. Just share your faith. The results are up to Him.

Second, always use the plans given here as a base, but adapt as you become more confident. We are trying to give you a practical step-by-step guide. The book contains plans that you can follow. However, do not become bondservants to these plans. As time progresses, make these plans your own. For example, change this book’s suggested bridges to the gospel and suggested illustrations to fit your individual scenario. Jesus modified His approaches to fit the situation. He approached the gospel in radically different ways—whether He spoke to the woman at the well (John 4), a blind man (John 10) or Matthew (Mt. 9). He always found ways to personalize the message to the hearer.

Although I have written this book in a manner in which you can read only the chapter that pertains to your individual friend, I encourage you to read through the chapter either on Roman Catholicism or (Nominal) Protestantism. In those chapters I give a very detailed outline of how to utilize five verses from the book of Romans. Each of these chapters contains such detail that if you become nervous about what to say as you witness, to complete the witness you actually could just READ those sections to your friend. However, these five verses actually explain the gospel in a way that you can use for all chapters in this book. If you want a thorough review of how to share the gospel message itself, you would be wise to take five minutes and read those sections regardless of what religion on which you are focusing.

Third, don’t change the final message. You can change the bridges, illustrations, and even verses that you might use. However, the gospel DOES NOT CHANGE. What is the gospel? The Bible gives a simple answer. 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 (NIV) says,

Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.

What is the gospel? The gospel simply is that Jesus died, was buried, and three days later rose from the grave for our sins. You never change that part of the message. That part of the message is not part of a technique. Instead it reflects the core truth in all the universe.

Fourth, don’t preach; just share. Leave the preaching to the preachers. Be the concerned friend who, in love, is sharing the best news you’ve ever received. I’m a preacher. When I hear a preacher using his “preaching voice” off the stage (and oftentimes on it), I just cringe. Imagine how people in a lost world feel when they hear someone move from “speaking to them” to “preaching at them”.

Fifth, Scripture says that today is the day of salvation (2 Cor. 6:2). Anyone can get saved at any time. However, the Bible doesn’t say that you must bring your friend to salvation today. Don’t be afraid to take your time. Share your faith with boldness. If your friend is not ready, that’s OK. Let the Holy Spirit move you to stop or proceed as He sees fit.

Sixth, someone once told me that the joy of working among a harvest is not how many people trust Christ but how many people give you a chance to share with them. It’s the OPENNESS of people that defines a harvest. Will someone make a decision to follow Christ every time you follow these steps? I hope so! However, realistically, this will not be the case. Instead remember that part of the glory of sharing your faith is the joy that obedience brings in your life. Witnessing brings you the realization that you were obedient to God and that because of your obedience He will reveal Himself in ways you never could have imagined.

Seventh, form the habit of keeping a Bible in your car, pocket, or purse. You never, ever know when an opportunity to share your faith will arise. I love being able to share my testimony. Telling what Christ has done for me is powerful. However, nothing replaces being able to point to specific verses that apply to an individual’s life. Visually you can show your friend that the authority of your life isn’t your experience but is the Word of God.

Eighth, and finally, don’t be afraid to say, “I don’t know, but I’ll get back to you after I find the answer.”  You cannot imagine how a humble response works in a Western culture. This book hopefully provides an example. Do I feel as though I am an expert in witnessing to all of these religions? No. Do I have experience with all of them? Yes. However, when I wrote this book, I realized I had colleagues that knew more about witnessing to Muslim, Buddhists, and Hindus than I did, so I contacted them. Huge portions of this book are attributed to individuals who know far more than I. In like manner, you’re never wrong to pause and say to your friend, “I need to ask someone else about that issue.” This takes the pressure off you and off the person to whom you’re witnessing as well. The person will respect you for your transparency. No one likes a “know-it-all”.

God bless you for taking the time to read this book. You can read it in its entirety or skip to the chapter that deals with your friend specifically.

A reader might ask, “What about other religions, such as Judaism, Taoism, Scientology, that are not specifically addressed in this book?” Obviously adherents to those faiths need Christ and are infinitely valuable before the Lord. Many of the general principles we have taught in this book will work with those groups as well. Hopefully, future editions of the book can expand to a variety of other faiths.

What A Beautiful Story! A Promise to Love by Serena Miller

Not often you read a book and end up crying halfway through while you are laughing at the same time. Yet that is exactly what happened during my reading of A Promise to Love by Serena Miller. This is another hit from an author who knows how to draw her readers into the characters lives.

