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When Chicks Hatch by Heather Randall

In life this world doesn’t end when the egg breaks ,sometimes its just the beginning.  When Chicks Hatch is a masterfully written book filled with faith, hope , love and redemption.  Author Heather Randall captivated my attention from the start to the finish of her book. Anyone who needs inspiration minus the preachy feeling should read When Chicks Hatch. 

Highlighted inside the pages are the lives of five women, whose lives although separately lived, intertwine together. At the heart of each womans story is an element of pain . As I read When Chicks Hatch I felt as if I could see into each womans soul .

Love , betrayal, loss , grief and redemption are spread throughout the chapters. I found within the pages that seemingly irredeemable circumstances can hatch into miracles.

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SonRise: Clothed in Thunder, Vicki Watson

imageThis is book three in the Sonrise Stables series.

Evolution vs Creation has been a debate  for ages.  Author Vicki Watson  illuminates the creation versus evolution debate masterfully inside her book Clothed with Thunder.

Rosie and Carrie attended  a 4H club demonstration where a student  did a compelling research presentation supporting evolution . After  hearing the evolution report, the two girls are determined to create a presentation which will  give  proof that creation is the true source of how the world was created.

Many challenges arose during Rosie and Carries preparation for their presentation. One of the trials included  an old adversary  who cheated Rosie out of her first trophy with her pony Scamper. Having  an old adversary enter their life taught the girls  many priceless lessons.

I enjoyed reading  Clothed in Thunder  to my ten-year old daughter.  She  loves  books with horses .   The added bonus is  it’s a book my daughter and I both  agree on and love.

 

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So Much The Better ~ Megan Means

So Much The Better is a beautifully written book filled with wisdom, adventure and inspiration. Author Megan Means masterfully composed characters that seem to leap of the pages. I loved how each chapter led into the other evoking a sense of curiosity about what was going to happen transpire.

I read So Much The Better nightly to my ten-year old daughter . I love the wonder filled dialogue it facilitated between my daughter and I. Most nights I read more than one chapter because I found it challenging to put the book down. Both my daughter and I were eager to experience more of the phenomenal writing.

Imagine you live in a place of peace , security and warmth  where each day flows harmoniously into the other one. Then visualize being swept away into a far away land where you are alone and in unfamiliar surroundings.  You feel lost and without hope. Ari the small lion cub in So Much the Better experienced these scenarios. He was living a peaceful existence with his Mother and the Lion pride when he was mysteriously swept far away.  What if you felt your  journey had reached its conclusion and you found out it had only just began? This very thing happened to Ari the Lion .

Author Megan Means created  a website and social media links to to help get the book’s message out to the world on-line. She also created a Curriculum Companion to the book which is offered for free on her website.It includes 21 lessons on character building that are taken directly from the book to help children become their best selves and inspire them to be great leaders.

To learn more about Megan and her book, visit her website: http://meganmeansauthor.com/.  You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter. You can purchase your copy of So Much The Better on Amazon or Smash-words.cwa-review-crew-disclosure-color-11

Let my Light Shine ~ Julie Kinscheck

I recently had the privilege of being introduced to Christian Rock artist Julie Kinschecks music . I describe her music as being  soul warming , toe tapping down home church music. While listening to one of the tracks on the album called Let my light shine, I was transported back to the gospel sings that my grandma took me to when I was a little girl.  I loved how the lyrics in the song
s were so relevant to life . I related to the song I m a mess . Its great to hear music that taps into issues most of us face at one  time or another in our lives.

Julie Kinschecks music made me feel like I was in church listening to a guest singer . It was refreshing to listen to the lyrics which flowed smoothly from one word to another speaking truth into every crevice of my soul ! I love that her music is lively and fun. I think it wocwa-review-crew-disclosure-color-11uld be great to introduce to young children and adults alike.

