Book review of Mikayla and Gregory Kane’s Angel Crest Deception

by Mary Campagna Findley

What if you were a world-renowned self-help guru with a shocking secret about someone you were completely unable to help? What if the curse of mental illness came mingled with an amazing gift of discernment, even prophecy? What ifyou had to question whether you already accepted the Mark of the Beast? Are you lost forever, already tagged and in the enemy’s camp, possibly participating in his campaign of deception?
The message of the Angel Crest Deception is one of the most unusual treatments of the end times I have ever read. I could hear the buzz of the approaching locust horde from the book of Joel. The torment of each character, the struggle for understanding, the renewing of minds who thought they had things all figured out — it’s all there.
Suspense, subculture influence, media power, are all represented here, and will all keep you reading. And I have a feeling there must be more to come. I know I want there to be.

http://www.amazon.com/The-Angel-Crest-Deception-ebook/dp/B008S1A0FS/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top

mikaela book 1

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The Treasure Seeker: Finding Love and Value in the Arms of Your Loving

The Treasure Seeker CoverLargeThe Treasure Seeker: Finding Love and Value in the Arms of Your Loving Heavenly Father was written to encourage and equip women who are either seeking God or who want to grow closer to God & Christ. At the heart of the book is the concept that we are a valuable treasure and when we finally connect with God and allow him to “find” us, we’ll enter an amazing rich relationship we never knew existed. Once we enter that relationship, God goes from the role of Treasure Seeker to that of Master Jeweler who will refine and make us into the gemstones we were meant to be. It’s about becoming a woman of excellence without all the pressure to be perfect.

Unique accompaniments:

  • Intriguing treasure stories
  • A study of the “Lost” parables including the lost coin, the lost sheep, the prodigal son, the treasure hidden in a field, and the pearl of great price
  • Points to ponder at the end of each chapter for reflection and discussion
  • A chapter highlighting gemstone attributes allowing readers to determine which gemstone they are most like
  • A Treasure Seeker Jewelry line created by author/artist Teena Stewart available at a discount when you purchase the book.Receive 10% off when you purchase the book and show proof of purchase. Here’s the link to the jewelry line.  http://www.serendipitni.com.

Women can use it for personal study or for group study. It’s a great resource to  share with someone you may want to understand the gospel in a very simple and non-pressing way.

Teena Stewart is an author and artist whose work reflects the spiritual message of being broken and yet valuable in God’s eyes—a Teena COmessage incorporated in her book  The Treasure Seeker: Finding Value and Love in the Arms of Your Loving Heavenly Father (Wine Press). When she isn’t creating up-cycled treasure (artwork and jewelry) from discarded and found objects, she is writing articles and books or leading ministry for Java Journey, an innovative coffee shop ministry in Hickory, NC.

Teena understands firsthand what it means to go from something of seemingly little value to a beautiful and valuable treasure in God’s eyes.

The Treasure Seeker is available in paperback and ebook from and can be purchased at the following locations Amazon (http://tinyurl.com/anf7wza), Teena’s Website (http://teenastewart.com/) and Wine Press Books (http://tinyurl.com/a3v7byk) and most other book stores.The ebook version of The Treasure Seeker will be free on 2/17 & 2/18 on Amazon.com

The ebook version of The Treasure Seeker will be free on 2/17 & 2/18 on Amazon.com

How to Connect with  Teena

Her website  www.teenastewart.com

Her blog  http://nearly-brilliant.blogspot.com/

Personal Facebook http://www.facebook.com/teena.stewart

Facebook Author Pages http://www.facebook.com/pages/Author-Teena-M-Stewart/216334111720519

Twitter  @TeenaStewart1

New Hope

By Shaina Cilimberg

I’ve been watching another movie called New Hope. I really liked that baptism was included in the credits, although it wasn’t included hopeas requirement for Salvation. However, the Bible says it is required (Acts 2:37-28)

I really liked it because it reminded me of my book in a way. However, with a book you know what a character is thinking better. In my book, “Crowded,” I write in Josh  feeling sorry for the way he treated Cole and wanting to stop but was feeling like he can’t.