Ingrid Larsen, a young Swedish immigrant, arrives in Michigan in 1871 to search for her brother who has disappeared into the woods to work the dangerous lumber camps. Destitute and barely hanging on to hope, she encounters a newly-widowed farmer who is struggling to raise five children on his own. Marriage would solve both of their problems, and so Ingrid proposes to a man she barely knows.

MY REVIEW-Serena is an author I have kept an eye out for after reading her other novel, The Measure of Katie Calloway. I really enjoyed that book so I was wondering how this one would be. And I had no need to be worried. This is a book that draws you in and I felt like Ingrid, Joshua and the wonderful passel of children were all neighbors.

This book features Ingrid as the heroine. She is quite a character and I fell in love with her from the beginning. Her intrepid understanding of the english language and trying to fit in makes you ache for her. And yet she has the strength to propose to a man! Joshua is the man who she proposes to and he accepts. But you find out he is still quite in love with his first wife, Diantha. So it is not your regular marriage. There is one part that I just started crying. Ingrid is trying to hard to fix things up and be a good wife and mother. And Joshua comes in and yells at her over something, calling her a name at the same time. And she just gets up and leaves. Now at this point I also started laughing because Joshua's little girl starts telling him that Ingrid can't leave because she makes good biscuits. :)

A very good novel with some good dialogue and well written characters. Loved it!!

Available October 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

Monday, October 22, 2012

CPR Certification Online

Well, the week is off to a good start and I have a lot to share with you all. First off is this website I found recently. In our school we took classes on CPR. And it is something that everyone should be trained in to some degree. I am not saying a degree and all that but the basics ought to be something we all know. You never know when they will come in handy or you might be able to save a life. Now with that said, if you are interested in learning about getting a CPR Certification, this website is one of the best I have found. There are legal ramifications that will be out of the way if you have the certification. Check it out!

This website,, is an excellent way to get your certification. You can get all your information, techniques, first aid training info and all those good things right from this website. They have a ton of information and I was intrigued by all I read. I have often thought about getting CPR training and this has only brought it more to the forefront. So, if you are interested in getting a certificate and making sure you know all there is to know about CPR and first aid, please go to this site.

I have not used this site but have read through things. All thoughts are 100% mine.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Thrilling CPD Book! The Sons of Jude Review!

Wow! I picked up this book expecting a good crime story but I never thought I would love this the way I do. The Sons of Jude is one of those thrilling suspense books that makes you glad for the good guys! Check out my review!

The body of a young woman is found in a dumpster in Chicago and detectives Andy Polanski and Frank Campello are charged with finding the killer. The two are polar opposites. Polanski is the son of a disgraced Chicago police officer and is fastidious about his reputation. He has also recently been transferred from another district having blown the whistle on some corrupt cops. Campello, however, takes a live-and-let-live approach to his life and job. It soon becomes clear, as another young woman--a potential witness--is murdered, that a sex-trafficking operation in Chicago is preying on illegal aliens. As the ill-matched pair dig deeper, an influential alderman and his son are implicated. Then Polanski is framed for a narcotics offense, devastating the cases against the corrupt officers and the alderman. Only when Campello is challenged by a local minister, whom he meets when visiting Polanski, does he find the motivation to seek justice.

MY THOUGHTS-With all the books I have read by Brandt Dodson, I never realized that he was employed by the FBI. I knew his books rang with authenticity and this is the reason why. While reading this book I felt like I was there, with these officers in the middle of a murder investigation. The funny thing with The Sons of Jude is that I am familiar with Chicago and found it interesting to know places that were mentioned, streets, etc. I mean, everyone knows Navy Pier but hearing about Rush Street and the like was pretty interesting.

The main character is Campello. But the person who is transferred to be his partner, Polanski, is by far my favorite. And you can't forget Christy Lee, who happens to be a reporter who has a thing against cops. There is definitely enough mystery and suspense in this book to satisfy anyone who loves a good who-dun-it. It reads like a good action novel and I really enjoyed it. The author brings to forefront the idea of how far does a good guy go, to bring down a bad guy. At what point does the good guy become just like the bad guy? It is amazing how things can get turned around and mixed up so you don't know who is good and what is the right thing to do. And do you rat on a fellow cop? Or do you let the brotherhood take care of things? All of these are good questions that are brought up by Brandt Dodson.

Overall an excellent book. Ethical subjects are discussed in such a way that you really have to think. The characters are very realistic with struggles and doubts of their own. Plot was intriguing and the finale ending was exciting. I am sooo looking forward to the next book in the series!

