Showing posts with label Christian. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Christian. Show all posts

Monday, August 31, 2015

Chasing Happy by Ann Lee Miller

Genre: Adult, Christian, Realistic Fiction
Source:  I received a copy to facilitate my review.

From Goodreads: 
After an epic fail in the hetero world, Ash Jackson heads cross country to Arizona to figure out his bisexuality and make peace with himself and God.

Nashville Star Samma Templeton’s music career bankrolls her future husband’s political campaigns. But she throws up before every concert and feels relegated to an item on the senator’s calendar.

When Ash moves into Samma’s apartment building their childhood friendship resurrects, and Samma must choose between promoting a political agenda that will benefit millions or following her heart. Ash must face his inner demons for the girl who was his past and feels like his future.

My Thoughts:
I really enjoyed this book.  Ash's father walked out on his family when Ash was in sixth grade. He had announced he was gay.  This was horrible for Ash. Later on in life he fears he is gay. Since he was a small child he has loved Samma.  Samma has loved him.  She is engaged to Storm. She has always felt she was supposed to support his campaign with the money she earned from her concerts.  What happens when you are no longer sure what God wants? 

This author is definitely not afraid of subject matter that most will not talk about. Learning not to be judgmental and let God do the judging is a lesson most Christians need to  learn. This book came at they right time for me. I have a good friend who recently ann0unced they were gay.  My first gut reaction was to pass judgment.  I worked hard, prayed a lot asking God to help me not judge and to be a friend. This book should be read by both Christians and nonChristians.  I am pleased to recommend this book.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Signs in Life: Finding Direction in Our Travels with God by Deanna Nowadnick

Genre: Christian, Inspirational
Source: I received a copy to facilitate my review. The opinions expressed here are my own.

From Goodreads:

SIGNS IN LIFE begins with a late night encounter with law enforcement. In the harsh glare of a flashlight, author DEANNA NOWADNICK learns the consequences of speeding through a stop sign. Other incidents follow. All are linked to the divine signs she's encountered in that bigger journey through life.

Join Deanna as she shares humorous anecdotes and inspirational lessons from her travels with God. See the signs in life. She might be speeding through a stop sign--yet again!--while you're carefully navigating a busy street, but together we're all part of a bigger journey, a greater purpose. We're all part of God's great story.

My Thoughts:

What an inspirational book.  I found myself reading along thinking, Yeah, I’ve missed that sign.  Deanna’s look at her life direction through the use of signs she’s missed in her life will have anyone reading her book wondering what signs they have missed.  I found myself identifying with her situations in so many ways.  I often find myself asking God to help me, only to say to him, “here let me show you how.”  At the end of each chapter she has a set of simple questions to ask yourself.  I can guarantee you that if you read this book there is no way you will not be changed. If forces you to take a good hard look at your life  and to look at those sign we often speed through trying to do things our way.  This is a book that I think will benefit anyone and one I highly recommend.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Weed and Water: Bringing the Resources of God to a Teenager by Ian Dexter Palmer

Genre: Adult, Young Adult, Christian, Inspirational
Source: I received a copy to facilitate my review. The opinions expressed here are my own.

From Goodreads:
A mysterious stranger helps a teenage boy called Ethan rescue his mentor, an elderly father-figure, from drowning when their canoe capsizes in a flooding river. A star athlete, Ethan later gets involved in unsafe sex, which leads to drugs, and gets him blackballed by jealous and gossiping team-mates. The boy is going down, and at times hates himself for it and for hurting his mom who is a caring, loving, and beautiful woman.

After another disastrous episode, where Ethan might have died, the river-stranger turns up again to confront him about his life choices. However, even after rehab, the boy’s condition is marked by a yo-yo attitude which causes massive emotional heartache for his mom.

The river-stranger, after sharing his own amazing history, suggests taking the fight to another level which draws on the resources of God. This begins a new and fascinating sequence of events, including a tornado, which get Ethan’s attention.

The book is a captivating story, packed with adventure in the desert Southwest and in the rivers and lakes of the Midwest USA. But it is also a goldmine of spiritual wisdom for teenagers. The mystery that permeates the story is compelling, and the thrilling ending may call for a tissue or two.

My Thoughts:
This is a book I definitely want to put on my shelves at school.  This book is as real as it gets for a fiction book.  Ethan is a young high teenager who is headed down the wrong path in life.  Lucky for him, his single parent mother and a good friend of the family’s they call Popper are there to help him.  I absolutely loved the way the author took real life events, added stories from the Bible and lessons from life in general and put it all together in this one book.  About the time I thought Ethan was cracking and was finally on the right track, something else would happen to him. I became distressed because I saw him harden his heart each time.  I know that God won’t win them all because we have free choice.  I saw how hard Satan was fighting to draw Ethan away from God.  He was willing to take Ethan’s life if that was the only way he could keep Ethan.  But God is victorious.  I love that this book can be enjoyed by Christian and Non-Christian alike. I found the advice offered by the different characters in the book could be applied to so many teens today.  Anyone who reads this book will find themselves in this book somewhere along the line.  I’m not sure there are enough stars in the heaven to give to this book.

