Thursday, October 30, 2014

"Pearl in The Sand" by Tessa Afshar

Book Description

 August 24, 2010
Can a Canaanite harlot who has made her livelihood by looking desirable
to men make a fitting wife for one of the leaders of Israel? Shockingly, the Bible's
answer is yes.  

Pearl in the Sand tells Rahab's untold story.
Rahab lives in a wall; her house is built into the defensive walls of the City of
Jericho. Other walls surround her as well-walls of fear, rejection, unworthiness.

A woman with a wrecked past; a man of success, of faith ... of pride; a
marriage only God would conceive!  Through the heartaches of a stormy relationship,
Rahab and Salmone learn the true source of one another's worth and find healing
in God.
Author Bio: 

Tessa Afshar was voted "New Author of the Year" by the Family Fiction sponsored Reader's Choice Awards 2011 for her novel Pearl in the Sand. Her book, Harvest of Rubies was nominated for the 2013 ECPA Book Award in the fiction category and World Magazine chose Harvest of Rubies as one of four notable books of the year. Her novel, Harvest of Gold was nominated for the 2014 Christy Award. Tessa was born in Iran to a nominally Muslim family, and lived there for the first fourteen years of her life. She moved to England where she survived boarding school for girls and fell in love with Jane Austen and Charlotte Bronte, before moving to the United States permanently. Her conversion to Christianity in her twenties changed the course of her life forever. Tessa holds an MDiv from Yale University where she served as cochair of the Evangelical Fellowship at the Divinity School. She has spent the last fifteen years in full-time Christian service in New England.

My Review: 
"Pearl in The Sand" by Tessa Afshar is a wonderful book that is fiction but based on the Biblical story of Rahab. Rahab was a Canaanite harlot, but she saved the Israeli spies in Jericho.

This book teaches this reader that God loves us and can forgive us our sins and use us for his purpose!  I believe that we all have struggled with feelings of worth and have built walls around our hearts to protect us from rejection and hurt. 

I love the lesson that Salmone uses to show Rahab that she was valuable. He uses a pearl in the sand. ( hence the title). If her other books are as good as this one, any reader would be thrilled to read these stories more than once. Yes they are that good!

I am giving"Pearl in The Sand" by Tessa Afshar five stars.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

"Place In Purpose: The 4 Questions to unlock YOU" by Kathryn C. Lang

 ISBN: 978-1492323983 |List Price: $12.99 print/ $3.99 Kindle | Format: Paperback and Kindle  | Page Count: 132

Have you ever wondered why you are here or what to do with that why? A Place in Purpose offers the tips and suggestions that will help you uncover your answers to these questions and others. Once you know your why, what, how and when then you will be in a position to being living boldly in a life outside the ordinary and expected results of "the box."

Author BIO

Award winning author Kathryn C. Lang, winner of the nation's first Tourism Fiction SELTI award, lets life infuse her creative spirit with stories of possibilities. Each woven creation paints a journey of a life that is lived beyond the ordinary and expected - even if for a moment.

Kathryn offers a phrase of hope in order to shine the Light on the moment. She works through her columns, articles, books and workshops. Her personal hope is that every person who encounters her words will feel as if those words were written (or spoken) just for her or him.

"In my fiction, I tell a story that provides an uplifting message entrenched in hope. In my non-fiction and columns, I offer words that will point to hope. In my talks, I tell stories that inspire hope. Helping others discover their path to hope is my focus.

I write to others like me, a woman that is trying to walk the tightrope of family, work and God - and keep them all in the right balance. She has a sense of humor, enjoys a little snark now and then, and references movies and songs in her every day speech. She plays with words and enjoys being around others that can keep up. She has a solid relationship with God, but hungers to go in deeper. She is not afraid of faith in her own life or in the lives of those she encounters. She lives a life reaching for the rainbow."

To learn more about Kathryn and her books, visit her website:  You can also find her on Twitter or Facebook

"Place In Purpose: The 4 Questions to unlock YOU" by Kathryn C. Lang is not what I expected when I requested it from The Christian Women Affiliate Review Crew, because I thought I would be able to just read it and know what purpose God had for me. Okay, I need to explain that statement a little better, I am not really disappointed in the book. The author explains that  our purpose is to love God and that when we love God we can love others.

