Friday, April 29, 2011

"Too Rich......for a Bride" by Mona Hodgson

In Book 2 of the Sinclair Sisters of Cripple Creek, Ida Sinclair joins her sisters in Colorado.  However, unlike her two sisters, Kat and Nell, she is not on a mission of love but on a mission of business.  Ms. Ida Sinclair has her eyes and heart set on being a successful business woman.  Nothing is inherently wrong with this goal except....well.... it is 1896!

"Too Rich for a Bride" entertains through the twists and turns that life takes Ms. Sinclair as she embarks on her journey to become a career woman.  As fate would have it, she is gainfully employed by the only woman in town, Mollie O'Bryan, and becomes determined to learn everything she can from Cripple Creek's most infamous successful businesswoman.  However, it isn't too long after arriving that a few of the men in town notice Ms. Sinclair.  Not too easily swayed, she stays the course until circumstances beyond her control force her to assess her priorities.  What will win her affections?  her career?  a dashing city attorney?  the traveling preacher?

Here is the first Chapter.....

Too Rich for a Bride by Mona Hodgson (Chapter 1 Excerpt)

This is a quick, easy read and  I would have loved to have had it poolside or at the beach! Mona Hodgson tells the story in such a way that you did not have to have read Book 1 to understand this book.  However, I would like to read Book I now.  Additionally,  I would recommend this read to anyone who is looking for an enjoyable historical fiction book.

4 stars

I was provided a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my fair and honest review.  As always, my opinions are my own. 

The Fire in Ember

DiAnn Mills has become one of my favorite historical fiction writers. And she doesn't disappoint in this recent novel either!  Full of unforgettable characters and a great plot, Mills has you enthralled from the first page.

Watch this trailer.....

My thoughts about the I said earlier, Mills captures your interest from the first page.  Bert, the main character, is a spunky boy/young lady and you want to believe in her even when there is a shred of doubt.  Timmons is another good, all-around guy but there are times you don't know if he will pull through and do what is right.  Of course, Mills has wonderful supporting characters who will find their way into your heart.  Timmons' mother and brothers balance the story as well as some of the townsfolk.  Mr. Oberlander...well, you just need to read the book to form your own opinion about him!

I found myself reading "just one more chapter" to see what would happen next.  It really is that kind of story.  Mills knows how to weave the plot between numerous characters in such a way that you are not quite sure what will occur.  Bert finds herself in the midst of chaos and deception.  The greatest deception is her own belief that she is unworthy of love and redemption. Bert must struggle through these issues while she is battling for truth to clear her of any wrongdoing.  Will she prevail?  Will she be redeemed?
Grab a copy of this book and find will be glad you did!

5 stars

I was provided a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my fair and honest review.  As always, my opinions are my own.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

A New Biography: The Life of John Knox

Since one of my children is in the midst of studying the Middle Ages up to the Renaissance, I thought it a good idea to read the biography of John Knox.  Attic Books, a division of New Leaf Publishing, offers this reproduction of the 1833 original.  It is a nice size - about 5"x6"- and it looks rather worn and old with pages that have frayed edges.  The book is only 140 pages and is a rather simple read even with language from an earlier time.  Why wouldn't you want to read "rare vignettes featuring the Protestant Reformation's fiercest defender"?

John Knox...a reformer who is known for his outspokenness; a preacher known for proclaiming the truth; and a minister who bravely defied the established powers in the State and the Church.

Here is a Trailer from Attic Books.....

This is book is organized in a way that you can skim the chapters and find the topic you want to read.  Do you want to know what Knox's response was when the Queen rejoiced at the news that protestants were persecuted and murdered in France?  or maybe you want to skip to hear about his death?  or his marriages and what happened to each?  Because the overviews of each chapter are so thorough, you can easily find individual events or topics.

I would recommend this little biography to those who want to know more about the Reformation or about John Knox.

4 stars

In exchange for my fair and honest review, I received a complimentary copy of this book from Attic Books and New Leaf Publishing Group.  

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Blog Tour: People of the Book by Kathi Macias

Interview with Kathi Macias

People of the Book is the fourth and final book in your Extreme Devotion series. Each book is set in a different country, with the theme of first devotion and commitment to Christ above all else running through all four. How is People of the Book different, and who/what inspired you to write this book?

