Tuesday, December 16, 2014

The Fatal Tree by Stephen R. Lawhead (Bright Empire Series book 5)

Egads! It is the end of EVERYTHING! No seriously, this is the end of The Bright Empire series. 

Or....

In Which We TRY to see if everything and everyone is sorted out to a satisfying conclusion. 
A daunting task for sure! 



The whole Universe could collapse! Kit and Cass wanted to go home, but a HUGE Yew tree is over the portal! WHAT? Why? Oh wait! This tree is not a normal tree. It is a deadly, fatal tree. Those who touch it are sadistic! It brings pain, torture, and death! What a really nice tree to have cropped up. However, they can not go home if they can't touch it, can they??? More disconcerting is that people we have grown to know are being sucked up and dropped in other places! Yikes!! What is to become of them!? Time and space, the fabric that holds it all together is coming apart. That never bodes well. 

Burleigh has gotten some of what is coming to him, yet it is served up daily with doses of forgiveness and God's love, and he can't exactly escape it. Is this his way to redemption? Is he going to be sucked up to somewhere else to, and if so, will he stick with God or not? 


There is just too much here to cover, and yet, some loose ends that beg for, not a sequel, but a small side book perhaps? Mr. Lawhead tried to answer some of those questions for us at the end, but some mysteries still remain. Maybe they are suppose to stay mysteries. 


Another bit of fun was had. Temporary Tattoos! Oh my! I have never done that in my life. I'm not any good with needles, so this was quite interesting for me. However, I LOVE the theme and I have long loved Mr. Lawhead's work. Thus I am glad to don non-permanent ink for the purpose of this blog and this series! I hope someone else did this too. I'd love to see your photos also! 


Akkkkkk!??? In this first image, my cat says it all! 
WHAT did you do to yourself!?!? 
O.k. He was really yawning, but how cool is that? 
No really... I like it! 



I might never say this again --- check out my "ink"! He he he!



Last but not least, the most close ups I could pull off on short notice in a bit of a rush. Besides, I don't think I can top the photo with our cat! 

Don't miss out of the fun! Read this series before you miss out and wind up wishing you had! 
Carol :) 

In conjunction with the CSFF Blog Tour, I received a free copy of this book from the publisher. 
The Fatal Tree - http://www.amazon.com/The-Fatal-Tree-Bright-Empires/dp/1595548084/
Author Website http://www.stephenlawhead.com/
Author Facebook page - http://www.facebook.com/pages/Stephen-R-Lawhead/84503526872

Participants’ links-
Julie Bihn
Thomas Clayton Booher
Beckie Burnham
Jeff Chapman
Karri Compton
April Erwin
Victor Gentile
Jason Joyner
Janeen Ippolito
Carol Keen
Emileigh Latham
Rebekah Loper
Shannon McDermott
Meagan @ Blooming with Books
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Nissa
Jalynn Patterson
Writer Rani
Nathan Reimer
Audrey Sauble
Jojo Sutis
Rachel Starr Thomson
Robert Treskillard
Steve Trower
Shane Werlinger Phyllis Wheeler

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Come. Stay. Celebrate! by Judith Galblum Pex (The Story of the Shelter Hostel in Eilat, Israel)

I picked out this book only because I had read all her other books. Oh my goodness! Seriously, this book should be read FIRST then move on to the others. I really enjoyed this and I wasn't at all sure I would! I knew I should, but I wasn't sure. I am quite glad I read it and it makes the other two books click into place.  This is the real life story of Judith and her husband and their time in ministry, daily life, and people they came to love and impact while running a hostel in Israel! 

It's a very strong true story, and all the ups and downs and the over all plan of what God was doing come to light as you read this book that I didn't put down until the last page. Well worth reading. 

Carol :) 

COME, STAY, CELEBRATE!
The Story of the Shelter Hostel in Eilat, Israel
by Judith Galblum Pex

The True Story

Make yourself available to God, and He will use you in ways you can't imagine!
You will be convinced of this as you read the story of John and Judy Pex and their conversions as hippies roaming the world in the 1970s to their immigration to Israel, and how the door opened for them to start a hostel near the Red Sea.
In the volatile and highly-charged atmosphere of the Middle East, the Shelter is a point of reconciliation between believers and non-believers, Jews and non-Jews, Israelis and Arabs, all staying together under one roof. For people from over ninety countries the Shelter Hostel has provided a beacon of light and a welcoming home for thirty years, as the Pexes use their gifts of hospitality and evangelism.
Enjoy these touching and humorous stories that reveal how the Lord uses ordinary people to participate in His extraordinary work.

