Thursday, June 26, 2014

"How To Write Anything" by Laura Brown

Writing, what does it entail? What are the rules? Are there any tips and tricks? In this new book by Laura Brown, readers will find information on literally how to write anything. Ms. Brown starts the book with a chapter on "The Writing Process," what is it? and how can you find your process? She then progresses through the basics of things like, "Obituaries," Weddings and Births,"Personal Business," "Note taking," and "Core Writing Assignments." Each topic is given individual attention with how to go about putting your words together, along with the "Do's and Don't's" you want to pay attention to. You can even find great information on putting together everything you need for a job search.

This is a book that should be in most every home. The art of writing sadly seems to be dwindling away, but even with computer software, you still need to know how to put something together coherently. This book can help you do just that. I especially enjoyed
"The Writing Process" because the information makes you think about your own personal style. Whether you are a student or not, this book would be a great tool in your reference library. I received my review copy from FSB Associates in exchange for an honest review.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

"A Deadly Business" by Lis Wiehl with April Henry

Mia Quinn is back in this new legal thriller by Lis Wiehl and April Henry. Mia is a prosecutor who finds her life on the line along with some unsettling information about the death of her husband. Will she trust Detective Charlie Carlson to find out the truth?

Mia Quinn is a single mom who is also a prosecutor. It is a tough job to balance everything at times, but Mia fights to keep her work and home lives separate. She still hasn't gotten over her husband's death, and when some evidence is uncovered that he had some not so legal dealings with others, Mia is in a predicament. Charlie Carlson has the information that she doesn't want to hear or know about. Could she have been so wrong? To top it off, she is physically attacked in the courtroom and doesn't feel safe at home anymore. Will Mia believe the evidence enough to help Charlie investigate her husband's death? Is Mia a target? Will she and her family ever feel safe?

I love Lis Wiehl's books because they are not only written with great characters and story lines, but she uses a great deal of her knowledge as a former prosecutor to bring the story to life. I have missed Mia Quinn and am so happy she is back. I can't wait for more books by Ms. Wiehl! If you enjoy a good legal thriller, this book is definitely for you. I received my review copy from Book Look in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Summer Activities for Adventures in Odyssey Fans


Summer is officially here! Don't let your kids' boredom run rampant. Adventures in Odyssey is here to save the day. Below are some must-try ideas for summer fun! Want even more summer fun? For the month of June, you can join the Odyssey Adventure Club for only $5! More details can be found here.

Summer Activities
As a parent you are probably a big proponent of reading. Encourage your kids to dig into a book or two this summer with Adventures in Odyssey's On Your Marks Summer Reading Challenge. Bonus points if YOU create a reading challenge for yourself as you read along with your kids!

Looking for something hands-on? Create Matthew in 3-D! Invite a few of your kids' friends over for a play date, print off the activity sheet, and let them have at it for the afternoon (with the promise of cookies and lemonade once they've finished constructing Matthew).

Maybe your kids aren't into reading, but they love math. If that's the case, have them solve Eugene's Sudoku!

The laundry needs to be done; the dishes need to be put away. But your kids are begging you to take them out to the zoo. Let them take a whack at Matthew's Decoder in the morning, then make an agreement that if they figure out how to use the decoder, you'll take them on an afternoon adventure. That'll give you the morning to finish up your to-do list!


Join the Odyssey Adventure Club!


Are your kids in need of a safe and fun environment where they can explore, create and imagine, all while developing their faith and learning biblical truth? Enter the Odyssey Adventure Club (AOC)!


For a limited time, you can join HERE for only $5 (regular monthly membership costs $15 for up to six users)!

Families will be able to stream the Adventures in Odyssey library, plus listen to exclusive new monthly episodes.  Busy families will find 24/7 access to the content through the Odyssey Adventure Club mobile iPhone app.

Children can also read daily devotions, interact with hands-on activities and view video documentaries featuring a behind-the-scenes look into the production of the Adventures in Odyssey stories. Parents can feel confident their children are safe on the Odyssey Adventure Club website — Focus on the Family staff will be monitoring all comments before they’re publicly posted.

