Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Confirmation by Ralph Reed

The Confirmation by Ralph Reed is a realistic political thriller. Bob Long is the newly-elected president of the United States. Elected by a vote of Congress, his first days in office are filled with one problem after another ... a Supreme Court justice who suffers a stroke, abortion laws, and same-sex marriage.

I had high hopes for this book. Unfortunately, I did not enjoy this book as much as I had hoped. I had two major issues with this book. First, there were a TON of characters. One hundred pages in, the author was still introducing new characters. It was too much for me to keep up with. Second, much of the dialogue was centered around political issues and filled with language that is probably natural to those in political circles ... but not to me. It was cumbersome and difficult to follow along with. This was probably the wrong genre for me. So ... if you enjoy political dramas, you might want to give this book a try.

2 stars (out of 5)

I received a free copy of this book from B&H Books in exchange for my fair and honest review.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Deadly Disclosures by Julie Cave

Dinah Harris is an FBI agent struggling with alcoholism, depression, and dealing with her past. Recently put on administrative duty for messing up a case, she is asked to come back to full duty to invesitage the disappearance of Thomas Whitfield, the Secretary of the Smithsonian. Once Whitfield's body is found, the media coverage kicks up a notch, and Dinah is back in the media spotlight. Will she be able to set aside her personal problems long enough to solve this case? Or will she disgrace the FBI again?

A huge fan of mystery/suspense novels, I loved Deadly Disclosures by Julie Cave! The author portrays the main character differently than most heroines in Christian fiction, which often come off a little too perfect for my taste. Dinah is a realistic character with numerous problems.

The creation / evolution debate is at the center of this book. I found it interesting as I didn't know many of the specific details of this topic. The topic was explained in a way that was part of the story and not overly preachy. I did find it a little hard to believe that someone would be murdered over wanting to highlight creation as a plausible explanation of how the world was created. Perhaps I'm being naive, though.

I also liked the way everyday events and conversations with friends opened Dinah's mind to who God is. She really struggled with faith and understanding why all the Christians around her believed.

The story moved pretty quickly and there were several twists and turns that kept me hanging on to the very end. I look forward to reading the next book in the series, The Shadowed Mind.

4 stars (out of 5)

I received a free copy of this book from New Leaf Publishers in exchange for my fair and honest review.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

The Pirate Queen by Patricia Hickman

The Pirate Queen by Patricia Hickman is by far one of the best books I've read this year! Saphora is the envy of many of her friends, living the seemingly perfect life. She finally decides that she's going to leave her cheating husband ... until he announces he is dying. He asks her to go to their summer home so that he can get medical treatment and she can take care of him. What was supposed to be her summer of solitude quickly turns into a summer of family, friends, and overcoming the past.

The story is captivating from the first page through the last and kept my interest with twists and surprises ... even in the last two chapters! The entire book offers a depth that is unusual for much of the Christian fiction that I've read. The characters are well developed, the story is deep, and the underlying themes are ones that need to be addressed.

Highly recommend!

5 stars!

I received a free copy of this book from WaterBrook Multnomah in exchange for my fair and honest review.

Please rank my review!

About The Book

Treasure is found in the most unlikely places.

The envy of all her friends, wife and mother Saphora Warren is the model of southern gentility and accomplishment. She lives in a beautiful Lake Norman home, and has raised three capable adult children. Her husband is a successful plastic surgeon--and a philanderer. It is for that reason that, after hosting a garden party for Southern Living magazine, Saphora packs her bags to escape the trappings of the picturesque-but-vacant life.

Saphora’s departure is interrupted by her husband Bender’s early arrival home, and his words that change her life forever: I’m dying.

Against her desires, Saphora agrees to take care of Bender as he fights his illness. They relocate, at his insistance, to their coastal home in Oriental—the same house she had chosen for her private getaway. When her idyllic retreat is overrun by her grown children, grandchildren, townspeople, relatives, and a precocious neighbor child, Saphora’s escape to paradise is anything but the life she had imagined. As she gropes for evidence of God's presence amid the turmoil, can she discover that the richest treasures come in surprising packages?

In Every Heartbeat by Kim Vogel Sawyer

I LOVED In Every Heartbeat by Kim Vogel Sawyer!!! After living in an orphanage, the move to college life is more difficult than expected for Libby, Petey, and Bennett. Struggles with school, new friends, their pasts, and their faith cause each to look to each other for help. Libby struggles with her desire to be a famous writer and her new-found love for Petey. Petey struggles with forgiving his family. Bennett struggles with his desire to fit in and resentment about being an orphan. After drifting apart, they find that they truly do need each other, but most importantly, they need God.