About the Author
Ian Palmer lives near the mountains in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He has a PhD in physics from Adelaide University, Australia. By profession, he is a petroleum engineer, who consults all over the world. As a Christian, Ian has always been fascinated by the interface between faith and science. Of special interest to him are the powerful concepts of grace, forgiveness, and insights from God. In his local church, he has taught Sunday school classes on a wide range of inspirational but practical topics.
Ian’s six grandchildren are a source of joy when he plays tennis or basketball or goes skiing or hiking with them. His hobbies include hiking, dancing, tennis, eating out, and stimulating conversation. After a dinner of cheese enchiladas with green chiles, Ian can sometimes be found two-stepping in the local country-and-western dancehall.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Believe and Know by Cathy Bryant

Genre: Christian Devotional
Source: I received a copy to facilitate my review. The opinions expressed here are my own.

Whether you are looking for a Bible study to help you guide others, or a Bible study to help you seek answers you may have, Cathy Bryant has provided that in this Bible study guide. She states that this book is for Truth-seekers and so it is.  She also speaks to the two types of people who will read this book. The first is the type who believes first and just wants confirmation and the second is those who feel a need to understand before they can believe.  Both will get out of this book what they put into it. It is my prayer that you spend time with this book and the scriptures. You may not yet know what you want out of this book. Read and pray and be assured God will open your eyes and show you what you need.

Cathy has stated as has the scriptures that unbelief keeps us from a right relationship with God.  In Mark chapter 9 verses 14-29 we read about Jesus’ disciples trying to cast the demon out of a young boy. When they could not the father was very frustrated.  He came to Jesus who witnessed the demon possession of the boy and removed the demon. The father was confused by why his disciples could not deliver his son.  It was because of their unbelief.  When Jesus told him that belief was needed the father responded that he believed and then asked the most important thing ever, “help my unbelief.”  We who are Christians are quick to say we believe, until hardships arise.  Then we are quick to criticize and accuse God of ignoring us.  Maybe the real issue is we are having difficulty believing and need to ask God to help us with our unbelief.  After all we are human.

Another thing that came out was in this quote found in the Kindle version section 15.3/82: “It is the same for our non-believing friends and loved ones. We must lay aside the holier-than-thou attitude that demands they believe like we do Instead we must love them unconditionally, pray for them persistently, and treat them with gentleness and respect (1 Peter 3:15)”.  How often do we act or talk down to non-Christians or those who have fallen away as if we are so much better and holier than they are? If you say, ‘I never have’ then you are lying to yourself.  We’ve all done this.  It is a big turn off and will push people away instead of bring them in.

I recognize this in myself when recently I learned a very good friend of mine, with whom I’d shared a strong Christian friendship, had married.  The problem for me with this was that she married another woman. I wanted to pray for her because I knew that this relationship was wrong.  I could not simply because at that point I had the attitude that I didn’t understand (and I don’t) how this could have happened to a Christian.  That wasn’t where my problem with prayer was.  What came next was an issue with pride. I assumed it happened because I was a better Christian.  Oh how God will slap us down when we become so holier-than-thou. 

Cathy also asks us to look for evidence of God’s supreme existence and more.  Cathy talked about those who don’t believe in God. She made a valid point that if she is wrong then she’s no worse off for believing is something that didn’t exist whereas, the other way around, the non-believer proven wrong is doomed to spiritual death.
I asked a very good Mormon friend who was raised Southern Baptist a question one day. She was talking with me about not believing in the rapture. She told me her parents prayed for her constantly because they felt she was wrong.  I asked her what would happen if the rapture I believe in happened and she was left behind. Her response was that she would pray that she would live long enough to repent.  I’ve heard the same thing from a Jewish friend whose daughter became a Christian. She believes we Christians have set up a very nice religion.  I asked her the same question I’d asked my Mormon friend and her response was the same.

I would encourage you to get and read this book.  Study it.  Use it to help you reach out to those who don’t know the Lord.  If you are one of my followers who don’t believe in Christ then get and read this book to prove me wrong.  This is what one of my Messianic Jewish friends did. He studied the Christian Bible to prove a friend wrong and found God in doing so.

.  I have recently added an “Inspirational” Genre to my classroom and will place a copy of this on my school shelves for those who wish to delve deeper into their beliefs. I will highly recommend this book to everyone I meet

Monday, June 1, 2015

Elijah Hael: The Genetic Code - Steve Goodwin

Genre:  Adult, Christian Fiction
Source:  I received a copy to facilitate my review. The opinions expressed here are my own.

From Goodreads:
A dazzling, thought provoking, combination of faith versus secular beliefs, science fiction, spiritual warfare, action adventure and romance.

Yesterday’s gone. Tomorrow is a distant hope. Now means everything…

Nya struggled to believe her accomplishment. Nearly a decade’s work was all coming together. This was her moment. The Nobel Prize would be hers for the taking. Her work was going to change the face of bio-science forever.

The only problem was someone with an exceptionally dark desire wanted to twist her work for sinister purposes that would change the face of life on earth forever. And he was prepared to go to any lengths to get it.

