CrossReads Short Takes: Capture the Wind For Me & One Among Men

CrossReads Short Takes: Capture the Wind For Me & One Among Men

CrossReads Short Takes

Capture the Wind For Me

by Brandilyn Collins

Capture the Wind For Me

Bradleyville Series Book 3
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One thing I have learned. The bonfires of change start with the merest spark. Sometimes we see that flicker. Sometimes we blink in surprise at the flame only after it has marched hot legs upward to fully ignite. Either way, flicker or flame, we’d better do some serious praying. When God’s on the move in our lives, He tends to burn up things we’d just as soon keep.
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After her mama’s death, sixteen-year-old Jackie Delham is left to run the household for her daddy and two younger siblings. When Katherine King breezes into town and tries to steal her daddy’s heart, Jackie know she must put a stop to it. Katherine can’t be trusted. Besides, one romance in the family is enough, and Jackie is about to fall headlong into her own.

As love whirls through both generations, the Delhams are buffeted by hope, elation, and loss. Jackie is devastated to learn of old secrets in her parents’ relationship. Will those past mistakes cost Jackie her own love? And how will her family ever survive if Katherine jilts her daddy and leaves them in mourning once more?

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One Among Men

by Connie Almony

One Among Men

Contemporary Christian Romantic Suspense

She applied to run the all-female dorm at Maryland State University. Then why must she live in the all-male dorm instead???

Samantha Hart wants to find Godly purpose within her new Christian faith, like her missionary best friend, but is forced to take a job as the resident director of the all-male, Calvert Hall, where she gets to baby-sitting pampered party boys, rather than change lives.

Facing the typical challenges of her position, such as sexual assaults and drug use by residents, and those unique to being a woman, she leans heavily on her faith. She must also gain respect from young men who view her as a sex object—one of whom is stalking her—while guarding against the campus serial rapist.

It doesn’t help that her boss treats her like an imbecile. So why did God put her here when her experience was with women’s issues and she’d applied for the all-female building?

Chris Johnson, a rock guitarist who is returning to school as a music major, is intrigued by the resident director and the faith she shares with her muscle-bound resident assistant from “the hood,” nick-named Preacher. While Chris observes how they act on their beliefs, he is drawn into a relationship with a ruthless supplier of the on-campus drug trade.

While observing Sam’s care of students who don’t deserve her efforts, Chris assists her on the sly. Can he manage his two worlds without risking Samantha’s life?

From the author of “At the Edge of a Dark Forest.”

Contemporary Christian Romantic Suspense / Women’s Fiction

Though this work is set at a completely FICTIONAL campus, “Maryland State University,” a portion of current author income from it will go to Campus Crusade for Christ (Cru) at University of Maryland College Park.

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What Have I Done?

What Have I Done?

by Sherry Chamblee

I was sitting here today a bit depressed over the projects I haven’t been able to complete yet. Two are pretty significant, but I can’t seem to get them done.

I was feeling bad about myself, stressed, worried that these things weren’t going to get done, and that I was failing because they weren’t done yet.

Then something stopped me. It was as if God told me to look back and see what I HAD accomplished this year.

The list of things I have finished is longer than the list of things that is NOT finished. My children have gotten where they needed to be. I’ve served in my church where needed – though we can always do more. I’ve been a wife and a mom and a friend and a sister. Inside all those things were accomplishments.

Why do we judge our entire life by the few things we have NOT done, when there’s an entire pile of things we HAVE done that we could be looking at?

This happens in so many areas of our lives.  Too often I only see the negative, and ignore all the right, all the positives. We listen to the one person saying mean terrible things, and ignore all the people who have positive things to say. I listen to the one voice saying hurtful things, and ignore all the people saying helpful things. The negative always seems to outshine the positive in our minds.

It’s the same with our view of God, isn’t it.

We judge God based on the things He has NOT done for us, while ignoring those significant, life-altering things He does for us daily without us ever even noticing. And then there’s the huge things He’s done for each of us. The prayers we agonized over, and God answered. The times we felt lost and God came to find us. Those moments we felt alone, and God was there.

Jeremiah 29:11 

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. 

Don’t ever underestimate the good things in your life. Don’t let the critics overshadow the positives. Don’t let the failures make you forget about the successes.