I loved everything about this book ... the story, the characters, the style of writing. It was fantastic. Although the story takes place on the cusp of WWI, these college students struggle with the same things that today's college students struggle with. The story is captivating and kept me intrigued until the last page. With history, romance, intrigue, and hints of humor, this book touches on all the things I love best about books!

Kim Vogel Sawyer is definitely one of my new favorite authors!

5 stars (out of 5)

I received a free copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for my fair and honest review.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Blog Tour: Nightingale by Susan May Warren

Nightingale by Susan May Warren is an excellent read. I loved the story of Esther as she tries to cope with the consequences of one night of passion with a man she doesn't love. Dealing with the stigma of being a single mother, suffering the near-abuse of her future in-laws, struggling to make a life for her daughter, Esther tries to make it on her own. Her friends - both patients and nurses at the hospital - support her and encourage her to rely on God. It's not until she meets a German prisoner through letters that she begins to understand that God really can love her and offers the forgiveness she so desperately seeks.

The use of letters in this book allows readers to get inside the minds of some of the characters. It's a unique writing style that I greatly enjoyed. The book also gives a unique perspective on World War II. I've not read many books that relate the experiences of Germans (or American-Germans) who were held in "concentration camps" in the United States.

Towards the end of the book, I felt like the story dragged a little bit. Perhaps it could have been resolved a little sooner. However, overall I enjoyed the story and will look for future installments of this series.

About the Book
Esther Lange doesn’t love her fiancĂ©—she’s trapped in an engagement after a mistaken night of passion.

Still, she grieves him when he’s lost in battle, the letters sent to her by the medic at his side giving her a strange comfort, so much that she strikes up a correspondence with Peter Hess, an Iowa farmboy. Or is he? Peter Hess is not who he seems. Indeed, he’s hiding a secret, something that could cost them both their lives, especially when the past comes back to life. A bittersweet love song of the home front war between duty and the heart...a battle where only one will survive.

Don’t miss book one in this stand-alone collection, Sons of Thunder.

About the Author
Susan May Warren is the RITA award-winning author of twenty-four novels with Tyndale, Barbour and Steeple Hill. A four-time Christy award finalist, a two-time RITA Finalist, she’s also a multi-winner of the Inspirational Readers Choice award, and the ACFW Book of the Year.

Susan's larger than life characters and layered plots have won her acclaim with readers and reviewers alike. A seasoned women’s events and retreats speaker, she’s a popular writing teacher at conferences around the nation and the author of the beginning writer’s workbook: From the Inside-Out: discover, create and publish the novel in you!. She is also the founder of www.MyBookTherapy.com, a story-crafting service that helps authors discover their voice.

Susan makes her home in northern Minnesota , where she is busy cheering on her two sons in football, and her daughter in local theater productions (and desperately missing her college-age son!) A full listing of her titles, reviews and awards can be found on her website.

Buy the book here.

To find out what others think about Nightingale, check out the rest of the blog tour.

I received a free copy of this book from LitFuse Publicity in exchange for my participation in this blog tour. I was not required to give a positive review.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Giveaway: God & Football

To try and bring some balance to all of the football rivalry festivities that will be taking place this weekend (or may have already taken place earlier in the season), I am giving away a copy of Chad Gibbs' God and Football: Faith and Fanaticism in the SEC.

Chad's married to one of my very best friends, so I can tell you that it's a fantastic book AND that he's a fantastic guy. My mom, a non-reader, read it in four days if that tells you anything!

I will draw one winner on Monday, November 29. In order to enter, you must comment on this post and tell me what team you cheer for. All fans will have an equal opportunity to win ... I promise I won't discriminate against you if you don't cheer for my team. :) (US shipping only.)

EDIT: We gotta get more people involved in these awesome giveaways. I need at least 10 comments (one per person) to keep the giveaway going. Spread the word ... tell your friends! The deadline has been extended to Friday, December 3 @ 11:59 PM.

A few suggestions for your Christmas list!

Since Christmas is just around the corner, I thought I would offer a few suggestions of the best books I've read this year. You may enjoy these for yourself or might want to gift a friend with one!