Thus began a chain of startling events that would force Nya to place her trust in an unknown man whom she discovered from archived news reports … had died years ago.

Journey with Nya, a believer, as her faith is tested. Join Isaac, a non-believer, who questions his existence. Discover how they face death together in a remarkable adventure. An emotionally rich, adventure story which will delight those who quest personally challenging and thought provoking reads.

My Thoughts:
The characters in the story are very real, very believable. We have your good versus evil. Humans are unaware that a battle between demons and angels are taking place around them. Humans are the pawns caught in the middle.  Nya is sick.  She has been working on a DNA project for over a decade and now someone else is trying to steal it.  I thought it great naming this person Cain.  You immediately get the idea that he is working for the wrong side.  He is actually trying to he a group of demons called "The Shadows".
The angels, Elijah, Castiel and Sophia have been tasked with protecting Nya and her boyfriend Isaac.

This is not your typical angel versus demon book.  This is not the first book in the series, yet I was able to get right in and enjoy it.  I will definitely need to read the first book to see what I had missed.

About the Author:
After a difficult childhood Steve developed a fascination with the natre of the supernatural, spiritual and physical words and how they affect the lives around us. This led him on a journey spanning two decades of studying, experiences and discovery. As well as demonstrating a profuound respect for faith and the battles of doubt, he seamlessly mixes reality with creativity, inspired by Biblical concepts and personal understandings, constructing worlds, dimensions, events, and stories that are relatable.  Steve is inspired by authors such as J.R. Tolkien (Lord of the Rings) and C.S. Lewis (Chronicles of  Narnia) who mix fantasy and reality while promoting Christian values.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Faith & the Parable of the Blindfold: A fun Biblical Adventure to Find, Keep, and Test your Faith through Symbolism

Genre: Christian, Inspiration
Source: I received a copy to facilitate my review. The opinions expressed here are my own.

From Goodreads:
Mystery-laced 'Wordplay,' in More Ways than One!
Thomas tip-toes out of a land controlled by Lady Luck, hoping he's unseen. And with only the gift of a map from a friend (named Christian), Thomas begins this biblical adventure to a second opinion and a new place found in the deepest yet highest of levels: Faith. Within a mystery blindfold, Thomas soon discovers his other "senses" to learn why "patience" and "patients" sound the same only in his hometown!

Join Thomas Walker and other symbolizing characters in this mystery-laced symbolic tale! Juggle 17 scriptures and a new imagination all at once inside his short journey. And you'll learn all about faith and how it works from its Story Symbolism, Fun Facts, Discussion Questions, and a bonus Family Skit version. From the better bible memory method of Christian Parables ® which "scripts your scripture without the versus of verses," enjoy!

My Thoughts:  
This was a unique way to teach about faith. It was also a unique way to get people to study and memorize scripture.  The symbolism in this book was fabulous.  The book is set up so you can click on the scripture and read it right then and there or you can read it all before or after reading the story.  I myself clicked on it as I read. Then I went back and reread the story.  This is a different way to get people into the scriptures.

Friday, January 23, 2015

A Little Song, A Little Dance

Genre: Adult, Christian
Source: I received a copy to facilitate my review. The opinions expressed here are my own.

I really enjoyed this book.  Some of the characters I really detested. Not because they were poorly written, for they were wonderfully developed.  My favorite character to detest was Samantha Spivey’s mother Geraldine.  She wants what she wants and doesn’t seem to care what Samantha wants. She is critical of everyone and everything.  She looks down her nose at everyone. Samantha loves to dance with and for her church, especially when  Joy tells her to think about it as dancing for the Lord.
Kristee Fujima loves to sing, but not the type of songs her aunt wants her to sing. Her aunt worked in Las Vegas.  I could understand her mother want more for her than they had. Her lack of understanding often impeded the growth I thought Kristee was capable of demonstrating. Joy was once again able to help Kristee find her true voice and sing for the Lord.
I felt sorry for the assistant pastor Ted. He was 38 years old and still single. He dreaded going to his mother’s for Christmas because he knew that his mom would always have an eligible girl there in the hopes they would fall in love and get married.
This book also had a creep factor. Jonathan is a realtor and his wife Mariel works in the office.  One day a man with a pock marked face enters looking for a house. The way he switches back and forth between talking like an illiterate man and a high class person tells you that something is not right.  I’ll leave that for you to figure out.  I just found it strange that he says he has to go out of town on some business and wants to see two houses he has picked out when he returns.  Then when he returns he has a lot more money and now wants a much larger house with few people around.  It makes you wonder what he is looking for and why he is acting so strange.
I would have to describe this as a story that takes place around Christmas that is full of charm and mystery.  I have really enjoyed this novella. I look forward to reading more by this author.
I received a copy to facilitate my review. The opinions expressed here are my own.

Friday, December 12, 2014

The Second Coming: A Love Story by Scott Pinsker

Genre: Adult, Religious and Spiritual
Source: I received a copy to facilitate my review. The opinions expressed here are my own.