Ben Davies (Lucas) did pretty good with facial expressions. With the look on his face in the scene where Samuel Davis (Mike) apologizes, you can see on Lucas’ face he is sorry for bullying Mike. Of course it gets followed by Lucas being cocky but you could tell his cockiness was more fake than before. Earlier in the movie Lucas was just cocky and a jerk. In that scene it looked as if he felt a need to “Keep it up”.

Crowded 2nd CoverIn my book, “Crowded” Josh stands up to Cole’s abusive dad just to talk bad about him a few sentences later. Josh shows vulnerability in most parts of my book, while Lucas shows vulnerability after he manhandles Jasmine (Perry Frost).

I really enjoyed Lucas’ emotional scene where he was hitting baseball bats against a tree. Ii showed how he really felt and he was not taking it out on another person in that scene. I also liked Lucas’ vulnerability in the roof scene and when he tells Mike God doesn’t want anything to do with him (Lucas). Those scenes remind me of Josh in “Crowded” who feels the same way and does attempt suicide as well.

Mike’s sister Faith was adorable. She was great comic relief and said probably what most kids are thinking “I never get to hear the good stuff” and calls people “meaner”.

New Hope was a great movie about loving the unlovable and forgiving others. I really liked it. Some of the ending pictures were cheesy but I liked some of the pictures. I like Beastly and some of that was cheesy too.

My Opinion of the Narnia Movies

By Shaina Cilimberg

I am nerdy and immature enough to be a Narnia fan. However, I just want to get some things in the open. I am an author and I get that books take a lot of time, energy and patience. There’s this love/hate relationship going on between you and what you do. However, what annoys me is when people complain about the movies. They may not be exactly like the books, but I like both. To read people’s complaints about the movies, especially the parts I like takes the joy out of it for me.

Another thing is people saying I have to grow up, or being told to read books that would help with my writing. Granted, Narnia was written a long time ago but there is still inspirational stuff in there. Some of my writings have been inspired in part by the books and movies. It puts a lot of pressure on me when people say I can’t be a fan of Narnia, Justin Bieber or whatever do to my age. No, I don’t have posters of either in my room and I don’t kiss every picture of Justin Bieber that I see. I don’t have a Narnia shrine in my room or wear the clothes from the movies all the time. I get that the Bible talks about putting away childish things in 1Cor. 13. If you read the verse, it was about love. So those childish things would be impatience, not being kind, getting frustrated easily, selfishness, etc. They would not be writing “Bubbles” on your Facebook page or getting excited about something. So, being called immature and realizing I cannot make my 21st century characters talk like London kids from the 40s and fifties kind of puts a damper on things a little bit. The books are fun to read though and I love the movies.

I love Narnia because:

  1. Edmund’s Redemption. In fact, Kirk and Josh have hints of Edmund in them if you look closely. I would not mind if someone actually imagined Kirk looking like Edmund (Skandar Keynes)
  2. Eustace’s baptism. Read Acts 2:37-2:38, Mark 16:16
  3. The humor in both books and movies
  4. Lucy’s innocence. I am a lot like Lucy in that people do not usually believe me when I’m telling the truth, even though they should.
  5. It speaks against bullying. Read Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe, Voyage of the Dawn Treader and Silver Chair.
  6. Cute guys in the movies. (Will Moseley, Skandar Keynes, Ben Barnes, Will Poulter)
  7. Relatable characters. It does not matter what time period or how, bullying is bullying.
  8. Biblical meanings, “There I have another Name”- Aslan. Aslan’s death for Edmund’s sin and Resurrection
  9. Good inspiration for writing
  10.  The fun the cast had while making the movies.

We’ve all sinned, most of us have been bullied ( I have somewhat and not only by people at school), we all need God and face it: the closeness of the characters is inspirational in and of itself.

Where Wild Flowers Bloom

By Ann Shorey

You’d think by the title that this book would be an easy-read romance, but you’ll be surprised at the mayhem that can surround a mercantile and the young lady who manages the store for her ailing grandfather.

In the first place Faith Lindberg doesn’t want to spend her life stocking shelves, waiting on customers and trying to balance ledgers that are in chaos. She wants to make enough money to pay passage to Oregon and perhaps marry Royal Baxter when he returns from the war.

