Wednesday, August 29, 2012

"Talisman of El" by Alecia Stone

What do you do when you are a 14 year old orphan who seems to dream about things before they happen? It happened before his father died, and it has happened again. This creates fear in Charlie, but also the desire to know the reason. The journey of discovery will take him and his friends to the unknown land of Arcadia, where there are mystical creatures and other things that have no explanation. Charlie, Richmond, Alex, and Derkein must walk through their fear many times, facing the known and unknown. Charlie has magical powers that will enable them to find the special gate they need and to deal with the people, animals, etc. that come their way, but can they help when he needs to find Derkein? Charlie needs to trust himself and these powers he doesn't understand. Will Charlie find the reason for his dreams and powers? Will he discover the Talisman of El? Is there more to his family than he knows? How far will he go to save his friends? How much is he willing to sacrifice? Come join Charlie and the others as they come up against the Arcadians and other beings as well as angels. 

This is a fun YA fantasy novel. I enjoyed reading it and believe it will be picked up and enjoyed by many YA novel lovers. Charlie was my favorite character and I enjoyed watching him change and grow. Friendship and discovery are themes to follow while reading the book. Enjoy!

"Lucretia and the Kroons" by Victor LaValle

Lucretia has a problem. Her friend Sunny is missing and Lucretia will need to enter the scary netherworld to find her and hope to bring her back. Problem: The entrance is on the sixth floor and that is the floor that the Kroons live on. Lucretia knows them to be “crackheads,” and that they are suspected of kidnapping children. But Lucretia is willing to try to get past them for Sunny. While she does come face to face with the Kroons, Lucretia also ends up in the Netherworld. That world holds many differences to hers, such as wings on rodents, but she is willing to search for Sunny through anything. Will she find Sunny? What dangers await her? What is the Kroons’ part in all of this? This short novella holds the answers to these questions and more.
This was a fun story to read. It will appeal to anyone who enjoys fantasy stories with interesting characters.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

"The Serpent of Moses" by Don Hoesel

Jack Hawthorne is a man with a mission. He wants to discover the staff that Moses carried, but he isn't alone in this quest. Though he tries to move stealthily, he is discovered and his life is constantly in danger. The Libyans definitely want the staff and are willing to kill anyone in their way. Jack sometimes thinks he should have stayed in his classroom, but then again, can't turn down a quest like this one. While he is hunted by some, he does have allies who come to his aid just in the nick of time. But, is the staff real? Who will end up with it? Come meet Jack, Esperanza, Romeo, Duckey, and the others as they race to uncover the mystery. 

This book is the sequel to ""Elisha's Bones," which I am going to pick up and read soon. It is fast paced and filled with historical comments that draw you into the story. You will want to spend more time with the characters and their journeys. It makes good reading for anyone who enjoys books/movies like the "Indiana Jones" series and "The Librarian" series. I received my free copy from Bethany House for an honest review.

"Call of a Coward" by Marcia Moston

"Guatemala? Really, are you serious?" Calls to the mission field do not always fall on the ears of those choosing them. They sometimes sneak up on us when we aren't looking, or aren't prepared. Such is the situation that confronted Marcia Moston one day, and she chronicles the results in her new book, "Call of a Coward: The God of Moses and the Middle Class Housewife."

Missionaries come into our lives leaving their stories imprinted on our hearts. But when they leave, we go on about out daily lives. What if your husband came home one day and said that God had called him to the mission field? How would you react? Shock and confusion are two of the possible emotions, others would be questions about the "How?" "Why?" and "When?" Marcia was confronted with all of this and more, but through it all learned to lean on Christ more than ever before. Issues of doubt and confusion led to happiness and fulfillment as she overcame her fear with God's help. If you have ever wondered if you are enough for God to use, pick up this book and see if He doesn't answer that question for you.

This was an interesting book to read. I was drawn to the title, realizing that I am a coward at times too. Through her personal account, Marcia Moston provides strength and hope that will help all of us. I recommend this book to all readers and think it will make for wonderful discussions for book groups. I received my free copy from the Book Sneeze program for an honest review.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

"Tea Party Culture War" by Stephen Johnson, B.S., J.D.

Have you ever really read about the Tea Party - its foundation and the reasons for its stand on various issues; or have you just gone with the flow? If you want some real information about why this movement is important, this book is for you. Stephen Johnson has taken a great deal of time in study, and presents clearly the options we each have today. Is America at a pivotal crossroads in time? It is, and it is incumbent on each individual to study the issues and then stand on their belief. No matter what side you are on, be ready to stand behind what you say.