TABLE OF CONTENTS
1. Who Wants to Run a Hostel, Anyway?
2. From Igloos to Palm Trees
3. The Blond Dutchman
4. The House on Poor House Lane
5. Down the Gangplank
6. Melon Box Crib & Sandstorm Solutions
7. Beginning and End of a Hostel
8. Flee to the Refuge
9. Sorry, We're Full
10. Dutch Wall Climber, Russian Coffee Seller & Egyptian Doctor
11. Pee Mattresses, Snotty & Other Encounters
12. Elvis & Pilgrims
13. Next-Door Strangers
14. Lebanese Fugitive & Jordanian Aristocrat
15. Scuds, Sirens & Sealed Rooms
16. The Russians Are Coming
17. Seeking Culture, Finding Yeshua
18. God Exists In Romania
19. Chicken Feet & Dog Liver
20. Visits to Court & to China
21. Trail Angels
22. From Sudan to Zion
23. Trouble In Zion
24. EPILOGUE: Musings and Memory
25. POSTSCRIPT: Best News in a Zillion Years

The Details

Memoir/ Evangelism/ Christian Life/ Messianic Faith/ Israel
Paperback
5.5" x 8.5" / 264 Pages
Illustrated: 26 photos
ISBN: 9780989101448
$12.99






Other Books by Judith Galblum Pex:

The Praise

"Judy Pex loves the Lord and she loves Israel. My wife and I have wholeheartedly enjoyed her compelling and wonderfully-written stories about all that God has been accomplishing through her and John and their team. Their fascinating vantage point on Israel and the Jewish people and the spiritual awakening that is happening here provides unique insights that will encourage your faith!" Joel C. RosenbergNew York Times best-selling author of Epicenter and The Last Jihad

"The Shelter Hostel in Eilat, Israel, lies at the crossroads of a troubled world. Located on the borders of the Sinai Desert, its doors are always open to refugees, world travelers, and many others who seek the love and encouragement offered there. Its proprietors, John and Judy Pex, have the greatest combination of gifts of spontaneous evangelism and loving hospitality that I have seen in extensive travels around the world. Firmly grounded in the Word of God, Judy Pex recounts some of the deeply moving stories of people whose lives have been changed by the love shown to them there. For all who pessimistically see the troubles in today's world, it is a refreshing reminder that God is still on the throne. I heartily recommend this remarkable book." David M. Howard, International Director Emeritus, World Evangelical Alliance

"Jesus' final words to his disciples, '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,' is lived out daily at the Shelter Hostel. To hippies from Europe, the new immigrants from the former Soviet Union, foreign workers from Romania or China, Jordanian royalty, refugees from Sudan, Israel trail walkers or the ongoing flow of backpackers and students from every continent, John and Judy Pex have opened their hearts and home, as the 'ends of the earth' have come to them. Having run a similar hostel for nearly twenty years in the north of Israel, we can certify that these vignets of searching, discovery, and redemption are too wild to make up! Come, Stay, Celebrate! will encourage every sojourner at any stage of their journey for truth." Paul and Traci Valerio, former managers, Bethel Hostel, Haifa, Israel

"Come, Stay, Celebrate! is a breath of fresh air in a world full of strife. It's the story of a hostel in the southern reaches of Israel, a place where travelers, hikers, drug addicts, and refugees of various generations and wars gather to find hospitality and acceptance. Each world conflict of the past four decades leads to new waves of people coming through the Shelter Hostel, and Judith Galbrum Pex presents their stories with grace. Written in a no-frills style yet with a keen eye for detail,Come, Stay, Celebrate! is an honest account of the lives touched by the hostel. Some of the guests find healing and friendship, even love. Some turn to crime or commit suicide. Others discover new life through a relationship with Jesus. If you want to better understand the world around you, if you want to be encouraged to better care for those in need, this book is mandatory reading. It is a fast-paced easy read full of humor, insight, and emotion." Eric WilsonNew York Timesbestselling author of FireproofOctober Baby, andField of Blood

Swept Away by Laura V. Hilton and Cindy Loven (Quilts of Love Series)

One witty smart Grandmother, or something else? Sarah is still hurting from her parent's death, and Grandma is harder for her to live and work with than her entire classroom of children that she teaches. Is she loosing her mind and memories, or cooking up a serious plan?

