Tuesday, May 31, 2011

A Great Catch by Lorna Seilstad


She wants to change the world.
He wants to change her mind.
It's the beginning of a new century at Lake Manawa resort in Iowa, but some things never change. When Emily Graham's meddlesome aunts and grandmother take it upon themselves to find her a husband among the resort guests, the spunky suffragist is determined to politely decline each and every suitor. She has neither the time nor the need for a man in her busy life.

Carter Stockton, a recent college graduate and a pitcher for the Manawa Owls baseball team, intends to enjoy every minute of the summer before he is forced into the straitlaced business world of his father.

When their worlds collide, neither Emily nor Carter could have guessed what would come next. Will Carter strike out? Or will Emily cast her vote for a love that might cost her dreams?

The perfect summer novel, A Great Catch will enchant you with its breezy setting and endearing characters.

Endorsements
"A Great Catch weaves humor, history, romance, and spiritual truths into a delicious story that will delight readers' hearts. What a fun, relaxing read! I'd like to remain at Lake Manawa forever."--Laura Frantz, author of The Frontiersman's Daughter and Courting Morrow Little

"A Great Catch is a grand slam! In a story as refreshing and invigorating as lemonade, Seilstad raises deep questions about a woman's relationship with God, her dreams, and the people in her life--while making me laugh so loudly my kids came running to get in on the joke."--Sarah Sundin, author of the Wings of Glory series


Here is my review of this incredible novel:

First of all, I would like to extend a heartfelt “Thank you” to Lorna Seilstad and her publisher for sending me a copy of "A Great Catch" to review for them. I am truly grateful for this generosity. I really appreciate the time, effort and expense it takes to make a reviewer copy available to me.

Although “A Great Catch” by Lorna Seilstad is the second novel in the Lake Manawa Summers Series, this is a fun and entertaining stand-alone read. Emily Graham is like a ship being tossed by a storm in the Bermuda Triangle. This triangle, however, is not made up of compass points or latitude and longitude marks on a map. They are made up of her aunts and her grandmother. These well-meaning women are convinced that Emily needs help finding a husband so she doesn’t become a spinster. But Emily has other ideas. She sees herself as a pioneer for women’s rights whose priorities don’t include marriage.

When Carter Stockton rams into Emily on the roller skating rink, he is shocked by how much she has grown up since high school. But he has his own life goals to worry about. His father owns the local bank, and his brother expects Carter to take his place at a desk at the end of the summer. But Carter’s love is baseball, and he would rather make a living under a bright, blue sky than sitting behind a desk. Despite his desire for such a career, he finds himself more than a little smitten by the suffragist, so he pursues courtship. Their worlds seem to collide again and again, finally with an agreement for Carter’s Manawa Owls baseball team to play an exhibition game against a ladies’ Bloomers team in the hopes to rally the locals to pursue the right to vote for women.

This is an absolutely perfect summer read! Baseball, beach and boardwalk in the early 1900s flavors this romantic tale. There is a generous dose of godliness sprinkled throughout that has actually led me to pray for those I know to recognize their “faith holes” and return to church. “A Great Catch” truly lived up to its name. I can’t wait to go back and read the first novel in this series, “Making Waves”.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Unbridled Hope (Book Three in the Lone Star Legends Series) by Loree Lough

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!


Today's Wild Card author is:


and the book:


Unbridled Hope (Book Three in the Lone Star Legends Series)

Whitaker House (July 5, 2011)

***Special thanks to Cathy Hickling of Whitaker House for sending me a review copy.***

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Loree Lough is a well-known, beloved Christian romance writer with nearly three million books in circulation. She's released 78 books, including one that's been optioned for a TV movie, 68 short stories, and over 2,500 articles. A tireless advocate of Christian fiction, she's recognized as a leader in the genre and spends time mentoring aspiring writers. She's also a sought-after speaker who encourages audiences with her comedic learned-the-hard-way lessons about writing and life. Loree and her husband Larry have four daughters and seven grandchildren. They split their time between Baltimore and their cabin in the Allegheny Mountains. An avid advocate for endangered species, Loree supports The Wolf Sanctuary of Pennsylvania and other worthy causes close to her heart including The Wounded Warriors Project and The Ovarian Cancer Research Fund.

Visit the author's website.

SHORT BOOK DESCRIPTION:

Callie Roberts' life is turned upside down when her parents, older brother, and fiancé are killed in a steamboat boiler explosion that leaves her younger brother deaf. Callie survives with a scar from cheek to chin that serves as a daily haunting reminder of the tragedy for which she's partly to blame. Hoping to put the past behind her, Callie moves to Eagle Pass, Texas, launches a successful business, and meets local rancher Micah Neville who is embroiled in a different kind of family drama. In an attempt to protect his cousin's honor, Micah returns from what he told others was a business trip to San Antonio, with a baby boy in tow. He handles the gossip just fine, especially when Callie volunteers to help -- and manages to capture his heart.



Product Details:

List Price: $9.99
Paperback: 350 pages
Publisher: Whitaker House (July 5, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1603742271
ISBN-13: 978-1603742276

AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER:


December 1887

On the Brazos River near Sweetwater, Texas

Raw, unrelenting wind whistled across the deck boards, scattering newspapers and rattling the cleats as the steamboat chugged toward its next major stop, Clear Fork. Callie cupped her elbows, wishing she’d thought to grab her shawl. She’d never liked weather like this, for it reminded her too much of the bitter Baltimore winter of ’85 that had nearly killed her mother and had prompted her father’s decision to move the family west. Ever since, Callie had begun every day with a prayer for her mother and ended by asking God to ease the ache of homesickness.

In time, the Lord had answered her first prayer, restoring her mother to robust health. The second He’d granted in the form of a young seminary graduate who’d been hired to entertain guests with the soothing sonatas of Beethoven and Bach. And, just as the sunshine dispels the nippy mists from the river, the music of Seth’s love had turned her longing for Maryland into a dim yet melodious memory.

Tonight, her beloved beau would give his final performance for the tycoons, high rollers, and politicians who gathered nightly in the grand salon. His final because, in twelve short hours, Callie’s father, a chaplain and owner of the Maybelline, would pronounce him and Callie man and wife.

Heart throbbing with hope and excitement, she hurried toward the jackstay, the secret meeting place where Seth had first confessed his love. Her fingers throbbed, too, from sewing fifty-two satin-covered buttons up the back of her full-skirted gown and from attaching a feathered headdress to her long, lacy veil. Callie smiled, knowing the discomfort would vanish the instant she saw Seth smiling at her from the makeshift altar where he would become her husband.

Sadly, the gown would not fit inside her valise. What a pity she wouldn’t be able to save her beautiful dress for the daughters she and Seth might have! She imagined a bright-eyed young woman with her papa’s dark eyes and her mama’s diminutive stature, walking down the center aisle toward her intended in the little church in Eagle Pass, Texas, where Seth’s dream of shepherding a flock of his own would come true, and he would eventually unite his own daughter with her soul mate.

Still, she took comfort in knowing that her hours of hard work had not been in vain. She said a little prayer for the senator’s wife, who’d agreed to pay a handsome sum for the gown and veil—and for Callie’s eternal silence. “Lord, help the poor woman keep secret the fact that her daughter will be married in a used—”

“Talking to yourself again?”

She stifled a tiny squeal. “Jonah Everett Roberts, you frightened me half to death!” How a boy of her brother’s height and weight managed to sneak up on her at least once a day, she’d never know. Raising one eyebrow, she rested a fist on her hip. “Say, what are you doing out here, anyway? Didn’t I hear Papa ask you to sweep out the saloon?”

He frowned. “I’m waiting for the green flash,” he said, taking a bite of an apple.

Not that again, she thought. “Well,” she said on a sigh, “if that’s the cause for the holdup, you’ll never get the job done, because the sun went down more than an hour ago.”

“Humpf. Leave it to little miss stick-in-the-mud to spoil the moment for a boy.”

“Boy, indeed. Papa says when he was sixteen, he worked as hard as any man on the family farm, and that his folks never had to remind him to do his chores.”

Jonah swallowed a mouthful of fruit. “Yeah, and he also says that if I’m patient, I’ll see the green flash, eventually.”

Callie couldn’t count the number of times she’d heard the same assurance. In fact, she’d heard so much about the elusive emerald flare, which was visible only under precise atmospheric conditions as the sun disappeared into the horizon, that she’d wished a time or two for the patience to believe in the phenomenon, herself.

But wishing wouldn’t get her any closer to the jackstay and her darling Seth. “Your tactic might work on Mama and Tim,” she said, giving his shoulder a playful shove, “but I see it for what it is: a ‘clever’ way to shirk your responsibility—”

A thunderous roar set the deck to quaking beneath their feet. Please, Lord, not the boilers! she thought as a second deafening blast threw her and Jonah to the floor. Instinct made her grab his collar and drag him under a heavy table, where she covered their heads with a tablecloth. Shards of glass and splinters of wood rained down as a third explosion rocked the steamer.

Choking smoke closed in around them as flecks of glowing ash floated down like fiery snowflakes. With its shallow keel and inch-thin hull, the Maybelline’s flimsy design assured swift river travel—and guaranteed that it would sink swiftly, too.

If that happened, it would be her fault.

If only she’d stoked the boilers like she was supposed to, instead of handing the job over to Tim! She’d seen the vacant “I don’t understand” stare in her older brother’s eyes enough times to recognize it for what it was, yet she’d ignored it to gain a few minutes more with Seth.

Callie scrambled forward with one objective: to make sure that Tim, her parents, and her beloved Seth had survived.

