Archives for October 2015

CrossReaders Book Review: Beginning Anew by Paula Rose Michelson

CrossReaders Book Review: Beginning Anew by Paula Rose Michelson

Beginning Anew

Title: Beginning Anew

Author: Paula Rose Michelson

Rating: five out of five stars

About the Book

A Christian romance about a married couple who have been estranged but start their love and married life anew along with their new lives in their Messiah.

Review

Naomi’s story continues in Beginning Anew. The more we see Naomi, the better we like her. She is a survivor and as she and Chaz (Chaim) build their love, we learn more about the people around them – all well developed characters who grow along with Naomi and Chaz. Beginning anew is about building a new relationship with god for both of them as they build their own relationship anew. There are promises of things to come in this book and am anxious to read the next one. I bought a paperback copy as soon as it came out to keep with the two previous ones so I can read them again and again.
A Quote from Paula Rose Michelson
“…Chaz realized it to be man’s wisdom. God showed him that love does not grow by doing things by rote but by begin personally aware of and involved in the beloveds’ life as of the utmost important. He seemed to hear the Spirit say, from this moment for the order of your life is, God first, Naomi second…and you last. Aware that he had learned all he would ever need to know, Chaz knew he had experienced Gods chessed and would be able to pour this blessing into Naomi throughout their life.”

“Chessed is a word to remember, especially for married couples. When couples extend loving kindness and grace to each other, it makes the unity of two different personalities not only bearable, but a blessing.

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This review was submitted by: Allison Kohn

CrossReads Short Takes: The Cubs Mistress and A Pinch of Promise

CrossReads Short Takes

The Cubs Mistress

Can a Levite priest who has dedicated his life to the service of God resist the consuming flame of passion of the beautiful and married Miriam?

Found on the doorstep of a Levite family as an infant, this is the story of Moses, a man of mysterious origins, engulfed by his inner conflict between humanity and the divine. A fatal encounter with Miriam amid the columns of Solomon´s Temple, lights a fire of passion which completely consumes him and changes the course of his life.

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The Pinch of Promise

He never forgot his first love.

In the ten years since Ben Taylor last saw Marie, no other woman has measured up. After he meets Rebecca Fisher, the physical therapist rehabilitating his knee, Ben is convinced that she is the same woman he fell in love with so many years ago. She denies it at first, but his persistence causes her to admit the truth. Right before she pushes him away.

To escape a painful negative image created by her father, Rebecca Fischer has constructed an identity completely separate from her past. Seeing Ben, her long lost love, threatens to shatter her intricate illusions. As Ben digs to uncover the truth of who she is, Rebecca must decide if she will trust any man with her wounded heart.

But even if Ben can convince her to admit the truth, how will he be able to trust her love?

A Pinch of Promise is a contemporary Christian romance designed to entertain, inspire, and encourage thought.

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Baby Steps: Milk God’s Word  by B. J. Robinson

Baby Steps: Milk God’s Word by B. J. Robinson

 

I relax in sweet peace to the aroma of coffee and the music of birds, the prettiest melody in the world. Milk builds strong bones, but I need God’s Word to build a strong soul. Blissful morning surrounds me. I sip coffee and clasp the Good Book, content as I listen to the best choir.

My eyes focus on 1 Peter in the King James Version of the Holy Bible, and I read Chapter 2, Verse 2: As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby. I’m determined to grow, and I pray for the nourishment of God’s Word like milk for a thirsting soul.

A week ago last Sunday, my friend, Ginny, winked at a long-standing church member, and I overheard her whisper. “Hope’s a new-born, baby Christian.” Her words echoed through my mind. Ginny didn’t fully understand the growth of my spirit and soul, but God knew my heart.

I felt a light feathery touch on my shoulder, like a hand comforting me. I rose, laid my Bible on a table and sprinted to the bathroom mirror. Ready for church, I waited for Ginny, and I didn’t want my makeup to run. Misty green eyes stared back. Tears flowed like Niagara Falls and cascaded down my cheeks. At the touch of the feather-like hand, I slowly calmed. Like watching a white dove fly across blue skies, my soul felt peace and love. I knew I wasn’t alone.

Hard as I struggled, it seemed I could do nothing right. My good intentions always seemed to ruffle feathers best left unruffled. I asked the reflection in the mirror, “Why did it take me so long to discover my best friend?”

Haunted eyes reflected my gaze. As I struggled with my memory lane of tears, I knew it was time to let God carry my baggage and lighten my load. I’d immerse myself in God’s Word and flourish like a flower with Miracle Grow.