Yet, it seems every day something happens. Grandpa gets lost on his way to the store. Good thing Curt Saxon, the stableman, comes to the rescue.

It seems Curt, who carries a long jagged scar on his neck from the war is always there when crises occur.

Could Faith, with her grand goals and drams fall for a scarred stableman? Or is he responsible for some of the crimes occurring in town?

This book is not only entertaining, but has enough suspense it kept me reading into the night. I recommend it.

Note: I was given a review copy of the book by the publisher and author.

— Ada Brownell, author of Swallowed by LIFE

About Ada

Sold 200 articles and stories to 40 religion magazines; Author of Swallowed by LIFE: Mysteries of Death, Resurrection and the Eternal (Amazon, 2011) and Confessions of a Pentecostal (Gospeal Publishing House 1978). Marketing teen novel, Terror Blasters, and just starting to market historical romance, The Belle of Peachville. Her writing is included in “Cup of Comfort for Cat Lovers” and “Cup of Comfort for Christians” (Adams Media 2008 and 2006); “What I Learned from God While Cooking,” (edited by Cristine Bolley; Barbour Publishing, 2006); and “50 Tough Questions”, (Pentecostal Evangel Books). Retired as a medical and general assignments reporter for The Pueblo Chieftain (Colorado).

How to Write a Book Review the Author Will Love

By Mary C. Findley

I am a big classics fan. I have, however, recently begun reviewing book by modern authors, and especially Indie writers, some of whom I’ve become friends and acquaintances with through author and reader sites I have joined.

I have gotten good responses from the authors so far, even if I gave them the dreaded “three out of five stars.” One who was at first very unhappy with her three stars admitted that it was a very good review, she liked it, and she quotes from it as she promotes. Another author said she loved my review so much it made her cry. It’s the only five star I’ve given so far, and she really deserved it.

I’m going to use Tale of Two Cities as an example of how to write a book review by reviewing it. Mr. Dickens won’t mind.

First, an author wants you to find out the solution of his book’s mystery by reading it, not by the reviewer giving it away. In Tale of Two Cities, why in the world does that drunken lowlife Sidney Carton get to hang around sweet Lucie the whole book, almost?

The author does want the reviewer make readers interested, though. So I will just mention that Sidney has a much bigger part to play than just standing up in court looking remarkably like Charles Darnay, thus saving his life.

Second, the author wants the reviewer to get readers to like the people in the story. For this example, let me introduce you to Mr. Lorry. Mr. Lorry represents an ancient, trustworthy, boring bank, but Mr. Lorry is hardly boring. He’s vain about his fine calves, though he’s past sixty. He rescues a parentless child although he says he is “merely a man of business.” He warns off a most unsuitable suitor, protecting a young lady from an arrogant and disgusting predator. He goes along with an unknown plot for an impossible rescue. This can hardly be a service to the bank he has served his whole life, but is an extraordinary example of compassion and courage.

Third, the author knows his book isn’t perfect, though he loves it as his own child. He doesn’t mind if you tell people imperfections, as long as you are honest and have good reasons. Tale of Two Cities, like most of Dickens’ works, is very wordy. I don’t care how many people say he wasn’t paid by the word, he was. He wrote serials. He had to pad out the work to fill a certain amount space in a magazine and make a cliffhanger out of every installment to get people to keep reading. That’s a guaranteed recipe for wordiness. Some of Dickens’ books are much longer than this one, but a modern editor would certainly be chafing to trim it down. I know as a former editor I would.

Fourth, a reviewer needs to warn readers if there is material not suitable for certain ages or groups. Dickens describes people in grinding poverty virtually starving to death before our eyes. He has a careless nobleman run his cart over a small child. The noble gentleman cares nothing about it except to try to throw a coin at the father and ask why he makes such an infernal noise. People are beaten and beheaded and described as blood-covered and murderously enraged. Sometimes just the sheer callousness and indifference toward death is hard to take. However jaded young readers might be today, it’s still not the best thing for very young readers. There is no real sex. Reference is made to breasts but only for nursing children.

In conclusion, I give Dickens’ Tale of Two Cities a four out of five, because I think he could have written a better story without so many words. Otherwise, it’s probably my favorite fictional work of all time.