“Wait!” Jonah hollered.

“You’re safer right here,” she said, meeting his frightened eyes. “I know you’re scared, Jonah. I’m scared, too.” Using a corner of her apron, she dabbed at the blood dribbling from both of his ears. “But you need to stay here, before you’re hurt even worse.” She gave him a little shake. “If the steamer starts taking on water, I want you to make your way to the riverbank. Once you’re there, find the biggest tree and stay put. Do you understand?”

His confused expression mirrored the one that had long seemed frozen to Tim’s face. But their older brother had been slow from the day he was born, unlike Jonah, who could solve arithmetic problems without the aid of slate and chalk. She blamed Jonah’s expression on fear and scrambled to her feet. Why did both her brothers turn to her for comfort and support, when she was younger than both of them?

On the heels of a frustrated sigh, she scooted out from under the table. “Lord, watch over him,” she prayed as she raced along, darting between rivers of blue-orange fire that snaked and coiled across the deck and dodging the witch-finger flames that flared from each cabin window. When a fierce groan sounded from above, she crooked her elbow to protect her eyes and looked up. The breath caught in her throat when she saw the tallest of the three fat smokestacks teeter as it gave way to the gluttonous fire monster gnawing at its wooden moorings.

Callie barely gathered her wits in time to sidestep it. If only she’d thought to gather her skirts, too. The heel of her boot caught on a fold of muslin, slowing her escape by a mere fraction of a second. She was already falling when a grapefruit-sized lump of glowing coal slammed into her right temple.

“Sweet Jesus,” she prayed as dizziness overwhelmed her “Keep…them all…safe.”

For the second time in as many minutes, her prayer was interrupted, as she slipped into the dark unconscious.

Two years later~October 2, 1889

The Lazy N Ranch, Eagle Pass, Texas

The sweet-smelling envelope was addressed to “M. Neville.” At least, that’s what Micah had thought at first glance. But the message inside the envelope didn’t make a lick of sense. So, he studied the addressee a second time, and a third, before realizing that the fanciful M was, instead, a D. Guilt at reading his cousin’s mail was quickly overshadowed by concern at the nature of the message. Dan had already lived two lifetimes’ worth of misery in his twenty-eight years.

Micah shook his head and said a silent prayer for Dan, who’d shouldered a burden of self-blame ever since his twin sister had died tragically at the age of thirteen, even though nobody held him responsible. Guilt and remorse, along with the whiskey used to numb the emotional pain of his loss and the physical torment of a bum leg suffered in a stampede, had managed to turn the once shy, gentle boy into a man hell-bent on self-destruction and prone to angry brawls. About once a year, Dan had summoned the strength to shake his addiction, but, all too soon, self-loathing would lure him back to the bottle. Fourteen months into the latest stint of sobriety, Micah had begun to notice signs that made him fear things were about to take another ugly turn, but then, praise God, Levee O’Reilly had come to town as the new schoolteacher. She’d taught her students reading, writing, and arithmetic, all the while teaching Dan to value his own life.

The two had married, and their relationship seemed solid and strong. But now, something like this? Micah glared at the single sheet of scented ivory paper on which, with a few well-chosen words, the writer had implied a dozen sinister things, any one of which could start the dominos toppling in Dan’s life yet again.

Slumping onto the edge of his bed, Micah read the letter a fourth time. Maybe he’d underestimated his cousin’s ability to stand strong, even in the face of this woman’s spiteful threats. He had a lot more to live for now, though. Maybe this woman wanted to destroy him, once and for all.

Micah would not take that chance. For one thing, Dan had always been his favorite cousin—a statement in itself, since there were dozens in the Neville clan. For another, Dan had protected him more times than Micah could count. As a youngster, he’d been puny and timid and had spoken with a lisp, just the sort of stuff that invited the taunts of the bigger, older boys. But, without fail, Dan would always put a stop to it.

Eventually, Micah’s front teeth had grown together, eliminating the lisp, and his body had grown, too. At six feet three inches, and with two hundred and twenty pounds of raw muscle, Micah’s size alone would have discouraged any bully. But by the time the Neville men had embarked on the trail drive of ’86, Dan’s determination to defend Micah had become so ingrained that he hadn’t thought twice about maneuvering his horse between his cousin and a bevy of gun-blasting rustlers. Dan had laughed off the bullet in his shoulder in exactly the same way he’d laughed off every swollen knuckle, bloodied lip, and black eye endured to protect Micah. “You’ve done me a favor, cousin,” he’d said, gritting his teeth as Cookie dug out the slug, “because certain ladies like a man with scars!”

Had the author of this letter been one of those ladies?

Micah harrumphed. “A female, maybe, but I’d bet my horse she’s no lady.” Scooting closer to the night table, he turned up the lantern and leaned into the golden light to read those ominous closing lines yet again:

…at two o’clock on Friday afternoon, the fifteenth of October, I will be at the train station in San Antonio, Texas. If you choose not to meet me there, I shall have no alternative but to bring this very urgent matter to the attention of the authorities.

Most sincerely yours,

Pauline Eden Devereaux

“Urgent matter”? A dozen possible scenarios flashed in Micah’s brain, none of them good. Under ordinary circumstances, Dan wouldn’t squash a beetle under his boot, but there was nothing ordinary about the way his personality changed once a few pints of whiskey burned in his veins. If he was drinking when he ran into this woman….

Micah got to his feet and started pacing. He didn’t want to believe that Dan was guilty of any offense. The more likely story, he told himself, was that this Pauline character had gotten wind of how many acres made up the Lazy N Ranch and hoped to weasel a few hundred dollars in exchange for her silence about whatever matter she seemed to believe might interest the authorities. And, since the family never discussed their troubles beyond the closed door of Uncle Matthew’s office, she had no way of knowing how steeply their profits had dropped due to anthrax, weevils, droughts, and storms.

There was only one way to know for sure, and that was to take a trip to San Antonio to meet this femme flimflammer face-to-face. He didn’t know what excuse he’d cook up to put himself there, or how he’d squash her scam, but Micah knew this much: he intended to defend Dan for a change.



Here is my review of this enjoyable novel:

First of all, I would like to extend a heartfelt “Thank you” to Loree Lough and his/her publisher for sending me a copy of "Unbridled Hope" to review for them. I am truly grateful for this generosity. I really appreciate the time, effort and expense it takes to make a reviewer copy available to me.

Loree Lough’s “Unbridled Hope” is the charming tale of two people who are assuming more responsibility than they should. Carrie is a woman who feels responsible for the deaths of her loved ones in an explosion as well as the deafness suffered by her younger brother in the same accident. She also bears a disfiguring scar from that fateful evening. She is a loving Christian woman who feels that she doesn’t deserve to find happiness after causing the accident that took the lives of her fiancé and other family members.

Micah is a handsome Christian man who travels to San Antonio on business and comes home with a wagon full of seed and a baby! He believes he owes it to his cousin, Dan, to find out of Reid’s mother’s story is true before he tells his cousin that he is a father.

The crushes they have on each other are tying their hearts together, but Carrie doesn’t believe she deserves the love of a good man like Micah, and Micah refuses to make his intentions known to Carrie until his investigation on the Reid’s mother is complete. This beautifully written story is an entertaining read about sweet people that will pluck your heart strings.

Bible Study: Coming Out Of Bondage - Exodus - Chapter 32


Please forgive this rough draft format, as these are my raw study notes on the book of Exodus. I felt a great sense of urgency to publish them rather than waiting until I had the time to pretty them up. Thank you and I pray that God blesses you through this material.

Stacey


Take a few minutes to savor Exodus Chapter 32. Then return here and ponder the thoughts, answer the questions, and be sure to leave comments about your own revelations…


32:1-4 – If we don’t love God more than people, we give in to people’s demands as Aaron did.

32:1 – gods to go before us – Israel was still trapped in a slave mentality. They needed to follow someone or something! Are you depending on someone other than God? STOP!

WAIT FOR GOD!!!

What is the longest duration you’ve waited on the Lord? Was it worth it?

“so long” the people’s perception is that Moses was gone a very long time. See v. 8 for God’s perception of the time. See 24:18 for how long it actually was.

Time spent with God passes quickly, while time spent with our own devices passes slowly enough for us to get ourselves into trouble. I’ve taken to calling this “idle (idol) time.”

32:2 – this was supposed to be the gold for God’s temple.

32:4 – the golden calf may attest to the popularity of the Egyptian god, Apis, a bull. This “god” was defeated by God’s plague against the livestock in 9:1-7.

Fashioned with a tool – how long did it take to make? What did Aaron think about as he fashioned the idol?

“These are your gods” – where did the plural come from?

See 1 Kings 12:25-30.

32:5 – “there will be a festival to the Lord” – Aaron tries to bring God into their sinful actions.

32:6 – they were shouting so loudly that Joshua thought war had broken out in the camp! See 32:17.

32:7-11 – Neither God nor Moses wants to claim Israel as their own! Sounds like parents of a naughty child.

32:8 – quick – God indicates this span of time was quick whereas the Israelites in v.1 say it’s been “so long.”

32:9 – stiff-necked – “hinders our looking to the right or left and makes looking up nearly impossible.” (A Woman’s Heart: God’s Dwelling Place – Beth Moore)

32:11-14 – Moses was watching out for God’s reputation. What do you do to safeguard the Lord’s reputation?

32:13 – Abraham, Isaac and Israel – Moses stresses Jacob’s changed name.

32:22 – my lord – did Moses seen like God to Aaron at this point?

32:24 – Aaron didn’t take “credit” for crafting the golden calf.

