I am so pleased that you have stopped by for a visit. I hope you will enjoy reading my book reviews. If you would be interested in reviewing books on your own blog, check out the links for litfuse and Booksneeze.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

HER DAUGHTER'S DREAM - An interview with author, Francine Rivers

"From the beloved, best-selling author of Redeeming Love comes an unforgettable story about family and faith, dreams and disappointments, and ultimately the resilience and tenacity of love."
Those who have enjoyed the first book of the two-part series, Marta's Legacy, will be pleased to know that the final book, Her Daughter's Dream has now been released. Read an interview with Francine to learn more of the story behind the story.

How has exploring the relationship between your mother and grandmother helped you understand yourself?

This is a question I would love readers to ask themselves at the end of Her Mother’s Hope. I realized early in the story that I have many of my grandmother and mother’s character traits, both good and bad. They both had tempers. So do I. They both had low self-esteem. I’m always striving to “measure up”. They both chose spouses who respected them. So did I. Both women had strong faith and servants’ hearts, something they encouraged in me. My mother extended grace to others -- a trait I want to cultivate to the end of my days. By holding onto her anger, Grandma lacked the peace and joy she could have had in her last years. I tend to relive past hurts. Writing about Marta made me decide to let go, forgive and move on. For whatever reason, Grandma couldn’t and missed out on so much joy in her last years. Sometimes people deeply hurt as children take offense where none was intended. Holding a grudge causes suffering, especially for the one who won’t let go. Jesus said to forgive one another as He has forgiven us. Forgiveness frees us, even if the other person refuses to join in the process of reconciliation. As I examine my own life, I see how much I’ve been forgiven. How can I not extend God’s grace to others? The best way to experience the fullness of God’s presence in my life is to surrender it to Him. And in that surrender, we are made more complete and joy-filled.

Mother-daughter relationships are often complicated and fraught with emotional land mines. What was your approach to exploring the complexity of those relationships in a fictional setting?

Questions, lots of questions! Every time I told someone I was working on a book about mother-daughter relationships, people wanted to share their family stories. As I wrote Her Mother’s Hope, I wanted readers to see through each woman’s eyes, and understand how the past shaped each in the way she responded to her mother. Hildemara doesn’t believe her mother loves her, but it is out of Marta’s pain and loss that tough-love techniques were forged. Marta wants to strengthen her daughter for whatever lies ahead. Sometimes what we view as rejection can actually be an act of sacrificial love. We seldom know the experiences that shaped our mothers, the deep hurts, traumatic events, broken relationships. I hope women who read this book will want to share those things with one another.

Writing a novel is not for the faint of heart. What was the most difficult part of writing this family saga? What came the most naturally to you?

The most difficult part of writing any novel is getting out of my own way. I have to get rid of preconceived notions about themes and characters and plot. The first draft of this novel came in at over 1000 pages and was too biographical. I wanted the story to shift back and forth from present to past, trying to show what happened to create the rifts and valleys between Hildemara, Carolyn and May Flower Dawn. I was too cautious, too afraid to harm to my grandmother and mother’s memory.

A wonderful editor wrote me an insightful letter in which she listed what she wanted to know about each the characters. Her letter got my creative juices flowing. She helped me look at the story in a new way. I set the first manuscript aside and started over. I found it better to move from one generation to the next in a linear story. This time the characters followed my grandmother and mother’s timeline, but took on a life of their own. They became unique individuals rather than the shadow of real people.

After readers finish this series what do you want them to remember? What questions and feelings do you want it to provoke on a spiritual and emotional level?

I hope and pray readers who have had difficult relationships with their mothers or daughters will let go of the pain and anger and allow God to work in their lives. God can work all things together for good for those who trust and love Him. Following Jesus’ example changes the way we see people. It changes the way we relate to one another. Even when the chasm is too deep to cross, we can decide to forgive. Some people wear grievances like a dirty coat. With God’s strength, we can strip it off and be free. When people finish reading Her Daughter’s Dream, I hope they will want to extend God’s grace and forgiveness. I hope they will tear down their walls and use their life experiences to begin building a bridge.

