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Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My teaser this week comes from Donita K. Paul’s book Dragons of the Valley.

“Sir Beccaroon sensed the turmoil in the Amber Palace as soon as he landed on the roof.  He shook his feathers, cocked his head, and tried to discern exactly where the commotion centered.”         — p. 19

Heading off now to read everyone else’s teasers!  Happy Reading!

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“Put your ear down to close to your soul and listen hard.”  – Anne Sexton

“I don’t need a man to validate my existence.  The most profound relationship we’ll ever have is the one with ourselves.”  – Shirley MacLaine

“In th end, it’s not what you do for your children but what you’ve taught them to do for themselves.”  – Ann Landers

“If love is the answer, could you rephrase the question?” – Lily Tomlin

Quote lover and compiler Carolyn Warner gives readers much to think about within the pages of The Words of Extraordinary Women.  I have always loved quotes, and I enjoy using them in everyday conversation.  These quotes are funny, sobering, saddening, and wise.  From Politics to Education to Family, the words of women through the years have helped direct children and adults alike, changed policies, and changed lives.  Pick up this book today to discover the words of many different women through the ages.  You’ll find that we do know what we’re talking about!  Happy Reading!

  • Hardcover: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Newmarket Press (June 8, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1557048568
  • ISBN-13: 978-1557048561

Legal Necessities:  I received this book for free from Newmarket Press.


It’s Monday! What Are You Reading, is where we gather to share what we have read this past week and what we plan to read this week.  It is a great way to network with other bloggers, see some wonderful blogs, and put new titles on your reading list.

This weekly Meme is hosted by Sheila on Book Journey.

What I read last week:

  • Finding True Freedom by Ginny Dent Brandt
  • More Than Conquerors by Kathi Macias

What I’m reading this week:

  • Dragons of the Valley by Donita K. Paul
  • A Celebration of The Simple Life by Wanda E. Brunsetter

What I will read next week:

  • Rebekkah’s Journey by Ann Bell
  • Red Ink by Kathi Macias

So there you have it!  My reading lineup for three weeks!  Head over to Sheila’s blog via the link above to find out what she – and others – are reading!

Also, I had a very kind comment from Kathi Macias on my More Than Conquerors review below.  She would love to hear from you!

In the second installment to her Extreme Devotion series, Kathi Macias takes us to Tijuana, Mexico and San Diego, California in her book More than Conquerors.  Hector Rodriguez and his family minister to the people of Tijuana through the church that Hector pastors.  He is faced with the trials of inner city gang crime, an unbelieving father who lies dying in a hospice home north of the border, and a mother who has surrendered her life to spread the gospel to a remote Mayan village a great distance away.

Marty is a young college graduate from San Diego.  He has served as a short term college missionary in Tijuana alongside Hector Rodriguez’s family.  Unsure of the path God has chosen for him, Marty decides to spend an undetermined amount of time in Tijuana with the Rodriguez family.  Determined not to fall in love and have the distraction of a woman as he tries to follow Christ, Marty finds himself struggling with the direction God may be leading his life.

When Hector’s mother disappears, everyone is heartbroken, but no one is surprised.  After all, the Mayans are deeply rooted in their ancient beliefs, and they do not like outsiders in their village.  Especially outsiders who talk of “conquistadores”, as Hector’s mother has in the Bible verse Romans 8:37 “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.”  Hector must choose to continue his work for Christ as pastor of his church, or protect his family.

This book was intense in every aspect – the gang violence in Mexico.  The heartbreaking truth of an ancient people that will not let go of their superstitions, fears, and beliefs.  The fear of a man who is torn between following God, even if it means facing unknown dangers, and protecting his beloved wife and children.  The struggle of a young man who will do anything to follow God’s will for his life.  More intense than any of these, however, is God’s power and ability to overcome fear, and God’s incredible way of bringing good out of tragedy.  Though this book is heartbreaking and sobering, I enjoyed everything about it, and learned much about myself – and God the Father – in the process.  Macias has done an excellent job in her second book in this series, and I can’t wait to read the third!

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: New Hope Publishers (April 5, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1596692839
  • ISBN-13: 978-1596692831

Legal Necessities:  I received this book for free from Kathi Macias.


