Quotes to Live By

If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.
(John Quincy Adams)

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit. (Aristotle)

Every artist was first an amateur. (Ralph Waldo Emerson)

Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude. (Thomas Jefferson)

It takes ten years to build up a reputation, but only five minutes to ruin one. (Anonymous)

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Gunpowder Tea

In a case that could change her career, Miranda uncovers a love that will change her life.

When Miranda Hunt sees the classified ad for an heiress to the legendary Last Chance Ranch, she knows assuming the identity of Annie Beckman is the perfect cover. As one of the finest agents for the Pinkerton Detective Agency, Miranda has been tasked with apprehending the Phantom—an elusive and notorious train robber thought to be hiding on the sprawling ranch.

But she isn’t the only one at the ranch with something to hide. Wells Fargo detective Jeremy Taggart is working undercover as well. Their true identities may be a secret, but it is impossible for Jeremy and Miranda to hide the sparks flaring between them.

Neither is about to let romance interfere with such a huge case. Besides, Miranda hasn’t removed Jeremy from her list of suspects yet. The closer they get to uncovering the identity of the Phantom, the more dangerous he gets—and no one on the ranch is safe.

The longer Miranda and Jeremy spend working together, the harder it becomes to keep their feelings in check. Their careers—and their lives—depend on solving this case. Love will just have to wait.

This book is available on October 8th, 2013! 

Friday, September 20, 2013

Forever Friday

Every Friday, a postcard.
Every Friday, a love poem.
Every Friday for sixty years.

Adam Colby is just doing his job, sorting through the unsold Alexander belongings after the estate sale. He is unprepared for what he finds in an old photo album, overlooked by the bargain hounds and treasure hunters—six decades of postcards and poems from Gabe Alexander to his wife, Pearl. The mystery of the Alexanders’ love entices Adam, a man unhinged by divorce and puzzled by the depth of commitment that he finds in the unabashedly romantic cards.

Forever Friday invites you to travel back in time to the early twentieth century Texas Coastal Bend where a young couple—Gabe and Pearl Alexander—are swept up in a miraculous love. As the heartwarming, pulse-quickening story of their relationship develops through Gabe’s poems, the Alexanders reveal a new way to consider what it means to be truly devoted to each other. Could the secrets of their love affair, laid to rest twenty years ago, hold the key to one man’s future?

 Book Trailer

TIMOTHY LEWIS is an author and playwright. He has authored more than twenty plays/musicals. In addition, he teaches a beginning novel writing class at West Texas A&M University and co-directs a summer writing academy. Timothy is also a professional speaker, cowboy poet, actor, and songwriter. He drew inspiration for Forever Friday from the postcards sent between his great-aunt and great-uncle over a period of sixty years. He lives with his wife near Amarillo, Texas. - See more at: http://waterbrookmultnomah.com/author-spotlight.php?authorid=176289#sthash.iCdsp1QA.dpuf
TIMOTHY LEWIS is an author and playwright. He has authored more than twenty plays/musicals. In addition, he teaches a beginning novel writing class at West Texas A&M University and co-directs a summer writing academy. Timothy is also a professional speaker, cowboy poet, actor, and songwriter. He drew inspiration for Forever Friday from the postcards sent between his great-aunt and great-uncle over a period of sixty years. He lives with his wife near Amarillo, Texas. - See more at: http://waterbrookmultnomah.com/author-spotlight.php?authorid=176289#sthash.iCdsp1QA.dpuf
Every Friday, a postcard.
Every Friday, a love poem.
Every Friday for sixty years. - See more at: http://waterbrookmultnomah.com/catalog.php?work=227694#sthash.t5vu1rL6.dpuf

Thursday, September 19, 2013

True Love Dates

Young new voice, Debra Fileta, brings a wealth of knowledge and experience from her counseling practice to equip singles with sound dating advice.

In True Love Dates, Debra Fileta encourages singles not to “kiss dating goodbye” but instead to experience a season of dating as a way to find real love. Through reading powerful, real-life stories (including the author’s personal journey) and gaining insights from Fileta’s experience as a professional counselor, Christians searching for answers to finding true love need look no further.

True Love Dates provides honest help for dating by guiding readers through the relationship essentials that lead to healthy couples—and true love. Debra is a young, professional Christian counselor, and True Love Dates offer sound advice grounded in Christian spirituality. It delivers insight, direction, and counsel when it comes to entering the world of dating and learning to do it right the first time around. Drawing on the stories and struggles of hundreds of young men and women who have pursued finding true love, Fileta helps readers bypass unnecessary pain while focusing on the things that really matter in the world of dating.

I loved this book because it was different from "I kissed dating goodbye." I like how it talks about the expereince of dating to find true love. I have a lot of friends who date their spouses less than a year and then get married. I always wondered if their relationship would last, seeing how they got married young.

I guess I'll find out through Facebook or word of mouth if they get divorced early. But I love how this book guides readers through the stages of healthy couples and advises on relationship essentials. 

