Sunday, March 29, 2015

A Review: Baxter Road Miracle by Carlene Havel


The Book, Baxter Road Miracle:

Can faith move mountains? The Youngbloods are about to find out.

Henry Youngblood is determined to plant a new church in Buffalo Creek, despite seemingly insurmountable obstacles. Meanwhile, his pregnant wife worries about paying the bills. One daughter has her heart set on a college education she cannot afford, and the other wants nothing more than popularity. It will take a miracle for the Youngblood family’s dreams to come true.

The Review of Baxter Road Miracle:

Reverend Henry Youngblood has a vision for Buffalo Creek...a church. He squeezes what he can out of money earned as an insurance salesman and works hard to turn his dream into reality—much to the frustration of his pregnant wife and the local city inspector. While he and his wife debate the priorities of life and family, his daughters search to fulfill their own dreams. One looks for acceptance, and the other fights the never-ending battle for higher education. What needs to happen for their hopes to become reality? A miracle.

Havel weaves real-life emotion and challenge as a life of service conflicts with the survival of a family. Answering God’s call’s not always an easy task. Baxter Road Miracle offers a glimpse within the shepherd’s den, and the toll such a position takes on a family. We partake of the vision, but only He knows the price.

Baxter Road Miracle's written with a delicate and expert hand. I reserve my five star rating for excellent books,and this one deserves it. Five stars.

Archive Post...giveaway has ended.


One Digital Copy of Baxter Road Miracle is up for grabs
(check out Carlene Havel's books on Prism Book Group)
(One Winner will receive one digital copy of each from Amazon or Barnes & Noble,)

Archive Post...giveaway has ended.

The Author, Carlene Havel:

Carlene Havel writes Christian-themed romances and historical novels set in Biblical times. She’s lived in Turkey, Republic of the Philippines, and all over the United States. Carlene worked for a banana importer, a software development company, and everything in between. She attended several colleges and universities, including one that—surprisingly--granted her a diploma.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

A Review: The Lady Fugitive by Ada Brownell


The Book, The Lady Fugitive:

How does a respected elocutionist become a face on a wanted poster? Jenny Louise Parks escapes from the coal bin and her abusive uncle offers a handsome reward for her return. Because he is a judge, he will find her. Determination to remain free grips Jenny, especially after she meets William and there's a hint of romance. But while peddling household goods and showing a Passion of the Christ moving picture, he discovers his father's brutal murder. Will Jenny avoid the bounty hunters? Can she forgive the person who turns her in? Will she find peace, joy and love?

* * * * The Review, The Lady Fugitive:

A nice historical Christian romance, The Lady Fugitive keeps you turning the pages. A slice from the past in more ways than one, this book reminds me of the older novels of Christian fiction. With God’s word and wisdom interlaced through its pages, Brownell takes the reader on a ride and shows the way to salvation…again and again.

Jenny Louise Parks, a.k.a. J.L., embarks on her own across the wilds of Colorado to escape her lecherous uncle, a powerful judge, only to discover the hard way that there’s no place to hide. William O’Casey, a new Christian, peddles his goods through the mountains and valleys of the Colorado Rockies as he searches for his wayward brother. He finds her, protects her, and keeps her secret while chasing his brother down the rocky road...toward salvation.

Although this book can be confusing at times, it’s a good, old-fashioned western romance, and I recommend it to anyone who loves to read about the Lord and the old west. I give this book four stars.

The Author, Ada Brownell:


Ada Brownell, a devoted Bible student, has written for Christian publications since age 15 and spent much of her life as a reporter for The Pueblo Chieftain in Colo. She also is a veteran youth Christian education teacher. After moving to Missouri in her retirement, she continues to write books, free-lance for Sunday school papers, Christian magazines, write op-ed pieces for newspapers, and blogs with stick-to-your-soul encouragement. She is a member of Ozarks Chapter of American Christian Writers and American Christian Fiction Writers. She and her husband have five children, one in heaven, eight grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Blog: Stick-to-Your-Soul Encouragement
Ada Brownell Amazon Author page

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Return to Me

Zechariah 1:3-4 “Therefore say to them, ‘Thus says the LORD of hosts: Return to Me, says the LORD of hosts, and I will return to you, says the LORD of hosts. Do not be like your fathers, to whom the former prophets preached’, saying, ‘Thus says the LORD of hosts: Turn now from your evil ways and your evil deedsBut they did not hear nor heed Me, says the LORD.”

I watch the news each night and weep at the atrocities I see. The television's littered with stories that used to be a once in a lifetime occasion. Now, they’re a dime a dozen. Or are they? Let’s just say, it’s amazing what the information age did for the media business.

My soul aches with the images of unimaginable horror. Death, destruction… I search for the Lord but He’s so hard to find. I catch a glimpse here and there. Hope blossoms only to be dashed in a mere heartbeat.

Is it too late for us?

Isaiah 59:1 “Behold, the LORD's hand is not shortened, That it cannot save; Nor His ear heavy, That it cannot hear.”