From Goodreads:
In The Second Coming: A Love Story, the devilish new novel by Scott Pinsker, the culture war between Red America and Blue America turns shockingly real when two self-declared saviors appear on earth. The first “messiah” attracts legions of liberal and secular-progressive followers with his message of New Age brotherhood, quickly becoming the darling of the left. The second “messiah” preaches fire-and-brimstone traditional Christianity, gaining a grassroots army of conservative worshippers ready to battle to the death. 

It’s finally happened: Red America and Blue America are headed for Armageddon! 

My Thoughts:
When I was first asked to read and review this book I was intrigued enough to say yes.  I'm glad I did.  I am impressed that the author chose not to take a side in this story.  It is told in a way that you walk away wondering which man is which.  I like that element.  It gives the reader food for thought.  Don't think you will read this book which show us two men both claiming to be the returned messiah, and find out which one is which.  You won't learn this.  I loved that it was set up so that the two me approach it the way politicians would.  The constant question running through the book is "What if"?  Would I recommend this book?  Yes I would.  I would not categorize this as Christian because there are too many questions left open.  I would suggest you get a copy and read it for yourself.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

The Innkeeper of Bethlehem by Scott Roloff

Genre: Christian Fantasy
Source: I purchased

When I was a child my mom would sit us down each night for a Bible story.  This was our devotional time.  It was important to her that we learn the importance of hearing and telling the stories at a young age.  This book would be great for parents who want to continue sharing stories nightly with their children.  This is a wonderful way to bring Santa Claus into the Christmas story. 

The story starts off with a visit from an aunt, uncle and cousin from Jerusalem to their relatives in the United States.  The kids, Kallie and Pinkie, love to hear their Uncle Aaron tell stories and beg him for one.  He tells them that the story he is going to tell them started in Bethlehem. Instead of the usual story of Mary, Joseph and Baby Jesus, he tells the story from the perspective of the Innkeepers Shai and Adi.  They rent out every available space in the inn, and are forced to sleep in the stable.  Adi was not happy about this.  Then along come Mary and Joseph.  Mary gives birth to baby Jesus.  It is shortly after this the story takes a turn.  When Mary and Joseph flee from Herod, Shai and Adi travel with them.

Uncle Aaron knows just when to stop a story to keep the audience hanging.  That is what he does.  He tells them just a little bit each day up to Christmas.  That is what is unique about this book.  This book is set up so that you can read it in one sitting, like I did, or you can read a chapter a night.  I think that this would be the best way to do this with little kids. 

Where does Santa fit into all of this?  I really think you need to read the book to find out.  For those who want a Christian story with no deviation then this might not be the book for you.  For those of you who want a book that tells the story of Jesus from birth to death and yet brings in the secular part of Christmas, then this is definitely the book for you.  Just remember it is not all fact.  That is not what the author set out to do.  It is a lot easier to show Santa’s beginnings this way than to fill your child’s mind with the rosy cheeked Santa they see on all of the  TV programs then tell them one day.  Oh I figured you would be old enough to understand there is no such thing as Santa.  At least this book tells the story of Santa’s beginnings as if it is a tale being told to children.  I loved it.  I can’t wait to share it with my grand kids this year.  I am purchasing a copy for my daughter to read to them.  I’d like for her to start that tradition each year.

About the Author

Scott Roloff is the author of the Christmas book The Innkeeper of Bethlehem-The Story of Santa Claus, the novel Dreams at Dusk and Short Stories for the Hopeful and the Weary. He is a lawyer and a CPA, having received his accounting degree from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, his MBA from the University of Texas at Arlington, and his law degree from Southern Methodist University. Scott lives in Texas with his wife, Lynne.

Monday, September 1, 2014

A Path Toward Home by Heather R. Lorenz

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Christian
Source:  I received a copy from the author to help facilitate my review. The opinions expressed here are my own.

From Goodreads:
As a little girl growing up in post-World War II America, Constance loved her mother's vivid bedtime stories of a motherless prince. When Constance was six, that life ended; she spent the rest of her childhood with her uncle and aunt in Canada.
At 17, bored and lonely after her best friend moved away, Constance smacks her head, wakes up in the country of Avonea, meets the prince of her mother’s childhood stories, and discovers that her mother had made the same mystical journey. Is this world of fantasy and magic real or just a dream?
Dream or real,Constance just wants to go home because she knows her uncle will be frantic with worry for her. Prince Drinian and his advisor Woodphere agree to help her, and Constance finds herself living an adventure story as the three journey through dangerous country peopled with enemies of the future king.

A Path Toward Home is the first book in The Annals of Avonea, an adventure series inspired by The Chronicles of Narnia and written by high school student Heather Lorenz.  “… the plot of this book is very exciting, with twists and turns that keep you reading. The ending was unexpected and satisfying. I really enjoyed it and I would recommend it to anyone!” says one reviewer. Suitable as an ebook for juveniles and adults from new to golden, this modern classic will appeal to fans of adventure, mystery, romance, time travel, science fiction, fantasy, and faith-based fiction.