About Mary C. Findley

I grew up in rural NY and met my husband at college in South Carolina. We taught school in AZ, MO and PA, homeschooled, and created curriculum and videos for church and commercial productions. We have three 20-something children, and now travel the 48 states together in a tractor trailer.

Book Review: Alana & Alyssa’s Secret by Joana James

Review by Mary Findley


This is the second book I have read by Joana James. While it’s less perfect technically than Nightmare at Emerald High, it’s still a very moving, powerful story about the power of God and the prayers of the faithful.

Could anybody have more to overcome than Alana and Alyssa? You won’t know unless you read it for yourself. But what a powerful lesson Alyssa learns about what we can and can’t do to protect those we love. Sometimes even a second chance isn’t enough.

Only the greatest tragedy can sometimes shake us out of our reliance on what we have the power to do in our own strength. Realizing that we need help, accepting that help, and getting it from the Source of all true help, makes all the difference in what happens to these two sisters.

Eric is almost too good to be true, but he’s not an angel sent to escort Alyssa safely home. He’s a real person, and the only thing he wants is the truth. If Alyssa’s ready to face the truth herself, Eric will hang on for the emotional ups and downs of Alyssa’s life. It’s up to her.

I appreciated the author’s afterword explaining the terrible tragedy described in this book. It was jarring to me, but sometimes life will jar us out of our self-sufficiency. It’s something we have to accept, and this book is fundamentally about accepting help. Help from others, and help from God. In the end, Alyssa kept trying to help her sister Alana, never realizing how much she needed help herself, and what a terrible price she would have to pay before she was ready to accept that help.

Mary grew up in rural NY and met my husband at college in South Carolina. She and her husband taught school in AZ, MO and PA, homeschooled, and created curriculum and videos for church and commercial productions. They have three 20-something children, and now travel the 48 states together in a tractor trailer.

Book Review PURSUED BY Lillian Duncan

By Ada Brownell

The ultimate test of a good novel is the story told, and Lillian Duncan created a powerful story with Pursued. First the attorney, Reggie (short for Regina) Meyers is in danger of losing her job because of a grammatical error on a contract.

 

At the airport on her way home, a woman accidentally whacks her in the head with luggage when she takes it from the carousel. Still dizzy from the blow, Reggie tries to weave her way through heavy traffic. She swerves to avoid a dog being chased by a child and an old pickup collides with her car.

 

She doesn’t care how handsome the driver is, she’s angry. Since her vehicle absorbed most of the impact, he offers to drive her home. After he uses some persuasion, she goes with him only to find the door to her home wide open, her apartment ransacked, trashed and the furniture slashed.

 

The owner of the pickup, Dylan Monroe, insists she can’t stay in that apartment after such vandalism. The person might be a killer.

 

Thus begins the chase. Reggie is pursued by someone who is serious about killing her.  She’s shot at, her phone is bugged, and bombs are placed on her car.

 

Although Dylan just met her, he insists on protecting her. He takes her to his sister’s house. When she’s followed there, he moves her to his parents, then to a friend’s place that is difficult to find and equipped with detection equipment.

 

It takes a while for Reggie to understand why Dylan wants to help. He’s a committed Christian and feels it’s his calling to do what he can for a person in need. Reggie, abandoned by her parents at a young age, is in need of someone who cares. She grew up in foster homes and knows little of committed love and devotion.  She fights being attracted to Dylan because he’s a farmer and she’s an attorney.

 

The story is a great read, and that’s why I give it five stars it deserves.

 

   — Ada Brownell

Author of Swallowed by LIFE: Mysteries of Death, Resurrection and the Eternal

and  Confessions of a Pentecostal

 

Review of Topaz Treasure

Topaz Treasure by Valerie Comer

About the book:  Join a geocaching adventure in the spectacular Lake of the Ozarks wilderness, with Lyssa, the reluctant volunteer whose former nemesis is now her chief sponsor; Madison, a city girl paired with an outdoorsy guy who gets on her very last nerve; cautious Reagan, who meets an equally cautious guy; and Hadley, who doesn’t know enough about guys to realize she’s met a womanizer. Will they find the treasure they’re looking for … or something else entirely?