For Ginny Dent Brandt, growing up in Washington, DC in th1950’s and 1960’s meant an inside glimpse into how our nation’s capital works.  Ginny went sledding with senators, rolled eggs on the White House lawn, and often went to work with her father, Harry Dent.

Yes, that Harry Dent.  In Ginny Dent Brandt’s book Finding True Freedom:  From the White House to the World, Brandt tells us what it’s like to grow up in Washington, and she tells us about everything her father accomplished during his time there. One of President Nixon’s “Inner Circle”, Dent helped shape Southern Politics as we know it today, and was among those thrust into the limelight during the Watergate Scandal.  The Watergate Scandal devastated not only Harry Dent, but his entire family.

This book isn’t all about Watergate, however, but it does offer a truthful look at how everything really went down.  No, this book isn’t about Watergate, really – it’s about a father and daughter.  Growing up the daughter of an influential Washington, DC assistant and advisor, Ginny learned to rely on her faith and belief in Jesus Christ as her unchanging foundation in life.  Though her father did not immediately care for her faith, he eventually found the heart of Christ as well.  Harry Dent’s newfound love for Jesus Christ, along with his political influence, lead him to the Republic of Romania where he is able to share not only political knowledge, but – more importantly – the message of God’s unyielding love through Jesus Christ.

I grew up with Ginny Brandt as my elementary school guidance counselor.  She helped me through difficult times in my own childhood.  Her mission work with her father in Romania also put her in contact with my childhood Pastor.  I didn’t know the extent of her father’s influence in Washington until I read this book.  Her own experiences in Washington, along with knowledge of what her father accomplished during his time in Washington, offer insights into Washington politics that I had never known about.  This book was a true joy to read!  I got to learn more about Washington, DC, a topic of great interest to me.   I got to learn more about a woman I have admired for years.  I also learned more about my walk with Christ than I have in a long time.  Pick up this books and read it, please!  You will not be disappointed.

Thank you, Mrs. Brandt, for writing this book!  You have touched my life in a special way, and through this book, you are able to touch the lives of countless others.  I feel blessed to call you friend.

  • Paperback: 264 pages
  • Publisher: Christian Literature Crusade (September 10, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1936143097
  • ISBN-13: 978-1936143092

Here is a roundup of the three book challenges I will be participating in for 2011.  I am so looking forward to sharing my progress with you and connecting with other book reviewers through these challenges!  I had originally decided on two challenges, but I just stumbled upon a third challenge that I am very excited about!  Here are the three challenges with links to the hosts’ websites:

The Rules:

1. Create a post for the challenge using the image above and link back to this post.
–Non-Bloggers: You are welcome to join too. Post your list of books in the comment section of the wrap-up post.

2. Sign up with the Mr. Linky.
–Link to your challenge post when you sign up please.

3. The goal of this challenge is to read AT LEAST 12 novels that are Christian based fiction between January 1, 2011 and December 31, 2011. Books read before January 1, 2011 do NOT count towards the challenge.

4. Audio, eBooks, paper all count. Re-reads are ok but try to keep them to a minimum. Cross overs from other challenges are ok.

5. There is no need to create your list now. Please feel free to use your challenge post to keep track of your titles if you so desire.  **Hosted by Book Junkie**

DETAILS:

1. The goal is to read 100 or more books. Anyone can join. You don’t need a blog to participate. Posting on GoodReads or wherever you post your reviews is good enough.

2. Audio, Re-reads, eBooks, YA, Manga, Graphic Novels, Library books, Novellas, Young Reader, Nonfiction – as long as the book has an ISBN or equivalent or can be purchased as such, the book counts.

What doesn’t count: Individual short stories or individual books in the Bible.

3. No need to list your books in advance. You may select books as you go. Even if you list them now, you can change the list if needed.