My Thoughts:
To say I loved this book is an understatement.  I am impressed with the ability this young writer has to create two worlds that are so realistic. Her ability to pull the reader into the life of Constance, who has faced such hardship is truly an art.  From the minute I began to read about the hardships Constance had to face and her reaction to them I knew I was hooked.  This is not one of those books where you are lead to believe that the main character has bad things happen and then breaks into song singing "the sun will come out tomorrow." I could feel her pain and anguish with each new trial thrown her way.  I loved the way Constance and Prince Drinian butted heads from the very beginning.  I was rooting for them all the way through, hoping there would be a relationship.  I felt so bad for Woodphere knowing how he had felt for Constance's mother. 

When Constance tries to make friends with a young girl who in in love with the Prince and finds a jealous girl instead she is heartbroken.  She feels she has to do something to make things right and learns that sometimes things are out of your hands.  I think the thing I enjoyed the most was the way God was woven into the plot. This is not an in your face, preach at you type of book.  You are subtly shown their faith.  It comes through in the way Prince Drinian tries to help his people and even his enemies. I loved the story of how they received the first Bible on their planet.  That was something else that was different from most time travel books.  The character is not transported back in time so much, but to another planet.  I agree with the blurb that at times I felt like the story had a Chronicles of Narnia feel.  To me this young lady has great talent and definitely understood the writing style of C.S. Lewis. However, I honestly loved this one more and that is saying a lot since I am such a fan of the Chronicles of Narnia.  This is only the first book so I am hoping she writes quickly, since this one just came out August 2.  I will be waiting enthusiastically for the second book.  I need to know if Constance and Prince Drinian will meet again.

About the Author:
Heather Lorenz is the author of A Path Toward Home, the first book in The Annals of Avonea series. She is the third of three daughters, and is currently a high school student living in rural Ohio with her parents and her favorite cat, Chuzzy. Heather loves reading, traveling and making new friends.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

A BRIDGE UNBROKEN Book Tour & Launch Party

Welcome to the BlitzKat blog tour for Cathy Bryant’s A Bridge Unbroken. Another Miller’s Creek Novel set in the heart of Texas, A Bridge Unbroken brings two new characters to the forefront while still giving fans a glimpse of their favorite characters from the past, including the old geezers and Mama Beth.



Letting go to build a bridge…

Dakota Kelly wants her painful past to disappear. A plan to start afresh is derailed when she co-inherits her late grandfather’s farm with the man responsible for the scars on her heart. But Chance Johnson isn’t the only ghost from the past. Someone else is out to get her and will stop at nothing to get what he wants. Will Chance and Dakota lay aside their grudges to restore the old farmhouse and bridge, or will evil forces sabotage their attempt at forgiveness?

Click HERE to read a sample chapter of A Bridge Unbroken.

The Other Miller’s Creek Novels

“Miller’s Creek, Texas…where folks are friendly, the iced tea is sweet, and Mama Beth’s front porch beckons…”


My Thoughts

This is the fifth book in the Miller Creek Series.  I have enjoyed each one for several reasons.  Overall the message that she carries throughout reaches out and touches you where you are.  This book carries a theme of Forgiveness.  The romances her books have are not the mushy gushy type that I can’t stand. There is  always enough suspense to balance out the romance throughout the entire book.   The message of forgiveness is strong and reaches out to remind us that forgiveness is necessary, but not easy. You must forgive if you are to move forward in life.  We are told we must forgive others.  You can read in Matthew that if we don't forgive others our heavenly Father won't forgive us. Forgiveness doesn’t mean you forget, or you get over the pain the minute you forgive.  I have experience with this one first hand.  The pain can last for years.  But, once you forgive that person and you pray asking God to help you with the pain, it gets easier.  God has definitely given Cathy the ability to write books that reach out and touch your soul.  He has also given her some powerful themes for her books. Sometimes it is a book just like this that is what God uses to speak to, or create a healing in someone.  I definitely recommend this book to anyone who loves romances with suspense that speaks to you.  If you haven't read any of Cathy's books I would suggest you do so. You have several to choose from. 