Run ~Kathryn C. Lang

You can run, but you can never hide. Sometimes the only way to have a future is to turn around and face the past.   Inside Kathryn C. Lang’s book Run, I discovered how true it is that you can’t run from your past .  Beth formerly known as Sara discovered this hard truth through attempting to run from her tragic past.

After witnessing the murder of her husband Sara changed her name to Beth , and ran away to a new life . After receiving a chain of  mysterious letters, it became evident to Beth that she hadn’t  outran her past. In fact jus the  opposite  seemed to be the case, her past seemed to be pursing her at an undeniable accelerated speed!

Beth enlisted the help of the detective who originally was involved in her husbands murder case.  Both the detective and Beth although at different times end up in a small town in Alabama searching for answers.   More questions than answers initially began surfacing .As the pieces of the mystery began unravelling, it became evident that a lot more was involved in the death of Beth’s husband than she had originally thought.   Faith plays a huge role in the many twists and turns inside the book.

I felt intensely connected to the characters within the chapters of Run.  Numerous times during the book I found myself attempting to solve pieces of the puzzle. It was as if I was present inside the settings of the book. It was impossible for me to put down Run until I had completely read it.

I love the  way Kathryn wove faith in real ways inside her book.  During the book I believe like myself you will find yourself cheering on behalf of the characters while they search for more answers than questions!cwa-review-crew-disclosure-color-11

I recommend this book to anyone who likes to read clean Christian suspense.  You can find Kathryn’s novels on her website Kathryn would love to connect on Twitter.  Be her friend on Facebook. You can purchase Run on AmazonBarnes & Noble or Smashwords.

That Summer ~ Jo Huddleston Book one of the Caney Creek Series

Normally I don’t start my book reviews with the contents on the back of the book. Although with this particular book, I felt that the description would be helpful.  The back  cover reads as follows;

The Great Depression brings devastation to
The Southern Appalachians but love’s triangle survives.

To escape his poppa’s physical abuse and their dirt-poor farm life, Jim flees to an imagined prosperous city life where he can make his own choices, ignoring God patiently knocking on his heart’s door. Settled in town, Jim strays from God and the way of faith his momma taught him. He meets a girl and loses his heart … and meets another girl and loses his willpower. Jim wrestles with social and moral dilemmas as he makes a choice beside Caney Creek that will alter the lives of five people.

I thoroughly loved reading That Summer.  Author Jo Huddleston  has a gift within her writing to transport you back in time.  Each scene inside the pages flows smoothly into the next. I was up way past my Bedtime due to the fact I  didn’t want to stop reading!  As the reader I felt involved in the characters lives and found myself feeling the emotions they went through.

Sprinkled strategically through the book were relevant Bible Scriptures.  At times when faced with a difficult circumstance the scriptures really made a difference in seeing the whole picture of the situation at hand. They gave great perspective into the issues faced within the chapters .

From the start to the finish of That Summer, I felt as if I could audibly  hear the Southern accents of the characters amidst the pages.  It was also as if I was eavesdropping on the dialogue between characters.  The emotions were raw and real.

This book has piqued my interest. I am looking forward to the next books in the series!

Follow Jo on her Website, BlogFacebook and Goodreads.
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Neglected But Undefeated ~Jonathan Anthony Burkett

cwa-review-crew-disclosure-color-11ImageImagine living in a world where  you felt safe and loved , then  without warning being taken to a land where you were told you were not loved and needed to go back to the depths of Hell where you came from.  Inside the book Neglected But Undefeated author Jonathan Anthony Burkett takes you to this place .  Jonathan was living in Jamaica with his grandparents who were loving to him and created in him a sense of love and safeness.  Without warning shortly after his sixth Birthday, Jonathan was taken to America , which is supposed to be a land of opportunity. It breaks my heart to know that not only was he dealing with the culture shock of being taken from Jamaica to America, but he was greeted in America by a Mother who was complacent and obviously didn’t want to raise this precious child.

From the moment he arrived to his mothers home , he was treated as if he existed to be a servant and a personal punching bag for his mother. There was nothing that he could do or not do that didn’t provoke rage in his mother. His mother daily beat him as if he was her enemy. Numerous times Jonathan found himself to be homeless and on the streets.

Inside the pages of Neglected But Undefeated you will find a courageous boy who suffered horrendous abuse. Its appalling to me how a mom could treat her own son so inhumanly. As you read you will discover within the pages of the book that his mom faced her own demons of past. It was painful to be given a front row seat inside of his damaging childhood.

Although death and dying may have crossed his mind more times than not , Jonathan remained strong due to faith and not wanting to disappoint his grandparents. Through reading this book I realized that abuse does happen right before our eyes and  is covered up by children and parents alike. The children cover for parents because they fear what will happen if they disclose the abuse. Parents unwittingly cover up their mistakes for fear of punishment in the form of Jail.

I think this book is a must read for anyone who deals with children on a consistent basis . Also is a must read for anyone who needs inspiration or ability to believe in hope after trauma or abuse.       You may follow Jonathan through  his Website

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No Shame Only Power ~ Val Newton-Knowles

9781621478072largecwa-review-crew-disclosure-color-11 No Shame Only Power is a divinely written non-fiction book that  guides you to an improved  understanding of Gods plan for salvation, life purpose and success.  Inside the pages you will discover three parts masterfully crafted to take you to a higher level of comprehension within Gods plan.

The book is written in three parts. Each part is a building block to help you understand all that God has for you to succeed. While reading I felt as if the author Val Newton-Knowles was speaking into my life with truth and love. In the past I have honestly struggled to realize the power that was already accessable to me. I feel like I have renewed faith after reading this book. I truthfully cannot begin to say how this book has transformed my heart .

After reading the book from cover to cover I feel I have a better understanding of Gods plan for me.  I delighted in the authors ability to always back up her words with scripture! Most importantly she points you to the only place that will allow you complete freedom and  that is the cross.

Purchase Link Through Tate Publishing

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Finding Faith in the City Care Forgot by Teena Myers

9781618626868medFinding Faith is an extraordinary nonfiction  book written in a manner that weaves a collection of stories together to prove faith is still strong today!  Blessings come in many forms author Teena Myers was given a financial gift and told to use it for her ministry. Bewildered and confused she tried to give it back . After realizing she couldn’t return the money, Teena joined an eclectic group of writers which taught and guided her towards her purpose.

After a challenge was given to her by an Atheist , Teena decided to write a book to prove that God still intervenes in human lives today!  One element each story has in common is the phenomenal intervention that God still provides us with today.

Inside the pages of Finding Faith in the City Care Forgot you will encounter an abundance of encounters and experiences that provide substantial evidence of God and his amazing love.  While reading I was hanging on every word with excitement regarding the events unfolding within the pages.

Purchase on Amazon

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Transformed by Tough Times~ Steve Reed

A book about tough times usually implies that the author has had some personal experiences that connect to that topic. Where did the book start for you? Picture

In college, I was a kicker and punter at Oklahoma State University under a demanding head coach, Jimmy Johnson. (Football fans might recognize him as the coach for two college national championships in the 80’s and a couple of Super Bowls in the 90’s for the Dallas Cowboys). Just playing for Coach Johnson was tough enough, but my sophomore year, I got my knee bent backwards in a Junior Varsity game in Lincoln, Nebraska. When surgery and rehab efforts didn’t get me back to playing football, I eventually had to hang up the cleats. Looking back now, that experience made me more aware of how other people dealt with adversity and caused me to pay more attention to how I could respond when faced with tough times.

Your book transitions pretty quickly from your football days to life as a church planter and how that actually prompted you to write this book. How did that all happen? 

When football didn’t work out, I found myself drawn to ministry in a great church near the OSU campus. Charlie Baker, the pastor of that church, invited me and other college students to partner with him in creating a weekly worship service for students. In doing that ministry I fell in love with the church and decided to go to seminary and be a pastor myself. After getting married and going through seminary training, we eventually moved to Kansas City to start churches. For nearly 20 years we were involved in the roller coaster rides of starting five different churches in our region. Most days, I absolutely loved it. But in one of those church starts we had a train wreck that knocked me for a loop and out of a church that I loved perhaps more than I loved my wife and family.

So after that you went on an even deeper quest for figuring out what was happening to you?  

Right. With a new intensity I began to systematically search the scriptures to find some help for my pain. And I collected information and stories from others wiser than me and from many who had suffered greatly and come through with amazing faith and character.

You write about a day in Costa Rica that changed your life. What happened?  

After the break up from the church, I wound up going to Costa Rica on a mission trip with my parents. My parents, by the way, were missionaries when I was a kid and 30 years prior we had actually lived in Costa Rica. For me, going back was a fun, blast to the past. But more than that, the people there were cathartic for me. I was an emotional mess much of the time. And one day I must have cried with three or four people who needed to know Christ, but who were in pain. God used my pain and my weeping with others to both minister to them and to me. That day I discovered something about God’s ministry of tears and how sometimes He does more through our weaknesses and frailties than He does with our strengths.

So this is where your international ministry began? 

Yes. While in Costa Rica, a Guatemalan man by the name of Cesar Gonzalez invited me to come to his country and dream about ministries and churches for people in Guatemala who don’t like church. To hear the whole story you’d have to pack a lunch! But let me briefly say that Cesar would have been a Mafia hit man if God hadn’t gotten a hold of him! With a little encouragement from some pastor friends in Kansas City, I took him up on his invitation, and for two weeks Cesar and I drove around the country looking at dozens of different situations and groups of people. Little did I know then, that 13 years later we would be working in over 55 locations covering Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador. I mention this because I have learned a lot from believers from other cultures and have put much of that into the book. Many of us in North America aren’t aware that both Guatemala and El Salvador have been through recent civil wars. Many people there have shared first hand stories of unimaginable grief and heartache. As I have walked alongside them, my faith has been challenged and I have an increasing desire to not just mindlessly go through my tough times, but to actually think deeply and grow through my tough circumstances. As I’ve done a little bit of that, I think it’s time that I pass some of this on to others who can benefit like I have.

Where can people find your book?Picture

For now it’s only available from the trunk of my car! Or, more conveniently, it can be ordered from the website www.TransformedbyToughTimes.com. Soon it should become available on Amazon and we hope to have a Kindle version  available in the near future as well. By the way, before Christmas we finished taping the audio book and I can’t wait to unveil that in the next couple of months too.

You also have a companion Bible study available as well right? 

Yes! Thank you for mentioning that. I think I am about as excited about the study guide as I am the book. On the website, www.TransformedbyToughTimes.com is a 24-session small groups Bible study guide that can be downloaded for free. It matches up to chapters in the book and then goes deeper with pertinent Bible stories and information related to the topic. Incidentally, when someone wants me to coach them through their own tough times, this is essentially the material I use. In early tests, we are getting positive feedback from groups going through the book and the Bible study together. Do check it out!

Find out about more opportunities for a free copy of TRANSFORMED BY TOUGH TIMES, go to https://www.facebook.com/events/338690666247617.
This blog host was given a complimentary copy of this book from the author in exchange for posting the author’s interview and/or book review on this blog. CSS Virtual Book Tours are managed by Christian Speakers Services (http://ChristianSpeakersServices.com).

ABOUT STEVE REED

Steve Reed is the Chief Encouragement Officer and Cross Cultural Catalyst for Daybreak International, a missions organization he founded that is dedicated to planting churches for the marginalized and forgotten peoples of the world. Currently, his two major projects focus on cowboys in Central America, and Kekchi Indians in the jungles of Guatemala. Those who know Steve best speak of his relentless encouragement and undying loyalty to people who face tough times. When not travelling in Central America, Steve comes home to Kansas City. He is married to Nola, and they have three young adult sons, a beloved daughter-in-law, and a grand baby on the way!