A portion of each Odyssey Adventure Club membership will benefit Focus on the Family partner relief organizations, including Christian Veterinary Mission, Operation Christmas Child and Compassion International. This provides parents with an opportunity to teach children about the value of giving and serving others.

Coming in July, Odyssey Adventure Club members get to listen to the brand new album, "The Ties That Bind," FIRST before it's available ANYWHERE ELSE!

Click here to join for only $5!

Want more summer activities for your kids inspired by the Odyssey Adventure Club? Check out this post.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Odyssey Adventure Club - Join today for $5.00!

focus on the family adventures in odyssey odyssey adventure club

"Out of the Ruins" by Karen Barnett

The year is 1906 and San Francisco is rocked by a terrible earthquake. This is a life changing event for Abby Fischer. Not only is she moved from San Jose, all the while praying for a miracle cure for her sister, Cecelia, but she feels that God has deserted her.  Then the earthquake and ensuing fire cause such destruction. Will Abby find her way back?

Abby's sister is dying of leukemia. They know there is no cure, but Abby prays for a miracle and when a cousin mentions an experimental treatment, they move to San Francisco. Abby meets Dr. Robert King. They work together to help Cecelia, but also find they are attracted to each other. But then, the earthquake hits, separating them. Will they find each other amid the ruins? What happens to Cecelia? Will Abby find true love and forgiveness in her relationship with God?

This is a beautiful story of relationships (sisters, God and man, man and woman) set a midst tragic circumstances. Readers will be drawn in by the wonderful characters and rich story. It is compelling and riveting. If you like historical romance, this book is for you. Reading groups may find it an interesting book for discussion as well. I received my review copy from Litfuse Publicity in exchange for honest participation in the blog tour.

Book information

About the book: 

Abby's shattered faith in both God and man is challenged when the terrible earthquake hits 1906 San Francisco.
While her sister lies on her deathbed, Abby Fischer prays for a miracle. What Abby doesn't expect, however, is for God's answer to come in the form of the handsome Dr. Robert King, whose experimental treatment is risky at best.
As they work together toward a cure, Abby's feelings for Robert become hopelessly entangled. Separated by the tragedy of the mighty San Francisco earthquake, their relationship suddenly takes a back seat to survival. With fires raging throughout the city, Abby fears for her life as she flees alone through burning streets. Where is God now? Will Robert find Abby, even as the world burns around them? Or has their love fallen with the ruins of the city?

Purchase a copy: 

About the author: 

Karen Barnett is the author of Mistakenand several articles that have been published by Guideposts and other national magazines. She lives in Albany, Oregon, with her husband, two children, and three cats. 

Karen can be found at: website,TwitterFacebook, Pinterest
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Wednesday, June 11, 2014

"All My Belongings" by Cynthia Ruchti

Becca Morrow is a woman with a past life she wants to forget. Her father committed crimes that destroyed their name and shattered their reputations. She needed to get away from the stigma of those crimes, so moved to California and changed her name. The question is, can she run forever?

When Becca moved from Iowa to California, her life totally changed. She got a new job, a place to live, and a bit of peace for the first time. She finds a wonderful family example, something so different from her own, in her new boss, Isaac Hughes, and his mother. Just as she starts to think she may be able to live a life that contains love and peacefulness, she finds that it is really fragile enough to be shattered by a phone call. Will this new life be totally destroyed? Will Becca ever find that love and forgiveness can come her way?