Author Interview

Tell us about yourself.
I’m a Christ-follower, wife, mom, Nana, daughter, musician, teacher, and writer. I enjoy just about anything outdoors, including hiking, canoeing, camping, and gardening. I also enjoy creative activities—home improvement projects, scrap-booking, painting, composing, and of course, writing. I love watching movies and reading books, though since becoming a writer, I can’t stop analyzing what I’m watching and reading. I’m a big reality TV fan, my favorites being Survivor and The Amazing Race–both great material for analyzing human behavior for my books!
Where do you write?
Our mountain cabin has an upstairs sleeping loft. It’s one large open room with the best view in the entire house. My writing desk is there, but I force myself to write in a corner facing a wall to keep myself from being distracted. (It works most of the time…)
What are you writing now?
I’m finishing up A Bridge Unbroken, the fifth book in the popular Miller’s Creek Novels. I had hoped  Future writing plans include a series of Bible studies and more Miller’s Creek Novels.
What inspired you to write A Bridge Unbroken? All of the Miller’s Creek Novels feature a spiritual theme that is relevant to me for different seasons in my life. In Texas Roads it was Christ being our home rather than placing our security in a place or building. A Path Less Traveled was about finding enough faith to follow God even when it doesn’t seem to make sense. (Boy, has He used that lesson in my life, and proven His faithfulness through it all!) The Way of Grace was my spiritual journey of learning how perfectionist tendencies can be a real hindrance to spiritual progress. The spiritual theme of Pilgrimage of Promise followed right along with my hubby and I stepping out in faith in a bad economy and high unemployment rates to do what we sensed God telling us to do, and the resulting joy and peace spurred on by the Lord’s faithfulness.
What do you want readers to take away from this book in particular? In my very humble opinion, forgiveness is one of the least understood tenets of our faith, yet central to the gospel we proclaim. I hope readers come away from the story with a fresh understanding of the gift of forgiveness, what it is and what it isn’t. (As an example: Forgiveness is unconditional. Forgiveness doesn’t mean excusing the offender’s behavior.)
Tell us how you come up with characters. The characters actually introduce themselves to me. (I know, I know, they’re not real. I promise I’m not certifiable…) After they make their appearance, I fill out extensive character charts, including taking online personality tests for them! (Hmm, maybe I am certifiable…) But no matter how much preparation I put into the characters in the pre-writing process, they always reveal another facet of their personality during the actual writing of the book.
Of all the characters you’ve created, which is your favorite and why?
Without a doubt the answer would have to be Mama Beth, the wise woman in all the Miller’s Creek novels and the main character in the fourth book of the series, Pilgrimage of Promise. She is everything I want to be when I grow up—wise, kind, and loving. Just so you know, I’m not alone in choosing her as the favorite character. When I asked this question to the Miller’s Creek Reader’s Group on Facebook, the majority’s answer was Mama Beth.
What do you hope to accomplish through your writing? I want my writing to honor and glorify God. If only one person is touched and moved closer to God as a result of my writing, then the hours of hard labor (and numb backside!) are worth it. One early reader of Texas Roads (the first book in the series) told me the story brought healing to her life. I can think of no higher compliment.


About Cathy

A native daughter of the Lone Star State, Cathy loves spinning tales about life in small town Texas. When she’s not weaving stories about the fine folks in Miller’s Creek, you’ll find her rummaging through thrift stores, feeding her reality TV addiction, or up to her elbows in yet another home improvement project in the mountain cabin she shares with her minister husband of over thirty years. You can find out more about Cathy and her books at

Here are a few other places to meet up with Cathy in cyberspace:

Reader friends on Facebook may want to visit the following groups, the first for book bargains and the second to discuss all things Miller’s Creek.


About the Blog Tour and Launch Party

Cathy is celebrating the new addition to the Miller’s Creek family by having an  interactive Facebook Launch Party on May 22, 2014.  Come join A Bridge Unbroken Facebook launch party on May 22.

Don’t miss the fun! See you at the party!

Ebook Giveaway!!!
The author has graciously offered an ebook to one of my readers. 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, January 24, 2014

Unclouded Day by William Woodall

Source:  I received a copy for review
Genre:  Young Adult, Fantasy

From Goodreads:
Brian's life is a hard one. Abandoned by his father, abused by his alcoholic mother, and mocked by his classmates, his only treasures are his beloved little brother and his old guitar.
Then Brian finds a magical amulet in his attic, and things begin to change. Soon he has more power and wealth than he's ever dreamed of, and for a while all seems to be well. 
But Brian has made a terrible mistake which may cost him everything, and his only hope is to seek out the Fountain at the Heart of the World, wherever that may be.
A beautiful tale of what it means to have faith even when God seems to be asking the impossible.

My Thoughts:
This was another one of those books that once I started it I sat up until I finished it.  I was so engaged I thought I had read a short story.  The time flew by so quickly.  I felt so sorry for Brian and his younger brother.  The story starts off with such heartbreak when we learn what type of mother they have.  She is the type of person you really want to hate.  You don’t hear much about the father until later on. This story, although fantasy has so much to teach us.  When Brian finds the amulet he kind of lets the power go to his head.  I have been a fan of the TV show “Once Upon A Time”.  Mr. Gold aka Rumplestiltskin has a saying every time someone comes to him for magic.  He reminds them that they need to remember that “magic comes with a price”.  It seems that Brian never thought about the price of using the amulet until it was almost too late.  What I didn’t understand was why his mom waited so long to let him know she knew he had it.  It added another layer of hardness and uncaring to her character.  This story has a redemptive side.  This is an allegorical novel.  It can be read by young and old, Christian and Non-Christian and be enjoyed by all.  I read this as an e-book.  This is a book I most definitely want to get for my classroom.  I even know which student is going to get to check it out first.  This is definitely an author that needs to be recommended more often.  I look forward to reading and reviewing another of his books I have called “Tycho”.  Go ahead and check him out.

You can find his website here.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

With Unwashed Hands by Joanie Bolton

Pages:  202
Genre: Adult, Christian, Biography
Source:  I received a copy from the author. The opinions expressed in this review are my own

From Goodreads:
Darrell Bolton, a retired Air Force officer, never imagined that his military career could still cost him his life--even after he had retired. While on a missionary trip to the Far East, Darrell, overcome with severe pain, was rushed to the hospital. Suddenly, he found himself viewed as "the enemy"! This gripping, true story will captivate you as you live with the Boltons through the horrific stress of being stranded in a third-world hospital...with a doctor whose only plan for his critically ill patient involved a slab in the morgue! "As a medical professional, I am appalled that such reprehensible abuse and neglect should be inflicted upon any human being...especially in the name of medicine! As someone who actually knows this kind and gentle man, I felt physically sickened by the mere reading of these events. This was truly a hate crime against one of our very own American heroes."