God and Football by Chad Gibbs (I haven't posted much about this one yet, but please check this one out!!!)

Courting Morrow Little by Laura Frantz
Her Mother's Hope by Francine Rivers
Her Daughter's Dream by Francine Rivers
Code Triage by Candace Calvert
Scared by Tom Davis
Priceless by Tom Davis
The Heart Mender by Andy Andrews
She Walks in Beauty by Siri Mitchell
Ransomed Dreams by Sally John
Hand of Fate by Lis Wiehl

Children's Books
Sammy and His Shepherd by Susan Hunt
The Boy Who Changed the World by Andy Andrews

In a Heartbeat by Leigh Anne and Sean Tuohy
Stumbling Souls: Is Love Enough? by Chris Plekenpol

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope you all are having a wonderful Thanksgiving!!! Here are a few verses expressing thanksgiving to the Lord. Join me in praising Him for all of our many blessings today!!!

Oh give thanks to the LORD; call upon his name; make known his deeds among the peoples! 1 Chronicles 16:8

And they sang responsively, praising and giving thanks to the LORD, "For he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever toward Israel."And all the people shouted with a great shout when they praised the LORD, because the foundation of the house of the LORD was laid. Ezra 3:11

The LORD is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him. Psalm 28:7

I will give to the LORD the thanks due to his righteousness, and I will sing praise to the name of the LORD, the Most High. Psalm 7:17

But we your people, the sheep of your pasture, will give thanks to you forever; from generation to generation we will recount your praise. Psalm 79:13

I will give thanks to you, O Lord, among the peoples; I will sing praises to you among the nations. Psalm 57:9

I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart, and I will glorify your name forever. Psalm 86:12

Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever! Psalm 118:29

But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed ... Romans 6:17

I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that was given you in Christ Jesus ... 1 Corinthians 1:4

But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 15:57

But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere. 2 Corinthians 2:14

We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty, who is and who was, for you have taken your great power and begun to reign. Revelation 11:17

In God we have boasted continually, and we will give thanks to your name forever. Psalm 44:8

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Christmas Gifts that Mean Something

It's almost Black Friday, so my guess is that most people are thinking about Christmas shopping - making those lists, checking 'em twice, and all that. (I did read on Facebook the other day that one of my friends is already DONE with her shopping!)

I digress.

I found this list of online shops of families and/or ministries that are raising money for adoptions or orphan care. What a great way to help out while doing some of your Christmas shopping!!!

Happy Shopping!!!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

More Reminiscing ...

How about a little more reminiscing? I left off at children's books last time. So about your favorite "chapter books?" Here are a few of mine ...

Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder
These were probably some of the first "chapter books" that I read. Mom and I read them at night for a year. I even dressed up as Laura for Halloween one year ... and again for a book report. Yes, I was a nerd.

Charlotte's Web by E.B. Webb
Classic! Don't act like you didn't love this one! I think everything he ever wrote was probably awesome, though. The Trumpet of the Swan and Stuart Little were his too.

Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys, The Bobbsey Twins, The Boxcar Children
I totally loved mysteries. (And still do!) As far as Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys go, I'm not particular. I liked the originals, case files, super mysteries, combined ones, whatever. I always wanted Nancy to fall in love with Frank.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
Another great classic. I helped out with a 2nd grade class one year in elementary school ... maybe 4th grade? ... while kids waited on the bus. I read this book to them over several weeks.

The Babysitters Club by Ann M. Martin
Oh yes. I had every single one of these. I even joined a book club where they would send them to you in the mail. I did NOT realize that they would charge you for these books. Oops! I wanted to be Claudia because she was Japanese and Stacy because she was fashionable and from New York.

The Indian in the Cupboard by Lynne Reid Banks
Awesome book. I love how the little people come alive!

Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli
My fifth grade teacher introduced me to this author. I actually got to meet him at a young author's conference. I think he signed my book.

Cricket in Times Square by George Selden
I'm not sure why I love this one so much. My copy is well-worn and well-loved, though!

Ramona Books by Beverly Cleary
All of these were so great! I know people who don't like them because they call each other stupid, but I enjoyed them so much! Use them for teaching moments or whatever. :)

Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
I loved these so much! And the movies!!! A friend and I read these all the time and traded them back and forth. Oh, the memories!