A man with a mystery... Andrew/Drew. It was just a craft fair where they met, but is this meeting is a game changer when Granny hires Drew to do handyman work? Sarah wants to know a bit more about Drew, so she starts reading his online journals!!!

Also, who here lacks a strong enough relationship with God? Would that be Drew, or Sarah, or both of them? This time in their lives is going to make or break this group. Can they really see God's love and learn to trust? Add in broom crafting and quilting and you could get swept away in it all quite easily!

Carol :)


This week, the


is introducing


Abingdon Press (November 18, 2014)

by



and



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


Award winning author Laura V. Hilton has penned many novels, including the Amish of Seymour series, the Amish of Webster County series, and the forthcoming Amish of Jamesport series. A member of ACFW, Laura is also a professional book reviewer for the Christian market, with over a thousand book reviews published at various online review sites. A pastor’s wife, stay-at-home mom, and home school teacher, Laura and her family make their home in Horseshoe Bend, Arkansas.


A lifelong reader, Cindy Loven is an active church wife of a minister and mother to one son who is a home school graduate. Cindy and her family reside in Conway, Arkansas.

ABOUT THE BOOK


Sara Jane Morgan is trying to balance teaching with caring for her ailing, stubborn grandmother. When school lets out for the summer, the plans are for Grandma to teach Sara Jane to quilt as they finish up the Appalachian Ballad quilt Grandma started as a teenager. But things don’t always go as planned.

Andrew Stevenson is hiding from his past—and his future. He works as a handyman to pay the bills, but also as an artisan, designing homemade brooms. When Sara Jane’s grandmother hires him to renovate her home, sparks fly between him and his new employer’s granddaughter.

Still, it doesn’t take Sara Jane long to see Drew isn’t what he seems. Questions arise, and she starts online researching him. What she discovers could change her life—and her heart—forever.


If you would like to read the first chapter of Swept Away, go HERE.

The book link is: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1426773625 

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Kellen's Hope by Danie Marie

Debut novel alert! Don't miss this one!!! 

Kellen is in a major life predicament. She is with child, and doesn't know how the man she loves will take the news since they aren't together at the moment. Thus launches us following a dramatic and realistic story of Kellen Bruce's life. I never give too much away, but right off the bat Kellen's in-laws are far less than pleased. Her parents, their reaction is shocking! It just keeps unfolding from there. Donny, the father of her child, the man she loves, will he stay in her life for the sake of their child? Can they make it as a couple with what is going on in their lives?

Then the major stuff starts! Sweet pregnant Kellen suffers a blow that has been fatal to some. Now she is being pranked, or stalked, or.... this could be way more serious than anyone suspected. As her life falls down even more around her, Kellen struggles to hold on to God and his plan for her life. She grasps for understanding and can't quite sort out forgiveness in some areas. Her best friend and a new friend who is her Dr. become her lifelines, and there is a glimmer of a chance at romance, something past the tragic events that have beset her life. 

This is a wonderful story, filled with hope, based in a reality that is tangible.  Kellen's Hope is well worth the read, and maybe we will get another book that is connected to this one later on. I can't wait for the next book by this author! 

My copy of this book came from Story Cartel in exchange for my honest review and nothing more. 

Carol :) 

The book link: 

About The Book: 

Kellen's Hope is Danie Marie's debut novel. 

“A well-written page turner for those who enjoy mystery, conflict, and ultimately faith overcoming tragedy. I highly recommend Kellen’s Hope by Danie Marie.” 
NY Times bestselling author of The Lost Valentine, James Michael Pratt 

Heartbreak upon heartbreak leaves Kellen Carmichael alone and pregnant, her soul stained so bitter even her best friend Marla can't breach her silent prison. Just when she thought life couldn't worsen, annoying pranks become menacing acts and Kellen fears the lives of her and her unborn baby are in danger. 

Dr. Brent Gordon does his best to provide calm amidst the storms raging both within and around Kellen, but he can only pray she will trust the One who cares for her more than he does. Can Kellen reach out, and let go of her bitterness and forgive before it's too late? 