The Tea Party was founded to combat what was seen as multiple attacks on our culture, our Constitution, on the very fiber of our country. In this book, Dr. Johnson takes the time to explain the reasons behind the Tea Party members stands on issues like economics, politics, and the Constitution. While this political season is filled with divisive political rhetoric, Dr. Johnson helps the reader understand what can be done to turn our country around and back to our foundation. If you are wondering what all the fuss is about, pick up this book and find out!

This is a well researched and well written book. Everyone should know what they believe and why, what they stand for and why. I recommend this book to everyone who has an opinion of the Tea Party and its beliefs, who has not made that opinion through study. You can't base your opinions on someone else's and truly be part of the debate. I received my free review copy from the Litfuse Publicity Group for an honest review.

Link to buy the book:

More about the book:

America stands at a crossroads: culturally, economically, and politically. Enter The Tea Party Movement, whose focus is primarily fiscal conservatism, government accountability, and reduced taxation.

Currently, America suffers from a clash of worldviews, but the issue is much deeper than politics; it is ultimately a spiritual battle between good and evil. For the sake of generations to come, we need to win this war. We need to take action to defend our beliefs. We need to take the right road.

Link to watch the book trailer:

Meet Steve Johnston:

A long-time resident of California, author and economist, Steve Johnston, B.S., J.D., earned a Juris Doctorate degree from Western State University of Law and a Theological degree from Calvary Chapel School of Ministry. Mr. Johnston has over 20 years experience in prison ministry and Bible teaching, and has served as a chaplain in Orange County and Los Angeles jails as well as Pelican Bay, a California maximum security prison.

Mr. Johnston describes his book, The Tea Party Culture War (WinePress, 2011) as a systematic manifesto of the Tea Party Movement. Mr. Johnston and his wife of 38 years divide their time between homes in Palm Desert, California and Brookings, Oregon. They have one adult daughter and one granddaughter.

Friday, August 17, 2012

"Cradle My Heart" by Kim Ketola

Abortion is one of the toughest topics people can discuss. Whatever side one is on, they probably know someone who has regret and remorse for the abortion. In this book, Kim Ketola lets readers see her heart break and healing, and she invites others to join her in the healing waters.

Millions of abortions have been performed, leaving many of these women and young girls traumatized with no where to turn when facing the emotional aftermath. Kim Ketola knows the pain and the agony of not thinking God was there anymore. That He wouldn't ever forgive her. But she found that healing and in this book, uses Scripture to show how much God loves us. His healing and forgiveness are available to all who ask. She also shares where to find answers to questions like: "Does God hate me?" "Is this a sin I can't have forgiven?" "Where can I find comfort and hope?" If you are looking for answers to questions like these, or know someone who is, this book is for you.

I love the title of this book. It speaks of the caring and concern of a parent, and our parent is God. While I haven't experienced the pain and loss of abortion, I have known those who have. This book will not only speak to those women, but to those who counsel them as well. I received my free review copy from Litfuse for an honest review and participation in the blog tour.
In coordination with the launch of their fall releases, Kregel will be hosting a live webcast event on September 20 at 8 PM EDT featuring authors Kim Ketola (Cradle My Heart), Teske Drake (Hope for Today, Promises for Tomorrow), and Dawn Scott Jones (When a Woman You Love Was Abused). The webcast will allow women to come together to share their struggles and fears in order to move toward healing and hope. Women will able to support one another and discuss shared experiences in a non-threatening, open and loving environment. 

Cat Hoort of Kregel says, ""We are seeking to provide safe means for Christian women to be vulnerable with each other, to seek help and guidance from authors and counselors, and to find encouragement from those who have shared similar experiences. Our hope is that the Women Redeemed webcast will become a forum for hurting women as well as for those who can help. Kim, Teske, and Dawn are all survivors and their stories will surely inspire and equip other women to move toward healing and hope."

To register for the event, just click here. {}

Thursday, August 16, 2012

"The Orphan King" by Sigmund Brouwer

Magic! Hidden Secrets! An orphan with an unknown history. These are just a few of the things found in this first book in a new series by Sigmund Brouwer. 

Thomas is a young man whose life is filled with secrets. He has spent much of his life within the walls of a monastery, being raised by a woman he doesn't know is his mother. But, there is also a cave that holds special books that she has told him to guard with his life. Her death, and the truth in her words, leads to more abuse by the monks, until he finally realizes that he needs to go in search of his true heritage. He must retake Magus, but he can't do it alone. The first thing he has to do is escape the monastery, then he has to rescue the knight and convince him to join the quest. In rescuing the knight, Thomas also rescues a pickpocket and a deaf/mute girl. What part do they play in the story? Who are the others who lurk in the shadows? In a world of magic, Druids, monks, fear, and treachery; Thomas must find his way with the help of friends he doesn't know or understand. Will he learn the truth about his family and history?