“Topaz Treasure” (first novella in Rainbow’s End) by Valerie Comer Closet believer Lyssa Quinn steps out of her comfort zone to help coordinate the Rainbow’s End geocaching hunt her church is using as an outreach event. She’s not expecting her former humanities prof–young, handsome, anti-Christian Kirk Kennedy–to be at the Lake of the Ozarks at all, let along in a position to provide sponsorship to the treasure hunt. How can she trust someone who once shredded her best friend’s faith?

Topaz Treasure is one out of 4 fun stories in the Rainbow’s End novel published by Barbour. I like novellas because of their length you can take them to read in the school car line or sports practices. Being theses stories are quick reads you feel like you had a little me time in your busy day.

 Topaz Treasure is a story of holding on to false beliefs, and unwillingness to accept others can change. Lyssa’s roommate was fearful that Lyssa would be hurt by Kirk, a known Christian mocker. Was she right? Not telling you! I don’t do spoilers. The story is set in the Ozarks and made me feel like I was home. Comer got the setting correct, right down to Ha Ha Tonka State Park. Lyssa and Kirk’s characters are well written as is the story. I do wish it could have been a novel so I could have stayed with the characters a bit longer. Topaz Treasure is a unique love story in that it centers around geocaching–hunting for treasure using a GPS. Intrigued by this hobby I’m hoping to take part in some of these myself. You can find out more about geocaching events here.

 

Valerie Comer’s life on a small farm in western Canada provides the seed for stories of contemporary inspirational romance. Like many of her characters, Valerie grows much of her own food and is active in the local food movement as well as her church. She only hopes her imaginary friends enjoy their happily ever afters as much as she does hers, gardening and geocaching with her husband, adult kids, and adorable granddaughters.

Connect with Valerie Comer!

Connect at:

 

Buy Rainbows End

Review: A Bride’s Dilemma in Friendship, Tennessee

Review: A Bride’s Dilemma in Friendship, Tennessee by Diana Lesire Brandmeyer
Reviewed by Valerie Comer

On the heels of the Civil War, a dying man gave Doctor Travis Logan the deed to his Tennessee farm. The man’s brain must have been a bit addled, because he also offered Travis Heaven and Angel.

Life is tough in Tennessee as the war closes, and Heaven Wharton has her hands full keeping marauders off her land. Surely soon Pa will return to take Heaven and her sister off to Chicago. Too bad Heaven is a lousy shot. When she attempts to shoot over a man’s head, she accidentally grazes him instead. Horrified, she drags him into the house and tries to save his life.

Angel, her 12-year-old blind sister, has been trying to get a bit more freedom to do things on the farm, but Heaven has been protecting her. It’s been a stop-gap measure while they wait for Pa. But when the stranger regains consciousness, she finds that not only has Pa died and given away the family farm to this. . .this stranger, but he’s thrown in Heaven and Angel as well. Surely that can’t be right!

A Bride’s Dilemma in Friendship, Tennesee is a wonderful glimpse of life in a difficult time. So many men didn’t return home from the Civil War and, of those who did, many were so changed they found it impossible to pick up their lives where they’d left off. This story showcases several characters with differing levels of war-induced trauma, making the issues feel very real.

Although I loved Heaven’s spunk and Travis’s determination, my favorite character was Angel. She has such conflicting emotions and no hesitation speaking up, from wondering if she is a suitable chaperone (being as she’s blind), to telling both Heaven and Travis things to make them think more kindly of the other. So many times I wanted to laugh and cry and cheer with Angel.

If you enjoy historical romance, or possibly even if you don’t, you’ll love A Bride’s Dilemma in Friendship, Tennesee by Diana Lesire Brandmeyer. This is one of my favorite books so far this year.

Christian author Diana Lesire Brandmeyer lives in Southern Illinois where the corn grows at a rapid rate behind her home. She’s married and has three grown sons all on their own now, each of them bringing someone special to join the family. Yay! Daughter-in-laws!

Diana writes historical and contemporary romances. She’s also written We’re Not Blended-We’re Pureed, A Survivor’s Guide to Blended Families. Once widowed and now remarried she writes with humor and experience on the difficulty of joining two families.

A digital copy of this novel was provided by the author for review. However, the opinions are, as always, mine alone.

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