People of the Book was the most difficult of the four Extreme Devotion series books to write, but it is also the strongest when it comes to a call to personal commitment to Christ and to the fulfillment of the Great Commission. With each of the books, I began drafting the manuscripts through Internet research, since I had never lived in any of the four countries and had only visited one of them. After the original draft, I worked with someone who either currently lived in the country or who had recently spent many years there. People of the Book was the toughest because the Saudi women I connected with via the Internet were understandably apprehensive about associating with me. Most, in fact, were terrified to do so. I was therefore quite pleased to meet a young woman named Dolly Dahdal here in the States who, until just a few years ago, had spent the majority of her life in Saudi Arabia and understood perfectly why I had chosen to write this book. We shared a passion to help expose the fallacy of “honor killings,” a horrific crime perpetrated primarily against women and girls who in some way bring “dishonor” on their Muslim families, and Dolly was a major contributor to the authenticity of this book.

Can you give us a brief synopsis of this story?

Eighteen-year-old Farah, who lives in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, with her family, wants nothing more than to develop a deeper, more meaningful devotion to her Muslim faith. She sees the month of Ramadan as her chance to draw nearer to Allah, and she pursues that goal throughout the holiday. All goes well until the prophet Isa—Jesus—appears to her in a dream and calls her to Himself. At the same time, her only brother, Kareem, who has never liked Farah, actively seeks an opportunity to expose her for the sham he believes she is.

Meanwhile, Farah’s seventeen-year-old cousin, Nura, has begun to frequent an online chat room where former Muslims gather to discuss their new faith, based on their belief that Isa is much more than a Muslim prophet—He is actually the Son of God. While there, Nura becomes acquainted with an American girl of Muslim ancestry—now a devout Christian named Sara—and a friendship quickly develops. However, Sara has problems of her own due to her fifteen-year-old brother Emir’s involvement with a gang.

The lives of Farah, Nura, and Sara ultimately dovetail until each finds herself at a place where her faith is put to the test. Will they remain faithful to the end? Will God protect and keep them safe in the midst of persecution and treachery? Or will they be required to pay the ultimate price for their faith?

Kathi, how did you get into writing? Has it always been your passion, or is it something you came to later in life?

I’ve always wanted to write, for as long as I can remember. I was an avid reader even before I started kindergarten. I wrote a short story in third grade that the teacher liked so much she showed it to the principal, and they decided to turn it into a play for the entire PTA. I was hooked! One day when I was about 13, I was walking home from school with my then boyfriend (now husband), Al, and I told him I’d be a writer some day. He often reminds me how blessed I am to have been able to do what I dreamed of all my life.

I understand you’re running a special contest that has to do with this book. Can you tell us about it?

Not only are there several opportunities to win a copy of the book on various blog sites included in this tour, but I’m giving away the entire four-book series at the end of the tour to someone who leaves a comment on one of the blogs, so be sure to check them all out and leave comments on each one!

In addition to writing, you are a popular speaker at women’s event, writers’ conferences, and various venues around the country. How can people find out more about you, your writing and speaking, sign up for your weekly devotional newsletter (in English or Spanish), and/or just view your many book videos, etc.?

They can find me at one of my websites (; or on my Easy Writer blog at There is a “contact” button on my Kathi Macias website if they’d like to send me a message. I always respond to all my emails!

I was given a complimentary copy of this book from the author in exchange for posting the author’s interview on my blog. This blog tour is managed by Christian Speaker Services (

Saturday, April 9, 2011

From the Library of A.W. Tozer...Selections From Writers Who Influenced His Spiritual Journey

A.W. Tozer is a man known for his passion for purity in the church and deep devotion to God.  His writings have been read and studied throughout the 20th and 21st Century.  Many of his writings are chronicled as Christian classics.  With these facts in mind, why wouldn't you want to read a compilation of writings from the men and women who influenced him?

Excited to have a "library"  of "nearly two hundred excerpts from godly men and women" who Tozer read, studied and were mentored by, I eagerly began to read.  Quickly you discover the book is divided into 8 sections, reflecting the main subjects Tozer taught on - Worship, Prayer, Exhortations, The Holy Spirit, Jesus, Practicing the Presence of God, Doctrine, and Christian Life.  Additionally, Bell has organized the excerpts into short devotional-type readings whereby you can either read them as such in a short sitting or read several together.  The book lends itself to being an easy read.  