About the Author:

Sherry Chamblee

Sherry grew up in various cities around northern and central California. This gave her all sorts of stories that sat and festered in her brain, waiting to be let loose. She eventually went to college in Wisconsin, where she met her equally frenetic husband, Rich. They have six (yes, count them) children, two dogs and a cat, and currently reside in a madhouse in the southern California area. As a family, they enjoy being active in their local church. Sherry spends her time writing when not caring for Granny, the kids, the dogs, the cat and any number of strays in the neighborhood.

Sherry Chamblee can be found at http://www.sherrychamblee.weebly.com Or check out her books at http://www.amazon.com/Sherry-Chamblee/e/B00BA06RJ2/

CrossReaders Book Review: Child Of Dust by Shoba Sadler

CrossReaders Book Review: Child Of Dust by Shoba Sadler

Title: Child Of Dust

Author: Shoba Sadler

Child of Dust

Rating: 5 stars

About the Book

Beautiful but spoilt Vietnamese socialite, Cao Kim Lye, learns of her parents shocking death from the dashing Amerasian family chauffeur, Bryan Nguyen.

Kim steps out of a world of crystal and chandelier to enter the dust and chaos of working-class Hanoi. She finds herself living under the roof of a shop cum living quarters with Bryan and his adoptive family.

Ever conscious of the privileged class, Kim struggles against the emotional ties she forms towards Bryan, the reluctant saviour, who considers her an unnecessary hitch to his already complicated life.

He still bears the scars of abandonment by his mother and his American GI father when U.S. troops pulled out of Vietnam.

Eventually Bryan and Kim’s powerful attraction to each other begins to break down the walls between them, but is their attraction enough to blossom into a love that can sustain a marriage?

Review

I’m always impressed with a story that can deliver the gospel message in a subtle, but powerful way. I enjoyed reading Child of Dust. It was beautiful to see Bryan and Kim’s relationship develop over time. At times I was on the edge of my seat and found myself smiling at some of their conversations. I will admit that Kim had to grow on me because in the beginning she was really mean. Bryan, on the other hand, stole my heart when he told Kim “Wars in the flesh can never be won. My battles are fought on my knees.” I love that he was a praying man.

His words blew me away many times in this book like when he told Kim “At what? At whom? I’ve been angry for so long. Too many years. I grew tired of being angry. I gave all my anger to Jesus. I laid my pain down at His feet. I made peace with myself. The world may still war with me, but there’s no longer a war within me. Only peace.” Bryan’s words caused me to think and pray, they also encouraged me.

It was not only the words of the character Bryan that made this a unique story. The fact that this was not a typical love story gave it extra spice and flavor. Also, the hardship they had to endure made the story more realistic. This is one story that will captivate you with all the twists and turns. Make sure when getting ready to read Child of Dust that you don’t have anything else planned for the day, you won’t be able to put this book down. I could go on and on about this book. Highly and strongly recommend it. Is it possible to give a book 10 stars?

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This review was submitted by: Deborah Dunson

CrossReads Short Takes: Deep in the Heart & An Insignificant Life

CrossReads Short Takes: Deep in the Heart & An Insignificant Life

CrossReads Short Takes

Deep in the Heart

by Staci Stallings

Deep in the Heart

Just out of college and completely alone in the world, Maggie Montgomery has one shot left to save her life from an abyss of poverty and hopelessness. Clinging to the last shred of fuel and hope, she arrives at the mansion of Texas billionaire Conrad Ayer. Although Maggie is clearly not what Mr. Ayer and his wife have in mind for a nanny, they agree to hire her temporarily until they can find someone more appropriate to fill the position. However, Maggie’s whole world is about to be up-ended by two way-over-scheduled children and one incredibly handsome hired hand. As she struggles to fit into a world she was never made to fit in, Maggie wonders if she can ever learn to become a perfect version of herself so she can keep the job, or is she doomed to always be searching for a life she can never quite grasp?

Keith Ayer despises his life. As the son of Texas billionaire Conrad Ayer and the fiance to a Senator from Texas’ daughter, it looks great on the outside, but inside, he is dying. He would vastly prefer to manage and train his father’s racehorses. However, everyone else thinks that is beneath him. He needs to get into industry and build on his father’s success. Suffocating under the constrictions of his life, he meets Maggie who begins to teach him that wealth and power is not everything in this life. But can Keith defy the most powerful men in Texas to follow his heart?

