Jesus Daily

December 10th, 2014

Jesus Daily

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By Aaron Tabor, MD

Based on the major themes found on the most active Facebook page in history, JESUS DAILY is a 365-day interactive devotional that goes beyond even the fan page to create a deeper experience and cultural movement that celebrates your redemption in Christ. JESUS DAILY presents a devotional thought but also challenges you to respond to each daily reflection using a variety of social media tools.

JESUS DAILY is a worldwide revolution in how you can connect, share, and worship the Father personally and with other believers.

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Dr. Tabor has written a unique book of devotions. These devotions are more than a Bible verse and reflection. You are encouraged to follow through with an action – often one which takes you to JesusDaily.com.

An example is today’s interaction to today’s verse.

The spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me; he has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed, to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives. NRSV The interaction is: Shine the light of God’s love on someone who may be struggling in darkness right now. Send them a favorite verse, e-Christmas card, or online gift card.

Check out this book at hachettebookgroup.com. The book is a compact size which can be easily tucked into a purse, large pocket or backpack. Take it with you and refer to it daily. Then make the suggested connection. It’ll do your heart good.

***A special thank you to Katie Connors for a review copy.***

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Aaron Tabor, MD, started the Jesus Daily Facebook page in 2009. He is the President of Gene Facelift, a gene therapy biotechnology company developing anti-aging and wound healing drugs. Dr. Tabor is a graduate of The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.

Swept Away

December 8th, 2014

Swept Away

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By Laura V. Hilton & Cindy Loven

About Quilts of Love: Quilts tell stories of love and loss, hope and faith, tradition and new beginnings. The Quilts of Love series focuses on the women who quilted all of these things into their family histories. A new book releases each month and features contemporary and historical romances as well as women’s fiction and the occasional light mystery. You will be drawn into the endearing characters of this series and be touched by their stories.

Sara doesn’t think she wants love. But her grandmother has other plans.

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

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

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

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School teacher Sara Jane is no match for her scheming grandmother. Mrs. Morgan has decided to hire handy man Drew to fix up her house (and marry her granddaughter). Of course, she conveniently times his chores with the times Sara Jane is at the house. She manages that by getting Sara Jane to help her finish her ballad quilt.

Sara Jane dismisses Drew as a John-the-Baptist- wannabe with his unkept hair at beard. Eventually she begins to see beyond all that hair to the man underneath who makes artisan brooms and hiked the Appalachian Trail. But can she get past everything to see the pain he’s suffered?

That’s questionable since she’s busy concentrating on her grandmother’s memory loss and wondering how to keep her safe. She also has to figure out where she stands with God. Does He really love her?

Ms Hilton and Ms Loven have written a book with characters you’d like to have a friends. They also taught me about ballad quilts. I’d like to read more stories with these characters.

***A special thank you to litfuse for providing a review copy.***

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Laura V. Hilton is an award-winning author and a professional book reviewer. A stay-at-home mom and home school teacher, Laura lives with her family in Horseshoe Bend, Arkansas. Cindy Loven is active in the church and writes from her home in Conway, Arkansas, where she lives with her husband and their son.

Flashing the Pipes and Drums

December 4th, 2014

Pacific Coast Highlanders and Gold Coast Pipe Band Flash Mob in Thousand Oaks, CA

Flashed by the British Army

December 1st, 2014

Flashmob of British Army musicians surprises Christmas shoppers in Gateshead’s Metrocentre.

Pound Foolish

November 30th, 2014

Pound Foolish

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By Neta and Dave Jackson

Book Four in the Windy City Neighbors series (Castle Rock Creative, October 2014)

Greg Singer coordinates consumer sports shows for powerboats, four wheelers, snowmobiles, and jet skis—macho toys for outdoor men like himself. But the job puts tremendous stress on his marriage with Nicole, who for the first time notices the handsome lawyer at the end of the block. “Greener pastures?” When the recession hits Greg’s industry, he thinks the crisis is merely an opportunity for God to bless him with unmatched prosperity, a promise he hears preached each Sunday, and he steps out in bold faith . . . But is he being “pound foolish”?

The fourth in the Windy City Neighbors series, Pound Foolish explores the economic upheaval and uncertainties challenging every family. Intersecting with Penny Wise (book three), the Jacksons employ the innovating storytelling technique of “parallel novels.” Though each book follows its own drama and story arc, the characters’ lives become intertwined and affect one another. Pound Foolish returns us to Beecham Street—a typical American neighborhood . . . where a growing friendship brings new meaning to prosperity.