32:26-28 – once again, Levi participates in a slaughter. Only this time, with permission. See Genesis 34:25-31.

32:31-32 – Moses and Jesus both offered to take the punishment for Israel’s sin. See 2 Corinthians 5:21. (Jews for Jesus newsletter, April 2008)

WOW! I don’t think I’d make this offer… See also Romans 9:1-3. Paul offered the same thing symbolically. Are you willing to intercede for another? An enemy? Are you willing to stay before the Lord until He changes your heart about that person?

32:33 – we start out with our names in the book!

32:35 – A second punishment for sinning with the idol. I wonder what sort of plague it was.


What attributes of God have you observed in your study today? How will this change your relationship with Him?

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Fully Engaged: How to Do Less and Be More by John Busacker

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!


Today's Wild Card author is:


and the book:


Fully Engaged

Summerside Press (May 1, 2011)

***Special thanks to Audra Jennings, Senior Media Specialist, The B&B Media Group for sending me a review copy.***

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


John Busacker is president of The Inventure Group, a global leadership-consulting firm, and founder of Life-Worth, LLC, a life planning creative resource. He is a member of the Duke Corporate Education Global Learning Resource Network and is on the faculty of the University of Minnesota Carlson School’s Executive Development Center.

In 2009, Busacker released his first book, 8 Questions God Can’t Answer, which unlocks the profound power of Jesus’ timeless questions. He annually teaches in a variety of emerging faith communities and supports the development needs of leaders in Africa through PLI-International.

John is an avid explorer, occasional marathoner, and novice cyclist. He and his wife, Carol, live in Minneapolis and have two adult sons, Brett and Joshua.

Visit the author's website.

SHORT BOOK DESCRIPTION:

Doing less is typically equated with laziness in our culture, but on a recent trip to the Serengeti plain, author John Busacker learned that doing less can actually be a very productive strategy for living. As Busacker and his family realized that they were lost in the wilds of Africa, their guide, Moses, stopped and waited for a new course to emerge. Within moments, the family was back on the right path. What John learned that day was the power of what can happen when he stopped DO-ing in order to focus on BE-ing found.

In the same way, says Busacker, we have to allow our internal GPS to stop and recalculate the direction of our life. As we do so, we’ll find greater abundance, contentment, and peace of mind. If you are like most people who feel lost on the road of life, Busacker’s new book, Fully Engaged: How to Do Less and Be More, is perfect for you. Fully Engaged encourages and equips us to move beyond what Busacker calls an “air guitar life”—a life of furious motion and considerable energy, but in the end one with no sound and little lasting impact. In a world filled with noise and fury, Busacker offers a measured and wise strategy for living that is marked by three key components: 1) Awareness, 2) Alignment, and 3) Action.

· Living with Awareness means that, instead of piecing together random moments, you begin to live intentionally. By doing so, you no longer measure your life worth by your pay check, but by your attitude.

· Living with Alignment ensures that what you have and what you do match what you really want out of life. It means that your job is not simply a means to make money, but a calling to be pursued with vigor.

· Living with Action compels you to move in directions that propel you toward an exhilarating future. This means that you’re not afraid to fail and that setbacks are to be celebrated as progressive steps on the journey of success.


John Busacker - Fully Engaged from John Hoel on Vimeo.



Product Details:

List Price: $14.99
Hardcover: 144 pages
Publisher: Summerside Press (May 1, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1609361156
ISBN-13: 978-1609361150

AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER:


Measure Your Worth

Your life is worth so much more than money.

It seemed like a good plan at the time.



Seven years ago, our family decided to spend spring break in Tanzania, East Africa. One night, we stayed in a quaint African lodge on the edge of the Serengeti Plain. The plan was to wake up at dawn, drive out into the vast national park at first light, and see who was eating whom for breakfast. By noon, we were to have made it to the gate of the Ngorongoro Crater, intending to venture down in for additional afternoon wildlife viewing.

Of course, nothing on an African safari goes exactly according to plan. It rained during the night, so what passes for roads quickly transformed to goo-filled ruts. Our guide, Moses, was forced to navigate by feel, having neither a map nor GPS.

It became increasingly clear that we were driving in circles, making no progress toward the Ngorongoro Crater. Not wanting to sound any alarms, as discreetly as I could I leaned forward and quietly inquired, “Moses, are we lost?”

What followed was a rapid-fire conversation between Moses and Ramos, our driver. Having limited Swahili vocabulary but reading the body language and urgency of tone, I was guessing that this was not good news!



After about a minute, Moses leaned back, looked straight at Carol, and delivered the verdict: “We could be.”

Uh-oh!
Carol, who is an intensive-care nurse by background and who values both having and then executing an orderly plan, began to envision our imminent death at the mouths of the same lions we had just observed eating a Grant’s gazelle for breakfast.

I knew what our older son, Brett, was thinking by the gleam in his eye. He who has never seen a 50-foot cliff he didn’t want to drop on a snowboard and authentically values adventure, especially accompanied by a little danger, was thinking, This is AWESOME! I’m the fastest guy in the car! So what do I have to worry about anyway?
Humans, it is said, are the only animals that speed up when lost. This is especially true of American humans.

Moses, our guide, did the exact opposite. Rather than speed up, he came to a complete stop and waited for someone else to catch up so he could determine where we were in the Serengeti and then chart a new course to our destination.

He stopped DO-ing in order to focus on BE-ing found.
What we needed that day on the Serengeti Plain was a GPS. What an amazing technological device. Using the broad perspective of three coordinates—latitude, longitude, and altitude—a GPS can find your car amongst the millions of cars on the planet, tell you exactly where you are, and then help you navigate to your desired destination…all in a soothing, patient voice too.

Humans, it is said, are the only animals that speed up when lost. This is especially true of American humans.

When you screw up or are too stubborn to heed its advice, it doesn’t bark, “You moron! Why don’t you ever listen?”
No, it simply says “Recalculating” and calmly charts and then gives you a new route. Now that’s grace!

So why don’t we apply the same broad perspective and grace to our own lives? Our tendency is to zero in on only one coordinate—money—and then ratchet up our speed at all costs to get more money or the stuff that more money can buy (like prestige or power).
Let’s be honest. Too often we value our stuff above our health, relationships, spiritual vitality, or life itself, don’t we? If you don’t think so, take a quick peek at your schedule right now…bet you just winced a bit, didn’t you?

It’s so easy for our personal GPS to get messed up— especially if we’re willing to let a single-minded pursuit of financial assets spin us in circles in the wilderness. After all, we believe, assets and liabilities determine our financial health and overall success…don’t they?
Net worth—what you have minus what you owe—has long been the key scorecard of prosperity and progress. Are you successful? on track? Check your net worth statement.

But is that really an accurate measure of a successful, fully engaged life?

An abundant life is that healthy but elusive blend of play, work, friendship, family, money, spiritual growth, and contribution.
Abundance creates contentment. Contentment inspires gratitude. Your peace of mind, sense of fulfillment, and joy are determined by how well you manage many life dimensions, not just your finances. Intimate relationships, deep spiritual life, right work, good health, a vibrant community, interesting hobbies, and active learning all impact your sense of engagement with life.

Life worth is the investment you make into and the return you receive from all of these dimensions. It is both internal (a deep personal sense of engagement and fulfillment) and external (the ability to bring joy and lasting value to others). And, like a GPS, it takes more than one coordinate to determine your location and direction.
You can be fully engaged with little or no net worth. Here’s what I mean.

Net worth: what you have minus what you owe.

Life worth: the investment you make into and the return you receive from all life dimensions.
The first time I visited Tanzania, I was amazed at how content the people seemed to be, even though they had next to nothing in possessions. I wondered, Is it because they are unencumbered by the shackles of “stuff” that they are fully able to connect with their families and friends? Is that why they are happily able to do the work required to live yet another day? Why they are content, even when they’re not sure sometimes where their next meal is coming from?
Upon further reflection, I couldn’t help but add to these thoughts: And why is this sense of joy sorely lacking in our affluent Western world?

The thought was sobering…and enlightening.

As Os Guinness says:

The trouble is that, as modern people, we have too much to live with, and too little to live for. In the midst of material plenty, we have spiritual poverty.1

Simply stated, material wealth is measured by net worth. Spiritual wealth and engagement are summed up by life worth. So let me ask you: What’s your life worth right now?

Many people decide they must build their net worth first in order to fund life worth later.

But putting life on hold for one more business deal, one more project, a pay increase, a hopeful inheritance upon a relative’s death, or an investment return ensnares the unsuspecting in its grip of “not quite enough.” It can slowly form habits of overwork and selfishness. The focal point is always on what’s next instead of what’s first.

Do you find yourself falling into the trap of thinking, Hey, I’ll just hang in there. What’s coming next has got to be better.
If so, you are in danger of driving in endless circles— and exhausting yourself in the process.

Don’t fall for that kind of thinking. Dreams delayed can become a life unlived. As American journalist and best-selling author Po Bronson put it:
It turns out that having the financial independence to walk away rarely triggers people to do just that. The reality is, making money is such hard work that it changes you. It takes twice as long as anyone plans for. It requires more sacrifice than anyone expects. You become so emotionally invested in that world—and psychologically adapted to it—that you don’t really want to ditch it.2
Dreams delayed can become a life unlived.

Always DO-ing more ultimately causes us to BE less— less of a friend, mother, partner, student, or son.
I know. I’ve experienced it firsthand. I spent 14 years in the financial services industry, sitting at the table with countless people as they discussed their life dreams and financial goals.
What moved me were the life stories of the people with whom I met. Embedded in the discussion of money were the hopes, dreams, fears, regrets, beliefs, and biases of each person. Asking the right questions and then listening with both head and heart got right to the core of the matter with most people. And it was always about so much more than money. Inevitably, meaning trumped money. Life worth always outweighed net worth.