My Thoughts:
Imagine your loved on in the hospital going through unspeakable trials. Now take that same situation and place it in another country and add to it that the suffering is actually added to by the doctor who is supposed to be helping your loved one.  That is exactly what happened to this author’s husband. The things they went through are things you would think would have happened years ago.  It has only been a few years since this happened.  This story is one to be enjoyed by Christian and non-Christian alike. This story shows how God holds us close to him, and how he comforts us when no one else can.

This is definitely a story of faith, miracles, and love. It proves the point that what man means for evil God can use for good.  Break out your box of tissues and prepare to have your heart wrenched out and your soul inspired.

Monday, November 25, 2013

The School of Ministry: The Windgate by Braxton Cosby

Publisher: Keith Publications
Pages: 405
Genre: Young Adult/Adult, Supernatural Thriller
Source: I received a review copy in exchange for my honest review.

From Goodreads:

A young man named Ziv struggles to find his place in life after both of his parents are murdered. Orphaned and alone by the age of six, he bounces in and out of foster homes hopeless and afraid, wondering if he will ever find a path to happiness. He resolves to accept a life of depravity, until one day he discovers he possesses the gift of sight: to see creatures from the afterlife, but not angels...demons! Ziv is recruited by The School of Ministry, a secret society that promises to help him find his best friend Stephanie, who has gone missing. But there is one catch: he must agree to join them in their quest to eradicate evil and protect the weak. Ziv learns that he is a "Conduit," which allow him to cross over into the spirit world and transcend time itself. When he is partnered with two other young men who have similar gifts, the unlikely trio is trained in the mastery of weapons and the art of Shouting, during treacherous challenges of the tortuous Quad in preparation for their mission: to secure the Windgate. Ziv becomes entrenched in a quest of identity, love, and will, until comes face to face with pure evil itself--Akabod, the spiritual prodigal son to the School of Ministry and a master of talents.

My Thoughts:
I know of very few people who don't love a story that pits good against evil, has a romantic side to it and then throws some wickedly great challenges in.  Braxton Cosby seems to have the recipe for creating fascinating stories that the reader can't put down.  I started reading this on my commute to and from school. I was not making much progress. My evenings were tied up preventing me from reading.  All it took was one glorious day with no school, no writing and the book was mine.  I finished it in a little under four hours.  I love the world Cosby has built inside "The School of Ministry". For every test and trial that Ziv went through I looked at my own life.  They are life lessons that we can apply to our own life.  Ziv has an issue with holding onto anger. The lessons he learned by looking within himself and the way it affected his walk with God made me to the same thing. I took these lessons he learned and learned from them myself.  I don't think this was necessarily what the author was going for when he wrote the book.  I believe this is just an added bonus. The Christian aspect was a plus for me.  The non-believer as well as the believer will enjoy this story. The action in this book is told in such a way that for a visual person like me I was carried into each battle and training.  I felt my heart pounding whenever Ziv's heart would pound.  As far as the two possible love interests in the story, I haven't made up my mind about them.  Cosby has left so many neatly tied up loose ends that the next book in the series can take many twists and turns.  All of them will be absolutely delightful. The only thing I absolutely hate, is that I will need to wait for the next book in the series to come out. To that I say, "Write faster Braxton Cosby".

About the Author:
Braxton A. Cosby is a dreamer with a vision of continuously evolving and maximizing the untapped potential of the human spirit. Braxton received a lot of his inspiration from watching the accomplishments and exploits of his famous uncle, comedic legend Bill Cosby. Braxton lives in Georgia with his wife and three children. He writes stories aimed at both entertaining and encouraging people to think and act. 

You can find out more about him:

Monday, August 26, 2013

Rapture's Rain - Chris Pennington

Pages: 300
Source:  Review copy from author in exchange for my honest review.
Genre:  Christian Fiction

From Goodreads:
In the aftermath of the world's most catastrophic event, Jason Stover finds himself alone and on the verge of suicide. His family, along with millions of others, has suddenly vanished without a trace and the world as he knows it is starting to die.  After a supernatural event, mysterious strangers begin to appear that may hold the key to his and the rest of mankind's survival.  The only question is will he be able to solve the mystery before time runs out. As the clock ticks down, he and his friends' souls hang in the balance teetering between eternal damnation and everlasting life. Rapture's Rain is a provoking and unique journey that puts faith to the test in the ultimate battle between good and evil.

My Thoughts:
I absolutely loved the "Left Behind" series.  This book ranks right up there with them.  Although the difference is that all of the events are told in one book.  Jason Stover is a non-Christian married to a wife, Kristina who is a Christian.  They also have a daughter, Nikki, who like her mother is a Christian.  Jason has just started going to a Bible study with his wife.  He's made many friends there.  He's working in his yard one minute and wakes up the next day to terrible news.  His wife, daughter, most of the Bible study group, along with millions of others are gone.  