According to FTC Regulations, I received a copy of this book as part of the Kregel blog tour. I did not receive any monetary compensation. All thoughts are 100% mine.

CFBA Blog Tour for Against the Tide

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Against the Tide

Bethany House Publishers (October 1, 2012)


Elizabeth Camden


A Word from Elizabeth:

I am a college librarian in central Florida by day, but by night I can be found pounding out inspirational historical novels the moment the sun goes down. I love writing books about fiercely intelligent people who are confronted with profound challenges. As a rather introverted person, I have found that writing is the best way for me to share my faith and a sense of resilience with others.

I married relatively late in life, which turned out to be an odd kind of blessing. I had gotten very good at leading a solo life, and although I was not particularly content being alone, I had become reconciled to it.  Most importantly, it taught me never to take my husband for granted. I give daily thanks for the blessing of being able to share a life with my favorite person on the planet.

As for who I am? I love old Hitchcock films, the hour before sunset, a long, sweaty run through the Florida countryside, and a glass of good wine. After spending my entire adult life on a college campus (either as a student or a librarian) I have finally been able to pursue my ultimate goal of writing professionally.


Love and Lives are Threatened in Camden's Latest Offering

As a child, Lydia Pallas became all too familiar with uncertainty when it came to the future. Now, she's finally carved out a perfect life for herself--a life of stability and order with no changes, surprises, or chaos of any kind. She adores her apartment overlooking the bustling Boston Harbor, and her skill with languages has landed her a secure position as a translator for the U.S. Navy.

However, it is her talent for translation that brings her into contact with Alexander Banebridge, or "Bane," a man who equally attracts and aggravates her. When Bane hires Lydia to translate a seemingly innocuous collection of European documents, she hesitantly agrees, only to discover she is in over her head.

Just as Bane's charm begins to win her over, Lydia learns he is driven by a secret campaign against some of the most dangerous criminals on the East Coast, compelled by his faith and his past. Bane forbids any involvement on Lydia's part, but when the criminals gain the upper hand, it is Lydia on whom he must depend.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Against the Tide, go HERE.

MY THOUGHTS-Elizabeth Camden is an author I have enjoyed getting to know through her books. A little part of the author comes through every novel they write as we all know. And Elizabeth Camden's books are wonderful novels that draw you in with every page you turn. The hero in this book, Bane, is a man that I liked but wanted to slap a couple times. When he walks out on Lydia I really felt her pain. Loving him and not being able to make him change his mind. In Bane's defense, I did understand his point of view from here. His was a life of being on the go constantly, worrying about his past and the mission he was working on and he didn't want Lydia to get hurt.

Lydia was definitely my favorite character. She is strong and yet vulnerable. Bane is one of those that you dislike to a certain degree but you have to like him in the end. I enjoyed how the author brought the scenery and that time period so vividly to life. And I loved the ending! Excellent novel Mrs. Camden! Can't wait for the next one!!

According to FTC Regulations, I received a copy of this book for my review purposes. I did not receive any monetary compensation. All thoughts are 100% mine.

Still I Will Praise Blog Tour + Giveaway!

Have you ever started a book and you just can't put it down? I felt that way when I first picked up Still I Will Praise by Renee Bondi. This is a book that will really bless you if you let it. I have my review below and also a giveaway where one reader will win a copy. You don't want to miss this!

If you're anything like Renée was a few years ago, you might not want to be holding this book. Praise? you might be thinking. How can I think about praising God when my life is a total mess?

But there is freedom in choosing to praise God at all times whether you feel like it or not.

Still, I Will Praise is not a how-to manual but a collection of stories from others who have found joy in trusting God through times of insecurity, grief, loss and, in Renée s case, through an injury that robbed her of mobility and her independence.

In a heartfelt, real manner, Renée, a woman who lives what she preaches, presents her journey of learning to give thanks to God in (if not for) every situation. Drawing from the Bible and personal experiences, Renée depicts the challenges and rewards of living a life surrendered to the Lord.

This book might not change your circumstances, but it will renew your perspective, which will refresh your heart and mind.

MY REVIEW-The author of this book is pretty amazing. Renee gives her story in the first part of the book and I couldn't believe when I read it. A young woman who was looking forward to getting married, her whole life in front of her, and she wakes up one morning paralyzed. At that point she has the option of giving up on life, her God, her family and her friends. But that is where the amazing part comes in. Her testimony? Still I will praise Him! 