Don’t wait until you have your own “lost in the Serengeti” experience—divorce, death, job loss, a failed semester, or a sick child—in order to enlarge your perspective. Choose to take an accurate reading of your life worth now so you can make a balanced investment in each of your key life dimensions.

To do this, you have to practice a “salmon perspective”—swimming upstream against a rushing torrent of marketing and messaging to the contrary. But nothing wonderful is ever gained by taking it easy. It requires commitment on your part. Let me share something with you. It’s worth it. Your life, thinking, and relationships will be transformed.
Jesus knew all about our natural inclination to fret about our finery and stew about our stuff—to live a one-coordinate life. That’s why He cautioned His closest friends:

Don’t fuss about what’s on the table at mealtimes or if the clothes in your closet are in fashion. There is far more to your inner life than the food you put in your stomach, more to your outer appearance than the clothes you hang on your body. Look at the ravens, free and unfettered, not tied down to a job description, carefree in the care of God. And you count far more.3
Leading a fully engaged life begins with a multi-coordinate focus on your life worth—a realization that

Relationships matter more than anything.

Health determines your quality of life.

Work gives voice to your giftedness.

Hobbies engage your energy beyond work.

Learning animates your imagination.

And Faith gives all of your life purpose.

Nothing wonderful is ever gained by taking it easy. It requires commitment on your part.
To determine your current life worth, use the assessment that begins on the following page. There are 10 dimensions of life worth. Measure each one. Your life is worth so much more than money. Are you living like it?

DO less. BE more.

What Is Your Life Worth?

How satisfied are you with each life dimension listed below? How important are these life dimensions to you? Please rate each on a scale of 1–5 (1=low; 3=medium; 5=high).

Satisfied Important

HEALTH ______ _______

Regular routines that promote healthy energy and vitality
LEARNING ______ _______

People and environments that stimulate growth

FAMILY ______ _______

Interest and involvement in the lives of family members
WORK ______ _______

Work that expresses talents and passion

LOVE RELATIONSHIP ______ _______

Alignment with loved one’s values and dreams

SPIRITUAL LIFE ______ _______

Sense of purpose, relationship with God, and/or service to others



Here is my review of this terrific non-fiction read:

First, I would like to extend a heartfelt “Thank you” to John Busaker and his publisher for sending me a copy of "Fully Engaged: how to DO less and BE more" to review for them. I am truly grateful for this generosity. I really appreciate the time, effort and expense it takes to make a reviewer copy available to me.

“Fully Engaged: how to DO less and BE more” by John Busacker may be a small volume and an easy read, but it is one of the most challenging personal growth books to hit bookstore shelves in quite some time. According to the author, there are three key components by which life is marked: awareness, alignment and action. Systematically, Busacker takes the reader on a journey through these three intertwining lands to develop a clear, concise and measurable strategy for living that is bound to lead to greater satisfaction and impact.

Each chapter ends with a series of workbook exercises to help the reader discern his or her priorities and develop a tactical plan for living more deliberately. This is a wonderful book that I will recommend often and revisit to re-evaluate my own life.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

REVIEW: Rugged and Relentless by Kelly Eileen Hake

First of all, I would like to extend a heartfelt “Thank you” to Kelly Eileen Hake and her publisher for sending me an electronic copy of "Rugged and Relentless" to review for them. I am truly grateful for this opportunity and their generosity.

“Rugged and Relentless” by Kelly Eileen Hake is a wonderful adventure about a group of women who, due to tragic circumstances and courageous character, travel to Hope Falls to begin a lumber business. This sweet and rugged romance is set against a dynamic backdrop of rugged beauty. When the ladies place an advertisement in the local paper for husbands, men begin flocking to their door to fill the bill. Novels like these serve as reminders of the strength and character and pioneering spirit that build this nation into the great country that it is. It makes me wonder if anything remotely like this ever took place in reality.

Evelyn Thompson is a fabulous cook who is taking her cast iron skillet on the road. Her memorable meals have made quite an impression on many men…including Jacob Granger. He is a logger-turned-bounty hunter searching for the man who killed his brother. When his search leads him back to Evelyn, is it a sign that they are meant for each other? This story is loaded with romance and suspense and makes for a refreshing and enjoyable tale loaded with mishaps and charming twists. This book is a keeper.

Monday, May 23, 2011

REVIEW: “The Complete Visual Bible” by Stephen M. Miller

First of all, I would like to extend a heartfelt “Thank you” to Stephen Miller and his publisher for sending me an electronic copy of "The Complete Visual Bible" to review for them. I am truly grateful for this opportunity and their generosity.

“The Complete Visual Bible” by Stephen M. Miller is a feast for the eyes. This visually stunning book offers quite a bit of information about Bible times, culture and references. It didn’t include everything I was hoping to find within its pages, but what one book can include everything? Especially considering how many photographs and illustrations are included within these pages.

I was overcome by the rich and vibrant colors that stimulated my eyes as I perused this volume. The variety of information in “The Complete Visual Bible” makes it a good addition to your Bible study library. Especially for people who are visual learners, this book is truly an optical marvel.

A Killer Among Us by Lynette Eason


What happens when the hunter . . . becomes the hunted?

Kit Kenyon is a first-rate hostage negotiator. Noah Lambert is a good detective with excellent instincts. These new partners have hardly had time to get used to each other when they are thrown into a grisly murder case. As evidence mounts up and more victims are found, Kit and Noah realize they are on the hunt for a serial killer. The problem is, he may be hunting one of them too.

With nail-biting suspense, clever plot twists, and a hint of romance, A Killer Among Us is the latest thriller from Lynette Eason.

Endorsements
Praise for Lynette Eason's Women of Justice series
"My friend Lynette has a hit on her hands with this romantic suspense."--Dee Henderson, bestselling author, the O'Malley series

"A fast-moving tale filled with nonstop action. No chance to catch your breath with this one!"--Irene Hannon, bestselling author, the Heroes of Quantico series

"An exciting ride with characters you will care about."--Margaret Daley, award-winning Steeple Hill romantic suspense author

"Don't read Eason's newest novel late at night!"--RT Book Reviews

"One heck of a thriller. The suspense is high; I was turning pages so fast I had to go back and re-read."--Suspense Magazine

Here is my review of this terrific fiction novel:

First of all, I would like to extend a heartfelt “Thank you” to Lynette Eason and her publisher for sending me a copy of "A Killer Among Us" to review for them. I am truly grateful for this generosity. I really appreciate the time, effort and expense it takes to make a reviewer copy available to me.

Lynette Eason’s “A Killer Among Us” is an intense work of fiction that will capture your attention and imagination from the very first page. Kit Kenyon is still trying to come to grips with who she is. Recently, she learned that her parents weren’t really her parents, and that she has a twin! Noah Lambert is a God-fearing man who finds himself partnered with Kit. The high-energy crime solving takes Kit Kenyon and Noah Lambert to the edge of their skills and beyond. As Kit gets to know her sisters and Noah, she becomes entwined in a murder investigation that has her and Noah believing that a serial killer is after one of them.

Samantha and Jamie Cash make appearances, drawing an already loyal following for these novels to watch these sibling relationships develop. This third novel in the Women of Justice series will keep the reader up way past bedtime. Lynette Eason meticulously lays out a plot that has the reader convinced she’s figured out the whodunit just as another piece of evidence (or is it a red herring) is presented. The sprinkling of romance adds another level of suspense to the story. This is an incredibly enjoyable book.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Time to Defeat the Devil by Chuck Pierce

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!


Today's Wild Card author is:


and the book:


A Time to Defeat the Devil

Charisma House (May 3, 2011)

***Special thanks to Anna Coelho Silva | Publicity Coordinator, Charisma House | Charisma Media for sending me a review copy.***

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


Dr. Charles D. “Chuck” Pierce has been used by God to intercede and mobilize prayer throughout the world. He is an ordained minister and serves as president of Glory of Zion International Ministries in Denton, Texas. He also serves as president of Global Spheres, Inc., a ministry for apostolic, prophetic, and intercessory leaders. He had a degree in business from Texas A&M and a doctorate of ministry from the Wagner Leadership Institute. He is the author of numerous books, including Possessing Your Inheritance, Redeeming the Time, and Interpreting the Times.

Visit the author's website.

SHORT BOOK DESCRIPTION:

Times are changing, and we must stay in God’s timing to prosper in a world where the god of this age is attempting to mold you into the blueprint of the day and cause you to look like the world around you. God has called His people to have transformed minds and to be linked to the Head—not to bring up the rear in producing the changes around us. When we are at the right place at the right time, we can break out of confusing, mind-altering powers that war against God and all the blessings He is ready to pour upon us. The author is writing this book to help us understand how to enter a new level of freedom and victory. This book is like a war manual that will help you stay free from the enemy’s vexing power as you journey through life. This installment of the Time trilogy will teach you how to war in time. Your battles are now! God reconciles our past so that our now opens up to our future. Your defeats in a former season will now become the victories and triumphs for your future.

Product Details:

List Price: $14.99
Paperback: 272 pages
Publisher: Charisma House (May 3, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1616382783
ISBN-13: 978-1616382780

AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER:


THERE IS A MOMENT FOR CHANGE

I do not have time for many outlets or hobbies. My life is mostly travel, ministry, prayer, and family. At one time I painted on canvas. That was an enormous outlet. I still do some yard work when I have a Saturday and observe that Pam, my wife, is behind on maintenance. I travel 70 percent of the time, so that is usually my excuse when people ask me what I do. I actually sleep very little (a five-hour-a-day sleep pattern) and spend much of the night (and day) praying for people. I listen daily for my prayer list to form. Usually the Lord keeps ten people on that list each day. These are people in the throes of transition, ensnared by the enemy, or on the verge. My delight is to seek and know God and worship Him on a daily basis.