One of the most inspiring Contemporary Christian Romance novels available, “Deep in the Heart” is an Amazon #1 Best Seller. It is truly Christian romance at its very best. Filled with faith, hope, and love, Christian romance kindle books aim to inspire women and men alike while giving them an exceptional romantic love story they will not soon forget. This is one book that will surely find its way onto your most inspirational books list!

“Staci Stallings means Christian fiction at its best!”

~*~ EXCERPT ~*~

Okay, there are certain things in this life a girl just shouldn’t have to deal with. Changing flat tires for instance. Radiators overheating, yes. A busted pipe. Programming the remote control. But being blindsided like that wasn’t fair at all. When the door closed between them, Maggie forced herself to breathe in a deep inhale. It did nothing at all to stop the swimming of her thoughts or the racing of her heart, but at that point anything was worth a try.

Showing up in the kitchen at breakfast for no reason was one thing. Showing up when she was in her oldest pajamas with the rip on one side was quite another. Her hand went up to her hair, and she raked her fingers through it extra hard. There was no telling how she looked, but how he looked? Wow, was he easy on the eyes. Not to even mention how heart-stoppingly handsome he was minus the hat and the bandana. Dark hair, cropped extra short, and that face, and that smile. Ugh. It just wasn’t fair.

She rolled her eyes so she was looking up at the ceiling in desperation. “God, listen to me. I do not need to fall for this guy. I don’t need him to keep showing up like this. Please. Please. I’m asking You…”

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An Insignificant Life

by Connie Almony

An Insignificant Life

She is drawn to those who might bring meaning to her world, only to find her past choices could have destroyed the one man who would truly love her.

Tiffany Lundgren is looking for significance in the world of academia, beyond being a visual distraction for men to ogle. But something stands in her way. When she removes the impediment that threatens her professional career, her world spirals deeper, and she discovers the things she once believed brought her strength, have only hardened her on the outside, leaving her insides empty.

Adam Grant, the K-9 campus police officer, wants to be taken seriously in his profession. But after having been purposely left out of the previous undercover investigation, he wonders if his new relationship with the liaison from the Maryland Drug Task Force Initiative will be an open one. Especially since he once tried to date the man’s wife. But as the drug trade heats up in the dorms, and lives are being threatened, Adam resolves to get to the bottom of the problem, even to the point of involving his former-drug-dealing pastor.

Will his deeper commitment endanger the woman he’s come to love?

Todd Watson is nearing a year of sobriety, determined to turn his life around, but will he always have the reputation as a drunken rich boy? He sets out on his own to discover who is sabotaging the buildings, because no one will believe his theory. He is constantly reminded of his depraved past by his fellow resident assistant, Alexa Woo. But is her bitterness toward him due to what she won’t forget …

… Or what he can’t remember?

From the author of “At the Edge of a Dark Forest” and “One Among Men.”

Contemporary Christian Romantic Suspense/Women’s Fiction

Though this work is set at a completely FICTIONAL campus, “Maryland State University” ten percent of current author income will go to Campus Crusade for Christ (CRU) at University of Maryland, College Park.

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A Child’s Prayer

A Child’s Prayer

by Ruth O’Neil

How is your prayer life? That’s a tough question isn’t it?  Have you ever really thought about it? I tried to think about it and honestly evaluate how much quality time I really spent in prayer. I knew that I prayed every day, although it wasn’t always as in depth as it should have been. I prayed whenever someone came to mind knowing that God had put the thought there. I prayed whenever the church prayer chain came through with urgent requests. I prayed whenever anyone asked me to pray about something specific. I even took 1 Thessalonians 5:17 to heart and I tried to pray continually throughout my day, no matter what else I was doing. However, my house is one of constant interruptions.  Before, I had always thought my prayer life was pretty healthy, but after thinking about I wasn’t too sure. And then there was the final straw!  Some children at my church put me and my prayer life to shame.

On Wednesday nights at our church, the children are separated from the adults and have their own prayer meeting. They bring forth the requests that are on their hearts and minds and many of the requests from other members of the church that the kids know, and then they earnestly pray. They pray to God and fully expect Him to answer their requests. What faith they have shown! They took Mark 11:24 as their motto. “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours”(NIV).

