Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Someone Like You by Victoria Bylin

Someone Like You

by Victoria Bylin   
Contemporary Romance
Bethany House Publishers


"Together With You is a gripping story of forgiveness, love, and family relationships that will captivate readers from the opening chapter."
 ---Booklist
Single mom Julia Dare has a lot on her plate. A brand new Christian, she's busy trying to run her own business, spend time with her widowed mother, and raise her young son, Max, despite his father's less-than-ideal influence on him. When a big account from her event-planning business sends her to the Caliente Springs resort, she's shocked to come face-to-face with Zeke Monroe, the resort's general manager and her college sweetheart.
With his faith in tatters, Zeke Monroe is determined to keep the historic Caliente Springs resort running despite financial difficulties. But when Julia walks back into his life, he can't ignore the feelings she stirs up. As they work together on an important client's dream wedding, the fate of the resort soon depends on their success. When Zeke and Julia are pushed to their limits both personally and professionally, will their history put up walls between them or bring them together?
 
 

 Meet the Author

Victoria Bylin writes contemporary and historical romances known for their realistic, relatable characters. Her work has finaled in contests such as the Carol Awards, the RITAs, and the RT Reviewers' Choice Award. A native of California, she and her husband now make their home in Lexington, Kentucky.


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Here is my review of this amazing novel:


First, I would like to extend a heartfelt “Thank you” to Victoria Bylin and her publisher for sending me a copy of "Someone Like You" 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.
From the beautiful cover of the novel to the opening Scripture from the book of Ezekiel to the heartwarming opening pages of “Someone Like You” by Victoria Bylin, the reader is captivated.  Zeke Monroe’s sensitivity is showcased front-and-center.  It made me wonder right away why our leading lady, Julia Dare, let him get away and connected with a jerk instead.  Bylin writes in such a way that I felt Zeke’s frustration right away.  As she pens the internal monologue for her characters, there is a beautifully flowing logic that engages me mind, too.  I haven’t read a book that didn’t talk at me in quite a while.  And there are beautiful poetic phrases that make me sigh inside (“…she couldn’t bear to taste the memories.”).  Wow!

I love how this book shows the ebbs and flows of life in general and the Christian life in particular.  It’s a beautiful story that’s beautifully written.  “Someone Like You” is a perfect read for your weekend or vacation.  And it will happily find a place on your “keeper” shelf.

Her One and Only by Becky Wade

Her One and Only

by Becky Wade   

Contemporary Romance
Bethany House Publisher

"Filled with genuine emotion and overflowing with positive examples of faith, the story captures the imagination while warming the heart."
 ---Publishers Weekly starred 
review of A Love Like Ours
After ten years in the NFL, superstar Gray Fowler is accustomed to obsessive fans. But when Gray starts receiving death threats from a stalker, his team hires an executive protection agency to guard him until the culprit is caught. Dealing with bodyguards 24/7 is a headache, especially when one of them is a young, beautiful woman. How can a female half his size possibly protect him better than he can protect himself?
Dru Porter is a former Marine, an expert markswoman, and a black belt---none of which saved her from disaster on her last assignment. In order to rebuild her tarnished reputation, she's determined to find Gray's stalker and, since relationships between agents and clients are forbidden, avoid a romantic attachment between herself and the rugged football player with the mysterious past.
Yet every secret that leads Dru closer to the stalker also draws her closer to Gray. As the danger escalates, they'll survive only if they can learn to trust their lives---and their hearts---to one another.
 
 

 Meet the Author


Becky Wade is a native of California who attended Baylor University, met and married a Texan, and moved to Dallas. She published historical romances for the general market, took time off to raise her children, then felt God nudging her to pursue contemporary Christian fiction. Becky's work has been a finalist for both a RITA and an INSPY Award.


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Here is my review of this entertaining Porter Family novel:
 
 
First, I would like to extend a heartfelt “Thank you” to Becky Wade and her publisher for sending me a copy of "Her One and Only" 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.
“Her One and Only” by Becky Wade is another wonderful offering in the Porter Family Saga.  This story is about all the Porters, but focuses mainly on Dru, the fourth sibling and only sister.  This feisty gal is a Personal Protection Agent (aka “bodyguard”, but don’t say that to her!) and the company she works for has been hired to protect 6’ plus, solid muscle, womanizing professional football player, Gray Fowler.  He doesn’t exactly have a lot of confidence in Dru’s ability to protect him from his stalker, even though she is a former Marine.  But there are many surprises in store for both of these independent people – especially when they find themselves relying on each other.
 
This is a fast-paced multi-dimensional read that ties up the “where are they now” questions about the rest of the Porter family.  It also does a good job of entertaining with humor, romance, action and suspense with a thread of faith woven thickly through.  I highly recommend this wonderful book!

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Homiletics Revelation 21:9-22:5


Contents (not sentence, direct verbiage from Scripture):  Where?                                                                Who?