One diversion I do enjoy is bowling. Actually, I have bowled for forty years. All of my sons bowl, some better than others, and as a ministry we bowl in city, regional, and national competitions. Our teams are Christian influences (most of the time) when we compete.

So why would I be starting this book this way? Recently, we were in competition on a regional level. In the first game of the nine-game competition, my son John Mark bowled a perfect game, a score of three hundred. He has performed this feat several times, so the perfect score was not the real issue. During the game, the Spirit of God impressed me deeply with these words: “There is a moment for change and victory.” I looked at my score—one hundred seventy. I really could not grasp what I was hearing.
Here at Glory of Zion we have corporate prayer on Tuesday mornings. During our next Tuesday prayer, I heard the voice of God speaking again, “There is a moment for change and victory.” I wasn’t leading in the prayer meeting, and this revelation from heaven appeared not to fit, so like Mary, I just pondered this statement.

Tuesday nights, we have five teams in a very competitive regional league. The league is called “The Money League.” This league pays quarterly and is more lucrative than most leagues in the area. I bowl with one of the owners of a pro shop in our area. She and her husband are great friends of ours. She is a devout Jew. So she understands G-d and recognizes His reality.
In the last game of the night, when we were only a few pins behind, I kept missing my mark. I heard the Spirit of God say again, “There is a moment for change and victory.” Immediately I knew! Sometimes you know—you just know! If we were to increase our winnings and supply line, I would have to change. However, the Spirit of God was saying, “I already have the time for this change and the grace for you to shift.”

After we lost by six pins and I was leaving the alley, I looked at Dora and her husband, Fred, one of the best bowlers I know, and said, “I plan on relearning this game. Yes, I have done this for forty years one way, but there is a moment for me to change, and now is the time.” I knew I would have to change my entire game—my approach, my rotation, the ball, my stance, my release, my timing, and most importantly, my brain. However, I knew that there was a moment, and I did not want to miss this change, even if I had to fail at the beginning to increase at the end.
I am a right hander, but I learned to throw the ball as a left-hand bowler. When you are right-hand dominant and you bowl like that, you throw a back-up ball. This ball looks like a left-hander’s ball, but you are using your right hand. Now God was saying, “There is a moment for change and victory if you will allow Me to reorder your thoughts and movement. If you submit, you will increase! You can continue to try to back up or face forward, reposition, and learn to go forward in a new way.”
For the mind to break out of the last season’s mentality, there is war. Whether bowling or worshiping or learning a new system or way of doing things, there is war! The war is over a greater portion, an increase, a new way to prosper.
As you read this book, pursue this concept in every area of your life; be prepared to enter into your future. Be expectant! When I asked John Mark, “Why do you bowl so well?” he said, “Every time that I begin a game, I see myself bowling three hundred! I may not always bowl a perfect game, but I expect to do so!” In the next chapter, we will discuss expectations.
Time and space are two of the most interesting and difficult concepts to grasp as you move through your life journey. We are in time, but God is not. Though some of us may feel that we were born out of time, we have been set in time and place to understand our Creator and what He created us to accomplish. Acts 17:26 says, “He has . . . determined their pre-appointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings.” When you are in time correctly, you can grasp God and His purpose for your life.
Times are changing, and we must stay in God’s timing to prosper in a world where the god of this age desires to mold you into the blueprint of the day and cause you to look like the world around you. But we are called to have transformed minds and be linked to the Head—not to bring up the rear in producing the changes around us. Even righteous

Lot was vexed because of his environment in Sodom. When we are at the right place at the right time we can break out of vexing, confusing, mind-altering powers that war against the covenant of holy God and all of the blessings He is ready to pour upon us.

In this season, you must know your belief system. What do you believe in? Whom do you believe in? Everyone has some sort of belief system that they develop for their life. Mine is the Word of God. In this season we must rehearse the Word. What revelation has come to you? That is what you use to war in the world around you. We must meditate on what God says until the power of that revelation enters our bloodstream and cell structure. We also must learn to worship and minister in our homes. Doing so will allow our gifts to be activated in a new way in small groups. When the time comes that we are not free to worship publicly in our church buildings, we will already know how to continue worshiping in our homes. Take the points below and use them to speak into your life and the environment around you.

I Believe the Bible Is the Word of God


I am asked often, “What do you believe?”

This summarizes my belief system: Hebrews 4:12 says, “For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” Romans 10:17 says, “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Therefore I contend that if faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God, then for those who are lost, faith to be saved comes by hearing the Word of God, and for those who are already saved, faith to continue on to spiritual maturity comes by hearing the Word of God.

I believe Father God came as Spirit and hovered over a virgin and impregnated her. I believe the Son was then born to this virgin named Mary and grew in stature and favor with man. I believe that He came unto His own but His own did not receive Him. I believe that He overcame the power of sin in this world and withstood all temptations that would be known to man. He presented who Father was to mankind. He then submitted Himself to Father’s plan, for me. He was then sacrificed, that I could be redeemed from the power of sin. I believe that He overcame death, hell, and the graveand now sits at the right hand of the Father. I believe His Spirit dwells among us to give us the same power to overcome all temptation, sin, and decay of the world.

I believe that I can be a son and receive a full inheritance from Him. I believe that the miracle-working power that was displayed by Jesus Christ, the Messiah, as He rose from the dead is now working in the world today. It is available to each and every one who will submit to the cross he or she has been given. This power enables us to unlock our futures and walk in overcoming victory.
I believe His power is working in the earth to align and redeem nations, forming a joyful house of prayer for each ethnic group. I believe this power continues to work to make Gentiles and Jews into one new man who will be presented to the Father. I believe that if I give my best, monthly, to Him, I will move from blessing to blessing until blessings overtake me.

War With Your Prophetic Word


The Word of God endures forever (Isa. 40:8; Ps. 119:89). The world cannot overcome the power of God’s life-giving Word when released through the spirit of man. The Spirit of God breathing on His Word makes His Word life and power. This Word is not bound by time but transcends from generation to generation and beyond. The deeds of the Word can be shared as a testament from one person and will affect the generations to come. The Word produces works—divine revelation and requirements that we believe will manifest. The Word is synonymous with speech, command, promise, and prophecy. Therefore we must speak the Word or utter our belief. Prophetic utterance is vision being released. “Where there is no vision [no redemptive revelation of God], the people perish” (Prov. 29:18, amp). Vision produces faith. Within our vision is the allotment for our provision.

Faith Develops and Increases


Faith is linked with an object. This book centers on a holy living God who sent His Son as His perfect reflection for us to believe, just as the prophets have prophesied and the Scriptures have been written. We do not seek God just for information; we seek God so we can respond and relate to Him. God is not important unless He is the supreme importance of our life.
Faith is not the same as belief. Faith is sensitivity, understanding, engagement, and attachment. We can gain more understanding of the object of our faith, or we can resist His plan and lose what we once acquired. A good example is the generation that left Egypt (Ps. 78:14–32; Isa. 63:17). Faith includes faithfulness, strength of waiting, the acceptance of His concealment, and the defiance of history (Isa. 26:13). Faith is preceded by awe or fear—the beginning of wisdom (Prov. 9:10). Without faith, we cannot please God.
Faith is like the numbers of a combination lock. We have many promises, but without combining and mixing those promises with faith, we cannot open up the way to enter the promise. Every time our faith soars, we gain a secret that is like one of the numbers that is necessary to open the combination lock. The secrets of God are with those who fear and reverence Him in worship. Psalm 25:12–15 says:

Who is the man that fears the Lord?

Him shall He teach in the way He chooses.

He himself shall dwell in prosperity,

And his descendants shall inherit the earth.

The secret of the Lord is with those who fear Him,

And He will show them His covenant.

My eyes are ever toward the Lord,

For He shall pluck my feet out of the net.

We must learn to see the miracles that are daily with us. There are signposts all along our path. By faith, signs illuminate and keep our path bright. These signposts are like streetlights that guide us through a dark neighborhood. Because “faith cometh,” we must open our eyes to where we are going (Prov. 14:15).
Our faith is linked with the submission of our will. We must learn how to let His will prevail. The will wars against faith. Until the will is yielded, you cannot secure your desire. Our faith is not just our concern but is also His concern. Only in His light do we see light.

Through His Word, we have power to overcome the enemy’s plan. This season is supernatural! I am a pray-er and love to meet corporately with others to pray. Each time we meet for corporate prayer, we discuss what the Lord was saying from heaven and prophesying to us during the week. Then we pray. We watch and war with this revelation. First Timothy 1:18 admonishes us, “According to the prophecies previously made concerning you . . . you may wage the good warfare.”

God’s people must leave religion and their natural way of battle and enter this supernatural season with sharpened weapons. This is a season of breaking new ground, a time for us to gain new vision. For you to see the necessary action for breakthrough, you must extend your hand through the darkness and into the heavenly realm. You will touch God in a new way. That divine touch is like lightning connecting from one world to this world. You become God’s lightning rod. The Lord will give you strength by touching you with His hand. He will release the sword of revelation, which will connect with you to do war. Every dark, evil, watching force cannot hide when His light invades the realm of Earth and illuminates your spirit with revelation. Revelation produces faith, and faith overcomes.