Jason's best friend Mike and Jason's wife's best friend Erin meet up and come to the conclusion that God has come back for his people and they like many others have been left behind.    As the world goes deeper into chaos, and is slowly dying their faith begins to get stronger.  This author has created a fictional account that doesn't completely follow the Bible events.  He has added his own twist on this subject.  To me I believe this will make the book appeal to non-Christians just as much as it appeals to Christians.  

As a Christian, believing that we are living in end times I found this book to come at the appropriate time.  It is one I will recommend to my friends who are Christians and Non-Christians alike.  I look forward to reading more from this author.

About the Author (From Goodreads)

Chris Pennington is a marketing and internet entrepreneur by day and a closet creative in the evenings. He graduated from East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina with a degree in Graphic Design and Journalism. Upon graduation, he moved to New York City where he began his career at Omni Magazine. Chris conceived and is  a founding partner in the website,, which is based on helping better the world by promoting random acts of kindness. Feel Free to contact Chris at

Friday, August 9, 2013

The Chest of Visions: Secrets of Caperston – Tim Ferguson

Publisher: Xulon Press
Pages: 126
Genre: Christian, Fantasy
Source: Review copy in exchange for my honest review.

From Amazon:
What secrets of Caperston does the Chest of Visions hold? What hope is offered? Secrets that are more than mysteries; they are lessons in life! • What if Jesus did not come to Earth 2,000 years ago but arrived today? How would we react? • How do Christian youth react to adversity, for example, the death of a friend? • Is saying "yes' to the Word of God, an effective definition of faith? Questions like these are answered in "The Chest of Visions, a story of a world similar, yet clearly different, to our own. The story begins fourteen million years ago when a gravity-defying force appeared and several identical universes were formed. Just as human twins mature differently so did these universes. For our story we consider two: our universe and a universe of a youth named Mattpaul. These two worlds evolved simultaneously and each is more advanced in certain ways. However, one thing is clear. Mattpaul's world of Caperston was the more orderly until emerging ideas began to challenge age old traditions. Come visit Mattpaul's world. Meet his teenage friends and their teacher, Chihaysu, in a story of faith, hope, courage and intrigue.

My Thoughts:
I think every youth group should read this book.  This makes us take a look at why bad things like death happen.  It makes us look deeply at our own faith.  Have we pulled away from God?  Are we doing enough to reach others for the Lord?  This book is the one you need to read with your teen to open those conversations.  One thing I kept thinking about when we looked at the world where they had no religion was how many nations in our own world have never heard of our God.  How do they react when we introduce them to him.  I am surprised each year when I give my autobiography to my students and I discuss my religious beliefs, the number of students who have never seen and some of them never heard of the Bible or Jesus.  This is a book that I have on my shelves at school.  It has wonderful pictures in it which will reach that kid who really enjoys the more graphic type novel.  It is a way to plant the seeds of Christianity. I definitely recommend this book to all grandparents, parents, teens and youth groups.

About the Author (from Amazon)

Tim Ferguson has been working with Christian youth since 1969. For the past eighteen years he and his wife, Linda, have led a Junior/Senior High youth program in New York. Tim is the creator of the website, through which he met the illustrator, Jose Carlos Gutierrez of Mexico City. He encourages the reader to use the lessons in Appendix Two to teach young people the outcome of applying the gospel message to one's life. Tim has worked for the Department of Social Services for 38 years, primarily in Children's Services. He is currently the Director of Adult Protective Services.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Amy Inspired - Bethany Pierce

Publisher:  Bethany House
Pages:  322 Pages
Source: Review Copy from Publisher
Genre: Christian, Adult, Romance

Amy Inspired is not your typical Christian fiction novel.  So many of them slap you in the face with a sermon.  This does not.  I think that is what I really liked about the book.  Amy, the main character is full of flaws.  She proclaims she is a Christian, yet she makes the same realistic mistakes that many Christians make.  That doesn’t make her less a Christian, just more realistic.

Amy is an aspiring writer.  To live she accepts a teaching job at the university.  Her writing passion shines as she teaches her students the finer points of writing.  Unfortunately she is amassing a stack of rejection letters for her own writing.  Feelings of happiness and jealousy rage as her friend and roommate Zoe gets an article published in a national magazine.  Then Zoe lets a friend move in with them until he can find a job.  Amy is attracted to Eli Moretti.  He is everything that she has never wanted in a man.  Eli is a tattooed, scruffy looking, an artist that lives  life more freely than Amy has ever dared. It is exactly this type of man that helps put things in perspective for Amy.  He causes her to question things.

There was so much I could identify to in this story.  I like Amy make lists and have stacks of post it notes.  My family teases me about my lists for my lists.  I often feel I do a better job inspiring my students in their writing than I do in my own.  I loved the way the author showed the human side of Amy.  Things like jealousy, dealing with death, and family issues were handled in such a realistic way that anyone reading this could find something to relate to.  This was the first book I had read by this author and I thoroughly enjoyed it.  I will definitely recommend it to my friends both Christian and non-Christian.