Just like the title explains, Kathryn C. Lang uses the questions of why, how and what and when to help us love God and others. I understood the concepts she was explaining but maybe I was looking for an easy answer and this book didn’t give them, in fact it was all about making lists. I understand that making oneself a better person takes work and all but I just felt like making all these lists would be a little more time consuming then some might want to commit to. 

With saying that I must also say that on almost every page I have something underlined and this book is full of practical advise that would cause us to become a better person for ourself and others if we followed the steps outlined.

The author does give personal examples to explain her points but I was just looking for something different which is my fault and not that  there is anything wrong with the book or the steps outline.

I like the idea of making one of the list suggested in the book which is to write down who you are and what you do and how you see yourself. I have not done this yet because of time to get this review written but I plan on doing it in the near future!

I am giving "Place In Purpose: The 4 Questions to unlock YOU" by Kathryn C. Lang three stars!

 I received a free copy of this book/Ebook/Product to review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations. I am part of The CWA Review Crew.

Monday, October 20, 2014

"A Secret Encounter" by J.E.B. Spredemann

Book Description

 December 18, 2013
Shunned in his late teens, Joseph Bender has lived a difficult life the past few years. He's convinced he's finished with the Amish and God, until he meets kindhearted Anna Smucker. Life on the streets is a stark contrast to the comforts of an Amish community. Will Joe be able to overcome the trials set before him to find a new life of love? Can a secret encounter change his life forever? Inspirational Christian Fiction, Approx. 225 pag

Author info:
Born and raised in California, Award-Winning Author J.E.B. Spredemann now resides in beautiful southern Indiana Amish country and writes Christian fiction. Since Amish by Accident (J. Spredemann) was first released in November 2012, the author has held a steady spot in Amazon's Top 100 Authors in Religion & Spirituality, by the goodness and grace of God.
Joanna's Struggle, in the Amish Girls Series, was the first of several books written by the author*.(see note below) The Amish Girls Series was primarily penned for teen girls, but has been enjoyed by readers of all ages/genders. Lovers of the ever-popular Amish fiction genre are sure to enjoy these books as well, even though they are geared toward a younger audience. The characters in the stories will soon become endeared to your heart, especially the mischievous Jonathan Fisher.
An Unforgivable Secret, book 1 in the Amish Secrets series, was given a 5-STAR Review Rating by Readers' Favorite, won the SILVER Medal Book Award for 2014, and was nominated in Goodreads' 'BEST of AMISH FICTION' poll.
Amish by Accident won the Readers' Favorite 2014 GOLD Medal Book Award.
*Note: J.E.B. Spredemann is Jennifer, Emily, and Brandi Spredemann. Together, they have penned the Amish Girls Series books. The other books, although the author name (J.E.B.) was kept, were written SOLELY by J. Spredemann (with God's help, of course.)
Follow us on Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter (@amishjeb)for the most current updates and/or giveaways.
Author can be contacted via email at or at
We hope and pray that our books will touch your life and be a blessing to you, as they have been to us! TO GOD ALONE BE THE GLORY!

My Review: 
A Secret Encounter" by  J.E.B. Spredemann is book two in the  Amish Secrets series. It was a great story and I loved it but I liked "An Unforgivable Secret" better! "A Secret Encounter is about 2 homeless men who are helped by An Amish woman named Annie.

....SPOILER (Joe and Harvey are two homeless men that Annie has taken to bring food to because of a chance encounter while out with her boyfriend Aaron. From that time on Joe and Annie have a pull toward each other. Aaron is being pressured to get married from his father and he wants Annie because of her looks.

Joe and Harvey are invited to stay in the barn of Annie's grandmother's farm because Harvey becomes sick and Joe tries to help them save the farm but is he really the good guy or is he a thief and a liar as Aaron says.

Joe is an Amish man but he was shunned in his teens! The reason will be explained in later chapters but the reason will have you not agreeing with the Bishop's decision.  These books pull at the reader's heartstrings and you will want to cheer for the heroes who do the right thing.

I had to keep reading to see which version of Joe was the real one, the one he portrayed or the one Aaron tried to make people believed he was!