Lift Your Hands for a Fresh Touch


Prophecy is the life flow of God’s voice and heart to His people and the earth realm. Recently I heard Him say, “Do not let your hands grow slack at this time. Slack hands will not be able to grab the weapon that is needed to defeat the enemy. I am bringing new strength into your hands. Your hands will be free as you ready yourself for the battle ahead. There’s a new watchman call that I’m placing upon My people, and they will stand, observe, and see in ways they’ve not seen before. They will know the order when things are not in order. You must be able to watch and see the slightest ‘out of order’ issue that would keep Me from moving you and yours forward. Don’t major on minors but see with My eyes, for I am setting many bodies in order. One of these is yours! I am setting groups in order. I am setting towns in order, and I am setting cities in new order. This is not a time for slack hands. This is not a time for manipulation and rearrangement or justification. You must see the way I see things; otherwise you will find yourself saying, ‘What happened to the glory in my boundaries?’ Raise up your slack hands now, and I will energize them, and you will be ready for the battle ahead.”
I am writing this book to help us understand how to take a word like this and enter a new level of freedom and victory. This book is the third of a series. The first two books, Interpreting the Times and Redeeming the Time, helped us to understand time. This third book is to extend a call to you. This call is for you to prosper. This call is for you to soar above all the atmospheric forces around you that would rob your faith and vision. This call is to withstand and overcome the vexing power of an enemy who opposes God in you—the Hope of Glory! Throughout this book, I want to encourage your spirit man to rise up and be filled with His Spirit. Look at your hands now and say, “NOW IS THE TIME FOR YOU TO PROSPER!” This book is like a war manual that will help you stay free from the enemy’s vexing power as you journey through life.

War in Time


This installment of the Time trilogy will teach you how to war in time. Your battles are now! Your battle is not in the past. Some of what you are warring through originated in your past. But God is one who reconciles our past so that our now opens up to our future. He will bring your past in front of you so your defeats in a former season will now become the victories and triumphs for your future. This book is meant to educate and encourage you on how the enemy attempts to deflate your spirit man so you cannot soar in the heavenlies with the One who paid the price to make you free to rise to your royal state.

In a crisis season, the strategies of heaven must invade your sphere of authority! Everyone has a portion. You have been positioned in a sphere of authority. You must understand your sphere of authority and know how to operate with others in that sphere. It is from this sphere that you will watch the formation of your new. A sphere is a circuit of motion, revolution, or orbit. A sphere is also defined as a vast expanse where your heavenly realm appears. My favorite definition of sphere is “a circuit of action, knowledge, or influence that is both linked to the functional area of your involvement and every territory that is affected by you exercising authority.” Within this expanse is an order of society that you can influence. In 2 Corinthians 10, Paul talks about what his sphere of influence includes and where he does not have certain authority to rule. This is where you enter the new!

For you to see what is happening new around you, you must shake off all discouragement, disillusionment, and disinterest. You must tell your emotions not to resist the new. You must believe that God has more for you. In other words, your latter can be greater than your former! You must go up into a new spiritual realm. Actually, you must go beyond where you have been in the past.
As you read this book, I will be addressing each of the points that I will briefly outline below.

Ten Key Revelatory War Points


1. How to enter the new season that has begun It takes a war to break out of one season and enter another. We all go through transition times. (I write several chapters on this in the other two Time books.) Every transition time has three phases, and each phase has a warfare element involved. John the Baptist was a transitional prophet between the old covenant and new covenant. He announced in the wilderness who was coming. Jesus served the world transitionally between the wilderness of the old covenant and through the warfare of the cross of redemption up to the time when the Holy Spirit came to be our advocate in the world. In our lives, transitional times are filled with warfare but lead to the breaking of a new day (Ps. 110).
The Word of God is written from a Hebrew perspective. In Hebraic terms, we have entered a season linked with the number 70. This book is being written as we proceed into 2010. In the Hebrew perspective, the year is 5770. (This will be explained in detail as you read.) The number 70 in Hebrew is ayin. In Hebrew, ayin means “eye.” In the season of ayin, or “the eye,” God will create new vision in you for your life, family, ministry, and land where you are positioned. All seventies are linked with breaking captivity from one season and entering a realm of greater freedom. As you refresh and clear your conscience, you will see clearly. Holy Spirit is ready to give us Father’s eyes to see the world around us. I will explain other seasons as you proceed in the book.
2. How to see and open your eyes to a greater dimension of the demonic realm you will see beyond the dark structures that attempt to produce fear in your life. You will move in faith against what you have discerned and view your battles from God’s heavenly perspective. You will say, “I now see what was attempting to discourage and stop me from advancing.” When you see these foes in a new way, you will not be overwhelmed. Remember, Elijah saw the “word and the demon gods” that Jezebel was aligned with and ran from his position of authority. (See 1 Kings 19:1–3.) His actions postponed the Lord’s plan to change the government of Israel. You will learn to see and take your stand against what has opposed you from having victory.

3. How to hear the Spirit of God You will begin to perceive the prophetic revelation you need to break forth. While you are praying, Yeshua, who is at the right hand of the Father, will open the way for you to have an audience with the King. He will hear and respond. You will become alert and look again at what He has already said to you in the past seasons. He will refresh you with His voice, and you will gain the revelation you need now to see a manifestation of His grace and promise in your life. You will progress in your spiritual life and process. The Spirit of God is ready to manifest in new ways.

4. How to colabor with angels and ministering spirits God has released engineering and conducting angels. The Spirit of God wants many things engineered (as in construction) and conducted (as in electricity) in this season. We are entering into a new building season. To build means to add “sons and daughters” to what is being built. There is a new apostolic leadership arising to lead the body of Christ into this kingdom season. The apostolic leaders who are being raised up today will be downloading heaven’s building plan for His kingdom projects. Invite these angels as messengers to bring God’s plans. Angels will be ministering to us with fire in this new season. We will see great demonstrations of power, including unusual miracles.

5. How to receive your new assignment and go forth into new mission fields God will be sending some of His people into dark structures. Do not fear the darkness. He will give you night vision to see a path of righteousness through any unrighteous structure. This will be like moving in the Gulf Stream through normal ocean currents. The Gulf Stream is a warm stream that originates in the Gulf of Mexico, goes through the Florida Straits, and then moves into the colder waters of the Atlantic Ocean. God is parting waters. Dark spirits that have stopped us from advancing in certain areas to bring forth the harvest commission of the Son will now let go of harvest gates. First Corinthians 16:9, which says, “For a great and effective door has opened to me, and there are many adversaries,” will become a reality in this season. The Word of God will enter places that have been closed and groups of people who have resisted freedom. Demon forces will part like the Red Sea and will be held back while God’s children go into their new assignments.

6. How to see and get into the next move of God Do not look at just jumping in the river in this season, but go to the source—the place where the river is beginning. Go to the high places. Topple old thrones of iniquity, follow the river down, and break all dammed structures. Find the supply sources that have been withheld from you in the last season. God is opening your eyes to see those in need. A new move of God initiated by compassion is being released in the earth. This move will be filled with healing power. Entire neighborhoods, tribes, and cultures will experience a power release. Heaven will and is now invading your atmosphere and is filling your mouth with the Word that will transform cultures, structures, and territories.

7. How to express joy in a new way There is a shout rising from us that will cause God to meet us with His shout. He will open the fountains of the deep to release the revelation about how we are to enlarge our tents and walk forward in this season. There is a shout deep in your belly where the springs of living waters exist. Play skillfully with this shout as it rises and flows from your mouth. (See Psalm 33.) There is a new drink (spring) bubbling up within us that will expel bitterness, pain, and sorrow. How do we get joy unblocked and flowing in a new way and gain strength for our future? This is not a time to grieve. His joy will be your strength! When the Lord had determined to relieve Saul of his kingly duties, Samuel grieved over the loss of what could have been. Therefore the Lord asked Samuel a question: “How long will you grieve?” Grief moves us from shock to denial through the pain and guilt of the past season. We move up and down the emotional scale from anger to depression to bargaining to reflection to loneliness. We forget that God’s plan is for “joy to come in the morning”!

8. How to gain new vision and see your provision God will open our eyes to things we could not see in the last season so that He can activate the vision within us and finish what He has begun in us. He is Alpha and Omega. Alpha will show you how to begin what needs to be finished. Omega will show you how to walk things to the end. Poverty and infirmity blind our vision. Therefore, you will overcome and disconnect these two demonic spirits’ handshakes and enter into new thought processes.

9. How to have a renewed mind and a restored, alive human spirit filled with Holy Spirit

There is a path of freedom. There is a path of deliverance that leads to your destiny. God is making our minds new. The crowns you received in the last season need to be cast at His feet. Those crowns were meant to be given to our Lord and not worn into this season. He is fitting us and giving us new crowns to present to Him. He is putting new turbans on

our heads and developing a new mind-set for a new season. Your spirit was meant to soar! We must learn to have a soaring spirit.

10. How to understand the enemy’s vexing power How do you detect a curse working against you? How do you discern a vexing power that is stopping the anointing within you from flowing and breaking you into the prosperity that God has for you? How do you break the powers that have fragmented you and kept you from expressing God’s plan of wholeness and His holy character in your life? You will see Babylon arise in a new way. Do not fear. The kingdoms of the world are becoming His. This will happen as we are sent, as Daniel was, to be the greatest influencers in the Babylonian system. Dark watchers exist to colabor with familiar and familial spirits in our lives. You will see the dark watchers. You will be delivered from familial spirits that are holding iniquitous family patterns in place.