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
I was probably a little older when I read this book. But it's probably my all-time favorite book. Ever. I cry every time I read it. And I always wish that Jo and Laurie would fall in love and get married. And why, oh why, does Beth have to die??? But I still love it every time I read it. I then got turned on to Lurlene McDaniel's terribly sad novels about children with cancer. Intense!

A Summer to Die by Lois Lowry
I can still remember sobbing in my sixth grade reading class while I read this book. And then reading it again. I probably checked this one out of the school library every 2-3 months for several years.

A Ring of Endless Light by Madeleine L'Engle
I wanted to swim with those dolphins so badly. Of course, I had a chance years later and completely freaked out ... but that's a story for another day.

Friday, November 19, 2010

FREE Audio Books!!!

We all like FREE things, right?! Well, here's the scoop of the month for you ...

ChristianAudio.com gives away one FREE audio book each month. You don't have to pay anything. You don't have to sign up for anything. You just get one free book! Yay!

This month's freebie is John Piper's Don't Waste Your Life, which is excellent! Selections over the past few months have included The Cost of Discipleship, The Hole in Our Gospel, Stuff Christians Like, and Forgotten God. Makes for great listening to/from work each day or while traveling.


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

If you like FREE stuff, then you're gonna love this!!!

Okay ... who doesn't like FREE stuff? Anybody? Nope? That's what I thought.

Imagine my excitement when I came across this offer for 50 FREE holiday cards from Shutterfly!

I've used Shutterfly for years to store my pictures, order actual prints (because we all need fun photo albums filling our bookshelves!), sharing with friends, etc. I've never ordered cards, though. I've gotten them before ... and they always look fantastic!

So this year, we'll be ordering our Christmas cards from Shutterfly. And 50 of them will be on the house ... their house of course.

So ... why would you even want to use these awesome cards? I'm glad you asked ...

10. You can order these fun story cards that let you tell your friends and family a story with text and pictures.
9. Let's be honest, everyone loves sending Christmas cards! Just do it!
8. There are tons of designs to choose from. Your card will definitely represent your personality ... way better than those boxed cards you buy at the store.
7. They have Thanksgiving cards. They're giving Thanksgiving a chance. 'Nuff said.
6. They have lots of other great gift ideas ... calendars, gift tags, canvas wall art, etc.
5. I love the stationary cards. The uncoated paper is fantastic! (Yes, that's the paper snob in me coming out!)
4. The cards are completely customizable ... add Scripture, make little inside jokes with your family, whatever you want!
3. Your friends get to see how cute your family is! Let's be honest, we all love getting photo cards in the mail!
2. It's "radical."
1. The first 50 are FREE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (Except for shipping, of course, and only if you post a fun blog about how much you love them, but you get the point.)

It's still November, and we're giving Thanksgiving a chance around here, so I have no idea which card I'll choose. But it will be fantastic!!!

YOU can get 50 free Shutterfly cards too! Just follow this link to sign up for the details, post a blog about the cards, and they'll send you a link.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Have a Radical Thanksgiving!

Many of you ... and lots of people around the country ... have been intrigued by a little orange book called Radical. The question that most people seem to be asking is, "How do I DO this? What does this look like in my life?"

Well, David Platt and WaterBrook Multnomah are making a few suggestions for how to have a Radical Thanksgiving for individuals/families, small groups, and church leaders.

A few of the suggestions for individuals are ...
  • Fast and pray for those who don't have enough to eat.
  • Discover what the Bible says about thankfulness to God.
  • Give a secret gift of money to someone you know.
  • Invite an international visitor to your Thanksgiving dinner.
  • Comfort a hurting brother or sister in Christ.
Check out the complete plans with all the details by clicking on the links above.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

FREE Music from Sara Groves!

Sara Groves is giving away her latest CD project, which was recorded in an Illinois prison. Not sure how long this will last, but take advantage while you can. :)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

I wish I had read this before I got married!!!

Oh how I wish I had read this book before I got married. Really, before I ever started dating. Cindy Easley tackles a "taboo" topic ... submission in marriage. I picked up this book with a little curiosity, a lot of hesitation, and a hope that I would learn something. I'm so glad I did!!!

In Dancing with the One You Love: Submission in the Real World, Cindy Easley explains the biblical mandate for submission in marriage and then gives lots of real-life testimonies to how this plays out practically. Each chapter features a different woman's story: a military wife with a husband who's gone most of the time, a Christian woman who's been married to a non-believer for 40+ years, a woman who makes more money than her husband, etc. Each of these women shares her own personal struggles with submitting to the leadership of her husband, talks about how/when she knew that submission was something she needed to do to be obedient to God, and explains how that looks in the day-to-day of her marriage.