Joe did have a past but sometimes the past  isn't alway a true account of things!)..END OF SPOILER

I believe any reader that likes a clean love story, yes this book is of the Amish genre but I find it to be more of a love story, will like this story.

Make sure to read the part in the back of the book to find out how this story come to be and how you can help homeless people.

I was given a pdf copy by the author for my honest review and it is receiving five stars!

I am looking forward to reading Book 3 "A Secret of the Heart " . 

Thursday, October 9, 2014

"Angels Walking" Book I in the Angels Walking Series" by Karen Kingsbury

Book Description:From #1 New York Times bestselling author Karen Kingsbury comes the first in a brand-new series about second chances—a dramatic story about a washed up baseball player, the love he left behind, and the miracles that might save them both.

When former national baseball star Tyler Ames suffers a career-ending injury, all he can think about is putting his life back together the way it was before. He has lost everyone he loves on his way to the big leagues. Then just when things seem to be turning around, Tyler hits rock bottom. Across the country, Tyler’s one true love Sami Dawson has moved on. 

A series of small miracles leads Tyler to a maintenance job at a retirement home and a friendship with Virginia Hutcheson, an old woman with Alzheimer’s who strangely might have the answers he so desperately seeks.

A team of Angels Walking take on the mission to restore hope for Tyler, Sami, and Virginia. Can such small and seemingly insignificant actions of the unseen bring healing and redemption? And can the words of a stranger rekindle lost love? Every journey begins with a step.

It is time for the mission to begin…

                                                             Author Bio:
No. 1 New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Karen Kingsbury is America's favorite inspirational novelist. There are nearly 20 million copies of her award-winning books in print, including several million copies sold in the past year. Karen has written more than 50 novels, ten of which have hit #1 on national lists.
Karen's newest novel, COMING HOME - The Baxter Family - releases June 26 and is the subject of much buzz on Karen's active Facebook page, where she had more than 250,000 friends. There is also great anticipation over THE BRIDGE, Karen's much-anticipated first hardback release with her new publisher - Simon & Schuster's Howard Books. THE BRIDGE is a love story set against the demise of the American bookstore.
In addition, Karen has ventured into the area of short pieces with her new non-fiction series - KAREN KINGSBURY, THE REST OF THE STORY. Her first piece, I CAN ONLY IMAGINE, has touched the hearts of tens of thousands of readers interested in knowing more about Karen's personal life and the motivation behind her Life-Changing Fiction (TM). I CAN ONLY IMAGINE shares the story of Karen's brother, his struggles, and his quest for redemption.
Karen's novel LIKE DANDELION DUST is the subject of a major motion picture currently in theaters. Like Dandelion Dust stars Academy Award winning Mira Sorvino and Barry Pepper, along with Cole Hauser and Maxwell Perry Cotton. The film has received more than 30 awards in the Film Festival Circuit including numerous Best Picture awards. Several of Karen's books are currently under theatrical development.
Karen's most recent series - the Bailey Flanigan Series, wrapped up in March. Coming Home - The Baxter Family - is a stand-alone novel about John Baxter's 70th Birthday and the tragedy that happens during June, 2010 with Take Four. The series is about two producers looking to change the world with the power of film. The Above the Line series also includes Karen's popular characters from the fictitious Baxter Family. The Baxters were first introduced to readers through the five-book Redemption series, and then the five-book Firstborn series, and finally the four-book Sunrise series.
Dubbed by Time Magazine as the Queen of Christian Fiction, Karen has also been a featured guest on the Today Show, Fox News, USA Today, and numerous other television programs and magazines. Her fiction has made her one of the country's favorite storytellers. Others of her emotionally gripping titles include the 9-11 Series, Even Now, Ever After, and Between Sundays.
Karen is also a public speaker, reaching more than 100,000 women annually through various national events. Karen and her husband, Don, live in Nashville, TN with their five sons, three of whom are adopted from Haiti. Their daughter Kelsey is an actress who has appeared in several Christian films. She is newly married to Christian recording artist Kyle Kupecky. The two also live in Nashville.