Who do you see as the audience for this story, and does that differ from your previous readership?

I am fortunate to work with Tyndale House. If a writer does well in one genre, publishers encourage the writer to continue in the same genre. Tyndale has given me the freedom to go wherever the story leads. I have done historical as well as contemporary. This two-part saga was intended to be one LONG book. Splitting the story into two parts made it more affordable for readers, and eliminated the need to delete entire sections. Hopefully, both women and men will enjoy Her Mother’s Hope and Her Daughter’s Dream. Men play a strong role in the lives of all four primary characters: Marta, Hildemara Rose, Carolyn and May Flower Dawn. And both books have much to do with faith, how it presents itself, how it grows, often under difficult circumstances and in unexpected ways.

Where may we connect with you further or to purchase a copy of HER DAUGHTER'S DREAM?

I would love for you to visit my web site at www.FrancinceRivers.com, browse through the various events and other resources available, as well as sign up for my mailing list. You may also join me on my Facebook page, please click here.

To enter to win a copy of Her Daughter's Dream, click on the following links.

http://www.facebook.com/CSSVBT.FrancineRivers.HerDaughtersDream and http://christianspeakerservices1.wordpress.com/blog/

A complimentary copy of this book was provided to me as a blog tour host by the Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for posting this interview on my blog. Please visit Christian Speaker Services at www.ChristianSpeakerServices.com for more information about blog tour management services.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


The subtitle sums up the message of the book: "Embracing Your Divine Design".  I wasn't acquainted with this author or her ministry. Dr. Karia Bunting pulls no punches. No sugar-coated message here, but a powerful, yest sensitively written book on being the womean God designed us to be. Filled with an abundance of Scriptural references, The author gives many personal and practical examples to illustrate her message.  A wide variey of topics is covered, such as temptation, singleness, marriage, motherhood, dealing with a dilemma, friendships, careers, and ministry. In this book. the author attempts to answer the question, "What does a godly woman look like?" I feel that she does this very well.
This would be a helpful book for a group discussion or one on one mentoring. The only thing lacking is a discussion guide for help in applying the teachings presented in the book.

From the back cover: Be the woman God created you to be. Understand how marvelously you were fashioned by Him, and experience the joy of being divinely designed. You are precious to God. You are His work of genius.

KARIA BUNTING (Dallas Theological Seminary; Louisiana Baptist Theological Seminary; University of Texas) is an expository Bible teacher and the founder of Focused Forward Ministries. She currently serves as an adjunct professor at Dallas Baptist University and teaches a weekly Bible study at her church, Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship. Karia and her husband, George, live in Dallas and have three children

Learn more about Karia at http://focusedforwardministries.org/.

Here are the blogs featuring Daddy’s Delight during our September 20-24, 2010 Tour.
A room without books is empty

Arms of a Sister

Be Your Best Mom

Bell Whistle Moon

Blog Tour Spot

Bound to His Heart

Carly Bird’s Home

Fearfully and Wonderfully Made

Fresh Brewed Writer

In the Pages

Johnnie Alexander Donley

Leap of Faith

Life’s Like This

Musings by Lynn

My Alabaster Box

Net’s Book Notes

Outnumbered Mom

Refresh My Soul

Sisterhood of Beautiful Warriors

So Many Books… So Little Time

Tasra Mar

Thanks to the publisher, Moody Publishers, for providing a copy of the book for review purposes as part of the Blog Book Tour Spot program.
This book is available at your favorite bookseller, including http://www.amazon.com/.

Monday, September 20, 2010


In her latest release, Kim Vogel Sawyer has given us yet another story which touches the heart. From the beautiful illustration on the cover to the satisfying conclusion, I felt the emotions experienced by the characters. Each one came alive on the page. I laughed and cried along with them, feeling the tension, the challenges, heartaches, and longings. This is more than a romance in an historical setting. It presents a message of hope, compassion, love, and God's grace. The characters are not perfect, but in spite of their flaws, they are growing and maturing. They give a hope-filled glimpse of what is possible when we truly open our hearts and desire to follow God's ways. Kim includes all these elements in a natural way, without being 'preachy'. Thanks, Kim, for yet another memorable story, whose characters will remain in my heart.