I heard Ginny’s horn, brushed tears away with quick fingertips, and dashed for my purse and Bible. As I climbed into the passenger side of her Chevy Nova, she said, “I know you think you’re ready to help others, but you still need help yourself.” She shook her head and gave me a poor-dear look.

I glowed brighter than the Florida sun. “I’m growing strong in God’s Word every morning. I spend time with Him before I begin my day.”

She reached across the car and patted my knee. “Honey, you still have a long way to go.” Ginny smiled. “You’ll make it one day, if you don’t get lost along the way. You’re not there yet.”

I burned to defend myself, but bit my tongue.

Ginny rattled on as she wagged a finger in my face. “The pastor says there’s four stages a born-again Christian must go through: The “Baby Stage,” “Little Child Stage,” “Young Man Stage,” and “Father or Mother Stage.”

“I’m not a baby, a little girl, or a young woman. I’ve learned lessons through life experiences, and my diet consists of God’s Word as staples.” I turned my head and gazed at the tall pines as they flew past the car window.

“You’re a babe in the woods.” Ginny laughed. “Relax. Don’t rush it.” She heaved a heavy sigh. “The newest girl in church is supposed to be a born-again Christian, but some of the stuff I’ve seen her do shows she talks the talk, but she doesn’t’ walk the walk.”

“Pastor Roberts says when people are first reborn we must be patient with them.” Ginny has pegged me in the Baby Stage and refuses to let me grow. I was born again many years ago at a Billy Graham crusade, but she doesn’t know it. Just because I renewed my vows and faith, she’s placed me back at the “Baby Stage”.

Ginny braked for a stop sign. “Patience is one thing, but the girl gossips like a running river.” She pulled into the church parking lot and parked underneath a live oak.

Hope’s mind ran with thoughts and emotions as she listened to Ginny. At least the pastor understands. Pastor Barnes said, “We need to be careful not to criticize new-born baby Christians and turn them away from God. Their faith is fragile and must be nourished. Like a baby grows on milk, a “Baby Christian” must milk God’s Word to grow and flourish.”

Ginny opened her car door and climbed out. Her heels clicked across the sidewalk. “I can’t figure that one out. I think she’s stuck in the “Little Child Stage”. She’s resentful, and she makes scenes, not to mention her idle gossip.”

Hope tapped Ginny’s shoulder. “Here she comes. It’s up to us to lead by example.”

Ginny said, “The “Young Man Stage” requires us to support them with prayer, so they can continue to remain strong and overcome the enemy, but she’s not strong yet.”

As they reached the double doors to the church, Penny waltzed into arm’s reach. Her raven hair bounced at her shoulders, and her scarlet lips flashed white teeth. She batted eyes heavily layered with mascara, smiled, and strutted into church like a proud peacock.

Ginny said, “That girl wears too much makeup. She must buy out the cosmetic counter. Did you smell her? Her scent’s enough to drug a man.”

Hope held the door open for Ginny. “You know, I think I’ve reached the “Mother Stage,” because I’m content, at peace, and full of joy over the fact my sons and daughters are spiritual children. Maybe we need to encourage Penny by Word and example. God’s timing is different than ours, and growing from one stage to another takes time. We need to water her with God’s Word like we nourish our flower gardens. We must remember a born-again Christian still has two natures: One of the world and one brand new in Christ. She must renew her mind through the Word (God’s milk) and regenerate.”

Ginny giggled like a schoolgirl. “I’d like to water her all right and wash off some of that makeup.”

As the two women took seats in the front-row pew next to Penny, she beamed a smile brighter than headlights on a pitch-black night. “It’s great to see you. I wanted to invite you ladies to my house for prayer meeting Wednesday night.”

“We’d be delighted.” Hope hugged Penny. “Like milk makes strong bones, God’s Word makes us strong, so we can defeat the enemy.”

Ginny’s mouth dropped open as wide as the Grand Canyon, but she quickly recovered. “We’d love to come. Thanks for inviting us.”

References

How to Help a Baby Christian Grow. Retrieved May 11, 2009, from http://www.bukisa.com/articles/32753_how-to-help-a-baby-christian-grow.