About the authors: Dave and Neta Jackson are award-winning authors living in the Chicago area where their parallel novels from the Yada Yada House of Hope and Harry Bentley series are set. As a husband/wife writing team, Dave and Neta Jackson are enthusiastic about books, kids, walking with God, gospel music, and each other! Together they are the authors or coauthors of over 100 books.

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Greg Singer is losing his job due to the economic downturn. That just piles added stress onto his wife Nicole and his marriage.

Now he’s hanging around the house in his newly established home office while he waits for God to bless him with new prosperity. That’s what he hears preached at church each Sunday. Nicole is just not comfortable with any of those sermons. It seems the preacher is taking Scripture out of context.

On the home front, Nicole is being kept in the dark about their finances. She home schools the kids and was already stretched too thin before Greg decided to start his own business. Now she has the added responsibility of him being home all day and creating more work for her. It certainly wouldn’t hurt him to at least help out a little.

Since Greg is choosing not to be open with her, she arranges a mother’s helper and starts working with that hunk of a lawyer who just happens to live in the mc mansion down the street. Maybe she’s considering leaving her husband.

I really like the way Neta and Dave are using the cross over effect in their Windy City Neighbors books. I’m enjoying seeing some of the same events as seen through the eyes of various neighbors. I’m looking forward to Book Five of this series. You’ll get a teaser from that upcoming book at the end of this one.

***A special thank you to litfuse for providing a review copy.***

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Dave and Neta Jackson are award-winning authors living in the Chicago area where their parallel novels from the Yada Yada House of Hope and Harry Bentley series are set. As a husband/wife writing team, Dave and Neta Jackson are enthusiastic about books, kids, walking with God, gospel music, and each other! Together they are the authors or coauthors of over 100 books.

Love Without End

November 25th, 2014

Love Without End

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By Robin Lee Hatcher

A King’s Meadow Romance (Thomas Nelson, November 2014)

Chet and Kimberly have both failed when it comes to love. Will they risk their hearts to love again?

Chet Leonard’s life was forever changed when his 17-year-old son died and then, soon after, his wife walked out on their family. Over two years later, all he wants to do is hold onto his horse ranch and raise his remaining sons to be honorable men.

Kimberly Welch, widowed mother of Tara, a rebellious 15-year-old, has reached the end of her finances and nearly the end of her rope. She and Tara come to King’s Meadow to try to piece their lives back together again. Kimberly has no intention of becoming involved with the residents of this remote mountain community and certainly not with any man.

When octogenarian Anna McKenna returns to King’s Meadow and to the Leonard ranch, she becomes an agent of change and healing for the two hurting families. With her help, Kimberly and Chet may discover that true love has no end.

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Down on her luck without a job, very little money and no home, Kimberly and her sullen teenage daughter have gone from riches to living at a friends house.

Chet is struggling to keep his ranch in the red. It’s just him and his two sons. His wife dumped him, the boys and the ranch after a third son was killed in an accident’

Chet wasn’t really crazy about the idea, but did agree to tame Kimberly’s daughter’s horse and teach her how to care for it.

Everything seems to be a bit more than he bargained for as Chet fights his growing feelings for Kimberly. He knows all she’s looking forward to is a job back in Seattle so she can get back to city life.

Now Nana Anna has moved back to the ranch. Will she be able to stay out of the mix or will she decide to do a little matchmaking?

Thank you, Ms Hatcher. I really didn’t want to leave Kings Meadow.

***A special thank you to litfuse for providing a review copy.***

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Best-selling novelist Robin Lee Hatcher is known for her heart-warming and emotionally charged stories of faith, courage, and love. The winner of the Christy Award for Excellence in Christian Fiction, the RITA Award for Best Inspirational Romance, two RT Career Achievement Awards, and the RWA Lifetime Achievement Award, Robin is the author of over sixty novels.

The Thursday Night Club

November 18th, 2014

The Thursday Night Club

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By Steven Manchester

Five college friends, three men and two women, have been getting together every Thursday night to share humble meals and an abundance of laughter. But when tragedy takes one of them, leaving the others to question the fairness of life, the Thursday Night Club decides to embark on a contest in the memory of the generous spirit of their fallen brother. The objective of the contest is simple: whoever performs the kindest deed by Christmas night wins the pot – four quarters. And there are only two conditions: the benevolent deed must be anonymous, and it cannot cost a single penny to pull off.