The story begins in 1914, just prior to the outbreak of WWI. It involves three friends who grew up in the same orphanage, and head off to college together, each with a special plan for their future.  "Libby Conley hopes to become a famous journalist. Peter Leidig believes God has called him into full-time ministry. And Bennett Martin plans to pledge a fraternity, find a place to belong, and have as much fun as possible." But with the outbreak of war imminent, the friends' differences begin to divide them. "When Libby makes a shocking discovery about Pete's family, will it drive a final wedge between the friends or bond them in ways they had never anticipated?" (Excerpted from back cover)
Those who have enjoyed Kim's past novels will welcome this new one to their collection. For others not yet acquainted with her writing, this book is a great introduction to the writings of Kim Vogel Sawyer.

Kim Vogel Sawyer is the author of sixteen novels, including many CBA and ECPA bestsellers. Her books have won the ACFW Book of the Year Award, the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence, and the Inspirational Readers Choice Award. Kim is active in her church, where she leads womens' fellowship and participates in both voice and bell choirs. In her spare time, she enjoys drama, quilting, and calligraphy. Kim and her husband, Don, reside in Kansas, and have three daughters and six grandchildren. She invites you to visit her Website at http://www.kimvogelsawyer.com/. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter as well.

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications Inc. Available now at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group."

Monday, September 13, 2010

"Faithful" by Kim Cash Tate - Book Review

From the first page till the last, this story gripped me. The story is told in such a way that the characters come to life on the page. It is so realistically told that the reader can relate on a number of levels. Situations that are portrayed are like many of us experience amongstour friendships and family relationships. I liked the way in which the author presented truth without coming across as "preachy" or simplistic. Struggle is involved as characters wrestle with their various issues. Although the subject matter is heavy, Kim writes in a way that appeals, injecting just enough humor to relieve some of the tension.  I feel that this book would be anexcellent choice for a  book club. Discussion questions are included.

Kim Cash Tate is a Women of Faith speaker and the author of Heavenly Places and the memoir More Christian Than African American. A former practicing attorney, she is also the founder of Colored in Christ Ministries. she and her husband have two children. Faithful is a Women of Faith Fiction selection.

Kim may be contacted at her website http://www.kimcashtate.com/, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/kimcashtate and through Twitter at twitter.com/KimCashTate

Thanks to the publisher, Thomas Nelson for providing a copy of the book for review purposes through its Booksneeze bloggers' book review program.
Faithful is available through http://www.amazon.com/. christianbook.com and your favorite retailer.

Friday, September 10, 2010


Read any Max Lucado book and you feel like you know the author personally. He likes it that way. Max doesn’t like to be called Pastor, Reverend or even Mister, though he is all of the above. He prefers to be known simply as Max.

Max has enjoyed a double calling in his lifetime—to preach and to write. And the audience for each calling has grown exponentially during the last two decades. Over the last 25 years, more than 65 million Max Lucado books has been sold in every format imaginable – adult books, gift books, children’s books, study Bibles, devotionals, commentaries animated videos, live action movies, and gift products to name a few. At his home church, Oak Hills Church in San Antonio, attendance has grown from a few families in 1988 to more than 8500 people. The sermons preached at Oak Hills Church form the basis of his popular books trade titles.
Growing up in West Texas, Max never considered becoming either a pastor or a writer. He partied his way through high school, giving God and books little attention. He attended Abilene Christian University where a required Bible class on the life of Jesus captured Max’s imagination. Further study at Abilene Christian convinced him to try a short-term mission trip to Brazil. He was hooked.
After graduation Max moved to Miami, Florida, for a pastoral position. One of his duties as associate pastor was a weekly column for the church bulletin. When he and Denalyn moved to Brazil as missionaries, Max compiled the columns and submitted them to 14 publishers. They all declined. The 15th publisher said yes, transforming his collected writings into his first adult book, On the Anvil, in 1985.
Max has published more than 60 adult and children’s titles since then, and those writings have inspired a successful line of cards from Hallmark/Dayspring. The branded card line has sold 15 million units since its debut in 2001. His books have appeared on the most well known national bestseller lists including Publishers Weekly, USA Today, The New York Times, the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association and the Christian Booksellers Association. In 1992 Max launched UpWords, inspirational radio messages.
In 2005, Reader’s Digest magazine called Max “America’s Best Preacher,” and in 2004 Christianity Today magazine dubbed him “America’s Pastor.” He has been featured in countless media outlets and interview shows.
Max currently is the Pastor of Writing and Preaching at Oak Hills Church in San Antonio, Texas. He and his wife Denalyn have been married since 1981. They have three grown daughters—Jenna, Andrea and Sara—and one new son-in-law, Brett.