This was an enjoyable book for me because of the setting and topic. I love reading about Medieval times and all that surrounds them, and I enjoyed meeting the characters as well. I also found the book to be a fast read. It left me wanting more from the characters and I will definitely read the books to come. This is a book designed for YA readers, but adults will enjoy it as well. I received my free review copy from the Blogging for Books program for an honest review.

"Against Their Will: North Carolina's Sterilization Program" by Begos, Deaver, Railey, and Sexton

This book is an expose on the 40-year sterilization program run in North Carolina. Through much investigation, the authors uncovered the horrors of this program. The victims included unwed mothers, children, people with physical problems, and the mentally retarded - people whose very freedom of choice was taken away. These authors interviewed many victims so that they could have a clear picture of this horrible program that ultimately led to racially biased practices. The stories and facts are difficult to read but more difficult to ignore. Why would these people be forced to undergo this radical surgery? When and why did it turn so racially motivated? What happened to the people involved? This book answers these questions and many more, and will keep you thinking for a long time.

This was a tough book to read. It is hard to think that this stuff went on in our country, but the information presented here is clear and undeniable. I recommend this book to those who enjoy reading history. I received my free review copy from PR by the Book for an honest review.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

"Sly Fox" by Jeanine Pirro

It's 1976, and Dani Fox is an Assistant DA. As the only female Assistant in the DA's office, she is a token for now, and is relegated to cases that are appealed. She hungers to prove herself in the courtroom. Will this desire get her into the spotlight, or will it endanger her life? 

Dani knows she has to prove herself. When a spousal abuse case is brought to her, Dani decides to pitch it to her boss. But this is 1976, and it is still legal for men to beat their wives in NY. The angle that gets her a chance, however, is one involving a reporter and a story that will showcase the DA's office as progressive in its hiring of women. Dani's life and the lives of her witnesses are put on the line. As women die, Dani must use all of her wits to stay safe and present her case. Will she prove abuse? murder? Will Detective O'Brien be able to keep Dani safe? This story will place you in the courtroom encouraging the jury to reach the right verdict.

I really enjoyed this book and found it hard to put down. I love to watch Judge Pirro on television as she delves into the legality of cases. This story is well written and addictive. I can't wait for more!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

"The Choice" by Robert Whitlow

Choices. We all make them, and some come back to haunt us later. What is you made a choice that seemed right at the moment but years later didn't seem so cut and dry? Would there be a way to use your decision to help others? This is the dilemma Sandy Lincoln finds herself in. Will it all work out?

Sandy was a popular teenager who seemed to have the world at her feet. Unexpectedly, Sandy finds herself pregnant and the "love of her life" pushes her to have an abortion. It is at this point that Sandy moves away and make her own choice. Thirty years later, a prediction made to her by a strange woman seems to come to pass when a teenager needs her help. This girl is being torn apart by those who want her to choose abortion and those who want her to choose life. Will Sandy be able to help her without becoming to "preachy"? Can Sandy get past her own past and feel the love of God and forgiveness? How will this young teenager choose? This story will keep you reading and thinking about "The Choice."

Wow! This book grabbed me and wouldn't let me go. I was drawn to the characters and the situations that came into their lives. This book discusses sensitive topics (abortion, adoption, etc.) without pushing any sides. Love and forgiveness are two important themes in the story. I recommend this book to readers of all types and think that book groups will be able to find ways to discuss the topics with sensitivity and grace. I received my free review copy from the Litfuse Group for an honest review and participation in the blog tour.

Enter to Win a Nook Color from Robert Whitlow and RSVP for 8/28 Facebook Party!
Celebrate with Robert by entering to win a Nook Color with GlowLight!
One "choice" winner will receive:
  • A Nook Color with GlowLight
  • A four book Robert Whitlow library (winner's choice)
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on August 27th. Winner will be announced at the "The Choice" Author Chat Facebook Party on 8/28. Meet Robert, get a sneak peek of his next book, try your hand at a trivia contest, and more. There will also be gift certificates, books and a Book Club Prize Pack to be won (10 copies for your book club or small group.)!
So grab your copy of The Choice and join Robert on the evening of the August 27th for a chance to connect with Robert and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book - don't let that stop you from coming!)
Link to buy the book: 

About the Book: 

One young woman. Two very different roads. The choice will change everything.

Even as a pregnant, unwed teen in 1974, Sandy Lincoln wanted to do the right thing. But when an ageless woman approached her in a convenience store with a mysterious prophecy and a warning, doing the right thing became even more unclear. She made the best choice she could . . . and has lived with the consequences.

More than thirty years later, a pregnant teen has come into her life, and Sandy’s long-ago decision has come back to haunt her. The stakes rise quickly, leaving Sandy with split seconds to choose once more. But will her choice decision bring life . . . or death?