I have been reading this with my devotions in the morning and the interesting part is how Renee brings things into perspective. I mean sure, it is nice and easy to praise Him when things are going good. But when the hard times come? What then? Each chapter brings up a different scenario in which we should still give God the glory. Whether in loneliness, things get tough. unanswered prayer or in those hard times of waiting. 

This is an excellent book I would urge you to pick up. We all have our hard times and none of us are exempt. If we haven't had it yet, they will come. Renee's story will give you encouragement and a new outlook on life. Whatever you are going through, there is still a reason to praise Him. Thank you Renee for this book! It is a beautiful story!

Readers, I was shipped another copy of this book to giveaway to one of my blog readers. I will be shipping this so US only. You don't want to miss this book so please enter through the Rafflecopter form below. 

This giveaway will end 11/3. Winner will be chosen through and will have 48 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen. US ONLY!!
According to FTC regulations, I received a copy of this book for my review purposes as a member of The Kindred and The Vessel Project. I did not receive any monetary compensation. All thoughts are 100% mine.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Interview with Jen Stephens + Giveaway!

Hi everyone! It is a beautiful morning here and the weather is quite chilly and overcast. But I prefer this to the heat so I am happy. And I am also happy because I have an interview today with author Jen Stephens. This author writes an incredible book and I can't wait for her next one. There is also a giveaway at the end so please enter.

Thank you for being with us today, Jen!!

Thanks for having me, Charity!
How long have you known you wanted to be an author? 

I've wanted to be an author since I could write. I participated in Young Author contests in grade school, wrote my first book in middle school and my second one in high school. I put it in spiral bound notebooks and my friends would pass them around and write their names in the margins where they left off. So, yeah, I've always loved telling stories and sharing them with others. 

Can you tell me a little bit about your newest book?

Sure! Here's the back cover blurb: 
After two years of trying without success to have a baby, Elizabeth Truman learns that her husband may already be a father. While he bonds with the son he never knew he had, Elizabeth’s increased desperation to have a baby of her own causes her to choose a path of deception. When it dead ends in despair, however, she questions both her faith and the faithfulness of the Lord. 

Amy Beauregard arrives in Harvest Bay with her ten-year-old son, harboring secrets that could destroy her chance at happiness, and the conviction that God has long since abandoned her. But while she picks up the pieces of her shattered life, things start to fall into place that she couldn't have predicted.

With Thanksgiving approaching, an unexpected visitor and a strange twist of fate remind both Elizabeth and Amy that even in the darkest times God is guiding His children, drawing them together in a way neither could have imagined. Will their renewed faith be strong enough to lead them through another crisis—or will The Heart's Lullaby be left unsung?

When a reader gets done with your book, what do you want them to come away with?

I want my readers to have a sense of hope, that with whatever they might be going through in their lives, God cares about it and is working it out for their good. I also hope through reading my books, individuals will experience a strengthened relationship with the Lord as well as some sort of spiritual healing. 

Is there a place you have always wanted to visit? A vacation spot, historical monument, overseas, etc?

Oh yes! I have a "bucket list". I MUST visit the Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor, go whale watching in Alaska, and be in Times Square on a New Year's Eve sometime before I die. 

If you could have dinner with 2 people, who would they be? 

My 2 little girls because they are amazing young ladies and I'm so blessed to be their mama.  

What one event would you love to be at? Historical or future?

I'd love to be at and witness any of Jesus' miracles, but especially when he fed the 5000 with 5 loaves and 2 fish. It just amazes me that He not only fed them but there were 12 baskets left over, And yet I wonder if I experienced it back then, would I have really appreciated it and marveled at it like I do now? 

Do you have a favorite hobby?

Besides writing??? I like to bake and I like photography, but writing is my #1 hobby. 

Is there something about you most people wouldn't know? 

On my website under the Author tab, there is a list of 18 random tidbits about me that if anyone really wants to know more about me they can browse. One of those random tidbits is that  I have recurrent nightmares about two things: tornadoes, and flying in an airplane . . . and I've been in both!

Do you have any suggestions for the aspiring writer? 

Get involved with writers groups, either online or in person. It’s so important to have a support system other than your family who thinks everything you write is genius. Also, believe in your abilities—if you have the drive to write a book, there’s a reason—and just write it. 

Any last thoughts for your readers?

Thanks so much for your interest and I pray that my books with touch your heart in a very special way. And I always love hearing from you!

And how can they connect with you?

Readers, this is a 5 person giveaway so please get your entries in. Five of you will be the winner of a beautiful ovarian cancer awareness beaded bracelet that Jen has offered. Get your entries in!!

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