My Review:
"Angels Walking" by Karen Kingsbury is the first book in a new series by Karen Kingsbury and I cannot wait to read the other three books in the series.  It is about, angels walking the earth and doing little things that helps people's lives turn out the way they are supposed to but not necessarily the way the individuals want. 

In this book Tyler Ames has lost everyone he has ever loved and was on the way to the top, when he gets hurt in the baseball game that would put him at the top.

Sami Dawson, Tyler's high school love has moved on with her life, but is she really happy

Beck and Ember are angels who volunteer to go on the mission to rescue Tyler and Sami. They do things that happens to individuals in real life that seems coincidence and we never question that it might be angels. 

Ember is a waitress that gets Tyler's parents to pray for him and Beck poses as a man in a shelter to help Tyler apply for a job that leads Tyler to meet a woman with Alzheimer
How can Tyler's job as a janitor be his chance at healing ( I am not talking about physically healing but mentally and spiritually)?

This book is such a great lesson on what love really is and what it isn't!  Once again fiction shows what real life can be if we let it be! 

I will have to say that I didn't see the ending happening the way it did, ( well some of it I did),  I will say that the ending wasn't the way Tyler wanted it to go in the beginning of the story but in the end all the characters were happy and so was this reader.

This book had moments that made this reader wish life didn't happen the way it does but then that is why Karen Kingsbury is such a great story teller, she keeps fiction, real life.

Five stars is what this book is getting!

I was given an arc copy by NetGallery for an honest review!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

"Promise To Cherish" by Elizabeth Byler Younts

Book Description

 October 7, 2014
As World War II draws to a close, nurse Christine falls in love with roguish Amish boy Eli and must choose between a new, uncertain life in the Amish faith or face the judgment of a conservative postwar American society for her past mistakes.

It’s 1945, and Christine Freeman is a nurse at Hudson River State Hospital, where she works alongside members of a Civilian Public Service unit. Eli is one of the conscies—conscientious objectors to the war—and he is doing his best to become a man of character instead of the immature heartbreaker he used to be back home in his Amish community.

Christine and Eli are friendly, but when an old acquaintance, Jack, returns home from the war, Christine’s world is violently turned upside down. Eli, heartbroken to see his friend so hurt, offers her an escape within his Amish community. Despite her misgivings, Christine is fully embraced by Eli’s community. She slowly begins to feel valued and loved as she learns the Amish way of life.

Christine finds herself falling for Eli. But soon, the abusive Jack discovers Christine in her Amish hideaway and starts causing trouble for the quiet community. Christine can’t see herself becoming Amish, and she knows that if Eli leaves the church to be with her, he will be shunned. Will she escape Jack and possibly have to give up the one thing she holds most dear, or will she follow her heart and promise to cherish the Amish man who loves her?

Author Bio: 

Elizabeth Byler Younts is an Air Force officer's wife and a homeschooling mom with two young daughters, currently living in central Pennsylvania. Elizabeth was Amish as a child and after her parents left the church she still grew up among her Amish family and continues to speak Pennsylvania Dutch. Elizabeth is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America.
Elizabeth's first book SEASONS: A REAL STORY OF AN AMISH GIRL, her Amish grandmother's memoir, was an #1 Amazon Bestseller and winner of a BRAG Medallion. PROMISE TO RETURN, her first novel in the Promise of Sunrise series through Howard Books (Simon & Schuster), is a finalist for a 2014 RITA Award. Through her love for storytelling and her Amish heritage, Elizabeth shares with readers worldwide authentic stories filled with little known Amish history, faith, and romance.
Go to to learn more.