"These are devastating times: 1.75 billion people are desparately poor; one billion are hungry. Lonely hearts indwell our neighborhoods and attend our schools. In the midst of it all, here we stand: you, me, and our one-of-a-kind lives. We are given a choice...an opportunity to make a big difference during a difficult time. What if we did? What if we rocked the world with hope? Worth a try, don't you think?" (From back cover)
"Outlive Your Life" is another challenging book by Max Lucado. The subtitle is "You Were Made To Make A Difference"and that is exactly what Max asks us to consider. In each chapter, we are given contemporary illustrations as well as excerpts from the Book of Acts. At the conclusion of each chapter is a Scripture quotation followed by a prayer, helping us to personalize the lesson that has been taught. Questions for discussions as well as ideas for action are also included. This is not a book meant to be read quickly, then placed on our bookshelf. Rather, we are challenged to act upon what we have read. That is what will make the difference!
I deeply appreciate the message of this book. It is one of the most practical I have ever read on the Book of Acts. My heart has been stirred to take action on what I have read.
100%  of the author's royalties from the sale of Outlive Your Life products  will benefit children and families through World Vision and other ministries of faith-based compassion. To follow World Vision's use of the funds, go to http://www.maxlucado.com/.
Join the Max Lucado community http://community.maxlucado.com/ and follow Max on Facebook at Facebook.com/upwordministry.

Thanks to the publisher, Thomas Nelson, for providing a free copy of the book for review purposes as part of the Booksneeze program.
Outlive Your Life is available through http://www.amazon.com/, http://www.christianbookdistributors.com/ and your local bookstore.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

PERMISSION TO SPEAK FREELY by Anne Jackson - Book Review

What is the one thing you feel you can't say in the church? Anne Jackson posted this simple question on her blog in a moment of curiosity. The question struck a nerve. Hundreds of people from around the world responded; everyone had something to say.
Bouyed by this overwhelming reaction and her own life experience, Anne decided to dive deeper into what provoked such a profound response. (From back cover)

I must say that this book was not what I had expected to read. I thought Anne would have compiled a nice, neat list of responses, some of which many people could relate to their personal experience. Instead, I found it to be a profoundly written,deeply personal unveiling of Anne's own heart. Anne tells her life story with humour and honesty. Her writings challenge readers to take off their masks and be real and honest. The conclusion is that it is okay to be human in church.

The book's subtitle, Essays and Art on Fear, Confession, and Grace includes such topics as "Ghosts in Cathedrals", "Finding Sanctuary", and "A Precarious Path to Freedom. The book contains many of the statements Anne received in reply to her original question, along with photographs and poetry.

This is a book that makes the reader think seriously about the issues of brokenness, hope, wholeness and healing. Through it all, God's amazing grace is clearly seen.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Anne is an author, speaker, and activist. A contributing writer to various blogs and magazines, she is also the author of Mad Church Disease:Overcoming the Burnout Epidemic. Anne is a cyclist who rides for the Ride:Well Tour, a cross-country cyclying tour raising awareness and funds for Blood:Water Mission. An advocate for Compassion International, Anne and her husband live near Nashville.

Anne may be contacted through Facebook (Facebook.com/FlowerDust). Follow her on Twitter @FlowerDust, and through her blog, FlowerDust.net. Her book site iswww.permissiontospeakfreely.com

"Book has been provided courtesy of Thomas Nelson and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available now at your favourite bookseller."