Oh, Lord, are You listening? Do You hear me calling? We need You.

Psalm 10:17-18 “LORD, You have heard the desire of the humble; You will prepare their heart; You will cause Your ear to hear, to do justice to the fatherless and the oppressed, That the man of the earth may oppress no more.”

The sun breaks through the clouds even though the rain continues to fall. Oh, the smell of the earth after a storm...that's hope.

My heart rejoices because I know He’s my Savior and no matter the circumstance, He’ll nurse me through the day. His shoulder bears many tears but in the end, the Lord wipes them all away.

photo credit: fusky via photopin cc

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Beast of Stratton Hits the Shelves (Cybershelves, that is!)

Beast of Stratton

By Renee Blare

Release Date: March 11, 2015 from Prism Book Group

Genre: Romantic Suspense


Beast of Stratton by Renee Blare

Available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other select retail stores.

He appears the beast, but she sees his heart...
Architect Aimee Hart, determined to locate her father, infiltrates Miles Stratton’s engineering firm as a secretary. Her presence wrenches the shaggy, wounded man from his penthouse, and the quest begins.
Betrayed by his best friend, Miles would rather hide than help, especially from the man's daughter. But something's not right. Someone’s trying to destroy Stratton Industrial. A decorated war veteran, he's defended his own before and the Beast of Stratton can do it again.
Even with the enemy at his side.

Copyright 2015 © Renee Blare

He’d vanished.
She’d called his friends, the family. She’d even tried her stepmother who’d hung up on her. Well, okay, maybe that wasn’t the brightest idea.
A red rose rolled across her father’s tattered note, caught in the breeze from the open window. Sliding the pane down, she picked up the flower. The words on the page blurred as she buried her nose in the soft petals.
Instead of saying goodbye to his wife in his last letter, he’d simply left explicit instructions not to follow him. Aimee snorted. Like the woman would care. He’d sent it with the rose and an antique necklace. She held the thick chain aloft and peered at the golden key spinning in the light. The jewelry had probably cost a fortune.
And her stepmother was nowhere to be found. Scratch that. According to her, she wanted to be left alone. It didn’t make a difference to Aimee what the letter said and to whom, she’d follow. A small smile worked its way to her lips as she fastened the necklace around her neck.
The zipper stuck on the edge of the suitcase and she gave it a hard jerk. Dragging the bulging bag off the bed, it hit the floor with a thunk. She slid her arms into her jacket and looped her purse over the handle. She dropped the rose, and it landed beside her plane ticket next to her wallet. Before latching her fingers around her bag, she tucked the key under her shirt out of sight. “Stratton Industrial, here I come.”

Archived Post - Giveaway has ended.



Throw your name in the hat and you may take one home.

(Prize: One digital copy of Beast of Stratton awarded to one winner...chosen by random draw from comments.)
Note: Please leave an email address to allow for contact.

Archived Post - Giveaway has ended.

About the Author:

Renee Blare Christian Author

Renee Blare’s nose has been buried in a book for as long as she can remember. Raised in Louisiana and Wyoming, she started writing poetry in junior high school and that, as they say, was that. After having her son, a desire to attend pharmacy school sent her small family to the awesome town of Laramie. She’s been counting pills ever since. While writing’s her first love, well, after the Lord and her husband, she also likes to fish and hunt as well as pick away on her classical guitar.
After a brief detour to Texas, she back home, nestled against the Black Hills with her husband, crazy old dog and ornery cat. Add her son and parents dropping in for a home-cooked meal, and life’s never dull around her house. She serves the community of northeastern Wyoming as a pharmacist while penning her stories about struggling Christians as they travel along the journeys of their lives—keeping things interesting, of course. She loves to interact with readers and invites you check out her website, blogs, and social media.
Blogs: Renee’s Inspirational Moments
Social Media:

GUEST: Copper Coins of Sacrifice by Jan Elder

The Phillipines
The Phillipines

My brother has lived in the Philippines for over thirty years. He is a missionary, seminary professor, and church planter. I was privileged to visit him a few years ago where he lives in a suburb of Manila, and it changed the way I think about the world…and the way I think about my faith.

There was so much about that Asian foreign land that is good…and yet there was so much abject poverty it broke my heart. I understand why my brother has chosen to live there and I admire him for his sacrifice. I am so very glad that there are people in this world who give up so much to follow God’s leading. But could I ever be one of those people? Could I give up all of the creature comforts I have come to love so well?

In my new novella, Manila Marriage App, there is a passage that talks about a creek community located upstream from the fictional seminary. The following is an excerpt:

The shanty was made of plywood covered with a corrugated metal roof. The room we stepped into was clean, but that was all there was—just the one room. An old wooden cushion-less couch leaned against the back wall. In the corner, on the rough concrete floor, was a narrow bunk bed with folded up mats underneath. Timothy had mentioned that seven people resided in this structure. From the size of the place, the residents lived all crammed together.