My Review: 
"Promise To Cherish" by Elizabeth Byler Younts is just as good as "Promise to Return". 
I have to be honest and say that this story deals with a subject that I was not aware that was going to be touched upon and at first I was not sure I was going to finish reading the book but I am so glad that I did.
I hope I am not giving a spoiler but the subject I am referring to is rape. I just think if I had known the issue was in the story I might not have been caught so unaware, this subject is just too close to home for me to come upon it with no warning, that is why I am including it in this review! 
I was so upset that this was included in the book and I was talking to another reader and friend and this was her reply to me "Think about happens all the time, in real life. It's something to talk about. Something that should be spoken about. And what happens? How does the character deal with it? How does the character get over it? Can she forgive? Can she forget? Can she get past the hurt and the scars? It is a very sensitive topic. But sadly,it's a real one. Abortion is also a sensitive topic we don't like but it is a real life issue. But it's something a lot of people deal with. Like rape. The author wants a person to be there, in the story. Even slightly, a good author shows you those feelings. Makes you feel them, somewhat. She was frightened. Scared. Anxious. Trying to get away. While this and that was happening. It should be handled sensitively, but realistic. And rape isn't pretty or sugar covered. Get what I mean?" Her comment made me think the book wouldn't have been the same without this happening and the storyline wouldn't have been as great and yes now that I have finished reading the book I can say if it had been left out the ending wouldn't have been as truly remarkable as it was! So I say read this book and know it belongs , even if it makes you cry. Since I added the part about abortion in my discussion with my friend I do need to let you all know that abortion isn't in the book, just part of the conversation.
Eli is Amish and has been sent to Hudson River State Hospital to work since he is a conscientious objectors to the war. He is trying to make up for all his not quite so honorable actions back home at Sunrise. 
Christine is trying to be a good daughter and take care of her parents since her father was injured in World War 1.
This book is a book full of heartaches and forgiveness and Love. Yes, this book made me experience many emotions which is what a good story does!
This book is really wonderful and the characters are truly human. I absolutely loved the ending and am anxiously awaiting book 3 in this series (The Promise Of Sunrise Series). This book is getting five stars!
I was given a copy of the book by the author for my honest review! 

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

"The Messiah's Sign" by Amber Schamel

Book Description 
The Messiah's Sign is the second book in the Days of Messiah series. It follows the storyline of Book One, but from the husband's point of view. Here's what it's about:
Dreams…they shouldn’t bother him, but when Tyrus’ worst nightmare is vindicated, he has no choice but to face reality. His wife has been unfaithful, and God has punished her with the most feared disease in the land: leprosy. Banishing her to the leper colony, Tyrus struggles to raise their son alone and protect him from a merciless outlaw. But when Malon begins following the teacher from Nazareth, what remains of their business and reputation is at stake. Can Tyrus save his son from the beguiling lies of a false Messiah before he loses the only thing he has left?
The book releases on October 16th, so be sure to add it to your To-Read list along with the others in the series. 

Author Bio: 
Bestselling author Amber Schamel writes riveting stories that bring HIStory to life. She has a passion for history, books and her Savior. This combination results in what her readers call "historical fiction at its finest". A homeschool graduate from a family of 12 children, Amber found her calling early in life. First published at age 21, she has continued to hone her craft. Between ministry, family and working in their family businesses, Amber loves to connect with readers. Find her on the Stitches Thru Time blog, or on any of the major social media sites.  

My Review:"The Messiah's Sign" by Amber Schamel is just as exciting as the other in this series. In the " Healer Touch" we read Aaliyah story and how she was cast out  of her husband's home and forced into the Leper's colony and in "The Saga Begins"  we learn about Tyrus's family escape from Rome and his decision to marry Aaliyah, and in"The Messiah's Sign" we read Tyrus's story and how his decisions accept his wife and son.

These stories are short but have such full details that the reader doesn't really realize that the story isn't longer . These stories seem real and not Christian Fiction at all. Amber Scamel knows how to pull her readers into her stories and makes her readers feel the characters heartaches and pains.

I waited forever to get the ARC copy and it was well worth the wait, only one thing I dislike,now  there is a wait for the third volume "The Master's Calling"

Tyrus has been missing his wife and wondering if she could be still alive with leprosy after ten years. He is doing the best he can with raising his son on his own and trying to deal with the troubles that beset him when he happen upon Barabbas The Thief. 

Meanwhile Tyrus's friend Peter and son Malon begin to follow Jesus of Galilee. The rabbis do not like that and will not tolerate it.

But what happens when Tyrus meets Jesus for himself and Jesus knows things about him that no-one knows! Is this Jesus a fake or is he real?  What happens when Tyrus founds out the answer to this very question?

I was given a ARC copy for my honest review and I am really happy to say this book as well as the others in the series have all received five stars! 