However, I have to admit my excitement began to wane as I noticed some of the men and women that influenced Tozer.  Madame Guyon, a mystic, and Tauler, a Christian Universalist, as well as many Catholic writers are among the authors.  It is here where I miss the voice of Tozer himself.  I would want to know why Tozer would include them among his most influential men/women.  Or were these writings among his belongings and the assumption made that they influenced him?  We won't know the answer to this question unless somewhere Tozer recorded how these authors impacted his thoughts and devotion to the Lord. 

Overall, this is a good resource and one I am thankful to have in my own personal library.  I am sure I will be reading from it in my own personal devotional times. 

4 stars

I received a complimentary book for review from Bethany House Publishers.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

When God Writes Your Love Story....

My daughter took me to a conference in Colorado in January this year.  She didn't have to drag me or anything....I mean it was the winter...snow!  And it was just going to be she and I going!  To a girls conference.  No boys allowed.  Girl things - like chocolate, laughter, shopping, etc.

It was the Set-Apart Girl conference by Eric & Leslie Ludy, set in the beautiful town of Windsor, on the campus of Ellerslie.  Snow-capped mountains, a frozen pond, quiet gentle breezes, little bunnies that scampered across the landscape....yes it was picturesque.

But more than the outward beauty that surrounded the campus was the inward beauty that emmanated from the staff and the attendees.  We had the pleasure of meeting young girls and young ladies from all over the country who had been impacted by the writings and teachings of the Ludys.  We heard story after story of how God was using these young ladies to change the world.  Some were changing careers, some going on the mission field, one was working on a Ph.D. and doing her dissertation on courtship!  Fascinating how God gathered about 100 women and young ladies together and focused them in His Word to show them His truths.

To say it was a great time would be an understatement.

Here is a link to the next Set-Apart Girl Conference:
Set-Apart Girl May Conference

But I digress....

This post is about the Ludy's book, When God Writes your Love Story.  This book is not what you think it is about - I promise.  If you think you are going to read a book about courtship or how not to date, you are mistaken.

Eric and Leslie write like they are having coffee with you at the corner coffee shop.  This book is their testimony about their own story.  It is about what God did with them and through them as they entered dating life.  It is a book full of hope and promise - not a book full of "thou shalt nots".

And it has become one of the top-selling relationship books of all time!

After having sat in a conference with them for 2.5 days and having dined with them, I can tell you these people are the REAL deal.  No wonder my daugher was drawn to Leslie's writings a few years ago.

I wish I could insert a chapter here for you to preview but it isn't available in that format (I checked - sorry.) is a link to the new Set-Apart Girl Magazine Online:
Magazine . more thing...the book - it is for both BOYS and GIRLS.....

Friday, April 1, 2011

The Practice of Godliness- Small Group Curriculum Guide by Jerry Bridges

To compliment the book, The Practice of Godliness - "Godliness has value for all things", Jerry Bridges has developed a small group curriculum guide.   If you are familiar with Bridges, you know that he has a way of being straightforward, yet gracious in his writing.  In his book, The Pursuit of Holiness, Bridges focuses on our sin, the taking off of the "old self."  In this book, he focuses on Christian character, the putting on of the "new self."  Bridges puts forth that Godliness is developed first by increasing our devotion to God and then second, developing our Christian character.  He spends the first five chapters (or 3 study sessions) addressing our devotion/relationship with God.  We must have that relationship if we expect to grow in character.  The last 13 chapters (8 sessions) address character traits that you will want to grow in (like humility, patience, self-control, etc.).

As a Curriculum guide, this book is great.  First, in contains The Practice of Godliness in its entirety so you do not have to purchase a separate book nor do you have to fumble with two books while you are doing the study.  Second, it is printed with wide margins so you can take notes.  I love this part.  I found as I was doing the study I had plenty of room to annotate the book as I read.  Third, the study questions for each session are at the end of the chapters for that session.  There is plenty of room to write your answers should you choose to write in the book, too.  The book itself is the right size.  It is not too small nor is it too large or bulky.  It is easy to handle and carry around.

Who would you use this curriculum with?  This study could be done on your own (as I did to review it) or in a small group.  It is applicable for youth and up.  I would like to do it in our family (we have teenagers) as I can see that the content would be very beneficial for them.  The study is not overly theological in nature, meaning it doesn't get bogged down into deep theological truths.  Bridges stays on the practical...the here and now of how are you going to apply that Scripture to your life.

Overall, I would give this 5 stars.

I was provided a complimentary copy of this book from NavPress Blogger Review program  in exchange for my fair and honest review.