As the four friends undertake the contest, the healing begins and they become inspired beyond their expectations. There might be a winner in this competition, but it is very clear there will be no losers.

A story of Christmas spirit that will strike a chord in your heart any time of year, The Thursday Night Club will make you look at the holiday season in new ways.

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What would Jesse do? Although there’s sadness, there’s also much beauty in this novella. I grew to love these friends and bagan to wish I were part of their Thursday night club.

Then I realized I can be a part of the group, as you can also. You’ll figure out how as you are reading this story.

Tissue Alert: You’d better have that box handy if you plan to make it to the end of this story.

I’ve never read a book by Steven Manchester that I didn’t thoroughly enjoy, but I think this story touched me the most. I would love to read more stories about this group of young people as they go out into life and struggle to continue what they’ve begun.

Thank you so much, Mr. Manchester, for this heart warming and inspiring read.

***A special thank you to the author for providing a review copy.***

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Steven Manchester is the author of the #1 bestsellers, Twelve Months and The Rockin’ Chair. He is also the author of the critically-acclaimed, award-winning novel, Goodnight, Brian, as well as A Christmas Wish (Kindle exclusive), Pressed Pennies and Gooseberry Island (due out January 2015). His work has appeared on NBC’s Today Show, CBS’s The Early Show, CNN’s American Morning and BET’s Nightly News. Three of Steven’s short stories were selected “101 Best” for Chicken Soup for the Soul series. When not spending time with his beautiful wife, Paula, or their four children, this Massachusetts author is promoting his works or writing. Visit: www.StevenManchester.com

Where Treetops Glisten

November 15th, 2014

Where Treetops Glisten

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by Tricia Goyer, Cara Putman, Sara Sundin

Discovering romance during the Christmas season is more magical due to the looming hardship of World War II. The three Turner siblings take a chance on love when the future is uncertain in these three connected novellas. Set in 1940s Lafayette, Indiana, Where Treetops Glisten tells the tale of Abigail, Pete, and Merry Turner— each whom faces the uncertainty of life during wartime and relies on personal faith and God’s leading to find lasting love and enduring hope for the days ahead.

White Christmas by Cara Putman follows a candy cane-making Purdue student with a vow to avoid romantic entanglements and the stoic farm boy dedicated to saving his family home who desperately needs the help the Turners can provide.

Sarah Sundin’s I’ll Be Home for Christmas tells the story of a fighter pilot running on empty, a lonely widow, and a little girl searching for what she has lost. Will an unusual Christmas gift fill their hearts again?

Finally, Tricia Goyer’s novella Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas follows a combat nurse offering care and cheer to injured soldiers on the front lines as Christmas nears. When her patients and the Dutch villagers discover it is her birthday, they work together to give her a great gift—a reason to believe in love again.

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One book, one family, three siblings and three stories. This is a unique book. Set during WWII, we are given the gift of three Christmas stories.

Abigail Turner brings a new acquaintance home so that her lawyer father can help him with a big problem.

Her brother Pete has his own problems to deal with, but a little girl helps him find patience and love.

Her sister Merry is a nurse on the frontline in the Netherlands. Her heart has been broken by a Nazi sympathizer. Can she learn to love again? It doesn’t look like it.

Thank you Ms Putman, Ms Sundin and Ms Goyer. Your noels always move me, but this collaboration is special. You three have written it as one heart.

***A special thank you to litfuse for providing a review copy.***

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TRICIA GOYER is the author of 35 books and has published over 500 articles for national publications. CARA PUTMAN is the author of twelve novels and two novellas including Shadowed by Grace, and she is the winner of the 2008 Carol Award for historical fiction. SARAH SUNDIN is the author of the Wings of the Nightingale series and the Wings of Glory series.

Quilted by Christmas

November 4th, 2014

Quilted by Christmas

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By Jodie Bailey

166  Quilts tell stories of love and loss, hope and faith, tradition and new beginnings. The Quilts of Love series focuses on the women who quilted all of these things into their family histories. A new book releases each month and features contemporary and historical romances as well as women’s fiction and the occasional light mystery. You will be drawn into the endearing characters of this series and be touched by their stories.

A grandmother’s last wish is to communicate God’s love through an Irish chain quilt.