Here is my review of this terrific read on spiritual warfare:

First of all, I would like to extend a heartfelt “Thank you” to Chuck Pierce and his publisher for sending me a copy of "Time to Defeat the Devil" to review for them. I am truly grateful for this generosity. I really appreciate the time, effort and expense it takes to make a reviewer copy available to me.

“Time To Defeat the Devil” by Chuck D. Pierce is a comprehensive Bible study/tactical manual for engaging in the Christian life. Although this volume is specifically geared toward the subject matter of spiritual warfare, it becomes very plain very quickly that every Christian is already engaged in a battle on this plane. The objective is to develop a warrior lifestyle rather than to approach specific events or circumstances as if they are a battle.

I would have liked to see this book be more interactive with the reader. Although a fascinating read with valuable information, I believe this text will only appeal to a more mature Christian audience, and this material needs to get out to the masses.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Bible Study: Coming Out Of Bondage - Exodus - Chapter 31


Please forgive this rough draft format, as these are my raw study notes on the book of Exodus. I felt a great sense of urgency to publish them rather than waiting until I had the time to pretty them up. Thank you and I pray that God blesses you through this material.

Stacey


Take a few minutes to savor Exodus Chapter 31. Then return here and ponder the thoughts, answer the questions, and be sure to leave comments about your own revelations…


31:2 – Bezalel means “in the shadow of God.” He was chosen to craft the articles for the tabernacle.

This is the same Hur who held up Moses’ hands in 17:12 during the battle against the Amalekites.


What attributes of God have you observed in your study today? How will this change your relationship with Him?

Monday, May 16, 2011

A Heart Divided by Kathleen Morgan


When fate brings them together, they must choose between family ties and love.

The Caldwells and Wainwrights have been feuding for decades. Still, Sarah Caldwell has misgivings when her father pressures her into distracting a ranch hand while he and her brothers rob the Wainwright place. When it becomes clear that hand is actually Cord Wainwright, heir of the Wainwright holdings, Sarah realizes things have gone too far.

As the feud boils over, Cord and Sarah make a most inconvenient discovery--they just might be falling in love. Can they betray their families to see where this attraction leads? Or will their families betray them?

Against the beautiful and wild backdrop of the Rocky Mountains in 1878 comes this sweeping saga of romance, betrayal, and forgiveness from beloved author Kathleen Morgan.

Endorsements
"Exceptional! Kathleen Morgan turns the classic feuding families plot into an unforgettable story of love and forgiveness. Her lyrical prose paints a vivid picture of life in the Rockies. A powerful story of love and the true meaning of family. A Heart Divided is a book to be savored again and again."--Amanda Cabot, author, Tomorrow's Garden

"Be still my heart--Kathleen Morgan is back, and she's better than ever! With deft writing, engaging characters, and a family feud that takes the Hatfields and McCoys to a whole new level, A Heart Divided is a powerful love story that will quicken your pulse and speak to your soul."--Julie Lessman, author, the Daughters of Boston series and A Hope Undaunted

"A well-crafted story of two hearts divided by vengeful fathers and feuding families that threaten to destroy true love. A Heart Divided is a thoroughly enjoyable romance set in the magnificent Colorado Rockies!"--Maggie Brendan, author, Heart of the West series

Here is my review of this incredible novel:

First of all, I would like to extend a heartfelt “Thank you” to Kathleen Morgan and her publisher for sending me a copy of "A Heart Divided" to review for them. I am truly grateful for this generosity. I really appreciate the time, effort and expense it takes to make a reviewer copy available to me.

“A Heart Divided” by Kathleen Morgan is the panoramic first installment in the Heart of the Rockies series. This western-flavored retelling of the age-old “family rivals fall in love” romance finds Cord Wainwright and Sarah Caldwell at odds because of the feud inspired by their last names. But the fire that burns between them singes the pages of this incredible novel.

When the Caldwells rob the Wainwright ranch, Sarah reluctantly participates by keeping Cord Wainwright “distracted”. When he spots her in town a few days later, he detains her so that she can be arrested. But the sheriff is out of town, so Cord must take her home with him so she doesn’t escape justice. But what develops between them has the potential to ignite a full-blown war between their families.
This beautifully written novel captures the breathtaking landscape and sets the reader’s heart fluttering. Each character is meticulously crafted, each situation painstakingly plotted. This is a thoroughly satisfying read.

Friday, May 13, 2011

The Lightkeeper's Ball by Colleen Coble

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!


Today's Wild Card author is:


and the book:


The Lightkeeper’s Ball

Thomas Nelson; 1 edition (April 19, 2011)

***Special thanks to Audra Jennings, Senior Media Specialist, The B&B Media Group for sending me a review copy.***

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:



Colleen Coble’s thirty-five novels and novellas have won or finaled in awards ranging from the Romance Writers of America prestigious RITA, the Holt Medallion, the ACFW Book of the Year, the Daphne du Maurier, National Readers’ Choice, the Booksellers Best, and the 2009 Best Books of Indiana-Fiction award. She writes romantic mysteries because she loves to see justice prevail and love begin with a happy ending.


Visit the author's website.

SHORT BOOK DESCRIPTION:


Olivia seems to have it all, but her heart yearns for more.

Olivia Stewart's family is one of the Four Hundred—the highest echelon of society in 1910. When her sister dies under mysterious circumstances, Olivia leaves their New York City home for Mercy Falls, California, to determine what befell Eleanor. She suspects Harrison Bennett, the man Eleanor planned to marry. But the more Olivia gets to know him, the more she doubts his guilt—and the more she is drawn to him herself.

When several attempts are made on her life, Olivia turns to Harrison for help. He takes her on a ride in his aeroplane, but then crashes, and they’re forced to spend two days alone together. With her reputation hanging by a thread, Harrison offers to marry her to make the situation right. As a charity ball to rebuild the Mercy Falls lighthouse draws near, she realizes she wants more than a sham engagement—she wants Harrison in her life forever. But her enemy plans to shatter the happiness she is ready to grasp. If Olivia dares to drop her masquerade, she just might see the path to true happiness.



Product Details:

List Price: $14.99
Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Thomas Nelson; 1 edition (April 19, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 159554268X
ISBN-13: 978-1595542687

AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER:


The New York brownstone was just half a block down from the Astor mansion on Fifth Avenue, the most prestigious address in the country. The carriage, monogrammed with the Stewart emblem, rattled through the iron gates and came to a halt in front of the ornate doors. Assisted by the doorman, Olivia Stewart descended and rushed for the steps of her home. She was late for tea, and her mother would be furious. Mrs. Astor herself had agreed to join them today.

Olivia handed her hat to the maid, who opened the door. “They’re in the drawing room, Miss Olivia,” Goldia whispered. “Your mama is ready to pace the floor.”

Olivia patted at her hair, straightened her shoulders, and pinned a smile in place as she forced her stride to a ladylike stroll to join the other women. Two women turned to face her as she entered: her mother and Mrs. Astor. They wore identical expressions of disapproval.

“Olivia, there you are,” her mother said. “Sit down before your tea gets cold.”

Olivia pulled off her gloves as she settled into the Queen Anne chair beside Mrs. Astor. “I apologize for my tardiness,” she said. “A lorry filled with tomatoes overturned in the street, and my driver couldn’t get around it.”

Mrs. Astor’s face cleared. “Of course, my dear.” She sipped her tea from the delicate blue-and-white china. “Your dear mother and I were just discussing your prospects. It’s time you married.”

Oh dear. She’d hoped to engage in light conversation that had nothing to do with the fact that she was twenty-five and still unmarried. Her unmarried state distressed her if she let it, but every man her father brought to her wanted only her status. She doubted any of them had ever looked into her soul. “I’m honored you would care about my marital status, Mrs. Astor,” Olivia said.

“Mrs. Astor wants to hold a ball in your honor, Olivia,” her mother gushed. “She has a distant cousin coming to town whom she wants you to meet.”

Mrs. Astor nodded. “I believe you and Matthew would suit. He owns property just down the street.”

Olivia didn’t mistake the reference to the man’s money. Wealth would be sure to impact her mother. She opened her mouth to ask if the man was her age, then closed it at the warning glint in her mother’s eyes.

“He’s been widowed for fifteen years and is long overdue for a suitable wife,” Mrs. Astor said.

Olivia barely suppressed a sigh. So he was another of the decrepit gentlemen who showed up from time to time. “You’re very kind,” she said.

“He’s most suitable,” her mother said. “Most suitable.”

Olivia caught the implication. They spent the next half an hour discussing the date and the location. She tried to enter into the conversation with interest, but all she could do was imagine some gray-whiskered blue blood dancing her around the ballroom. She stifled a sigh of relief when Mrs. Astor took her leave and called for her carriage.

“I’ll be happy when you’re settled, Olivia,” her mother said when they returned to the drawing room. “Mrs. Astor is most kind.”

“She is indeed.” Olivia pleated her skirt with her fingers. “Do you ever wish you could go somewhere incognito, Mother? Where no one has expectations of you because you are a Stewart?”

Her mother put down her saucer with a clatter. “Whatever are you babbling about, my dear?”

“Haven’t you noticed that people look at us differently because we’re Stewarts? How is a man ever to love me for myself when all he sees is what my name can gain him? Men never see inside to the real me. They notice only that I’m a Stewart.”

“Have you been reading those novels again?” Her mother sniffed and narrowed her gaze on Olivia. “Marriage is about making suitable connections. You owe it to your future children to consider the life you give them. Love comes from respect. I would find it quite difficult to respect someone who didn’t have the gumption to make his way in the world. Besides, we need you to marry well. You’re twenty-five years old and I’ve indulged your romantic notions long enough. Heaven knows your sister’s marriage isn’t what I had in mind, essential though it may be. Someone has to keep the family name in good standing.”