4. Crossovers from other reading challenges count.

5. Challenge begins January 1st thru December, 2011. Books started before the 1st do not count. You can join at anytime.

6. When you sign up under Mr. Linky, put the direct link to your post where your books will be listed. Include the URL to this post so that other viewers can find this fun challenge. If you’d prefer to put your list in the sidebar of your blog, please leave your viewers the link to the sign up page. Again, so viewers can join the challenge too.  **Hosted by My Overstuffed Bookshelf**

War Through the Generation‘s 2011 reading challenge will be the U.S. Civil War.  The challenge will run from January 1, 2011, through December 31, 2011.

Rules:

This year you have options when reading your fiction, nonfiction, graphic novels, etc. with the U.S. Civil War as the primary or secondary theme.

Books can take place before, during, or after the war.  Books from other challenges count so long as they meet the above criteria.

Dip: Read 3-5 books in any genre with the U.S. Civil War as a primary or secondary theme.

Wade: Read 6-10 books in any genre with the U.S. Civil War as a primary or secondary theme.

Swim: Read 11 or more books in any genre with the U.S. Civil War as a primary or secondary theme.

Additionally, we’ve decided that since there are so many great movies out there about U.S. Civil War, that you can substitute or add a movie or two to your list this year and have it count toward your totals.  We nabbed this idea from a few challenges in 2009, particularly The Everything Austen Challenge at Stephanies’s Written Word.  **Hosted by War Through the Generations**

South Africa, 1989.  Apartheid.  One of the darkest moments in the history of humanity – the minority whites rule over the blacks and coloreds that make up the majority.  Here lies the setting for Kathi Macias’ novel No Greater Love, the first installment in her Extreme Devotion series.

Chioma, a servant for an Afrikaner family, finds herself struggling with her feelings for Andrew, the white son of the master of the farm.  Andrew also tries to fight the feelings he feels growing inside himself for Chioma.  Orphaned for four years when her parents, ANC supporters, were killed, Chioma has seen her share of tragedy and injustice.  Chioma has suffered as a part of the system of Apartheid her entire life, and finds it impossible to trust any white man and – more so – their God.  Andrew, living a life of privilege as the son of an Afrikan farmer, also tries to understand the meaning and scope of the Apartheid system his father holds allegiance to.  Andrew and Chioma’s lives become intertwined and tragedy surfaces yet again, making a martyr out of the most unlikely person.  Chioma then finds herself torn between fighting for her cause and learning how to forgive.

In this story, Macias explores the depth of Apartheid and the effects this system of government had not only on the blacks and coloreds, but also on the whites that wielded power and control for decades.  Throughout the story, the characters try to justify their actions and beliefs as they relate to those of the races opposite from their own.  Introspection and circumstance even force some to question how God feels about the system of Apartheid that has come to be their culture and way of life.

In this truthful glimpse into a world so many still do not understand, God’s love and forgiveness, as well as His desire for equality and love for all mankind, are illustrated even more beautifully than the pictures of the South African countryside painted in words by Macias.  In a culture driven by evil, hate, and separation, Macias shows that God can break down barriers that man alone cannot.

I must admit that I ate up this story!  My father traveled to South Africa as a missionary during the years of Apartheid, and I remember growing up hearing his stories of racial segregation that plagued this beautiful country for years.  I also have a deep love for Africa as a continent, and pray daily for His word to be heard and believed by all who call Africa their home.  For this reason, I have a special attachment to this novel.  I had no idea how much I would enjoy this novel, but I can tell you honestly that it’s one of the best stories and most well-written that I have read in a long time.  I highly recommend you pick up this novel and discover for yourself not only what Apartheid meant to the people of South Africa, but what God’s grace and power can do in the most impossible of events.

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: New Hope Publishers (April 5, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1596692774
  • ISBN-13: 978-1596692770

**Legal Necessities:  I received this book for free from Kathi Macias.


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FCC DISCLAIMER

The books on this blog have been sent to me directly by either the publisher or the author. I paid nothing for these books. I received them free of charge in exchange for my honest review. I received the books only - no monetary compensation was given or received by either me nor the author or publisher. The copies I review are considered review copies or Advance Reader Copies. I will note in each post if I received a copy of the book for free from either the publisher or the author. If no such notation is made, then I purchased the book myself, was given a copy of the book by someone I know, or I checked out a copy from my local library. I am displaying this disclaimer in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
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