Taryn McKenna believes she’s easy to forget. Abandoned by her parents and left behind when her high school sweetheart joined the army, she vows to never love again and throws herself into her love for the outdoors and the pursuit of a college degree—something no one else in her family has ever accomplished. Her goal, as a young teacher in the hills of North Carolina, is to leave a legacy in the lives of the middle-schoolers she teaches.

When Taryn’s grandmother Jemma, the only other person who ever held her close, has a heart attack that reveals a fatal medical condition, Taryn is corralled into helping Grandma work on a final project—an Irish chain quilt that tells the story of her history and the love Jemma knows is out there for Taryn. As the pieces of the quilt come together, Taryn begins to see her value. Can she learn to believe that God will never leave her behind even though others have?

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Quilts and secrets. Both are tying Taryn up in knots. Her grandmother fractured her arm when she fell off a ladder. Then things continued down hill a bit.

Except for Taryn’s former sweetheart reappearing in her life and coming to her rescue more than once. Taryn had to fight to keep old feelings buried. She knows that her secret will someday have to be exposed. It’s a secret that will rip her love apart again.

I had to read this book twice. And, yes, I cried both times, so you’d better have that box of tissues nearby as you near the end of this book.

Thank you, Ms Bailey, for this story and for teaching me about ballad quilts.

***A special thank you to litfuse for providing a review copy.***

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Jodie Bailey is Tarheel born and bred. After 15 years as a military spouse, she settled with her family back in North Carolina. She is the author of the military suspense novel Freefall and is a contributor to a devotional for military families, Fighting Fear: Winning the War at Home. While not working on her next novel, she teaches middle-schoolers to love writing as much as she does.

When Night Comes

November 1st, 2014

When Night Comes

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By Dan Walsh

Jack Turner comes back to Culpepper to give a series of lectures for his old history professor. Within days, he starts having bizarre experiences at night. Like he’s traveling back in time, experiencing the epic events in his lectures firsthand. He has no control over these experiences and can’t make them stop.

Joe Boyd thought he’d left big city crime back in Pittsburgh when he took a detective job in Culpepper, Georgia, a sleepy southern college town. His peaceful life ends when two students turn up dead in two weeks. The coroner is saying natural causes, but something doesn’t add up.

Rachel Cook, a teaching assistant at Culpepper, can’t believe Jack is back in her life again. She’s had a crush on him since she was fourteen, but Jack never knew. He instantly seems attracted to her, but she can tell…something is deeply troubling him.

Watching all this from a distance is Nigel Avery. He’s certain this experiment’s about to unravel. It’ll be his job to tie up all the loose ends when it does.

You can read the first chapter here.

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Jack may be an expert on military history, but he was getting more than he bargained fo. How on earth did he end up at Pearl Harbor, and how can he get out of this nightmare world and back to Georgia and his normal life?

That’s just the beginning. As they say, the plot thickens. I can’t really go there, because I’m afraid I’ll get carried away and give away the plot. What I can say is that this book is definitely different from all the other Dan Walsh books I’ve read.

Intrigue. Suspense. Dead bodies. Adrenalin rushes. This book will grab you and not let go. I planned to just read a few chapters after dinner, but I couldn’t stop there. I HAD to finish the entire book.

I’ve enjoyed all the Dan Walsh books I’ve read – at least nine or ten. This one is much different, and I really liked it. In my book, he’s a master of both kinds of books. I like both the “weepers” and the “edge of the chair” books. Please keep writing both, Mr. Walsh.

One more thing. Can you please write a little faster?

***A special thank you to the author for providing a review copy.***

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During a personal retreat in 1977, Dan experienced a call to pastoral ministry. He began studying and preparing for the next several years. In 1985, he was ordained as a pastor and served in the same church for the next 25 years. In August 2010, after 3 of his novels were published by a major publishing house (Revell – Baker Publishing Group), Dan retired from ministry to write fulltime.

Dan’s novels have received popular and critical acclaim, getting rave reviews from USA Today and magazines like Publisher’s Weekly, Library Journal and RT Book Reviews. His very first, The Unfinished Gift, won 2 ACFW Carol Awards. It’s still in print 5 years later and has sold over 50,000 copies. It’s available in hardback, paperback, Ebook, audiobook, large-print and in several languages. His other books have won numerous awards and appeared on several national bestseller lists.