I really enjoyed this book. It is well written, and tackles some tough topics with sensitivity and class. I found myself feeling for the characters and wishing things would change. It was so easy to get drawn into the story and care about the outcome. If you enjoy books that make you think, this book is for you. I received my review copy from Litfuse Publicity in exchange for participation in the blog tour.
Book information
About the book: A new life and a new identity can't protect Becca from a past that refuses to go away.
After spending years running from the shame her father put on her family, Jayne is determined not to let him steal her future in the same way he stole her childhood. Changing her name to Becca Morrow, she moves to California and settles into a new life and new job caring for ailing mother of handsome young businessman, Isaac Hughes.
But just as she's wondering if she and Isaac are headed for a relationship, Becca's patient passes away under unusual circumstances. Suddenly, her past catches up with her and the unnerving details of her heritage threaten to destroy all sense of home and all hope for love.
Even if she could clear her name, a phone call wraps a suffocating shroud around her heart. Her estranged father needs her help. But can Becca open her new life to the man who ruined her past?

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About the author: Cynthia Ruchti has more than three decades of radio broadcast experience with "Heartbeat of the Home" radio and currently serves as Professional Relations Liaison for American Christian Fiction Writers.

Cynthia can be found at: websiteFacebookTwitter,Goodreads
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"Extra Virgin: Recipes and Love from our Tuscan Kitchen" by Gabriele Corcos and Debi Mazar

   Cookbooks are a part of most every kitchen, and this new one by Gabriele Corcos and Debi Mazar is sure to make its appearance in many. This new cookbook, not only contains fabulous recipes, but also tips on what types of tools, spices, etc. (essentials) cooks should have available in the kitchen. Come explore the Tuscan Kitchen!
   From Appetizers through Drinks, Gabriele and Debi take their readers on an excursion through Italy. Not only do the recipes tempt you with the ingredients, but the pictures will make you hungry. There are also special tips labeled "Importante!" to give cooks extra help with an ingredient. 

   I really like this cookbook, not only for the recipes and tips, but also for the peeks into the author's lives. It makes a cookbook more real to me when the authors share something of them life outside of the book. Some of my favorite recipes are: "Fried Squash Blossoms," "'Fake' Sauce," "Pappardelle with duck ragu," and "Tuscan Bread." If you enjoy cooking, you will enjoy this cookbook. I received my review copy from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for an honest review.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

"Curse of the Thrax" by Mark Murphy

Jaykriss and Marda are the teenaged main characters of the "Bloodsword Trilogy" by Mark Murphy. Jaykriss may only be fourteen, but he has a big chip on his shoulder. His father, Glyndich, was a warrior who was killed by Thrax, a very fierce dragon. Jaykriss wants to avenge his father's death, but must also balance taking care of his family because he is now the man of the house. Will he succeed?

Jaykriss and Marda are normal teenagers who love to horse around and escape work. But they are also adventurous souls too. When Marda knows Jaykriss wants revenge on the Thrax, he is there for the "adventure." Little do either of them know what it will be like to not only find the dragon, but be chased by him as well. Zamarcus is the interesting man who will help them understand the complete world around them and what their limitations might be. Will they find a way to deal with the dragon? What will happen to their families while Jaykriss and Marda are away? Who is the "One Who Leads?"