I loved that the author didn't choose "perfect" women. Each wife had and still has struggles. They were open with their lives and I appreciated the realness of what they had to say. Also, while some chapters give an extreme example, the author also mentions how other women may fit into the same category. For example, every woman isn't married to a military husband who is gone for a year or more at a time. But many women have husbands who travel with their jobs. The same principles apply whether he travels for a year or for one night.

I'm not sure why submission has such a negative connotation for women. However, I loved that this book explains things in a positive light without minimizing the scriptural basis or demeaning women. A win for all, in my book. ;)

I would highly recommend this book for ALL women ... married, single, engaged, with daughters, with sons. There's a great little study guide in the back that would be ideal to go through with a daughter, a friend, a small group, etc.

5 stars (out of 5)

I received a free copy of this book from Moody Publishers in exchange for my fair and honest review.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Charlie and Trike in the Grand Canyon Adventure by Ken Ham with Karen Hansel

Charlie and Trike in the Grand Canyon Adventure was both educational and entertaining. Charlie (a monkey) and Trike (a dinosaur) have a great adventure at the Grand Canyon. They learn about fossils, Noah and the Flood, the canyon, and most importantly the truth of God's Word.

Kids will love to read this book because there are so many fun "extras." Each page has a cute little feature - a small book glued to it, a flap that reveals another page, a fold out, a map, etc. I appreciated how the author wove together the story about Noah and facts about the Grand Canyon. Both educational and biblical! At times the actual story bounced around a little. I would have liked a little more continuity. Overall, though, this was a great read and one that will stay in my "keep" pile.

4 stars (out of 5)

I received a free copy of this book from New Leaf Publishers in exchange for my fair and honest review.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Words by Ginny L. Yttrup

Ginny L. Yttrup's first novel Words is absolutely fantastic! Moving, inspiring, emotional, challenging ... just a few words to describe my impressions of the book.

Yttrup writes from the perspective of Kaylee, a ten-year-old little girl who has been abandoned by her mother and abused by her caregiver, and Sierra, a 30-something-year-old woman who is still grieving the loss of her daughter 12 years ago. The two encounter each other and must overcome their individual challenges together.

The author is herself a survivor of childhood abuse, and her experiences dealing with the effects come through in the writing of this novel. At times the book is pretty intense and extremely moving. The story is well-written and quite impressive ... especially for a first novel. I was left wanting a little more on what happened after, but perhaps she's setting it up for a sequel. I look forward to reading more from this author!

5 stars (out of 5)

I received a free copy of this book from B&H Books in exchange for my fair and honest review.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Within My Heart by Tamera Alexander

What a remarkable book! Within My Heart by Tamera Alexander is a fantastic historical fiction novel set in the frontier days. Rachel Boyd is a widow raising two sons and trying to save her ranch from bankruptcy. She continually runs into Rand Brookston, the person in town she trusts the least, and must rely on his help time after time.

The third novel in the Timber Ridge Reflections series, this book reads well as a stand alone novel. I loved the author's style of writing. She slipped back and forth seamlessly between Rachel's point of view and Rand's point of view. The characters - both main and supporting - were well developed and interesting. The story was intriguing and kept me reading (quickly) to the end. I will definitely be on the lookout for more from this author!

4 stars (out of 5)

I received a free copy of this book from Bethany House in exchange for my fair and honest review.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Blog Tour: Red Ink by Kathi Macias

Update: Congratulations to Alanna, winner of one copy of Red Ink by Kathi Macias. Enjoy!

Interview with Kathi Macias

Red Ink
is the third book in your four-book Extreme Devotion series. Each book is set in a different country, with the theme of first devotion and commitment to Christ above all else running through all four. How is Red Ink different, and who/what inspired you to write this book?

Red Ink is the only one of the four books that actually deals with someone being arrested and suffering specifically for her faith in Christ. The story is loosely based on my own personal heroine, Li Ying, who is currently serving a ten-year sentence in China for printing/distributing Christian materials, particularly to children. I pray for Li Ying daily, and I remind myself how very blessed I am to have the freedom to do what she did—without paying the price she now pays.

Can you give us a brief synopsis of this story?