It will be available in bookstores on October 8th, 2013. 

Saturday, September 14, 2013

What Once was Lost

A woman meant to serve, a child in the dark, a man standing apart—can these three souls embrace a God with new plans for them?

On a small Kansas farm, Christina Willems lovingly shepherds a group of poor and displaced individuals who count on her leadership and have come to see the Brambleville Asylum for the Poor as their home. But when a fire breaks out in the kitchen leaving the house uninhabitable, she must scramble to find shelter for all in her care, scattering her dear “family.”

With no other options, Christina is forced to approach Levi Jonnson, a reclusive mill owner, to take in a young blind boy named Tommy Kilgore. Levi agrees with reluctance but finds himself surprised by the bond that quickly grows between him and Tommy. As obstacles to repairing the farm pile up against Christina, she begins to question her leadership ability and wonders if she can fulfill the mission to which she's dedicated her life. And when an old adversary challenges Christina, will she find an unlikely ally—or more—in the aloof Levi? Can Levi reconcile with the rejection that led to his hermit-like existence and open his heart and life to something more, especially a relationship with a loving God?

Author's own website: http://kimvogelsawyer.com/

Sneak Peek of the first chapter: http://waterbrookmultnomah.com/blog/2013/06/24/sneak-peek-what-once-was-lost-by-kim-vogel-sawyer/

This book will be available on Sept. 17th, 2013!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Bible Trivia for Kids in One Year

What kind of fruit did Eve take from the tree of knowledge of good and evil? A. pear; B. apple; C. we don’t know.

What did Jesus serve the disciples for breakfast? A. fruit and cereal, B. fish and bread; C. manna and quail.

Learn a little Bible trivia while learning more about God’s message within the Bible. This One Year book features 365 trivia questions that lead into meaningful devotions about the questions. Each devotion also includes a For You section, which gives a simple application to kid’s lives. And the answer to the opening question wraps up the devotion and gives readers biblical references to read.

This book will keep curious kids on their toes and give them a reason to open their devotional and Bible daily. They can also use their knowledge to test family members each day. [The answers to the questions above are C. we don’t know and B. fish and bread.]

I had a privilege of trying this book with the kids I babysat and they loved it.  Elizabeth said, "I love the pictures and the questions. It helped me think." Jack, the younger one liked looking at all the pictures and seeing what was next, even though he was only 2 1/2.  

I mentioned this book to my cousins, and one of them said, "Man, I wish I lived closer to your house, so we can do devotions again." My other cousin said, "I like the Bible Trivia because it helps me learn more about the Bible and God's Word." I gave them a few trivia questions over the phone and read them the first few pages.

Even though this book may be for older kids, the toddlers I had liked the pictures and the applications that I made for them using the devotional book.

I highly recommend this book to any parent! Although, it won't be published until October 15, 2013.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Forgive the UnExcuseable!

Blessed Child

“Whoever said that a straightened hand was more dramatic than a healed heart anyway?”

A young orphaned boy was abandoned in the midst of an invasion and raised in an Ethiopian monastery. He has never seen outside its walls—at least, not the way most people see. Now he must flee those walls or die.
But the world beyond is hardly ready for a boy like Caleb.

When relief worker Jason Marker agrees to take Caleb from the monastery, he unwittingly opens humanity's doors to an incredible journey filled with political intrigue and peril. Jason and Leiah—the French-Canadian nurse who escapes the monastery with him—quickly realize Caleb's supernatural power to heal. But so do the boy's enemies, who will stop at nothing to destroy him. Jason and Leiah fight for Caleb’s survival while the world erupts in debate over the source of his power.

In the end nothing can prepare them for what they discover.

This book had a very suspenseful plot. I could see this turn into a movie someday, but the boy actor might be a little hard to find. This boy was very determined and naive to the world.

I really liked how the boy's innocence of the outside world showed through the book. Nowadays, younger children are being forced to grow up faster than their ancestors and made to present themselves in the adult world.

I would recommend this book to anyone who likes a good thriller with a little kid as one of the main characters.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Between Two Colors

When a horrific battle rips through Gettysburg, the farm of Union widow Liberty Holloway is disfigured into a Confederate field hospital, bringing her face to face with unspeakable suffering--and a Rebel scout who awakens her long dormant heart.

While Liberty's future crumbles as her home is destroyed, the past comes rushing back to Bella, a former slave and Liberty's hired help, when she finds herself surrounded by Southern soldiers, one of whom knows the secret that would place Liberty in danger if revealed.

In the wake of shattered homes and bodies, Liberty and Bella struggle to pick up the pieces the battle has left behind. Will Liberty be defined by the tragedy in her life, or will she find a way to triumph over it?
Widow of Gettysburg is inspired by first-person accounts from women who lived in Gettysburg during the battle and its aftermath. 
 Spoiler alert:
I don't want to give too much away about the book, but I can personally relate to Liberty's life at the end of the book because I am basically between two colors too.