"Am I Really Alone Or Just Feeling That Way"

In the past when I read or thought of the question "Am I really Alone" my answer would always be a loud and responding yes. But last night and this morning I had a different thought. What changed my mind is really very simple but at the same time complex and one that I have struggled with most of my life. This post is very personal and one that I hope that helps at least one person struggling with thoughts of loneliness. 

Sometimes I feel alone when I am with a crowd of people, even in church and most always at family gatherings, and ALWAYS when I am physically alone. Being lonely doesn't mean you are alone. It is the feeling of being alone, which I have come to believe is a lie from satan himself. 

I have struggled my entire life to win my parent's love and approval  and others and last night at Bible Study it finally clinked that I am Loved and never alone "38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:38 -39 and "Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said,“Never will I leave you never will I forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5
I know there are some reading this and thinking I don't believe the Bible and in God but I know the Bible is true, (It and God has literally saved my life, not just since last night but many times.)  If only I had applied It's truth in all my troubles and situations I wouldn't have knowledge to be writing this post and I wouldn't be able to say "I know what I am talking about because I know what you are feeling and this is what I did and the outcome is so much better when we do it God's way"( no I am not saying that everything is or will be perfect ( until we reach Heaven) but you will have peace and be assured that you are loved.
I have come to the conclusion that even if you don't believe in God or even if you do, but believe that He is way out there and doesn't care and isn't with us all the time, we still are not alone. I believe we have company just the same in the form of satan " Be well balanced (temperate, sober of mind), be vigilant and cautious at all times; for that enemy of yours, the devil, roams around like a lion roaring [in fierce hunger], seeking someone to seize upon and devour." 1 Peter 5:8
So I cannot in all honesty tell myself I am alone anymore ( maybe I am in the sense no-one is in the physical realm )but I have all I need" My god shall supply all my needs.” Philippians 4:19 so I am going to start listening to my Father ,The King of King" I am a beloved daughter and am never alone!
Yes, I will struggle but no longer alone!
I Love You This Much" performed by Jimmy Wayne
He can't remember
The times that he thought
Does my daddy love me?
Probably not
That didn't stop him
From wishing that he did
Didn't keep him from wanting
Or worshipping him

He guesses he saw him
About once a year
He could still feel the way he felt
Standing in tears
Stretching his arms out
As far as they'd go
Whispering daddy
I want you to know

I love you this much
And i'm waiting on you
To make up your mind
Do you love me too?
How ever long it takes
I'm never giving up no matter what
I love you this much

He grew to hate him for what he had done
'cause what kind of father
Could do that to his son?
He said 'damn you daddy'
The day that he died
The man didn't blink
But the little boy cried

I love you this much
And i'm waiting on you
To make up your mind
Do you love me too?
How ever long it takes
I'm never giving up no matter what
I love you this much

Half way through the service
While the choir sang a hymn
He looked up above the preacher
And he sat and stared at him

He said
'forgive me father'
When he realized
That he hadn't been unloved
Or alone all his life
His arms were stretched out
As far as they'd go
Nailed to the cross
For the whole world to know

I love you this much
And i'm waiting on you
To make up your mind
Do you love me too?
How ever long it takes
I'm never giving up no matter what
I love you this much

"He Is With You" performed by Mandisa

There's a time to live
And a time to die
There's a time to laugh
And a time to cry
There's a time for war
And a time for peace
There's a hand to hold
In the worst of these

He is with you when your faith is dead
And you can't even get out of bed
Or your husband doesn't kiss you anymore
He is with you when your baby's gone
And your house is still, and your heart's a stone
Cryin' God, what'd You do that for
He is with you

There's a time for yes
And a time for no
There's a time to be angry
And a time to let it go
There is a time to run
And a time to face it
There is love to see you
Through all of this

He is with you in the conference room
When the world is coming down on you
And your wife and kids don't know you anymore
He is with you in the ICU
When the doctors don't know what to do
And it scares you to the core
He is with you

We may weep for a time
But joy will come in the morning
The morning light

He is with you when your kids are grown
When there's too much space and you feel alone
And you're worried if you got it right or wrong
Yes He is with you when you've given up
On ever finding your true love
Someone who feels like home
He is with you

When nothing else is left
And you take your final breath
He is with you