About the Author: 


Danie Marie was born (1953) and raised in California. She and her husband now reside in N.CA., and love it there. 

Her debut novel Kellen's Hope (Romance/Tragedy/Mystery/Suspense) came out on Kindle February 2014. Her upcoming novel Where Darkness Dwells (Fantasy/Romance/Suspense) will soon be available on Amazon. 

Danie enjoys reading a variety of book types which is why her writing is eclectic. A historical novella set in Old Folsom California, will most likely follow Where Darkness Dwells. Join her author page: www.facebook.com/DanieMarie.Author

Danie Marie is also an inspirational speaker who loves laughter. Blessed with the gift of evangelism, she has discipled many over the years. Danie is a graduate of the 2012 Christian Communicators Conference, has attended writers conferences in Canada, Colorado, and the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference in California a number of times. Her speaking page: www.speaking-hope-healing.com

Her goal as a writer is to engage her readers and draw them into her characters lives. To inspire, encourage, challenge and entertain. She hopes to enrich the lives of her readers, and imprint a lasting message of hope.


Saturday, November 22, 2014

The Christmas Cat by Melody Carlson

Six cats. Siz cats who need homes for Christmas because his Grandmother had passed. Garrison has his hands full, but the cats can not go just anywhere! They are each individuals, as are most pets, and they have to have the right new homes. Harry is a Main Coon. He looks and acts like a raccoon. Muzzy is a talker, she is quite vocal! Spooky, well he is easily spooked and not so social. Rusty is a clown, and very comical of course. Oreo, colored like the cookie, black and white, he has to have the right home too. Viola is all cat, she is moody. What on earth is Garrison going to do but play Santa while praying in the right homes for these felines. Of course there is romance, and a Purrrfect ending.

My copy came from Revell in exchange for my honest review and nothing more.

Carol :)


The Christmas Cat 

He felt his face flushing as Cara opened the door. Wearing a garnet-colored knit dress and with her dark hair pinned up, she looked even prettier than he remembered. Suddenly he wished he'd thought to bring a hostess gift. Like a cat.

After years abroad, Garrison Brown finds himself at the home of his beloved grandmother who has just passed away. He must sort out her belongings, including six cats who need new homes. While he hopes to dispense with the task quickly--especially since he is severely allergic to cats--his grandmother's instructions don't allow for speed. She has left some challenging requirements for the future homes of her furry friends.

Can he match the cats with the perfect new owners? And is it possible that he might meet his own match along the way?

Melody Carlson is the award-winning author of over two hundred books with sales of more than six million. She is the author of several Christmas books, including the bestselling The Christmas BusThe Christmas Dog, and Christmas at Harrington's, as well as The Christmas Pony and A Simple Christmas Wish. She received a Romantic Times Career Achievement Award in the inspirational market for her many books, including the Diary of a Teenage Girl series and Finding Alice. She and her husband live in central Oregon. Learn more at www.melodycarlson.com.

Trading Secrets by Melody Carlson

Micha has a major problem. For years she has been writing Zach, who is Amish, but because of her name, Zach thought she was a boy. Now it is time to meet, and Micha really, really wants to meet him! They have so much in common! A love of air planes, and animals, and so much more. But what will Zach or his family do when they meet Micah. I don't want to give too much away, but Micha is meeting them in the most unusual way and it just keeps getting better and better.

Wait till you meet Zach's, and his family, and find out his place, and about Micha's attempts to go home - or stay -and Molly the horse and her situation too! This is a wonderful fun read and I'm quite happy to have gotten to read it!

My copy came from Revell in exchange for my honest review and nothing more.

Carol :)

Trading Secrets 

The truth may set you free--but it might also land you in some uncomfortably hot water.

Over the years, Micah Knight has exchanged many letters--and many secrets--with her longtime Amish pen pal, Zach. But Micah's kept quiet on the biggest secret of all--the fact that despite her name, she's a girl.

Now Micah finally has the chance to meet her pen pal face-to-face. She wants nothing more than to experience life on Zach's Amish farm, but she's more than a little anxious. Will he be angry at her for deceiving him all these years? And will she risk losing his friendship to find something more?