I am American and I am Chinese. Most people only see one color in me, but I see in two colors. I have my Chinese heritage, but I was born in America so I do American things.

People can be more or less cruel when they only see other people in one color. They judge based on color and not based on character. Since being bullied as a child for being different, I don't look at color, but character.

It doesn't matter to me where the person was born. It only matters if the person has a heart of compassion or not. 

Liberty does the same thing at the end of the book. That's all I'm going to reveal about the book.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Faith Through the Hard Times

Right or Wrong

 In 1763 Massachusetts, Susanna Smith has grown up with everything she's ever wanted, except one thing: an education. Because she's a female, higher learning has been closed to her, but her quick mind and quicker tongue never back down from a challenge. She's determined to put her status to good use, reaching out to the poor and deprived. And she knows when she marries well, she will be able to continue her work with the less fortunate.

Ben Ross grew up a farmer's son and has nothing to his name but his Harvard education. A poor country lawyer, he doesn't see how he'll be able to fulfill his promise to make his father proud of him. When family friends introduce him to the Smith family, he's drawn to quick-witted Susanna but knows her family expects her to marry well. When Susanna's decision to help an innocent woman no matter the cost crosses with Ben's growing disillusionment with their British rulers, the two find themselves bound together in what quickly becomes a very dangerous fight for justice.

At first glance, this book followed the plot of wealthy ladies and a poor country boy. But when you meet Susanna and her thoughts of compassion, readers are drawn to admire her kindness and her view to do right. 

I really admired the character of Susanna, in which she tries to do right by her servants in her own home and reaching out to save someone else who have been wrongfully accused and wronged.

I can't really say too much more, or else I might give away the suspense of the book.

If you want to read it, you will have to wait until Sept. 15th because that is when it is published. But if you're like me, and you like reading books that haven't even been published to the public yet, join the program at:

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

City on Fire

As Vesuvius churns, a slave girl-turned-gladiator joins forces with an unlikely source to seek justice.

In the coastal town of Pompeii, a new gladiator prepares to fight. But this gladiator hides a deadly secret: she’s a runaway Jewish slave girl named Ariella, disguised as a young boy. A savvy fighter, Ariella determines to triumph in the arena, knowing her life will be forfeit should anyone uncover the truth.

Cato, a wealthy politician, moved to Pompeii after tiring of the corruption in Rome. But he soon learns that Pompeii is just as corrupt, and if he doesn’t play the game, his family could pay the price. Determined to bring about justice for the citizens of Pompeii, Cato searches for allies. But what he discovers instead is a confounding group of Christians . . . and a young female gladiator whose fame is growing daily.

Political unrest reaches a boiling point as Christians are jailed and executed, and the mountain in the distance threatens to destroy the city with its river of fire. Cato and Ariella must act quickly and courageously to save their loved ones before all is lost.

I waited for this book for so long after hearing and reading the summary of this book. Plus, it didn't help that the girl on the cover has an uncanny resemblance to someone I know. This book was really good. I was drawn into the plot and the whole story.

I can see myself in this girl. Even from a young age, whenever someone said I couldn't do something because I was too young or because I'm a girl, I would try to prove them wrong. Even when educators said no, I still try to prove them wrong.

So when I read about Arielle, I knew I wanted to know her story. I will gladly recommend this book to all the readers who like me have been pushed down in status, either because of their gender, race or their age by others who think themselves superior.

I got this advance copy from: Booksneeze.

It doesn't actually come out until Sept. 17th, 2013. 

Look to Jesus!

Monday, September 2, 2013

This Week


When Her Friend Goes Missing,
Every Minute Counts

Darcy St. James returns to Alaska to join a journalist friend undercover on the trail of a big story. But when Darcy arrives, she finds her friend has disappeared. Troubled by the cruise ship's vague explanation, Darcy uses her cover as a travel reporter to investigate further.

The last person Gage McKenna expects to see during his summer aboard a cruise ship leading adventure excursions is Darcy. And in typical Darcy fashion, she's digging up more trouble.

He'd love to just forget her--but something won't let him. And he can't help but worry about her as they are heading into more remote regions of Alaska and eventually into foreign waters. Something sinister is going on, and the deeper they push, the more Gage fears they've only discovered the tip of the iceberg.

I loved this book more than the 2nd book in the series: Shattered! But I would still recommend reading the second book before reading the 3rd book, so you would get to know the characters and the relationships between them.

The plot was so enticing and enriching. I could not put this book down after reading the prologue. I was totally sucked into the book. I wanted to know what was happening and who was behind it all.

The book was good because it gave no hints to the main suspect, until the author wanted to reveal it to you. I guessed wrong too because the characters were really good in covering it all up.

I highly recommend reading this book. After I read the last page, I was still pumped with the adrenaline from the climax of the plot.