I was offered a seat on a wooden chair pulled up to a white plastic table. On the wall to the right, scant measures of rice, a few vegetables, half-a-chicken, and two lonely bottles of hot sauce sat on a pantry shelf. The only water available seemed to be a rain barrel full of brackish liquid placed outside under the eaves. And where was the bathroom?

I couldn't help but be distraught at the lack of, well, everything I regarded as essential in a home. My arms wrapped around me, my breath hitching.

A tiny gray mouse huddled in a shadowy corner while two big, fat mosquitoes circled around the room. My skin prickled, just thinking about the creepy critters.

Timothy settled Pinky on the mattress-less bottom bunk, covering her with a threadbare scrap of blanket. He squatted down, whispering who knows what into her ear. Whatever he said had her giggling before she fell headlong into dreamland.

Despite the dilapidated dwelling, Liwayway and Pinky seemed to have many friends and support from the neighbors. One at a time, a dozen or so people popped their heads in to say a quick hello and drop off food, a few pieces of fruit, a plate of rolls—Timothy called the bread pan de sal—a coconut, and a tin of something called Skyflakes.

Liwayway’s hands fluttered as she busied herself, obviously determined to make us feel welcome. She switched on the two-burner propane stove and heated water for instant coffee—the very best in the Philippines, too. When the coffee was ready, she sliced a mango and broke out the Skyflakes. I was waiting for something unusual, but they were ordinary saltine crackers. The fruit and crackers hit the spot. What moved me more was her willingness to share the little she had. Wasn't there some verse in the Bible about that?

In the New Testament, passages in both Mark and Luke tell how Jesus observed as people gave money to the collection boxes. Many of the wealthy were throwing in large sums, so very proud of their generosity. A poor widow came by with an offering of two small copper coins. That was all she had, and yet she gave it away. How was that widow going to live? How was she going to eat? She sacrificed all she had because she had faith God would take care of her.

The rich gave much more and yet the widow’s gift meant more? Interesting concept. A song from my childhood plays through my mind—Little is Much When God Is in It. The chorus goes like this:
Little is much when God is in it!
Labor not for wealth or fame;
There’s a crown, and you can win it,
If you go in Jesus’ name.

I have so many material possessions here in the States, so much food, so much comfort, so much I take for granted on a daily basis. As I write in my warm, snug little house, I look around me and see more wealth than the people of that creek community will ever have. In the Philippines, a person’s gift of a dollar might mean a great deal more than all the checks I write to my local church. That’s humbling.

In Manila Marriage App, the heroine, Shay Callahan, has a choice to make at the end of the book. Stay or go? I like to think that if God called me to serve in the mission field I would have the courage to listen to his command. I haven’t had to choose, although my brother did. But I do have a choice as to how I live here in the good old U.S.A. We have the homeless, the poor, and the downtrodden right here in the town where I live. I am trying to be more mindful of that.

Dear Lord, I pray you continue to break my heart for the people right here at home. Keep my eyes open and help me to be your hands and feet in the world where you have placed me. In Jesus name, Amen.



(Archived Post - giveaway has ended)

Manila Marriage App

(Winner will be chosen by random drawing from the comments.)

Archived post - giveaway has ended

DRAWING: 3/15/2015

Prize: One PDF or e-copy to one winner (awarded upon drawing or upon release)

About the Book:

Didi O’Brien is engaged—at least she was an hour ago. Now she’s not so sure. Her fiancĂ©, the suave Kevin Cabot, has just revealed that he’s been unfaithful, and he’s not the least bit sorry. Reeling from the betrayal, with her plans for a happily-ever-after life in doubt, she prays for direction. The answer comes as a complete surprise. God has someone better in mind.
Middle school teacher, Jake Montgomery, is struggling with some issues of his own. Sadly, a year previously his fiancĂ©e had been killed in a car crash. Battling anger and despair, in a mountain-top experience, Jake wrestles with the Almighty, and is ready to live again. In his youth, he’d felt an unmistakable call to the ministry but, like the prophet Jonah, since then, he’s been running hard in the wrong direction.
Through a crisis of faith, and glimpses of mercy, Didi and Jake find each other. But can they find the strength to resolve the many obstacles that conspire to keep them apart?

About the Author:

Jan Elder

Jan Elder is a Christian romance writer with a zeal for telling stories other women can relate to. She strives to write the kind of book that will strengthen the reader’s faith, while also providing an entertaining and engrossing love story. In the spring of 2015, Pelican Book Group/White Rose is publishing her first novella, The Manila Marriage App., one of many in their successful Passport to Romance series.
Besides writing romance, she enjoys the occasional hazelnut cappuccino while watching Turner Classic Movies. Always an avid reader, she devours books voraciously, both Christian and secular. She was born a cat-lover and all future books will, no doubt, feature a feline in some way or another.
Happily married for eleven years to loving (and supportive) husband, Steve, the two live in central Maryland along with Jamie (a tuxedo cat), and Shu-Shu (a tortoiseshell cat). On the weekends, Jan and Steve comb the nearby countryside in search of the perfect ice cream flavor.