Not only did they pray, they kept up with the answers to their prayer requests. They made simple, little books to keep track of their prayer requests and keep track of when and how God answered their prayers

For example, three of the men in our church were looking for jobs. The first man found a job and then the second one found new employment within a reasonable amount of time, but then there was the third man. It seemed to be taking forever. That man was my husband. The kids diligently prayed for him each week in class. When the other requests were answered so quickly, the children thought that the third job should be answered just as quickly. Their teacher told them to pray even harder and to pray at home whenever they thought about any of the prayer requests on their list at church.

After many, many months of prayer for my husband to find a good job, the children were becoming a little discouraged. (Although no more so than my husband!)  They began to wonder if my husband’s request would ever be answered.

When is God gonna answer our prayers about Mr. O’Neil’s job?” they asked often. Their teacher encouraged them a little more and told them, “Your prayers will be answered, but maybe not as quickly as you would like them to be. Whatever you do, don’t stop praying!” Well, these children did not stop praying; in fact they seemed to pray even harder. They weren’t afraid to tell us so, either. Every week at church they would ask my husband, “Did ya find a job, yet?” The sparkle in their eyes and the smiles on their faces made them look like they had some secret up their sleeves, or that they had some information that hadn’t been announced yet. And they did. They believed that their prayers would be answered positively and could not wait for the day it actually happened. They may not have understood some concepts such as intercessory prayer; they only knew that prayer worked.

The teacher of the Wednesday night class was a very good friend of mine. As soon as my husband got the much anticipated phone call, I called her to tell her the good news. After almost two years of searching, my husband was offered a good, decent paying job! We were, to say the least, ecstatic! This happened on a Tuesday night. The teacher couldn’t wait to tell the kids our news, but she wanted to wait and surprise them in class. The next night, as usual, they asked, “Did Mr. O’Neil find a job yet?” When they heard that he did, they were overjoyed. Their prayers had finally been answered and they rejoiced in God’s faithfulness!

The difference between those kids and me was the fact that they had a lot more faith. While my husband was looking for work, I had a tendency to lose my faith often. There were some days that I felt he would never find a job and that we would not be able to pay all of our bills and that we could lose our home. I don’t know why my faith faltered, for the Lord provided for every single need we had for the entire length of time my husband was without work. I had no reason at all to lose faith.

We need to pray with much faith just like children do. We need to pray and fully expect God to answer, even if He doesn’t answer in the way we had hoped or even in the time we have allotted. God doesn’t work on our schedule. He can also see the big picture. He knows what’s best for us.

Another lesson those kids taught me was that we also need to ask about each other’s prayer requests with a gleam in our eyes and a smile that shows we are excited about the work that God is doing through us and for us.

At that time in my prayer life, the children at my church really put me to shame. I was older and had been saved a lot longer than any one of them had even been alive. I had seen God at work throughout my lifetime in ways the kids never had. I should have had more faith than they did. Where my faith faltered, theirs never did. I learned from those kids to pray and really mean it. I learned to pray with all the faith I have in my heart and mind and just wait on God.

I thought their record keeping was a good idea. So, I purchased my own little blank book to keep up with prayer requests. Whenever I get discouraged, I bring out my prayer journal and see how God has been working in my life and in the lives of others. It also keeps me organized, so that all I need to do when I have my prayer time is open my book and read down the pages. It keeps me from forgetting prayer requests. As soon as someone asks for prayer I jot down his or her requests. This helps me to remember to ask people how things are going. Knowing that people are praying for you and care about what is happening in their lives is a huge ministry in itself. It is a ministry that you will probably find is more a blessing to yourself than to others.

How is your prayer life? Does your prayer life measure up to the children’s?

About the Author:

Ruth OneilRuth O’Neil has been writing for over 20 years. She has published hundreds of articles in numerous publications. She loves to touch the emotions when she writes. “If I can make one person laugh or cry, I’ll consider myself successful.” Her first novel “Come Eat at My Table” has just come out in ebook form and can be purchased on her website. She homeschools her three children (well, one now, as two have graduated). She and her husband have been married for 20-plus years. In her spare time she enjoys quilting, crafting, and reading. You can visit her on her blog at http://ruths-real-life.blogspot.com or her website at http://ruthoneil.weebly.com