What a great opening book for a trilogy! I enjoy YA fantasy and science fiction novels, and was not disappointed with this book. It has interesting characters and settings and would be great read aloud. I recommend this book to all lovers of YA fantasy and sci/fi. I received this book from PR by the Book in exchange for honest participation in the blog tour.
Thriller Writer/Doctor on Blog Tour with First Book in YA Fantasy Trilogy
The children of the Godswood Village grew up hearing stories about the Thrax, a fearsome dragon “with scales like iron plates and teeth as long as battle swords.” Because the Thrax had not been seen in over 100 summers, these always seemed like fairy tales to Jaykriss, the 14-year-old son of Glyndich, the powerful village War Chief.
Until the Thrax returned—and killed Jaykriss’s father.
Jaykriss dreams of avenging his father’s death by subduing the Thrax and recovering the Bloodsword, a treasured family heirloom Glyndich lost while battling the dragon. But Jaykriss struggles with his father’s legacy, balancing the need to protect his mother and sister with the desire to nurture a budding attraction to Sola, the brilliant baker’s daughter he finds himself falling hopelessly in love with.
Jaykriss and his best friend Marda are hunting a prize deer in the forest when they are attacked by the Thrax. During their frantic flight from the dragon, they stumble upon an eccentric hermit named Zamarcus who lives in a hidden cave stuffed with gadgets and books from long ago. Zamarcus enlightens Jaykriss about the many secrets of the Old Times—and some ugly buried truths about the all-powerful Dark King, a seemingly immortal being who rules their world with an iron fist.
Although he is not a warrior like his father, Jaykriss realizes that he can use his intellect—and the knowledge given to him by Zamarcus—to defeat the Thrax, recover the Bloodsword and save his family. But he soon realizes that there are other secrets he must contend with, including his own fate. It could be the destiny of Jaykriss to save the world—but that destiny, however great, may cost him his life.
The Curse of the Thrax is the first book in The Bloodsword Trilogy by Mark Murphy.
About the author:
Mark Murphy is a nationally recognized physician and award-winning writer whose first novel, The Shadow Man, was published in 2012. He has been selected for membership in "America's Top Doctors" every year since 2003, and has been voted as "Savannah's Best Gastroenterologist" by the readers of Savannah magazine every year that award has been given. Dr. Murphy writes a regular Op-Ed column in the Savannah Morning News, has been a student at the Iowa Summer Writing Festival a number of years, and is a member of the Board of Directors of the acclaimed Savannah Book Festival. Dr. Murphy married his high school sweetheart; together, they raised two sons. They now reside in a house on the Vernon River near Savannah with a menagerie of semi-wild animals—but no dragons. At least, not yet.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

"Raptor Six" by Ronie Kendig

Captain Dean Walters has a team and a mission that depend on his attention and complete focus. In this new military series, Ronie Kendig treats readers to the return of some of the characters from previous books. In this novel, Captain Walters and his team try to help the locals after a school is blown up. Can they help prevent any more attacks and can they uncover the reason for the bombing? How will Zahrah Zarrick figure into the story?

Zahrah is a missionary whose only desire is to help the Afghan children. Her expertise is in quantam cryptology and she is a prized target, and when she is taken, The hackers have access to sensitive military intelligence and just need someone to break the code. Zahrah is the obvious choice. Captain Walters, and his team, are tasked with finding and freeing her. Will they free her in time to prevent any information falling into the wrong hands, and her death? How much will Zahrah and Dean be willing to sacrifice to protect their country? This fast paced novel will keep you on the edge of your seat from the beginning to the end.

I love Ronie Kendig's writing. Her characters and story lines are all realistic, and she treats our men and women in the military with respect. No, she doesn't make them super human characters who can do no wrong. She shows how normal people set aside their own hopes and dreams to fight for their country. I highly recommend this, and all of her books, to anyone who enjoys military fiction. You won't be disappointed. I received my review copy from Litfuse Publicity in exchange for an honest review.

Book info for your blog post
About the book: 

His mission.
His team.
Captain Dean Watters keeps these parts of his life in laser-like focus. So when hackers threaten both his mission and his team, Dean's Special Forces training kicks into high gear. Ten military super-secure computers are missing-which if opened, would give America's enemies a blueprint of US military intelligence. Failing to stop the hackers isn't an option.
Zahrah Zarrick is a missionary teacher to Afghan children in Mazar-e Sharif. She's also a target. Her expertise in quantum cryptology makes her an unwitting pawn in the hackers' deadly game. They're coming for her, and Dean and his team must stop them.
Before the team can get to Zahrah, she disappears. Now Dean must race to rescue her and stop the hackers from unleashing terror on millions across the globe. But to do so, Dean will be forced to crack open the steel box around his heart-a move that might come at the highest cost.

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About the author: 

Ronie Kendig is an award-winning, bestselling author who grew up an Army brat. After twenty-plus years of marriage, she and her hunky hero husband have a full life with four children and a Maltese Menace in northern Virginia. Author and speaker, Ronie loves engaging readers through her Rapid-Fire Fiction.
Ronie can be found and onFacebookTwitter, and Goodreads.
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