Olivia knew what her duty demanded, but she didn’t have to like it. “Do all the suitable men have to be in their dotage?”

Her mother’s eyes sparked fire but before she spoke, Goldia appeared in the doorway. “Mr. Bennett is here, Mrs. Stewart.”

Olivia straightened in her chair. “Show him in. He’ll have news of Eleanor.”

Bennett appeared in the doorway moments later. He shouldn’t have been imposing. He stood only five-foot-three in his shoes, which were always freshly polished. He was slim, nearly gaunt, with a patrician nose and obsidian eyes. He’d always reminded Olivia of a snake about to strike. His expression never betrayed any emotion, and today was no exception. She’d never understood why her father entertained an acquaintance with the man let alone desired their families to be joined.

“Mr. Bennett.” She rose and extended her hand and tried not to flinch as he brushed his lips across it.

“Miss Olivia,” he said, releasing her hand. He moved to her mother’s chair and bowed over her extended hand.

Olivia sank back into her chair. “What do you hear of my sister? I have received no answer to any of my letters.”

He took a seat, steepled his fingers, and leaned forward. “That’s the reason for our meeting today. I fear I have bad news to impart.”

Her pulse thumped erratically against her ribcage. She wetted her lips and drew in a deep breath. “What news of Eleanor?” How bad could it be? Eleanor had gone to marry Harrison, a man she hardly knew. But she was in love with the idea of the Wild West, and therefore more than happy to marry the son of her father’s business partner.

He never blinked. “I shall just have to blurt it out then. I’m sorry to inform you that Eleanor is dead.”

Her mother moaned. Olivia stared at him. “I don’t believe it,” she said.

“I know, it’s a shock.”

There must have been some mistake. She searched his face for some clue that this was a jest. “What happened?”

He didn’t hold her gaze. “She drowned.”

“How?”

“No one knows. I’m sorry.”

Her mother stood and swayed. “What are you saying?” Her voice rose in a shriek. “Eleanor can’t be dead! Are you quite mad?”

He stood and took her arm. “I suggest you lie down, Mrs. Stewart. You’re quite pale.”

Her mother put her hands to her cheeks. “Tell me it isn’t true,” she begged. Then she keeled over in a dead faint.

#
Harrison Bennett tugged on his tie, glanced at his shoes to make sure no speck of dirt marred their perfection, then disembarked from his motorcar in front of the mansion. The cab had rolled up Nob Hill much too quickly for him to gather his courage to face the party. Electric lights pushed back the darkness from the curving brick driveway to the porch with its impressive white pillars. Doormen flanked the double doors at the entry. Through the large windows, he saw the ballroom. Ladies in luxurious gowns and gentlemen in tuxedos danced under glittering chandeliers, and their laughter tinkled on the wind.

His valet, Eugene, exited behind him. “I’ll wait in the kitchen, sir.”

Harrison adjusted his hat and strode with all the confidence he could muster to the front door. “Mr. Harrison Bennett,” he said to the doorman.

The man scanned the paper in his hand. “Welcome, Mr. Bennett. Mr. Rothschild is in the ballroom.”

Harrison thanked him and stepped into the opulent hall papered in gold foil. He went in the direction of the voices with a sense of purpose. This night could change his future. He glanced around the enormous ballroom, and he recognized no one among the glittering gowns and expensive suits. In subtle ways, these nobs would try to keep him in his place. It would take all his gumption not to let them. It was a miracle he’d received an invitation. Only the very wealthy or titled were invited to the Rothschilds’ annual ball in San Francisco. Harrison was determined to do whatever was necessary to secure the contract inside his coat pocket.

A young woman in an evening gown fluttered her lashes at him over the top of her fan. When she lowered it, she approached with a coaxing smile on her lips. “Mr. Bennett, I’d hoped to see you here tonight.”

He struggled to remember her name. Miss Kessler. She’d made her interest in him known at Eleanor’s funeral. Hardly a suitable time. He took her gloved hand and bowed over it. “Miss Kessler. I wasn’t expecting to see you here.”

“I came when I heard you were on the guest list.”

He ignored her brazen remark. “It’s good to see you again. I have some business to attend to. Perhaps later?”

Her eyes darkened and she withdrew her hand. “I shall watch for you,” she said.

And he’d do the same, with the intent to avoid her. “If you’ll excuse me.” He didn’t wait for an answer but strolled through the crowd. He finally spied his host standing in front of a marble fireplace. A flame danced in the eight-foot hearth. Harrison stepped through the crowd to join the four men clustered around the wealthy Rothschild.

The man closest to Harrison was in his fifties and had a curling mustache. “They’ll never get that amendment ratified,” he said. “An income tax! It’s quite ridiculous to expect us to pay something so outrageous.”

A younger man in a gray suit shook his head. “If it means better roads, I’ll gladly write them a check. The potholes outside of town ruined my front axels.”

“We can take care of our own roads,” Rothschild said. “I have no need of the government in my affairs. At least until we’re all using flying machines.” He snickered, then glanced at Harrison. “You look familiar, young man. Have we met?”

Flying machines. Maybe this meeting was something God had arranged. Harrison thrust out his hand. “Harrison Bennett.”

“Claude’s son?”’

Was that distaste in the twist of Rothschild’s mouth? Harrison put confidence into his grip. “Yes, sir.”

“How is your father?”

“Quite well. He’s back in New York by now.”

“I heard about your fiancée’s death. I’m sorry for your loss.”

Harrison managed not to wince. “Thank you.” He pushed away his memories of that terrible day, the day he’d seen Eleanor Stewart for what she really was.

“Your father was most insistent I meet you. He seems to think you have a business proposition I might be interested in.”

Harrison smiled and began to tell the men of the new diamond mines that Bennett and Bennett had found in Africa. A mere week after Mr. Stewart’s passing, Mr. Bennett had renamed the venture to include Harrison. An hour later, he had appointments set up with three of the men as possible investors. His father would be pleased.

Harrison smiled and retraced his steps to toward the front door but was waylaid by four women in brightly colored silk. They swooped around him, and Miss Kessler took him by the hand and led him to a quiet corner.

“Let’s not talk about anything boring like work,” she said, her blue eyes sparkling. “Tell me what you love to do most.”

He glanced at the other women clustered around. “I’m building an aeroplane. I’d like to have it in the air by the time Earth passes through the tail of Halley’s Comet.”

She gasped. “Do you have a death wish, Mr. Bennett? You would be breathing the poisonous fumes directly. No one even knows if the Earth will survive this.”

He’d heard this before. “The scientists I’ve discussed this with believe we shall be just fine,” Harrison said.

“I assume you’ve purchased comet pills?” the blonde closest to him said.

“I have no fear.”

The brunette in red silk smiled. “If man were meant to fly, God would have given him wings. Or so I’ve heard the minister say.”

He finally placed the brunette. Her uncle was Rothschild. No wonder she had such contempt for Harrison’s tone. All the nobs cared for were trains and ships. “It’s just a matter of perfecting the machine,” Harrison said. “Someday aeroplanes will be the main mode of transcontinental transportation.”

The brunette laughed. “Transcontinental? My uncle would call it balderdash.”

He glanced at his pocket watch without replying. “I fear I must leave you lovely ladies. Thank you for the conversation.”

He found Eugene in the kitchen and beckoned to his valet.

Eugene put down his coffee cup and followed. “You didn’t stay long, sir,” he said. “Is everything all right?”

Harrison stalked out the door and toward the car. “Are there no visionaries left in the country?”

Eugene followed a step behind. “You spoke of your flying machine?”

“The world is changing, Eugene, right under their noses—and they don’t see it.”

Eugene opened the door for Harrison. “You will show them the future, sir.”

He set his jaw. “I shall indeed.”

“I have a small savings set aside, Mr. Bennett. I’d like to invest in your company. With your permission, of course.”

Eugene’s trust bolstered Harrison’s determination. “I’d be honored to partner with you, Eugene. We are going to change the world.”

Here is my review of this incredible novel:

First of all, I would like to extend a heartfelt “Thank you” to Colleen Coble and her publisher for sending me an electronic copy of "The Lightkeeper's Ball" to review for them. I am truly grateful for this opportunity.

From the beautiful cover of “The Lightkeeper’s Ball” by Colleen Coble, the reader is transported to simpler times that we romanticize in our fast-paced culture. As the tale opens, we are introduced to a solid mystery that we can anticipate will lead to several sleepless nights as we stay up late because we can’t put this book down. And it led me to add “Come Josephine, in My Flying Machine” to my iPod playlist.

Olivia is in a horrible position. Her father is deceased. Her family is about to lose everything. Her sister, Eleanor, was supposed to marry into money and save the family, but she has died suddenly. It is now up to Olivia to marry her sister’s fiancé, Harrison Bennett, and keep her mother from becoming destitute. The problem is, Olivia is convinced that Eleanor was murdered and her fiancé is Olivia’s prime suspect.

Masquerading as Lady Devonworth, her official title in society, she travels to Mercy Falls to investigate her sister’s murder and determine if a marriage to Bennett will be a suitable match. Harrison Bennett swears he will NEVER marry a Stewart! So, it’s fortunate that he finds himself in the position to marry Lady Devonworth, a guest at the Stewart home in Mercy Falls. The potential match infuriates his father because he desires introduction into the Stewarts’ circle of society, making the prospect of marriage all the more appealing. And it doesn’t hurt that Lady Devonworth makes his heart skip a beat.