Author’s Note: My newest release is Let it Snow: Home Sweet Home, a clean, sweet Christmas novella with no preaching, but I can’t promise there is no Christian theme. Here is a blurb:

Can one invitation change her life? Ashley doesn’t have much to look forward to over winter break except not having to trudge to work in the freezing cold until she receives an invitation to spend the Christmas holidays with a peer and his family. She’s been dreaming of a Christmas spent in a cabin in the woods. Now, she has an invitation. At least one Christmas wish is coming true. http://www.amazon.com/Let-Snow-Home-Sweet-Snowflakes-ebook/dp/B01696227W/

B. J. RobinsonB. J. Robinson is the author of over twenty books including full-length novels, novellas, and short stories. Many are Amazon bestsellers. Some have won awards. She writes from Florida where she lives with her husband and pets, blessed with three girls, two boys, and thirteen grandchildren. Visit her at http://barbarajrobinson.blogspot.com or find her as Barbara Robinson on Facebook.

CrossReaders Book Review: Blowing on Dandelions by Miralee Ferrell

CrossReaders Book Review: Blowing on Dandelions by Miralee Ferrell

Blowing on Dandelions

Title: Blowing on Dandelions

Author: Miralee Ferrell

Rating: 5

About the Book

Sweet historical romance with mother/daughter relationship drama

Review

Blowing on Dandelions, set in Baker City, Oregon in 1880, is the first book in Miralee Ferrell’s Love Blossoms in Oregon series. Like other books I’ve read of Miralee’s, this story deals with life/family issues – namely, long-running conflict between a mother and daughter. Both narrative and plot are strong, and we are introduced to some very interesting characters.

Katherine is a character I sympathized with and admired from the beginning – a daughter who felt unwanted, unable to measure up to her domineering mother’s expectations. “Always her memory returned to those times when the dandelion fluff had carried her away to a place where mothers were loving and kind, and little girls didn’t need to be afraid of cutting words or sharp voices.” The quiet, rugged strength of Micah Jacobs is exactly what Katherine needs, and while the mother/daughter conflict takes center stage, their romance is sweet and enjoyable.

Miralee very effectively uses the vehicle of a boardinghouse to place an unusual assortment of characters in close vicinity, and even more conflict is introduced with the arrival of guest Wilma Roberts, who I grew to love. Wilma is an imposing and proud woman, yet she senses that Katherine’s mother is lonely and determines to become her friend. And then there’s the mysterious Jeffery Tucker, who I suspect we will see much more of.

Katherine’s mother, Frances, is an extremely abrasive character who made me even more thankful than I already am for the wonderful mother I was blessed with. Anyone who has experienced family conflict can relate to this story and be inspired by the hope that it offers. I like the slow, but steady spiritual growth that several characters experience.

One of the best things about a series is getting to continue on with certain characters, and I look forward to what Miralee has in store for us in Wishing on Buttercups, which releases on February 1, 2014. Recommended to those who enjoy historical romance and relationship drama.

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This review was submitted by: Carole Jarvis

Please visit her website at http://booksmusicandlife.blogspot.com

CrossReads Short Takes: Soar on Eagles Wings and The Kings Highway

CrossReads Short Takes

To Soar On Eagle's Wings

Spring’s in the air. While the sun shines in Timber Springs, snow falls on the Snowy Range, and trouble’s brewing in the meadows. The area’s new game warden, Steve Mitchell launches his first wildlife investigation of the season but the trouble follows him—straight to town.

Rachel Fitzgerald’s on Spring Break. Or at least she’s trying. Between paperwork, and harassing phone calls, she may as well have stayed in her classroom. So much for relaxation. A ‘chance’ meeting with her brother’s old roommate offers her weary soul a shred of hope, but she discovers love, like life, isn’t easy.

He talks with the wisdom of the Lord but rejects the future. She wants to soar with the eagles but walks alone. And trusting God proves to be more of a challenge than ever before…

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The Kings Highway

A mysterious dead man directs the small band on their journey to a much safer corridor he dubs The King’s Highway.

Airplanes are falling out of the sky, and all things electric rendered useless after a mysterious flash. It tests the grit of fifteen-year-old Jackson Allison when the care and safety of his younger siblings fall solely to him. No one knows for sure what’s happened, but danger lurks if they stay. With a fierce determination to keep his thirteen-year-old sister McKenzie and nine-year-old brother Cooper safe, the high school freshman is compelled to leave their Irving home in the shadow of the DFW Airport for their grandparents’ farm a hundred-plus miles northeast.

Thrust into a lawless, chaotic world, he’s guided by an ever-changing cryptic note that leads his growing troupe along the King’s Highway. Bullies, Russians, wild animals, gang-bangers, and kidnappers thwart their progress while a lack of drinkable water and food is a constant concern. Will he ever get his people to safety in the Red River Valley in far Northeast Texas?

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