Meet Robert: 

Robert Whitlow is the best-selling author of legal novels set in the South and winner of the prestigious Christy Award for Contemporary Fiction. A Furman University graduate, Whitlow received his J.D. with honors from the University of Georgia School of Law where he served on the staff of the Georgia Law Review. A practicing attorney, Whitlow and his wife, Kathy, have four children. They make their home in North Carolina. 

For more about Robert and his other books, visit

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, August 6, 2012

"The Secret Life of Copernicus Stringfellow" by Lorin Barber

Nick is unusual, and everywhere he goes, something happens. That something is usually good, but if the situation involves a threat, Nick will take care of it. Unusual in size, aptitude, and generosity, Nick keeps to himself most of the time, making friends with those who need him. What makes him so very different? Pick up this book and begin the journey of discovery!

Copernicus H. Stringfellow, Nick, wants nothing more in life than to go around helping those who need him, while staying mostly anonymous. Money, time, and healing techniques are just a few of the things he has to offer. But, he can't be completely honest with anyone for fear that they will either ridicule or use him. Yet, he is not aloof. Nick makes friends, but they sometimes think he knows too much as he uses big words and spouts facts and figures. But, Nick works in a hospital, and miracles seem to happen wherever he goes. This creates some questions in the minds of co-workers. What is a "nurse at large" and how is he qualified? Will Nick be found out? What will happen in his relationships with the friends he has made? Add to these questions the problem that young girls are going missing with no leads at all. How will Nick handle "knowing" that he needs to help Tilly immediately? Can he save her?

I really enjoyed this book! It was fun to read about the things Nick did, and when he used his "powers" to do something slightly wrong, to hear him say "Sorry, Mom." There are many interesting layers to this story that will keep you wondering until the end, and I will never look at a Twinkie the same way again! The only part I didn't like was when Nick was in a lake trying to save his life and that of a friend, and there were constant facts and figures. While I understood what was happening, I wanted a little more action there. But, if you enjoy books that are fun with bits of excitement and romance, this book is for you. I received my free review copy from the author, and thank Lorin very much! I would love to read more of Nick's adventures!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

PR by the Book's "Escape to Austin" Contest

PR by the Book's "Escape to Austin" Contest
To celebrate its 10th Anniversary, PR by the Book will award one literary lover a trip to the home of storytellers like O. Henry and Willie Nelson: Austin, Texas

AUSTIN – Now in its 10th year of operation, with a growing pool of star literary talent and media personalities, PR by the Book has become a go-to firm in the book publishing industry for innovative publicity campaigns and top-tier media placement. 

Founded in 2002 by Marika Flatt, PR by the Book has grown from a one-woman operation to a team of 10, representing everyone from The Berenstain Bearsseries to Rex Pickett, author of the beloved book-turned-movie, Sideways.

Now, PR by the Book has decided it’s time to share the love. And what better way to do that than to award a trip to the town where it all got started: Austin, Texas?

"Austin has burgeoned into a bustling literary community. When I started in book publicity here in 1997, I’d meet people who would be surprised I wasn’t from New York or Los Angeles,” says Flatt. “Now, when I travel for work and people ask where I’m from and I tell them Austin, the response is something similar to: I adore Austin and what a literary town that is!”

The contest is called "Escape to Austin" and will be a truly one-of-a-kind trip for the lucky winner. The prize package includes round-trip airfare for the winner and a guest, a two-night stay at The Hilton Garden Inn downtown Austin, dinner for two at TRIO in the Four Seasons, a $50 gift certificate to historic Hyde Park Bar & Grill and a couple of bookish perks.

Drawing the likes of Susan Orlean and Chuck Palahniuk, the Texas Book Festival is one of the premiere literary fests in the country. Last year, the festival featured 243 authors and attracted 40,000 attendees. The winner of the "Escape to Austin" contest will be granted two VIP passes to the weekend-long festival October 26-28, as well as a pass to one of TBF's invitation-only author parties.

"We are very excited to partner with PR by the Book for this contest package," says Lidia Agraz, TBF's Executive Director. "We're still early in the talent line-up process, but I can say that this year's festival will offer attendees a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to commune with true literary icons."

To enter "Escape to Austin," contest hopefuls must simply "like" PR by the Book on Facebook and fill out the entry formThe contest runs August 1 – August 31, 2012, and a winner will be selected by September 7 (open to U.S. residents only.)

PR BY THE BOOK is a boutique publicity firm specializing in literary media relations campaigns, publishing consultation, small business publicity, and publicity tours for authors and experts. Our team of seasoned publicists has worked on books in nearly every genre, and with dozens of major publishing houses and small presses. Visit to learn more.