A young Chinese woman, Zhen-Li—raised to observe the party line, including its one-child-per-family doctrine—falls in love with and marries a Christian, and adopts his faith. Though the couple downplays their Christianity in an effort to survive, Zhen-Li’s family is appalled, and she and her husband are ostracized. When she becomes pregnant for the second time and refuses to have an abortion, the persecution begins in earnest. Zhen-Li’s parents, under pressure from the government, pay to have Zhen-Li kidnapped and the baby aborted.

It is then Zhen-Li decides she must live up to her name—"Truth"—and take a firm stand for her faith, regardless of the consequences, and so she begins to regularly teach children about Zhu Yesu ("Lord Jesus") and to distribute Christian literature every chance she gets. Based loosely on the life of Christian magazine editor Li Ying, currently serving a ten-year prison sentence in China, the story of Yang Zhen-Li tells the desperate tale of her incarceration and separation from her family, as she continues to minister to other prisoners, and even to her guards, leading to a surprising conclusion that will both stun and challenge readers.

How did you get into writing? Has it always been your passion, or is it something you came to later in life?

I’ve always wanted to write, for as long as I can remember. I was an avid reader even before I started kindergarten. I wrote a short story in third grade that the teacher liked so much she showed it to the principal, and they decided to turn it into a play for the entire PTA. I was hooked! One day when I was about 13, I was walking home from school with my then boyfriend (now husband), Al, and I told him I’d be a writer some day. He often reminds me how blessed I am to have been able to do what I dreamed of all my life.

I understand you’re running a special contest that has to do with this book. Can you tell us about it?

Actually, I’m running the same contest twice—two chances to win a free Kindle! To be eligible, follow these three steps:

  • You have to read Red Ink and post reviews on Amazon, CBD, etc., and/or your personal blog;
  • You must also be a follower of my Easy Writer blog; and,
  • Let me know via my website contact email that you have met the requirements and want to be entered.

The first winner will be announced in early November; the second in mid-December, just in time for a last-minute Christmas gift.

In addition to writing, you are a popular speaker at women’s event, writers’ conferences, and various venues around the country. How can people find out more about you, your writing and speaking, sign up for your weekly devotional newsletter (in English or Spanish), and/or just view your many book videos, etc.?

They can find me at my website or blog. There is a “contact” button on my website if they’d like to send me a message. I always respond to all my emails!

About the Book

A young Chinese woman, Zhen-Li—raised to observe the party line, including its one-child-per-family doctrine—falls in love with and marries a Christian, and adopts his faith. Though the couple downplays their Christianity in an effort to survive, Zhen-Li’s family is appalled, and she and her husband are ostracized. When she becomes pregnant for the second time and refuses to have an abortion, the persecution begins in earnest. Zhen-Li’s parents, under pressure from the government, pay to have Zhen-Li kidnapped and the baby aborted.

It is then Zhen-Li decides she must live up to her name—"Truth"—and take a firm stand for her faith, regardless of the consequences, and so she begins to regularly teach children about Zhu Yesu ("Lord Jesus") and to distribute Christian literature every chance she gets.

Based loosely on the life of Christian magazine editor Li Ying, currently serving a ten-year prison sentence in China, the story of Yang Zhen-Li tells the desperate tale of her incarceration and separation from her family, as she continues to minister to other prisoners, and even to her guards.

About the Author

Kathi is a multi-award winning writer who has authored nearly 30 books and ghostwritten several others. A former newspaper columnist and string reporter, Kathi has taught creative and business writing in various venues and has been a guest on many radio and television programs. Kathi is a popular speaker at churches, women’s clubs and retreats, and writers’ conferences, and recently won the prestigious 2008 member of the year award from AWSA (Advanced Writers and Speakers Association) at the annual Golden Scrolls award banquet. Kathi “Easy Writer” Macias lives in Homeland, CA, with her husband, Al, where the two of them spend their free time riding their Harley.

New Hope Publishers and Kathi Macias have been gracious enough to provide me an extra copy to give away to one of you lucky winners! In order to enter the contest, (1) post a comment telling me about one of your heroes of the faith, (2) follow my blog, and/or (3) publish a link on FB/Twitter and post a comment to this post with the link back to your post. Each one of these things will earn an entry in the contest. I'll draw one winner on Friday, November 5.

A complimentary copy of this book was provided to me as a blog tour host by New Hope 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.
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