Melody Carlson is the award-winning author of more than two hundred books, including the Dating Games series, the Life at Kingston High series, Double TakeA Simple Song, and My Amish Boyfriend. She has received a Romantic Times Career Achievement Award for her many books, including the Diary of a Teenage Girl series and Finding Alice. Melody and her husband live in Oregon. Learn more at www.melodycarlson.com.


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Creation Of Calm - A Cancer Survivor's Sketchbook Story by Mark Fraley



Fall Fling continues with Creation of Calm. This is the story of one man's journey through cancer, and reoccurring cancer. It is emotional and in some areas, beautiful, and amazing. The sketches are poignant and incredibly well worked into the real life story. I've dealt with cancer more closely than I care to have, though not like Mr. Fraley. This man went through so much, and brought so very very much out of it including his relationship with God. 

I think this book would be excellent for anyone with a friend or family member who has dealt with cancer. 

Carol :) 



The Details:





Memoir/
Art/
Personal Growth/
Suffering/
Inspirational/ Gift Book
Paperback
6" x 8.25"
168 Pages
Illustrated:
black ink sketches
color collages
ISBN: 9780989101424
Retail Price: $13.99
Available from:

The Story:
"When we are broken and thrown about, our God takes us ~ right where we are ~ and shapes us into His artwork."~From the Book

As a young husband and father, Mark learned he had cancer. Through two bouts of the disease that spanned four years, he chose "the posture of a seeker."

Even when pain and treatments stole his ability to work or focus for periods of time, he captured moments of his journey ~ as images, thoughts, and prayers ~ in a growing collection of sketchbooks. Here is the result: honest art, wrenching emotions, a little humor, and authentic spirituality.

In the author's own words: 'The act of seeking is essential to life. When faced with turmoil and struggle, I often take the posture of a seeker. In the pages of this book I have compiled a series of sketchbook entries that span six years and tell the story of my battles with cancer. I have re-drawn and re-worked them to fit this format; however, the message put forward is intact: This act of seeking was one that revealed a loving God at work when everything in my life appeared to be crumbling.'

Enjoy this very personal, easy-to-read book and give it as a thoughtful, encouraging gift.

REVIEWS:
"A poignant and thought-provoking response to the kind of health crisis that can turn a life inside out and leave a person bitter and angry. Fraley never claims not to have been afraid, and he fought off misplaced guilt and shame on a regular basis. Yet he writes with compassion, characteristic honesty, and the kind of tender empathy that only someone who has walked the road of cancer can feel and extend to others. ... Whether for yourself or a loved one, and whether you've experienced cancer personally or not ... the directness with which he writes about his family, pain, faith, and discovery of art as a medium through which to filter and process all his experiences, will touch your heart and leave you encouraged." ~ Eleanore Trupkiewicz on Goodreads.com
"Written from the perspective of a normal dude, who can draw dang good. He writes about the journey as if he's talking to us and finds some pretty cool deeper meaning behind life because of how cancer has made him look at it. It's an easy and thoughtful read. And the drawings are pretty much flawless." ~ Ross Boone, author and illustrator

"A unique book that can be read on many levels. The drawings alone - touching, humorous, and professional - are reason enough to enjoy this book. Fraley's sparse prose complements the drawings and takes us through his double battle with cancer. Furthermore, Fraley shares in a personal way his experiences and feelings of balancing his life as a young father and husband with the trials of hospitalization and chemotherapy. Finally he leaves us with a message of hope and victory sustained by his deep faith in God. I highly recommend this book." ~ Judith Pex, author
"I really enjoyed this unique book. I found it inspiring and thought provoking - made me want to start a sketchbook journal." ~ Nina Rattle onAmazon.com


The Author/Artist:
Mark Fraley grew up in France as a child of Christian missionaries. From a young age he drew countless pictures, including cars, jets, and dogs. This passion for putting pen to paper came into full bloom when faced with the challenge of his life, cancer. His three kids and his wife brought the calm needed to face this battle with courage, and God placed a deep-rooted peace that remained beyond just the moment of fervent prayer. He works as an early-childhood educator in Colorado.More of his sketches and collages may be viewed at
Mark will be showing his collages (and book) at the Broomfield (Colorado) Auditorium gallery from January 2 to February 10, 2015.
Mark's collage art has been shown at the Bemis Spring Arts show in Seattle, Washington and at the Children's Museum in Everett, Washington.
Prints of his collages may be purchased here:
and here:






Samples of Art from the Book: