Coldshot by: Dani Pettrey

The long awaited second series from Dani Pettrey has arrived! The first book in the Chesapeake Valor Series is now available and Coldshot is a great start. With brand new characters, I’ve loved getting to know Griffin McCray and Finley Scott and hope to see them pop up in future books. The story is exciting and full of action and will keep you entertained.

I’ve always been a huge Dani Pettrey fan, however, ColdShot felt a bit too easy, things fell together and were easily figured out. This book has so much potential and I don’t believe it quite met expectations, I hoped that it would have gone just a bit deeper and the mystery to be a little more complex. That being said I still think it is worth the read, and I look forward to the next book in the series.

I received this book complimentary in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

‘If I Run’ and a Fitbit Giveaway

Casey Cox doesn’t fit the profile of a killer . . . but her DNA is all over the crime scene, and she’s now a fugitive. Don’t miss Terri Blackstock’s next page-turner, If I Run. Unraveling her past and the evidence that condemns her will take more time than Dylan has, the war-weary veteran hired to find Casey. But as Dylan’s damaged soul intersects with hers, he is faced with two choices. The girl who occupies his every thought is a psychopathic killer . . . or a selfless hero. And the truth could be the most deadly weapon yet.

Join Terri in celebrating her new book with a Fitbit giveaway and a special $4.99 digital pre-order deal!

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One grand prize winner will receive:

Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry! The giveaway ends on February 16th. The winner will be announced February 17th on the Litfuse blog.

Plus don’t miss out on the special $4.99 digital pre-order pricing, now through February 15. Pre-order the book through your favorite e-book retailer; details here.

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Review: 
I’ve always enjoyed any book written by Terri Blackstock, and If I Run is no different. Blackstock has a way of writing that drags you right into the story and invests you in the lives of the characters. If I Run is one of those stories, captivating and full of action with a mystery that you will be second guessing yourself to the very end.
I’ve thoroughly enjoyed this story and cannot wait to see the characters return in the next book, the only thing that was a negative for me in this book was how easily things seemed to fall together. This book comes off as a bit too simple and easy with how quickly answers came together. Otherwise, I highly recommend this book, and cannot wait for the continuation of the story.
I received this book complimentary through the Litfuse Publicity Program in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
-Elle

Mermaid Moon By: Colleen Coble

To move forward past a life of shame and confusion, Mallory Davis must go back to Mermaid Point to find out who murdered her father in Colleen Coble’s new book, Mermaid Moon. As answers begin to fall into place, Mallory realizes her search is about more than finding her father’s killer—it is also about finding herself again . . . and possibly about healing what was broken so long ago with Kevin. She just has to stay alive long enough to put all the pieces together.

Celebrate the release of Mermaid Moon with Colleen and a mystery e-reader prize pack giveaway!

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One grand prize winner will receive:

Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry! The giveaway ends on February 1st. The winner will be announced February 2nd on the Litfuse blog.

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:::Review:::
Coble has always had the ability to weave an amazing tale and if you are looking for a book full of suspense Mermaid Moon is the book for you! You will sink your teeth into Mermaid Moon and not stop until the last page. Coble has created characters with such depth that you will feel like they’re your friends.
Mermaid Moon follows the story of Mallory and after receiving a cryptic message from her dad decides to return to her hometown, only to discover he has died. With many questions she decides to follow the clues left to figure out what his message meant. If you are in search of a good book to read this and the rest of the series should be on the top of your list.

 

I received this book complimentary through the Litfuse Publicity program in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Captive DVD Review and #Giveaway

Leave a comment for your chance to win a copy!

 

About the movie:

 

Based on a miraculous story about the power of faith, Captive is an “amazing, inspiring” drama about the spiritual collision of two lost souls, Brian Nichols (Golden Globe Nominee David Oyelowo), on the run from police and desperate to make contact with his newborn son, takes recently widowed mother Ashley Smith (Kata Mara) hostage in her own apartment.  Fearing for her life and desperately hoping to see her daughter again, she turns to Rick Warren’s The Purpose Driven Life for guidance.  Ashley and her captor face a crossroads where they discover hope and light in the midst of despair in the moving film that Dick Rolfe, CEO, Dove Foundation hailed as “powerful.”

 

 

Rating: PG-13 (for mature thematic elements involving violence and substance abuse) 

 

There are over 30 minutes of bonus content on this DVD including Journey Through Darkness: Filming Captive and Faith and The Purpose Driven Life.  Also included with this DVD is a Digital HD copy that can be instantly streamed and downloaded.

 

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Review:
Captive is based on the story of Ashley Smith and her time held hostage with escaped prisoner Brian Nichols. This movie has a stellar cast and the filmography is beautiful. For this type of movie the pace was perfect and took you on a roller coaster of emotions from beginning to end. The emphasis on The Purpose Driven Light and it’s park was minimized and shortened for the movie. I really enjoyed this movie, and it is a great inspirational story.

 

-Elle

 

Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.
Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”

Philippians: Discovering Joy Through Relationship

Philippians: Discovering Joy Through Relationship By: Sue Edwards

If you are looking for a good book study this is one to consider, I have done studies from Sue Edwards in the past and always get something out of them. This one is focused on the book of Philippians and discovering deeper relationships. This study is an intro into the book of Philippians and is 8 lessons long.

Through each lesson there are questions that are aimed at helping you to understand the content of the verses. Through each lesson Edwards provides book recommendations that allow you to study a specific subject more and snippets from her life on how God has spoken to her.

This study is great for the individual or to complete as a group study. Edwards will not only explore the verses but also the context in which the book was written, about the author and other historical information.

I received this book in exchange for an honest review all thoughts and opinions are my own.

-Elle

What Pro-Life Really Means | Evangelicals for Life

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Even if you’re not heading to Washington, D.C., January 21–22 for the March for Life event, block out some time those two days because you’ll be able to attend some of the events in the comfort of your own home. Focus on the Family and The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission will host Evangelicals for Life, a major pro-life conference held in conjunction with the March for Life event.

The event will take place in Washington, D.C., at the Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill. Evangelicals from across the country will gather to hear from leading speakers, such as David Platt, Russell Moore, Jim Daly, Kelly Rosati, and others—to be equipped and encouraged to become a voice for life! The event will also be simulcast for FREE so individuals, churches, and organizations from coast-to-coast and around the world can take part.

Speakers will encourage evangelicals to engage the culture on issues of abortion and end-of-life decisions, and the event will affirm the evangelical belief in the sanctity of life, that every life matters to God and is created in His image.

For more information, visit http://evangelicals.life/.

Readers of this blog will receive 15% off their registration by using the code FocusLife.


What Pro-Life Really Means

By Daniel Darling

It was a flippant comment by the spokesmen for a presidential candidate: “It doesn’t matter. They’re just Muslims.” But it made shudder.

This is how societies begin to dehumanize a people group, and every generation of Christians is responsible to face this thinking and fight it. This is what it means to be a pro-life champion.

We are pro-life because we are pro-human dignity. It is the uniquely Christian message that sees in every soul a person created in the image of God.

When Planned Parenthood and their allies say, “That’s just a fetus,” we say, “No, that’s a baby, a human life, that deserves dignity and respect.”

When corrupt profiteers look at vulnerable young girls and boys and say, “They are just a commodity to be trafficked for money,” we say, “No, they are boys and girls created in the image of God and deserving of dignity and respect.”

When eugenicists look at the elderly and say, “They are just burdens to be managed,” we say, “No, human dignity is not defined by utility, but is a unique gift given by God.”

When politicians look at immigrants and say, “They are a drain on society,” we say, “No, they are created in the image of God and worthy of kindness, welcoming, and respect.”

When ISIS brutally dehumanizes its victims—Christians, Muslims, Jews, and anyone who doesn’t subscribe to their ideology—and they say, “They are just infidels,” we say, by our acts of justice, “No, they are people created in the image of God and worthy of life and respect.”

When the disabled are marginalized, we say, “No, each was created in the image of God and is worthy of our full love and acceptance.”

Even in our discourse, even when we look across the aisle, across the screen, across the table at someone who doesn’t share our beliefs, we say to ourselves, “This person is worthy of respect and dignity because they too were created in the image of God.”

Human dignity, the intrinsic worth of every human soul, is not just a once-every-four-years mantra for voter guides and political scorecards. We live out the imago de as a way of life, and we seek justice wherever human dignity is compromised.

This is why ERLC and Focus on the Family join hands to help raise up a new generation of evangelicals who are passionate about the sanctity of human life. This why you should come to Washington, D.C., this January to the Evangelicals for Life event or participate via the free simulcast at your church or on your computer.

You should join Evangelicals for Life, not simply to make a powerful stand in the nation’s capital. You should come, not simply to be stirred by the gifted speakers. You should come, not only to fellowship and strategize with other champions for life.

You should be a part of of Evangelicals for Life because God is calling you, in this time and in your sphere of influence, to be a voice for human dignity.

Answer for yourself what it means to have a pro-life, whole-life vision. Discover where your gifts and talents best serve the kingdom of God in this way, and send a message to the world that your Christianity compels you to look every human being in the eye and not see what everyone sees. You see in them the image of their Creator.

Daniel Darling is the Vice President for Communications for the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention (ERLC), the co-sponsor of the Evangelicals for Life conference. Dan holds a bachelor’s degree in pastoral ministry from Dayspring Bible College and has studied at  Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. He is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He and his wife Angela have four children and reside in the Nashville area. They attend Green Hill Church in Mt. Juliet, Tennessee, where Dan serves as Pastor of Teaching and Discipleship.

The Time Garden By: Daria Song

The Time Garden: A Magical Journey and Coloring Book By: Daria Song

The latest thing around is adult coloring books, with claims of helping with relieving stress and helping to calm you. These may all be true and either way I love coloring so having a book with so much detail but also a story is amazing.

I’ve always loved coloring and The Time Garden is a beautiful book full of immense detail with amazing art work. Unlike other adult coloring books this book isn’t only filled with patterns but is a journey through a magical garden. With it being a story it’s more enjoyable than just coloring reoccurring patterns.

I received this book complimentary from blogging for books in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

-Elle

 

Evangelicals for Life

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Focus on the Family and The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission will host
Evangelicals for Life, a major pro-life conference held in conjunction with the March for Life event.
 
The event will take place January 21-22, 2016, in Washington, D.C., at the Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill. Evangelicals from across the country will gather to hear from leading speakers, such as David Platt, Russell Moore, Jim Daly, Kelly Rosati, and others-to be equipped and encouraged to become a voice for life! The event will also be simulcast for FREE so individuals, churches, and organizations from coast-to-coast and around the world can take part.
 
Speakers will encourage evangelicals to engage the culture on issues of abortion and end-of-life decisions, and the event will affirm the evangelical belief in the sanctity of life, that every life matters to God and is created in His image.

For more information, visit http://evangelicals.life/.
Readers of this blog will receive 15% off their registration by using the code FocusLife.
Kelly Rosati will be one of this year’s speakers. Kelly is the vice president of Community Outreach at Focus on the Family where she oversees the Adoption & Orphan Care Initiative and the Sanctity of Human Life department. In the article below, she speaks to how we can and should be both pro-life and pro-justice Christians.

Pro-Life Christian or Pro-Justice Christian? Yes.

Are Christians supposed to be pro-life or pro-justice? Kelly Rosati shares: We ought to be both.
Do you consider yourself a member of one of these two camps? The news about the gruesome harvesting of fetal organs by Planned Parenthood prompted some interesting discussion in this vein.

It’s important to consider how you ended up in one of these categories in the first place. As followers of Christ, our hearts become more like His as He transforms us from the inside out. We care more about people and life and justice as we meditate on His word and spend time with Him. As we grow in grace, it becomes impossible to be indifferent or complacent to the suffering of human beings God made in His image and whom He loves with an infinite love.

Verses such as Proverbs 31:8 (“speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves”) and Micah 6:8 (“to act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God”) burn in our hearts as we join God in His redemptive work on behalf of preborn babies, victims of human trafficking, war refugees, orphans, those with disabilities, racial minorities, those without access to clean water, families living in extreme poverty, homeless, dying and lonely elderly neighbors, and many others who qualify as what Jesus called “the least of these.”

We’re changed as we seek to minister to the vulnerable. We listen to them and learn from them, and in them we see the face of Jesus, the one who admonished us that “whatever we’ve done to the least of these, we’ve done to Him” (Matthew 25:40).

In my role at Focus on the Family I’m blessed to meet and work with people in both the Christian pro-life and pro-justice communities. I’ve noticed they have much in common: They love Jesus, they love their families, they share a deep sense of calling and are led by the Holy Spirit, and they take Scripture seriously and find in it the inspiration to advance the Kingdom and to participate in God’s redemptive work. They all want to be careful to worship Jesus first and only, who called them to His work, rather than make an idol of the calling itself. They’ve sacrificed the American dream, many of them, to give their lives away like the One who gave His for them.
 
Yet . . . it often seems as if pro-life and pro-justice Christians come from two different planets. Their leaders don’t tend to know one another. All of their conferences are separate. They lean in different political directions, and each thinks the other should prioritize the issues differently. Yes, most would grudgingly agree they serve the same God and their passions come from the same Holy Scriptures. But at the end of the day, they have little interest in working together-in fact, they can often seem “at odds” with one another.

This is tragic because both communities have much to offer and much to gain by listening to and learning from one another. For the average Christian seeking to love and serve his or her neighbors, life and justice should not be an either/or proposition. Together, the life and justice communities can offer a both/and approach that is truly biblical and comprehensive.

I have personally gleaned much from Christian sisters and brothers in both communities. From the pro-life perspective, I have learned about perseverance and faithfulness to the truth, even when it’s the most unpopular position in the world. I have been moved by their conviction that God’s word won’t return void and that He loves both moms and their babies (and dads and everyone else!). I have been impacted by the conviction that abortion stops a beating heart and that life is always the better choice. I have encountered the breathtaking beauty of Christ’s forgiveness for those suffering grief and shame post-abortion. And I have come to understand the hope and optimism that can only come from Christ in the face of the discouraging reality of 57 million lives lost to abortion. And I know I have so much more to learn from this passionate group.

From the pro-justice community, I have learned about systems of oppression and injustice that must be challenged in order to love and serve our neighbors well. I have a deeper understanding of the solidarity of suffering and the ministry of presence. I have also learned about perseverance, patience, and the simple beauty of loving and serving those who suffer. I’ve been reminded about new life in Christ and the transforming power of His love for individuals and families. I’ve seen the beauty of humility and the freedom that comes from eschewing power, money, and privilege on behalf of one’s neighbors. I know I will continue to learn and be challenged by this group as well.

But . . . the division remains. Pro-life Christians tend to view their cause as primarily moral in nature-as if speaking up for oppressed populations, combating human trafficking, and addressing the root causes of poverty are not inherently issues of profound moral concern. And pro-justice Christians tend to view their cause as primarily a matter of justice-as if speaking out in defense of preborn babies as the most helpless and vulnerable members of society was not quintessentially a question of biblical justice.

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Together, pro-life and pro-justice Christians have so much to offer a world that is buckling under the effects of sin. So here’s a short list of what I think each community could offer the other that would enhance the work of both:
  • When the pro-life community advances the dignity of every human person, it is at its best when making clear that along with the essential concern of innocent preborn lives lost to abortion, every sex trafficking victim, orphan, and victim of preventable death is worthy of the same defense. We must help the Church understand that all of these issues are biblically connected and directly tied to what it means to be “pro-life.” They are all related to the God-given sanctity, dignity, and intrinsic worth of every human life, and therefore they cannot be segmented or pitted against one another.
  • When the pro-justice community boldly and compassionately advances the cause of justice for victims of sex trafficking, racial hatred, failing schools, extreme poverty, or lack of access to clean water, it is at its best also to include the absolute necessity of justice and human rights for preborn children. Again, advancing biblical justice, promoting the common good, and enabling human flourishing must be for all people, born and preborn. There can be no neglecting of the cause of justice in the human right to life. They should not be separated.
  • Each community should endeavor to rise above easy (and sometimes valid) criticism of the other. Pro-lifers often lament that being pro-justice is “popular” in the broader culture whereas being pro-life is not. As a result, they can be tempted to view the pro-life cause as somehow more “noble” than the social justice cause. At the same time, the pro-justice community often suggests that the pro-life community cares only about life in the womb, but not life outside it, making it a myopic single-issue cause. Of course, in both communities (just like in every community) there are those doing it well and those doing it not so well. But by and large, both groups are motivated by deep conviction and the love of both Christ and neighbor.
What if, instead of marching resolutely down two different paths, we made a commitment to learn from each other, forge meaningful relationships with one another, and seek creative ways to help the Church learn about the comprehensive approach to life and justice reflected in the totality of the Scriptures? Can pro-life conferences address abortion and end-of-life issues as well as human trafficking and poverty? Can social justice conferences make room to embrace the cause of justice for preborn children? These are issues that transcend political parties and point directly to the heart of God Himself. Let’s step outside our comfort zones and work together for the common good, for life, and for justice-all because of the love of Christ.

This article was adapted from the original article posted on Ed Stetzer’s The Exchange blog on ChristianityToday.com.

The Golden Braid By: Melanie Dickerson

There are some stories that transport you, to a new time, to a new place, all of Melanie Dickerson’s books have the ability to do just that and her latest, the Golden Braid is no different. The Golden Braid is a new twist on the classic story of Rapunzel.

I’ve always loved fairy tales, but you’ve never seen or read this version of Rapunzel before, I love how Dickerson is able to take a story we all know and turn it on its side to be come a new story that is still true to the heart of the original. Dickerson has also found a way to weave Christ into her stories. I highly recommend all of her books.

I received this book complimentary through netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

-Elle

Shades of Doon By: Carey Corp and Lorie Langdon

Shades of Doon is the third book in the Doon Series, and if you enjoyed the first two, you will definitely enjoy this one. With adventure around every corner you will love the continuing adventures of Veronica and McKenna, and with this book you are transported between Doon and the real world.

I’ve always enjoyed the Doon series, with its mix of musical theatre references, scottish accents and a tale woven together by two different authors I am always left impressed. Corp and Langdon have come together to create a seamless story while still having their own voice throughout the story. If you are looking for a good read for your weekend, make sure this one is on your list.

I received this book complimentary through the BookLook Bloggers program in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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