1
21:9
1 of 7 angels who had plagues said to me: come, I show you bride, wife of Lamb.
2
21:10
He carried me away in Spirit to mtn, showed Holy City, Jerus, coming out hvn frm G.
3
21:11
It shone w/glory of G, brilliance like precious jewel, jasper, clr as crystal.
4
21:12
It had grt hi wall w/12 gates, 12 angels @ gates, on gates written names of 12 tribes Israel
5
21:13-14
3 gates on E, N, S, W; wall had 12 foundations, on them were names of 12 apostles.
6
21:15-17
Angel had meas rod of gold; city square, 12,000 stadia long/wide/hi; wall 144 cubits thick.
7
21:18
Wall jasper, city pure gold.
8
21:19
found d├ęcor w/evry kind of precious stone: 1st jasper, 2nd sapphire, 3rd agate; 4th emerald
9
21:20
5th onyx, 6th ruby, 7th chrysolite, 8th beryl, 9th topaz, 10th turqois, 11th jacinth, 12th amethyst
10
21:21
12 gates=12 pearls; street gold as pure as transparent glass
11
21:22
not see temple, LGA & Lamb are temple
12
21:23-24
no need sun/moon, Gs glory give lt, Lamb=lamp;nations walk by lt, kings bring splendor in
13
21:25-26
No gates ever shut, no night; glory/honor of nations brought in
14
21:27
Nothing impure enter, nor anyone who does shameful/deceitful, only names in bk of life
15
22:1-2a
A showed rvr of water of life, clear as crystal, flowing frm throne of G/Lamb dn mid of st
16
22:2b
ea side of rvr – tree of life, bearing 12 crops fruit, evry mo; leaves for healing nations
17
22:3
No longer any curse, throne of G & Lamb in city and servants serve Him
18
22:4
They see His face and His name is on their foreheads
19
22:5
No more night, not need light of lamp or sun, LG give light; and they reign forever & ever

 


Divisions (run-on sentence OK, direct verbiage from Scripture):

1
21:9-21
An angel shows John the bride, the Holy City.
Principle:
Christ is fulfilling His promise to prepare a place for His people.
2
21:22-22:5
John sees the Light, the river, the trees and the servants of God.
Principle:
Our heavenly home will meet our every need and exceed all expectations.

 

Subject Sentence (10-word sentence with proper structure):

The Bride descends from heaven, full of Light and life.

 

Aim:

TCMATK unfathomable beauty and blessing is part of the eternal future of every believer in Christ.

 

Application:

1
What aspect of the city would most excite an unbeliever you know?  How will you lovingly share that aspect with them as a bridge to sharing the gospel?
2
How will you pray for and interact with the impure people you know who do shameful and deceitful things?  (Pray that God transforms their minds miraculously to make such behavior disgusting to them.  Speak truth to them in love, don’t send signals of approval by laughing at or ignoring such behavior)
In what ways will you choose light and life and healing today while you await those things in the coming kingdom?  (Prayer, Bible study, meditate on His promises and my identity in Christ, seek honesty and righteousness in friendship, ask for and offer forgiveness)

 

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Homiletics Revelation 20:11-21:8


Contents (not sentence, direct verbiage from Scripture):  Where?                                                                Who?

1
20:11
Then I saw grt wt throne & Him seatd on it; earth/hvns fled His presence, no plc for them.
2
20:12a
I saw dead, grt & sm, stdg before throne & books opened; another bk opened, bk of life.
3
20:12b
Dead judged according to what they’d done as recorded in bks
4
20:13
Sea gave up dead, death/Hades gave up dead in them, ea judgd acc to what they done.
5
20:14
Then death/Hades thrown into lake of fire; lake of fire=second death.
6
20:15
Anyone whose name not found in bk of life thrown into lake of fire.
7
21:1
Then I saw “new hvn & new earth”, 1st hvn/earth passed away, & no longer any sea.
8
21:2
I saw Holy City, New Jerus, cming out hvn frm G, prepd as bride beautifly dressd for husb.
9
21:3a
I hrd loud voce frm throne: Look! G’s dwelling plc now among ppl.
10
21:3b
They be His ppl, G himself will be w/them & be their G.
11
21:4a
“He will wipe every tear from their eyes.
12
21:4b
there no more death, mourning, crying, pain, for old order of things passed away.”
13
21:5
He seatd on throne: I making everything new!  Write this, these wds trustworthy & true.
14
21:6
“It done; I Alpha&Omega, Beg&End; to thirsty I give h2o w/o cost frm spring of h2o of life.
15
21:7
Those who victorious inherit this & I be their G & they be my children.
16
21:8a
Cowardly, unbelieving, vile, murderers, sex imm, those practice magic, idolaters, liars-
17
21:8b
-they consigned to fiery lake of burning sulfur; this is second death.”

 


Divisions (run-on sentence OK, direct verbiage from Scripture):

1
20:11-15
The dead are judged at the great white throne
Principle:
Choosing to die without Christ leads to eternal torment.
2
21:1-8
The new heaven and earth descends and God dwells with His people
Principle:
Putting faith in Christ is rewarded by dwelling with Him forever.

 

Subject Sentence (10-word sentence with proper structure):

God judges the dead and dwells with His people.

 

Aim:

TCMATK Everyone chooses whether they experience the eternal torment of God’s absence or the  eternal pleasure of dwelling with Him.

 

Application:

1
What people in your sphere of influence will be part of the GWT judgment?  And what action will you take today to reduce the possibility of their participation in that event?
What will you do to influence the unbelievers you know to have their names written in the book of life?
What behaviors should you repent of now to avoid judgment based on 2 Corinthians 5:10?
Who will you work to rescue from eternal torment in the lake of fire and how will you attempt this?
2
What habits do you have that God won’t appreciate when you dwell with Him?  And how will you go about eradicating those habits?
How have (or will) you prepare yourself to inherit the kingdom of God?